Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Simon Drugda, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford (UK)

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 The Constitutional Court of Austria repealed legal provisions which distinguish between opposite-sex and same-sex couples. The repeal will take effect as of the end of December 31, 2018. Following the repeal, the institutions of marriage and registered partnership will be open to same-sex as well as opposite-sex couples.
  2. The Constitutional Court of South Africa is to decide on a “freedom fighter” defence under the Terrorism Act in the Okah cases, which deal with the issue of extra-territorial jurisdiction for terrorism and serious offences committed outside South Africa.
  3. The Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic found that President Andrej Kiska violated rights of the candidates for judgeship when he refused to fill three outstanding vacancies on the Court.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Korea upheld a ban on cord blood sales.
  5. The US Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the Trump administration’s revised travel ban pending further court proceedings.
  6. The US Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration does not have to turn over documents connected to its decision to end a program that protects immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, abbrev. DACA).
  7. The US Supreme Court expanded its review of partisan gerrymandering, agreeing to consider arguments that a Maryland congressional district was unconstitutionally drawn to ensure the ouster of a Republican lawmaker.
  8. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that luxury brands can prohibit their distributors from selling products on third-party internet websites in the interest of maintaining their luxury image.
  9. The Constitutional Court of Moldova found a Law on the verification of holders and candidates for public offices by the Security and Intelligence Service unconstitutional, in parts concerning judges.

In the News

  1. The European Union is to make a submission to the US Supreme Court in its hearing of the US Department of Justice’s appeal against a ruling which prevented prosecutors from gaining access to emails held by Microsoft in Ireland.
  2. The European Commission is to refer the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the Court of Justice of the EU for non-compliance with their legal obligations on relocation.
  3. A Spanish Supreme Court judge withdrew European arrest warrants seeking the deportation of Carles Puigdemont, the former President of Catalonia, and four former Catalan officials; but national warrants still stand.
  4. The High Court of South Africa ruled that President Jacob Zuma’s appointment of a State Prosecutor who would decide whether to reinstate corruption charges against him was invalid.
  5. Poland’s lower house of Parliament approved controversial reforms which critics say would increase the ruling party’s control over the judiciary.

New Scholarship

  1. Giovanni Boggero, Constitutional Principles of Local Self-Government in Europe (2017) (offering an account of the defining features of the European constitutional local government law using both international and comparative law perspectives)
  2. Mathieu Disant, Grégory Lewkowicz and Pauline Türk (eds.), Vers des standards constitutionnels mondiaux (2017) (examining the possibilities and challenges to the use of global standards in constitutional law)
  3. Nimer Sultany, Law and Revolution: Legitimacy and Constitutionalism After the Arab Spring (2017) (providing a novel and comprehensive examination of the constitutional order that preceded and followed the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Algeria, Oman, and Bahrain)
  4. H. P. Lee and Marilyn Pittard (eds.) Asia-Pacific Judiciaries: Independence, Impartiality and Integrity (2017) (offering a contemporary analysis of the role and independence of judges in 15 countries)
  5. Kwai Hang Ng and Xin He, Embedded Courts: Judicial Decision-Making in China (2017) (examining the operation of Chinese courts based on extensive fieldwork and in-depth interviews)
  6. Rieko Kage, Who Judges? Designing Jury Systems in Japan, East Asia, and Europe (2017) (examining the introduction of jury/lay judge systems for criminal trials in Japan, South Korea, Spain, and perhaps soon Taiwan, to understand the difference of design in each jurisdiction)
  7. Andrew Arato, The Adventures of the Constituent Power: Beyond Revolutions? (2017) (exploring democratic methods by which political communities make their basic law and arguing that the most advanced method developed from Spain and South Africa)
  8. Constitutions, Religion and Politics in Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka (2017) (examining how religion influences constitutional commitments and development)
  9. Paul Blokker and Chris Thornhill (eds.), Sociological Constitutionalism (2017) (offering a systematic overview of the key scholarly contributions in an emerging field of research on the sociology of constitutions)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The Younger Comparativists Committee (YCC) of the American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) invites submissions for its Seventh Annual Conference, to be held on April 20-21, 2018, at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio. The deadline for abstracts is December 31, 2017.
  2. The University of Michigan Law School invites junior scholars to attend the 4th Annual Junior Scholars’ Conference, to be held on April 13-14, 2018, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The deadline for abstracts is January 8, 2018.
  3. The Stanford Program in Law and Society (SPLS) at Stanford Law School invites submissions for its Fifth Conference for Junior Researchers on “Law in Everyday Life.” The deadline for abstracts is February 5, 2018.
  4. The Journal of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies (JOxCSLS) invites submissions for its 2018 issue. The deadline for submission is February 18, 2018.
  5. The International Law and Human Rights Unit, part of the School of Law and Social Justice at the University of Liverpool, invites paper, poster and ‘soapbox’ proposals for its Second Postgraduate Conference in International Law and Human Rights, to be held on March 26-27, 2018. The deadline for submissions is January 12, 2018.
  6. The Annual Junior Faculty Forum for International Law invites applications for the seventh Forum, which will be held at the University of Melbourne on May 28-30, 2018. The deadline for submission of applications is December 15, 2017.
  7. The Nordic Journal of European Law (NJEL) invites submissions for its 2018 spring issue. The submission deadline is March 31, 2018.
  8. The EU Law Department of the University of Zagreb Faculty of Law invites submissions for the 16th Dubrovnik Seminar on the theme “Blame it on Brussels – EU Law and Distributive Effects of Globalisation.” The deadline for submission of paper proposals is January 31, 2018. Accepted candidates will be invited to publish their papers in the Croatian Yearbook of European Law & Policy.
  9. The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Diversity and Democracy (CRIDAQ) at Université du Québec à Montréal invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The fellowship must be used to carry out a project related to the CRIDAQ research themes in one of the four CRIDAQ antennae (UQAM, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, Concordia). The application deadline is January 15, 2018.
  10. The Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, invites submissions for papers to be presented at the WG Hart Legal Workshop 2018 on the theme “Building a 21st Century Bill of Rights,” to be held on June 11-12, 2018. The deadline for abstracts is April 30, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Jo Murkens, Devolution in Disguise: Miller and the Curse of the Government’s “Victory,” Journal of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
  2. Colin PA Jones, Different constitutions, similar defect?, The Japan Times
  3. Robin Verbeke, Hervorming van de provincies: quo vadis?, BelConLawBlog
  4. Michael Briguglio, Reforming Malta’s constitution to enhance the independence of ‘fourth’ branch institutions, ConstitutionNet
  5. Max Camphausen, A Step in the Right Direction for Minority Gender Recognition in Germany, OxHRH
  6. Mark Elliott, Privacy International in the Court of Appeal: Anisminic distinguished — again, Public Law for Everyone
  7. Joris Larik, Brexit and the Transatlantic Trouble of Counting Treaties, EJIL: Talk!
  8. Dana Burchardt, Belittling the Primacy of EU Law in Taricco II, Verfassungsblog
  9. Marco Bassini and Oreste Pollicino, Defusing the Taricco Bomb through Fostering Constitutional Tolerance: All Roads Lead to Rome, Verfassungsblog
  10. Shaunee Morgan and John Peng, On this Human Rights Day: Act on the Cries of Detained Immigrants for Dignity and Justice, JURIST
  11. Camila Gianella, Marta R. de Assis Machado, and Angélica Peñas Defagom Brazil: Conservative mobilization and adolescent pregnancy in Latin America, reprohealthlaw blog
  12. Jaclyn L. Neo, Constitutional Change in Singapore’s Elected Presidency: Navigating Questions of Ethnic Identity and Representation, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  13. Eszter Bodnár, In the grey zone of direct democracy: government-initiated national surveys in Australia and Hungary, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  14. Andrew Roberts, Appeals to Australia from Nauru: The High Court’s Unusual Jurisdiction, AUSPUBLAW
  15. Pierre de Vos, On the Nxasana judgment: No, the Constitution does not allow the President to flout the Constitution, Constitutionally Speaking
  16. Richard Primus, Senator Flake isn’t a Liberal, and Neither is Chief Justice Roberts, Balkinization


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