October 5, 2005
New Saddam Hussein on Trial Blog Launched
Case School of Law has launced the Frederick K. Cox International Law Center's Saddam Hussein on Trial Blog. According to the announcement the site "features the key documents related to the Iraqi Special Tribunal, answers to frequently asked questions, and expert debate and public commentary on the major issues and developments related to the trials of Saddam Hussein and other former Iraqi leaders."
Great idea! And a great model for monitoring other significant litigation.
Annotated bibliography of books on eGovernment
Francis Raven, EDC Center for Media & Community, has compiled a selective annotated bibliography of books on eGovernment.
Getting the Basics on Blogs, RSS Feeds and Podcasts
The October 18, 2005 issue of PC Magazine has three introductory articles about blogs, RSS feeds and podcasts:
RSS: The Web at Your Fingertips by Larry Magid
DIY: Create Your Own Podcasts by Larry Magid
Human Rights in the War of Terror
Human Rights in the War on Terror
Edited by Richard Ashby Wilson
Cambridge Univ Press
Publication is planned for October 2005 | 384 pages | $28.99 (G)
Description: In the midst of the "war on terror," have human rights become a luxury we can no longer afford? Are they an inalienable part of democratic politics since they define the boundary between individual freedom and government tyranny? This timely volume brings together leading international lawyers, policy-makers, activists, and scholars to evaluate the impact of the "war on terror" on human rights as well as to develop a counter-terror strategy that takes human rights seriously. The contributors offer a spirited examination of both sides of this question--Should the U.S. and UK have invaded Iraq to defend the human rights of its citizens, or can we characterize this war as a non-humanitarian conflict?--and examine the implications of the war on terror for civil liberties in the United States and for the detention of foreigners in U.S. military custody at Abu Ghraib prision and at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.
The extraordinary list of contributors includes former Irish President, Mary Robinson; Open Society President, Aryeh Neier; Human Rights Watch President, Kenneth Roth; International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia prosecutor, Richard Goldstone; and human rights lawyer, Geoffrey Robertson, among others.
With its emphasis on the need for replacing the war model with a strong justice model that combats terrorism vigorously, Human Rights in the "War on Terror" makes an incomparable contribution to contemporary debates on the politics of human rights.
October 4, 2005
Oceana Acquired by Oxford UP
Oxford University Press, Inc. has, as of 30th September 2005, acquired the assets of Oceana Publications, Inc. Press release.
Princeton Review's Law School Rankings
The Princeton Review yesterday released its ranking of the Best 159 Law Schools. TaxProf Blog has the details.
SCOTUS Nominee Harriet Mier Gets an Extreme Makeover
Check out Wonkette's rendition of Harriet Mier's extreme makeover.
Ron Jones, University of Cincinnati Law Library
In re Harriet Miers: Some Resources
The official White House biography:
Harriet Miers serves as Counsel to the President. Most recently, she served as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff, and prior to that she was Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary.
Before joining the President’s staff, she was Co-Managing Partner at Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP from 1998-2000. She had worked at the Locke Purnell, Rain & Harrell firm, or its predecessor, from 1972 until its merger with the Liddell Sapp firm. From 1995 until 2000, she was chair of the Texas Lottery Commission. In 1992, Harriet became the first woman president of the Texas State Bar, and in 1985 she became the first woman president of the Dallas Bar Association. She also served as a Member-At-Large on the Dallas City Council.
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
The UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances recently concluded the draft 45-article International Convention for the Protection of All Persons From Enforced Disappearance. The treaty defines widespread and systematic enforced disappearance as a crime against humanity in a manner envisaged in the 1998 Rome Statute on the Permanent International Criminal Court, NSHR said in a statement to PANA Thursday.
The Convention obligates all ratifying UN Member States to take appropriate measures to investigate enforced disappearances "committed by persons or groups of persons acting without the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State and to bring those responsible to justice".
Ratifying States have the obligation to arrest and prosecute under their own jurisdiction or extradite suspects to other countries or surrender them to an ad hoc international criminal tribunal for the purpose of prosecution.
The new convention also obligates States to ensure that any individuals under their jurisdiction who allege that other persons have been subjected to enforced disappearance have the right to report that fact to the competent authorities in that country.
It also prohibits the expulsion, refoulement, surrendering or extradition of a person to another country where there are substantial grounds for believing that such a person would be in danger of being subjected to an enforced disappearance.
The treaty rejects political motive to be used as a defence by individuals or States for enforced disappearance.
Before being open for signature and ratification during 2006, the draft treaty will be submitted to the UN Commission on Human Rights and subsequently to the UN General Assembly for adoption by resolutions
New Titles from Ashgate Publishing
Procedural Choice in the US House of Representatives
Bryan W. Marshall
This study develops a principal-agent theory to analyze how changes in procedures and the role of the House Rules Committee have affected policy making in Congress over the past three decades. The book's main themes relate to a broader literature that explains the strengthening of party leadership organizations within Congress and their significance for understanding congressional politics. The volume is ideally suited for courses on the US Congress and American Politics more generally.
Communicating Knowledge Through Information Products
Without them, little business would get done inside organizations or between them and the outside world. They are essential for the flow, exchange, application, and preservation of information and knowledge.
This is the first book to make the case for the proper recognition of information products by organizations. It shows how they should support business objectives and processes and be incorporated into information strategy and information architecture; illustrates the value they can both add and subtract; identifies the full range of stakeholders in them; and argues that a triple alliance of information management, information systems/IT, and information design is critical for successful information products.
Stories from real life illustrate every step of the argument. The final part of the book demonstrates how an actual organization used information auditing as a tool to develop a strategic information product for an important user community.
Rights, Regulation and Reconciliation
Rosemary Hunter and Mary Keyes
This interdisciplinary collection addresses, from a range of perspectives, the theme of 'changing law'. The essays cover historical and contemporary issues of social, political and legal change, including human rights, security, law reform, changes in knowledge production in universities and specifically in the legal academy, and the legal oppression/protection of racial minorities. The chapters are grouped into three sections around shared focuses on states, institutions and justice, and collectively address common concerns of rights, regulation and reconciliation: key legal problematics of the early twenty-first century.
Africa's Intractable Security Menace?
David J. Francis
In the face of this complex security emergency, the volume conceptualizes and theorizes the phenomenon of civil militias; focuses the academic debate and policy on the links between civil militias and the growing cycle of state failure, instability, collapse and fragmentation in Africa; broadly and critically explores and expounds the short-term security consequences of the operations of civil militias; and articulates a corpus of policy-relevant knowledge. The book is ideally suited to courses on African studies, security and peace studies and military studies but would also be of interest to practitioners.
Ethical Boundaries of Capitalism
Daniel Daianu and Radu Vranceanu
Description:The spate of corporate scandals across the Atlantic and similar cases in the EU in the early twenty first century illustrate the complex reality of capitalist societies, casting new doubts on the ability of these societies to impose natural limits on greed, selfishness and aggressive rivalry between economic actors. Social scientists now question whether capitalism can provide a solid basis for the development of ethical behaviour and whether unethical behaviour is an inherent feature of capitalist systems.
This book addresses these issues within a thesis-antithesis approach, with analysis of the ethical virtues of capitalist structures, and a study of ethical issues within various applied contexts, including corporate governance and regulation.
Feuding and Peace-Making in Eleventh-Century France
Stephen D. White
Description:The essays in this volume discuss feuding and peacemaking in France during a period extending from the mid-10th to the early 12th century. They treat various aspects of so-called dispute-processing - a term coined by legal anthropologists to refer to the political processes and discursive practices through which conflict is mediated politically, socially, legally, and culturally. Each of the essays can be read both as one element in a larger critique of the theory that a 'feudal revolution' in c.1000 initiated a century-long era of 'feudal anarchy' in France, and as a study on a particular topic in medieval European legal and political history. These include feuding, violence, the emotional dimensions of conflicts among élites, the role of norms and normative argument in disputes, the uses of unilateral ordeals and judicial duels in litigation, and alternative strategies for terminating disputes.
Europeon Commission Unveils Plans for Digitalization
The European Commission has unveiled its strategy to make Europe's written and audiovisual heritage available on the Internet. The Commission proposes a concerted drive by EU Member States to digitise, preserve, and make this heritage available to all. It presents a first set of actions at European level and invites comments on a series of issues in an online consultation (deadline for replies 20 January 2006). The replies will feed into a proposal for a Recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation, to be presented in June 2006.
The Commission communication sets out three key areas for action: digitisation, online accessibility and digital preservation. At present, several initiatives exist in the Member States, but they are fragmented. To avoid creating systems that are mutually incompatible and duplicate work, the Commission proposes that Member States and major cultural institutions join EU efforts to make digital libraries a reality throughout Europe. Private involvement and public/private partnerships are a key element in achieving this goal.
CRS Report on Environmental Hurricane Recovery Issues
NEPA and Hurricane Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding Efforts (September 28, 2005) provides an overview of NEPA requirements relevant to the hurricanes response and recovery efforts, its application to emergency and non-emergency actions related to the disaster, NEPA’s role in two past flood and hurricane control projects that have been discussed in the press, and legislative proposals that relate to the NEPA process.
Thanks to beSpecific for the tip.
State Legislative History Research Guides
Thanks to Edison Ellenberger (The E-LawLibrary Weblog) for finding this gem: Jennifer Bryan's (Documents Librarian at the Indiana University School of Law Library - Bloomington) compilation titled State Legislative History Research Guides on the Web.
October 3, 2005
Bush Looked Beyond the "Judicial Monastery" This Time
Chicago Tribune Supreme Court reporter, Jan Crawford Greenburg, is "shocked" by President Bush's selection of his White House general counsel, Harriet Miers, to fill the remaining vacancy on the Supreme Court. You "won't be seeing cartwheels from anyone this morning," Greenburg said, but she is confirm-able. Greenburg pointed out that Miers' close contacts with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the search for SCOTUS candidates bodes well for her confirmation. Listen to Jan Crawford Greenburg's interview on WGN radio (RealPlayer audio).
Yahoo Goes Toe to Toe With Google on Digital Collections
Yahoo Inc. has teamed up with the University of California, the University of Toronto, and the Internet Archive to digitize "millions of volumes". Yahoo claims the project is not in response to Google's similiar project. Despite the similarity, there is one element that distinguished them. The Yahoo project, called the Open Content Alliance, will not scan books under copyright unless the copyright holders give explicit permission.
It's Harriet Miers!
Commercial litigator, former Bush personal attorney (crony?), and White House counsel Harriet Miers has been nominated to fill Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's SCOTUS seat.
Source of Income: Lawsuits
In Forbes' List of 400 Richest Americans only one person's source of income is identified as "lawsuits." That person is torts lawyer Joseph Dahr Jamail, Jr. Jamail, 79, is tied at #235 with a net worth of $1.4 billion. He received his JD from the University of Texas, founded his own firm in 1955, and built his business on personal injury cases. Even at the ripe old age of 79, Jamail still practices law.
Yes, Jamail as in Jamail Center for Legal Research, Tarlton Law Library, University of Texas. Talk about being true to your school!
First Monday in October: Cases Before the Roberts Court
Here are some of the more significant cases on the Supreme Court's docket this term:
Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic Rights: Does Solomon Amendment's equal access condition on federal funding violate the First Amendment?
Gonzales v. Oregon: Can the federal government use the Controlled Substances Act to charge physicians who prescribe lethal drugs under Oregon's assisted suicide law?
Gonzales v. Carhart: Can a national ban on "partial-birth" abortions be enforced?
Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England: Is a state's parental-notification abortion statute constitutional if it lacks an exception when the mother's health is at risk?
House v. Bell: What constitutes a "truly persuavive showing of actual innocence" sufficient to warrant freestanding habeas?
Randall v. Sorrell: Can states put spending limits on candidates' campaigns? Randall v. Sorrell
Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission: Can a federal ban on the use of corporate funds to finance "electioneering communications" be challenged on constitutional grounds?
Garcetti et al. v. Ceballos: Is public employees' job-related speech protected by the First Amendment?
U.S. v. Georgia: Can the federal government force states to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Acts in their prison policies?
Samson v. California: Can police do warrantless searches of parolees when there is no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing?
University of Chicago Law School Launches Faculty Blog
From the Annoucement: The University of Chicago School of Law has always been a place about ideas. We love talking about them, writing about them, and refining them through open, often lively conversation. This blog is just a natural extension of that tradition. Our hope is to use the blog as a forum in which to exchange nascent ideas with each other and also a wider audience, and to hear feedback about which ideas are compelling and which could use some re-tooling.
Posting here over the next many weeks will be a mix of Chicago friends, faculty, and alumni. On the sidebar, we will maintain a running list of who is posting during any given week and also a separate list of the topics then in play. When we officially start this coming Monday, for example, Saul Levmore, David Strauss, and Cass Sunstein will be with us; soon after, Lior Strahilevitz, Doug Lichtman, and Randy Picker are slated to come aboard.
Publication is scheduled to start today.
Transformation of the "Socratic" Method
There has been a thread of comments on the Socratic Method on Leiter's Law School Reports since Professor Leiter called attention to his The "Socratic Method": The Scandal of American Legal Education (Oct. 20, 2003). One comment, on the history of the Socratic method, is particularly interesting, so much so that Professor Leiter and now I repeat it for our readers:
[T]he Socratic method as it has been used since about the 1940s is not how it was originally designed by Langdell and James Barr Ames. Originally, the professor used Socratic method to get the students to test whether the rule given in a case could be extended to fit other fact patterns--in other words, hypotheticals and exactly what the students will have to do as lawyers. But instead of just tying the students up in knots and leaving them in the dark about the rules, the professors would spend the last ten minutes or so of the class lecturing--actually dictating--an outline of the blackletter law. We can tell this from student notes--they took notes in the margins of their casebooks from the Socratic portion and well-organized notes in notebooks from the lecture portion--as well as from descriptions of the Socratic method coming from the first 30 or 40 years of its use. Over time, generations trained in the Socratic method emphasized the questioning part to the exclusion of the lecturing part, the idea, apparently, being that all that was needed was for the students to struggle with the material and the rest of the stuff would just fall into place if they paid sufficient attention to analyzing the cases. -- Emily Kadens