Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Mohamed Abdelaal, Assistant Professor, Alexandria University Faculty of Law

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 Constitutional Court of Kosovo found unconstitutional the decision of the government to restrict citizens’ freedom of movement during the coronavirus pandemic.
  2. In South Africa, a non-governmental organization has filed a suit in the Constitutional Court challenging a presidential order that the country should go into lockdown for 21 days to curb the spread of Covid-19.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Uganda invalidated legislation that gave police powers to stop public gatherings and protests.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Taiwan will hear arguments on decriminalization of adultery.
  5. The High Court of Singapore dismissed a challenge to Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexual acts between males.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe declared a judicial appointment amendment to the Constitution unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. The National Election Board of Ethiopia postponed the upcoming general election amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania filed an emergency petition to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court seeking the release of some in the Commonwealth’s county jails.
  3. The Hungarian Parliament granted special powers to the Prime Minister to fight COVID-19 pandemic.
  4. The Canadian legislature passed emergency legislation that will allow the Minister of Health to circumvent patent laws for supplies that are necessary to combat the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  5. Albanian lawmakers extended the term of the parliamentary committee investigating whether the President should be impeached.

New Scholarships

  1. Seth Barrett Tillman, COVID-19: Can the Oireachtas Legislate During the Pandemic? Irish Law Times 94 (2020) (discussing the effect of a pandemic on the power of the legislature to legislate in Ireland)
  2. Alexander Somek, Cosmopolitan Constitutionalism: The Case of the European Convention (2020 forthcoming) (explaining how the idea of a ‘margin of appreciation’ is of pivotal significance in the context of the European Convention System)
  3. Evan J. Criddle, The Case Against Prosecuting Refugees, 115 Northwestern University Law Review (2020 forthcoming) (arguing that Congress has not authorized courts to punish refugees for illegal entry or re-entry)
  4. Scott Stephenson, Against Interpretation as an Alternative to Invalidation, 48 Federal Law Review 46-68 (2020) (evaluating the rise of interpretation as an alternative means of judicially enforcing legislative compliance with rights)
  5. Jedediah S. Britton-Purdy, David Singh Grewal, Amy Kapczynski and K. Sabeel Rahman, Building a Law-and-Political-Economy Framework: Beyond the Twentieth-Century Synthesis, Yale Law Journal, (2020 forthcoming) (suggesting new orientation of the scholarship on law and political economy that foregrounds realities of power, aspires toward equality and is committed to democracy)
  6. Anna Shashkova, Michel Verlaine and Ekaterina Kudryashova, On Modifications to the Constitution of the Russian Federation in 2020, 8 Russian Law Journal (2020) (examining the 2020 amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation)
  7. Vera Shikhelman, Implementing Decisions of International Human Rights Institutions – Evidence from the United Nations Human Rights Committee, 30 European Journal of International Law (2019) (analyzing empirical data about how and when states implement decisions of the United Nations Human Rights Committee in individual communications)
  8. Felix B. Chang and Sunnie T. Rucker-Chang, Roma Rights and Civil Rights: A Transatlantic Comparison (2020) (comparing the rights and social inclusion of two racialized minority groups, Roma in Central and Southeast Europe and African Americans in the United States)
  9. Brian Christopher Jones, Idolatry and Constitutional Change, in BC Jones, Constitutional Idolatry and Democracy: Challenging the Infatuation with Writtenness (2020 forthcoming) (explaining how idolatry affects constitutional change)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research invites applications for the Federal Scholar in Residence Program. The deadline for submission of applications is July 1, 2020.
  2. Scholars, students, practitioners, all disciplines, all nations, are invited to contribute articles, commentary, and other work to the new website and blog, Law Against Pandemic.  Student work is especially desired, so professors, please spread the word (at an appropriate social distance) in your schools.
  3. The Iranian Review for Law of the Sea and Maritime Policy invites submission of papers for its upcoming volume.
  4. The City Law School invites applications for four full-time, three-year doctoral scholarships, starting in September 2020. Two of these scholarships will be in EU Law. The deadline for submissions is April 16, 2020.

Elsewhere online

  1. Chiara Graziani, Covid-19 and EU Integration: Back to the Origins?, Brexit Institute
  2. 52 pages for 12 more years How Russia’s Constitutional Court justified letting Putin stick around and a whole lot more, Meduza
  3. Aditya AK, Freedom of Expression: Singapore High Court, Bar and Bench
  4. Michele Simonato, Mutual recognition in criminal matters and legal remedies: The first CJEU judgment on the European Investigation Order, European Law Blog
  5. Ephrat Livni, Will the US Supreme Court let Trump deport 27,000 healthcare workers despite coronavirus?, Quartz


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