Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Eman Muhammad Rashwan, Ph.D. Candidate in the European Doctorate in Law & Economics (EDLE), Hamburg University, Germany; Assistant Lecturer of Public Law, Cairo University, Egypt.

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 third Criminal Senate of the German Federal Court of Justice rejected the appeal of the Federal Prosecutor General against the lifting of an arrest warrant in the proceedings concerning the assassination of the former Kassel President of the Government, Dr. Walter Lübcke.
  2. The US Supreme Court has on Monday afternoon rejected a request from two inmates at high risk for complications from COVID-19 to reinstate an order by a federal district court that would require Texas prison officials to take basic safety precautions to combat the virus.
  3. The third Senate of the Federal German Court rejected the requests of a witness against his summons and presentation to a meeting of the 3rd Committee of Inquiry of the 19th parliamentary term of the German Bundestag (Wirecard Investigation Committee). The senate said that the measures complained of are lawful and not disproportionate, in particular with regard to the safeguard measures provided for.
  4. The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to reinstate a District Court order requiring Texas prison officials to enact basic safety precautions for the coronavirus.
  5. The Peruvian Constitutional Court has announced that it advances to the last Monday the session in which it will debate the demand for powers filed by former President Martín Vizcarra on the presidential vacancy, initially scheduled for Wednesday.
  6. The US Supreme Court agreed to hear land use case “Cedar Point Nursery v. Hassid” that will decide whether a temporary physical invasion of a property by the government makes the owner entitled to “just compensation.”

In the News

  1. The German Federal President has appointed Dr. Helmut Kreicker as a judge at the Federal Court of Justice.
  2. Mike Pompeo has announced the US will formally designate the Palestinian-led movement to boycott Israel as “antisemitic” and cut off government funding to any organizations linked to it.
  3. US President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has joined a lawsuit battling the electoral process in Pennsylvania after multiple lawyers fled the case earlier this week. Mr. Giuliani said to the press that he was planning to “probably” sue in “at least eight or nine” additional states.
  4. The Egyptian Public Prosecution ordered the detention of a stand-up comedian whose jokes on the performance of some of the well-known “Holy Quran Radio” broadcasters went viral. The detention came after the National Media Authority filed a complaint against him, accusing him of disgracing the Islamic religion, threatening the Egyptian family values, defamation and insult the “Holy Quran Radio” broadcasters, and spreading content that can threaten the social peace and security.
  5. On November 18, the US President Donald Trump fired the Department of Homeland Security official who had rejected Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.
  6. In Somalia, the controversy surrounding the selection of Somaliland’s electoral committee members continues to escalate, with Senate Speaker Abdi Hashi now calling for intervention by the United Nations and the African Union, in the latest twist which could derail implementation of the pre-election deal within Somalia.

New Scholarship

  1. Michaël Lessard, A Dynamic Judicial Approach to Diachronic Legislative Integrity (2020) 33 Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence 2 (arguing that realistic respect for diachronic legislative integrity should account for the dynamism of legislative activity)
  2. Susan Benesch, But Facebook’s Not a Country: How to Interpret Human Rights Law for Social Media Companies, Yale Journal on Regulation Bulletin 38 (2020) (examining the potential application of human rights law to social media companies)
  3. Morten Bergsmo and Viviane E. Dittrich (eds.), Integrity in International Justice (2020) (examining the role of international organizations and states as well as international courts in enhancing integrity in international justice)
  4. George Mészáros, Caught in an Authoritarian Trap of its Own Making? Brazil’s ‘Lava Jato’ Anti‐Corruption Investigation and the Politics of Prosecutorial Overreach (2020) 47 Journal of Law (examining Brazil’s ‘Car Wash’ corruption scandal from a legal and political perspective, and arguing that despite its relative success, due process, systemic constitutional law, and the political process were undermined)
  5. David L. Hudson Jr., Justice Sonia Sotomayor: The Court’s Premier Defender of the Fourth Amendment (2020) 44 Seattle University Law Review 1 (positing that Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the US Supreme Court’s chief defender of the Fourth Amendment and the cherished values it protects)
  6. Ashley Deeks, Will Cyber Autonomy Undercut Democratic Accountability? (2020) 96 International Law Studies (exploring how the use of autonomous cyber capabilities may alter the current state of legislative oversight and internal executive decision making about sensitive cyber operations)
  7. Mike Norton and Richard H. Pildes, How Outside Money Makes Governing More Difficult (forthcoming 2020) Election Law Journal (assessing how the rise of contributions from organizations outside the political parties in the USA affects the unity or disunity of the party caucus in the legislature)
  8. Matteo Mastracci, Judiciary Saga in Poland: an Affair Torn Between European Standards and ECtHR Criteria (2020) 9 Polish Review of International and European Law 2 (testing the legitimacy of the reshuffle plan of the judiciary in Poland against the present-day European regulatory framework and the relevant case-law of the ECHR)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Centre for Constitutional Studies, Canada, organizes the 31st Annual McDonald Lecture in Constitutional Studies on the separation of powers, the critical challenges it faces in light of nationalist populism and partisan polarization, and the future of liberal democracies in a changing political landscape. The webinar will be held online on November 27, 2020, at 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm MST.
  2. An international interdisciplinary symposium entitled “Human Rights in Pandemic Times Political Exceptionalism, Social Vulnerability & Restricted Freedom” will be held online on September 6-7, 2021, in Brussels. Several professors from the Center for Public law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (CDP/ULB), the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Constitutional and Administrative Law of the Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles (CIRC/USL), the Centre for Research on the State and the Constitution of the Université Catholique de Louvain (CRECO/UCLouvain), the Research Centre in Information, Law and Society of the Université de Namur, the Law Faculties of the Université de Liège and the Université de Luxembourg, are collectively organizing the conference. Proposals should be sent, in French or English, by December 15, 2020, to Ms. Camille Lanssens:
  3. The second week of the IACL Global Roundtable webinar series ‘Democracy 2020: Assessing Constitutional Decay, Breakdown, and Renewal’ takes place on 24, 25 and 26 November (Melbourne time; for the Americas it is 23, 24 and 25 November). Webinars 5-9 focus on regional overviews of democracy in Asia and Europe, country spotlights (India & Sri Lanka, and Poland & Hungary), and a final session on democratic renewal worldwide. You can find the blog posts for the sessions at, programme here and register here.
  4. The University of Detroit Mercy invites applications and nominations for the position of dean of the School of Law. Application materials should be submitted using WittKieffer’s candidate portal here.
  5. The XXVI Colloquium of the Italian Association of Comparative Law on the subject Comparative Law in Times of Emergencies will be held next May 20-22, 2021, at the University of Bologna. To participate, an abstract should be submitted by January 7, 2021, emailing to  
  6. SCOTUSblog and Goldstein & Russell, P.C. are seeking to hire a full-time employee to serve as firm manager for Goldstein & Russell, P.C., and deputy manager of SCOTUSblog. The application deadline is November 25, 2020.
  7. The International Centre of Transitional Justice (ICTJ) invites applications for its online course on “Prevention and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence: The Role of Transitional Justice.” The course will take place on February 1-5, 2021. Complete course information can be found here. The deadline for applications is Monday, January 11, 2021.
  8. V-Dem Institute (Varieties of Democracy) is looking for country experts for Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bassau, Haiti, Hong Kong, Mali, Mauritania, Sao Tome & Principe, Seychelles, South Sudan. Read the details and apply here.
  9. The European Doctorate in Law and Economics (EDLE) invites applications. The students rotate between universities of Bologna, Hamburg, Rotterdam, and Rennes, getting a Ph.D. diploma from each university around six scholarships available.
  10. The International Development Law Organization (IDLO) invites applications for the position of a Research and Learning Manager. The deadline for applications is November 22, 2020.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Elliot Bulmer, A Scottish constitution: should it be devised before or after independence?, The Constitution Unit
  2. Linda Greenhouse, Four Years of the Trump Administration in Court. One Word Stuck in My Head., The New York Times
  3. Mathias Chauchat, Les résultats du 4 octobre 2020 sur la pleine souveraineté de la Nouvelle-Calédonie projettent une société divisée dans « le jour d’après », IACL-AIDC Blog
  4. Adam Feldman, Empirical SCOTUS: How the court’s decisions have limited the national electorate, SCOTUSblog
  5. Liz Fisher, Should Administrative Law Scholars Be More Like Botanists?, Administrative Law in the Common Law World
  6. Richard Danbury, The BBC and Henry VIII’s Heirs, Verfassungsblog
  7. Daron Acemoglu, Trump Won’t Be the Last American Populist, Foreign Affairs
  8. Mark Mancini, Neutrality in Legal Interpretation, Double Aspect
  9. Brendan Murphy, Law enforcement’s excessive use of force is a public health issue, AMA


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