Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Vicente F. Benítez R., Constitutional Law Professor, Universidad de La Sabana (Colombia) and doctoral student at NYU

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 European Court of Human Rights held that the Russian statutes banning the so-called “propaganda of homosexuality” infringe provisions of the Convention.
  2. The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the dismissal of an accused drug dealer’s case due to the excessive delay in conducting the trial, and to the subsequent violation of the right to a timely trial.  
  3. The U.K. Supreme Court ruled that women from Northern Ireland are not entitled to receive free abortions in England, which are supplied by the National Health Service (NHS).
  4. The Constitutional Court of South Africa concluded that the Speaker of the National Assembly has the power to establish a secret ballot procedure for a vote of no confidence against the President.
  5. The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt halted the execution of two contradictory judicial decisions issued by lower courts pertaining the border demarcation on Red Sea islands.
  6. The Hungarian Constitutional Court quashed some provisions of the national security law that imposed the obligation of conducting security screenings on judges.   
  7. The Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal allowed the prosecution of Venezuela’s General Attorney due to the alleged existence of serious offenses in the exercise of her office.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Poland annulled several laws regarding the appointment process to the National Council of the Judiciary.
  9. The Constitutional Court of Spain declared that Catalonia’s appointment of a Foreign Affairs Minister is unconstitutional, but it also concluded that the Catalonian government may engage in international activities as long as they are compatible with Spain’s foreign policies.
  10. The US Supreme Court struck down a North Carolina law that barred sexual offenders from using social networks, due to its violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

In the News

  1. The European Network of Ombudsmen met on a conference to discuss the fallout for citizen rights from Brexit and increased populism in Europe.
  2. The Parliament of Turkey passed a statute allowing the deployment of troops to a military base in Qatar.
  3. French President Emmanuel Macron’s political coalition obtained a significant majority of seats in the recent election of the National Assembly.
  4. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament warned that the proposed constitutional amendments to the Turkish Constitution, could lead to a suspension of Turkey’s accession to the EU talks.
  5. The German Bundestag approved a constitutional amendment that prohibits public funding of anti-democratic political parties.  
  6. The Venice Commission issued its report on the revised draft of the new Constitution of Georgia.  
  7. A recent poll conducted in Poland showed that half of the citizenry endorses President Duda’s proposed referendum to amend the Constitution.
  8. Zambia’s Parliament Speaker suspended forty-eight opposition MPs for their refusal to attend to President Lungu’s state of the nation speech.
  9. The Parliament of Romania ousted Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu in a no-confidence vote.
  10. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to submit his proposed constitutional amendments package to the Diet during this fall.  

New Scholarship

  1. Federico Fabbrini & Miguel Poiares Maduro, Supranational Constitutional Courts, Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law; iCourts Working Paper Series 98 (forthcoming 2017) (analyzing and proposing a particular typology of non-domestic Constitutional Courts)
  2. Carl F. Goodman, Contemplated Amendments to Japan’s 1947 Constitution: A Return to Iye, Kokutai and the Meiji State, Washington International Law Journal (2016) (discussing some of the Liberal Democratic Party amendment proposals to the 1947 Japanese Constitution)
  3. Vlad Perju, On Uses and Misuses of Human Rights in European Constitutionalism, in Silja Vöneky and Gerald L. Neuman (eds.), Human Rights, Democracy, and Legitimacy in a World in Disorder (2017) (challenging the traditional account that human rights were absent from the genesis of the EU legal order)
  4. Julio Ríos-Figueroa, Constitutional Courts as Mediators. Armed Conflict, Civil-Military Relations, and the Rule of Law in Latin America (2017) (positing a new framework to understand the role of constitutional courts as mediators to solve internal armed conflicts in a democratic fashion)
  5. Yaniv Roznai, Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments. The Limits of Amendment Powers (2017) (examining the increasing tendency to limit the amendment power and to grant judicial review of amendments to constitutional and supreme courts)
  6. Bernard Stirn & Eirik Bjorge, Towards a European Public Law (2017) (proposing that European Public Law is a product of the convergence of the law of the European Union, the law of the European Convention on Human Rights, and the domestic legal orders)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL) invites younger scholars to participate in the first-ever Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law, to be held in Fukuoka, Japan on Wednesday, July 25, 2018. The deadline to email abstracts is September 15, 2017.
  2. City University of London Law School invites interested candidates to apply as Early Stage Researchers (ESR) to work on a PhD research project with the provisional title “On Global Law- The Democratisation of Global Governance.” The deadline for applications is July 5, 2017.
  3. The Mexican Chapter of ICON-S has launched its new website, and convenes its annual Conference on “Constitutional Culture and Gender,” which will be held on December 4-5, 2017.
  4. The Runnymede Society calls for papers to its forthcoming National Conference on “Threats to the Rule of Law from Within,” that will take place in January 2018. The deadline for submissions is August 18, 2017.  
  5. The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions welcomes submissions for a two-days Symposium on “Institutional Structures for Governance Before-During-After a National Emergency.” The Symposium will take place on December 14-15, 2017, at the University of Haifa, Israel. The submission deadline is July 31, 2017.
  6. The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law invites current law students and recent graduates to participate in a writing competition on international human rights and gender. Papers should be submitted by July 1, 2017.  
  7. Yale Law School is accepting submissions to its Seventh Annual Doctoral Scholarship Conference, to be held on November 10-11, 2017. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Mohamed Arafa, “Vive la République, Vive la France”: Macron’s Foreign Policy in Muslim and Middle Eastern World, Jurist
  2. David R. Cameron, Pro-Macron landslide in low-turnout French election, Yale MacMillan Center
  3. Pierre de Vos, Secret Ballot Judgment: Constitutional Court Schools Members of Parliament on their Obligations, Constitutionally Speaking
  4. Mario García, Cautious Openness: The Spanish Constitutional Court’s Approach to EU Law in Recent National Case Law, European Law Blog
  5. Dilys Hartley, Statelessness and the Syrian Conflict, OxHRH
  6. Marcin Matczak, How to Demolish an Independent Judiciary with the Help of a Constitutional Court, Verfassungsblog
  7. Mireia Borrell Porta, Jose Javier Olivas, Francesc Trillas, and Francesc Trillas, Catalonia’s referendum: Four views on whether the vote should go ahead, EUROPP
  8. Sangeetha Pillai, Minister to get unprecedented power if Australia’s new citizenship bill is passed, The Conversation
  9. Ruthann Robson, SCOTUS Declares “Disparaging Trademarks” Provision Violates First Amendment, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  10. Manish Tewari, Should Constitution be amended to make Freedom of Speech a direct Fundamental Right? The Indian Express
  11. Lauren Butterly, A decade on: What happened to the historic Blue Mud Bay case (and why is it in the news again)?, AUSPUBLAW


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