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. Nepal’s Supreme Court has issued two contempt of court notices to caretaker Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, demanding he explains why he mocked lawyers challenging his decision to dissolve parliament and call early polls.
  2. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the heirs of Jewish art dealers in Nazi-era Frankfurt who sought to sue Germany in American courts over artifacts they say the dealers were forced to sell for a third of their value. The court said a federal law bars suits against foreign governments accused of expropriating their own citizens’ property.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court decided 5-4 that federal courts can review an administrative board’s refusal to reopen a case in which it denied disability benefits to a railroad worker.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act 70 of 2002 (RICA) is unconstitutional, to the extent that it fails to provide adequate safeguards to protect the right to privacy, as buttressed by the rights of access to courts, freedom of expression and the media, and legal privilege.
  5. The Czech Constitutional Court has announced a fundamental change in the electoral law, which will impact the autumn parliamentary elections. The additive quorum for coalition formation was abolished, as well as the method for distributing votes, which disadvantaged small parties in the current system. It will now be enough for coalitions consisting of several parties or movements to receive only 5 percent of the vote to get into the Chamber of Deputies.

In the News

  1. Myanmar’s military seized power on Monday in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in early morning raids.
  2. The German Federal Prosecutor has appointed Dr. Angelika Allgayer as A Judge at the Federal Court of Justice. The Presidium of the Federal Court of Justice has assigned Dr. Allgayer to the XI Civil Senate, primarily responsible for banking and stock exchange law.
  3. Chief Justice of Papua New Guinea Sir Gibbs Salika has announced plans to separate the running of the National Court and Supreme Court.
  4. India has once again pressed for the devolution of power to the provinces under the 13th Amendment (13A) of the Sri Lankan Constitution and provincial councils’ system as a meaningful step towards better representation of the island’  ’s Tamil minority.
  5. In Pakistan, The National Assembly (NA) on Wednesday could not take up the motion for the passage of the Constitution (Twenty-sixth Amendment) Bill, 2020, amid the Opposition’s protest in the house. The bill mainly seeks Senate elections through an open ballot.

 New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, America’s Amoral Constitution, 70 American University Law Review 773 (2021) (explaining that the legitimacy of the United States Constitution is rooted in an amoral code structured around the peculiar value of outcome-neutrality)
  2. Conor Casey, ‘Common-Good Constitutionalism’ and the New Battle over Constitutional Interpretation in the United States, Public Law (Forthcoming, 2021) (offering a sustained scholarly analysis of the debate over Adrian Vermeule’s proposal on ‘common-good constitutionalism’ using explanatory and critical approaches)
  3. Brian Erickson, Second Amendment Federalism, 73 Stanford L. Rev. (forthcoming 2021) (contending that the right to self-preservation in the U.S. has evolved significantly from its common law origins, with different states adopting different standards, procedures, and definitions over time. This diversity makes it difficult to extract universal principles of self-defense law for purposes of shaping Second Amendment doctrine. Therefore, courts today should treat state policy regulating the instrumentalities of self-defense with a degree of deference)
  4. Katherine Kettering, Developing A National Strategic Plan to Address the Effects of Climate Change On Human Health, 22 DePaul J. Health Care L. (2021) (emphasizing the importance of implementing a comprehensive American national climate change action plan by advancing the understanding of how current initiatives and proposed legislation are working strategically to offset impending health risks, specifically within vulnerable populations)
  5. Tom Ginsburg, Aziz Huq, and David Landau, The Comparative Constitutional Law of Presidential Impeachment, 88 University of Chicago Law Review (2021) (illuminating the appropriate scope and channels of impeachment by providing a comprehensive description of the law and practice of presidential removal in the global frame through deploying large-N empirical analysis of constitutional texts, linked to data about democratic quality in the wake of successful and unsuccessful removal efforts, in order to understand the impact of impeachment on democracy)
  6. M.C. Mirow & Howard Wasserman (eds.), Painting Constitutional Law: Xavier Cortada’s Images of Constitutional Rights, Brill (2021) (analyzing the paintings and cases portrayed by artist Xavier Cortada of significant decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States, describing the law surrounding the cases and discussing how Cortada captures these foundational decisions, their people, and their events on canvas)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, will organize a seasonal online school titled “EU Cries and Post-BREXIT Integration (Crossroads).” The deadline for registration is March 12, 2021.
  2. Centre for Criminal Justice and Human Rights at the School of law, University College Cork, Ireland, invites applications for a research assistant position on its project “Traveller Equality and Justice Project.” Informal inquiries can be made in confidence Dr Fiona Donson, CCJHR/Law School, Email:
  3. The UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, the Hague Branch, seeks to hire a legal officer in its president’s office.
  4. National Constitution Center, the United States, will hold an online webinar on the topic “Revolutionary Prophecies: The Founders and America’s Future” on February 15, 2021. Registration is welcome here.
  5. The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies is organizing an online webinar on “Testing Europe’s Democratic Legitimacy in the Covid-19 Crisis” on Tuesday, February 16, 2021. Registration is open here.
  6. Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) is inviting applications for a full-time Assistant Professor position of War, Peace, and Justice. The closing date is March 20, 2021.
  7. Constitutionalism and Politics Working Group at European University Institute launched a call for papers for its conference “The Dust of Time? Towards a 21st Century Constitutionalism.” The conference is to be held October 7-8, 2021. Those interested in participating should send an abstract of their paper (around 300 words) by March 31, 2021, to The conference output is planned to be published in a journal or as an edited volume.
  8. The Cambridge Studies in Law and Society invites submissions for its 2021 Early Career Manuscript Workshop to be held on Monday, June 14, 2021. The series editors will select one or two outstanding early-career authors to receive supportive feedback and mentoring at this small and intensive workshop to ready their first book manuscripts for submission. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2021. Applications to be sent to Marianne Nield,

Elsewhere Online

  1. Meg Russell FBA, Boris Johnson and parliament: misunderstandings and structural weaknesses, The Constitution Unit
  2. Rushdi Nackerdien, Voting in a pandemic: Lessons for elections in Africa in 2021, BROOKINGS
  3. Agnieszka Bień-Kacała, Using Shifting Narratives to Undermine Gender Equality: Comparative Insights from Hungary, Poland and Turkey, IACL-AIDC Blog
  4. Amy Howe, SCOTUS NEWS: Justices take immigration cases off February calendar, SCOTUSblog
  5. Sebastian Strangio, Myanmar’s Coup Was a Chronicle Foretold: The Military Brass Never Relinquished Control, Foreign Affairs
  6. Balingene Kahombo & Trésor M. Makunya, Some reflections on the harmonisation of business law in Francophone Africa and constitutionalism, AfricLaw


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