Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Davide Bacis, PhD Student in Constitutional Law, University of Pavia (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 Supreme Court of India held that every individual has the right to a dignified end of life, thus allowing passive euthanasia.
  2. The Supreme Court of Brazil ruled that trans people have the right to update their gender without undergoing surgery.
  3. The European Court of Human Rights held that Spain violated the freedom of expression (article 10) of two Spanish nationals, convicted for burning a photograph of the Royal couple at a public demonstration.
  4. The Slovenian Supreme Court annulled the result of the referendum held in 2017, that approved the Government’s project of a new railway.
  5. The European Court of Justice condemned the Czech Republic for restricting access to the notary professions exclusively to its own nationals.
  6. The Constitutional Court of South Africa held that minimum sentence legislation in drugs manufacturing cases can be applied only when the State has proved the market value of the produced drugs.
  7. The Indian Supreme Court ruled that the Legislator cannot overrule court judgments by amending legislation retrospectively.
  8. The Constitutional Court of Turkey annulled the legislative provision granting the President of the Communications Authority the power to ex officio block foreign websites on a content base.
  9. The Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe reserved judgment on the voting rights of Diasporans.

In the News

  1. Thailand has passed a law making criticism to the Constitutional Court punishable by imprisonment and by a monetary sanction. The use of rude, sarcastic and violent language would constitute a violation of the law.
  2. President Trump fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, replacing him with CIA director Mike Pompeo.
  3. Turkey approved a new electoral law electoral, allowing parties to form alliances.
  4. The Parliament of Macedonia passed a controversial law that would make Albanian the second official language of the country.
  5. Michigan Senate approved the so called Nassar legislation, enhancing rights of sexual abuse victims.
  6. The President of Romania refused the promulgation of the law on the integrity of public officials, sending it back to Parliament.
  7. Trump administration imposed new sanctions on Russia.
  8. The President of the Philippines announced that the country will withdraw from the International Criminal Court treaty.
  9. The Ukrainian General Prosecutor indicted the chairman and 18 judges of the Russian Constitutional Court for the annexation of Crimea by Russia.
  10. The European Parliament approved the EMA transfer to Ametrdam.

New Scholarship

  1. Cheryl Saunders and Adrienne Stone (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Australian Constitution (2018) (providing a comprehensive study on the Australian constitutional system, through the analysis of relevant case law and from a comparative perspective as well)
  2. Colin Crawford and Daniel Bonilla Maldonado (eds.), Constitutionalism in the Americas (2018) (presenting a collection of contributions on the US and Latin America constitutions, from comparative, historical and empirical perspectives)
  3. Robert J. Morris, An Eight-Strand Braided Cable: Hawaiian Tradition, Obergefell, and the Constitution Itself as “Dignity Clause” (2017) (analyzing the Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, specifically Justice Kennedy’s view on the dignity of marriage equality as a constitutional value and reviewing his arguments through Hawaiian culture and tradition)
  4. Zoltán Szente and Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz (eds.), New Challenges to Constitutional Adjudication in Europe. A Comparative Perspective (2018) (examining how economic, social and political issues have affected constitutional review by Constitutional Courts across Europe, by the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights)
  5. Bérénice Boutin, Responsibility in Connection with the Conduct of Military Partners (2018) (providing a study on States and international organizations’ responsibility for the conduct of military partners when engaging in military operations)
  6. Abber R. Gluck and Richard A. Posner, Statutory Interpretation on the Bench: A Survey of Forty-Two Judges on the Federal Courts of Appeals (2018) (offering a detailed study on how the interpretative approach followed by appellate judges differs from that of the Supreme Court)
  7. Ravi Amarnath and Brian Bird, Prayer for Relief: Saguenay and State Neutrality Toward Religion in Canada (2018) (analyzing a relevant decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled that the State cannot favor any religion)
  8. Seth Davis and Christopher A. Whytock, State Remedies for Human Rights (2018), (challenging the dominant view among scholars on human rights remedies, arguing that state law and courts may provide remedies for human rights violations)
  9. Christopher P. Banks (eds.), Controversies in American Federalism and Public Policy (2018) (presenting a collection of contributions analyzing the effects that federalism and Supreme Court jurisprudence on the matter have on governments)

Call for Papers and Announcements

  1. The University of Milan (Italy), invites submission for the first edition of the doctoral seminar in Public, International and European Law, on the theme: “Big Data and Law: New Challenges Beyond Data Protection”. Candidates will have to submit an abstract no longer than 800 words by April 30, 2018.
  2. The Exeter Law Review invites submission for its Volume 44 (2018). The deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2018. Essays should be of 5000 to 7000 words, whereas articles should be between 8000 and 20000 words.
  3. 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.
  4. The European China Law Studies Association and the University of Turin (Italy), invite scholars to submit papers for the 13th annual conference. Abstracts should be submitted before April 30, 2018.
  5. Registration to the 2018 Summer School on Law and Logic held by the European University Institute and by the Harvard Law School in Florence is still open. Applications will be accepted until March 29, 2018.
  6. VRÜ/Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America welcomes submissions for the special issue of the review: The Indian Supreme Court in Crisis? Abstracts up to 750 words need to be sent, with the scholar’s CV, before April 20, 2018.
  7. Submissions for the International Conference “The Belt and Road Initiative and Global Governance” are open. Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be sent no later than April 1, 2018.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Kim L. Scheppele and Laurent Pech, Is There A Better Way Forward?, Verfassungsblog
  2. Christina Eckes, Don’t Lead with Your Chin! If Member States Continue with the Ratification of CETA They Violate European Union Law, European Law Blog
  3. Paul Strauch and Beatrice Walton, Active Hostilities and International Law Limits to Trump’s Executive Order on Guantanamo, EJIL: Talk!
  4. Konstantin Gerber, Free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples: a fundamental right, Blog of the IACL, AIDC
  5. Pierre de Vos, On Malusi Gigaba, the VVIP Terminal, and lies told to the Court, Constitutionally Speaking
  6. Pietro Faraguna, Constitutional Rights First: The Italian Constitutional Court fine-tunes its “Europarechts-freundlichkeit”, Verfassungsblog
  7. Meg Russel and Jack Sheldon, What an English Parliament might look like – and the challenges of giving it proper consideration, Constitution Unit, UCL


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