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 Supreme Court of Brazil suspended a government decree that altered the definition of slavery and reduced the scope of what could be classified as slave labour.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Russia held that email service providers must uphold privacy of correspondence of their customers.
  3. The Supreme Court of India will start hearing the constitutional challenge against the law on Aadhaar, the mass biometric ID project, from the end of November 2017 onwards.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Guatemala abolished death penalty for civil cases.
  5. Zimbabwean citizens living in South Africa and the UK filed a fresh challenge before the Constitutional Court against the country’s electoral law that prohibits its citizens living abroad from voting in local elections without physically going back to the country.
  6. The Supreme Court of India is currently hearing a case to decide whether the apex court can rely on reports of the Parliamentary Standing Committee to interpret statutes passed by the Parliament.

In the News

  1. The Australian government rejected a proposal to amend the Constitution to introduce a representative body for indigenous people.
  2. The Senate of Pakistan’s Parliament approved an amendment to the recently adopted election reforms that would have the effect of barring Nawaz Sharif from heading the Pakistan Muslim League (N).
  3. The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand informed that nobody has applied for the post of Election Commissioner even after 6 days since the application process opened.
  4. The Chief Justice of the South African Constitutional Court warned political parties not to take recourse to the judiciary to solve their internal disputes.
  5. The UK Parliament is debating the replacement of the current first past the post electoral system with the proportional representation model.

New Scholarship

  1. Francesco Palermo and Karl Kössler, Comparative Federalism: Constitutional Arrangements and Case Law (Hart Publishing, 2017) (exploring federalism from the perspective of comparative constitutional law in policy areas like social welfare, environmental protection, and migrant integration)
  2. Cass R. Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, The Morality of Administrative Law, Harvard Law Review (Forthcoming 2018) (explaining the various aspects of the morality of administrative law that reflects core principles of the rule of law)
  3. Janina Boughey and Greg Weeks, Government Accountability as a ‘Constitutional Value’, in Rosalind Dixon (ed.), Australian Constitutional Values (Hart Publishing, Forthcoming 2018) (understanding the development of government accountability as an ideal that administrative ought to uphold)
  4. Daniel P. Tokaji, Vote Dissociation, Yale Law Journal Forum (Forthcoming 2018) (analysing the issue of ‘vote dissociation’ which is a form of violation of voting rights but different from both vote denial and vote dilution)
  5. Theunis Roux, Comparative Constitutional Studies: Two Fields or One?, Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Vol. 13 (2017) (reviewing latest research on constitutionalism and judicial review and analysing the dialogical relation between two fields: comparative constitutional law and comparative judicial politics)
  6. Aziz Z. Huq and Tom Ginsburg, How to Lose a Constitutional Democracy, UCLA Law Review, Vol. 65 (Forthcoming 2018) (developing a taxonomy of different modes of democratic decay, namely authoritarian reversion and constitutional retrogression, in light of the recent political events in the United States)
  7. Rosalind Dixon, The Swiss Constitution and a Weak-Form Unconstitutional Amendment Doctrine?, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 75 (2017) (considering plausible solutions to the increasing problem of threat to constitutional democracy in Switzerland caused by the nation’s longstanding feature: direct democracy)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly is inviting submissions for its upcoming Issue (Vol.4, No.1). The deadline for submissions is January 2, 2018.
  2. The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society, and Wolfson College, University of Oxford are inviting interested scholars to attend the keynote lecture on ‘The Case for a Written Constitution’ by AC Grayling, Master of the New College of the Humanities – London. The lecture will be held on December 6, 2017 at Wolfson College, Oxford. Interested participants must register here at the earliest.
  3. American Constitution Society at Barry University School of Law and Texas A & M University School of Law are inviting paper proposals for the 3rd Annual Constitutional Law Scholars Forum to be held on March 2, 2018. Interested scholars must submit their proposals to Professor Eang Ngov at before December 1, 2017.
  4. The Indian Journal of Constitutional & Administrative Law is inviting submissions for its upcoming Issue (Vol.2, No.1). The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. David R. Cameron, Catalonia on the brink of Article 155, Yale Macmillan Center
  2. Omar Yousef Shehabi, The Kurdistan Independence Referendum and Constitutional Self-Determination, Verfassungsblog
  3. Alison Young, Benkharbouche and the Future of Disapplication, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  4. Robin M. Maher, Effective defence, Dawn
  5. Tony Blackshield, Seven Little Australians, AUSPUBLAW
  6. Alok Prasanna Kumar, Judiciary vs executive: Is the country’s Constitution becoming a victim in this pursuit for supremacy?, Firstpost
  7. Sharon Hofisi, Avoidance doctrine and constitutional interpretation, The Herald


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