Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Maja Sahadžić, Visiting Professor and Research Data Manager, University of Antwerp

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 Constitutional Court of France blocked a police filming ban in the new security law.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Belgium declared the so-called data retention law unconstitutional.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Germany rejected a complaint against the European Central Bank’s flagship bond-buying scheme.
  4. The High Court of Kenya declared the Building Bridges Initiative-driven Constitution of Kenya Amendment Bill 2020 unconstitutional.
  5. The EU’s General Court annulled a European Commission decision in which the Commission had found that a tax deal between the Luxembourg government and Amazon amounted to “illegal state aid.”
  6. The Supreme Court of Mexico upheld the suspension of a head hog farm in Yucatán, whose operations were expected to generate more urine and feces each year than the population of Tijuana.
  7. The Supreme Court of the United States of America agreed to consider a major rollback of abortion rights.
  8. The Supreme Court of Samoa paved cleared the path for a country’s first female leader.
  9. The President of Slovakia asked the Constitutional Court to review whether a referendum on calling a snap election is constitutional.

In the News

  1. Taiwan’s Central Election Commission approved four referendums to be held in August.
  2. Zimbabwe’s High Court forced the country’s chief justice to retire.
  3. The Government of Germany set to revise its emission reduction targets after the country’s constitutional court declared the current climate protection measures insufficient.
  4. The House of Representatives of the United States Congress approved an independent commission to investigate the 6 January Capitol assault.
  5. The European Parliament halted ratification of a new investment pact with China until Beijing lifts sanctions on EU politicians.
  6. The Greek Parliament adopted a controversial family law that awards joint custody of children to divorced parents.
  7. The Parliament of Sri Lanka passed the Port City Economic Commission Bill on building a financial hub.
  8. The Parliament of Ukraine voted to fire the country’s health minister accusing him of failing to supply adequate vaccine doses to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Scholarship

  1. Patricia Popelier, Dynamic Federalism, A New Theory for Cohesion and Regional Autonomy (2021) (discussing traditional federal theories and building on theories that focus on the dynamics of federalism).
  2. Benjamin Alemparte, Towards a theory of neoliberal constitutionalism: Addressing Chile’s first constitution-making laboratory Global Constitutionalism (2021) (exploring a theory of neoliberal constitutionalism within Chile, the so-called first neoliberal laboratory, by examining the work of Friedrich A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, and James M. Buchanan).
  3. Maria Antonia Tigre and Natalia Urzola, The 2017 Inter-American Court’s Advisory Opinion: changing the paradigm for international environmental law in the Anthropocene 12(1) Journal of Human Rights and the Environment (2021) (analyzing the legal arguments constructed by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Court issued a landmark Advisory Opinion that recognized extraterritorial jurisdiction for transboundary environmental harm; the autonomous right to a healthy environment; and State responsibility for environmental damage within and beyond the State’s borders).
  4. Florian Meinel, Germany’s Dual Constitution, Parliamentary Democracy in the Federal Republic (2021) (arguing that the German constitutional system can only be fully understood as a dual structure combining two layers, the layer of the basic administrative institutional structure and the layer of parliamentary democracy).
  5. Tobias Arnold, Sean Mueller, Adrian Vatter, Shock or Design: What Drives Fiscal De/Centralization? A Comparative Analysis of Twenty-Nine OECD Countries, 1995–2017 51 (1) Publius (comparing the effects of twenty-three separate state reforms with the impact of the Great Recession on fiscal centralization in twenty-nine countries over more than two decades).
  6. Martin Belov (ed.), Territorial Politics and Secession (2021) (offering a broad perspective of revolutionary territorial politics by putting secession in the context of other forms of revolutionary territorial politics).
  7. Louise Tillin, Building a National Economy: Origins of Centralized Federalism in India 51(2) Publius (2021) (arguing that distinctive elements of Indian federalism were shaped at their foundations by the desire to boost industrial development and lay the foundation for a national welfare state in a post-colonial future by preventing the consolidation of “race to the bottom” dynamics arising from unregulated inter-provincial economic competition).
  8. Jeremy D. Bailey and Haimo Li, “Decision, Activity, Secrecy and Dispact”: The Intellectual Origins of Hamilton’s Rhetoric in Federalist No. 70, 42 History of Political Thought 318 (2021)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Ljubljana, the European University Institute, the University of Antwerp, the Humboldt-University in Berlin and the University in Salzburg organize the Conference „(Playing) Constitutional twister: the mechanisms of convergence and divergence within multilevel legal orders“ to be held on 1-2 October in Ljubljana. The deadline for submissions is 15 July 2021. 
  2. The Sciences Po Law School organizes the Workshop „European financial integration and EU Member States: The impact of the Banking Union and beyond“ to be held on 4-5 October 2021 in Paris. The deadline for abstracts is 6 June 2021.
  3. The Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law organizes the Workshop „Rabbits and Robots: Debating the rights of animals and artificial intelligences“ to be held on 2 June 2021 Online. Registration for the workshop is free and open to all.
  4. The Maastricht University and the Tilburg University host the virtual workshop “Transitioning towards sustainable European cities: a law and governance perspective” to be held Online on June 7-8, 2021.
  5. The EUL&RIT accepts papers for the young scholars’ forum „Religious freedom before, during and after COVID-19 between Europe and member states“ to be held on 27 November in Trieste.
  6. The School of Law at the Manipal University Jaipur and the Italian Bio Forensics Research Center organize a two-day International Conference „Multidisciplinary Facets for Development of Health Laws“ to be held Online on 16-17 July 2021. The deadline for submission is 30 May 2021.
  7. The Law Text Culture Journal seeks proposals for special issues from potential guest editors. The deadline for proposals is 11 June 2021.
  8. The EURAC invites applications for the Federal Scholar in Residence Program. The deadline for submissions is 1 July 2021.
  9. The Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta, uOttawa Public Law Centre, the Centre d’analyze politique: constitution et fédéralisme at l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and the Constitutional Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin welcome submissions for a 40th anniversary conference on the patriation of the Constitution of Canada.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Min Son, South Korea: Supreme Court’s en banc ruling drops registration defence for later-registered trademarks, ManagingIP
  2. Laurence R. Helfer and Molly K. Land, Is the Facebook Oversight Board an International Human Rights Tribunal?, lawfareblog
  3. Chisako Yagi, Court dismisses Starbucks’s trademark invalidation request despite survey results, International Law Office
  4. Anurag Deb, LGBT rights in Northern Ireland, UK Human Rights Blog
  5. Rosalind English, Amsterdam Court orders reinstatement of Uber drivers dismissed by algorithm, UK Human Rights Blog
  6. Katie Nickels, Nicholas Andersen, MARKUP: Our experts annotate Biden’s new executive order on cybersecurity, Atlantic Council
  7. Gareth Evans, The Senedd Election and the Constitutional Prospects for Welsh Devolution, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog
  8. Stephen Tierney, The Scottish Parliamentary Elections and the “Second Referendum” Debate, UK Constitutional Law Association Blog
  9. Alessia Setti, The EU and Swiss (dis)agreement: Is a Swixit in sight?, EUreka!
  10. Eklavya Vasudev, Delhi’s Disempowerment Why Separation of Powers in India is under threat, Verfassungsblog
  11. Yaniv Roznai, The Basic Structure Doctrine arrives in Kenya, Winds of Change for Constitutionalism in Africa?, Verfassungsblog
  12. Edina Harbinja, The UK’s Online Safety Bill: Safe, Harmful, Unworkable?, Verfassungsblog


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