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 European Court of Justice ruled that “[g]eneral and indiscriminate retention” of e-mails and other electronic communications by governments is illegal, in a decision that many believe could create an opportunity for challenges to the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill.
  2. South Korea’s Constitutional Court, which will decide whether President Park Geun-hye is permanently removed from office, ordered Ms. Park to respond to accusations that she neglected her duties on the day in 2014 when hundreds died in the sinking of a ferry.
  3. Croatia’s Constitutional Court declined the proposal of former President Stjepan Mesić to institute proceedings to review the constitutionality of amendments to the Law on Special Rights of Presidents after the Termination of Term of Office, which took away the president’s right to a government-paid office.
  4. The Venezuelan Supreme Court ordered MPs to refrain from continuing with the “political responsibility” measure against President Nicolás Maduro, declaring the impeachment “null and void.”
  5. The Institute for Law and Public Policy filed an amicus curiae brief upon the request of a Russian Constitutional Court judge in which it examined the European Court of Human Rights’ case law on the issue of admissibility of individual applications submitted by company’s shareholders and affording them just satisfaction, as well as its case law in relation to criteria for lawful levying of public dues.

In the News

  1. The Thailand Parliament unanimously approved a controversial amendment to its Computer Crime Act of 2007, which rights groups fear will give the government unrestricted power to police the web and suppress criticism. 
  2. The EU on Wednesday gave Poland’s right-wing government another two months to reverse changes to its constitutional court or face sanctions, warning they posed a “substantial” challenge to the rule of law.
  3. Poland’s foreign ministry on Thursday dismissed the EU’s warning that changes to the country’s constitutional court pose a serious challenge to the rule of law.
  4. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi tabled a bill to amend the Constitution of Samoa to define Samoa as a Christian State.
  5. Bolivia’s president Evo Morales announced that he will run for a fourth term in office after his ruling party proclaimed him its candidate for 2019 elections, defying the results of a February referendum.
  6. The United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that establishes that Israeli settlements in Palestine have no legal validity.

New Scholarship

  1. Juliano Zaiden Benvindo, The Forgotten People in Brazilian Constitutionalism: Revisiting Strategic Behavior Analyses of Regime Transitions, International Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2017) (challenging strategic behavior and game theory models of regime transitions by diachronically revisiting the literature about the Brazilian Constituent Assembly of 1987/1988)
  2. Michael J. Klarman, The Framers’ Coup, The Making of the United States Constitution (2016) (explaining why the Framers preferred the constitution as a significant departure from the more democratic state constitutions of the 1770s and how they persuaded the country to adopt it)
  3. Nuno M. Garoupa, Comparing Judicial Activism – Can We Say that the US Supreme Court Is More Activist than the German Constitutional Court?, in Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia (2016) (addressing “judicial activism” in comparative perspective and concluding that, at some levels, whether or not the US Supreme Court is more activist than the German Constitutional Court is a question that can be answered, but that such a question cannot be addressed satisfactorily once the complexities of judicial activism are properly understood)
  4. Michael Greve, Our Polarized, Presidential Federalism, in Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order (Zachary C. Courser, Eric A. Helland & Kenneth P. Miller eds.) (forthcoming 2017) (addressing presidential federalism and urging greater attention to questions of political economy, comparative politics, fiscal federalism, and constitutionalism and judicial capacity)
  5. Craig Forcese, The Executive, the Royal Prerogative and the Constitution, in Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (Nathalie Des Rosiers, Patrick Macklem & Peter Oliver eds.) (forthcoming) (addressing the royal prerogative in Canada as a source of executive authority)
  6. European Federalism, in Politique Européenne (Giacomo Delledonne and Giuseppe Martinico eds.) (2016) (issue on European Federalism in peer-reviewed journal devoted to European studies)
  7. Luke Mayville, John Adams and the Fear of American Oligarchy (2016) (presenting the first extended exploration of Adams’s preoccupation with a problem that has a renewed urgency today: the way in which inequality threatens to corrode democracy and empower a small elite)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. 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.
  2. The School of Law of the University of Central Lancashire in Cyprus announces a call for papers for panel(s) on “Designing democracies in post-conflict societies,” to be held at the University of Cyprus, on June 24-27, 2017. The final deadline for electronic submission of proposals is January 15, 2017.
  3. Juris Diversitas announces a call for submissions for its 5th Annual Conference to be held in Lyon, France on July 10-12, 2017. The theme of the conference is “Law & Food.” Proposals should be submitted to Professor Salvatore Mancuso at: by January 31, 2017. 
  4. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center has issued a position announcement for a Researcher (Ph.D. Candidate) in the field of “Constitutional Identity and Global Migration.” The position is at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 hours per week), preferably starting on September 1, 2017, for the duration of four years. The application deadline is March 1, 2017.
  5. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center has issued a position announcement for a Researcher (Ph.D. Candidate) in the field of “Citizenship and Governance in the European Union.” The position is at 65% of the regular working hours (currently 25.35 hours per week), preferably starting on September 1, 2017, for the duration of four years. The application deadline is March 1, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Constitutional Capture in Poland 2016 and Beyond: What is Next?, Verfassungsblog
  2. Editorial Board, Poland’s Tragic Turn, The New York Times
  3. Kim Hyo-jin, Constitutional reform takes center stage, The Korea Times
  4. Ahmet Erdi Öztürk and İştar Gözaydın, Turkey’s draft constitutional amendments: harking back to 1876?, OpenDemocracy
  5. Shawn Marie Boyne, Top Ten Recent SSRN Downloads for Comparative Law, ComparativeLawProfBlog


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