Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Vicente F. Benítez R., Constitutional Law Professor, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia) and LL.M. student at NYU

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 High Court has recently ruled that the Attorney General is not a Cabinet Secretary and therefore cannot perform administrative roles reserved for the Minister under the Legal Education Act.
  2. The UK Supreme Court decided that the Primer Minister is requires Parliament’s approval before initiating the official process for leaving the EU.
  3. The Greek Supreme Court denied the extradition of eight servicemen to Turkey arguing that it is likely that they will not face fair trial conditions when returning to Turkey.  
  4. The Italian Constitutional Court partially upheld most of the new electoral law (known as Italicum), paving the way for new elections.
  5. The French Constitutional Council struck down a draft statute that criminalized the denial of the Armenian Genocide.  

In the News

  1. The Russian Constitutional Court held a public hearing concerning the constitutionality of Article 212.1 of the Russian Criminal Code which establishes criminal liability for multiple violations of the statutory rules for organization or holding of assemblies, meetings, demonstrations, processions or picketing.
  2. The President of the United States will announce his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court this week. The U.S. Vice President says the nominee will be a ‘strict constructionist’.   
  3. Jakarta’s Constitutional Court Justice has been arrested under alleged bribery claims.
  4. The Kazakh President declares that he will give some powers to the Parliament in order to ‘democratize’ the system and to ‘redistribute’ power.
  5. The Bulgarian President calls for early national elections (to be held on March 26, 2017) and appoints a temporary Primer Minister.   
  6. Syrian rebels disagree with the draft Constitution proposed by Russia.      

New Scholarship

  1. Rosalind Dixon & Samuel Issacharoff, Living to fight another day: Judicial Deferral in Defense of Democracy, Wisconsin Law Review (2016) (offering an account of how courts around the globe strategically use ‘second order deferrals’ to postpone the application of new and controversial doctrines so that they can be used in the future in a more favorable political setting)
  2. John Ferejohn & Frances McCall Rosenbluth, Forged Through Fire. War, Peace, and the Democratic Bargain, Liveright (2016) (exploring from an historical and political vantage point how, paradoxically, war has promoted democracy by means of the universalization of voting rights and the redistribution of property)
  3. Asher Flynn & Jacqueline Hodgson, Access to Justice and Legal Aid: Comparative Perspectives on Unmet Legal Need, Hart Publishing (2017) (examining, from empirical and theoretical grounds, the responses given to legal aid crises in domestic and comparative contexts)   
  4. Pedro Fortes, Larissa Boratti, Andrés Palacios Lleras & Tom Gerald Daly (eds.), Law and Policy in Latin America: Transforming Courts, Institutions, and Rights, Palgrave MacMillan (2017) (presenting a comprehensive introduction to law and policy responses to contemporary problems in Latin America, such as human rights violations, regulatory dilemmas, economic inequality, and access to knowledge and medicine)
  5. H. P. Lee, Constitutional Conflicts in Contemporary Malaysia, Oxford University Press (2017) (assessing the impact of the multiple conflicts among the branches on the principle of separation of powers in the Malaysian regime)
  6. Scott Newton, The Constitutional Systems of the Independent Central Asian States: A Contextual Analysis. Hart Publishing (2017) (exploring constitutional regimes of the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as the Republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, from a political historical, economic and social perspectives)  
  7. Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, Multilevel Constitutionalism for Multilevel Governance of Public Goods: Methodology Problems in International Law. Hart Publishing (2017) (arguing for a ‘new philosophy of international law’ to protect human rights and public goods, and suggesting five propositions for multilevel governance aimed at protecting citizens’ rights)  
  8. César Rodríguez-Garavito & Diana Rodríguez Franco, Radical Deprivation on Trial: The Impact of Judicial Activism on Socioeconomic Rights in the Global South, Cambridge University Press (2015) (offering an empirical examination and analyzing the contributions of structural injunctions issued by the Colombian, South African and Indian Courts in comparative perspective)
  9. Guadalupe Soriano-Barabino, Comparative Law for Legal Translators, New Trends on Translations Studies (2016) (emphasizing the importance of comparative law in legal translation and how to solve the inevitable problems that arise among several legal systems)
  10. Alison L. Young, Democratic Dialogue and the Constitution, Oxford University Press (2017) (analyzing the multiple forms of interaction between parliaments, courts and supranational courts in the framework of the UK constitutional regime in the wake of the ‘Brexit’)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Essex, School of Law, is organizing a conference on  “Comparative Public Law in Europe”, on March 24 2017, at the British Academy (London). The conference is aimed at providing a thorough discussion on the contribution of public comparative law to the current political, legal constitutional, regulatory and administrative debates in Europe.   
  2. The Koç University Law Club is inviting Law students submissions for its 6th International Symposium on Law and Global Issues, which will be held on March 10 to 12, 2017, at Koç University. Interested participants must submit their proposals at by January 30, 2017.    
  3. The University of Essex will hold its 9th Human Rights in Asia Conference on March, 25, 2017, and invites speakers to participate in this academic event, which will focus on Gender and Sexuality. For more information, please email  . 
  4. The University of Aegean is inviting paper proposals for its Conference on “Contested Borderscapes: Transnational Geographies vis-à-vis Fortress Europe,” which will take place from September 28 to October 1, 2017 at the University of Aegean. Interested scholars must submit their proposals by March 1, 2017. Questions can be sent to
  5. The Indian Constitutional Law Review calls for papers for its forthcoming number to be published in April 2017. Interested researchers can send their papers to by March 8, 2017.
  6. The Association of Constitutional Lawyers of Spain is accepting submissions for its XV Congress on “Parliamentarism and Parliaments: origins and challenges,” to be held in León (Spain), 30-31 March 2017. Proposals should be sent to by March 15, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Colin P.A. Jones, Examining a year in the life of the country’s Diet, The Japan Times
  2. Murali Krishnan, The Supreme Court of India – 67 years, Bar & Bench
  3. Paul Keanne, Are you legally my friend?, Irish Legal News
  4. Oliver Garner, “So Long (As) and Farewell?”: The United Kingdom Supreme Court in Miller, European Law Blog
  5. Christine Bell, Colombia’s Peace Accord in Comparative Perspective, Political Settlements Research Programme


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