Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Simon Drugda, Nagoya University Graduate School of Law (Japan)

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 Spanish Constitutional Court ruled unconstitutional the Catalan “independence route map,” including the resolution to hold a referendum on independence which had been suspended since last December.
  2. The President of the European Court of Human Rights appointed a new judge of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Prof Giovani Grasso from Italy.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held that imposing mandatory payment for school books on pupils of elementary and secondary schools is unconstitutional, since the books constitute an essential element of the study process.
  4. The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt struck down provisions of the civil servants law that granted Muslims paid leave to go on pilgrimage to Mecca while denying Christians the same right.
  5. The UK Supreme Court seeks to improve diversity on the bench.

In the News

  1. The Upper House in Pakistan unanimously adopted a resolution seeking to enhance role and powers of the Senate to protect the rights of federal units.
  2. Ecuador heads to the polls to elect a new President, National Assembly, and vote in a referendum that seeks to bar public officials from hiding wealth in offshore tax havens. If it is successfully passed, politicians and public servants will have a year to repatriate their money from abroad.
  3. The EU Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU.
  4. The Romanian Parliament agreed on Monday to hold a referendum regarding anti-corruption measures after public protests.
  5. The Parliament of Finland voted 120-48 to pass a law allowing same-sex marriage.

New Scholarship

  1. Catarina Santos Botelho, 40 Anos De Direitos Sociais – Uma Reflexão Sobre O Papel Dos Direitos Fundamentais Sociais No Século XXI (40 Years of Fundamental Social Rights – A Reflection on the Role of Fundamental Social Rights in the 21st Century) Julgar 29 (2016) (examining the role of social rights in the twenty-first century constitutionalism)
  2. David J. Gerber, A Global Adaptive System for Supporting Human Rights? (2017) (proposing a view of institutions for the protection of human rights as components of a global adaptive system)
  3. Aslı Ü. Bâli and Hanna Lerner (eds.), Constitution Writing, Religion and Democracy (2017) (exploring the challenge of crafting a democratic constitution under conditions of deep disagreement over a state’s religious or secular identity)
  4. Scott Newton, The Constitutional Systems of the Independent Central Asian States: A Contextual Analysis (2017) (undertaking a comparative analysis of the Kyrgyz Republic and Republics of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in their cultural, historical, economic, and socio-political context)
  5. Adam Perry, Mercy and Caprice under the Indian Constitution, Indian Law Review (forthcoming 2017) (critically examining case law of the Supreme Court of India on powers of the executive to pardon offenders)
  6. Eoin Carolan, Leaving Behind the Commonwealth Model of Rights Review: Ireland as an Example of Collaborative Constitutionalism (2016) (developing a model of collaborative constitutionalism as an alternative to conventional models of constitutional review)
  7. Mazen Masri, The Dynamics of Exclusionary Constitutionalism Israel as a Jewish and Democratic State (2017) (examining the constitutional implications of Israel’s definition as a ‘Jewish and democratic’ state informed by a socio-legal approach) [The introduction chapter of the book is available for download at]

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Laureate Program in Constitutional Law at the University of Melbourne, funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), and led by Prof Adrienne Stone invites application for the visiting fellowships in a comparative constitutional law mentoring scheme. Laureate Visiting Fellowships offer outstanding female doctoral and early career researchers to participate in an intensive mentoring program. Applications close on 12 March 2017.
  2. The Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa (ICLA) at the University of Pretoria invites interested scholars to apply for the position of African country reporters for Oxford’s Constitutions of the Countries of the World (CCW).
  3. The Palestine Yearbook of International Law invites submissions of scholarly articles to its XX Volume. The deadline for abstracts is March 15, 2017.
  4. Utrecht Journal of International and European Law invites submission to its 85th edition in the summer of 2017 on ‘General Issues’ within international and European law. The submission deadline is April 18, 2017.
  5. The Cambridge Doctoral Workshop in Legal Theory invites submissions for its third edition, to be held on June 5, 2017. The deadline for abstracts is March 24, 2017.
  6. The Cegla Center for Interdisciplinary Research of the Law at Tel Aviv University organizes an international conference on ‘Judicial Review – Law and Politics.’ The conference will mark the publication of Prof Daniel Friedmann’s book: ‘The Puse and the Sword – The Trials of Israel’s Legal Revolution.’

Elsewhere on the Internet

  1. Tobias Lock and Tom Gerald Daly, Brexit and the British Bill of Rights: Capturing Constitutional Complexity, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. Donnchadh O’Conaill, Reflections on the Citizen’s Assembly (3): The Presentation of Dr. Joan McCarthy, Human Rights in Ireland
  3. Rebecca Cook, South Africa: Genetic-link requirement for surrogacy is constitutional, reporohealthlaw
  4. Olivier De Schutter and Paul Dermine, Social Rights in the New Economic Architecture of the European Union, Oxford Human Rights Hub
  5. Elena Simina Tănăsescu, Criminal policy or criminal politics?, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  6. Mark Elliot, Distinguishing Anisminic? Ouster clauses, parliamentary sovereignty and the Privacy International case, Public Law for Everyone
  7. Pierre de Vos, No, the Con Court cannot remove the President from office, Constitutionally Speaking
  8. Bianca Selejan Gutan, Living Democracy in Romania: From Protest to Referendum?, Verfassungsblog
  9. Marcin Matczak, A Polish Marbury v. Madison?, Verfassungsblog
  10. Heather Roberts, Ceremony matters: The lasting significance of the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Justice Susan Kiefel, AUSPUBLAW
  11. Neil Siegel, Reciprocal Legitimation in Response to President Trump, Balkinization


One response to “What’s New in Public Law”

  1. Simon Drugda Avatar
    Simon Drugda

    We want to clarify that the news item about a planned referendum in Romania (no.4) should read:

    The Romanian Parliament agreed issued an advisory opinion on Monday for the President to hold a referendum regarding anti-corruption measures after public protests.

    The linked article on JURIST is also inaccurate. The most relevant part that appears to be missing is:

    The government insisted that a referendum on the prison reform draft was needed despite protests. The Romanian President proposed a referendum after the Government declared its intentions to revise the Criminal code and to grant collective pardon.

    We would like to thank Prof Tănăsescu for alerting us to this.

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