Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Eman Muhammad Rashwan, Ph.D. Candidate in the European Doctorate in Law & Economics (EDLE), Hamburg University, Germany; Lecturer of Public Law, Cairo University, Egypt.

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, 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 U.S. Supreme Court allowed Alabama to implement a redistricting plan challenged as illegal racial gerrymandering in a 5-4 decision.
  2. Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has ruled that an Indigenous community’s right to free, prior and informed consultation was violated by oil projects and called for more robust protections to guarantee Indigenous communities’ rights to decide over extractive projects in their territories.
  3. Lithuania’s Constitutional Court dropped a case on the legitimacy of COVID-19 certificates in the country following the government’s decision to cancel its decision on the introduction of COVID pass-related restrictions.
  4. The Spanish Constitutional Court has denied journalist Antonio Javier Rodríguez Naranjo protection, thus confirming the Supreme Court’s sentence for violating the right to honor of journalist Máximo Pradera, whom he described as an “abuser” in a tweet and an interview.

In the News

  1. White House officials have begun reaching out to potential Supreme Court candidates to gather more information about their records, with about three weeks remaining before President Joe Biden’s self-imposed deadline to announce his Supreme Court pick.
  2. The EU’s second-highest court ruled for the first time Wednesday that systemic problems with the rule of law in Poland may go beyond the country’s court system.
  3. A constitutional law was approved by the Italian parliament on Tuesday, saying the state must safeguard the environment, biodiversity, and the ecosystem “also in the interest of future generations.” The law stipulated that any private economic initiative must not damage health or the environment.
  4. On Wednesday, the Egyptian president swore in the first Christian to head the Supreme Constitutional Court, Justice Boulos Fahmy.
  5. On Sunday, Tunisia’s President Qais Saied dissolved the Supreme Judicial Council. Tunisian Supreme Judicial Council head Youssef Bouzakher said the president’s decision to dissolve the body was “illegal” and an attempt to put the judiciary under presidential instruction.
  6. For the first time in history, the Egyptian State Council and Public Prosecution opened applications for men and women equally, after decades of the two judicial authorities, and consequently, both administrative and regular courts, being limited to male applicants only.

 New Scholarship

  1. Cedric Jenart, Outsourcing Rulemaking Powers: Constitutional limits and national safeguards, Oxford Comparative Constitutionalism (2022) (critically examining the outsourcing rulemaking powers on a case study of the Anti-Doping Agency and its regulation)
  2. Yota Negishi, Conventionality Control of Domestic Law: Constitutionalised International Adjudication and Internationalised Constitutional Adjudication, Nomos (2022) (filling a gap in comparative international human rights law by analyzing the practice of conventionality control in Europe and Latin America)
  3. Dave Owen, The Realities of Takings Litigation, BYU Law Review (forthcoming, 2022) (presenting an empirical study of takings litigation against the United States)
  4. Shucheng Wang, The Judicial Document as Informal State Law: Judicial Lawmaking in China’s Courts, Modern China (forthcoming, 2022) (examining why and how, with no explicit statutory basis, the practice of producing judicial documents got embedded in the adjudication of Chinese courts)
  5. Thomas  P. Schmidt, Judicial Minimalism in the Lower Courts, 108 Va. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2022) (considering judicial minimalism as an approach for lower courts, which have become conspicuous and powerful actors on the public law scene. After making a case for lower court minimalism, the Article proposes some strategies for realizing it)
  6. Ignatius Yordan Nugraha, Popular Sovereignty and Constitutional Referendum: Can “The People” be Limited by Human Rights?, 23 German Law Journal 1 (2022) (assessing whether the concept of popular sovereignty would immunize constitutional provisions that are passed through a constitutional referendum from any human rights limitation)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Society of Public Law (ICON·S) Committee on “New Directions in Scholarship” invites book proposals to be considered for the “New Scholarship Showcase” book discussion panels. Books are welcomed from scholars of all ranks worldwide on any topic in Public Law widely conceived, especially in public international and administrative law. To propose books for the committee to feature in its “New Scholarship Showcase” events, please email Proposals should include the book title, author’s name, and a short (3-5 sentence) explanation of the book’s contribution to the field. Self-nominations are welcome, as are proposals for edited volumes. The committee will consider books published in 2020 or later that are published in English or Spanish. Proposals will be considered on a rolling basis, but preference will be given to those submitted by February 28, 2022.
  2. The Charles University Faculty of Law announces the international conference titled “European Constitutionalism and the Virus of Distrust” that will be held in Prague (Czech Republic) on April 27-28, 2022. The Department of Constitutional Law now invites paper submissions for the conference. All submissions must be made through the registration form on the conference website by 23:59 CET on February 28, 2022.
  3. The ICON-S Chapter Germany invites interested participants to join in an online discussion of Jacco Bomhoff’s paper “Practicing Proportionality – Legal Knowledge Work and the German Repetitorium” on February 21 at 4 pm (CET) with comments by Klaus Gärditz and Dana Schmalz.
  4. Varieties of Democracy (V.DEM) Project at the University of Gothenburg is currently looking for four highly motivated, self-driven interns interested in democracy as a research area. Please note that the internship will take place remotely if the Covid-19 situation persists. More information and application procedure are found here.
  5. The Netherlands Institute of International Relations’ Clingendael’ is hiring a Research Fellow within its Sahel Research Programme. The deadline for response is February 16, 2022.
  6. Phase 1 of application to the World Congress of Constitutional Law expected in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 5-9, 2022, is closing February 15, 2022. Submissions are welcome here.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Matt Ford, The Supreme Court Is Even More Conservative Than You Think, TNR
  2. Erica Chenoweth and Zoe Marks, Revenge of the Patriarchs: Why Autocrats Fear Women, Foreign Affairs
  3. Anna Zemskova, Morten Kjaerum and Martin Sunnqvist, How to protect democracy and strengthen the rule of law in the EU?, Från Lund till Bryssel (podcast)
  4. Erica Gaston, Targeted Sanctions Are Trendy, but Not Very Effective, WORLD POLITICS REVIEW
  5. Thabitta R, Problems with the Application of the Basic Structure Doctrine in India: Why Limiting the Constitutional Amendment Powers of the Legislature is a Bad Idea, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  6. James Cleaver, What Kind of Democracy Do People Want?: Putting our findings in context, The Constitution Unit Blog
  7. Natálie Dřínovská, Michal Kovalčík, and Zuzana Vikarská, The Taming of the Czech Executive: Another Judicial Intervention into Pandemic Measures, Verfassungsblog


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