Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Maja Sahadžić, Research Fellow (University of Antwerp)

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 Germany ruled that external division in the context of pension sharing following divorce is compatible with the Basic Law when the provisions are applied in a manner that ensures conformity with the Constitution.
  2. The Constitutional Court of South Africa dismissed an application for leave to appeal a Supreme Court judgment on the binding nature of postnuptial contracts between married couples.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Germany concluded that monitoring the internet traffic of foreign nationals abroad partly breaches the Constitution.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Albania refused to review the appointment of a suspended vetting judge.
  5. The Supreme Court of Nepal ordered the government not to charge any cost to the people living under the poverty line and low-income returnees from abroad while testing the coronavirus infection.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Kosovo ruled that a decree appointing a new prime minister to replace the acting prime minister is legal.

In the News

  1. The Parliament of China approved the controversial Hong Kong security legislation.
  2. The Central Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina postponed local elections due in October for six weeks after political rows held up the adoption of the annual state budget.
  3. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany summoned Russia’s ambassador over a hacking attack on German parliament in 2015.
  4. The Parliament of Lebanon ratified a $300m aid package for low-income families and vital sectors of the economy as the government attempts to stave off an economic collapse exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
  5. The Parliament of Latvia became an online e-parliament and went live.
  6. The Federal Parliament of Germany debated on relaxing blood donation rules for LGBT+ men.
  7. The Parliament of Myanmar approved a budget for the country’s defense at the International Court of Justice against genocide charges.
  8. The Parliament of Bulgaria adopted a new food law about food safety.
  9. Antigua and Barbuda’s House of Representatives passed a cryptocurrency regulation bill towards becoming digital asset-friendly destinations in the Caribbean.
  10. The Parliament of Hungary banned gender recognition.

New Scholarship

  1. Malavika Prasad and Gaurav Mukherjee, Reinvigorating Bicameralism in India 3(2) University of Oxford Human Rights Hub Journal (2020) (showing how the decline of the parliamentary upper house in India manifested itself in the recent passage of a controversial biometric identification law, and arguing that a revival of parliamentary processes and sub-national politics, instead of constitutional litigation, can reinvigorate bicameralism).
  2. Viktoria Potapkina, Nation Building in Contested States, Comparative Insights from Kosovo, Transnistria, and Northern Cyprus (2020) (providing an overview of current nation-building processes in contested states).
  3. Cornelia Weiss, The Nineteenth Amendment and the U.S. “Women’s Emancipation Policy” in Post-World War II Occupied Japan: Going Beyond Suffrage, 53 Akron Law Review 387 (2019) (exploring the influence of the post-WWII military occupation of Japan on women’s constitutional rights and realities) 
  4. Irena Rosenthal, Democracy and Ontology, Agonism between Political Liberalism, Foucault and Psychoanalysis (2020) (investigating the relationship between liberal democracies and ontology, that is, philosophical claims about the constitution of agents and the social world).
  5. Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Change, (2020) (providing a comprehensive reference tool for all those working in the field and a thorough landscape of all theoretical and practical aspects of the topic).
  6. Francesco Biagi, European Constitutional Courts and Transitions to Democracy (2020) (examining the role of three generations of European constitutional courts in the transitions to democracy that took place in Europe in the twentieth century).
  7. Matej Avbelj, The European Union under Transnational Law, A Pluralist Appraisal (2020) (setting out the relationship between both transnational and EU law by exploring practical concrete problems that transnational law has posed to the EU).
  8. Joana Mendes and Ingo Venzke, Allocating Authority: Who Should Do What in European and International Law? (2020) (illustrating that public authority is relative between actors and relative to specific legitimacy assets).

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Public, Human Rights and International Law (a center of the University of Johannesburg) and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung organize the online panel discussion „Constitutional Law, the Global South and COVID-19: Comparing Colombia, South Africa and India“ to be held live on Zoom on 9 June 2020 from 15:00 to 16:30 (South African time – GMT plus 2). To register, send an email to
  2. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites all to register for an online course on “Judging in Times of Crisis: Conversations with High Court Judges around the World,” featuring Supreme and Constitutional Court judges from Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Italy, Portugal, South Africa, and Taiwan.
  3. The European Policy Centre and the German Council on Foreign Relations invite to the online Policy Dialogue „Opening a Pandora’s box? The impact of the Karlsruhe decision on the EU’s rule of law agenda“ to be held online on 3 June 2020 from 11:00 to 12:30 (CEST).
  4. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites participants to register for the course “The Future of Liberal Democracy: Global Dialogues with Leading Scholars”. The six-week course will be held live on Zoom starting on July 22, 2020.
  5. Friedrich Schiller University Jena organizes the workshop „International Patron-Client Relations in Secessionist Conflicts: Empirical Insights and Conceptual Innovations“ in Dornburg on 1-4 October 2020. The deadline for applications is 5 June 2020.
  6. The Baxter Family Competition on Federalism announces the call for applications. The deadline for applications is 1 February 2021.
  7. The Journal of Ethics and Legal Technologies invites papers for a special issue dedicated to „Responding to the Pandemic: Technological and Ethical Implications of Covid19 on Legal Education“. The deadline for submission is 15 June 2020.
  8. Loyola University Chicago School of Law hosts the Eleventh Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium in Chicago on 6-7 November 2020. Abstracts are due by 19 June 2020.
  9. The European Public Law Organization and the European Law & Governance School announce summer courses offered online.
  10. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism welcomes all to register for an online seminar on June 12, 2020, to debate the question “Is the U.S. Constitution Broken?” featuring Mark Graber, Jamal Greene, Sanford Levinson, and Julie Suk.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Brian Christopher Jones, A single written UK constitution may only make things worse, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog
  2. Ronan Cormacain, Instinct or rules: making moral decisions in the Cummings scandal, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog
  3. Dele Babaloa, Federalism and the Covid-19 pandemic: the Nigerian experience, UACES Territorial Politics
  4. Julian R Murphy, Divided we fall? – Division and coordination in federal systems during a time of crisis, BACL
  5. Ross Booth, Academics and pandemics: A student’s perspective during the lockdown, AfricLaw
  6. Russell A. Miller, The German Constitutional Court Nixes Foreign Surveillance, Lawfare
  7. Abdurrachman Satrio, Checking the Unchecked Power: The Role of the Indonesian Constitutional Court during the Pandemic, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  8. Ali Yildiz and Leighann Spencer, The Erosion of Property Rights in Turkey, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  9. Cristina Fernández González, The Covid-19 Whistleblowers, Eureka!
  10. Dan Farber, What’s in a Name? “Climate change”? “Disruption”? “Crisis”? “Emergency”? Why is this so hard?, Legal Planet
  11. Elisa Minsart and Vincent Jacquet, Permanent joint committees in Belgium: involving citizens in parliamentary debate, The Constitution Unit
  12. David Kenny, Remote sittings for Ireland’s parliament: questionable constitutional objections, The Constitution Unit
  13. Trésor M. Makunya, DRC’s Constitutional Court: Broken shield in overseeing the executive in emergencies?, ConstitutionNet
  14. Eva Pils, China’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic: Fighting Two Enemies, Verfassungsblog


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