Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Mariana Avelar, PhD student at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and visiting researcher at Goëthe Universität and Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Juan Sebastián López, law student at Universidad Externado de Colombia, member of the International Society of Public Law and its Colombian chapter.

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 Supreme Federal Court of Brazil has formed a majority to declare that the provision of the Code of Criminal Procedure that grants specific prison facilities for those with higher education degrees until a final criminal decision is incompatible with the Federal Constitution.
  2. Colombian Supreme Court of Justice acquitted Fulvia Elvira Benavides Cotes, former Colombian Consul in Santiago de Chile, of the accusation against her for the ideological falsification of a public document.
  3. The First Chamber of the First Senate of the German Federal Constitutional Court did not accept three complaints directed against provisions of the Telecommunications Act (TKG) and the Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO), which provided for the storage of traffic and location data without an occasion (so-called anlasslose Vorratsdatenspeicherung).: “With its ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court confirms and reaffirms the case law of the European Court of Justice on data retention and makes it clear: there is no leeway in German law for still implementing data retention without any reason,” said Konstantin Macher of Digitalcourage in an interview to Euractiv .”
  4. France’s Constitutional Council decided on the police powers of private law contractual agents of the National Forestry Commission, asserting that their actions, as contractors/agents hired in a private law regime, are limited since they  are only empowered to record, without investigating them, the offences and contraventions provided for by the forestry code and, in the event that they observe illegal clearing, to order protective measures. Consequently, the Court decided that the contested provisions do not infringe on the requirement of direction and control of the judicial authority over the judicial police resulting from Article 66 of France’s Constitution.
  5. The Supreme Court of Angola decided that the country’s Constitution sets the original competencies to define the national security policy, to direct its execution, to determine the strategy of action for national security, and to control the services and the activity of the direct administration of the State (civil and military) and due to this institutional design, the President of the Republic have the competence and power to define national security policy and to direct its execution, to decide on the strategy to act on national security, and to control the services and activities of the direct administration of the State (civil and military). By doing so,  he may as well be assisted by his auxiliary bodies, namely the Ministers, or by the figure of a General Commander of the National Police, who, under the direction and guidance of the President of the Republic, shall perform the duties that the President of the Republic has entrusted to him, without any offence to constitutional principles or violation of constitutional rules.
  6. The Second Senate of the Federal Constitutional Court held that the German Parliament violated the right to equal opportunities in the political competition of the political party Alternative für Deutschland while adopting the 2019 Federal Budget Act (Haushaltsgesetz 2; the aforementioned legislation “enabled general grants to be awarded to political foundations for socio-political and democratic education without this being based on a separate act of Parliament”.
  7. The Colombian Constitutional Court ordered the National Protection Unit (UNP) to apply a differential focus when valuing the risk to which news reporters are exposed concerning threats surrounding their jobs.
  8. The Supreme Court of Pakistan decided that the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to delay the election dates for the Punjab Assembly was unconstitutional, arguing that neither the Constitution nor the law empowers the Commission to extend the date of elections beyond the 90 days period authorized in Article 224(2) of the Constitution. This decision came to be after a petition filed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
  9. The Constitutional Court of Ecuador held that the Executive Decree No. 693 of March 20, 2023 did not justify how the powers of the Executive were overwhelmed or insufficient to respond to the facts that led to the declaration of a state of the emergency, as required by the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador. It was emphasised that the state of exception, being an extraordinary, restricted, aggravated and last-ratio mechanism, should not be considered as the first option to resort to solving calamitous situations that have a formula for constitutional treatment and legal within the ordinary regime.

In the News

  1. The Wait for the Trump Indictment Is Finally Over”: Manhattan’s Criminal Courthouse grand jury had voted to indict former President Donald Trump.
  2. UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the obligations of States in respect of climate change.  
  3. Taiwan’s President Heads to the U.S., Bracing for China’s Retaliation”: President Tsai Ing-wen and Speaker Kevin McCarthy are expected to meet next week, facing China’s opposition to such initiatives.
  4. “‘A win of epic proportions’: World’s highest court can set out countries’ climate obligations after Vanuatu secures historic UN vote”.
  5. Petrobras Is Close to Obtaining A License to Dig for Oil at The Amazon’s Mouth
  6. Modi’s Power to Sideline Challengers Is Only Growing”, on the allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party is manipulating the judiciary.
  7. A Win for Israel’s Protesters”: demonstrations are connected to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to delay a judicial overhaul.
  8. The Prime Minister of Jamaica announced the appointment of Prof. Richard Albert to the new 14-member Constitutional Reform Committee that will advise on creating a homegrown Constitution for the country
  9. Clara Ponsati, a member of the European Parliament, was arrested by Spanish authorities and has been released on bail after being detained for several hours on Tuesday, the 28th, in Barcelona, due to an arrest warrant from the Spanish Supreme Court related to the repression of the Catalan independence movement, raising concerns about the violation of parliamentary immunity in Spain.
  10. Mexico Investigates Migrant Deaths in Border City Fire as Homicide Case”: eight suspects were identified. Authorities said security workers had done nothing to help migrants at a detention centre in Ciudad Juárez.
  11.  “The UK agrees to join the trans-Pacific trade pact”: Britain joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
  12. Turkey becomes the last NATO member to ratify Finland’s bid”: Turkish parliament have unanimously endorsed the Nordic country’s accession to  NATO.
  13. What will the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on a Navajo Nation water rights case mean for other tribes?” This case’s decision will challenge the federal government’s legal responsibility to tribal nations.
  14. Call to present written opinions on the issues covered by request for an Advisory Opinion regarding “Climate Emergency and Human Rights” submitted by the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Chile”. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights invites you to present written opinions on the issues covered in the Advisory Opinion request. The deadline is August 18th, 2023.

New Scholarship

  1. J. Ramaciotti, and J. Shaw, “Constitutional Citizenship and Indigeneity”: The Case of Latin America (exploring how the recognition of plurinationality and related pluralist constitutional concepts on the constitutional impacted the construction of the relationship between the modern state and Indigenous nations and citizens).
  2. M. Ziegler(ed). Research Handbook on International Abortion Law.(the Research Handbook on International Abortion Law was built with the collaboration of leading scholars from every continent, and provides an in-depth, multidisciplinary study of abortion law worldwide, presenting a snapshot of global policies during a time of radical change).
  3. A. Linares Cantillo, C. Valdivieso-León, and S. García-Jaramillo (editors). “Constitutionalism: Old Dilemmas, New Insights” (comprehensive book addressing both Global North and Global South discussions on constitutionalism).
  4. E. Meyer, U.Reis, and  B. Castro, “Courts and COVID-19: an Assessment of Countries Dealing with Democratic Erosion” ( analysing four case studies of the different responses to governmental measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic by supreme and constitutional courts, focusing on jurisdictions that have been facing democratic erosion.
  5. J. Holl’s new book ( “Mulheres e participação política – análise histórica e contexto atual no Brasil”)  delivers a historical survey and a contemporary diagnosis about justice and democratic and constitutional theory concearning the problem of gender inequality verified within Brazilian parliamentary politics.
  6. N. Nedeski,T.Sparks, Tom and G.Hernandez, “The World Is Burning, Urgently And Irreparably: A Plea for Interim Protection against Climatic Change at the ICJ” (investigating the potential of the ICJ’s contentious procedure as a forum for climate-related complaints, and focuses on particular on the provisional measures phase of a case).
  7. Masterman, R. (2023). “The United Kingdom’s Human Rights Act as a Catalyst of Constitutional Migration: Patterns and Limitations of Rights Importation by Design”.  (proposes a taxonomy of migratory patterns under the Human Rights Act and analyses  Constitutional migration as a source of constitutional instability).
  8. Salieu Taal and Siddharth Sijoria’s blog entry “Gambia Constitutional Building Process – a second bite at the cherry” provide a brief, yet vibrant, insight on the constitutional building process in Gambia, especially on the details revolving constituent power in their current constitutional text and why amendment procedures can constitute a legitimate mean of replacing the constitution.
  9. Sunstein, Cass R. (2023), “The Rule of Law” offers a comprehensive look at the concept of the rule of law, among common conflicts and contradictions that are necessarily present when describing the concept as an ideal.
  10. Sanger, C (2023), “The Rise and Fall of a Reproductive Right: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization”, studies the ways in which constitutional cases can reflect social attitudes throughout the time and how the Dobbs decision marked an abrupt and decided plunge southward.

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Advanced (Online) Course on “Democratic Constitution Making between Deliberative and Crowd-sourced Forms of Constitutionalism”. Speakers include Antoni Abat Ninet, Catherine Dupré Paul Blokker Francesco Palermo Sergio Verdugo, Veronica Federico, Matteo Monti, Massimo Fichera, and Francesco Biagi. Deadline to enrol: April 28, 2023. Complete program here and  here is link for applying for the course.
  2. The European Yearbook of Constitutional Law is pleased to announce a call for submissions for its fifth volume (2023) on Constitutional law and the algorithmic state. Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2022.
  3. Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Postdoctoral Fellowships 2023 call for applications will open on 12 April and close on 13 September 2023.
  4. The Jindal Forum for Space Law invites submissions on any subject matter related to and limited to Outer Space Law on a rolling basis.  No deadline (rolling basis)
  5.  Ghent University will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with an international and inter-/transdisciplinary conference, ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 75: Rethinking and Constructing its Future Together’, from 6 to 8 December 2023.
  6. Call for Papers for a workshop on Protest Movements and International Law   Heidelberg, Germany, 2-3 November 2023, convened by Christian Marxsen (Humboldt University; MPIL) and Florian Kriener (MPIL). Deadline: 30 April, 2023
  7. The Anglo-German Law Journal is looking for authors for its 2023 edition. Submissions should be 6,000 words, exclusive of footnotes and must conform with the style guide of the AGLJ (available on our website in English and German). Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2023.
  8. The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law is looking for authors. Submissions should be around 5000 words, and the ordinary deadline is six months from the assignment.
  9. International Conference on Constitutional and Administrative Law ICCAL on August 30-31, 2023 in Moscow, Russia
  10. International Conference on Constitutional Law and Justice (ICCLJ) June 17, 2023 – Riga, Latvia. Deadline: 17 May 17, 2023
  11. International Conference on Constitutional Law and Government ICCLG on December 13-14, 2023 in Cairo, Egypt. Deadline: 15 November 2023
  12. The Revista Derecho del Estado is for the first time is currently accepting paper submissions in English related to topics about Public Law for its 57th number. The deadline for submissions ends today, April 16th.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Emily Bender’s reaction to the open letter put out by the Future of Life institute : Policymakers
  2. Deepa Das Acevedo, Peopling Constitutional Law: Revisiting ‘Constitutional Ethnography’ in the Twenty-First Century.
  3. E. Bottini discusses  the last French Government’s Maneuver to Pass the Law on Retirement in “Constitutional? Perhaps. Democratic? Not so much. On the French Government’s Maneuver to Pass the Law on Retirement”
  4. M. Vinken demonstrates how the BBNJ agreement could boost the law of the sea regime back to the vanguard of international environmental law in A New York Moment for the Oceans to join the Paris Moment for the Climate?
  5. M. Rezende wrote the latest Löning’s Monthly Briefing, bringing tighter the latest news on responsible business and human rights.
  6. Harris hails Tanzania’s first female president as a “champion” of democracy” : Hassan is the first female president in Tanzania and has been in power since 2021 and was recently acknowledged by Kamala Harris as a champion of democracy.
  7. Stefan Talmon’s compilation of thirty new statements on international law, specially highlighting Germany’s comments on the work of the ILC on crimes against humanity, protection of the atmosphere, sea-level rise, provisional application of treaties and immunity of State officials. 
  8. Kim Lane Scheppele and John Morijn evaluate the variety of rule-of-law conditionality tools used against Poland and Hungary in relation to the EU freezing of funds.
  9. Dante Gatmaytan writes about the recent approval of a resolution by the Philippine Congress that paves the way to convene a constitutional convention in his article “The Latest Attempt at Charter Change in the Philippines: Prospects and Concerns”.


Leave a Reply

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