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 Constitutional Court of Colombia invalidated two clauses of the legislative act meant to fast-track the approval of the peace deal with FARC rebels.
  2. The Supreme Court of Brazil authorized the launch of a corruption probe into President Temer.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Moldova held unconstitutional the ban on issuing civil status documents, IDs, and driving licenses to debtors.
  4. The Supreme Court of India decided to defer decision in the Shayara Bano case on Muslim instant divorce.
  5. The German Constitutional Court found unconstitutional higher taxation of certain harmful share transfers.

In the News

  1. The European Commission (re)enters talks with Poland concerning the overhaul of the Constitutional Tribunal, under the rule of law framework.
  2. President Trump expands of the policy to freeze foreign aid to NGOs offering or advocating abortion.
  3. Georgia’s opposition parties demand a popular referendum on the constitutional reform.
  4. The UK will not leave the ECHR, according to the Conservative Party Manifesto.
  5. The Court of Cassation in Italy upheld a fine for carrying kirpan, a knife considered sacred among Sikhs, in public.
  6. The Eurogroup will be briefed about Greece reforms, to greenlight the next disbursement of financial assistance by ESM.
  7. The leader of the pro-reform camp Rouhani wins Iran’s presidential elections.

New Scholarship

  1. Mark Tushnet (Ed.), Comparative Constitutional Law (2017) (providing access to some of the most influential writings in comparative constitutional law dating from 1987 to 2015)
  2. Bui Ngoc Son, Constitutional Mobilisation in China, International Journal of Law in Context (2017) (analyzing recent constitutional mobilisation in China, embodied in the “weiquan” right defense movement, Charter 08 and the 2013 constitutionalism debate)
  3. Gábor Attila Tóth, The Authoritarian’s New Clothes: Tendencies Away from Constitutional Democracy, The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (2017) (identifying features of authoritarianism to distinguish it from weaker forms of democracy)
  4. Stijn Smet, Resolving Conflicts between Human Rights: The Judge’s Dilemma (2017) (proposing a novel framework for judicial resolution of human rights conflicts)
  5. Giselle Corradi, Eva Brems, Mark Goodale (Eds.), Human Rights Encounter Legal Pluralism Normative and Empirical Approaches (2017) (analyzing the interplay between legal pluralism and human rights, by drawing on experiences from Europe, Latin-America and Sub-Saharan Africa)
  6. Rivka Weill, On the Nexus of Eternity Clauses, Proportional Representation, and Banned Political Parties, Election Law Journal (2017 forthcoming) (describing the empirical nexus between proportional representation and bans on extremist political parties, or absolutely entrenched values)
  7. Hans-Martien ten Napel, Constitutionalism, Democracy and Religious Freedom. To Be Fully Human (2017) (demonstrating why a more classical understanding of the idea of a liberal democracy can allow for greater respect of the right to freedom of religion and belief)
  8. D. Theodore Rave, Institutional Competence in Fiduciary Government, in Andrew S. Gold & D. Gordon Smith (Eds.), Research Handbook on Fiduciary Law (2017 forthcoming) (addressing the competence of courts in policing the relationship between elected officials and the electorate, and the applicability of private fiduciary law principles)
  9. Alberto Alemanno and Laurent Pech, Thinking justice outside the docket: A critical assessment of the reform of the EU’S court system, 54 Common Market Law Review (2017) (providing a critical assessment of the structural reforms to the European judicial system in 2015)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The American Society of International Law invites papers for its 2017 Research Forum, to be held October 27-28, 2017, at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.
  2. The Oxford University Press launched the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law, covering a wide range of constitutional law topics in comparative perspective.
  3. Paper submissions are invited for the Third Annual Illinois-Bologna conference on “Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives.” The conference is sponsored by University of Illinois College of Law, University of Bologna School of Law, Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development, and will be held on November 13 and 14, 2017 in Bologna, Italy.
  4. The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law invites submissions for its Second Annual Food Law & Policy Conference, to be held in Ottawa on November 2-4, 2017. Abstracts should be sent by June 9, 2017. Comparative analyses are welcome.
  5. The Joint Council on Constitutional Justice (JCCJ) held its annual meeting at the German Federal Constitutional Court on May 18-19. The introductory remarks of the president of the Court are available here.
  6. The Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies hosts a symposium on “The Constitution of Canada: History, Evolution, Influence and Reform,” on May 24, 2017 , on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary of the Confederation.
  7. The Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies hosts a seminar on “Current Perspectives on Belgian Federalism,” on May 25, 2017 in Pisa, Italy.
  8. The Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies organizes a seminar on “Self-Rule and Shared Rule – A ‘Global Theory of Federalism’ Revisited,” on May 22, in Pisa.
  9. The Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies hosts a seminar on “Crisi dell’Europa e istanze territoriali: l’apporto della comparazione,” on May 23, 2017 in Pisa.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Yasuo Hasebe, The end of Japan’s pacifist constitution? Against welcoming an unknown angel, ConstitutionNet
  2. Colin PA Jones, Testing time for the Constitution at 70, The Japan Times
  3. Liz Curran, Freedom of Speech or Enabling a Right to Insult? The Australian Debate over Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, OxHRH Blog
  4. Diane Desierto, China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ Initiative: Can A Bilaterally-Negotiated ‘Globalization 2.0’ Internalize Human Rights, Labor, and Environmental Standards?, EJIL:Talks!
  5. Paul Kalinichenko, A Principle of Direct Effect: The Eurasian Economic Union’s Court pushes for more Integration, Verfassungsblog
  6. Jeff Hirsch, Does USERRA Validly Abrogate State Sovereign Immunity?, Workplace Prof Blog
  7. Laura Sjoberg, On Transgender People and the Military, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
  8. Anastasia Karatzia, New Developments in the context of the European Citizens’ Initiative: General Court rules on ‘Stop TTIP’, EU Law Analysis
  9. Richard Giragosian, A Pyrrhic victory in Yerevan? Understanding Armenia’s one party dominance, EUROPP
  10. Carwyn Jones, Analysis: Proprietors of Wakatū and Others v Attorney-General [NZSC], Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  11. Namita Bhandare, Why is triple talaq more important than nikaah halala and polygamy?, Hindustan Times
  12. George Williams, We desperately need a genuine plan for federal reform, The Sydney Morning Herald


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