Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Patrick Yingling, Reed Smith LLP

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative 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. Poland’s Constitutional Court upheld a 2015 law that significantly limits the rights of people whose property in Warsaw was seized during or after World War II to apply for restitution.
  2. The Azerbaijani Constitutional Court approved draft amendments to the country’s constitution, including an amendment to establish the vice presidency.
  3. Investigators from Georgia’s prosecutor’s office have interviewed judges of the country’s Constitutional Court over the allegations that pressure was exerted on the Court.
  4. South Korea’s Constitutional Court upheld a controversial anti-graft law, which subjects journalists and private school teachers along with public officials to strict guidelines in regards to gifts, paving the way for its official implementation.
  5. Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court rejected three of the questions posed by television showman Slavi Trifonov and accepted by Parliament for a national referendum to be held in autumn 2016.

In the News

  1. The Turkish government approved a step to draft a new constitution in the wake of the recent failed coup.
  2. The European Union has given Poland a three-month deadline to reverse changes to its constitutional court.
  3. The Catalan parliament approved a timeline to secede from Spain and announced that it will hold a vote of confidence in the current pro-independence government.
  4. Azerbaijan set September 26th as the date for a referendum on constitutional changes that would hand extra powers to long-running President Ilham Aliyev.
  5. Bulgarian Ombudsman Maya Manolova asked the country’s Constitutional Court to scrap provisions in the Electoral Code that envisioned penalties on voters that did not exercise their right to vote.

New Scholarship

  1. Sofia Ranchordas, Constitutional Sunrise, in The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment, Richard Albert, Xenophon Contiades, and Alkmini Fontiadou (eds.) (forthcoming 2017) (suggesting that multiple constitutions contain automatic or contingent sunrise clauses and exploring the use of sunrise clauses as instruments of constitutional change)
  2. Mary Sarah Bilder, Charter Constitutionalism: The Myth of Edward Coke and the Virginia Charter, 94 North Carolina Law Review 1545 (2016) (recounting an alternative history of the origins of English liberties in American constitutionalism)
  3. Adam S. Chilton and Eric A. Posner, Respect for Human Rights: Law and History, University of Chicago Coase-Sandor Institute for Law & Economics Research Paper No. 770(2016) (presenting evidence relevant to the Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Convention Against Torture and showing that recent improvements in human rights are attributable to long running trends that pre-date the emergence of the treaty regimes)
  4. Tomáš Ľalík, Tracing Constitutional Changes in Slovakia Since 2008 (2016) (analyzing the constitutional revision process in Slovakia while taking into account recent constitutional changes since the financial crisis of 2008)
  5. Politics and Constitutions in Southeast Asia, Marco Bünte and Björn Dressel (eds.) (2016) (examining a range of current constitutional developments in the different states of Southeast Asia through a distinct political lens)
  6. Mary Bosworth, Penal Humanitarianism? Sovereign Power in an Era of Mass Migration, New Criminal Law Review (forthcoming 2017) (exploring a series of overlapping case studies undertaken in Nigeria and Jamaica where the UK has funded prison building programs, mandatory prisoner transfer agreements, prison training programs, and resettlement assistance for deportees)
  7. Kal Raustiala, Governing the Internet, American Journal of International Law (forthcoming 2016) (exploring why the United States is relinquishing an important source of power over the Internet, and what this means for both users of the Internet and scholars of global governance)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The ICON-S 2017 Annual Conference will take place on July 5-7, 2017 in Copenhagen, under the auspices of the University of Copenhagen’s Faculty of Law and iCourts – the Danish National Research Foundation’s Center for Excellence on International Courts. The 2017 Annual Meeting’s theme will be “Courts, Power, and Public Law.”
  2. Tilburg Law Review invites article submissions for its fall 2017 special issue on “Translating Law.” The submission deadline is December 15, 2016.
  3. Organizers are calling for papers for a conference on “Justice, Mercy and Law: from revenge to forgiveness in the History of Law” to be held on December 13-16, 2016 at Catedra Inocentio III in Murcia, Spain.
  4. Organizers invite abstracts for the Annual International Conference on Comparative Law, “Evolution of Law (?!),” to be held on June 9, 2017 at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw, Poland.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David Landau, Constitutional implications of Colombia’s judicialized peace process, ConstitutionNet
  2. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Statutory tinkering: on the Senate’s changes to the Law on the Polish Constitutional Tribunal, Verfassungsblog
  3. Melissa Crouch, The constitutional implications of Myanmar’s peace process, ConstitutionNet
  4. Christina Lienen, Brexit and the Domestic Judiciary: Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Aftermath of Triggering Article 50, UK Constitutional Law Association
  5. Leena Rikkila Tamang, Political Implications of the draft Constitution of Thailand: A Conversation with Prof Tom Ginsburg and Mr Khem­thong Tonsakul­rungruang, IDEA


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