Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Nausica Palazzo, Ph.D. researcher in Comparative Constitutional Law (University of Trento)

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 Colombia ruled that the peace deal with FARC cannot be amended for 12 years.
  2. The Supreme Court of India held that sex with minor bride constitutes rape.
  3. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed one of the two travel ban cases.
  4. The French Constitutional Court found the French 3% surtax on dividend distributions to be unconstitutional in its entirety.
  5. The high court of Cape Town declared unconstitutional a law for failure to impose full and continuous disclosure of information concerning private funding of political parties.
  6. The Austrian Constitutional Court upheld the Austria Bank pension law, imposing higher contributions to shift staff into the state pension system.
  7. Malta’s Constitutional Court refused to find that the human rights of a man wrongfully convicted of daughter’s rape have been violated.

 In the News

  1. Right-wing parties win the Austrian general elections.
  2. South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that prosecutors should reinstate bribery and corruption charges against Zuma.
  3. The state of Washington has filedlawsuit against the Trump’s expansion of religious objections over the contraceptive coverage mandate under ACA. Pennsylvania followed.
  4. The Supreme Court of Indonesia ordered the government to restore public water and revoke its contract with private water utilities, for failure to protect right to water.
  5. The Venice Commission has urged Ukraine to strengthen the independence of the Anti-Corruption Court.
  6. The Parliament of Georgia overrides the presidential veto on the constitutional bill.
  7. A UK High Court rejected a challenge under the Human Rights Act 1998 to the law prohibiting assisted suicide.
  8. Germany ratified the “Istanbul Convention” prohibiting violence against women and domestic violence.
  9. The Prime Minister of Japan called for a constitutional amendment introducing the principle of civilian control over the country’s Self-Defense Forces.
  10. Former Prime Minister wins Kyrgyzstan’s presidential election in the first round.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Single-Subject Constitutional Amendments, Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 466 (suggesting that amending the Constitution of Canada–one of the world’s most difficult to amend–could become easier under a new single-subject rule that prohibits omnibus amendment bills but permits multiple single-amendment bills only if voted on separately and differentiated by subject-matter)
  2. Or Bassok, The Arendtian Dread: Courts with Power, Ratio Juris (forthcoming) (offering a new reading to Hannah Arendt’s obscure depiction of the American Supreme Court as “the true seat of authority in the American Republic” but unfit to power)
  3. Yan Campagnolo, A Rational Approach to Cabinet Immunity Under the Common Law, 55 Alberta Law Review 1 (2017) (providing an account of the contours of the public interest immunity under the common law, and exploring the issue of whether judges are better placed than public officials to adjudicate such claims)
  4. Arthur Dyevre, Wessel Wijtvliet & Nicolas Lampach, The Future of European Legal Scholarship: Empirical Jurisprudence, (2017) (advocating in favor of the emergence of an “Empirical Jurisprudence,” and for the application of the methodology of the social sciences to European legal research)
  5. Stephen Gardbaum, What Makes for More or Less Powerful Constitutional Courts? UCLA School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-37 (2017) (addressing the uncertainties surrounding claims that one or other constitutional court is among the most powerful in the world: what is the proper measure of judicial power, what are its components, and what explains a court’s overall strength or weakness)
  6. Jena McGill, Now Its My Rights Versus Yours’: Equality in Tension with Religious Freedoms, 53 Alberta Law Review 3 (2016) (offering an account of the Canadian jurisprudence featuring a tension between the equality rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer people and the religious freedoms of faith-based communities)
  7. Douglas NeJaime, The Family’s Constitution, 32 Constitutional Commentary 413 (2017) (exploring in depth the interaction between family law and constitutional law, and debunking the myth of them being “relatively separate spheres”)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. ICON-S is pleased to announce that its 2018 Annual Conference on “Identity, Security, Democracy: Challenges for Public Law” will be held in Hong Kong, on June 25-27, 2018. The Society invites submissions for the conference.
  2. The Minerva Center for the Rule of Law under Extreme Conditions at the University of Haifa invites submissions to participate in the second young researchers workshop on “Terrorism and Belligerency”. The application deadline is November 17, 2017.
  3. The University of Bologna School of Law is hosting a conference on “Citizenship in Europe and European Citizenship“, to be held in Bologna, on 16 October 2017.
  4. The current issue no. 3 (2017) of the journal “Dpce online” is hosting a symposium on “Comparative Perspectives on Originalism” (see “Casi e questioni”).
  5. The Stanford Program in International Legal Studies (SPILS) is accepting applications from foreign students interested in careers in teaching, research, the judiciary, public policy, or service in government or non-governmental organizations, for the position of “Teaching Fellow”. Applications are due by December 8, 2017.
  6. The Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore is hosting its first annual International Law Year in Review, which will take place on February 8, 2018, in Singapore.
  7. The American Bar Foundation is accepting applications for the prestigious William H. Neukom Fellows Research Chair in Diversity and Law.
  8. The Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University is currently seeking to fill up to four tenure-track positions. All subject areas will be considered, but preference will be given to candidates interested in teaching one or more required or “core” courses.
  9. The Law & Tax Department of HEC Paris invites applications for two tenure-track (or tenured) positions (at the rank of Assistant Professor, Associate or Full Professor) in Corporate Law and in International Taxation. Applications are due by 1st December 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Richard Parry, Converging Events Force the Constitutional Pace, Blog of the Centre on Constitutional Change
  2. Nicolas Bagley, Ending the cost-sharing payments, Blog of the Yale Journal of Regulation
  3. Renáta Uitz, Academic Freedom in an Illiberal Democracy: From Rule of Law through Rule by Law to Rule by Men in Hungary, Verfassungsblog
  4. Leonid Bershidsky, Italy Knows How to Solve Catalonia’s Problem: A South Tyrolean-style arrangement should resolve two of the Catalan separatists’ biggest grievances, Bloomberg
  5. Gaiane Nuridzhanian, (Non-)Recognition of De Facto Regimes in Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights: Implications for Cases Involving Crimea and Eastern Ukraine, EJIL: Talk!
  6. Perfecto Caparas, Prosecuting President Duterte, JURIST
  7. Podcast: The state of the Second Amendment, Constitution Daily
  8. Hari Osofsky & Hannah Wiseman, The pull of energy markets – and legal challenges – will blunt plans to roll back EPA carbon rules, The Conversation
  9. Albert Sánchez-Graells, Interesting report on CJEU case handling by the EU Court of Auditors, Diritti Comparati
  10. Cormac Mac Amhlaigh, Can Brexit be stopped under EU Law?, Verfassungsblog


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