Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, Research Fellow in Constitutional Law, University of Genoa (Italy) and Academic Fellow, Bocconi University (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 European Court of Justice ruled that EU law precludes national legislation requiring electronic communications providers to carry out the transmission or retention of traffic and location data in a general and indiscriminate way for the purpose of fighting crime or of safeguarding national security.
  2. The European Court of Justice held that right to an effective remedy requires that persons who hold information that is requested by the national administration, in the context of a cooperation procedure between Member States, must be able to bring a direct action against such a request.
  3. The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held that the expulsion of aliens on national security grounds on the basis on classified information not disclosed to the applicant violates Protocol No. 7 to the European Convention on Human Rights.
  4. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear a case on whether administrative patent judges are principal officers of the United States who must be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
  5. The Turkish Constitutional Court decided that the review of employee emails and their use as grounds for termination violates the rights of privacy and freedom of communication of the applicant.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Slovakia upheld the declaration of a state of emergency due to the Covid-19 crisis.

In the News

  1. Advocate General Kokott advised the European Court of Justice that the Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian advertisement tax do not infringe EU State aid rules.
  2. The US Senate Judiciary Committee heard arguments supporting and opposing the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
  3. The EU Commission adopted a new “Digital Finance Package”.
  4. The UK government is going to fast-track new Brexit related legislation, providing that vulnerable citizens already lawfully living in the country will be able to apply for settled status years after the 30 June 2021 deadline.
  5. The French President, Emmanuel Macron, announced a new law against “religious separatism” in France.

New Scholarship

  1. Ágúst Þór Árnason, Catherine Dupré (eds.), Icelandic Constitutional Reform (Routledge, forthcoming 2021) (providing the first comprehensive analysis of Icelandic constitutional reform)
  2. Adam Chilton and Mila Versteeg, How Constitutional Rights Matter (Oxford University Press, 2020) (documenting constitutional rights enforcement globally through statistical analyses, surveys, and case studies)
  3. Elena Griglio, Parliamentary Oversight of the Executives (Hart Publishing, 2020) (arguing that, although oversight of executives has always been a key function of parliaments and central to developing the relationship between the executive and legislative branches of government, in reality governments are taking a more pronounced role in controlling legislation)
  4. Dorota Mokrosinska (ed.), Transparency and Secrecy in European Democracies. Contested Trade-offs (Routledge, forthcoming 2020) (offering a critical discussion of the trade-offs between transparency and secrecy in the actual political practice of democratic states in Europe)
  5. Bui Ngoc Son, You, the People: Cuba’s International Constitution, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics (2020) (exploring how Cuba’s 2019 Constitution deals with issues of international law)
  6. Andras L. Pap, Neglect, Marginalization, and Abuse: Hate Crime Legislation and Practice in the Labyrinth of Identity Politics, Minority Protection, and Penal Populism, Nationalities Papers (2020) (shows the various ways legal policy can become misguided in the labyrinth of identity politics, minority protection, and penal populism)
  7. Christopher Thornhill, Democratic Crisis and Global Constitutional Law (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2021) (explaining the current weakness of democratic polities by examining antinomies in constitutional democracy and its theoretical foundations)
  8. Jure Vidmar (ed.), European Populism and Human Rights (Brill, 2020) (focusing on the recent challenge posed by right-wing populism to democratic consolidation in Europe and exploring the legal dimensions of this challenge)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Human Rights Law Centre at Nottingham University will hold the webinar “After the First Wave? Initial Conclusions on Human Rights Impacts of C19” on October 19, 2020.
  2. The 3rd Bernhardt Lecture titled “‘To me, fair friend, you can never be old’: The European Convention on Human Rights at 70” will be held (in hybrid format) at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law.
  3. The Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin invites submissions for the seventh annual Graduate Conference in Public Law, to be held on March 26, 2021. Abstract must be submitted no later than December 15, 2020.
  4. The Italian Association of Comparative Law (AIDC) issued an international Call for Papers on “Comparative law in times of emergencies”. The deadline for submitting abstracts is January 7, 2021.
  5. The International Association of Constitutional Law convened a roundtable in St. Petersbug, Russia, on June 10-13, 2021. Applicants are required to submit their CV and abstracts in English no longer than 500 words by January 11, 2021.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Helmut Philipp Aust and Prisca Feihle, “I want to break free”: the WHO Foundation as an Experiment in the Financing of International Organisations, EJIL: Talk!
  2. John Bell, The Commission’s argument for breach of good faith against the United Kingdom: an in-depth analysis from the standpoint of public international law, European Law Blog
  3. Ronan Cormacain, Legislative Competence in Northern Ireland and the Independent Review of Administrative Law, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  4. Anna Gamper, Symposium: Constitutional Courts and their Powers – the Least Dangerous Branch?, IACL-AIDC Blog
  5. Tamar Hostovsky Brandes, An Emergency within an Emergency within an Emergency. Israel’s “Special Emergency Coronavirus Situation” and Freedom of Assembly, Verfassungsblog


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