Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

–Rohan Alva, Advocate, New Delhi

In this weekly feature, I-CONnect publishes a curated reading list of developments in comparative 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 comparative public law blogosphere.

To submit relevant developments for our weekly feature on “What’s New in Comparative Public Law,” please email

Developments in Constitutional Courts

  1. The Indian Supreme Court ruled that former chief ministers of states were not entitled to permanent government housing.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court suspended the operation of a lower court judgment that had allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom which matches his gender identity.
  3. In Germany, the Federal Court of Justice ruled against the introduction of “inter” as a gender category.
  4. The Constitutional Court of Korea declared that it is constitutional to impose a ban on smoking in restaurants.
  5. Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Shantanagoudar Mohan Mallikarjunagouda were appointed as Acting Chief Justices of the High Courts of Andhra Pradesh/Telangana and Kerala, respectively.
  6. The Supreme Court of Delaware declared that empowering judges, and not juries, with the power to award the death penalty, is unconstitutional.

In the News

  1. Tokyo elected its first female governor, Yuriko Koike, who garnered nearly a million more votes than her closest competitor.
  2. The Indian government intends to create a secretariat for dealing with complaints filed against judges of the Supreme Court and the state High Courts, as well as for evaluating potential nominees.
  3. The Canadian government announced the introduction of a new process by which justices will be appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  4. In India, the Rajya Sabha passed the 122nd Amendment to the Indian Constitution, which aims to introduce the Goods and Services Tax.
  5. In Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal was sworn in as the nation’s prime minister.
  6. In Italy, the Senate approved legislation aimed at encouraging food donation to charities.

New Scholarship

  1. Stephan Jaggi, The 1989 Revolution in East Germany and its Impact on Unified Germany’s Constitutional Law – The Forgotten Revolution? (2016) (arguing that the 1989 Revolution in East Germany did not lead to an unconditional adoption of the West German Basic Law by the new East German states but brought about its own constitutional agenda, which had a substantial impact on unified Germany’s constitutional law)
  2. Zhai Zhiyong, The Making and Structure of the 1982 Constitution of China, Tsinghua China Law Review (2016) (examining the factors which have enabled the Chinese Constitution to respond to complex societal changes)
  3. Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles: The (Un)fulfilled Promises of the Indian Constitution, VRU Special Issue (2016) (a set of essays that analyse the possibilities and difficulties of the Indian constitution)
  4. Interparliamentary Cooperation in the Composite European Constitution, Nicola Lupo and Cristina Fasone (eds.) (2016) (analysing the place and functioning of interparliamentary cooperation in the EU composite constitutional order, taking into account both the European and the national dimensions)
  5. Constitutional Interpretation in Singapore, Jaclyn L. Neo (ed.) (2016) (examining the underpinnings of Singapore’s constitutional system, exploring how Singapore courts have dealt with issues related to rights and power, and setting developments in Singapore in the wider context of new thinking and constitutional developments worldwide)
  6. Salim Farrar and Ghena Krayem, Law, Religion and the Challenge of Accommodation, in S. Farrar and G. Krayem, Accommodating Muslims under Common Law: A Comparative Analysis (forthcoming) (introducing the main themes that the book discusses and the nature of the comparative examination of how countries such as Australia and Canada approach the question of accommodation)
  7. Susan York Kneebone, Comparative Regional Protection Frameworks for Refugees: Norms and Norm Entrepreneurs, International Journal of Human Rights (2016) (comparatively analysing how the EU, Latin America, and Southeast Asia have responded to the interest of refugees, and examining how refugee protection can be strengthened)
  8. Jacco Bomhoff, Beyond Proportionality: Thinking Comparatively About Constitutional Review and Punitiveness, LSE Legal Studies Working Paper (2016) (exploring the benefit of comparative studies in better understanding the punitiveness-proportionality relationship)
  9. Asli U. Bâli and Hanna Lerner, Constitutional Design Without Constitutional Moments: Lessons from Religiously Divided Societies, Cornell International Law Journal (forthcoming) (analysing how certain western conceptions of what a constitution is meant to achieve are not best suited for countries which may be divided along religious lines, and proposing a more nuanced approach to the drafting of a constitution)
  10. Oren Fliegelman, The Question of Education in the 2014 Tunisian Constitution: Article 39 and its Ambiguous Values, Middle East Law and Governance (2016) (examining the history, depth, and scope of Article 39 of the Tunisian constitution, which deals with education)
  11. Douglas McDonald, Worlds Apart: The Appointment of Politicians as Judges, Alternative Law Journal (2016) (examining the unique perspectives which politicians, who are appointed as judges in Australia, could bring to the court, and analysing the reasons for politicians no longer being regularly appointed as judges)

Call for Papers

  1. Papers are invited for the “Society of Law Teachers of Southern Africa Conference 2017” that will be hosted by the Faculty of Law, University of Namibia from January 16-20, 2017. Abstracts of papers should be sent in by August 31, 2016.
  2. A call for papers has been issued for an international workshop on “Social Inclusion and Poverty Eradication” to be held at Harvard University on November 17-18, 2016. Abstracts should be submitted by August 15, 2016.
  3. Contributions are invited by the Australian Feminist Law Journal for a general issue to be published in December, 2016. The articles may be between 8,000-12,000 words.
  4. Participants are invited for the “Texas Academic Support and Legal Writing Scholars Colloquium” to be hosted by Texas A&M University School of Law on September 23, 2016. Interested participants must register by September 1, 2016.
  5. Submissions are invited by the International Journal of Migration and Border Studies for its 2017 issues. Papers must be submitted by December 31, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Alkmene Fotiadou, Greece Faces the Possibility of an Unconstitutional Constitutional Revision, Constitutional Making & Constitutional Change
  2. Sakshi Aravind, Compensatory Afforestation Bill-A Spectre of Old Problems: Part I, Part II, Law and Other Things
  3. Gideon Muchiri, The upcoming Hate Crimes Bill: A welcome development in the fight against xenophobia and hate crimes in South Africa, AfricLaw
  4. Jonathan Bruno, The Freedom of Information Act Was Just Amended. Here’s What Changed-And Didn’t, Jurist
  5. Cass R. Sunstein, Pocket Constitution Packs a Few Surprises, Bloomberg


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