Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Eman Muhammad Rashwan, Lecturer of Public Law, Cairo University, Egypt; Visiting Lecturer of Law, Hamburg University, Germany.

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in public law. “Developments” may include 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 on Wednesday gave federal trial courts more discretion over whether children in some international custody disputes must be returned to their home countries.
  2. The German Federal Court of Justice denied a claim for injunctive relief by residents in the event of violations of the ban on the passage of trucks determined according to the air pollution control plan of the state capital Stuttgart
  3. South Africa’s Constitutional Court has declined to confirm the constitutional invalidity of sections of the Births and Deaths Registration Act. This comes after the Pretoria high court found that the Act denied parents the right to bury the remains of a foetus less than 26 weeks old.
  4. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Federal health care regulators exceeded their authority when they cut Medicare reimbursements to safety-net hospitals in an attempt to prevent those hospitals from reaping large profits on certain prescription drugs.

In the News

  1. In Egypt, Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam’s highest religious authority, has warned against promoting homosexuality through entertainment content tailored for children. The warning came amid growing criticism of Walt Disney Company over plans to introduce more gay characters in its productions.
  2. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s six-day trip to China has faced significant criticisms following statements claiming the inability to determine the scale of Xinjiang re-education and incarceration programmes directed at ethnic Uyghurs.
  3. The Palestinian Foreign Minister announced that the results of the murder investigation of Palestinian journalist Shirin Abu Akleh have been handed over to the International Criminal Court, stating that the crime may amount to a war crime.
  4. By the end of 2022, the German promulgation of the law on paper is to end. However, the planned law is subject to a parallel constitutional amendment, which still has to be worked out in the Ministry of the Interior, announced Justice Minister Marco Buschmann.
  5. The U.S. Congress’s House chamber passed a Supreme Court security bill on Tuesday, sending it to President Joe Biden for his signature just days after an armed man was arrested near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and charged with attempted murder.

New Scholarship

  1. Daniel L. Bennett, Christopher Boudreaux, and Boris Nikolaev, Populist Discourse and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Political Ideology and Institutions, Journal of International Business Studies (2022) (Using institutional economic theory as the guiding framework to develop a model to describe how populist discourse by a nation’s political leader influences entrepreneurship. The research’s empirical findings suggest that the negative effect of populism on entrepreneurship is greater in nations with stronger checks and balances)
  2. Franita Tolson, Enforcing the Political Constitution, 74 Stan. L. Rev. Online 88 (2022) (arguing that the congruence and proportionality test of City of Boerne v. Flores—which the U.S. Supreme Court applies to laws passed pursuant to Section 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment—should not apply to federal voting rights legislation. This test is inapplicable because the right to vote, although a judicially protected constitutional right, is also a political right beyond the purview of the courts)
  3. Peter Salib and Guha Krishnamurthi, Nullification in Abortion Prosecutions: An Equilibrium Theory, 72 Duke Law Journal Online (Forthcoming, 2022) (analyzing the upstream equilibrium effects of the “nullification” threat, arguing that it will deter prosecutors in the U.S. from bringing the most extreme abortion charges. There is precedent for this: As criminal marijuana prohibitions grew steadily more unpopular, federal marijuana prosecutions fell dramatically. The authors suggest that the threat of nullification was responsible and that the same effect may obtain in the abortion context)
  4. Vladislava Stoyanova and Stijn Smet, Migrants’ Rights, Populism and Legal Resilience in Europe, Cambridge University Press (2022) (Bringing together scholars of migration and constitutional law, this volume analyses the problematic relationship between the rise of populism, restrictions of migrants’ rights and democratic decay in Europe. By offering both constructive and critical accounts, it creates a nuanced debate on the possibilities for and limitations of legal resilience against populist erosion of migrants’ rights)
  5. Evelyn Villarreal and Bruce Wilson, Water as a Human Right: progress and disputes in Costa Rica, San José, C.R.: PEN (2022) (exploring the central aspects to understand the achievements and limitations of Costa Rica in the fulfillment of the right to water, as well as the conflict scenarios. In addition, the book highlights how these conflicts have changed over time in response to new social and environmental conditions that have promoted, in recent decades, the adoption of various strategies to demand this right)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Netherlands Institute of International Relations’ Clingendael ‘invites applications for an internship within its Planetary Security Initiative. The deadline for response is June 24 2022, COB.
  2. The Global Citizenship Observatory (GLOBALCIT) at the European University Institute has recently published its Call for Papers for their annual conference on ‘Citizenship and political development: Membership contestation and democratic norms around the world,’ which will be held in Florence, 17-18 November 2022. The deadline for proposals is July 1, 2022. The Global Citizenship Observatory will provide accommodation and meals to all selected participants. Coverage of travel costs is available for a limited number of participants.
  3. A workshop on ‘Cultural Expertise and Litigation: Practices in South Asia and Europe’ is organized as part of a collaborative projection ‘Cultural Expertise and Litigation in South Asia and Europe’ funded by the Independent Social Research Foundation. The workshop will be organized on 2-3 December 2022 in a hybrid format at the O.P. Jindal Global University (JGU), Jindal Global Law School. The abstract submission form is available here, with the final deadline for submissions being July 15 2022.
  4. The University of Texas at Austin’s Constitutional Studies Program invites attendees to Roundtable VI in LevinsonFest 2022: “Modern Challenges in Constitutional Design,” from 8:30 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, Central Time. Zoom registration is available here.
  5. The ICON•S Committee on New Directions in Scholarship invites attendants to join the conversation in the New Scholarship Showcase. This event will feature a discussion on the book “Shari’a, Inshallah: Finding God in Somali Legal Politics” (Cambridge University Press, 2021) by Mark Fathi Massoud (U.C. Santa Cruz, USA). All are welcome at no cost, and registration is required here.
  6. The WCCL Global South Scholarship Programme is now open for applications. The programme is for academics who wish to participate in the World Congress of Constitutional Law from 5 – 9 December 2022 in South Africa but may face financial challenges.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Peter Riddell Lord Geidt’s resignation is a fresh reminder of the government’s restrictive approach to scrutiny of its actions, The Constitution Unit Blog
  2. Charles M Fombad, Countering the Scourge of Unconstitutional Changes of Government in Africa, IACL-AIDC BLOG
  3. David Bernstein, The Supreme Court Could Foster a New Kind of Civil War, Politico
  4. Balkees Jarrah, Wolfgang Kaleck, and Zachary D. Kaufman, Universal Jurisdiction: Controversies and Opportunities, American Society of International Law
  5. Paolo Caroli, Compensation Without Recognition: The German-Italian Dispute Over War Crime Compensation and Transitional Justice, Verfassungsblog


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