Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Robert Rybski, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law and Administration of the University of Warsaw, Rector’s Plenipotentiary for Environment and Sustainable Development.

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 Supreme Court of India heard journalists’ petitions for a court-supervised investigation into allegations of the abuse of the software Pegasus by the government for surveillance of opposition politicians, journalists, and officials.
  2. The French Conseil Constitutionnel upheld new Covid rules extending the requirement of a health pass for access to restaurants, transportation, and other venues but struck down a part of the legislation that would allow employers to terminate certain short-term employees without a Covid passport.   
  3. President Biden announced the reimposition of an eviction moratorium, despite an acknowledgement that the Covid revised eviction ban might not pass the constitutional standard set by the Supreme Court in an earlier ruling.
  4. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled that the failure to approve amendments to the State Media Treaty by one of the German federal states (Saxony Anhalt) violated the freedom of broadcasting enjoyed by public broadcasting organisations.
  5. Amid the work of the commission appointed by President Biden to consider proposals for reforming the U.S. Supreme Court, commentators suggest that Congress should, among other things, prescribe the qualifications for Supreme Court justices (just as it regulates other aspects of the Court’s functioning).
  6. The Constitutional Court of South Africa ruled that a 2008- homophobic “gay is not okay” column by a former journalist and ambassador constitutes hate speech.

In the News

  1. The 1951 Refugee Convention just turned 70 years old, with a growing global backlash against it.
  2. Poland granted a humanitarian visa to a Belarus sprinter that refused a “forced” flight home from the Olympics.
  3. Belarus border authorities were accused of escorting migrants to its border with the European Union to escalate the migrant crisis.
  4. A former Haitian Supreme Court judge was allegedly involved in the plot to arrest Haitian President Jovenol Moise, who was found dead.

New Scholarship

  1. Themistoklis Tzimas, Legal and Ethical Challenges of Artificial Intelligence from an International Law Perspective (2021) (examining human rights dimension of the application and governance of artificial intelligence)
  2. Beverly A. Cigler, Fighting COVID-19 in the United States with Federalism and Other Constitutional and Statutory Authority (2021) (assessing the constitutional and statutory authority of the U.S. President concerning pandemic preparedness)
  3. Titis Anindyajati, Limitation of the Right to Freedom of Speech on the Indonesian Constitutional Court Consideration (2021) (examining case law on the constitutional boundaries of the right to freedom of speech)
  4. Michael Conklin, The Amendability Paradox: Could an Unamendable Amendment Be Amended? (2021) (examining whether a constitutional amendment can make its content unamendable)
  5. Sulistyani Eka Lestari, Ahmad Siboy, The Alternative Designs Effort to Simplify the Number of Political Parties in Indonesia (2021) (discussing potential boundaries to an attempt to limit the number of political parties in Indonesia)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Center for Constitutional Law at University of Akron School of Law is seeking proposals for its annual Constitutional Law Colloquium on “Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Constitution: How LGBTQ Rights are Defined, Protected, and Preempted” that will be held online on 4th of February 2022. Deadline for submissions is 30th September 2021.
  2. Indian Constitutional Law Review (ICLRQ) invites submissions for its Edition XIV on the topic “The Transformative Constitution.” Deadline for submissions is 20th August 2021.
  3. The Minerva Center for Human Rights at Hebrew University of Jerusalem invites submissions for its 16th Annual Minerva Conference on International Humanitarian Law on “Looking from the Outside In: Evaluating IHL from Other Normative Perspectives.” Deadline for submissions is 15th August 2021.
  4. International Criminal Law Review invites submissions for its Special issue “Time, Transition, and Justice.” Deadline for submissions is 30th September 2020.
  5. School of Legal Studies, REVA University, and the School of Law, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University (HNBGU) – CENTRAL UNIVERSITY in collaboration with the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India invite to participate in the International Conference on Sports Law that will take place on 29th August, 2021 to celebrate auspicious National Sports Day.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Charles Girard, Lessons from the French Citizens’ Climate Convention. On the role and legitimacy of citizens’ assemblies, Verfassungsblog
  2. Jesse Wegman, Thomas Jefferson Gave the Constitution 19 Years. Look Where We Are Now, The New York Times
  3. Marcin Szwed, Hundreds of judges appointed in violation of the ECHR? The ECtHR’s Reczkowicz v. Poland ruling and its consequences, Verfassungsblog
  4. Aymen Briki, Tunisia: Crafting a Consensus Democracy in a Dissensus Environment, IACL-AIDC Blog
  5. Academic Freedom as Democracy’s Last Defense. Open Letter in support of Professor Conrado Hübner Mendes, Verfassungsblog
  6. Alina Cherviatsova, Smothered by Russia’s Brotherly Embrace. Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians and Russia’s Geopolitical Claim, Verfassungsblog


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