Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Sandeep Suresh, Research Associate (Jindal Global Law School)

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. A 9-judge bench of the Indian Supreme Court hears oral arguments to decide whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution.
  2. After closing the famous right to food litigation proceedings recently, in another petition, the Indian Supreme Court issued further directions to the Central Government to effectively implement the National Food Security Act 2013.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany held that the Federal Government violated the rights of Bundestag, its members and parliamentary groups by not providing comprehensive information on the 1980 Oktoberfest Bombing. The Government had based its refusal to share information on the ground of national security.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe ruled that citizens residing abroad must physically return to vote in elections. Giving reasons for a 2013 court order the Court held that the government is not obligated to provide polling stations abroad or facilitate postal ballots.
  5. The Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled that the opposition-led National Assembly violated the Constitution in purporting to appoint a set of alternative Supreme Court judges.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Georgia decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.
  7. The Constitutional Court of Indonesia rejected a judicial review petition to challenge several articles in a 2011 law that regulate the term of office of its own justices.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Gabon postponed the general election.
  9. Baroness Hale became the first female president of the UK Supreme Court.

In the News

  1. A district court judge in Germany prohibited a Syrian woman-litigant in a divorce case from to wear her headscarf in the courtroom.
  2. Polish President Andrzej Duda vetoed two new laws but approving a third, which gives the justice minister the right to name the heads of Poland’s lower courts. The first vetoed bill requires all Supreme Court judges to step down and gives the Justice Minister the power to decide who should stay, while the latter would enable politicians to control who sits on the National Judiciary Council which nominates Supreme Court judges.
  3. The Taipei City government amended the city’s housing regulations to allow same-sex couples to apply for public housing, starting in mid-August.
  4. The Indian state of Karnataka formed a 9-member government committee to consider the legality of having a State Flag.
  5. The Central Government of India plans to introduce the Human DNA Profiling Bill.
  6. The Irish Legislative Committee on Arts and Heritage proposed to amend the Constitution to include cultural rights of Irish citizens.
  7. The Parliament of Ukraine passed a bill that allows any citizen to approach the Constitutional Court with a constitutional complaint.

New Scholarship

  1. Colin PA Jones, From Great Writ to Tuning Fork: How Habeas Corpus was Tamed in Japan, 12 University of Pennsylvania Asian Law Review (2017) (critically examining the role of habeas corpus in the Japanese legal system)
  2. Rivka Weill, Election Integrity: The Constitutionality of Transitioning to Electronic Voting in Comparative Terms, in Corien Prins et al. (eds.), Digital Democracy in a Globalized World (forthcoming 2017) (describing the perils of an introduction of electronic voting systems in democracies)
  3. Stephan Michel and Ignacio N. Cofone, Majority Rules in Constitutional Referendums, 70 Kyklos (2017) (arguing that the current default rule of simple majority in referendums to ratify a new constitution is without theoretical justification and that a qualified majority rule can improve the legitimacy and stability of the new constitution)
  4. Lina Papadopoulou, Ingolf Pernice and Joseph HH Weiler (eds.), Legitimacy Issues of the European Union in the Face of Crisis9 ECLN Series (2017) (analysing a series of profound crises within the EU and the judicial response to them, including the financial crisis, the challenge of increased immigration, and the growth of Euroscepticism)
  5. Lina Papadopoulou, ‘All Good Things Come in Threes’: From a Double to a Triple Democratic Legitimacy of the European Union, in Lina Papadopoulou et al. (eds.), Legitimacy Issues of the European Union in the face of Crisis (2017) (reacing the theories that have developed concerning the democratic legitimacy of the European Union)
  6. Claudia Geiringer, When Constitutional Theories Migrate: A Case Study, American Journal of Comparative Law (forthcoming 2017) (examining how JH Ely’s representation-reinforcing theory of constitutional interpretation in the US ended up being used as a blueprint for the formulation of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act)
  7. Nicholas Aroney, R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union: Three Competing Syllogisms, 80 The Modern Law Review (2017) (examining the proposition that the European Communities Act had established EU lawmaking and lawinterpreting institutions as new “sources of law,” which were integrated into the UK domestic system without disrupting the principle of parliamentary sovereignty)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Jindal Global Law School, Melbourne Law School, NUS Faculty of Law, and the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (University of Oxford) jointly organize a workshop on “Comparative Perspectives on Administrative Law in India,” to be held on April 6–7, 2018 in Delhi, India. The deadline for abstracts is September 5, 2017.
  2. McGill University’s Faculty of Law invites applications for three entry-level, tenure-track positions (rank of an assistant professor), due to start by August 1, 2018. Candidates from all fields of law will be considered, but the University’s priority is in the fields of transsystemic legal education (including indigenous legal traditions), criminal justice, and domestic and international corporate and commercial law. The application deadline is October 30, 2017.
  3. Iuris Dictio invites submissions for its next issue, which will be published in June 2018. The theme is the “fundamental role of constitutional reasoning in finding and preserving common goals in public discourse in Latin America.” The submission deadline is December 15, 2017.
  4. Manchester International Law Centre organizes a workshop on “Democratic Governance and International Law: 25 Years Later,” on November 3, 2017. The deadline for submissions of abstracts is August 15, 2017.
  5. Stanford Law Review organizes a symposium on the occasion of the release of its 70 Volume, on February 9-10, 2018. The theme of the event is “Federalism in an Age of Polarization.”

Elsewhere Online

  1. Colin PA Jones, When open minds fight closed courts in Japan, The Japan Times
  2. Hualing Fu, Guide to Legislative Interpretation in China, HKU Legal Scholarship Blog
  3. Noah Feldman, Trump’s Pardoning Himself Would Trash Constitution, Bloomberg View
  4. Rick Lyman, In Poland, an Assault on the Courts Provokes Outrage, The New York Times
  5. Roberto Niembro, Conceptualizing authoritarian constitutionalism: A Latin American view, Völkerrechtsblog
  6. Faizan Mustafa, A Litmus Test: Supreme Court must interpret Constitution in a manner that ensures right to privacy, The Indian Express
  7. Andrew Edgar, Deliberative Democracy and Regulation-Making Systems, Admin Law Blog
  8. Kriszta Kovács, Why Do We Need International Legal Standards for Constitutional Referendums?, Verfassungsblog
  9. Faisal Siddiqi, Paradox of accountability, Dawn
  10. Joe Tomlinson, The Policy and Politics of Building Tribunals for a Digital Age: How ‘Design Thinking’ Is Shaping the Future of the Public Law System, UK Constitutional Law Association
  11. Pierre de Vos, What is to be done about the Public Protector?, Constitutionally Speaking
  12. Delaram Farzaneh, Iran’s Presidential Charade: Women Out or In?, OxHRH
  13. Sidi M. Diawara, Mali: Peace process, constitutional reform, and an uncertain political future, ConstitutionNet


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