Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Nausica Palazzo, Ph.D. researcher in Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Trento

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 Venezuela reversed its prior decision to strip the National Assembly of its legislative powers.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights found that Greece’s failure to put in place protections for migrants against forced labor amounts to a violation of positive obligations under Article 4 of the Convention.  
  3. The Supreme Court of India reiterated that “untouchability” is unconstitutional, quashing an order for anticipatory bail granted to two accused who had insulted a member from a Scheduled Caste.
  4. Opposition parties in South Africa sought a Constitutional Court order to compel the National Assembly to impeach President Zuma.
  5. The US Supreme Court adopted a more favorable standard for evaluating intellectual disability, thereby restricting the use of death penalty.
  6. The High Court of Kenya ordered the Parliament to enact gender quota within 60 days, or face dissolution.

In the News

  1. Scotland’s First Minister Sturgeon formally requested that Theresa May allow a second referendum on independence.
  2. North Carolina repealed the controversial “Bathroom Law” but also preempted local ordinances expanding protections for LGBT individuals.
  3. The Uzbek Senate approved constitutional amendments to reform the judicial system.
  4. The Hawaii Federal District Court converted the prior temporary restraining order against President Trump’s second travel ban Executive Order into a temporary injunction.
  5. The Cairo Court for Urgent Matters nullified a previous court ruling by the Administrative Court annulling the Egyptian-Saudi maritime demarcation agreement.
  6. The Senate in Paraguay approved approved an amendment lifting the country’s one-term rule for presidents.
  7. Sixty Tunisian human rights groups signed a statement demanding that the 1973 decree that prohibits Muslim women to marry non-Muslims be revoked.

New Scholarship

  1. Vlad Perju, Dual Sovereignty in Europe? A Critique of Habermas’s Defense of the Nation-State (2017) (challenging Habermas’ influential thesis on European integration that hinges on dual sovereignty)
  2. Christopher McCrudden, What Does It Mean to Compare, and What Should It Mean?, in Samantha Besson, Lukas Heckendorn Urscheler & Samuel Jubé (Eds.), Comparing Comparative Law (2017) (unpacking various aspects of comparison, such as relevance, intelligibility, legibility, and the similarity/dissimilarity dichotomy)
  3. Sacha Garben, The Constitutional (Im)balance between ‘the Market’ and ‘the Social’ in the European Union, 13 European Constitutional Law Review (2017) (identifying imbalance between the market and the social dimension of the EU and providing a possible solution to address it)  
  4. Geoffrey R. Stone, Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion, and Law from America’s Origins to the Twenty-First Century (2017) (providing an account of the interrelation and collision of sexual mores, religion, and law throughout the American history)
  5. Anastasia Karatzia, The European Citizens’ Initiative and the EU institutional balance: On realism and the possibilities of affecting EU lawmaking, 54 Common Market Law Review (2017) (describing the first years of operation of the European Citizens’ Initiative)
  6. Brian C. Jones (Ed.), Law and Politics of the Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements (2017) (addressing the legal and political significance of both movements, including the complex questions they posed as regards democracy, rule of law, authority, and freedom of speech)
  7. Lee Epstein & Eric A. Posner, The Decline of Supreme Court Deference to the President (2017) (describing the decline in the win rate of the Obama administration before the Supreme Court, in comparison to its predecessors)
  8. Aziz Z. Huq, Constitutionalism, Legitimacy, and Public Order: A South African Case Study, in Rosalind Dixon & Theunis Roux (Eds.), Constitutional Triumphs, Constitutional Disappointments (2017) (arguing that the citizens’ perception of policing can influence the legitimacy of a newly constituted regime, more than the public experiences with judges or other state officials)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) and LUISS University are co-organizing a roundtable on “Constitutional adjudication: traditions and horizons,” to be held in Rome on May 5-6, 2017 (registration required by May 1).
  2. The Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies invites applications to its PhD program “Individual person and legal protections” (5 scholarships available). Applications are due by June 15, 2017.
  3. The Loyola University Chicago School of Law hosts its seventh annual Constitutional Law Colloquium, to be held in Chicago on November 3-4, 2017. The deadline for abstracts is June 20, 2017.
  4. The University of Warsaw and Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law invite postgraduates pursuing a doctoral degree to apply for a conference on “Article 7 TEU, the EU Rule of Law Framework and EU Values: Powers, Procedures, Implications,” to be held in Warsaw on September 13-15, 2017. Abstracts should be sent by April 30 to and
  5. The Howard League for Penal Reform invites submissions to its conference “Redesigning Justice: Promoting civil rights, trust and fairness,” that will take place in Oxford on March 21-22, 2018. Papers must be sent to by December 4, 2017.
  6. Centro Studi sul Federalismo and the Instituto iberoamericano de Derecho Constitucional co-organize the International conference on “El federalismo en tiempos de transición,” to be held in Turin on October 16-17, 2017. Abstracts should be sent to by April 30.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Anne Sanders & Luc von Danwitz, The Polish Judiciary Reform: Problematic under European standards and a Challenge for Germany, Verfassungsblog
  2. Kirsty Hughes, Brexit after Article 50: a rollercoaster ride, Blog of the Centre on Constitutional Change
  3. Alan Whysall, Following Monday’s deadline, the future of devolved government in Northern Ireland remains uncertain, The Constitution Unit
  4. Jennifer Oliva, Access, Affordability, and the American Health Reform Dilemma, Part III: How an ACA Repeal Would Devastate Appalachia, OxHRH
  5. Monica Hakimi, North Korea and the Law on Anticipatory Self-Defense, The European Journal of International Law
  6. Grace Yang, Why NOW is the Time to Comply with China’s Employment Laws, Part 2, China Law Blog
  7. Nidhal Mekki, The law on local and regional elections: a step towards local democracy in Tunisia, ConstitutionNet
  8. Joaquín Urías, Damaging the Legitimacy of the Spanish Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog
  9. Hawaii Federal District Court Converts TRO Against Travel Ban To Preliminary Injunction, Religion Clause
  10. Randy Barnett, Not an April Fools’ Day post: Another contradictory attack on originalism, The Volokh Conspiracy


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