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. The Constitutional Court of South Africa reserved its judgment in the impeachment application filed by the opposition parties against Jacob Zuma.
  2. The Court of Justice of the European Union dismissed the applications by Slovakia and Hungary challenging the EU’s refugee quota policy.
  3. Indonesia’s Corruption Court sentenced Judge Patrialis Akbar of the Indonesian Constitutional Court to 8 years of imprisonment after finding him guilty of receiving a bribe in a case relating to the law on animal husbandry.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Spain suspended the referendum law that was recently passed by the Catalan Parliament to authorise an independence referendum on October 1, 2017.
  5. The Supreme Court of India will hear a case to decide whether re-tweeting a defamatory tweet would amount to defamation.
  6. The High Court of Australia ruled that the National Government’s proposed postal vote on same-sex marriage is legal and can be conducted according to plan.

In the News

  1. Owing to public demands, the Government of Togo has reintroduced presidential term limits that were abolished in 2002.
  2. A highly critical report written by the Labour MP David Lammy at the request of the UK Prime Minister reveals the existence of racial bias in the British criminal justice process.
  3. Romania will hold a referendum later this year to re-define marriage only as a union between a man and a woman.
  4. The European Court of Human Rights will decide the extent to which employers can monitor the office emails of their employees.
  5. Zimbabwe passed a new constitutional amendment bill that grants President Mugabe the sole authority to appoint the Chief Justice of the High Court.
  6. The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola, the main opposition party in the country, challenged the recent election results in the Constitutional Court.
  7. The Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of Africa (CCJA) expressed solidarity with the Kenyan Judiciary in light of the recent remarks made by Uhuru Kenyatta about the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Kenyan Supreme Court.

New Scholarship

  1. Holning Lau, Marriage Equality and Family Diversity: Comparative Perspectives from the United States and South Africa, 85 Fordham Law Review (2017) (contending that the Constitutional Court of South Africa developed a superior conceptualization of the right to marry than the US Supreme Court even though both these highest courts have ruled that excluding same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional)
  2. John Corvino, Ryan T. Anderson, and Sherif Girgis, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination (2017) (discussing difficult issues like how to deal with problems that arise when exercise of religious liberty leads to unjust discrimination and how to endorse the common good while respecting conscience in diverse societies)
  3. Brian Christopher Jones, Constitutions and Bills of Rights: Invigorating or Placating Democracy, Legal Studies (forthcoming 2017) (challenging the notion that new constitutions or bills of rights invigorate democracies)
  4. Gautam Bhatia, Sex Discrimination and the Anti-Stereotyping Principle: Anuj Garg vs. Hotel Association of India (2017) (examining sex discrimination under the Indian Constitution primarily by dissecting the Supreme Court’s judgment in Anuj Garg vs Hotel Association (2008) and highlighting the value of the reasoning in this judgment to transform India’s sex discrimination jurisprudence)
  5. Curtis Bradley, U.S. War Powers and the Potential Benefits of Comparativism, Oxford Handbook of Comparative Foreign Relations Law (Curtis A. Bradley ed., 2018 Forthcoming)

Calls 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 as part of the larger quadrennial Congress of Comparative Law organized by the International Academy of Comparative Law (IACL).
  2. The European Society for Comparative Legal History invites papers from PhD-students and post-doctoral researchers for its first Postgraduate Conference in “Comparative Legal History” to be held on February 22-24, 2018 at Augsburg University, Germany. Interested scholars must submit abstracts of their papers to by October 31, 2017.
  3. The Human Rights Centre at the University of Padova invites papers for its International Conference on the “Role of Human Rights Research: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities” to be held on November 27–28, 2017 at the University of Padova, Italy. Interested participants must submit abstracts of their papers to by September 21, 2017.
  4. Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network invites papers for the Law & Society Association Meeting to be held on June 7–10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The deadline for abstract submissions is September 17, 2017.
  5. The T.M.C. Asser Institute and the International Association of Constitutional Law invite paper submissions for the Conference on “Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism” to be held on December 14, 2017 in The Hague. Interested scholars must submit abstracts of their papers to by September 23, 2017.
  6. The Feminist Judgment Project India envisages the academic possibility of writing alternate judgments for several Indian cases that have a significant bearing on women. The main aim of this project is to re-write court judgments that could have been written better or differently by using a feminist lens. Currently, organisers of the project invite proposals in two categories for this project. Those who are interested in re-writing judgments must submit a proposal of 300-500 words indicating the case you wish to write on, and briefly explaining how the case would benefit from a feminist analysis. Those who are interested in writing commentaries must submit a proposal of 300-500 words indicating the case for which you want to write the commentary explaining why you think such case merits a feminist analysis. Interested scholars must submit their proposals to by November 5, 2017. The organisers require the contributors to assure that they shall attend two related workshops in 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Mattias Kumm, Democracy as constitutional topos, Verfassungsblog [in German]
  2. Michal Ovádek, The EU as the Appropriate Locus of Power for Tackling Crises: Interpretation of Article 78(3) TFEU in the case Slovakia and Hungary v Council, Verfassungsblog
  3. Marek Domin, Slovak Parliament has Abolished Presidential Amnesties: A Brief Outline of the Story. Is there a Happy Ending?, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  4. Menaka Guruswamy, India’s Supreme Court Expands Freedom, The New York Times
  5. Adrienne Stone, Public Servants, Social Media and the Constitution, AUSPUBLAW
  6. Gordon Downie, Brexit: What to make of Directives?, UK Constitutional Law Association
  7. Karlson Leung, Reconciling Religion: Lessons Learned from the Triple Talaq Case for Comparative Constitutional Governance, Verfassungsblog
  8. Lee Marsons, Common Law Proportionality in English Law: Are We There Yet?, Admin Law Blog
  9. Nzau Musau, Uhuru Kenyatta’s limited options in scheme to ‘fix’ Supreme Court, Standard Media
  10. Gautam Bhatia, With triple talaq order, Supreme Court revives ‘arbitrariness’ as grounds to challenge unequal laws,
  11. Joshua Okunyuk Wabwire, The Supreme Court of Kenya Has Ordered a Fresh Election. But What Does That Mean?, OxHRH
  12. Saurabh Bhattacharjee, India needs proper refugee legislation, The Statesman


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