Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Maja Sahadžić, Ph.D. Researcher (University of Antwerp)

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 High Court in Kenya found the country’s criminal defamation law unconstitutional.
  2. The Constitutional Court in Malta ruled that a person facing criminal proceedings has a right to silence when testifying before a parliamentary committee.
  3. The Constitutional Court in Spain announced that it would consider a motion to suspend home rule in Catalonia.
  4. The Supreme Court in Namibia ruled that long jail terms are unconstitutional.
  5. The Constitutional Court in Turkey rejected a demand to release two Turkish journalists despite an earlier ruling that the rights of imprisoned journalists had been violated.
  6. The Constitutional Court in Zambia suspended the case in which four political parties seek an interpretation of President’s eligibility to run for office in the 2021 presidential elections.
  7. The Supreme Court in Ireland refused the Pro-Life Campaign’s application to be heard in the State’s forthcoming appeal concerning the extent of the constitutional rights of the unborn.
  8. The Supreme Court in South Korea will judge the case against the South Korean government over cryptocurrency regulations.
  9. The Constitutional Court in Germany ruled that party members get a say on the grand coalition deal.
  10. The Constitutional Court in South Africa will decide whether two sections in the Firearms Control Act are unconstitutional.
  11. The Supreme Court in Cambodia upheld the conviction against land rights activist in a case widely seen as politically motivated.

In the News

  1. The European Parliament demanded control of who will succeed the head of the EU executive next year, setting up a clash with national governments in the coming months.
  2. The Australian parliament will amend the proposed Foreign Interference Law in order to protect journalists.
  3. Security forces in the Maldives sealed off the Parliament and arrested two opposition legislators.
  4. A judge from the Netherlands will ask the European Court of Justice to answer key questions about the rights of UK citizens on the continent post-Brexit.
  5. The Polish President signed the anti-defamation bill, causing international protests.
  6. A Pakistani court sentenced one person to death and five others to life imprisonment for lynching a student accused of blasphemy.
  7. The French president rejected growing nationalist demands in Corsica.
  8. The European Union enlargement commissioner affirmed that Serbia must reach a legally binding agreement on relations with Kosovo if it aims to join the EU by 2025.
  9. South Africa’s deputy president announced it is expected that the president steps down in the coming days.
  10. The Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong freed three democracy leaders but warned against future acts of dissent.
  11. The Irish parliament is suspended after a huge row between politicians.
  12. The ceremonial opening of the new session of Jamaican parliament scheduled to take place on 15 February 2018.
  13. The Antigua and Barbuda parliament approved a bill allowing the use of cannabis.
  14. The members of the Welsh parliament spoke the Welsh language in debate for the first.
  15. The Iraqi Parliament suspended three Kurdish lawmakers for objecting to the 2018 budget bill.
  16. The Ukrainian parliament condemned the Polish anti-defamation law that allows penalties to be imposed on anyone who denies crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists.

New Scholarship

  1. Richard Albert, Formas y función de la enmienda constitucional (2017) (explaining how constitutional amendment rules are structured, and offering advice on designing rules for both adopting and amending constitutions)
  2. Alice Valdesalici, Francesco Palermo and Annika Kress (eds.), Comparing Fiscal Federalism (2018 forthcoming) (investigating intergovernmental financial relations and the current de jure and de facto allocation of financial and fiscal powers in compound states from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective)
  3. Sadaf Aziz, The Constitution of Pakistan, A Contextual Analysis (2018) (providing a contextual account of Pakistan’s constitutional laws and history from a pre-colonial period to a contemporary setting)
  4. Nico Steytler (ed.), Concurrent Powers in Federal Systems, Meaning, Making, Managing (2017) (examining from a comparative perspective the issue of concurrency of powers confronting both established and emerging federations through case studies of 16 countries on five continents)
  5. Robert Böttner and Jan Grinc, Bridging Clauses in European Constitutional Law: Legal Framework and Parliamentary Participation (2018) (focusing on the legal framework for the use of the bridging clauses of TEU as well as on parliamentary participation in the process of activating these clauses)
  6. Michael Hein, Constitutional Entrenchment Clauses Dataset (2018) (providing a new dataset on constitutional entrenchment clauses in 860 national constitutions from 1776 to 2015)
  7. Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias and Anna Sledzinska-Simon, Victimhood of the Nation as a Legally Protected Value in Transitional States – Poland as a Case Study (2016) explaining mechanism of using criminal laws for historical assessment and showing instances when victimhood becomes a legally protected value used to justify limitations of free speech and academic research)
  8. Lucia Serena And Federico Casolari (eds.), The Principle of Equality in EU Law (2018) (providing a comprehensive, in-depth legal analysis of the actual understanding of the equality principle at EU level after a period of significant change)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. Richard Albert and Martin Scheinin invite submissions for the Workshop on Abuse of the Constitution in Times of Emergency at the 10th World Congress in Constitutional Law, scheduled for June 18-22, 2018 in Seoul.
  2. Global Constitutionalism, in partnership with PluriCourts, is organizing a workshop “Challenges to Global Constitutionalism” on 4-6 July in Berlin. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 23 February 2018.
  3. The International Association of Constitutional Law announces a call for abstracts for the 10th World Congress of Constitutional Law “Violent Conflicts, Peace-Building and Constitutional Law” on 18-22 June 2018 in Seoul. The deadline for a submission of abstracts is 30 March 2018.
  4. The University of Sydney organizes the conference “The New Citizenship: Law, Legal Status and Belonging in the 21st Century” on 15-16 March 2018 in Sydney. The registrations must be completed
  5. The Centre for Legal Theory and Empirical Jurisprudence invites submissions for “The second Conference on Empirical Legal Studies in Europe (CELSE)” on 31 May to 1 June 2018 in Leuven. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 February 2018.
  6. The University of Innsbruck organizes a conference on “Representing Regions, Challenging Bicameralism” on 22-23 March 2018. The registrations are due to 19 March 2018.
  7. The Sorbonne Law Faculty, the University of Strasbourg, the Albert Ludwigs University, the German University of Administrative Sciences, the Heidelberg Law Faculty, and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in cooperation with the University of Milan organize the 12th German-French Doctoral Seminar on Comparative Law in Public Law, International Law and European Law “Rechtsvergleichung im öffentlichen Recht angesichts der europäischen Integration” on 7-9 June 2018 in Heidelberg. The deadline for applications is 15 March 2018.
  8. The Institute of Federalism and the Chair of Swiss and Comparative Constitutional Law of the University of Fribourg announces the 28th Edition of the three-week Summer University “Federalism, Decentralisation and Conflict Resolution” from 27 August to12 September 2018 in Fribourg. The deadline for application is 31 March 2018.
  9. The International Association of Centres for Federal Studies (IACFS) announces that entries for the Ronald L. Watts Young Scholar Award 2018 are now open. Nominations and papers must be submitted no later than 30 April 2018.
  10. The University of Melbourne and the University of Cambridge organize a conference “The Frontiers of Public Law” on 11-13 July 2018 in Melbourne. Online registration is now open.
  11. Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques of the Italian National Research Council welcomes abstract submissions for the conference “Law via the Internet 2018, Knowledge of the Law in the Big Data Age” on 11-12 October 2018 in Florence. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 27 April 2018.
  12. The Government and Law Research Group at the University of Antwerp organizes a full-day eight annual doctoral conference “Values and principles in multilevel governance: challenges and opportunities” on 25 May 2018 in Antwerp.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Alexander Kloth, One law to rule them all, The Völkerrechtsblog
  2. Leah Trueblood, The Merits and Meaning of a ‘Second’ Referendum, UK Constitutional Law Association
  3. Siim Trumm, Different visions of representation among voters and candidates in Wales, Democratic Audit UK
  4. Helen Irving, What is history, again?, AUPUBLAW
  5. Rick Hasen, Understanding the Supreme Court’s Two Orders in the North Carolina Gerrymandering Cases, and How It Fits into the Bigger Picture, Election Law Blog
  6. Marc Sanjaume-Calvet, Secession and Federalism: A Chiaroscuro, 50 Shades of Federalism
  7. Elisabeth Greif, Symposium on the ‘Third Option’: ‘Not Man, Not Woman, Not Nothing’: Tertium NON datur: Gender binary as a ‘principle of the Austrian legal order’?, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  8. Maximilian Steinbeis, Project Waterproof, Verfassungsblog
  9. Stefanie Lemke, Who Holds Russia’s Judges and Public Prosecutors to Account?, The Völkerrechtsblog
  10. Tomáš Nociar, Far right politics in Germany: from fascism to populism?, Democratic Audit UK
  11. George W. Gathigi, How Closure of TV Stations has narrowed Democratic Space in Kenya, AfricanLii
  12. Editor, ‘Losing Opportunities’, Lebanon Campaigns for More Women in Parliament, Asharq Al Awsat
  13. Christopher R. Hill, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s Olympic realpolitik, Japan Times


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