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 India will re-examine the constitutional validity of the penal provision that criminalises adultery but punishes men alone.
  2. The Constitutional Court of Turkey held that it is unconstitutional to ban access to a news website as it violates freedom of expression.
  3. The Constitutional Court of Indonesia dismissed a petition that sought to criminalise sex outside marriage and indirectly, gay sex.
  4. The Supreme Court of India directed the Union Government to setup 12 special criminal courts to expeditiously try criminal cases against politicians by March 2018.
  5. The Constitutional Court of Turkey declined to entertain a plea to ban officials in the Directorate of Religious Affairs from their involvement in politics.
  6. The Constitutional Council of France struck down a law that criminalised viewing of terrorist websites.

In the News

  1. Poland passed a controversial law revamping the judiciary despite warning from the European Union about sanctions.
  2. The Union Government of India will introduce a bill to criminalise triple talaq in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.
  3. Taiwan amended the nation’s referendum law to reduce the threshold for the required voter turnout to make the referendum valid.
  4. The Constitution of Moldova will soon have “European integration” as an ideal towards which the nation will show allegiance.
  5. The Spanish Prime Minister expressed his willingness to reform the country’s constitution while reaffirming that the nation’s sovereignty is a non-negotiable aspect.
  6. The Indian Parliament will consider the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill that seeks to protect the rights of transgender persons in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert & Michael Pal, The Democratic Resilience of the Canadian Constitution, in Constitutional Democracies in Crisis? (Mark Graber, Sanford Levinson and Mark Tushnet, eds., Oxford University Press forthcoming 2018) (advancing three categories of institutional explanations for the resilience of Canadian constitutional democracy in the face of the increasingly global phenomenon of democratic decline)
  2. Nicholas Aroney & Benjamin Saunders, On Judicial Rascals and Self-Appointed Monarchs: The Rise of Judicial Power in Australia, University of Queensland Law Journal (2017) (comprehensively understanding the rise of judicial power in Australia and judicialisation of politics)
  3. Catarina Santos Botelho, Aspirational constitutionalism, social rights prolixity and judicial activism: trilogy or trinity?, 3 (4) Comparative Constitutional Law and Administrative Law Quarterly (2017) (examining if aspirational constitutions (given their extensive commitment to social rights) leave more room for institutional tensions between democratic deliberation and an overextended judicial power)
  4. Aparna Chandra, William H. J. Hubbard & Sital Kalantry, The Supreme Court of India: A People’s Court?, 1 (2) Indian Law Review (2017) (based on an empirical analysis of cases decided by the Supreme Court of India from 2010 to 2014 under its special leave petition jurisdiction, arguing that contrary to the existing consensus among legal scholars, India’s apex court is still a court of the people)
  5. Mark Kende, The Unmasking of Balancing and Proportionality Review in U.S. Constitutional Law, 25 Cardozo Journal of International and Comparative Law 417 (2017) (arguing that openly recognising the presence of balancing and proportionality review in the US constitutional law would make the country’s constitutional law more coherent and enhance the US Supreme Court’s fading reputation)
  6. Sofia Ranchordas, Quasi-Constitutionalism and Informal Legislative Entrenchment: The Case of the Affordable Care Act, in Richard Albert & Joel Colon-Rios, Quasi-Constitutionality and Constitutional Statutes: Forms, Functions, and Applications (Routledge, forthcoming 2018) (describing how certain quasi constitutional statutes like the Affordable Care Act entrench social values over a period of time by resisting challenges from societal, political and economic changes and judicial challenges)
  7. David Schneiderman, Global Constitutionalism and Its Legitimacy Problems: Human Rights, Proportionality, and International Investment Law, Journal of Law & Ethics of Human Rights (Forthcoming 2017) (examining the issue regarding legitimacy of constitution-like legal orders operating beyond the state)
  8. A Falling Tree Makes More Noise Than a Growing Forest – On the Constitutional Courts’ Underestimated Contribution to the Domestic Enforcement of the European Convention of Human Rights, 77 (3) Heidelberg Journal of International Law (Special Issue of 2017) (contributions by David Kosař and Jan Petrov, Davide Paris, Ausra Padskocimaite, Diletta Tega, and Ladislav Vhynánek in this special issue focus on the unnoticed and crucial role of constitutional courts in the enforcement of the ECHR and ECtHR’s case-law within the domestic legal order)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. The International Society of Public Law (ICON-S) is inviting submissions for its 2018 Annual Conference on ‘Identity, Security, Democracy: Challenges for Public Law’ that will be held in Hong Kong on June 25-27, 2018. Interested participants must submit their papers through the ICON-S website by January 31, 2018. Successful applicants will be notified by March 1, 2018.
  2. The Journal of the Oxford Centre for Socio-Legal Studies is currently calling for papers for the journal’s upcoming issue in 2018. Interested contributors must submit their papers by February 18, 2018.
  3. The Government and Law Research Group of the University of Antwerp, Catholic University of Leuven, Free University of Brussels, and the University of Hasselt are jointly inviting submissions for the 8th Annual Doctoral Conference on ‘Values and principles in multilevel governance: challenges and opportunities’. The conference will take place on May 25, 2018 at the University of Antwerp. Interested doctoral scholars must submit abstracts of their papers to no later than January 15, 2018.
  4. The Indian Law Review is inviting submissions from early career researchers for Case Notes or Legislative Notes on any case decided or legislation passed in India in 2017 for the journals upcoming issue. The authors of the notes that are selected for publication will be awarded cash prizes. Interested scholars must submit their work by January 21, 2018.
  5. Bar-Ilan University and the Journal of Law, Religion and State are inviting papers for the International Conference on ‘Religious Violence and Extremism on May 28-30, 2018. Interested scholars must submit abstracts of their papers to jlrs[@] by December 22, 2017.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Cristiano d’Orsi ,The right to health for refugees in South Africa: Concrete reality or wishful thinking?, AfricLaw
  2. Dana Burchardt, Belittling the Primacy of EU Law in Taricco II, Verfassungsblog
  3. Mark Elliott, Does the Government defeat on clause 9 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill mean Parliament has ‘taken back control’?, Public Law for Everyone
  4. Maria Nawaz and Anna Cody, Indigenous people in gaol: what needs to change, AUSPUBLAW
  5. Tim Fish Hodgson, The South African Constitutional Court’s Decision on Gender Equality and Customary Marriages, Indian Constitutional Law & Philosophy
  6. Paul Daly ,EU Law in the UK after Brexit: EU Nationals’ Rights and a Transitional Period, UK Constitutional Law Blog
  7. Amanda Spies, The need to consider victim’s voices in the sentencing of offenders: Director of Public Prosecutions v Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius, OxHRH Blog
  8. Asanga Welikala, Sri Lankans misunderstand the relationship between legal theory and political practice in constitution-making, Constitutionnet


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