Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Chiara Graziani, PhD Student in Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Genoa (Italy)

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 Irish Supreme Court ruled that the rights of the unborn child do not extend beyond the right to life.
  2. The Romanian Constitutional Court struck down legislation allowing lawmakers and other public officials to own business.
  3. The European Court of Justice ruled that the arbitration clause in the Agreement between the Netherlands and Slovakia on the protection of investments does not ensure that disputes will be decided by a court within the judicial system of the EU, therefore having an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law and being incompatible with it.
  4. The US Supreme Court held that the US government is vested with the authority to file actions against New Mexico to enforce water rights deriving from division of the Rio Grande River.
  5. The US Supreme Court granted certiorari on the interpretation of the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act
  6. The Brazilian Supreme Court approved investigation of President Temer in illicit funds.
  7. The French Constitutional Council ruled that all victims of the Algerian war have the right to receive a pension, even if they are not French citizens.

In the News

  1. Mississippi passed a bill prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks.
  2. A UK court found two leaders of fair-right extremist groups guilty of anti-Muslim hate crimes.
  3. France plans a new law raising the age of sexual consent to 15 years.
  4. Former President of Argentina will face trial over a 1994 bombing of Jewish community center.
  5. Germany formed a “grand coalition” government, led by Angela Merkel at her fourth term.
  6. A Polish law criminalizing Holocaust speech entered into force.
  7. The UK Data Protection Bill passed second reading in the House of Commons and moved to Committee stage.
  8. The Oregon Senate passed a net neutrality bill.
  9. The Ethiopian Parliament ratified a state of emergency after the resignation of the Prime Minister.
  10. The EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee of the UK House of Lords launched an inquiry on the EU-UK proposed security treaty, framing cooperation in law enforcement and criminal justice after Brexit.

New Scholarship

  1. Rehan Abeyratne, Ordinary Wrongs as Constitutional Rights: The Public Law Model of Torts in South Asia (2018) (examining how South Asian courts converted torts claims into constitutional rights claims, under the guise of public interest litigation)
  2. Francesca Bignami and David Zaring (eds.), Comparative Law and Regulation (2018) (analyzing the operation of the global regulatory process)
  3. Maureen Duffy (2018), Detention of Terrorism Suspects. Political Discourse and Fragmented Practices (focusing on how political discourse has been used to frame certain antiterrorism policies that are outside of traditional criminal and wartime models)
  4. Lord Dyson, Continuity and Change (2018) (discussing some key themes of the common law judicial system)
  5. Veronica Fikfak, Hayley J. Hooper (eds.), Parliament’s Secret War (2018) (inquiring the UK Parliament’s role in the war prerogative and evaluating UK’s decisions to engage in conflicts in terms of accountability, transparency and participation)
  6. Emanuela Fronza (2018), Memory and Punishment. Historical Denialism, Free Speech and the Limits of Criminal Law (examining the criminalization of denials of genocide and of other mass atrocities and investigating the relationship between criminal law, free speech and historical memory)
  7. Alexander Horne and Gavin Drewry (2018), Parliament and the Law (considering recent changes in UK constitutional arrangements and their impact on the Parliament as an institution)
  8. William F. McDonald (2018), The Criminal Victimization of Immigrants (analyzing the exploitation of immigrants in various contexts and the legal responses to it)
  9. Julian Scholtes, The Complacency of Legality: Constitutionalist Vulnerabilities to Populist Constituent Power (2018) (revisiting the Schmitt-Kelsen debate on constituent power with a view to constitutional populism, linking the theoretical debate to concrete legal development)
  10. Mark P. Strasser (2018), Free Exercise of Religion and the United States Constitution (discussing the case law of the US Supreme Court on the free exercise of religion)
  11. Mark Tushnet (2018), The Inadequacy of Judicial Enforcement of Constitutional Rights Provisions to Rectify Economic Inequality, and the Inevitability of the Attempt, in Shruti Bedi and Lokendra Malik (eds.), Judicial Review: Process, Power and Problems (discussing the judicial enforcement of social welfare and equality rights)

 Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The T.M.C. Asser Instituut (The Hague) invites applications for a position of a full-time Senior Researcher on ‘Advancing Public Interests in International and European Law’. The deadline for applications is March 23, 2018.
  2. The Research Group on Constitutional Responses to Terrorism of the International Association of Constitutional Law invites submissions of abstracts for the dedicated workshop within the Xth World Congress of Constitutional Law, to be held in Seoul on 18-22 June 2018. The deadline for submission is March 30, 2018.
  3. The University of Salzburg (Austria) invites submissions of abstracts from doctoral students to participate to the Summer School on “Dimensions of Human Rights”, to be held in Salzburg on 23-27 July 2018. The deadline for submission is March 30, 2018.
  4. The Association “Diritto Pubblico Comparato ed Europeo” welcomes submissions of abstracts for the conference “Parlamenti e parlamentarismo nel diritto comparato”, to be held in Rome on October 25-26, 2018. The deadline for abstracts is April 15, 2018.
  5. The Chair for Public and Comparative Law at Humboldt University, Berlin, in collaboration with the Journal VRÜ/Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America, welcomes applications for a short term research scholarship offered to emerging legal scholars from India. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2018.
  6. The University of Trento (Italy) invites applications for the Summer School in “Comparative Constitutional Adjudication” on the theme “Islam in Constitutional Adjudication in Europe”, to be held in Dimaro, Val di Sole (Italy) on July 30-August 3, 2018. Deadline for applications is April 26, 2018.
  7. The University of Bologna welcomes registrations for the Summer School “Metodologia della Comparazione. Modelli di giustizia costituzionale, transnazionale e politica”, to be held on July 2-6, 2018 in Bologna. Deadline for registration is May 1, 2018.
  8. The University of Trento organizes the conference “Constitutional Protection of Minorities. Comparing Concepts, Models and Experiences in Asia and Europe”, to be held on May 4-5, 2018
  9. The Irish Center for Human Rights has opened registration for the Summer School in “International Criminal Courts”, to be held in Galway (NUI) on 18-22 June 2018. Registration closes on June 1, 2018. Scholarships are available, as well, with closing date for applications March 15, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Paul Craig, European Union (Withdrawal) Bill: Legal Status and Effect of Retained Law, UK Constitutional Law Association
  2. David R. Cameron, Italy votes and anxious Europe shudders, Yale Macmillan Center
  3. Adeel Hussain, Pakistan’s Supreme Court to Purify Parliamentarians, Verfassungsblog
  4. Andreas Zimmermann, Times Are Changing – and What About the International Rule of Law Then?, EJIL: Talk!
  5. Gareth Davies, Lounes, Naturalisation and Brexit, European Law Blog
  6. Steve Peers, The Return of the Border? Analysis of the Irish border provisions in the Brexit withdrawal agreement, EU Law Analysis
  7. Sarah Lambrecht, The Draft Copenhagen Declaration – Comment Series VI, ECHR Blog
  8. Robert Chesney and Steve Vladeck, The National Security Law Podcast: Judge Pohl Says: ‘Hold My Beer’, Lawfare
  9. Arianna Vedaschi and Chiara Graziani, PNR Agreements between Fundamental Rights and National Security: Opinion 1/15, European Law Blog


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