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. Bolivia’s Constitutional Court allows President Morales to run for a fourth term.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in historic privacy case on cellphone tracking.
  3. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rules tariff increase for prisoners’ phone calls unconstitutional.
  4. The Supreme Court of Canada finds in favor of the Yukon First Nations in Peel watershed suit.
  5. The Constitutional Court of South Africa held unconstitutional the rules on temporary shelter of the City of Johannesburg.
  6. The Constitutional Court of Georgia has decriminalized consumption of marijuana.

Special Announcement: Version 4.0 of Constitute

The Comparative Constitutions Project announces the roll-out of an updated and enriched version of Constitute, a world-wide database of constitutions. Although Constitute was built for drafters and others in the Constitutions “business,” the 4.0 version moves the project closer to the ordinary citizen, “which is where a Constitutional project should live.”

The revision introduces an expanded set of constitutional texts and a host of new features that give users more control over their experience. A selected set of draft and historical constitutions is now available, along with a new log-in feature, and more.

In the News

  1. The President of Kenya was sworn in after controversial (re)elections.
  2. The Zimbabwe High Court rules military takeover constitutional.
  3. China’s Tourism Bureau orders to strike Vatican off touristic itineraries.
  4. The U.S. Senate has approved a controversial tax bill.
  5. U.S. withdraws from the UN Global Compact on Migration.
  6. The president of Ecuador announces a referendum to restore presidential term-limits.
  7. South Korea has launched a survey to examine whether it should legalize abortion.
  8. The State Secretary of Germany declares that Germany may need constitutional amendments to address the targeting of private computers by hackers.

New Scholarship

  1. Antonia Baraggia, Challenges in Comparative Constitutional Law Studies: Between Globalization and Constitutional Tradition. Special Issue – Comparative Law, Law and Method (October, 2017) (addressing the main contemporary methodological challenges faced by the studies of comparative constitutional law, including integrating the classical “horizontal” comparative method with a vertical one, and fostering an interdisciplinary approach)
  2. Maja Sahadzic, Constitutional Asymmetry vs. Sovereignty and Self-Determination, Sui Generis (2017) (providing an alternative approach to autonomy claims, in the context of the right to self-determination)
  3. Bui Ngoc Son, The Law of China and Vietnam in Comparative Law, 41 Fordham International Law Journal 1 (2017) (placing the law of China and Vietnam in mainstream comparative law by examining their multiple layers of law, strategic accommodation of the rule of law, and two distinctive legal systems, namely the Confucian Legal system and the socialist legal system)
  4. Mario Alberto Cajas-Sarria, Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Colombia: A Political and Historical Perspective, 1955-2016, 5 Journal Theory and Practice of Legislation 1 (2017) (examining the judicial review of constitutional amendments, and the interdependence between the political context and the doctrines of both the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court)
  5. Athanasios Psygkas, From the “Democratic Deficit” to a “Democratic Surplus”: Constructing Administrative Democracy in Europe (Oxford University Press, 2017) (examining the role of the EU in increasing the accountability of national regulatory agencies and in building an “administrative democracy”)
  6. Daniel Halberstam & Christopher McCrudden, Miller and Northern Ireland: A Critical Constitutional Response, 8 UK Supreme Court Yearbook (2017) (assessing critically the devolution aspects of the UK Supreme Court’s judgment in Miller, concerning the use of the royal prerogative to trigger Article 50 TEU)
  7. Harry T. Edwards, Collegial Decision Making in the U.S. Courts of Appeals, NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 17-47 (outlining the decision-making process of the U.S. Court of Appeals and explaining how it differs from that of the U.S. Supreme Court)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society invites you to the lecture on “Political Instability and Constitutional Instability in Latin American States,” by Prof. Christopher Thornhill at the Wolfson College, Oxford, on December 7, 2017.
  2. The second issue of the “Rivista di Diritti Comparati” is now available.
  3. The latest issue of the Think Tank Review compiled by the EU Council Library is now available.
  4. The ECPR’s Standing Group on the European Union invites scholars to its annual SGEU conference on “Contradictions – Whither the Political, Economic and Social Integration of Europe?,” to be held in Paris, on June 13-15, 2018.
  5. The University of Michigan welcomes submissions from junior scholars to participate in the 4th Annual Junior Scholars’  Conference. The conference will be held on April 13–14, 2018, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The deadline to submit abstracts is January 8, 2018.
  6. Applications are open for submissions to participate in the workshop #22 “Internet in the Age of Ordinary Terrorism”, coordinated by professors Giovanna De Minico and Oreste Pollicino at the 10th World Congress of Constitutional Law (2018 IACL-AIDC), that will take place in Seoul on June 18-22, 2018.
  7. The PhD in Law Association Rotterdam (PILAR) invites submissions for the Erasmus Early-Career Scholars Conference to be held on April 11-13, 2018, in Rotterdam. Abstracts must be sent by by January 7, 2018.
  8. The Law Faculty of the McGill University invites application from exceptional scholars and professionals in the fields of comparative law and Asian legal cultures for the position of Li Ka Shing Visiting Professor of Practice – 2018-2019. The deadline is January 5, 2018.
  9. York University, Glendon College is seeking to fill the position of Full Time Tenure Stream – Assistant Professor in International Law. The application deadline has been extended to January 15, 2018.
  10. The Escola Superior de Direito Eleitoral organizes the “I Simpósio Internacional de Direito Eleitoral e Político: desafios para o exercício da democracia nas cidades e no mundo,” to be held next December 13-15, 2017 in Rio De Janeiro.
  11. The Asser Institute hosts the “Human Dignity and Human Security in Times of Terrorism Conference,” to be held next December 14, 2017 in The Hague.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Wojciech Sadurski, Judicial “Reform” in Poland: The President’s Bills are as Unconstitutional as the Ones he Vetoed, Verfassungsblog
  2. Marko Milanovic, Some Thoughts on the Mladic Judgment, EJIL: Talk!
  3. Andrea Pin, The New Italian Election Law: A Temporary Solution for an Endless Transition?, Dpce
  4. Judy Dempsey, Can Northern Ireland Be Kept in the EU?, Carnegie Europe
  5. Eugene Volokh, A constitutional right to discriminate?, The Volokh Conspiracy
  6. Charles Ngwena, Where is democracy? Reflections on the ascendancy of Mnangagwa as president of Zimbabwe, AfricLaw
  7. Jess Sargeant, Referendums in UK democracy: how should they work in practice?, The Constitution Unit
  8. Sioudina Mandibaye Dominique, Constitutional reforms in Chad: Edging towards federalism?, Constitutionnet
  9. Ravi Amarnath, Landmark human rights decision to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada, OxHRH Blog
  10. Andy Grewal, The President’s Absolute Immunity for Unlawfully Firing a Subordinate, Notice and Comment


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