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. Benin’s Constitutional Court has approved the provisional results of the April 11 presidential election. With more than 86% of the vote, Patrice Talon dominated his two main electoral competitors.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Moldova has ruled that the sitting President Maia Sandu is entrusted with the power to dissolve the country’s parliament.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa has declared the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) unconstitutional as the act discriminated the rights of black persons married before 1988, and in particular, those of black women.
  4. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany dismissed the emergency attempt to block the EU’s recovery fund. The appeal was jointly filed by Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the civic group Citizens’ Will Alliance.
  5. The Indian Supreme Court announced that it will take suo moto cognisance of several high court hearings related to Covid-19 preparedness, such as oxygen and medicines.
  6. The Italian Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional life sentence ex. Art. 4 bis of the Prison Administration Act (c.d. «ergastolo ostativo») and ordered the Parliament to enact a new legal framework within one year.
  7. The Supreme Court of Nepal has ruled that the main anticorruption body in the country, the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA), must halt to arrest public post holders receiving bribes as Rule 30 of CIAA Rules is illegitimate.

In the News

  1. Haitian President’s plans to set up a referendum to reshape the country’s Constitution by giving the presidency greater powers is running into more opposition.
  2. Kyrgyzstan has approved a new Constitution after the positive vote of almost 80% of those who went to the polls in the last referendum on 11 April.
  3. Mongolian President has issued a decree to dissolve his party, the Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), following a political manoeuvring ahead of June’s presidential election.
  4. OSCE and the Constitutional Court of Albania have signed a Memorandum on strengthening Court’s capacities.
  5. The Chilean government appealed to the Constitutional Court to stop the bill that allows a third ‘pandemic’ withdrawal of 10% of pension funds.
  6. The National Assembly of Zimbabwe approved the second bill amending the Constitution.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, The Power of Judicial Nullification in Asia and the World, The Politics of Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment in Asia (Rehan Abeyratne & Bùi Ngọc Sơn, eds., forthcoming Routledge 2021)
  2. Giovanni De Gregorio, The rise of digital constitutionalism in the European Union, International Journal of Constitutional Law (2021) (analysing the characteristics of the European digital constitutionalism as opposed to transnational corporations and platform powers)
  3. Simone Glanert, Alexandra Mercescu, Geoffrey Samuel (eds.), Rethinking Comparative Law, (forthcoming 2021) (presenting and comparing the comparative law’s mainstream model and methods of comparison between different legal realms)
  4. Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias and Wojciech Sadurski, The Judgment That Wasn’t (But Which Nearly Brought Poland to a Standstill): ‘Judgment’ of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal of 22 October 2020, K1/20, European Constitutional Law Review, 1-24 (2021) (offering a critical appraisal of the Supreme Court ruling which imposes a virtual ban on abortion in Poland.)
  5. Aziz Z. Huq, The Collapse of Constitutional Remedies, (forthcoming 2021) (offering an historical and deontological reconstruction on rights, the way they are defended, and their immanent importance)
  6. Matthew B. Lawrence, Subordination and Separation of Powers (2021) (arguing for the incorporation of anti-subordination in the separation of powers)
  7. Afroditi Marketou, Local Meanings of Proportionality, (forthcoming 2021) (exploring empirically the different meanings of proportionality as part of a global constitutional discourse)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Nationalities Papers invites submissions on the topic “The Dynamics of Mass Mobilization in Belarus” addressing different dimensions of the processes of societal and political change in Belarus. Deadline is June 15, 2021.
  2. Opinio Juris invites contribution to the symposium “Confronting Systemic Racism and Sexism in Legal Academia” engaging with the issue from a statistical, analytical, critical or creative perspective. Tentative title and abstracts of 150 words should be sent by May 19, 2021.
  3. RECONNECT Global Webinar Series is organizing a webinar in “Democratic ‘Backsliding’ in the United States and Europe Causes, Consequences, and Prospects” to be held on May 12. Guest speakers are Kim Lane Scheppele and Gábor Halmai.
  4. The Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam invites application for two Assistant Professorship, one in “China-Europe Relations”, the other in “Legal and Economic Governance of the EU”. Deadline for both vacancies is May 5, 2021.  
  5. The Law School Department at Koç University and UNESCO Chair invites participant to register for the online panel on “The Global Cooperation in the Aftermath of COVID-19” to be held on April 29, 2021.
  6. The University of Worcester is organizing the online exhibition in “Questions of Accountability: Prerogatives, Power and Politics”. The event will take place remotely in November 2021. Deadline for paper submission is August 11, 2021.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Asylai Akisheva, Women’s Rights in the New Kyrgyz Constitution, Verfassungsblog
  2. Thomas A. Barnico, Mass. sanctions against Iran could be tested, Commonwealth Magazine
  3. Emma Schulte, Where the Sun Sets and Rises: a New Framework for Rule of Law Internationalisation, International Law Blog
  4. Eva Maria Belser and Simon Mazidi, When direct democracy trumps human rights: Unveiling the Swiss “Burqa Ban”, ConstitutionNet.
  5. Hakan Kaplankaya, Demirtas v. Turkey: an exploration of the dissenting opinions and the Court’s oversights, Strasbourg Observers
  6. İlayda Eskitaşçıoğlu, Turkey’s Withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, Vöelkerrechtsblog
  7. Isabelle Hertner, Germany: a country of immigration – or integration? Merkel’s uncomfortable legacy, The Loop
  8. Tim Sayer, Preserving Judicial Oversight: An Appeal to Self-Interest, UKCLA
  9. Tom Ginsburg, Don’t Pack the Court, Persuasion


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