Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Simon Drugda, Nagoya University Graduate School of Law (Japan)

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 of Spain temporarily suspended the part of Catalonia’s 2017 budget which would be used to fund an independence referendum.
  2. The Constitutional Court of South Africa has dismissed an appeal by the Department of Environmental Affairs to keep a national moratorium on the domestic trade of rhinoceros horn, effectively overturning the ban.
  3. The Indonesian Constitutional Court ruled that the Home Affairs Ministry can no longer revoke local regulations issued by provincial, city or district administration unilaterally.
  4. The European Court of Justice upheld a visa ban on an Iranian student seeking to study security topics at a university in Germany.
  5. The Slovak National Council revoked the so-called Mečiar’s amnesties. The Constitutional Court now has 60 days to review the revocation, under the new amendment to the Constitution.

In the News

  1. The king of Thailand signed the new Constitution into law, which opens a way for long-delayed elections.
  2. The Parliament of Kenya passed a bill empowering MPs to remove the Attorney General from office. Anyone can petition the Parliament, which will then form a select committee to investigate the claims in the petition.
  3. The Benin National Assembly narrowly rejected a set of constitutional amendments that would have limited the president to one term.
  4. The President of Chile put forward a bill to rewrite the country’s 1980s Constitution, a relic of the dictatorship era.
  5. The Supreme Court of Russia began hearings on a request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group.
  6. The Cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel approved draft legislation that would require social networks to remove hate speech.

New Scholarship

  1. Amrei Müller and Hege Elisabeth Kjos (eds.), Judicial Dialogue and Human Rights (2017) (offering a comprehensive analysis of the extent, method, purpose and effects of domestic and international courts’ judicial dialogue on human rights)
  2. Graham Butler, A Question of Jurisdiction: Art. 267 TFEU Preliminary References of a CFSP Nature (2017) 1 European Papers (analyzing the possibility for judicial control of EU foreign policy and EU external relations, when questions are sent to the Court of Justice of the European Union from national courts in EU Member States)
  3. Christoph B. Graber, Bottom-Up Constitutionalism: The Case of Net Neutrality (2017) 7 Transnational Legal Theory (arguing that net neutrality is about to emerge as a new fundamental value and right, through bottom-up constitutionalization)
  4. Eloise Gratton and Jules Polonetsky, Droit À L’Oubli: Canadian Perspective on the Global ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Debate (2017) Colorado Technology Law Journal (exploring whether importing a right to be forgotten for the jurisprudence of European Courts would be constitutional in Canada)
  5. Bui Ngoc Son, Contextualizing the Global Constitution-Making Process: The Case of Vietnam (2016) 64 Am J Comp Law (discussing the global features of 21st century constitution-making and the case of Vietnam)
  6. Laura Kalman, The Long Reach of the Sixties: LBJ, Nixon, and the Making of the Contemporary Supreme Court (2017) (arguing that the divisive contemporary US Supreme Court confirmation process is rooted in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and not in the Bork nomination as is often assumed)
  7. Gregory P. Magarian, Managed Speech: The Roberts Court’s First Amendment (2017) (exploring and critiquing how the current U.S. Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Roberts, has reshaped First Amendment law)
  8. Anthony J. Bellia Jr. and Bradford R. Clark, The Law of Nations and the United States Constitution (2017) (providing a framework for evaluating the status of international law in U.S. courts and the relationship of the law of nations with the Constitution)
  9. Frank Fagan and Saul Levmore (eds.), The Timing of Lawmaking (2017) (examining the diverse interactions between law and time, and provides important perspectives on how law’s architecture can be understood through time)
  10. András Jakab, Arthur Dyevre and Giulio Itzcovich (eds.), Comparative Constitutional Reasoning (2017) (presenting a comprehensive and systematic analysis of constitutional reasoning on a global scale with attention to subtleties in form, style or language)
  11. Iljoong Kim, Hojun Lee and Ilya Somin (eds.), Eminent Domain: A Comparative Perspective (2017) (using a common framework to analyze the law and economics of eminent domain around the world)
  12. Leora Batnitzky and Hanoch Dagan (eds), Institutionalizing Rights and Religion: Competing Supremacies (2017) (examining how the institutional design of both religions and political regimes influences the relationship between religious practice and activity and human rights)
  13. Tamar Hostovsky Brandes, Law, Citizenship and Social Solidarity: Israel’s ‘Loyalty-Citizenship’ Laws As a Test Case (forthcoming 2017) (examining the loyalty discourse in Israel and the Loyalty-Citizenship Laws)
  14. Niels Petersen, Proportionality and Judicial Activism: Fundamental Rights Adjudication in Canada, Germany and South Africa (2017) (empirical analyzing the use of the proportionality test in three constitutional courts, and arguing that although the test does give judges a considerable amount of discretion, his analytical openness does not necessarily lead to judicial activism)
  15.  Ioanna Tourkochoriti, Review of John Bell and Marie-Luce Paris (eds), Rights-Based Constitutional Review – Constitutional Courts in a Changing Landscape (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham 2016), The Irish Jurist (2017) (book review of Bell and Paris’ “Rights-Based Constitutional Review – Constitutional Courts in a Changing Landscape”)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The American Society of Comparative Law and American University College of Law invite panel proposals for the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law that will be held between Thursday, October 26, and Saturday, October 28, 2017, at American University Washington College of Law on “Comparative law, Faith and Religion: The Role of Faith in Law.” Panel proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Tra Pham at no later than June 1, 2017, and copied to Máximo Langer at
  2. The University of Trento organizes a workshop: The Debate on the Uniform Civil Code in India: New Perspectives on Constitutional Secularism in India and Personal Laws Regimes in Asia? The workshop will take place on April 27-28, 2017.
  3. The Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly (CALQ) invites submissions for its 3 Volume in the year 2017. The deadline for submissions is May 10, 2017.
  4. Cornell Law School and the Society for Empirical Legal Studies (SELS) invite submissions to the 12th Annual Conference on Empirical Legal Studies (CELS) on October 13-14, 2017, in Ithaca, New York. The submission deadline is June 23, 2017.
  5. The Public Land & Resources Law Review invites submissions for panelist presentations at its 37th Public Land Law Conference on “Bridging Divides: Energy, Environment, and Empowerment in a New Era,” to be held at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. The abstract deadline is May 1, 2017.
  6. The Illinois Law Review intends to select a Symposium for publication in the 2017-2018 Volume of the journal. If you are organizing a conference or have an idea that could function as a Symposium, please submit a proposal in electronic form to the Law Review no later than April 29, 2017 by emailing Sam Zuidema at
  7. The University of Geneva in collaboration with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the CRIDES Center for Economic Law and Society at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), the Digital Asia Hub, the Geneva Internet Platform, the Institute for Technology and Society of Rioand the Renmin University of China organize the Geneva Internet L@w Research Colloquium. Submissions are due by April 30, 2017.
  8. The VU Amsterdam Summer School offers a course on Laws in Antiquity: Law and Legal Systems from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome and Byzantium.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Farrah Ahmed, The Autonomy Rationale for Religious Freedom, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  2. Martha Minow, Bread and Circuses 2.0, The New Rambler
  3. David Pozen, The Abortion Closet, Concurring Opinions
  4. Tonja Jacobi and Dylan Schweers, Legal scholarship highlight: Justice, interrupted – Gender, ideology and seniority at the Supreme Court, SCOTUSblog
  5. Cortelyou Kenney and Amy Kapczynski, The Supreme Court Avoids a Broad Ruling on Free Speech in Expressions Hair Design, CRITical Thinking
  6. Removal of President Zuma: What counts is who controls the ANC NEC » Constitutionally Speaking, Constitutionally Speaking
  7. Vrinda Bhandari, Courts and contempt powers in India: The case of Jolly LLB-2, OxHRH
  8. Yee-Fui Ng, A Ban on Foreign Political Donations: Definitions, Scope and Constitutional Validity, AUSPUBLAW
  9. Lea Raible and Leah Trueblood, The Swiss System of Referendums and the Impossibility of Direct Democracy, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  10. Devika Hovell, The ‘Mistrial’ of Kumar Lama: Problematizing Universal Jurisdiction, EJIL:Talk!
  11. Peter Spiro, Germany and the Erdogan Referendum: The Case for External Voting and Dual Citizenship, Verfassungsblog
  12. Carna Pistan, 2017 Constitutional Reform in Kazakhstan: increasing democracy without political pluralism?, ConstitutionNet
  13. Michael Keating, Between a rock and a hard place, Blog of the Centre on Constitutional Change


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