Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Ph.D. Candidate and Research Fellow in Constitutional Law, University of Genoa (Italy)

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 Bosnia will rule on movement restrictions imposed to tackle the Coronavirus emergency.
  2. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany dismissed a claim against the ban on demonstrations imposed due to social-distancing reasons.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declared the Act of Approval to the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court void.
  4. The US Supreme Court announced that it would open a live audio feed of oral arguments in several cases in May.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Turkey was called to decide on amnesty legislation aimed at reducing prison overcrowding.
  6. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled that Peru is responsible for the rape and torture of a transgender woman. 
  7. The European Court of Human Rights held that Serbia violated art. 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life) due to insufficient foreseeability and  safeguards of domestic law governing the collection of DNA samples in the context of criminal investigation.

In the News

  1. The Speaker of the UK House of Common said that there are plans to carry out part of the House’s job remotely by video link, due to the Coronavirus emergency.
  2. The Secretary-General of the Council of Europe issued a toolkit for governments across Europe on respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law during the COVID-19 crisis.
  3. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights urged Poland to reject bills that restrict women’s sexual and reproductive rights and children’s right to sex education.
  4. A Zimbabwe court ruled that the government must protect healthcare workers with protective gear and carry out mass tests against Coronavirus.
  5. Eurojust released its 2019 Annual Report.

New Scholarship

  1. Or Bassok, The Schmitelsen Court: The Question of Legitimacy, 21 German Law Journal (2020) (examining three case-studies and arguing that they combine Kelsen’s and Schmitt’s approaches to the institutional identity of the “guardian of the constitution”)
  2. Ashley Deeks, Secret Reasong-Giving, 129 Yale Law Journal (forthcoming 2020) (analysing secret reason-giving by the Executive and arguing that it confers several benefits, which manifest differently than in the public context)
  3. David MacKeever, International Humanitarian Law and Counter-Terrorism: Fundamental Values, Conflicting Obligations, 69 International and Comparative Law Quarterly (2020) (examining the interaction between counter-terrorism laws and international humanitarian law and the concerns that the former are being misapplied to criminalise the provision of humanitarian assistance envisaged under the latter)
  4. Mary L. Volcansek, Comparative Judicial Politics (2019) (synthesizing the scholarly work on judicial politics from around the world, focusing on legal traditions, lawyers, judges, constitutional review, international and transnational courts, and the impact and legitimacy of courts)
  5. Armin von Bogdandy, Peter Huber, Christoph Grabenwarter (eds.), The Max Planck Handbooks in European Public Law. Volume III: Constitutional Adjudication: Institutions (2020) (analyzing the history, organization, and procedure of constitutional adjudication in European states)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The European Association of Law and Economics calls for submissions of papers for its 37th Annual Conference. The deadline is April 20, 2020.
  2. The Law Library of Congress organizes a webinar on “Fighting Pandemics: Foreign and International Legislative Frameworks,” which will take place on April 23, 2020.
  3. The Institute of Security and Global Affairs of the Leiden University invites applications for a PhD position. The deadline is May 8, 2020.
  4. The Law School of the University of Westminster calls for applications for several PhD scholarships starting in September 2020. The deadline to apply is May 8, 2020.
  5. The European Yearbook of Constitutional Law (EYCL) invites scholars from around the world to submit proposals for its 2021 issue on the theme of “Constitutional Advice”. The deadline for proposals is June 1, 2020.
  6. The American Journal of International Law issued a worldwide call for papers on “The International Legal Order and the Global Pandemic”. Submissions are accepted until July 1, 2020.  

Elsewhere Online

  1. Thomas A. Barnico, Seila Law LLC v. CFPB: “Humphrey’s Pre-emptor”?, Yale Journal on Regulation Blog
  2. Jonas Bornemann, Coming to terms with the refugee relocation mechanism, European Law Blog
  3. David R. Cameron, After all-night meeting with no agreement, Eurogroup meets again, agrees on €540 billion package, Yale MacMillan Center
  4. Raphael S. Cohen, The Coronavirus Will Not Stop Globalization, Lawfare
  5. John Doyle, 22 Years after the Good Friday Agreement: Brexit, Covid-19 and New Governments, DCU Brexit Institute Blog
  6. Sapan Maini-Thompson, Government acted unlawfully in assisting USA to prosecute IS fighter — an extended look, UK Human Rights Blog
  7. Lawrence Repeta, The coronavirus and Japan’s Constitution, The Japan Times
  8. Sean Molloy, Covid-19, Emergency Legislation and Sunset Clauses, UK Constitutional Law Association
  9. Clive Walker and Andrew Blick, Why did the Government not use the Civil Contingencies Act?, The Law Society Gazette


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