Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Maja Sahadžić, Ph.D. Researcher (University of Antwerp)

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 Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka upheld a judgment that disqualifies an MP due to dual citizenship.  
  2. The Spanish Constitutional Court partially suspended the Catalan law on non-binding referenda, approved in 2010.
  3. The South African Constitutional Court hears Gijima and State Information Technology Agency (Sita) case to set aside a multimillion rand deal awarded to the private company.  
  4. The Supreme Court of India reviews whether instant Islamic divorce is constitutional.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that women who take extended unpaid maternity leave should receive full annual pay increases.
  6. The South African Constitutional Court ruled that a domestic worker can upgrade her quarters at her own expense even against the property owner’s wishes.

In the News

  1. The European Court of Justice upheld a non-binding decision that Uber is a transportation company and not an information service.
  2. The Connecticut governor signed into a law a measure to ban gay conversion therapy.
  3. The Health Minister of Ireland called for a repeal of the country’s blasphemy laws.
  4. The High Court of India upheld a sentence to a high court judge for contempt.
  5. Bangladesh starts discussions on amending Constitution.
  6. The US House of Representatives passed legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.
  7. Wikipedia appealed to the Turkish Constitutional Court to have a government decision to block access to its website lifted.
  8. Jakarta’s Christian governor was sentenced to two years in prison for blasphemy.
  9. The Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament changed the constitutional definition of family.
  10. Samoa proposed a constitutional amendment to declare itself a Christian state.
  11. The US District Court of Northern California approved the Volkswagen emission settlement.

New Scholarship

  1. Xenophon Contiades and Alkmene Fotiadou (eds.), Participatory constitutional change, The people as amenders of the constitution (2017) (exploring the recent trend of enhancing the role of the people in constitutional change)
  2. Liav Orgad, The cultural defense of nations, A liberal theory of majority rights (2017) (exploring the cultural rights of the majority and the policies that claim to protect them)
  3. Nicholas Aroney and John Kincaid, Courts in federal countries: federalists or unitarists? (2017) (examining centralizing and decentralizing trends in the case law of high courts in 13 federal or quasi-federal jurisdictions)
  4. Mark Elliot, The Supreme Court’s judgment in Miller: In search of constitutional principle (2017 forthcoming) Cambridge Law Journal (examining the majority’s judgement restrictive approach in Miller vs. Secretary of State for exiting the European Union)
  5. Paolo Passaglia (ed.), The 2016 Italian Constitutional Referendum: Origins, Stakes, Outcome (2017) The Italian Journal Special Issue (analyzing the 2016 Italian constitutional referendum)
  6. Se-shauna Wheatle, Principled Reasoning in Human Rights Adjudication (2017) (offering a thematic analysis of the use of the implied constitutional principles of the rule of law and separation of powers in human rights cases in Australia, Canada, the Commonwealth Caribbean, and the United Kingdom)
  7. Donald C. Brockett, The Tyrannical Rule of the U.S. Supreme Court (2017) (analyzing dissenting opinions of the Supreme Court justices and their impact on civil liberties)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Porto Faculty of Law, Universidade Católica Portuguesa invites applications for the conference “Constitutionalism in a Plural World” to be held on 22-23 November 2017. The submission deadline is July 15 2017.
  2. The Government and Law Research Group of the University of Antwerp organizes 7th annual doctoral conference on “Hybrid Forms of Governance: Moving Beyond Traditional Public Law” in Antwerp, on 17 May 2017.
  3. Melbourne Law School invites submissions for the “Third Biennial Public Law Conference” on 11-13 July 2018 in Melbourne. The deadline for a submission of abstracts is 25 August 2017.
  4. IACFS invites submissions for the Ronald L. Watts Young Scholar Award for the best unpublished article or paper on an aspect of federalism. The submission deadline is 30 June 2017.
  5. The Institute for Comparative Federalism welcomes applications from scholars and practitioners who study and work in the fields of federalism, regionalism and intergovernmental relations for the yearly Federal Scholar in Residence Program. The submission deadline is 1 July 2017.
  6. Eötvös Loránd University Faculty of Law organizes the conference “Reloading the Tale of Emperor’s New Clothes – Statehood and Sovereignty in the 21st Century” in Budapest, on 31 May 2017.
  7. Loyola University Chicago School of Law invites abstracts for its annual Constitutional Law Colloquium on 3-4 November 2017 in Chicago. The submission deadline is 20 June 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Brian Christopher Jones, Should Hong Kong’s Basic Law be scrapped and a new constitution negotiated?, South China Morning Post
  2. Michael Keating, Multidimensional competition: the new game in British politics, The UK in a Changing Europe
  3. Andrew Knapp, How would Emmanuel Macron govern without a parliamentary majority?, The Constitution Unit
  4. Carlos Arturo Villagrán Sandoval, Does Latin America need a ‘Supra-Constitutional’ court? Lessons from the Central American experience, Constitution Making & Constitutional Change
  5. Greg Barns, Australia’s Forcible Deportations of Unwell Asylum Seekers: Legal Obligations, Jurist
  6. Mark Elliot, The “bedroom tax”, Convention rights and secondary legislation, Public Law for Everyone
  7. Conor Crummey, The Duty to Protect the Irish Language and the Use of Declaratory Relief in Northern Ireland, UK Constitutional Law Association
  8. Marcin Matczak, Why the Announced Constitutional Referendum in Poland is not a Constitutional Referendum after all, Verfassungsblog 
  9. Tunku Zain Al-Abidin, Hooray for the judiciary, Borneo Post Online


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