Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Vicente F. Benítez R., Constitutional Law Professor, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia) and LL.M. student at NYU

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 European Court of Justice held that a workplace ban on the wearing of political, philosophical or religious symbols does not necessarily constitute direct discrimination.
  2. The Polish Constitutional Court upheld a bill regulating and limiting public gatherings, which President Duda declined to sign late last year.
  3. The Constitutional Court of South Africa held the Social Development Minister responsible for the social grants crisis and ordered the Social Security Agency (Sassa) with its contractor to continue to pay social grants until another entity is able to do so.   
  4. The Supreme Court of India issued a bailable warrant against Justice Karnan of the Calcutta High Court due to his absence before the Court in a contempt proceeding.   
  5. The Supreme Court of Canada reversed convictions against a defendant who was found guilty based on evidence gathered in a warrantless home entry.
  6. The Zambian Complainants Commission reprimanded Constitutional Court judges over their demand that the public should not be allowed to complain against Constitutional Court officials.

In the News

  1. A United States District Court judge in Hawaii issued a nationwide suspension of President Trump’s new executive order on immigration.
  2. The UK Parliament passed the ‘Brexit’ Bill to authorize the government to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
  3. Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon will ask permission for holding a second referendum on Scotland’s independence.
  4. Following the impeachment of President Park Geun, South Korean parliamentarians discuss the possibility of a constitutional amendment to restructure the Presidency.  
  5. Myanmar’s Minister of Religious Affairs declared that the 2008 Constitution should be amended because of its contradiction with Buddhist beliefs as well as the people’s aspirations.
  6. A Diet panel resumed its discussions whether the Japanese Constitution should be amended in order to extend lawmakers’ terms in cases of major disasters.
  7. The European Union will assess planned Turkish constitutional changes in light of the country’s status as a candidate for EU membership.  

New Scholarship

  1. Bui Ngoc Son, The Global Origins of Vietnam’s Constitutions, Illinois Law Review (2017) (discussing four mechanisms of global diffusion of constitutional rights and the case of Vietnam)
  2. Manuel José Cepeda & David Landau, Colombian Constitutional Law. Leading Cases (2017) (providing in English the case law of the Colombian Constitutional Court, along with introduction to the Court in historical and comparative context)
  3. Karen J. Alter & Laurence R. Helfer, Transplanting International Courts: The Law and Politics of the Andean Tribunal of Justice, Oxford University Press (2017) (analyzing the most active and successful transplant of the European Court of Justice: the Andean Tribunal)
  4. Craig Martin, The Legitimacy of Informal Constitutional Amendment and the ‘Reinterpretation’ of Japan’s War Powers, Fordham International Law Journal (2016) (examining the legitimacy of the Cabinet reinterpretation of the war-renouncing Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution)
  5. David Bilchitz, Pobreza y Derechos Fundamentales, Marcial Pons (2017) (Spanish edition of ‘Poverty and Fundamental Rights’ (Oxford University Press 2007) with new preface and translation by Jorge Portocarrero Quispe) (providing a justification for fundamental rights and judicial review, and a defence of a revised version of the ‘minimum core approach’ to socio-economic rights)
  6. Ling Li, The Chinese Communist Party and People’s Courts: Judicial Dependence in China, American Journal of Comparative Law (2016) (offering an integrated and coherent account of the relationship between the Chinese Communist Party and China’s courts)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center, the European University Institute and the London School for Economics and Political Science invite submissions for the Inaugural Annual European Junior Faculty Forum for Public Law and Jurisprudence to be held at WZB Berlin Social Science Center on June 28-29, 2017.
  2. ICON and the Jean Monnet Center at NYU invite submissions for its workshop on “Public Law and the New Populism” to be in New York City held on September 15, 2017. Abstracts should be sent to by March 31, 2017.
  3. The Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly (CALQ) invites submissions to its forthcoming volume. The submission deadline is May 10, 2017.
  4. The Groupe de recherche sur les sociétés plurinationales (GRSP), in association with the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism at McGill’s Faculty of Law, Laval University and the Université du Québec à Montréal organizes a colloquium on “Canadian Federalism and its Future: Actors and Institutions” to be held on March 23-24, 2017.
  5. The International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies published a special issue on Public Space and Fundamental Rights (2016).
  6. Externado, Rosario, and los Andes Universities organizes a symposium on “Rethinking and Renewing the Study of International Law in/from/about Latin America” that will take place in Bogota on September 26 to 28, 2017. Abstracts should be sent to by April 3, 2017.  
  7. The Centre d’études juridiques européennes of the University of Geneva, Jean Monnet Centre of excellence invites doctoral students and junior scholars to submit proposals summaries for its workshop “The EU as a global actor in…” to be held in Geneva, on July, 2017. The submission deadline is March 27, 2017.
  8. The Society of Legal Scholars invites submissions to its annual conference on “The Diverse Unities of Law” to be held in Dublin, on September 5-8, 2017. The deadline for abstracts and paper proposals is March 27, 2017.  
  9. The journal Comparazione e diritto civile invites paper submissions for its forthcoming issue on “Who needs comparative law?” The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Stephen Tierney, A Second Independence Referendum in Scotland: The Legal Issues, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. Ewan Smith & Alison Young,  “That’s how it worked in 2014, and how it would have to work again,” UK Constitutional Law Association
  3. Mark A. Graber, President Trump and American Constitutionalism, OUPblog
  4. Selin Esen, The 2017 Constitutional Reforms in Turkey: Removal of Parliamentarism or Democracy? Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  5. Daniel Marari, Stripped of Dignity: The Struggle for LGBT Rights in Tanzania, AfricLaw
  6. Pierre de Vos, Con Court SASSA judgment: In this Game of Thrones, can Minister Dlamini survive?, Constitutionally Speaking
  7. Satang Nabaneh, New Gambia and the Remaking of the Constitution, ConstitutionNet
  8. Marjorie Cohn, Evaluate New Travel Ban in Light of International Law, JURIST
  9. Yoon Jin Shin & Mattias Kumm, Impeaching Remnants of the Authoritarian Past: A Constitutional Moment in South Korea, Verfassungsblog
  10. Stylianos-Ioannis G. Koutnatzis, State Reform in Greece: Legal and Practical Considerations, Verfassungsblog
  11. Juan Pappier, The ‘Command Responsibility’ Controversy in Colombia, Blog of The European Journal of International Law
  12. Stephan Schill, The Constitutional Frontiers of International Economic Law, Blog of The European Journal of International Law
  13. Conor Gearty, Human Rights To BREXIT …. And Beyond, AUSPUBLAW


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *