Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Mohamed Abdelaal, Assistant Professor, Alexandria University Faculty of Law

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 US Supreme Court ruled that a law that gives birthright citizenship preference to children of unwed mothers over unwed fathers is unconstitutional.
  2. The US Supreme Court struck down part of a federal law that denies trademark protection of terms that disparage living or dead,
  3. The US Supreme Court will decide whether electoral maps drawn deliberately to favor a particular political party are constitutional.
  4. The Supreme Court of Venezuela denied the chief prosecutor’s motion to stop President Nicolas Maduro’s attempt to rewrite the Constitution.
  5. The German Federal Constitutional Court reportedly stayed the ratification of the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC).
  6. The High Court of Justice of Israel held that the state has nine months to ensure that all of the country’s prisoners have at least three square meters of living space within nine months and at least 4.5 square meters within 18 months

In the News

  1. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Parliament) sends a bill on the Constitutional Court for a revision.
  2. Former Indonesian Constitutional Court justice Patrialis Akbar was indicted for bribery in connection with a request for a judicial review.
  3. People in Mali protest against a constitutional reform that would allow the president to appoint a third of future senators, presidents of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court.
  4. The Parliament of Hungary approved a new law on foreign-funded NGOs.
  5. The National Diet of Japan passed a controversial conspiracy law.
  6. The Parliament of Egypt approves a treaty to transfer two red sea islands to Saudi Arabia.
  7. The Samoan Parliament passed a constitutional amendment to transform the country from a secular to a Christian state.
  8. The Irish government considers holding a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution that protects the equal right to life of the mother and unborn child.
  9. The United Human Rights Committee ruled that Ireland’s abortion law violates human rights. Although, under the country’s 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act abortions may be provided if a mother’s live is in immediate danger

New Scholarship

  1. Cormac S. Mac Amhlaigh, The Anatomy of Constitutional Pluralism in the European Union, in Gareth Davies & Matej Avbelj, Research Handbook on Pluralism and EU Law (Edward Elgar, 2017) (discussing constitutional pluralism as a model for understanding interactions between state law and the law of the European Union and a particularly puzzling lack of crisis therein)
  2. Roberto Niembro Ortega, Conceptualizing authoritarian constitutionalism, 49 Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (2016) (proposing a different understanding of authoritarian constitutionalism)
  3. Sean Molloy, Sub-State Constitutions in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings, Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher and Asanga Welikala (eds.) (2017) (examining sub-state constitutions in fragile and conflict-affected settings employing a qualitative comparative framework)
  4. Antonia Baraggia and Maria Elena Gennusa, Intertwined but Different: The Heterologous In Vitro Fertilization Case before the European Court of Human Rights and the Italian Constitutional Court, 9 Perspectives on Federalism (2017) (addressing the issues of overlapping human rights protection systems in an analysis of the heterologous in vitro fertilization case, wherein the Strasbourg Court and the Italian Constitutional Court delivered relevant judgments on very similar matters)
  5. Kevin Crow and Lina Lorenzoni, International Corporate Obligations, Human Rights, and the Urbaser Standard: Breaking New Ground?, 35 Boston University International Law Journal (forthcoming 2018) (examining the implications of the recent ICSID Tribunal Award in Urbaser v. Argentina for international arbitral practice)
  6. Andras L. Pap, Ethno-racial identity (politics) by law: “Fraud” and “choice”, The Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicity (2017) (exploring the conceptualization of ethno-racial identity in social sciences and humanities and looking at how law reacts to these paradigm shifts)
  7. Torben Spaak, Legal Positivism, Conventionalism, and the Normativity of Law (2017) (investigating whether we can account for the normativity of law within the framework of legal positivism and whether the idea of a social convention can help in this endeavor)
  8. Jan-Baptist Lemaire, We the politicians? A comparative analysis of democratic constitution-making in the European Union and Belgium (2017) (assessing the processes of constitutional amendment in Belgium and the EU)
  9. Hao Jiang, Does Fairness Matter and Does a Materiality Requirement Achieve Fairness? ― Business as Usual in Approving Disclosure Settlement Post-Trulia (2017) (arguing that fairness remains the only criteria for the court to approve class action non-monetary form of settlements)
  10. Leila N. Sadat, Whither Human Rights in the Era of Trump, 35 Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights (2017) (cataloging some of the early actions of the Trump administration to discern its approach to human rights)

Call for Papers

  1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic offers seven scholarships for Italian nationals in one of the European Law and Governance School Postgraduate Programs. The scholarship covers the 2017/18 tuition fee.
  2. The WZB Berlin Social Science Center invites applications for one of the positions in the Project Group “International Citizenship Law” led by Professor Liav Orgad: a Research Associate in the field of Naturalization Law and Policy: A Global Perspective” (apply by July 1, 2017); a Research Fellow/Ph.D. Candidate in International Law and Governance of Citizenship (by July 31 ).
  3. The Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy invites submissions for a Symposium on amending the Constitution, to be held at Duke University School of Law on February 2, 2018.
  4. Masaryk University Faculty of Law hosts an international conference on Alternative Methods of Argumentation in Law. The abstract submission deadline is July 31, 207.
  5. The Indian Constitutional Law Review invites submissions for its new volume. The submission  deadline is is July 2, 2017.
  6. The International Journal of Legal Research and Governance invites submissions for its new volume. The deadline for submission of papers is 30 June, 2017.
  7. The Italian Law Journal invites submission for its new volume on the theme “Italian corporate law in the context of a globalized world.”

Elsewhere on Blogs

  1. Colin PA Jones, Conspiracy theory becomes frightening reality for Japan, The Japan Times
  2. Muhammad Zubair, Mainstreaming Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA): Constitutional and Legal Reforms, ConstitutionNet
  3. Jack M. Balkin, Trumping the Constitution, Balkinization
  4. Jud Mathews, More Emolument Trouble For President Trump?, Verfassungsblog
  5. David R. Cameron, After election disaster, UK more likely to seek a softer Brexit, Yale MacMillan Center
  6. Mark Elliot, Strong and Stable? The British Constitution and the 2017 General Election, Public Law for Everyone
  7. Mairead Enright, Ireland’s Failing Abortion Law: Statutory Interpretation, Human Rights and the Detention of Pregnant Children, Human Rights in Ireland
  8. Liora Lazarus, Do Human Rights Impede Effective Counterterrorism?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  9. Karin Loevy, The Far Reaching Constitutional Context of the Manchester Arena Terrorist Attack, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  10. Thomas Hirse and Paetrick Sakowski, More bad news for the European Unitary Patent: The Federal Constitutional Court pro-visionally stops transposition laws, Lexology
  11. Pierre de Vos, Gigaba and Gupta citizenship: several ethical and legal questions remain unanswered, Constitutionally Speaking
  12. Dylan Lino, The Uluru Statement: Towards Federalism with First Nations, AUSPUBLAW


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