Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Pedro Arcain Riccetto, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford.

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. Supreme Court of Spain to decide whether to remove the regional president of Catalonia Quim Torra from office for breaching electoral law.
  2. Constitutional Court of Peru to rule about presidential vacancy on preliminary grounds next Thursday.
  3. UK Supreme Court to hear an appeal by Nigerian farmers and fishers to pursue claims in England against Shell over spills in the Niger Delta.
  4. The newly-elected Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Brazil, Luiz Fux, published the cases to be ruled by the Court until the end of the year, including indigenous rights, gender education in public schools and royalties on oil exploration and production.
  5. The Supreme Court of India decided to halt further telecast of a TV show vilifying Muslim minorities

In the News

  1. US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies aged 87.
  2. Barbados plans to become a republic by November 2021.
  3. Minister of Justice Dawda Jallow presents the Draft Constitution of The Gambia to National Assembly.
  4. The advocate general for Scotland, Lord Keen, quits over Brexit bill row.
  5. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopes Obrador asks the Senate for approval to place a national referendum to authorize prosecution of former presidents for crimes allegedly committed in office.
  6. Nigeria extends deadline for public proposals on constitutional change.

New Scholarship

  1. David Pozen and Kim Lane Scheppele, Executive Underreach, in Pandemics and Otherwise (2020) American Journal of International Law (forthcoming), Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 14-664 (seeking to define the phenomenon of executive underreach, with special reference to the COVID-19 crisis, to outline ways in which it may compromise constitutional governance and the international legal order, and to suggest a partial remedy).
  2. Shauhin Talesh, Elizabeth Mertz and Heinz Klug, Modern Legal Realism: Paving the Way for Theoretically-Informed Empirical Research in the Legal Academy (forthcoming 2021), UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-56 (showing the distinctive qualities of New Legal Realism and describing where it stands around its fifteenth anniversary).
  3. Sergio Verdugo, How Can Judges Challenge Dictators and Get Away With It? (2020), Working paper (claiming that it is possible for courts, in specific high-stake scenarios, to preserve or promote democracy without facing political backlash).
  4. Pippa Norris, Closed Minds? Is a ‘Cancel Culture’ Stifling Academic Freedom and Intellectual Debate in Political Science? (2020), Harvard Kennedy School Working Paper No 20-025 (outlining propositions arising from the ‘cancel culture’ thesis and describing the sources of empirical survey evidence and measures used to test these claims within the discipline of political science).
  5. Jena McGill and Amy Salyzyn, Judging by Numbers: How Will Judicial Analytics Impact the Justice System and Its Stakeholders? (forthcoming 2021), 44:1, Dalhousie Law Journal, Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2020-13 (analyzing the potential benefits of mainstreamed judicial analytics is significantly increased transparency into the work of judging).
  6. Pietro Faraguna, Verbatim Identity (2020), Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (exploring the concept of identity from the perspective of comparative constitutional law and constitutional theory).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism welcomes submission for “The Global Summit,” to be held on January 12-16, 2021. The first of its kind summit will be both multilingual and multi-time zone, and it offers an opportunity for scholars of all ranks around the world to exchange ideas on constitutionalism. The deadline to submit a proposal for a paper or a fully-formed panel is 8 pm on October 1, 2020.
  2. The Eurac Research Institute for Comparative Federalism invites applications for the Winter School on Federalism and Governance. Applications may be submitted by October 18, 2020.
  3. The International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism invites all to register for the virtual roundtable on “The Living Presidency” on October 9, 2020. This roundtable will feature Sanford Levinson, Amanda Tyler and Richard Albert in conversation with Saikrishna Bangalore Prakash, author of “The Living Presidency: An Originalist Argument Against its Ever-Expanding Powers (2020, Harvard University Press).
  4. The Colombian Constitutional Court invites all to the “XII Conferencia Iberoamericana de Justicia Constitucional: Democracia y Derechos Fundamentales en los Estados de Excepción”, to be held online on September 24-25, 2020.
  5. The Center for Comparative and Public Law at the University of Hong Kong organizes the Zoom Webinar Book Talk – Constitutional Revolution (Yale University Press, 2020) with the authors, Gary Jeffrey Jacobsohn and Yaniv Roznai, on October 7, 2020.
  6. The Utrecht School of Law is seeking to appoint a PhD researcher in law for four years under the framework of the research platform ‘Empirical Research into Institutions for Conflict Resolution’ (ERI) and the Montaigne Center for Rule of Law and Administration of Justice. The deadline for applications is October 10, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Geoffrey Stone, The Most Important Woman Lawyer in the History of the Republic, Politico.
  2. Kenneth Armstrong, Can the UK breach the Withdrawal Agreement and get away with it? – The United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog.
  3. Adriano Dirri, Independence referendum was neither the best choice nor the solution to Kurdish issue in Iraq, Kurd Press.
  4. Mark Tushnet, The two sides to a Supreme Court nomination, Balkinization.
  5. Shama Abbasi, India: Sharma v. Sharma – Constitutional Equality for Hindu Women?, Oxford Human Rights Blog.


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