Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

[Editor’s Note: We are pleased to announce the birth of Evan Yingling, son of Stephanie and Patrick Yingling, last week on Tuesday, October 18. Patrick has been an integral part of the What’s New in Public Law team since the very first edition was published almost three years ago. Please join Tom Ginsburg, David Landau and me in congratulating Patrick and Stephanie on the birth of Evan! –Richard Albert]

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include a selection of links to news, high court decisions, new or recent scholarly books and articles, and blog posts from around the public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Spanish Constitutional Court overturned the bullfighting ban in Catalonia.
  2. The European Court of Justice ruled that a website operator is legally permitted to store visitors’ Internet protocol addresses because they have a legitimate interest in protecting themselves against cyber attacks.
  3. The Venezuela Supreme Tribunal of Justice ruled that a referendum to unseat President Nicolas Maduro will require his opponents to collect signatures from 20 percent of voters in each of Venezuela’s 24 states.
  4. The Constitutional Court of the Democratic Republic of the Congo approved a request by the electoral commission to postpone the November election to update voter lists. The controversial move means President Kabila could stay in office until 2018.
  5. UK government lawyers argued in court that British Prime Minister Theresa May has the right to remove the UK from the EU.

In the News

  1. Politicians in Kyrgyzstan have lost the country’s constitution—literally.
  2. Grenada’s supervisor of elections announced November 24 as the new date citizens will vote in a referendum on a new constitution.
  3. Police in Ivory Coast arrested opposition figures and used teargas to disperse demonstrators gathering to protest against a new draft constitution due to be voted on in a referendum later this month.
  4. South Africa announced that the country will officially withdraw from the International Criminal Court.
  5. Nepal’s Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated that the draft of a constitutional amendment proposal is almost ready and that the government is working to forge consensus among major parties and the agitating forces before tabling it in Parliament.
  6. The government of Scotland announced it has published a draft bill for a second referendum that would give the country the opportunity to consider independence from the UK.
  7. Burundi’s vote last week to leave the International Criminal Court elicited concern from The Hague.
  8. The Philippines House Committee on Constitutional Amendments voted in favor of the 17th Congress turning itself into a Constituent Assembly to amend the 1987 Constitution, in a move toward the shift to a federal system of government.
  9. The Egyptian Parliament voted to enact new legislation aimed at combating the growing number of human traffickers along its coast.

New Scholarship

  1. Ji Li, The Power Logic of Justice in China, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming) (articulating a power logic behind judicial behavior by presenting a unified positive theory of nuanced power distribution)
  2. Graham Butler, The Ultimate Stumbling Block? The Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Accession of the European Union to the European Convention on Human Rights, Dublin University Law Journal (2016) (discussing the most legally problematic aspect of Union law that the Court of Justice has found to prevent Union acceding to the ECHR)
  3. Ming Hsu Chen, The Administrator-in-Chief, Administrative Law Review (forthcoming 2017) (providing a framework for understanding the role of the President as administrator-in-chief of the executive branch)
  4. Dominique Custos, Esquisse Comparative du CRPA / Comparative Sketch of the 2015 French Code of Administrative Procedure, Journal du Droit Administratif (2016) (analyzing in comparative perspective the new French Code of Administrative Procedure) (in French)
  5. Steven Aiello, Islamic and Jewish Law Approaches to Killing (2016) (using the laws relating to murder to showcase the dynamic nature of Islamic and Jewish law, and the common ways in which both relate to society and law and order)
  6. Donald L. Davison and Margaret Lewicki, The Comparative Effects of Electoral Laws on Voter Rationality: Plurality versus Proportional Election Rules (2016)(finding that plurality electoral arrangements result in consistently lower levels of political knowledge and voter sophistication)
  7. Milena Sterio, Secession: A Proposal for a New Legal Framework, German Yearbook of International Law (forthcoming) (examining the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict through the lens of self-determination and secession in order to demonstrate that presently existing international law on these issues is inadequate and to argue for the development of a new framework on secession)
  8. Matthew Saul, Structuring Evaluations of Parliamentary Processes by the European Court of Human Rights, The International Journal of Human Rights (forthcoming 2016)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The deadline for submissions has been extended to October 31, 2016 for the ASCL Younger Comparativists Committee’s third workshop on comparative business and financial law to be held on February 10-11, 2017 at the University of Kansas School of Law in Lawrence, Kansas.
  2. Organizers invite note, panel, and paper proposals for the Twentieth Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities will be held at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, California on March 31-April 1, 2017. Proposals are due Friday, October 28, 2016.
  3. The High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law and The Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School will host the seventh annual work-in-progress series for internet law scholarship on March 4, 2017 at Santa Clara University.
  4. The Conference on Empirical Legal Studies in Asia will be held in Taiwan on June 13-15, 2017. Submissions are due by February 15, 2017.
  5. The editors of Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly (CALQ) invite submissions for v.3 n.2. The deadline is November 27, 201
  6. The Utrecht Journal of International and European Law invites submissions for its next general issue (summer 2017). The deadline for submissions is April 18, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Gavin Greene, Constitutional Reform in Japan: An Overblown Threat to East Asian Security, Berkeley Political Review
  2. Political priorities and Constitution making, The Nation
  3. Antje Wiener, Why the Brexit debate might mark the end of Britain’s unwritten constitution, Verfassungsblog
  4. Marco Goldoni, Constitutional Referendums as Vectors of Regime-building: Observations from the Italian Case, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. Carol Giacomo, No Justice in Iran, N.Y. Times Taking Note Blog
  6. Tomasz T. Koncewicz, The Court’s role is not to be at beck and call of any powers that be, Gazeta Wyborcza (in Polish)


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