Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Simon Drugda, Nagoya University Graduate School of Law (Japan)

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 Kosovo approved the new war crimes tribunal (KRSJI – Kosovo Relocated Specialist Judicial Institution), established with EU funds at The Hague to prosecute crimes committed during and immediately after the 1998-99 Kosovo war.
  2. The European Court of Human Rights upheld a ban in Belgium on burqas and other full-face Islamic veils.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Georgia again overturned a ban on donation of blood by “men who have had sex with other men.”
  4. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany decided that the provisions of the Act on Uniformity of Collective Agreements are for the most part compatible with the Basic Law.
  5. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany found parts of loss forfeiture rules unconstitutional. The court gave the legislature a grace period until December 31, 2018, to pass a replacement provision with retroactive effect as of January 1, 2008.
  6. The Supreme Court of India ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe 95 alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur that involve the army, police, and paramilitary forces of India.
  7. A judge on the High Court of Hong Kong voided the oaths of office and removed from the legislature four opposition lawmakers for improper swearing-in.
  8. The UK Supreme Court held that a gay retiree’s husband is entitled to the same pension benefits a wife would enjoy regardless of when payment into the program began.

In the News

  1. Myanmar refuses visas to UN team investigating abuse of Rohingya Muslims, after UN report said treatment of minority group could amount to ethnic cleansing.
  2. Zambian opposition party sues the Parliament for approving the state of emergency in the absence of its suspended MPs.
  3. Polish ruling Law and Justice (PiS) lawmakers submitted a draft bill that would replace all Supreme Court judges except those chosen by the Justice Minister.
  4. The leader of the junior partner in Japan’s ruling coalition urged PM Shinzo Abe to focus on regaining public trust after a slide in popularity, and said revising the pacifist constitution was not a priority for voters.
  5. An Australian senator resigns after it emerged that he holds dual citizenship with New Zealand.
  6. The United Nations called on Venezuela’s government to let people take part in an unofficial referendum on the Constitution.
  7. The Parliament of Malta voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
  8. London’s High Court of Justice ruled that the UK can continue to export arms to Saudi Arabia.
  9. The UK Parliament published the EU withdrawal bill.
  10. A constitutional amendment on compulsory land acquisition splits the Parliament in Uganda.
  11. American opposition lawmakers filed an article of impeachment against President Trump.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Xenophon Contiades & Alkmene Fotiadou (eds), The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment (Oxford: Hart 2017) (guiding the emergence of comparative constitutional amendment as a distinct field of study)
  2. Mohamed Abdelaal, Extreme Secularism vs. Religious Radicalism: The Case of the French Burkini, 23 ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law (2017) (critically examining the impact of the French theory of Laïcité on individual freedom and religious liberty by tracking the decisions of the Conseil d’État, and the European Court of Human Rights that ban religious symbols and attires in France and several other jurisdictions in Europe)
  3. Or Bassok, The Supreme Court at the Bar of Public Opinion Polls, 23 Constellations (2016) (tracking how the reading of The Federalist No. 78 has changed in American Supreme Court jurisprudence following the invention of public opinion polling).
  4. Imran Ahmed, ‘Strategic Constitutions’: Constitutional Change and Politics in Pakistan, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies (2017) (arguing that constitutions can play an important role in fostering a degree of political co-operation if they are useful to the political strategies of both rulers and ruled)
  5. Todd A. Eisenstadt, A. Carl LeVan, and Tofigh Maboudi, Constituents Before Assembly: Participation, Deliberation, and Representation in the Crafting of New Constitutions (2017) (demonstrating that the level of participation in building democracy through new constitutions matters more than the content of the constitution itself)
  6. Joseph A. Seiner, The Supreme Court’s New Workplace: Procedural Rulings and Substantive Worker Rights in the United States (2017) (explaining how the US Supreme Court has undermined civil rights through procedural mechanisms and technicalities and proposing a framework for successful workplace litigation)
  7. Vincent Depaigne, Legitimacy Gap Secularism, Religion, and Culture in Comparative Constitutional Law (2017) (providing a synthetic approach to the contemporary debates on secularism and religion in a comparative study that focuses on the secular-religious dynamics in Asia and Europe)
  8. Stijn Smet and Eva Brems (eds.), When Human Rights Clash at the European Court of Human Rights (2017) (providing thorough analysis of leading Judgments of the ECtHR on human rights conflicts, including: freedom of expression versus right to reputation (defamation) and freedom of religion versus right to private life)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Católica Law Review invites submission of articles in the field of Public Law from all legal scholars (including law professors, practicing lawyers, doctoral candidates, and graduate students) for the January issue of 2018. The submission deadline is October 15, 2017.
  2. The German Section of the International Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, in collaboration with the Faculty of Law of the University of Freiburg invite abstract submissions for six panels at its its 2018 biennial conference in Freiberug, on the theme “Hans Kelsen’s Pure Theory of Law: Conceptions and Misconceptions.” Abstract submissions need be sent to by October 20, 2017.
  3. The Italian Law Journal invites submissions for its forthcoming issue (3:2, 2017) on the theme “Italian Corporate Law in the Context of a Globalized World.” The submission deadline is September 15, 2017, for non-native English speakers or September 30 for native English speakers.
  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 Manchester International Law Centre at the University of Manchester invites submission for its “Democratic Governance Workshop,” to be held on November 3, 2017. The deadline for proposal submissions is August 15, 2017.
  6. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Legal Studies at the University of Lucerne invites applications for its Young Scholar Visiting Fellowship scheme for 2018. The deadline for submission of applications is November 30, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Mark Elliott, The EU (Withdrawal) Bill: Initial Thoughts, Public Law for Everyone
  2. Philipp Dann, The Global South in Comparative Constitutional Law, Verfassungsblog
  3. Peter Timmins, Australia’s commitment to open government reform, AUSPUBLAW
  4. Smaran Shetty, Making Sense of Judicial Language, Law and Other Things
  5. Gregory Gordon, A Set of International Crimes without Coherence or a Proper Name: The Origins of “Atrocity Speech Law” Opinio Juris
  6. Morgan O’Hara, The Constitution, By Hand, The New York Times
  7. Leslie Kendrick, How to defend the Constitution when the KKK comes to town, CNN
  8. Liaquat Ali Khan, Disciplining Lawyers for Harassment and Discrimination: A Time for Change, JURIST


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