Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Mohamed Abdelaal, Assistant Professor, Alexandria University Faculty of Law

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 Court of the United States ruled that sentencing guidelines are not subject to challenges under the void-for-vagueness doctrine.
  2. The European Court of Justice upheld tax rules on electronic publications.
  3. The European Court of Justice ruled against an obligation of member states to issue humanitarian visas.
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Korea officially removed President Park Geun-hye in an impeachment case.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Colombia removed a ban on working under the influence of narcotics or stimulants.
  6. The Court of Appeal of Kenya ruled that mandatory Saturday classes violate Seventh Day Adventist Church students’ freedom of religion through Sabbath observance.
  7. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany held that foreign government officials cannot invoke German constitutional rights in seeking to enter the country for political appearances.

In the News

  1. President of the United States Donald Trump signed a new immigration executive order.
  2. The US Senate approved a bill to overturn Obama-administration land management rules.
  3. The Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) referred Turkey to the UN Security Council over the detention of one of its judges.
  4. The Israeli Knesset passed legislation banning entry to foreigners who knowingly call for boycotting Israel.
  5. The Hungarian Parliament passed a legislation approving the detention of asylum seekers in guarded camps.
  6. The National Assembly of Pakistan is to discuss two constitutional amendment bills.
  7. The Court of Cassation of Egypt acquitted former President Hosni Mubarak of charges related to the killing of protesters.

New Scholarship

  1. Oran Doyle, Constraints on Constitutional Amendment Powers, in Richard Albert, Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (eds.), The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment (forthcoming 2017) (arguing against the rubric of ‘unconstitutional constitutional amendments’ and exploring new ways to evaluate constraints on constitutional amendment powers)
  2. Siobhán Mullally and Claire Murray, Guest Editors, Special Issue: Regulating Abortion: Dissensus and the Politics of Rights, 25 Journal of Social & Legal Studies (2016)
  3. Adam Perry, Mercy and Caprice under the Indian Constitution, Indian L. Rev. (Forthcoming) (discussing the Indian Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on grthe powers to grant pardons and similar relief)
  4. Olivier Beaud, The Founding Constitution: Reflections on the Constitution of a Federation and its Peculiarity, 17 Jus Politicum, Thinking about Federalism(s) (2017) (developing the idea of an autonomy of the Federation as a political form that is not a State)
  5. Jau-Yuan Hwang, Ming-Sung Kuo, and Hui-Wen Chen, The Clouds Are Gathering: Developments in Taiwanese Constitutional Law, International Journal of Constitutional Law (forthcoming 2017) (providing an overview of the developments in constitutional law and politics in Taiwan for the year 2016)
  6. Rafael Domingo, Protecting Suprarationality, 74 Persona y Derecho (2016) (arguing that religion should be settled outside the secular legal system, because otherwise the secular legal system would not be truly secular)
  7. Lucas Newbill, Violating Free Speech in the War on Opioid Addiction: The Washington Legislature’s Voice in the Doctor’s Office, 52 Gonzaga Law Review (2017) (discussing a regulation adopted by the Washington legislature in reaction to the current opioid epidemic)
  8. Steven Semeraro, Interpreting the Constitution’s Elegant Specificities, 65 Buffalo Law Review (forthcoming 2017) (arguing that farsighted originalism approach in constitutional interpretation may better capture original meaning of the Constitution than other narrower forms of originalism)
  9. Keith E. Whittington, Originalism, Constitutional Construction, and the Problem of Faithless Electors, Arizona Law Review (forthcoming 2017) (arguing that these historical arguments are flawed as an understanding of the meaning and purpose of the presidential selection system embedded in the US Constitution)
  10. Ryan Scoville, Ad Hoc Diplomats (2017) (examining the appointments process for irregular agents under the Appointments Clause of the US Constitution)
  11. Vladislava Stoyanova, Human Trafficking and Slavery Reconsidered. Conceptual Limits and States’ Positive Obligations (2017) (comparing anti-trafficking and human rights frameworks side-by-side in a focused analysis of states’ positive rights obligations under the Council of Europe’s Trafficking Convention and Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights)

Call for papers

  1. The UMR International Comparative and European Law (DICE) of the Faculty of Law of Aix-Provence invites submissions for its study day on the theme of “Lawlessness” on October 13, 2017.
  2. The Department of Legal Studies, Law Program and Legal Journal of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of ICESI University invites for the Precedente Forum: “25 Years of the Colombian Constitutional Court,” to be held on September 21, 2017.
  3. The Walther Schücking Institute for International Law at the University of Kiel organizes a two-day workshop for PhD students and post-docs entitled “Towards Utopia – Rethinking International Law,” to be held on 19-20 August 2017. Abstracts are due by 8 May 2017.
  4. Loyola University Chicago School of Law hosts its annual Constitutional Law Colloquium in Chicago, to be held on November 3-4, 2017.
  5. The Journal of International Human Rights Law invites submissions for Issue 1 of its second volume.
  6. Utrecht Journal of International and European Law invites submissions for its 85th edition in the summer of 2017 on “General Issues” within international and European law. The submission deadline is April 18, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Giuseppe Martinico, The Asymmetric Bet of Europe, Verfassungsblog
  2. Abdujalil Abdurasulov, Kazakhstan constitution: Will changes bring democracy?, BBC News
  3. Jan Amilcar Schmidt, The Somali Constitutional Review Process. Taking Stock, ConstitutionNet
  4. Randy Barnett, Out of touch law professor criticizes Judge Gorsuch and “originalism”, The Washington Post
  5. Jonathan Somer, Opening the Floodgates, Controlling the Flow: Swedish Court Rules on the Legal Capacity of Armed Groups to Establish Courts, Blog of the European Journal of International Law
  6. Matt Reeder, State Corruption in ICSID BIT Arbitration: Can it be Estopped?, Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  7. Alonso Illueca and Sophocles Kitharidis, The impact of Morocco’s admission to the African Union on the dispute over the Western Sahara, Opinio Juris


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