Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Teodora Miljojkovic, PhD student, Central European University, Budapest/Vienna

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 Portugal ruled that the Azores Islands’ mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors is unconstitutional.
  2. Kenyan High Court suspended implementation of President Uhuru’s Executive Order that would put independent state bodies and constitutional commissions, such as the Parliamentary Service Commission and Judicial Service Commission, under the direct control of the Attorney General and Cabinet Secretaries. Judge Makau stated that the implementation of the order could potentially jeopardize the principle of separation of powers and the rule of law, but also seriously affect the public interest.
  3. The Supreme Court of Poland approved the validity of the last month’s presidential elections in which conservative leader Andrzej Sebastian Duda won with 51%, despite its acknowledgement of dozens of irregularities.
  4. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon postponed its verdict in the trial over the 2005 bombing that killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri, out of respect for the victims of the Beirut explosion, which took place on August 4th.
  5. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee had legal standing to seek to enforce the Democratic-led congressional panel’s subpoena for testimony from former White House Counsel Donald McGahn.  

In the News

  1. Trump issued an executive order that would ban social media apps TikTok and WeChat from operating in 45 days if their Chinese-owned companies do not sell them. The Trump administration’s decision was based on alleged threat the apps impose on national security, although experts claim that such a concern might not be warranted.
  2. The Delhi High Court dismissed a petition filed by an Army officer, challenging the Indian Army’s notification banning 89 applications including TikTok, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram and others.
  3. A Belgian court rejected Spain’s demand to have the former Catalan politician Lluis Pugi extradited upon the European arrest warrant on the grounds of his alleged illegal involvement in an independence referendum. The court stated that “Spanish authorities who issued the warrant had no competence to do so.” The Brussels prosecutor’s office may appeal the decision.
  4. The Intermediate People’s Court of Foshan City in Guangdong Province sentenced to death two Canadian citizens over drug charges.
  5. Human Rights Watch calls for an international independent investigation into the Beirut’s explosion of the shipping port that devastated the city and caused numerous casualties.
  6. New York’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against the National Rifle Association on the grounds of corruption and misspending, seeking its closure. NRA struck back with a federal lawsuit against the office of the attorney general, claiming the violation of NRA’s First Amendment rights.
  7. Louisiana Supreme Court will not review life sentence for a man who stole hedge clippers back in 1977, despite the attorney’s claim that the sentence in today’s perspective seems too severe.
  8. The High People’s Court of Jiangxi in China has declared Zhang Yuhuan, 53, the country’s longest-serving wrongfully convicted person not guilty in a retrial after almost 27 years in prison.

New Scholarship

  1. David Kosař and Katarína Šipulová, How to Fight Court-Packing (2020) (proposing a theoretical framework for the analysis of court-packing, identifying strategies which governments employ in order to curb the judiciary)
  2. Bui Ngoc Son, Constitutional Change in the Contemporary Socialist World (2020) examining the constitutional change in the five current socialist countries, namely China, Cuba, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam)
  3. Nicola Curato, Jensen Sass, Selen A Ercan and Simon Niemeyer, Deliberative Democracy in the Age of Serial Crisis (2020) (offering a descriptive and reflective assessment of the developments in the field of deliberative democracy research)
  4. Mario Alberto Cajas-Sarria, Defending the Judiciary? Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments on the Judiciary in Colombia (2020) (mapping the trajectory of the review of constitutional amendments on the judiciary in Colombia, suggesting that one of the factors that could explain the judicial activism of constitutional judges is the defence of the judicial branch)
  5. Donald Bello Hutt, The Deliberative Constitutionalism Debate and a Republican Way Forward (2020) (exploring the state-of-the-art of deliberative constitutionalism, pointing out the limitations of the current literature, and proposing how they can be overcome by adopting a republican understanding of representative deliberative democracy)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites scholars of all ranks to participate in The Global Summit, a virtual conference operating in six different languages.
  2. The Universidad Torcuato Di Tella invites application for an Assistant or Associate Professor position in its School of Law. The applicants should submit their applications no later than September 14th, 2020 to postulació The application included cover letter identifying their research and teaching interests, CV, three letters of recommendation, up to two published or unpublished academic papers and teaching evaluation or syllabi, where applicable. The applicants should be able to teach in Spanish. For further details, contact Dean Martín Hevia at
  3. The Israel Democracy Institute invites participants to the special seminar “Democratic Backsliding: a View from Poland and Beyond” which will be held via Zoom on August 10th 2020. The webinar will host Prof.Wojciech Sadurski who will discuss the findings of  his book “Poland’s Constitutional Breakdown” through a comparative outlook, together with Prof. Yuval Shany, Prof. Yaniv Roznai, Dr. Tamar Hostovsky Brandes,  Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer, Dr. Hassan Jabareen and Dr. Dana Blander. Register here.
  4. The Comparative Constitutional Law Research Forum of CUHK LAW’s CCTL calls for chapters for the Handbook of Constitutional Law in Greater China (to be published by Routledge by late 2022). Chapters may be theoretical, historical, empirical, or doctrinal. They may offer comparative insight across two or more of the relevant jurisdictions or focus on a specific issue within a single one. Submissions (abstract of up to 500 words) should be sent to no later than October 1st 2020.
  5. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum invites applications for a Postdoctoral Position in Experimental Legal Philosophy. Candidates should submit a CV and a letter of motivation to no later than August 20th, 2020. For further information,   contact: Prof. Dr. Stefan Magen (
  6. The Department of Political Science at Aarhus University invites applications for a 2-year postdoctoral position in a new research project titled “Populism and Democratic Defence in Europe”. The project involves five partner institutions: Roskilde University, University of Warsaw, University of Wroclaw, Lund University and Aarhus University. Interested applicants should submit their applications no later than September 17th. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Associate Professors Tore Vincents Olsen per email: or Fabio Wolkenstein per email: before submitting their application.
  7. The University of Milan, Legal Department Cesare Beccaria invites applications for PhD positions in law, with particular reference to criminal law and procedure, Roman law, history, philosophy and sociology of law, and ecclesiastic and canon law. Deadline for submission is September 14th 2020.
  8. The Department of Legal Studies at Central European University (CEU) invites applications for an Assistant Professor in international human rights law. Applicants with expertise in the United Nations, human rights, protection mechanisms, and interests in the implications of international refugee and migration law are strongly preferred. Deadline for applications is September 30th, 2020.
  9. Union University Law School Review “Pravni Zapisi” invites submissions for the 2/2020 issue. The deadline for application is October 10th, 2020. Applicants may submit papers on topics of a wide spectrum of law areas, with the particular reference to the constitutional law, human rights law, international public law and EU law.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Marek Domin, Judicial Reform in Slovakia: How to Deal with “Bad Judges”?,  IACL-AICD Blog
  2. Eirik Holmøyvik, Strasbourg  Slams Old Democracies on Elections, Verfassungsblog
  3. Marci A. Hamilton, Religious Entities Flex Their Muscles Through the Roberts Court, Playing Both Sides of the Discrimination Coin, VERDICT
  4. Caroline De Gruyter, European Values are Non-Negotiable, EUobserver
  5. Katalin Cseh, An open letter to the EPP on end of Hungary’s press freedom, EUobserver
  6. Usang Maria Assim, How a South African court case reminded adults of the rights of children, The Conversation


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