Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Angélique Devaux, Cheuvreux Notaires, Paris, France, Diplômée notaire, LL.M. Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School 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 Czech Ombudsman, Supreme Public Prosecutor, and Presidents of the Supreme, Supreme Administrative, and Constitutional Courts issued a public declaration in support of the Polish judiciary.
  2. The German Constitutional Court ruled in favor of a law that allows the deportation of terrorist suspects back to their home countries.
  3. Angola’s Constitutional Court ruled a presidential decree that imposed severe restrictions on civil society groups unconstitutional.
  4. The Czech Constitutional Court ruled on second parent adoption to same-sex parents.
  5. The European court of Justice ruled in favor of Austria and Slovenia’s deportation of asylum seekers to Croatia, the first EU state in which they arrive. The ECJ thereby upheld the Dublin Regulation that determines the Member State responsible for an asylum claim.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Moldova found a referendum on increasing presidential powers unconstitutional.
  7. The Constitutional Court of South Africa hears a challenge to the constitutionality of late gun license renewals included in the Firearms control Act of 2000.

In the News

  1. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts ruled that immigrants cannot be detained without charges.
  2. A Mendoza court sentenced four former federal judges to life in prison for crimes against humanity carried out during Argentina’s 1976-1983 dictatorship.
  3. The European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Poland after President Andrzej Duda signed into law a bill that allows the Minister of Justice to unilaterally replace lower court chief justices. The Polish authorities have one month to reply to the Letter of Formal Notice. Among Commission’s concerns is also the discrimination on the basis of gender due to the introduction of a different retirement age for female (60 years) and male judges (65 years).
  4. The ousted PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif seeks to install his younger brother as his successor. Sharif was disqualified from office after the Supreme Court after months of hearings in a case instigated by the “Panama Papers” leaks. To succeed as the leader of the ruling party, Shahbaz Sharif must first stand for by-election to the national assembly.
  5. A committee tasked with drafting Libya’s new Constitution votes in favor of the draft.
  6. The Tunisian Parliament votes unanimously in favor of legislation on violence against women.
  7. The Senate of Nigeria rejects power devolution and affirmative action for women.
  8. The Federation Council of Russia (upper house of the Parliament) passed a law on that makes it mandatory for everyone accepting Russian citizenship to take an oath of allegiance.
  9. The Bundesrat of Germany (upper federal legislative body) approved marriage equality and President Steinmeier signed it into law.
  10. The US Congress approved a bill on sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, The Values of Canadian Constitutionalism, in Canada in the World: Comparative Perspectives on the Canadian Constitution (Richard Albert & David R. Cameron, eds., Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2017) (introducing edited volume marking the sesquicentennial of Confederation in Canada, and featuring contributions from leading scholars and jurists)
  2. Christoph Möllers and Thomas Wischmeyer, Developments in German Constitutional Law: The Year 2016 in Review, in Richard Albert, David Landau, Pietro Faraguna and Simon Drugda (eds), I-CONnect-Clough Center: 2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law (2017) (analyzing eight major decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany in 2016 to show how the Court bridges the gap between its global role and domestic responsibilities, and balances its traditional doctrinal approach with the more recent function as an evaluator of normative complexity)
  3. Cours constitutionnelles et révisions de la Constitution : un nouveau regard, 18 Jus Politicum (2017) (featuring contributions from Yaniv Roznai, Claude Klein, Denis Baranger, Olivier Beaud, Eleonora Bottini, and Jacky Hummel) [Articles in English and French]
  4. Número Especial A jurisprudência da crise do Tribunal Constitucional Português, E-pública revista eletrónica de direito público (2017) (featuring articles and response-articles on the theme: Portuguese Constitutional Court’s Jurisprudence of Crisis) [Articles in English]
  5. Lael K Weiss, Constitutional Directive Principles, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies (2017 forthcoming) (developing a general and systematic account of constitutional directive principles, which are an increasingly common way of constitutionally entrenching social values in an alternative to conventional rights provisions)
  6. Grant Robert Hooper, Judicial Review and Proportionality: Making a Far-Reaching Difference to Administrative Law in Australia or a Misplaced and Injudicious Search for Administrative Justice?, 88 Australian Institute of Administrative Law Forum (2017) (comparatively examining the notion of proportionality and a number of obstacles to the introduction of proportionality in Australia)
  7. Matthew Happold, Who benefits from Human Rights Treaties?, in Isabelle Riassetto, Luc Heuschling and Georges Ravarani (eds), Liber Amicorum Rusen Ergeç (2017) (examining how the question whether legal persons, particularly corporations, enjoy human rights has been answered under a number of human rights treaties)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Academy of Comparative Law invites submissions for the Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law XXth International Congress 2018, to be held on July 25, 2018, in Japan. The deadline for submitting abstracts is September 15, 2017.
  2. LUISS Guido Carli University invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship in Juridical Science – Public Law. The topic of the research project is “Procedures for constitutional amendments: features, outcomes and consequences”. The application deadline is September 30, 2017.
  3. The International Law Students’ Association and the American Branch of the International Law Association invite submissions for the International Law Week 2017 to be held in New York City on October 19-21.
  4. The editors of Europe and the World – A Law Review announced the launch of their journal and invite paper submissions for the next issue.
  5. The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy invites submissions for a workshop on public law to be held on January 4, 2018, at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.
  6. The Centre for Intellectual Property Rights, Institute of Law, Nirma University invites papers, case notes, and book reviews on contemporary topics of Intellectual Property Rights for publication in the next issue of the Journal of Intellectual Property Law. Submissions for the 2017-18 volume are accepted on a rolling basis up to October 31, 2017.
  7. The Australian Branch of the International Law Association (ILA) invites paper and panel proposals for the biennial ILA Conference, to be held on 19-24 August, 2018, in Sydney. The core theme of the conference is “Developing International Law in Challenging Times.” The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2017.
  8. The Argumenta Journal Law invites submissions for a Special Issue on “100 years of Social Rights in Constitutions (Mexican Constitution 1917-2017).” The submission deadline is September 27, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Abbe Gluck, Obamacare As Superstatute, Balkinization
  2. Ruthann Robson, Federal Judge Finds First Amendment Violation by Politician Blocking Constituent on Facebook, Constitutional Law Prof Blog
  3. Dewa Mavhinga, Zimbabwe Constitutional Court May Lose its Independence, Parliament Amends Constitution, Allows President to Appoint Top Judges, Human Rights Watch
  4. Tom Gerald Daly, Germany’s Move to Deprive Anti-Democratic Parties of Federal Funding: An Effective Response to the Populist Wave? ConstitutionNet
  5. Idris Fassassi, France – from a political revolution to constitutional changes: An analysis of Macron’s proposed reforms, ConstitutionNet
  6. Lauréline Fontaine and Alain Supiot, Moralisation: “La réforme devrait doter le Conseil constitutionnel d’un statut juridictionnel à la hauteur de ses missions,” Le Monde
  7. Harris Khalique, How Powers Work in Pakistan?, The New York Times
  8. Christopher Kuner, Data Protection, Data Transfers, and International Agreements: The CJEU’s Opinion 1/15, Verfassungsblog
  9. Steve Peers, The New EU law on refugees takes shape: More Harmonisation but Less Protection?, EU Law Analysis
  10. Aisling McMahon and Brid Ni Ghrainne, Ireland’s violation of International Abortion rights: A perpetual Déjà vu,  Human Rights in Ireland
  11. Elliot Bulmer, Scotland needs a written constitution for indyref 2 – and we need to start work on it, The National
  12. Mark Elliott, Unison in the Supreme Court: Tribunal Fees, Constitutional Rights and the Rule of Law, Public Law for Everyone
  13. Abigail Adams and Jeremias Prassl, A Good Day for the Rule of Law, OxHRH


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