Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

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

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. On Monday, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal (TK) ruled that fines levied against the state by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) were unconstitutional. The fines were allocated in response to the nation’s failure to comply with earlier CJEU judgments.
  2. Albania’s Constitutional Court blocked the ratification of a contentious agreement that would have diverted some applications for asylum from Italy to Albania.
  3. The European Court of Human Rights found that the verdict of a Polish Court that required a woman to travel abroad for an abortion violated her right to private and family life.
  4. In Uganda, activists, academics, and journalists are challenging the constitutionality of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, one of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ+ laws that came into force in May. The case entered its final pretrial session on Monday.
  5. South Africa’s Constitutional Court has struck down a provision of the 1998 Refugees Act as unconstitutional and a violation of the principle of non-refoulement. This provision held that “asylum seekers who have not renewed their [temporary] visas within one month of the date of its expiry, are considered to have abandoned their applications.”

In the News

  1. Hungary’s parliament passed a new law “protecting national sovereignty” on Tuesday, December 12th. The law’s intended purpose is to defend against what the ruling Fidesz party has called “undue political interference” by foreign persons or groups. This legislation was passed as nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has clashed repeatedly with the European Union over democratic rights in Hungary, has stepped up his party’s campaign ahead of the European Parliament elections next June.
  2. The Malaysian Attorney General’s Chambers is drafting proposed amendments to the Federal Constitution on citizenship rights of children born abroad. This implements a High Court decision (since overturned by the Court of Appeal) pronouncing that under the Federal Constitution, Malaysian women should have the same right as Malaysian men to pass on citizenship automatically to their children born overseas.
  3. The Philippines eyes constitutional amendments to ease economic restrictions. The amendments will allow lawmakers to “regulate” economic sectors to be opened to foreign investors.
  4. Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland has rolled back plans to hold next year’s parliamentary polls via a one-person one-vote system, opting instead to continue with a complex, group-based ballot. In May, the oil-rich region staged its first direct polls in more than half a century during local council elections, a move hailed by international partners as historic. At the time, opposition politicians accused Puntland state president Said Abdullahi Deni of manipulating the election procedure and seeking to amend the constitution to enable him to extend his mandate, which is due to end in January.
  5. The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments related to the distribution of abortion pills, which will have a critical impact on women’s access to healthcare.

New Scholarship

  1. John Matthew et al, The Indian Yearbook of Comparative Law 2020. (2023) (This yearbook is a compilation of thematically arranged essays that critically analyze emerging developments, issues, and perspectives in the field of comparative law).
  2. Dan Mafora, Whose Constitutional Jurisdiction Is It Anyway? Courts of a Similar Status to the High Court and Other Tribunals. (2023) (This article addresses the questions of 1) what is “a court of a similar status to the High Court” and 2) does it have the power to declare an Act of Parliament or executive conduct constitutionally invalid in terms of Section 172 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996?)
  3. Jonathan L. Marshfield, State Constitutional Rights, State Courts, and the Future of Substantive Due Process Protections (2023). (This article explains the consequences of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization signaled a broader stagnation (and perhaps retrenchment) of federal substantive due process protections).
  4. Melanie Murcott, Minding the Gap: the Constitutional Court’s Jurisprudence Concerning the Environmental Right (2023) (This article argues that South Africa’s Constitutional Court’s jurisprudence has not adequately interpreted and applied the environmental right enshrined in Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. It further posits that the Court should take up the mantle during this critical period for environmental law and rights).
  5. Mattia Frasca, Environmental Constitutionalism: a comparative study of Canada and Italy. (2023) (This thesis discusses the phenomenon of Environmental Constitutionalism, with a focus on the codification of environmental issues and rights in the constitutions of Canada and Italy).

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1.  The Durham Human Rights and Public Law Centre is excited to host a one-day workshop on Wednesday 6 March aimed at postgraduate researchers! The workshop intends to support PGRs, by offering extensive feedback and discussion on a draft paper that is close to being submitted for publication in the fields of Public Law and Human Rights, broadly construed. The deadline is the first week of January 2024.
  2. The call for papers for the 25th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS) is officially open. The deadline is January 22, 2024.
  3. The Cambridge International Law Journal (‘CILJ’) is pleased to invite submissions of abstracts of papers to be considered for presentation at the 13th Annual Conferences of the CILJ. They invite all interested scholars to submit an abstract between 250 and 300 words by 23:59 GMT, 7 January 2024.
  4. Consider submitting your shorter pieces or case comments to King’s Student Law Review’s Forum. All submissions are assessed on their merit alone and subject to a double-blind peer-review process. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.
  5. The Law and Society Association’s (LSA) Annual Conference is still offering its Early-Bird Rate for registration.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Nathan Genicot, To Score Is to Decide (December 14, 2023),
  2. Rodrigo Kaufmann, Third Time’s A Charm? Chile’s Second Constituent Process (December 11, 2023),
  3. Ágnes Kovács, Taking Revenge for Dissent—Hungary’s Chief Justice to Fully Eliminate Judicial Autonomy (December 13, 2023),
  4. Laurent Pech, The Future of the Rule of Law in the EU (December 14, 2023),
  5. Malak Sheth and Vasu Taneja, When “Tweets” Turn into Contracts: Examining Elon Musk’s Tweet in Light of UK Contract Law (November 11, 2023)


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