Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Matteo Mastracci, PhD Researcher, Koç University, Istanbul

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. South Korea’s Supreme Court upheld a 17-year prison sentence for former President Lee Myung-bak for a range of corruption convictions and ordered him sent back to prison.
  2. Thailand’s Constitutional Court revoked the seat of the first transgender MP as they disqualified her for breaking rules over media shares regulation. 
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa handed down a judgment on a retrenchment dispute filed by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) stating that the employer may retrench its employees if they unreasonably refuse to accept changes to employment contracts.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Ukraine has issued a ruling on Article 366-1 of the Criminal Code cancelling criminal liability for inaccurate declaration of income.
  5. The European Court of Human Rights held that there had been a violation of opposition leader’s freedom of expression in a case concerning a civil judgment where the leader of the main opposition party was ordered to pay compensation for tarnishing the reputation of the then Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In the News

  1. Algerian voters were called for the polls on 1st November to pronounce by referendum on constitutional reform pertaining separation of powers, the prerogatives of the president, the judiciary, and the fight against corruption.
  2. France enters second Covid-19 nationwide lockdown on 28 October.
  3. In Estonia, the coalition parties in a joint statement have agreed to hold a marriage referendum in the next spring.
  4. Northern Cyprus, the right-wing nationalist candidate has won the second round of presidential elections.
  5. Parliamentary elections were held in Georgia on 31 October in order to elect the 150 members of Parliament in test of ruling party’s dominance.
  6. The Lithuanian centre-right opposition has won the second round of legislative elections.
  7. The State Duma of Russia passed a bill on changing powers and formation of the country’s Constitutional Court related to amendments to the Constitution adopted on March 14.
  8. Ukraine launched a criminal case against Constitutional Court judges relying on the article of forceful change or toppling of constitutional order.

New Scholarship

  1. Alan Bogg, Jacob Rowbottom and Alison L. Young, The Constitution of Social Democracy (2020) (investigating the development of social democracy and democratic socialism in theory and political practice from a variety of disciplinary perspectives)
  2. Desmond Johnson, Blockchain-Based Voting in the US and EU Constitutional Orders: A Digital Technology to Secure Democratic Values? (2020) (exploring the potential application of blockchain-based voting to combat challenges to free and fair elections and secure the integrity of elections in the US and promote civic participation through the use of the European Citizen Initiative in the EU)
  3. Erwin Chemerinsky and Howard Gillman, The Religion Clauses (forthcoming 2020) (examining the relationship between Church and State under the America’s constitutional framework and providing both theoretical and practical relevance)
  4. Neil Richards, Why Privacy Matters (forthcoming 2021) (elucidating what privacy is, what it isn’t, and why it matters in our day-to-day practice)
  5. Robert Hazell and Bob Morris, The Role of Monarchy in Modern Democracy (2020) (exploring the constitutional and political role of monarchy, its powers and functions, and to what extent monarchy might reflect modern values and national identities)
  6. Stephen Gardbaum, The Structure of a Free Speech Right, Oxford Handbook on Freedom of Speech, forthcoming 2020 (providing an overview of the structure of free speech as a legal right by analyzing and illustrating with comparative examples its component parts)
  7. Emre Turkut and Sabina Garahan, The ‘Reasonable Suspicion’ Test of Turkey’s Post-Coup Emergency Rule under the European Convention on Human Rights, Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 2020 (analyzing the role of the European Court of Human Rights in enforcing the guarantees of the right to liberty and security in the Turkish post-coup cases of Mehmet AltanŞahin AlpayAlparslan Altan and Osman Kavala)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The German Chapter of ICON-S will host a workshop with J.H.H. Weiler on Dec. 3, 1-4 pm CET, titled “Thinking of A Book Project in Law? From Research Design to Publication”.
  2. Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, invites applications for a Research Fellow for the International Law Programme. Deadline for submission is November 30.
  3. ECPR has launched a call for Section proposals, Panels and Individual Papers for the next General Conference to be held at the University of Innsbruck the next August 2021. All proposals must be submitted online by 23 November 2020.
  4. PluriCourts invites applications to the annual workshop on Political and Legal Theory of International Courts and Tribunals 2021 “The Input and Output Legitimacy of International Courts”. Deadline for submission is January 4, 2021.
  5. The Faculty of Law, University of Graz, invites applications for several fixed-term academic vacancies for University assistant without doctorate in the Institute of the foundations of Law, International Law and International Relations and the centre for East European and Eurasian Studies.
  6. The Geschwister-Scholl-Institute of Political Science at LMU Munich offers one position, to be filled by January 15th, 2021, as Post-Doctoral Researcher in the project ‘Supporters and opponents of the European Union: The consequences of increasing divisions in and for Europe (ProConEU)’ funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
  7. The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) Global Roundtable’ Democracy 2020: Assessing Constitutional Decay, Breakdown, and Renewal Worldwide’ will take place on 18-26 November. More information here. The Roundtable has also launched a new interview series, Democracy Talk: the first interview, with Associate Professor Michael Pal, concerns voter suppression and is available here
  8. Women & Criminal Justice is accepting manuscripts for a special issue on LBGTQ+ research on crime and victimization. The special issue will be published in 2022.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David L. Sloss, The Best Way to Regulate Disinformation, Opinio Juris
  2. Joseph Weiler, Europe Must Learn Quickly to Speak the Language of Power, EJIL: Talk!
  3. Julia Emtseva, Filling the Power Vacuum, Verfassungsblog
  4. Kannen Ramsamy, How we can learn from South Korea and Singapore in their responses to Covid-19: the ‘precautionary principle’, The Loop
  5. Mariela Morales Antoniazzi Alina Maria Ripplinger, Democracy in Latin America under COVID-19, Völkerrechtsblog
  6. Psymhe Wadud, Women, Rape Law and the Illusory Sex Equality Clause in the Bangladeshi Constitution, Verfassungsblog
  7. Simon J. Gilhooley, The 1836 Election and the modern fight for the SCOTUS, Cambridge Blog
  8. Shukri Shahizam, Challenging a Proclamation of Emergency, Malaysian Public Law


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