Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Neslihan Çetin, PhD Candidate (University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Sonder Li, LL.M. (King’s College London)

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. Ecuador’s Constitutional Court ruled that an emergency economic decree on duty-free zones issued by President Guillermo Lasso is unconstitutional, blocking its implementation, according to the ruling sent by text message.
  2. The Constitutional Court in Moldova has ordered the immediate dissolution of the pro-Russian party Sor. The court said that the party was “unconstitutional” and would be banned.
  3. The Supreme Court is currently considering a case that could have far-reaching implications for the U.S. electoral map, seeking to allow individual state legislatures full autonomy in drawing congressional district boundaries.
  4. Two German prisoners have won cases in the country’s highest court, arguing that they were not being fairly paid for the work they did as inmates. The court did not declare a fair rate of payment, saying this would be a decision for the legislature, but said such decisions should be made and gave governments until the end of June 2025 to come up with a legally binding proposal.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Russia rejected claims that the law on “discrediting” the Russian Army is unconstitutional, refusing to repeal the law.
  6. The Supreme Court handed a major win to Native Americans by rejecting a challenge to a federal law aimed at protecting children and buttressing tribal identity.

In the News

  1. Israeli High Court of Justice issues an interim injunction on a controversial law that allows the National Security Minister to direct police policy and the general principles of its operations. It is feared that the law would politicise the police and harm civil liberties. The government has been ordered to respond to a petition against this law within 90 days. But, this has fuelled right-wing politicians’ rhetoric that the judiciary should be overhauled in its entirety.
  2. Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the 2004 Safe Third Country Agreement was constitutional. The law requires asylum seekers to apply for refugee status in the first country (US or Canada) they reach. The court ruled that this agreement does not violate the right to liberty and security of the persons because of “safety valves”. However, the issue of discrimination has been remitted to the federal courts to be decided.
  3. The Indian Allahabad High Court granted a petition to block the screening of an Al Jazeera documentary about Muslim minorities, prompting concerns about the freedom of expression.
  4. Italian prosecutor of Padua opened a new legal case seeking to remove the non-biological mother of lesbian couples from the birth certificates. 33 birth certificates are implicated.
  5. The UK Supreme Court will hear a woman’s case against the Surrey County Council for not considering the climate impacts when granting the oil extraction permit in Horse Hill. Environmental lawyers say this could be a landmark case.
  6. The Brazilian Supreme Electoral Court has begun hearing the trial of Jair Bolsonaro over charges of abusing his authority and spreading false information about the election during last year’s presidential poll.
  7. A US Federal Judge has overturned Arkansas’ ban that blocks gender transition treatment for minors because that the state failed to prove that the law “protects children”.

New Scholarship

  1. Guobin Zhu, Constitutional Review with ‘Chinese Characteristics’: Law, Institutions and Recent Developments (This Chapter aims to examine that while substantial constitutional change has not yet taken place, or to say, will not take place in a foreseeable future, it is arguable that a unique Chinese brand of constitutional review system has taken root and is still evolving.)
  2. Mark Orberg, The Promulgation Theory on Statutory Interpretation and the Rule of Law in Denmark (The article deals with the statutory interpretation of public law statutes in Denmark. The proposed theory on statutory interpretation – The Promulgation Theory – argues for certain interpretational ‘meta rules’, indicated by the Danish constitutional design in the text and structure of the constitution and indicated by the debates on the formulation and adoption of the constitution.)
  3. Miklós Sebők, Rebeka Kiss, Ádám Kovács, The Concept and Measurement of Legislative Backsliding (The article examines the concept of legislative backsliding and offers a measurement strategy for its empirical analysis. Legislative backsliding is defined as a move away from liberal democracy in four critical dimensions of legislative quality, its public policy; legal-constitutional-formal; procedural; and stability aspects.)
  4. Thomas M. Keck, Free Speech in an Age of Democratic Backsliding (This review essay draws on recent books by Richard L. Hasen and Jacob Mchangama to reflect on the difficult tradeoffs faced by civil liberties advocates in the context of democratic backsliding.)
  5. Yam Kumar Yonjan, Constitutionalism: A Perspective of Constitutional Law (In this article, the researcher tries to describe the general idea and principles of constitutionalism as compared to the global practice.)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Call for articles: CELS Enviro-Legal Blog invites articles on a rolling basis on contemporary environmental issues. The CELS Enviro-Legal Blog is an egalitarian space that aims to foster critical interdisciplinary research on environmental developments across the world via inviting original contributions by the legal fraternity.
  2. Call for papers on Sixty Years of Van Gend en Loos: In order to understand and shed further light on the national administrative courts’ attitude vis-à-vis the doctrine of direct effect, the Review of European Administrative Law invites contributions focused on one or more legal systems, discussing how the doctrine has been applied and discussed at the national level.
  3. Call for Papers: Journal special issue “Uncertain Mobilities” for Migration and Diversity. This call is for a special issue focusing particularly on mobility uncertainties within the broader banner of general migration studies and new trends.
  4. Call for papers: NLUJ Law Review. The remit of the Review is not restricted to any particular field of law but is broad enough to include national as well as international legal and policy-related issues.
  5. You can still submit proposals for The 2023 European Human Rights Law Conference. The theme of the conference, which is scheduled to be held at the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law from 28 September to 29 September 2023, is ‘Human Rights: Prospects, Possibilities, Fears and Limitations’.
  6. You can still submit proposals for a Symposium on Judicial Rhetoric, which is scheduled to be held at the University of Virginia School of Law on April 5, 2024. 

Elsewhere Online

  1. Edgar Ortiz Romero, Court-Ordered Politics: The Influence of Guatemala’s Constitutional Court in Elections (22 June 2023)
  2. Evan Lee, Court strikes a blow for sentencing discretion under provision in federal firearm statute (20 June 2023)
  3. George Katrougalos, European Convention on Human Rights and National Constitutions: A Resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (20 June 2023)
  4. Johannes Chan, Hong Kong’s National Security Law Turns Three (21 June 2023)
  5. Michael Stern, Upcoming Supreme Court Case Threatens Congressional Subpoena Power (20 June 2023)
  6. Mike Gordon, Creating an Integrity and Ethics Commission in the UK: The Case for Reform and Challenges for Implementation (22 June 2023)
  7. Mohsin Saleem Ullah, Constitutional courts (20 June 2023)
  8. Tim Sayer, The Passive Virtues and the Abuse of Delegated Legislation: Courts, the Political Constitution and the Public Order Act 1986 (Serious Disruption to the Life of the Community) Regulation 2023 (19 June 2023)


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