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. The US Supreme Court rejected Texas-led case to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential elections held last month.
  2. The Austrian Constitutional Court ruled that a law banning girls aged up to 10 years from wearing headscarves in schools is discriminatory.
  3. The Supreme Court of Brazil authorized the use of restrictive measures against citizens refusing to take COVID-19 vaccines.
  4. The US Supreme Court dismissed a challenge to leave undocumented immigrants out of the final census count.
  5. The Romanian Constitutional Court annulled a law banning gender studies in all arms of the country’s educational system.

In the News

  1. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says global judicial reform will start from next year.
  2. Nepal’s President dissolves Parliament at the request of Prime Minister Sharma Oli’s cabinet and announced that general elections would be held in April and May 2021.
  3. Albania’s Justice Appointment Council sends a list of three Constitutional Court candidates for selection by the Parliament.
  4. The Court of Justice of the European Union rules Hungary’s asylum policies unlawful.
  5. In Sudan, thousands protest demanding acceleration of political reforms on the second anniversary of the uprising that ousted Omar al-Bashir.

New Scholarship

  1. Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Z. Hug (eds.) From Parchment to Practice: Implementing New Constitutions (2020). Cambridge University Press (analyzing the variable nature of conflicts that arise when a new constitution is adopted and the diverse means through they are mediated, whether successfully or not)
  2. Mark A. Lemley, Chief Justice Webster (2020) American Journal of International Law (forthcoming), Working Paper (discussing a historical test case for the use of dictionaries to interpret legal documents)
  3. Sandra Botero, Trust in Colombia’s Justicia Especial Para la Paz: Experimental Evidence (2020) Journal of Politics in Latin America (relying on experimental methods to explore whether features of the case and ruling party play a role in citizens’ attitudes towards Justicia Especial Para la Paz, Colombia’s transitional justice tribunal)
  4. Daniel Esty, Laurent Fabius, and Douglas Kysar, Courts, Climate Change, and the Global Pact for the Environment (2020). Working Paper, Global Constitutionalism Seminar at Yale Law School (debating what role courts play and what remedies they could or should provide in response to climate change)
  5. Yanilda Gonzalez, Authoritarian Police in Democracy: Contested Security in Latin America (2020). Cambridge University Press (examining the persistence of authoritarian policing in Latin America to explain why police violence and malfeasance remain pervasive decades after democratization)
  6. Armin von Bogdandy and others, German Legal Hegemony? (2020) Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2020-43 (discussing whether or not German legal hegemony is a matter of concern in contemporary EU law and, if so, what can be done about it)
  7. Jeffrey Pojanowski, Reevaluating Legal Theory (forthcoming 2021). Yale Law Journal (developing and rendering explicit a social theory for jurisprudence that takes both dimensions of law’s moral life and factual existence seriously)
  8. Zoe Robinson, Patrick Leslie, Jill Sheppard, Judicial Ideology in the Absence of Rights: Evidence from Australia (2020). Working Paper (investigating whether apex court judges behave ideologically in cases not involving civil, political, or economic rights).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Global Summit, hosted by the International Forum on the Future of Constitutionalism and sponsored by the Constitutional Studies Program at the University of Texas Austin, invites all to register for its online sessions that will be held over five days from January 16 to 21, 2021. The event is structured around 12 Plenary Lectures, 100 concurrent sessions, and three special prize presentations, and offers an opportunity for scholars of all ranks around the world to exchange ideas on constitutionalism.
  2. The Supreme Court of Brazil invites all to read its Case Law Compilation on COVID-19, a publication that selected, summarized, and translated into English recent decisions the Court has rendered until October 2020 addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. The OECD Public Governance Directorate organizes the webinar “Trust, Institutions and Resilience: Opportunities for recovery”, to be held on 19 January 2021. The webinar will explore the dynamics of public trust, its causes, how it facilitates and hinders policy responses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the likely effects of government’s responses on people’s confidence and compliance with policies. The event is open to the public, but pre-registration is required.
  4. The IACL-AIDC Virtual Roundtable “Democracy 2020: Assessing Constitutional Decay, Breakdown and Renewal Worldwide”, held from 18 to 26 November 2020, launched the Conference e-book and Webinar recordings online. Access the materials here.
  5. The Latin American Centre at the University of Oxford offers part and full scholarships to attract students who would not otherwise be able to take the Msc or MPhil courses in Latin American Studies. Applications may be submitted by 22 January 2021.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Peter Nielse, Constituent Power: A symposium – Introduction, Verfassungsblog.
  2. Nicholas Reed Langen, Reforming the Supreme Court, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog.
  3. Swati Jhaveri, The Coming Age of Constitutional Judicial Review in Singapore: The Advent of “Proportionality”?, IACL-AIDC Blog.
  4. Eric Posner, America Passed the Trump Stress Test, Project Syndicate.
  5. Sarath Sanga and David Schwartz, Tear Down this Judicial Paywall, WSJ Opinion.


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