Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Matteo Mastracci, Digital Rights Researcher, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), and PhD Researcher, Koç University, Istanbul

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. Kenya’s Supreme Court, upholding rulings by two lower courts that the president can’t seek constitutional amendments through a popular initiative, blocked changes to the constitution initiated by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
  2. The Constitutional Court of South Korea upheld a ban on tattooing, confirming South Korea as the only developed country that permits no one but medical professionals to perform the procedure.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Turkey dismissed the applications of the two former mayors from pro-Kurdish parties in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakir province, who were removed from office and replaced by government-appointed trustees in 2015 and 2016.
  4. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia ruled that prison inmates are allowed to participate in local elections according to Article 101 of the Latvian Constitution after former Ventspils mayor lodged a complaint contesting the provisions of the Law on the Election of Local Government Councils that had prevented him from voting in the last municipal elections while in prison.
  5. The Czech Constitutional Court, rejecting a claim to repeal passages of the Civil Code that would allow transgender people to officially change their gender without undergoing an operation, ruled that a sterilisation-inducing surgery would still be necessary for official gender reassignment.

In the News

  1. Belgrade Higher Court acquitted policemen Milan Dumanovic and Mladen Trbovic on Friday of disclosing an official secret by giving a TV interview about secretly recording the Srebrenica commemoration in 2015.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Ecuador, after hearing the case of Estrellita, a woolly monkey who was taken from the wild when she was only one month old and was raised as a pet but died within a month after it was shifted to the zoo, delivered a landmark ruling assigning legal rights to wild animals.
  3. Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the dissolution by decree of parliament, which has been suspended since last year after legislators voted to repeal previous decrees.
  4. Lawmakers in Taiwan voted to approve a constitutional amendment to lower the voting age in Taiwan from 20 to 18, setting the stage for a referendum to put the constitutional amendment to a public vote.
  5. A proposal to hold a referendum on codifying the principle of military neutrality into the Irish constitution was rejected this week after government parties voted against the motion.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Constitutional Change without Constitutional Amendment, 59 Alberta Law Review 777 (2022) (reviewing “Constitutional Pariah,” a new book on constitutional change in Canada)
  2. Brian Christopher Jones, The Legal Contribution to Democratic Disaffection, Arkansas Law Review 75(4) (forthcoming, 2023) (describes how law, legal processes, and courts contribute to democratic disaffection).
  3. Tamás Hoffmann and Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz, Special Issue The Effects of Populist Governance on the Hungarian Legal System (March, 2022) (analysing populist legislation and changes in the field of constitutional law, adjudication, tax law, labor law, criminal regulation and asylum legislation in Hungary)
  4. Elisabetta Grande, Rodrigo Míguez Núñez, and Pier Giuseppe Monateri, The Italian Theory of Comparative Law Goes Abroad, The Italian Review of International and Comparative Law 1(1) (October, 2021) (assessing the influence of the Italian comparative law scholarship outside its national boundaries and particularly in Latin America)
  5. J. Joel Alicea, The Moral Authority of Original Meaning, Notre Dame Law Review 98(1) (forthcoming, 2022) (presenting an affirmative argument for originalism from within the natural-law tradition in the field of constitutional theory)
  6. Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, New Constitutional Horizons, Towards a Pluralist Constitutional Theory, (April, 2022) (examining some of the key conceptual and theoretical puzzles which the contemporary state of multilevel pluralism poses for our constitutional theories)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Sant’ Anna School of Advanced Studies welcomes applications from undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD students from different backgrounds for its seasonal school ” CROSSROADS – THE NEVER ENDING EU CRISES AND THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC OUTBREAK”. The Seasonal School aims to offer a critical assessment of the current governance structure of the EU and the key policies designed to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for registration is April 11, 2022.
  2. The Italian Association of Comparative Law (AIDC) welcomes submissions from young scholars on the relationship between law, sustainability, and innovation through the perspectives offered by legal comparison. The University of Salerno will host the event on May 13, 2022. The deadline for abstract submissions is April 9, 2022.
  3. The Orbeliani law Review has issued a Call for Papers and welcomes submissions by June 1, 2022 by email to
  4. In the context of the 17th ESIL Annual Conference in Utrecht in September 2022, the Interest Group on the International Law of Culture welcomes abstract submissions for the workshop on “International Law of Culture in Armed Conflict”. The workshop will be held on Wednesday 31 August 2022. Papers accepted for this interest group workshop will also be eligible for the ESIL Young Scholar Prize (YSP). The deadline for abstract submissions is April 25, 2022.
  5. The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (IHEID), as part of the research project on the “Paths of International Law”, accepts paper proposals for the workshop “Change and Resilience in International Law” that will take place on 6-8 October 2022 at the Chateau de Bossey. The deadline for abstract submissions is April 24, 2022.
  6. The guest editor of Análise Social (Social Analysis) invites submissions of original articles that explore the presence of populism in Portugal for possible inclusion in the special issue on “POPULISM IN PORTUGAL: THE END OF EXCEPTIONALISM?”. This special issue investigates the populist demand and supply present in Portugal, their interaction, and the role of the media in this scenario. The deadline for abstract submissions is April 30, 2022.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Gjergj Erebara, Censorship and Blackmail Accusations Rock Albania’s Top TV Station, B.I.R.D.
  2. Philip Allott, Anarchy and Anachronism: An Existential Challenge for International Law, EJIL: Talk!
  3. Laurence Diver and Pauline McBride, High Tech, Low Fidelity? Statistical Legal Tech and the Rule of Law, Verfassungsblog
  4. Sasa Dragojlo, Serbian Opposition Holds its Nerves Ahead of ‘Unfair’ Elections, Balkan Insight
  5. Thomas Eder, Sovereignty and Non-Intervention, Völkerrechtsblog
  6. Marvin L. Simner, The Use of the Declaration of Independence as a Military Recruitment Tool, Journal of the American Revolution
  7. Consuelo Thiers, The psychology of war: analysing Putin’s motivations, The Loop


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