Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

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 Nepalese Supreme Court asked the government for a written reply on the reasons for a constitutional amendment bill focused on altering borders of provinces, naturalized citizenship, and representation in the National Assembly.
  2. The UK Supreme Court began hearing an appeal to last month’s ruling that only parliament has the authority to trigger the UK’s exit from the EU.
  3. The Seychelles Court of Appeal upheld a Constitutional Court decision that validated the results of presidential elections held last December.
  4. Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that ultra-conservative Muslim girls must take part in mixed swimming classes at school, finding against an 11-year-old pupil who had argued that even wearing a burkini, or full-body swimsuit, breached Islamic dress codes.
  5. Kenya’s High Court in Nairobi ruled that an HIV data collection directive violates fundamental rights to privacy and is therefore
  6. Kenya’s Court of Appeal affirmed the right of Muslim students to wear hijabs to school.

In the News

  1. South Korean lawmakers voted to impeach President Park Guen-hye.
  2. Brazil’s Senate approved a strict cap on federal spending in a first-round vote that hands a victory to President Michel Temer.
  3. Italy plunged into political and economic uncertainty as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would resign after voters decisively rejected constitutional changes.
  4. Colombia’s government is ready to speed the passage of laws and reforms so it can carry out a peace deal with leftist FARC rebels, pending approval from the Constitutional Court.
  5. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte issued an executive order creating a 25-man “consultative committee” that will review the 1987 Constitution.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, The Desuetude of the Notwithstanding Clause–And How to Revive it, Boston College Law School Research Paper No. 425 (explaining why the Notwithstanding Clause is at risk of desuetude, how this came to be, and how political actors can halt its decline toward obsolescence)
  2. Angela Daly, Covering Up: American and European Legal Approaches to Public Facial Anonymity after S.A.S. v France (2016) (presenting a critical analysis of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR) decision in S.A.S v France)
  3. Robert Faris, Amar Ashar, Urs Gasser, and Daisy Joo, Understanding Harmful Speech Online, Berkman Klein Center Research Publication (2016) (offering reflections and observations on the state of research related to harmful speech online)
  4. Jill I. Goldenziel, International Decision: Plaintiff M68/2015 v. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, [2016] HCA 1 (Austl) (2016) (providing a summary and analysis of Plaintiff M68/2015 v. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, [2016] HCA 1 (Austl), which involves the legality of Australia’s third-country processing program on Nauru for asylum-seekers)
  5. Maximo Langer and David Alan Sklansky, Prosecutors and Democracy—Themes and Counterthemes (Epilogue), Prosecutors and Democracy: A Cross-National Study (Maximo Langer & David Alan Sklansky eds.) (forthcoming 2017)
  6. The Public Law of Gender, From the Local to the Global, Kim Rubenstein and Katharine G. Young eds. (2016) (bringing together leading lawyers, political scientists, historians, and philosophers to examine law’s structuring of politics, governing and gender in a new global frame)
  7. David Takacs, South Africa and the Human Right to Water: Equity, Ecology, and the Public Trust Doctrine, 34 Berkeley Journal of International Law 55 (2016)(analyzing South Africa’s revolutionary legal vision for marrying social equity to ecology in fulfilling the right to water)
  8. John P. Taylor and René Smits, Bank Holding Company Regulation in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa: A Comparative Inventory and a Call for Pan-African Regulation (2016) (providing an overview of the regulation of bank holdings in three African jurisdictions (Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa) from a comparative legal perspective (EU and US))

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Milan will host an upcoming conference, “The Separation of Powers: A Global Constitutional Dialogue,” on May 22, 2017. Those wishing to submit a paper on the topic must submit a 500 word abstract by January 15, 2017.
  2. The Younger Comparativists Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law (YCC) invites submissions for the Phanor J. Eder LL.B./J.D. Prize in Comparative Law, in connection with its Sixth Annual Conference, to be held on April 28-29, 2017, at Koç University Law School in Istanbul, Turkey. The deadline for submission is January 16, 2017.
  3. The Dean Rusk International Law Center, University of Georgia School of Law will host the “IntLawGrrls! 10th Birthday Conference,” on March 3, 2017. Submissions must be uploaded by January 1, 2017.
  4. The Law and Development Institute and Centre for Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Cape Town issued a call for papers for the 2017 Law and Development Conference: “Law and Development: From the African Perspective.” Abstracts should be submitted by January 1, 2017.
  5. Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) will host the Law and Colonial Violence—An International Workshop on February 14, 2017. The workshop is cosponsored by the European University Institute (EUI) and the University of Cambridge. Abstracts are due by December 17, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Leonard Cutler, Guantanamo: An Unnecessary Presidential Legacy, Jurist
  2. Bruce Pannier, What’s In Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Referendum?, RadioFreeEurope / RadioLiberty
  3. Sanjoy Hazarika, Nepal’s new Constitution: Some lessons from India’s experience, hindustantimes
  4. Rachel Jones, The Importance of Silences in the “Brexit” Appeals, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. Colin P.A. Jones, Japan’s Board of Audit: unlikely guardians of the Constitution?, The Japan Times


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