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 JSD 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 Supreme Court of South Korea ordered the government to register an LGBT foundation as a charity, in light of the right to freedom of assembly.
  2. The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka rejected several sections of a proposed bill that would have transformed the country’s tax system on constitutional grounds.   
  3. The Supreme Court of India requested a response of the National Investigating Agency and the Kerala High Court, to hear a case pertaining the annulment of a marriage between a Muslim man and a Hindu woman.  
  4. The Supreme Court of India upheld a centralized all-India mechanism aimed at improving the selection process of judges for the lower judiciary.
  5. The Supreme Court of Israel struck down a tax imposed on owners of several housing units, given that it was not properly approved by the Knesset.
  6. The Supreme Court of Kenya dismissed a challenge against the nomination of James Onyango K’Oyoo as an MP candidate for the Muhoroni constituency.
  7.  The Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal sentenced an opposition Mayor to 15 months in prison.
  8.  The Supreme Court of Australia ruled that certain fake guns must be considered replicas (i.e. not toys) regardless of the categorization given by the product’s package.
  9.  The Supreme Court of Canada issued two landmark decisions defining the scope of the right of indigenous communities to be consulted prior to implementation of projects that may affect their interests.
  10. The Supreme Court of Costa Rica (Constitutional Chamber) concluded that the prohibition on certain types of rice sales is constitutional.   
  11. The Supreme Court of Ireland declared that the cessation of pension payments to prisoners is unconstitutional, given that it breached the principle of separation of powers and amounted to an additional punishment against the appellant.  

In the News

  1. The Catalonian Parliament passed a fast-track procedure to enact laws required to advance the independence referendum to be held on October 1, 2017.  
  2. The controversial Venezuelan constituent assembly fired the Attorney General, who has been a prominent critic of President Maduro’s plan for enacting a new constitution.
  3. The Libyan constituent assembly approved Chapter 5 of the draft Constitution, which institutes a new Constitutional Court.
  4. Two prominent German newspapers filed a claim before the European Court of Human rights, due to the incarceration of one their correspondents in Turkey.
  5. Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi claimed that the trial that ordinary courts are conducting against him is not valid given that, according to the Constitution, Presidents must be tried by a special court.
  6. The President of the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament expressed her concerns on the U.S. environmental policy shift, and also stated that the world is eager to hear the American alternatives to its withdrawal from the Paris Accord.
  7. President of Philippines Rodrigo Duterte announced his plan to create a 24-member commission to draft a new constitution.     
  8. Religious leaders signed an appeal sent to the Parliament of Georgia claiming that the proposed constitution threatens religious minorities.  
  9. The Japanese Liberal Democratic Party along with PM Shinzo Abe decided to change the original timetable for constitutional change.
  10. Mauritanian electorate voted in a referendum to abolish the Senate and to change the national flag.
  11. The President of the UK’s Supreme Court Lord Neuberger asked the Parliament to clarify how courts should interpret the European Court of Justice rulings after “Brexit.”
  12. A French Senator nominated to the Constitutional Council withdrew his nomination amidst allegations of misbehaviour during his tenure as Minister of Justice.
  13. After defeating his rival by a relatively narrow margin, President Uhuru Kenyatta has been reelected for a new term in Kenya.
  14. South African President Jacob Zuma survived in a no-confidence vote by the opposition.
  15. Chicago filed a suit against U.S. President Trump’s decision of cutting federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities.”
  16. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf weighed in on the controversy between the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court.
  17. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appointed two female vice-presidents after calls for increasing women’s participation in his cabinet.

New Scholarship

  1. Geert Corstens, Understanding the Rule of Law (2017) (providing an accessible and practical understanding of the Rule of Law, in light of landmark judgments issued by courts around the world)
  2. András L. Pap, Democratic Decline in Hungary. Law and Society in an Illiberal Democracy (2017) (describing the rise and transformation of the Hungarian constitutional system to an illiberal political regime)
  3. Pasquale Pasquino, How do Constitutional Courts decide? Precedente (2017) (comparing the “mode of production” of judicial decisions issued by the Constitutional Tribunals of Germany, France and Italy, as well as by the U.S. Supreme Court) (in Spanish)
  4. Liliana Sánchez-Mejía, Victims’ Rights in Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia (2017) (examining how the implementation of an adversarial criminal justice system in Colombia impacted victims’ rights)
  5. Sergio Verdugo, Birth and decay of the Chilean Constitutional Tribunal (1970–1973): The irony of a wrong electoral prediction, 15 International Journal of Constitutional Law (2017) (examining the Chilean 1970-1973 Constitutional Tribunal and its subsequent waning, to show how this case can contribute to the global discussion on the creation and sustainment of constitutional courts)
  6. Uzi Vogelman, Nadiv Mordechay, Yaniv Roznai & Tehilla Schwartz, Developments in Israeli Constitutional Law, in Richard Albert, David Landau, Pietro Faraguna & Simon Drugda (eds), I-CONnect-Clough Center: 2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law (2017) (examining eleven landmark decisions of the Israeli High Court of Justice in 2016 in some sensitive issues such as minorities, emergency laws, belligerent occupation and recurring armed conflicts, unique rules of citizenship, and the relation between religion and state)  
  7. Jeremy Waldron, One Another’s Equals. The Basis of Human Equality (2017) (offering a philosophical account of the development of the principle of human equality in western societies)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. Professors Adam Chilton (University of Chicago Law School) and Mila Versteeg (University of Virginia School of Law) invite constitutional law experts to answer a survey on “Small-c Constitutions,” and more specifically about the nature and sources of constitutional law in several countries around the world.
  2. The TARN Young Researchers Platform is organizing a workshop on Current and Future Challenges of EU Agencification on 20 November, 2017. The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 30, 2017.
  3. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut invites submissions to its conference on “Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism: International (Human Rights) Law Challenges and Opportunities,” that will take place in December 2017. The deadline for submissions is September 23, 2017.
  4. The National Law School of India Review is accepting contributions for its forthcoming issue – Volume 30(1). The submission deadline is November 1, 2017.
  5. The North-American section of the Société de législation comparée invites presentations to its bilingual conference “Law’s Porosities,” to be held at the American University Washington College of Law, on October 26, 2017. The deadline for submission of abstracts is August 31, 2017.
  6. The American Society of Comparative Law convenes its annual meeting, which will focus on “Comparative Law, Faith and Religion: The Role of Faith in Law.” The meeting will take place on October 26-28, 2017.
  7. Universidad de La Sabana Law and Political Sciences School in Colombia invites submissions to its conference on “Constitution, Human Rights and Legal Philosophy,” which will be held on September 27-29, 2017. The deadline for submission of abstracts is August 31, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Iain Brassington, Charlie Gard: An Ethical Analysis of a Legal non-Problem, EJIL: Talk!
  2. A J Brown, A new federal integrity system in the making? The case for a Commonwealth anti-corruption agency, AUSPUBLAW
  3. Pierre de Vos, Early Election Won’t Happen – Although it is provided for in the Constitution, Constitutionally Speaking
  4. Edward Foley, Symposium: Wechsler, history and gerrymandering, SCOTUSblog
  5. James Fowkes, Analysis: Latest Developments in the South African Court’s Most Expansive Socio-Economic Rights Doctrine — The Need for Meaningful Engagement about Meaningful Engagement, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  6. Omar Ha-Redeye, Understanding Indigenous Rights for the Next 150 Years, CanLII Connects
  7. Catherine Haguenau-Moizard, The French Antiterrorist Bill: A Permanent State of Emergency, Verfassungsblog
  8. Sanjeev Menon, The GST Amendment: Non-entrenchment Of Article 246A Under The Provisio To Article 368(2), Live Law
  9. Elissa Miller, Libya’s draft constitution and the stalled political process, The Arab Weekly
  10. Magnus Onyibe, Nigeria’s Constitution Amendment: Failure Of Imagination And Need For Political Courage, Leadership
  11. William Partlett, What’s wrong with Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly? Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  12. Anna Reuss & Kristof Titeca, Removing the presidential age limit in Uganda: the power of cash and coercion, openDemocracy
  13. Carlos Arturo Villagrán-Sandoval, Interrogating “Constitutionalism of the South” and New Pathways for Research: The Case for a Central America in the Global Debate, Völkerrechtsblog
  14. Ryan Vogel, Would war with North Korea be legal? The Salt Lake Tribune
  15. Mark Elliot, A “blatant power grab”? The Scottish Government on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, Public Law for Everyone
  16. Duncan Okubasu Munabi, The Kenyan Election: An Insight into the Effectiveness of Constitutional Guarantees, OxHRH


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