Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

What’s New in Public Law

Angelique Devaux, French Licensed Attorney (Notaire)

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. Romania’s Constitutional Court ruled that abuse of public office should remain a criminal offense.
  2. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the sovereignty of Native American tribal courts and emphasized the importance of addressing domestic violence against Native women.
  3. The Mombasa High Court in Kenya ruled that forced anal examinations and forced HIV and Hepatitis B tests for men suspected of homosexual conduct is constitutional.
  4. A former prostitute who had asked the Constitutional Court of Korea to decide whether the law punishing voluntary prostitution was proper has been fined following the court’s ruling in favor of the regulation.
  5. The European Court of Justice rejected a challenge to Britain’s refusal to pay family welfare benefits to unemployed EU migrants who do not have the right to reside in the UK.

In the News

  1. UN Women re-launched its Global Gender Equality Constitutional Database (GECG), a database that presents constitutional provisions through a gender lens from 195 constitutions from around the world.
  2. The Council of Europe’s human-rights commissioner criticized Poland’s socially conservative government, saying an erosion of the rule of law in the country is threatening the protection of human rights.
  3. The Mexican Congress passed several anti-corruption bills that would increase the severity of penalties for corruption charges.
  4. Canada’s Liberal government said that it would strike an amendment expanding the definition of who may seek physician-assisted suicide.
  5. Colombian lawmakers approved a legally binding measure that will incorporate the peace deal between the government and FARC guerrillas into the country’s constitution.
  6. 18 EU member states reached a general approach on two regulations aimed at determining the rules applicable to property regimes for married couples or registered partners in cross-border situations.
  7. The European Parliament voted on new rules to ensure free movement of citizens by making it simpler to prove the authenticity of documents.
  8. France issued an order that creates the new legal profession of Commissioner of Justice (commissaire de Justice) which merges the professions of bailiff and auctioneer [article in French].
  9. A South African government commission declared that a province’s “virgin scholarship” scheme for students who stay virgins is unconstitutional.

New Scholarship

  1. James Thuo Gathii, The Contested Empowerment of Kenya’s Judiciary 2010-2015, Historical Institutional Analysis (2016) (assessing the empowerment of the Kenyan Judiciary and the backlash from Parliament and the Executive that followed)
  2. Chris Land, Ultra Vires: The Eurozone Crisis and the European Central Bank’s Lost Independence, 25 Minnesota Journal of International Law (2016) (analyzing the ongoing Eurozone crisis, establishing Europe’s separation of powers relationship and the European Central Bank’s independence, while connecting events of the crisis)
  3. Gabor Halmai, Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments and New Constitutions in Comparative Perspective, 13 Wake Forest Law Review (2016) (examining the legitimacy of judicial review of the merits of proposed new constitutions and constitutional amendments)
  4. Katharine Gelber and Adrienne Stone, Constitutions, Gender and Freedom of Expression: The Legal Regulation of Pornography, in Research Handbook on Gender and Constitutions, Helen Irving and Ruth Rubio-Marin eds. (2016)(discussing the regulation of pornography in light of constitutional law in comparative perspective)
  5. Mark Jia, Chinese Common Law? Guiding Cases and Judicial Reform, 129 Harvard Law Review 2213 (2016) (assessing a relatively recent innovation in China’s judicial reform project: the use of “guiding cases” to achieve greater adjudicative consistency across lower courts)
  6. Lu Xu, The New Real Property Registration Structure in China: Progress with Unanswered Questions, 5 Global Journal of Comparative Law 91 (2016) (explaining the objectives and measures of the new real property registration structure in China, and identifying and discussing questions remaining unanswered that would have serious implications on the integrity and reliability of the real property register)
  7. Passing Wealth on Death, Will-Substitutes in Comparative Perspective, Alexandra Braun and Anne Röthel eds. (2016) (examining will-substitutes in comparative perspective across common law, civil law and mixed legal jurisdictions)
  8. Apostolos Anthimos Sr., Fictitious Service of Process in the EU – Requiem for a Nightmare?, Czech Yearbook of International Law 2017 Volume VIII (forthcoming), (discussing a recent decision of the ECJ that interprets the EU-Service regulation as banning all forms of fictitious service by highlighting its repercussions both within the framework of the Service Regulation and in the ambit of the multilateral Hague Service Convention)

Calls for Papers and Announcements

  1. McGill University’s Faculty of Law and the Peter MacKell Chair in Federalism announced the creation of the Baxter Family Competition on Federalism with support of Rachel Baxter and Colin Baxter. Participants are invited to submit an original essay related to an aspect of federal theory or practice by September 30, 2016.
  2. The Younger Comparativists Committee (YCC) of the American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) invites submissions to fill a panel on “New Perspectives in Comparative Law” to be held at the Society’s 2016 Annual Meeting, which will be held October 28-29, 2016 at the University of Washington in Seattle. The deadline for submissions has been extended to July 1, 2016.
  3. The Société de legislation compare, in cooperation with the Centre de droit privé fondamental of the University of Strasbourg and the Centre d’études sur l’éfficacité des systèemes juridiques continentaux of the Université of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, has organized an international conference titled “The application of foreign law under constitutional and treaty-based review” to be held at the Cour de cassation in Paris, France on September 23, 2016
  4. The Council on International Law and Politics (CILP) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid, Spain) launched a new master in Global Affairs that will take place in Strasbourg, France and will start in January 2017.
  5. The African Public Procurement Regulation Research Unit invites abstracts for paper presentations and workshops for its 2nd international conference on Public Procurement Law in Africa to be held on November 24-25, 2016 at the Century City Conference and Hotel, in Cape Town, South Africa.
  6. The Indian Competition Law Review issued a call for submission of manuscripts for its forthcoming issue.
  7. The Irish Journal of European Law issued a call for original papers for its 2016 volume.
  8. The American Society of International Law International Criminal Law Interest Group issued a call for papers for a works-in-progress workshop to be held on December 9, 2016 at the Southern Methodist University School of Law
  9. The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) invites submissions of scholarly papers for a conference on human rights and tax to be held at New York University School of Law on September 22-23, 2016.
  10. The American Society of International Law (ASIL) is seeking submissions of scholarly paper proposals for the ASIL Research Forum to be held at the University of Washington School of Law in Seattle, Washington on November 11-12, 2016.

Elsewhere Online

  1. Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz, Polish Judiciary and Constitutional Fidelity: beyond the institutional “Great Yes”?, Verfassungsblog
  2. Kaleeswaram Raj and Thulasi K Raj, Amend criminal defamation, Deccan Herald
  3. Todd Spangler, Can Donald Trump really ban Muslim immigration?, Detroit Free Press
  4. Jessie Hill, After Texas: What’s at Stake for the Rest of Country in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, Jurist
  5. Catherine Muyeka Mumma, Kenya’s failure to implement the two-third gender rule: The prospect of an unconstitutional Parliament, ConstitutionNet
  6. Willem H. Brakel, Include the environment in New Columbia’s constitution, The Washington Post
  7. Stijn Lamberigts, The Presumption of Innocence (And the Right to be Present at Trial) Directive, European Law Blog


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