Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Rohan Alva, Advocate, New Delhi

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. A nine judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court, by a majority of 7 to 2, addressed the entire law on inter-state trade and commerce and ruled that free trade and commerce in Article 301 of the Indian Constitution does not mean “free from taxation.”
  2. A Constitution Bench of the Indian Supreme Court invalidated legislation passed by the state of Punjab that terminated “water sharing agreements” with other states.
  3. Russia’s Constitutional Court agreed to consider a request of the Justice Ministry on whether it is possible to implement the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the Yukos case.
  4. Uganda’s Constitutional Court overturned a law that had allowed the Equal Opportunities Commission to disregard complaints from people it considered “immoral or socially unacceptable.”
  5. The Supreme Court of Japan upheld a lower court ruling that said the Osaka city office’s 2012 probe into whether its workers had tattoos was legal.

In the News

  1. In the United Kingdom, Brexit secretary David Davis announced that legislation to give effect to the Brexit vote could be passed by Parliament within weeks.
  2. In the Ivory Coast, President Alassane Ouattara assented to the new constitution, which was approved through a referendum.
  3. In Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega was re-elected as president for a third term.
  4. The Hungarian Parliament rejected constitutional amendments aimed at restricting the entry of asylum seekers into the country.
  5. In the United States, the electorate in California and Oklahoma voted in favor of retaining the death penalty, while the electorate in the state of Nebraska voted in favor of reinstating the death penalty.

New Scholarship

  1. Michael J. Klarman, The Framers Coup (2016) (examining the founding of the American Constitution)
  2. David L. Sloss, The Death of Treaty Supremacy: An Invisible Constitutional Change (2016) (analyzing how individual states over the course of time have shielded themselves from the “treaty supremacy rule”)
  3. James R. Maxeiner, Common Law is Not an Option, in James R. Maxeiner ed., Failures of American Lawmaking in Historical and Comparative Perspectives (forthcoming 2017) (evaluating the pitfalls of a common law system)
  4. Danuta Mendelson and Nuannuan Lin, Mental Health Legislation (Civil) in Australia and China: A Comparative Perspective, 23 Journal of Law and Medicine (2016) (studying civil law perspectives of mental health legislation in Australia and China)
  5. Nasia Hadjigeorgiou, Remedying Displacement in Frozen Conflicts: Lessons From the Case of Cyprus, 18 Cambridge Yearbook of European Legal Studies (2016) evaluating the functioning of the Immovable Property Commission and examining measures for its improvement)
  6. Susan Sterett, Saskia Bonjour, Lisa Conant and Dagmar Soennecken, Legal Mobilization and Juridification: Migration as a Central Case  Law and Policy 38(4) (2016) (addressing in turn indirect effects of court decisions in political argument, rights against torture as deportation issue, and the politics of docket control, in Europe)
  7. Gwenaelle Dereymaeker, Constitutionality of Criminal Procedure and Prison Laws in Africa A comparative study of Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia, Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (2016) (surveying the criminal laws in the five countries and evaluating the rights and entitlements available to persons who come into contact with the criminal justice system)
  8. The Civil Society for Prison Reform Initiative has published reports examining the constitutionality of criminal procedure and prison laws in Burundi, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mozambique, and Zambia.

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law invites submissions for its Sixth Annual YCC Global Conference in Istanbul, Turkey on April 28-29, 2017. Abstracts for submission are due by December 31, 2016.
  2. Papers are invited by the Journal of Gender, Race & Justice for a symposium on “Structurally (Un)sound: Implicit Unfairness in Legal Procedure and Protocol, and Disproportionate Impacts on Marginalized Groups,” which will be held on February 24-25, 2017 at the University of Iowa College of Law.
  3. The Yale Journal of Law and Humanities invites papers for symposium section on “Philosophy’s Practical Turn” for the 2017 Spring Issue. Papers are to be submitted by December 31, 2016.
  4. A call for papers has been issued by the Florida A&M University Law Review for theInaugural Law Review LGBTQ Equality Symposium,” a two-day symposium beginning on February 9, 2017. Abstracts should be sent in by December 30, 2016.
  5. The University of Michigan Law School invites submissions for its Third Annual Michigan Law Young Scholars’ Conference, to be held March 31-April 1, 2017. Abstracts of papers should be submitted by December 31, 2016.
  6. Papers are invited by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore for the “3rd International Conference on Public Policy,” which will be held on June 28-30, 2017. Abstracts of papers should be sent it by January 15, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Sandra Fredman, The Least Dangerous Branch: Whose role is it to protect parliamentary sovereignty? Miller and the human rights implications of Brexit, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  2. Adam Liptak, What the Trump presidency means for the Supreme Court, The New York Times
  3. Chintan Chandrachud, Brexit under scrutiny, The Indian Express
  4. Douglas McDonald, Exorcising the Bank Nationalisation case: Jindal Stainless Ltd v State of Haryana and Australian case law, Law and Other Things
  5. Murali Krishnan, The judges of the Supreme Court: An analysis of parent High Courts, Bar and Bench
  6. Joe Tomlinson, Jake Rylatt and Duncan Fairgrieve: And Then There Were Eleven, Some Context on the Supreme Court Sitting En Banc in the Article 50 Case, UK Constitutional Law Association


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