Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Nausica Palazzo, Ph.D. candidate 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 Supreme Court of Bangladesh declared void a 2014 constitutional amendment allowing the Parliament to impeach apex court judges.
  2. The Constitutional Tribunal of Spain refused to prosecute PM Rajoy for the crime of disobedience.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ordered the City of Hamburg to apply the law of assembly to the G20 protest camp but allowed for restrictions.
  4. The High Court of Kenya upheld the right to picket or demonstrate peacefully and unarmed.
  5. The Supreme Court of Egypt ruled that enforced disappearance violates basic human rights and forced the government to reveal whereabouts of persons missing upon arrest.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Mali ordered corrections to the referendum.
  7. The Supreme Court of Canada clarified the applicable doctrine to determine the “sufficient utility” of an invention under the Patent Act.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Austria upheld the seizure of a property which was the birthplace of Hitler for its symbolic power.

In the News

  1. The Venezuelan opposition sets symbolic referendum on the new constitution.
  2. The main opposition party in Turkey has lodged an appeal with ECHR over Erdogan referendum.
  3. French President Macron announced his plan for a constitutional reform to reduce the number of MPs, curb the executive’s role in appointing magistrates, and introduce proportional representation to French elections.
  4. The Malaysian Court of Appeal held that the constitutional right to free movement (Art 9) does not apply to citizens travelling overseas, in an opposition lawmaker’s challenge of a travel ban.
  5. The House of Representatives of New Zealand formally apologized to gay man convicted of homosexual crimes under a law that was scrapped in 1986.
  6. The government of Sri Lanka vowed not to abandon the drafting of the new Constitution to give its Tamil minority greater autonomy.
  7. Activist organizations announced the filing of a lawsuit against the government of Myanmar to rewrite the 2008 Constitution.
  8. Italy introduced a long-awaited law criminalizing torture.
  9. The Governor of Michigan vetoed a law permitting to produce state-sponsored anti-abortion license plates.
  10. Japan and the European Union agreed on an outline for a free-trade deal.

New Scholarship

  1. Wim Voermans, Maarten Stremler, and Paul Cliteur, Constitutional Preambles: A Comparative Analysis (2017) (comparing the preambles to all global constitutions currently in force)
  2. Armin von Bogdandy, Matthias Goldmann, Ingo Venzke, From Public International to International Public Law: Translating World Public Opinion into International Public Authority, 28 European Journal of International Law (2017) (carving out the notion of international public authority and linking it to international public law, as opposed to public international law)
  3. Jack M. Balkin, Constitutional Rot, in Cass R. Sunstein (Ed.) Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America (2018, Forthcoming) (identifying the causes leading to constitutional “decay” in the U.S. in political polarization; loss of trust in government; growing economic inequality; and policy disasters)
  4. Anna Sledzinska-Simon and Michal Ziółkowski, Constitutional Identity of Poland: Is the Emperor Putting on the Old Clothes of Sovereignty? (2017) (examining the application of constitutional identity as a judicial concept denoting both convergence and divergence with the EU standards, and arguing that recent legal reforms affecting the rule of law are a return to national sovereignty)
  5. Shlomit Stein, In Search of ‘Red Lines’ in the Jurisprudence of the ECtHR on Fair Trial Rights, 50 Israel Law Review (2017) (identifying minimum thresholds of protection of fair trial rights with an aim to assist policymakers in complying with ECHR case-law)
  6. Valentina R. Scotti, Presidentialism in Turkey. A first appraisal of 2017 Constitutional Reform, 30 DPCE Online (2017) (examining the content of the 2017 constitutional amendment introducing presidentialism in Turkey)
  7. Mohamed Abdelaal, Extreme Secularism vs. Religious Radicalism: The Case of the French Burkini, 23 ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law (2017) (providing an account of the interplay between the right to self-determination and assertive secularism in the case-law of the Conseil d’État)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy (Internationale Vereinigung für Rechts) and the Faculty of Law of the University of Freiburg invite submissions for its 2018 Biennial conference in Freiburg. Abstracts (in English or German) should be sent to by October 20, 2017.
  2. The Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore invites submissions for the workshop “International Investment Treaties and National Governance,” to be held in Singapore, on November 16 -17, 2017. Abstracts should be sent to by 31 July 2017.
  3. The European Journal of Legal Studies (EJLS) and Academy of European Law invite abstracts for the EJLS 10th anniversary conference “Sixty Years of European Integration: Reflections from Young Legal Scholars,” to be held in Florence on November 16, 2017. Submissions need be sent to no later than July 15, 2017.
  4. The Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly (CALQ) invites submissions for its next volume (3:4). The deadline for submissions is September 1, 2017.
  5. The Rehnquist Center at the University of Arizona invites papers for the inaugural National Conference of Constitutional Law Scholars, to be held in Tucson, on March 16-17, 2018. The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 15, 2017.
  6. The Transnational Law Institute welcomes applications for the Transnational Law Summer Institute 2017 on “Inequality: Reproduction, Alienation, Intervention,” held on December 3-8, 2017, in Sydney. Applications close on August 15, 2017.
  7. The Association of Comparative Legal Studies invites applications for its Comparative Law Intensive Course, to be held in Reggio Calabria, Italy, from July 24 to August 4, 2017. The registration deadline is July 16, 2017.
  8. The International Society of Family Law hosts the “16th ISFL World Conference: Family Law and Family Realities,” on July 25-29, 2017, in Amsterdam.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David R. Cameron, Canada’s constitution – 150 years old but still a work-in-progress, Yale Macmillan Center
  2. Globe editorial: Omar Khadr, Canada and the fragile rule of law, The Globe and Mail
  3. Antonios Kouroutakis, After Brexit: The transposition of EU law into national law and the key role of sunset clauses, Oxford Business Law Blog
  4. Joe Tomlinson, The gap between promise and performance – strong, weak, modest and sham systems of administrative justice, Admin Law Blog
  5. Jennifer Thomson, Free abortions in England will not remove the fundamental injustice Northern Irish women suffer, EUROPP
  6. Richard Machin, Four reasons why welfare reform is a delusion, EUROPP
  7. Saudi Arabia: End Male Guardianship, Human Rights Watch
  8. Malte Feldmann, Twenty Years ‘One Country, Two Systems’ in Hong Kong: A Reason to Celebrate?, Verfassungsblog
  9. J. Paul Pope, National security takeaways from 1776, The Monitor
  10. Geoffrey Yeung, First in Asia – Taiwan’s Marriage Equality Ruling in Comparative and Queer Perspectives, OxHRH
  11. Jason Brickhill, Trillion-Rand South African Nuclear Procurement Halted By South African High Court, OxHRH
  12. Pierre de Vos, “Fuck White People”: court correct not to find the work of art to be hate speech, Constitutionally Speaking
  13. Lisa Burton Crawford, The Rule of Law as an Assumption of the Australian Constitution, AUSPUBLAW


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