Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

—Leigha Crout, Rule of Law Fellow at Stanford Law School & PhD Candidate at King’s College London

Tina Nicole Nelly Youan, PhD Candidate at Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 Université

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 Constitutional Court in Russia dismissed constitutional challenges to recently enacted laws that criminalize any attempt to discredit or criticize the Russian Armed Forces. Experts affiliated with the United Nations condemned this dismissal as a “new low” for the freedom of expression in Russia.
  2. In Pakistan, a sedition case against former Prime Minister Imran Khan was quashed and his three-year sentence for corruption was suspended. His lawyers argue that he was convicted without due process.
  3. The Supreme Court in Texas denied an emergency application to prevent a new law that bans transition care for transgender minors from taking effect. Petitioners have challenged the constitutionality of this law, and a district judge in Texas will hear arguments in May 2024.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Portugal confirmed the constitutionality of a parliamentary decree that decriminalizes the possession of synthetic drugs and made new distinctions in law between trafficking and consumption.
  5. In Vanuatu, Parliament speaker Seoule Simeon lodged an appeal against the Supreme Court’s decision that a vote of no-confidence had been successful against Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau. Kalsakau had been criticized for signing a security agreement with Australia, thus jeopardizing the nation’s ties with China.

In the News

  1. Coup d’Etat in Gabon. On September 30th, a few hours after the announcement of incumbent President Omar Bongo Odimba’s electoral victory, the military seized power in Gabon and announced the dissolution of the constitutional order. Several irregularities were reported during the election, and the Internet was cut-off throughout the country.
  2. Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been indicted by a grand jury for attempted interference with the peaceful transition of power on January 6, 2021. The four counts include three counts of conspiracy and one count of obstruction. His trial is set for March 4, 2024, the day before voting in the U.S. primary elections will begin.
  3. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held a Constitutional Summer School for lawyers, students, and other young professionals in Ukraine, inviting experts to discuss how the basic law and the Constitutional Court can serve as a safeguard for maintaining the balance of power even during martial law.
  4. The Chair of the majority Georgian Dream Party has announced that the Party will sue President Salome Zurabishvili in Georgia’s Constitutional Court. The Georgia Dream Party alleges that President Zurabishvili violated the Constitution when she attended meetings abroad without government sanction, as the Constitution does not grant the President the power to engage in foreign policy independently.
  5. Poland’s ruling party has named prominent far-right figure Robert Bąkiewicz as one of its candidates for election to Parliament in October.

New Scholarship

  1. The Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa: a Commentary (2023) This comprehensive Commentary on the Maputo Protocol provides systematic analysis of each article, delving into the drafting history, and elaborating on relevant key concepts and normative standards.The text aims to be a “one-stop-shop” for anyone interested in the Maputo Protocol, such as researchers, teachers, students, practitioners, policymakers and activists.
  2. Raenette Gotardo, Algorithmic Decision-Making and Public Sector Accountability in Africa: New Challenges for Law and Policy. In Comparative Legal Metrics (2023) The chapter seeks to show how algorithmically-assisted decision-making presents an opportunity for African public administrations to take a “technological leap” in the 4th Industrial Revolution and to secure better delivery of services to citizens in areas as diverse as security, immigration, law enforcement and welfare reform.
  3. Jonathan L. Marshfield, Democracy and the State Constitutional Convention (2023) Arguing that the state convention deserves more serious consideration in discussions about democratic reform in America because it is well designed to address systemic misalignment between statewide popular majorities and government.
  4. Ramona Vijeyarasa, Book Review of Ruth Rubio Martin’s Global Gender Constitutionalism and Women’s Citizenship (2023).
  5. Quinn Yeargain, Litigating Trans Rights in the States (2023) Arguing that state constitutional litigation and development are necessary, complementary parts of any nationwide trans legal strategy.

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law has opened a call for papers with the Heidelberg Journal of International Law to celebrate its 100th anniversary. All proposals for focus sections or papers can be submitted to Proposals should include a short description of the topic and possible contributions (maximum of 1000 words). No deadline.
  2. European Journal of English Studies opens a call of Papers for Volume 29 (2025) for its  special issue on “The Place of Race in Law and Literature.” Detailed proposals of up to 1,000 words for full essays (7,500 words) or 500 words for shorter pieces (ca. 2-3,000 words) discussing a specific position, philological exploration, methodological elaboration, or relevant aspect of material culture – as well as a short biography (max. 100 words) – should be sent to the guest editors by 30 November 2023. These include: Andrew Benjamin Bricker (; Elise Wang (; and Cedric Essi ( This issue will be part of volume 29 (2025). All inquiries regarding this issue can also be sent to the three guest editors.
  3. The Eleventh Circuit of the Miami Law Review is soliciting submissions for next year’s edition. The proposition should be related to state and/or federal issues in the Eleventh Circuit. The deadline for submitting a draft is Monday, November 13, 2023, to
  4. The Journal of Law and Public Policy will hold his Fall 2023 Symposium on the topic Free Speech and the United States Constitution. Proposals should be submitted to Professor Charkes J. Reid, Jr., School of Law University of St. Thomas at Proposals should be no longer than 300 words and are due by September 15, 2023.
  5. The Organizers of the 2024 ESIL Research Forum, which will take place April 18-19, 2024, hosted by the Department of Law of the University of Cyprus, has opened a call for papers. The theme of the Forum is “Revisiting Interactions between Legal Orders” To apply, scholars should submit an abstract of 750 words maximum to by 30 September 2023. This abstract should include: The name, affiliation, email address, whether the Autor if the abstract is an ESIL member and a one-page curriculum vitae.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Andrea Procházková, How to Form the Czech Constitutional Court? (August 31, 2023)
  2. Eliza Rutynowska, Direct Democracy and Indirect Electoral Campaign (September 1, 2023)
  3. Jens Woelk, Opening Pandora’s Box? (September 1, 2023)


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