Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Rohan Alva, Advocate, New Delhi

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative 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 comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. A two-judge panel of the Indian Supreme Court referred to the Chief Justice of India a petition that questions the constitutional validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes homosexuality.
  2. By a 5-3 majority, the U.S. Supreme Court found a Texas law unconstitutional for imposing an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Austria invalidated the recently held presidential elections and asked for fresh elections to be conducted.
  4. In Maldives, the nation’s Supreme Court affirmed the thirteen-year prison term given to former president Mohamed Nasheed.
  5. The plenum of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic granted the motion of the Municipal Court of Prague for the annulment of Section 13 para. 2 of the Act on Registered Partnership, which precluded the adoption of a child to persons living in a registered partnership.

In the News

  1. The U.S. Secretary of Defense announced the introduction of a new policy that will permit transgender individuals to serve in the military.
  2. A court in Moldova imprisoned the nation’s former prime minister, Vlad Filat, for nine years.
  3. The Turkish Parliament passed legislation that confers immunity from criminal sanctions on members of the armed forces engaging in counter-terrorism operations.
  4. In Russia, the lower house of the Parliament approved legislation aimed at tackling terrorism that requires telecom providers to store the data of all customers for a time period.
  5. The European Commission released the “Proposal for a Council Regulation on jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility, and on international child abduction (recast).”

New Scholarship

  1. Turkuler Isiksel, Europe’s Functional Constitution: A Theory of Constitutionalism Beyond the State (2016) (examining the novel nature of EU constitutionalism and advancing the theory of “functional constitutionalism”)
  2. Jessie Hill, The First Amendment and the Politics of Reproductive Health Care, 50 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy (2016) (critically evaluating how reproductive healthcare has been treated by the legal system and proposing that reproductive healthcare must be conceived of as an essential requirement and not a product of “moral choice”)
  3. Mark Jia, Chinese Common Law? Guiding Cases and Judicial Reform, 129 Harvard Law Review 2213 (2016) (contextually analysing the practice of the Chinese Supreme People’s Court of treating certain decisions as “guiding cases” and comparatively evaluating the future of this practice)
  4. Patrick J. Birkinshaw and Andrea Biondi (eds.), Britain Alone! The Implications and Consequences of United Kingdom Exit from the EU (2016) (a collection of essays in which the authors examine the impact of “Brexit” on the United Kingdom and the European Union)
  5. Jacob Weinrib, Dimensions of Dignity: The Theory and Practice of Modern Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2016) (exploring the interconnection between human dignity and constitutional law)
  6. Yaniv Roznai, Unamendability and the Genetic Code of the Constitution, European Review of Public Law (2016) (examining the text of unamendable provisions that were and are stipulated in 735 former and current written national constitutions and reviewing the origins, structure and content of unamendable provisions)
  7. András Jakab, Sustainability in European Constitutional Law, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2016-16 (2016) (showing how after sovereignty, the rule of law, human rights, and democracy, a new key concept of “sustainability” is nowadays emerging in the European constitutional discourse)
  8. Francisco Javier Zamora Cabot, Access of Victims to Justice and Foreign Conducts: The U.S.S.C. Gives Another Turning of the Screw in the Obb Personenverkeher v. Sachs Case, on Sovereign Immunity, Revista Electrónica de Estudios Internacionales (2016) (addressing an outline and a critical approach of the Decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the Sachs case)
  9. Daniel Pascoe, Singapore and Thailand: Explaining Differences in Death Penalty Clemency, in J. Liu, M. Travers, & L. Chang, Comparative Criminology in Asia (forthcoming 2016) (employing theory to explain why a marked discrepancy in clemency practices exists between Singapore and Thailand)

Call for Papers

  1. A Regional Roundtable on “Decentralisation and the State in the Arab Region” is being organized by the Arab Association of Constitutional Law and the Laboratory for Constitutional, Financial and Developmental Studies at Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah University (Fez University), on November 3, 2016. Interested participants should send in their abstract by July 15, 2016.
  2. A call for papers has been issued by the AALS Sections on Constitutional Law and Poverty Law for a joint panel on “The Constitution in an Era of Increasing Inequality” to be held on January 6, 2017 during the AALS Annual Meeting. All papers must be sent in by August 15, 2016.
  3. National Institute of Public Finance and Policy and the Institute of New Economic Thinking invite papers for the “Law Economic Policy Conference,” which will be held in New Delhi on September 29-30, 2016. Drafts of papers must be submitted by August 21, 2016.
  4. The European Faculty of Law and the Graduate School of Government and European Studies issued a call for papers for a conference on “Modern Legal Interpretation: Legalism or Beyond?,” which will be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia on November 18-19, 2016. Abstracts of papers are to be submitted by September 1, 2016.
  5. Tilburg Law Review invites papers for a special issue on “Translating Law.” All papers must be submitted by December 15, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Adam Liptak, The Right-Wing Supreme Court That Wasn’t, The New York Times
  2. Joey Fishkin, Two Kinds of Pluralism and the Future of Affirmative Action, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  3. Jasmine Rayée, Sophie Schiettekatte, Dorien Surinx, Judith Vermeulen, Pieter Cannoot, and Jurgen Goossens, The two faces of counter-terrorism measures: fundamental rights and freedoms pressurized by counter-terrorism measures, BelConLawBlog
  4. Francesco Clementi, Italian Constitutional Reforms: Towards a stable and efficient government, ConstitutionNet
  5. Rory Little, Federal “use of force” encompasses reckless domestic violence misdemeanor offenses, SCOTUSBlog
  6. Graciela Jasa Silveira, Potential Legal Consequences of Mexico’s Initiative to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage, Jurist
  7. Larry Eaker, The Brexit Legal Mess—Falling Into a Black Hole?, Jurist


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