Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Nausica Palazzo, Ph.D. researcher in Comparative Constitutional Law (University of Trento)

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. The General Court of the European Union ruled that the European Central Bank (ECB) is not obligated to compensate commercial banks for losses they incurred in 2012 from the restructuring of the Greek debt.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Romania declined to rule on the withdrawn draft decree decriminalizing some corruption offences and official misconduct.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Kenya declared the law criminalizing defamation invalid.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe rejected a case that challenged President Robert Mugabe’s fitness to rule.
  5. The Supreme Court of India refused to modify its earlier ban on sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
  6. The Constitutional Court of Romania ruled unconstitutional a bill under which Swiss franc loan debtors would have been given the right to convert their loans at the exchange rate prevailing on the date that the loan contract was signed.
  7. The European Union approved 19 judges who will serve at the new Hague-based Kosovo Specialist Chambers, set up to try former Kosovo Liberation Army members for 1990s wartime crimes.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Georgia ruled unconstitutional a regulation allowing the Ministry of Internal Affairs to permanently retain information on a person’s history of administrative offenses.
  9.  The Taiwanese Judicial Yuan will convene a meeting of the Council of Grand Justices on March 24, to debate two requests for constitutional interpretation concerning same-sex marriage. The Council announced that the debate will be broadcast live.

In the News

  1. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe challenged the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
  2. Justice of the Supreme Court of Brazil Roberto Barroso calls for drugs legalization to undo the growing power of drug gangs and ease the strain on the country’s penitentiary system.
  3. Switzerland approved a constitutional amendment to ease naturalization of third-generation immigrants in a referendum.
  4. The referendum in Turkey on an amendments package that seeks to extend presidential powers has been set for 16 April, after President Erdogan approved the constitutional reform bill.

New Scholarship

  1. Farrah Ahmed & Adam Perry, Standing and Civic Virtue, Law Quarterly Review (forthcoming 2017) (examining the test for public interest standing in the UK, according to which the civic virtue is essential for a claimant to obtain leave for judicial review)  
  2. David G. Barnum, Judicial Oversight of Interception of Communications in the United Kingdom: An Historical and Comparative Analysis, 43 Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law (2016) (examining the history and current status of the UK Secretary of State for the Home Department and courts in the issuance of interception warrants through a comparative perspective)
  3. Luís R. Barroso, Reason Without Vote: The Representative and Majoritarian Function of Constitutional Courts, in Thomas Bustamante & Bernardo Gonçalves Fernandez (eds.), Democratizing Constitutional Law: Perspectives on Legal Theory and Legitimacy of Constitutionalism (2016) (analyzing the counter-majoritarian and representative roles of contemporary constitutional courts in a case study of the Supreme Court of Brazil)
  4. David Bilchitz, Dignity, Fundamental Rights and Legal Capacity: Moving Beyond the Paradigm Set by the General Comment on Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 32 South African Journal on Human Rights (2016) (focusing on the legal and philosophical approach to be adopted towards the understanding of dignity and the fundamental rights of those individuals who have psychosocial disabilities)
  5. David Bilchitz & Laura A. Jonas, Proportionality, Fundamental Rights and the Duties of Directors, 36 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2016) (considering the applicability of the doctrine of proportionality in the the domain of corporate decision-makings)
  6. Catarina Santos Botelho, Aspirações Constitucionais e Força Normativa da Constituição – Requiem pelo «Conceito Ocidental de Constituição»? (“Constitutional Aspirations and Normative Force of the Constitution – Requiem for the ‘Western Concept of Constitution’?”), Atas das Jornadas Comemorativas dos 40 Anos da Constituição da República Portuguesa de 1976 (forthcoming 2017) (deemphasizing the sharp dichotomy between functional constitutionalism and aspirational constitutionalism)
  7. Xenophon Contiades & Alkmene Fotiadou, The Emergence of Comparative Constitutional Amendment as a New Discipline: Towards a Paradigm Shift, in Richard Albert, Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (eds.), The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment (forthcoming 2017) (discussing the scientific revolution in the study of comparative constitutional amendment)
  8. Chris Jeffords & Joshua C. Gellers, Constitutionalizing Environmental Rights: A Practical Guide, Journal of Human Rights Practice (2017) (summarizing recent empirical scholarship on constitutional environmental rights and offering guidance how environmental rights can be implemented)
  9. Angioletta Sperti, Constitutional Courts, Gay Rights and Sexual Orientation Equality (forthcoming 2017) (arguing  that courts operate as major exporters of models and principles and that judicial cross-fertilization also helps courts in increasing the acceptability of gays’ and lesbians’ rights in public opinions and politics)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Sant’Anna School Dirpolis (Law, Politics, Development) Institute organizes a conference on ‘Constitutional Homogeneity and Rule of Law in the European Union: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue,’ within a Jean Monnet Module on European Public Law, to be held in Pisa, on April 11, 2017.
  2. The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy hosts a symposium on ‘Voting Rights in Polarized America,’ to be held on February 17, 2017.
  3. The Centre for Migration Law at the Radboud University Nijmegen invites submissions to its conference on ‘Transnational families and divorce: Revisiting marital break-up in times of global (im)mobilities,’ to be held in Nijmegen, on September 27-29, 2017. Submissions are due by April 30, 2017.
  4. The World Association of Constitutional Justice invites applications to present a report or a communication at the III World congress of constitutional justice – ‘Constitution and justice at the beginning of XXI century,’ to be held in Bologna, on October 10-13, 2017. Abstracts must be sent by March 31, 2017.
  5. The Africa Journal of Comparative Constitutional Law (AJCCL) accepts article proposals for its November 2017 issue. Interested researchers may send their papers to by May 31, 2017.
  6. The Utrecht Journal of International and European Law invites submissions for its next general issue. Articles may address any aspect of International and European Law. Interested researchers may submit their papers online by April 18, 2017.
  7. The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) at the University of Pretoria, and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) invite submissions to the Fifth Stellenbosch Annual Seminar on Constitutionalism in Africa (SASCA 2017), to be held on September 19-22, 2017. The deadline for submitting proposals is February 28, 2017. The theme for this seminar is ‘Corruption and constitutionalism in Africa: Revisiting control measures and strategies.’
  8. Law & Social Inquiry (LSI) invites submission to a annual graduate student paper competition in the field of law and social science. LSI publishes empirical and theoretical studies of sociolegal processes from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Entries must be received by March 1, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Mark Tushnet, Trump’s statements express the same kind of populist opposition to constitutional court judges we have seen elsewhere, Verfassungsblog
  2. The state of emergency and the charter, Daily News
  3. Eugene Volokh, Prof. Michael McConnell: ‘A flawed restraining of a flawed order’, The Volokh Conspiracy
  4. Grace Yang, Seven Myths About China Employer Rules and Regulations (aka Employee Handbook), China Law Blog
  5. Sébastien Platon, Marine Le Pen’s Constitutional Programme on the European Union: Use, Misuse and Abuse of Referenda, Verfassungsblog
  6. You may access online the event report from a conference on ‘Oversight of the Rule of Law in the European Union: Opportunities and Challenges,’ co-organised by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and the University of Groningen, The Netherlands.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *