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 Chile upheld a legislative measure that will end the country’s absolute ban on abortions in a 6-4 vote. The measure legalizes abortions when a woman’s life is in danger, when a fetus is not viable and in cases of rape.
  2. The Supreme Court of India held that that individual privacy is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. The ruling was delivered by a rare nine-member bench.
  3. A heterosexual couple who want to enter a civil partnership instead of getting married have been granted the right to take their case to the UK Supreme Court.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Czechia held that prisoners have right to maintain contact with their children.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Guatemala suspended an order by President Jimmy Morales to expel the head of a UN anti-graft unit investigating campaign financing of his party.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Guatemala confirms a provisional suspension of two mining licenses belonging to a local unit of Canadian miner Tahoe Resources Inc., after an environmental organization argued that indigenous people in the region had not been consulted about the projects.
  7. The Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong dismissed an appeal by two pro-independence lawmakers contesting their disqualification from the legislature.
  8. Israel’s Chief Rabbinate challenged the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction to rule on the intra-religious struggle involving egalitarian prayer at the Western Wall.
  9. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Israeli Supreme Court for a rehearing with a larger panel of judges over the decision that he must release the call logs of his conversations with the former editor of Israel Hayom, and the paper’s founder.

In News

  1. A federal judge in the United States has overturned an Arizona ban on ethnic studies courses aimed at Hispanic students.
  2. The California Supreme Court rejected mandatory deadlines on appeals in death penalty cases.
  3. The President of Romania opposes plans for a judicial overhaul.
  4. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) criticizes the US leadership for a failure to unequivocally reject race-related violence.
  5. Former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra failed to appear in court to hear the verdict in her corruption trial, amid reports that she had fled the country.
  6. The Government of Pakistan plans to amend Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which deal with qualification and disqualification of MPs.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Discretionary Referenda in Constitutional Amendment, Working Paper, Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 460 (drawing from Canada, Colombia, France and the UK to develop a typology of discretionary referenda in constitutional amendment, to examine why constitutional actors use discretionary referenda to amend the constitution, and to situate their use within the larger phenomenon of the circumvention of formal amendment rules)
  2. Stefano Civitarese Matteucci and Simon Halliday (eds.), Social Rights in Europe in an Age of Austerity (2017) (examining the promise and limits of social rights in Europe in a time of austerity)
  3. Benjamin Alarie and Andrew J. Green, Commitment and Cooperation on High Courts: A Cross-Country Examination of Institutional Constraints on Judges (2017) (building a framework for discussing the influence of high court design choices known as the Commitment-Cooperation framework to promote a deeper understanding of how institutional differences affect judicial decision-making)
  4. Erica Howard, Freedom of Expression and Religious Hate Speech in Europe (2017) (critically examining the case law of the European Court of Human Rights to answer whether legal prohibitions of religious hate speech violate the right to freedom of expression, and whether such laws should be used to prosecute politicians and others when they use anti-Islam rhetoric)
  5. Javier García Oliva and Helen Hall, Religion, Law and the Constitution: Balancing Beliefs in Britain (2017) (examining the existing constitutional and legal system in England, Wales and Scotland, through the prism of its treatment of religion and belief)
  6. Sital Kalantry, Women’s Human Rights and Migration: Sex-Selective Abortion Laws in the United States and India (2017) (investigating the actual occurrence of sex-selective abortion among Asian Americans, the social and cultural contexts in which women in the US and India practice sex-selective abortion, and the consequences of the laws in each country for women’s equality)
  7. Jiajun Luo, Institutional Purposes of Chinese Courts: Examining Judicial Guiding Cases in China Through a New Analytic Framework (2107) (empirically examining the institutional purpose of Chinese courts in an authoritarian context)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Scholars with ten years or fewer years of teaching experience are invited to participate in the first-ever Younger Scholars Forum in Comparative Law, to be held in Fukuoka, Japan on Wednesday, July 25, 2018, from 9:00am to 12:00pm as part of the larger quadrennial Congress of Comparative Law organized by the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL).
  2. Jindal Global Law School, Melbourne Law School, NUS Faculty of Law, and Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford invite submissions from early career researchers to a workshop on on “Comparative Perspectives on Administrative Law in India.” The workshop will be held in Delhi, India, on April 7-8, 2017. The deadline for submissions is September 5, 2017.
  3. The South Carolina Law Review hosts its 2018 Symposium on “Artificial Intelligence and the Practice of Law,” on February 9, 2018. Interdisciplinary works are welcome from academic professors or legal practitioners. If selected, a completed paper (6,000–18,000 words) will be due by January 1, 2018.
  4. The University of Lund invites applications for the position of a senior lecturer in EU law specialising in European business law. The deadline for applications is September 29, 2017.
  5. The Journal of Constitutional Research, promoted by the Center for Constitutional Research (NINC) of the Master’s and Doctorate in Law Program of the Federal University of Paraná, invites submissions in English and Spanish for its 2018.1 and 2018.2 editions.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Patrick F. Baud and Maxime St-Hilaire, Trinity Western: Did the Chief Justice of Canada make an illegal or questionable order?, À qui de DROIT
  2. Mark Elliot, The Devil in the Detail: Twenty Questions about the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, Public Law for Everyone
  3. Gautam Bhatia, The Right to Privacy Hearing: Problems and Prospects, Indian Constitutional Law and Philosophy
  4. Maxime St-Hilaire, 150 Years On: Why don’t we get clear on where the Canadian federal distribution of legislative powers (legally) comes from?, À qui de DROIT
  5. Smaran Shetty, Government Advocates and Standing Counsel: Investigating the professional pasts of Supreme Court Judges, Law and Other Things
  6. Vasujith Ram, Taxes on Sanitary Napkins in India, Feminist Law Professors
  7. Susan Stefan, Is advocating suicide a crime under the First Amendment?, OUPblog
  8. Brian Frye, Moral Rights & Confederate Monuments, The Faculty Lounge


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