Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Claudia Marchese, Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law at the University of Florence (Italy)

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. South Africa’s Constitutional Court has found former president Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt of court and sentenced him to 15 months’ imprisonment.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, invalidated a California statute requiring charities to reveal their donors to state officials. The Court stated that the rule had a chilling effect on First Amendment rights.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on 1 July 2021, ruling that neither the out-of-precinct policy nor Arizona HB 2023 violated the Voting Rights Act. Furthermore, the Court stated that the Arizona H.B. 2023 was not passed with racial discrimination intent.
  4. The Spanish Constitutional Court confirmed the sentences for the assault on the Parliament of Catalonia that took place in June 2011, thus rejecting the appeal presented by the convicted persons.
  5. On 17 July 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a decision that leaves the law intact and grants health care coverage for millions of Americans.

In the News

  1. The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Germany, the first step in infringement proceedings, concerning the German Constitutional Court’s judgment of 5 May 2020, by which it declared for the first time a judgment of the Court of Justice ultra vires and not applicable in Germany.
  2. On 29 June 2021, the French National Assembly definitively approved – with 326 votes in favour, 115 against and 42 abstentions – a bill that guarantees all women access to heterologous assisted fertilisation, hitherto reserved for heterosexual couples. Single women will also be able to access treatments.
  3. On 25 June 2021, a law authorizing euthanasia came into force in Spain. The law allows people with incurable diseases to resort to euthanasia and assisted suicide.
  4. The European Parliament adopted a resolution condemning the repression of opposition political parties in Turkey, particularly the Peoples’ Democratic Party HDP, and urged the Turkish Government to ensure that all parties can freely and fully exercise their legitimate activities in accordance with the basic principles of a pluralist and democratic system.
  5. The European Parliament adopted a resolution on breaches of EU law and of the rights of LGBTIQ citizens in Hungary.

New Scholarship

  1. O. Pollicino, Judicial Protection of Fundamental Rights on the Internet (2021) (exploring how the Internet impacts on the protection of fundamental rights, particularly with regard to freedom of speech and privacy).
  2. B.C. Jones (ed.), Democracy and Rule of Law in China’s Shadow (2021) (examining how democracy and the rule of law function in a series of jurisdictions highly influenced by China’s presence).
  3. F. Meinel, Germany’s Dual Constitution. Parliamentary Democracy in the Federal Republic (2021) (examining the German constitutional system and arguing that it can only be fully understood as a dual structure based on the administrative institutions and the parliamentary democracy).
  4. J. Webber, The Constitution of Canada. A Contextual Analysis (2021) (introducing the Canadian constitution in context).
  5. E. Arban, G. Martinico, F. Palermo (eds.), Federalism and Constitutional Law. The Italian Contribution to Comparative Regionalism (2021) (examining the relationship between central government and local institutions, taking Italy as a case study to present a comparative perspective).
  6. R. Levy, I O’Flynn, H.L. Kong, Deliberative Peace Referendums (2021) (examining examines the role of referendums amid conflict).
  7. A. Krzywón, Summary Judicial Proceedings as a Measure for Electoral Disinformation: Defining the European Standard, German Law Journal, 22, 2021 (exploring the topic of electoral disinformation in a comparative perspective).
  8. M. Tigre, A. Kasznar, A. Harrington, N. Urzola, A. Bernal, H. Evans, A. Van Der Kleyn, Las respuestas del Sistema Interamericano durante la pandemia por COVID-19: El desarrollo de los derechos humanos verdes en casos de pueblos originarios a nivel nacional y regional, Revista de Derecho Ambiental, 15, 2021 (analyzing the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in relation to the right to the environment of indigenous peoples).
  9. A. Shinar, Freedom of Expression in Israel: Origins, Evolution, Revolution and Regression, in A. Barak, B. Medina, Y, Roznai (eds.), Oxford Handbook on the Israeli Constitution (forthcoming 2021) (the essay provides an overview and critique of the protection of free expression in Israel).

Calls for papers and Announcements

  1. The Taiwan Studies Young Scholar Award (YSA) is open to applicants who are currently enrolled on a Master’s degree or PhD programme, or who are within three years of having submitted their PhD dissertation but are not currently in a full-time lectureship. Papers should correspond to ‘Isles and Exiles’, the theme of the 19th Annual Conference of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS). The deadline is 15 September 2021.
  2. The Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies offers the opportunity for established post-doctoral scholars and senior practitioners, who work in one of the core research areas of the Centre, to spend a period between two or eleven months as visiting fellows. The deadline to apply is 30 November 2021.
  3. The EUI (the Departments and the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies) organises a pre-selection of candidates interested in applying for Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowships with the EUI as a host institution. The deadline is 1 September 2021.
  4. The British Association of Comparative Law (BACL) annual webinar will be held on 31 August 2021. The conference will be dedicated to “The regulation of hate speech online and its enforcement in a comparative perspective”.
  5. The Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) provides scientific, material and financial support for the initiation of innovative projects concerning the following themes: “Ecological transition and social justice: Inventing new operating models” and “Populism and democracy”. The call for projects supports research projects in the development phase. The deadline for submission is 20 August 2021.
  6. The GNHRE calls for contributions on the ratification and implementation of the Escazú Agreement. Particularly, the GNHRE invite regional perspectives from Latin America and the Caribbean on human rights and the environment and the effects of the Escazú Agreement on the existing national legal framework

Elsewhere Online

  1. D.R. Cameron, EU challenges Orbán, approves new sanctions on Belarus, discusses what to do about Russia, Yale MacMillan Centre
  2. M. Everson, C. Joerges, Taking the Law Seriously? Observations on the PSPP Judgement and the Quest for Infringement Proceedings, Verfassungsblog
  3. S.D. Bechtel, The new EU Climate Law. Symbolic Law or Governance Framework?, Verfassungsblog
  4. F. Ferreira, O. Sterck, D.G. Mahler, B. Decerf, Taking poverty seriously in assessing the global welfare burden of the pandemic, LSEBlog
  5. Z. Truchlewski, W. Schelkle, J. Ganderson, Bypassing democracy or buying time for democracies? The EU and COVID, LSEBlog
  6. M.A. Tigre, Principle 10: what can we learn from its regional implementation through the Escazú agreement), Pathway to the 2022 Declaration


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