June 13, 2007
Privacy Ranking of Internet Service Companies
According to Privacy International, Google Inc.'s privacy practices are the worst among the Internet's top destinations. Seven of the Internet companies and Web sites included in Privacy International's analysis received the second lowest grade of "substantial and comprehensive privacy threats." This group included: Time Warner Inc.'s AOL, Apple Inc., Facebook.com, Hi5.com, Reunion.com, Microsoft's Windows Live Space and Yahoo. Read more about it. [JH]
- A Race to the Bottom: Privacy Ranking of Internet Service Companies
- An Open Letter to Google by Privacy International
Google doubles universities in book scanning project
"Twelve Midwest universities are joining Google's book scanning and digitizing project, nearly doubling the number of universities participating. The group has agreed to allow Google to digitize up to 10 million bound volumes. The universities in the group are: University of Minnesota, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The contract between Google and the schools, which are in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, is for six years with an option to renew."
See also: Google strikes deal with 12 universities to digitize 10 million books, The Chronicle [RJ]
Guarding privacy in the federal government: A holistic approach
"Pressure for the Federal Government to protect the personal data and privacy of the American public is stronger than ever. The likelihood of privacy breaches occurring has increased with the enhanced portability of data on laptops, flash drives, cell phones, and other mobile devices. Missteps in information security now have severe ramifications, including damage to public trust and the high cost of an often lengthy recovery period. As a result, senior executives at federal agencies are now wrestling with how to design and effectively implement comprehensive, strategic privacy programs. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Federal practice, along with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), recently examined the Federal Government’s progress in implementing privacy programs." [RJ]
Phoenix School of Law Receives Provisional ABA Accreditation
Check out the School's press release. Congratulations to Kris Niedringhaus, Associate Dean for Information Resources & Technology, and the law library and IT staff. [JH]
Opening: Reference Librarian, Illinois
The Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Memorial Law Library of the University of Illinois invites applications and nominations for the position of Reference Librarian. This is an exciting opportunity for someone interested in a full-time academic, tenure-track faculty appointment.
Position Available: August 5, 2007, (negotiable). This is a full-time faculty position.
Duties and Responsibilities: The Reference Librarian in this position has the primary responsibility to assist the Head of Public Services in developing exceptional and innovative services to the College of Law faculty.
Additional responsibilities include active participation in the public services team, regular provision of reference services including some evenings and weekends; teaching one section of the first-year legal research course, participation in other formal and informal legal research instruction to law students and others on campus; preparation of print and electronic research aids and collection guides; and mentoring of library science graduate assistants.
Environment: The Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Memorial Law Library serves a vibrant law school with 43 faculty, 675 JD and 35 LLM students and also serves the legal information needs of a major research university. The Jenner Law Library offers its users a broad array of electronic information sources and a print collection in excess of 750,000 volumes including selective US and EU depository items. The law library staff currently consists of 10.5 professional librarians, seven support staff positions and four part-time, graduate assistants who are pursuing masters degrees in library science.
Qualifications: Required: M.L.S. from an ALA accredited program or internationally recognized equivalent in library science by date of hire; JD from an ABA accredited program or internationally recognized equivalent degree by date of hire; strong service orientation; excellent oral and written communications skills, strong interpersonal and organizational skills; working knowledge of Westlaw, Lexis and the Internet; and ability to work cooperatively in a collaborative environment.
Preferred: Working knowledge of current technology and trends; 1-3 years experience working in an law library.
Salary and Rank: Salary is competitive and is commensurate with credentials and experience. This is a full-time faculty appointment at the rank of Assistant Professor of Library Administration. Librarians have faculty rank, and must demonstrate excellence in librarianship, research, publication, and university/professional/community service in order to meet university standards for tenure and promotion.
Terms of Appointment: Twelve month appointment; 24 work days vacation per year; 11 paid holidays; 12 days annual sick leave (cumulative) plus an additional 13 days (non-cumulative) per year if necessary; health insurance, requiring a small co-payment, is provided to employees (coverage for dependants may be purchased); participation in the State Universities Retirement System, upon appointment (8% of member's salary is withheld and is tax exempt until retirement); newly hired university employees are covered by the Medicare portion of Social Security, and are subject to its deduction.
Apply: Send letter of application and complete resume with the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses (where available) of five references to: Janis L. Johnston, Director, Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Memorial Law Library, 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Champaign, IL 61820. Electronic applications are acceptable initially (please send to email@example.com), but must be followed by a hard copy with signature. For questions, please call: 217-333-2914.
Deadline: In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by July 17, 2007. Interviews may occur before the closing date; however, no decisions will be made prior to the closing date.
THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS IS AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
Campus and Community: The University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign is one of the preeminent research collections in the nation and the world. With more than 10 million volumes and a total of 21 million items, it ranks third in size among academic libraries in the United States and first among public university libraries in the world. As the intellectual heart of the campus, the Library is committed to maintaining the strongest collections and services possible and engaging in research and development activities—both of which support the University's mission of teaching, research, and public services. For more detailed information, please visit http://www.library.uiuc.edu/.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a comprehensive and major public land-grant university (Research Level 1) that is ranked among the best in the world. Chartered in 1867, it provides undergraduate and graduate education in more than 150 fields of study, conducts theoretical and applied research, and provides public services to the state and the nation. It employs 2,000 faculty members who serve 26,000 undergraduates and 10,000 graduate and professional students; approximately 25% of faculty receive campus-wide recognition each year for excellence in teaching. More information about the campus is available at www.uiuc.edu. The University is located in the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana, which have a combined population of 100,000 and are situated about 140 miles south of Chicago, 120 miles west of Indianapolis, and 170 northeast of St. Louis. The University and its surrounding communities offer a cultural and recreational environment ideally suited to the work of a major research institution. For more information about the community, visit http://www.uiuc.edu/misc/campus.html, http://www.cucvv.org/, or http://www.cchamber.org/.
June 12, 2007
YouTube-ing Election 2008
The Wall Street Journal looks at efforts by presidential candidates to spread campaign video through YouTube. The article notes, however, that viewers tend to gravitate toward more spontaneous, unofficial videos.
William & Mary Community Raises Thousands to Help Children of Law Libary Staff Member Killed in February Fire
Donations by individuals and fundraisers across the William & Mary campus raised money to help the children of Wolf Law Library assistant Shizuko "Kori" Carpenter, who died in a house fire in February. Here's the complete story. [JH]
New Research Guides and Features on LLRX.com
What's new at LLRX.com:
- Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web, by Elisa Mason
- Finding Hidden Intelligence in SEC Filings, by Barbara Fullerton and Catherine Whitney
- Criminal Justice Resources - Clemency Law, by Ken Strutin
- Faulkner's Practical Web Strategies for Attorneys, Are You Ready for the Web-Based Office? by Frederick L. Faulkner IV
- The Government Domain: State Government Fundamentals, by Peggy Garvin
- European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research, by Marylin J. Raisch
- CongressLine by Gallerywatch.com - Checks on Power, by Paul Jenks
- Discovering the Latest in Web 2.0 Developments, by Connie Crosby
- KM Best Practices, by Ron Friedmann
- E-Discovery Update: Choosing an E-Discovery CLE Conference, by Conrad J. Jacoby
- After Hours: Poetry and Jazz on the New Hampshire Seacoast, by Kathy Biehl
- Commentary on Gun Laws in the Wake of the Virginia Tech Shootings, by Beth Wellington
- LLRX Court Rules, Forms, and Dockets: the unique, free searchable database, maintained and continually updated by Margaret Berkland.
A Q & A with Scott Gant, Author of We're All Journalists Now
On May 15, I posted a book announcement about Scott Gant's We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age. The work was released to the public for sale today. Here's a Q & A with the author about his very interesting book.
Q. When did you first become interested in the shifting definition of a journalist, and what made you decide to write a book?
A. For several years I’ve been fascinated by questions about whether journalists are entitled to privileges not extended to ordinary citizens, and what distinguishes “journalists” from other people who make information and ideas available to the public. I found my interest in those questions intensifying in early 2005, when a number of news stories propelled them into the headlines. One of those stories disclosed that the Department of Education had paid Armstrong Williams, a prominent African-American commentator, $240,000 to promote the federal government’s No Child Left Behind program on his nationally syndicated television show (a fact he did not disclose to his listeners). Another revealed that for two years the White House had been issuing a press pass to Jeff Gannon of Talon News, a now-defunct Web site affiliated with GOPUSA (an organization whose mission “is to spread the conservative message throughout America”), during which Gannon asked the President and White House press secretary questions that many described as “softballs” designed to demonstrate support for the administration and its policies. After it was revealed that Gannon had used a pseudonym to obtain his press pass, and lacked any significant journalism experience, a furor over his two-year admittance to the White House press corps ensued, with many claiming that Gannon did not belong alongside “legitimate” journalists in the press room.
As these incidents were making headlines, a much more significant story was taking shape. By the middle of 2005, it became unmistakably clear that the Web was facilitating the emergence of large numbers of nonprofessionals and nontraditional journalists (including many bloggers) as a force in defining and distributing news. I recognized that the lines distinguishing professional journalists from other people who disseminate information, ideas, and opinions to a wide audience had been blurred, perhaps beyond recognition. Aspects of the issue had legal dimensions that were receiving little attention. I also soon realized that I was forming strong views about these issues—for instance, that journalism should be viewed as an activity, not a job title, and that “freedom of the press” is a right that belongs to all of us, not just those working for traditional news organizations. I began taking notes and collecting material, planning to write an article for a legal journal examining these issues. It then occurred to me that this discussion would interest a broader audience. So, I approached a friend who had recently formed his own literary agency, and asked if he thought my idea might make an interesting book. The rest, as they say, is history.
Q. How did you go about gathering your research for this book?
A. We’re All Journalists Now addresses historical, economic, cultural, and legal issues, among others, and therefore required research on a wide variety of topics. That work was done before and during the writing process, over a period of about 18 months, and involved reading books, articles, legal material, studies, polls, traditional news publications, as well as blogs and other forms of citizen journalism. I also conducted a number of interviews – getting to play the role of journalist myself.
Q. What is your suggestion for ways that current laws should be changed to encompass non-traditional journalists?
A. Most of the rules, policies, and practices under which journalists enjoy privileges not available to others operate either without any definition of journalism, or with a narrow perspective that turns in part on whether a person is affiliated with a traditional news organization or makes a living practicing journalism. The fundamental change needed is a move to a broader conception of journalism, viewing it as an endeavor which can be undertaken by any of us, even if we’re not working for a traditional news organization, and even if we are not engaged in the activity for financial gain.
Q. With your background in constitutional law, do you think it necessary and/or likely that the First Amendment will be revised anytime soon?
A. I do not expect the First Amendment to be formally amended anytime soon. But, like other parts of the Constitution, the First Amendment is subject to ongoing interpretation and reinterpretation. The Supreme Court’s current interpretation of the First Amendment effectively reads it as if the Press Clause (the words “or of the Press”) was not there, having expansively interpreted the Amendment’s Speech Clause without deciding whether there are any circumstances under which “the Press” have rights or privileges under the Constitution not available to others. If Congress does not enact a federal shield law with an inclusive definition of journalism, I anticipate that sometime in the relatively near future (in the context of Supreme Court jurisprudence that means roughly the next decade), the Supreme Court will have to consider whether the First Amendment confers any special rights on the press, and who qualifies for those rights. If an expansive federal shield statute is enacted, the Court may manage to stay clear of the issue for a while longer. If and when the Court takes up questions about the Press Clause and the nature of press freedom, it ought to reject the view that people are entitled to special rights and privileges based on their affiliation with a particular kind of business or organization rather than on their activities.
Q. If citizen journalists and bloggers were granted the same rights and protections as members of the mainstream media, what sort of problems might arise? Where do you think the line should be drawn between professional journalists and non-traditional journalists, and does there even need to be a line?
A. These are important questions, and I spend a significant part of the book’s final chapter trying to answer them and related concerns about adopting a more inclusive conception of journalism. The short answer is that I do not anticipate there will be as many complications as some people appear to imagine. For instance, I doubt many people not actually engaged in the dissemination of information and ideas to the public will claim that they are doing so in order to avail themselves of privileges extended to journalists. In addition, allocating press preferences based on a functional view of journalism – as opposed to doing so on the basis of affiliation with an established news organization or income tests – does not mean we would be without criteria to evaluate (and limit) claims of entitlement to rights and privileges designed for journalists. It would be defensible, in my view, to limit privileges to those who add some original analysis or content to what they disseminate to the public, which would exclude those who merely aggregate content created entirely by others. In the rare situations where there are physical constraints on the number of people who can receive a preference – such as limited seating in a courtroom – the government can use a number of neutral criteria to decide which journalists will receive it, such as a lottery system or first-come, first-served rule. But we also must not lose sight of the fact that the allocation of press preferences implicates important principles and constitutional rights. Even if the administration of privileges were made more complicated by adopting a broader conception of journalism, we should favor over-extension of preferences to denying press privileges to people actually engaged in the practice of journalism.
Q. How can we reconcile the disparity of accountability between members of the mainstream media and bloggers/non-traditional journalists? If an irresponsible blogger posts something false but is still considered a journalist, should he/she be protected under the First Amendment?
A. I am not sure there is a fundamental difference in accountability. Like traditional journalists and media organizations, individual non-traditional journalists will ultimately rise or fall based on the reputations they acquire and their ability to foster the trust of the consumers of their products. And like traditional journalists and media organizations, citizen journalists and bloggers are subject to liability for defamation and on other bases for things they write.
Q. If you were in charge of drafting the new definition of a “journalist” for the 2008 version of the New Oxford American Dictionary, what would you write?
A. Part of what I try to explain in the book is that legal definitions are sometimes different from – and in some respects more important than – classifications used in other contexts. For instance, if an imaginary private organization called the Society of Real Journalists wants to limit its membership to people who meet certain standards for quality, or otherwise, they are free to do so. Similarly, a person who has spent decades working for a major newspaper or television news outfit may resist the idea of calling an individual with a blog a “journalist” – and, again, they are entitled to their view, based on their personal notion of what constitutes journalism. But there are many circumstances in which the government bestows on those deemed “journalists” privileges unavailable to others. And in those situations, I believe journalism must be construed broadly. Recently proposed legislation in Congress for a federal shield law defines journalism as “the gathering, preparing, collecting, photographing, recording, writing, editing, reporting, or publishing of news or information that concerns local, national, or international events or other matters of public interest for dissemination to the public.” This strikes me as a reasonably good approach.
Q. How do you think members of the mainstream media and traditional journalists will react to your book? What about bloggers and citizen journalists? Major news organizations?
A. I hope everyone interested in journalism and its vital role in our society will find the book interesting and its subject important. I nevertheless expect there will be resistance to some of my arguments. The view, held by some, that the only legitimate journalism is carried out by those working for established news organizations will not be readily abandoned. But most “mainstream” or traditional journalists also recognize the danger of having the government decide who is a journalist, or allocate preferences based on its judgment about what journalism is worthwhile, and many of my arguments are animated by that same concern.
2007 Voter ID Legislative Round-up
This state-by-state list identifies legislation requiring voters to show some form of identification at the polls and/or some form of identification when registering to vote. Includes bill status and links to bills. [JH]
A Review of CBO's Activities in 2006 Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
"In this report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reviews its activities under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. The report covers legislation considered by the Congress in 2006 that would impose federal mandates on state, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector." [RJ]
Opening: Legal Research Services Librarian, University of Alabama
This job will remain open through July 31, 2007. Interviews will be conducted at the AALL annual meeting in New Orleans.
The University of Alabama School of Law is seeking candidates for a new legal research services librarian position. The Legal Research Services Librarian will assist in providing an enhanced level of legal research assistance to the Law School's faculty as well as to other members of the Law School communit
To Apply: Interested applicants should apply for this position through the University’s online job application service at www.jobs.ua.edu. Applicants should attach (upload) a cover letter and resume with the names and contact information for three references to their application. Questions regarding the application procedure can be directed to Robert Marshall, Associate Director of the Law Library, at firstname.lastname@example.org. A tutorial for using the University’s online application service is located at http://www.bama.ua.edu/~hr/employment/appl-training_files/frame.htm.
June 11, 2007
Professional Reading: Researching Legal History in the Digital Age
Check out Morris L. Cohen, Researching Legal History in the Digital Age, 99 Law Library Journal 377(2007).
From the abstract:
"The renaissance of interest in American legal history has been greatly aided by a variety of developments in the materials and methods of legal research. Legal history has become a new center of attention in American legal education and scholarship and has attracted similarly enhanced interest in university history departments. Fortunately, this comes at a time when increasingly sophisticated research techniques and sources are gaining wide acceptance in both the academic and legal communities. Professor Cohen surveys the effects of these advances on research in American legal history." [RJ]
New Titles from Princeton UP
Some interesting new monographs published by Princeton University Press:
- Does God Belong in Public Schools? by Kent Greenawalt
- The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan
- After Anarchy: Legitimacy and Power in the United Nations Security Council by Ian Hurd
- What Democracy Is For: On Freedom and Moral Government by Stein Ringen
- The Impossibility of Religious Freedom by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
- Lawlessness and Economics: Alternative Modes of Governance by Avinash K. Dixit
Does God Belong in Public Schools?
Paper | 2007 | $18.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-13065-1
Cloth | 2004 | $32.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-12111-6
272 pp. | 6 x 9
Book Description: Controversial Supreme Court decisions have barred organized school prayer, but neither the Court nor public policy exclude religion from schools altogether. In this book, one of America's leading constitutional scholars asks what role religion ought to play in public schools. Kent Greenawalt explores many of the most divisive issues in educational debate, including teaching about the origins of life, sex education, and when--or whether--students can opt out of school activities for religious reasons.
Using these and other case studies, Greenawalt considers how to balance the country's constitutional commitment to personal freedoms and to the separation of church and state with the vital role that religion has always played in American society. Do we risk distorting students' understanding of America's past and present by ignoring religion in public-school curricula? When does teaching about religion cross the line into the promotion of religion?
Tracing the historical development of religion within public schools and considering every major Supreme Court case, Greenawalt concludes that the bans on school prayer and the teaching of creationism are justified, and that the court should more closely examine such activities as the singing of religious songs and student papers on religious topics. He also argues that students ought to be taught more about religion--both its contributions and shortcomings--especially in courses in history. To do otherwise, he writes, is to present a seriously distorted picture of society and indirectly to be other than neutral in presenting secularism and religion.
Written with exemplary clarity and even-handedness, this is a major book about some of the most pressing and contentious issues in educational policy and constitutional law today.
Cloth | 2007 | $29.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-12942-6
280 pp. | 6 x 9 | 51 line illus. 8 tables.
Book Description: The greatest obstacle to sound economic policy is not entrenched special interests or rampant lobbying, but the popular misconceptions, irrational beliefs, and personal biases held by ordinary voters. This is economist Bryan Caplan's sobering assessment in this provocative and eye-opening book. Caplan argues that voters continually elect politicians who either share their biases or else pretend to, resulting in bad policies winning again and again by popular demand.
Boldly calling into question our most basic assumptions about American politics, Caplan contends that democracy fails precisely because it does what voters want. Through an analysis of Americans' voting behavior and opinions on a range of economic issues, he makes the convincing case that noneconomists suffer from four prevailing biases: they underestimate the wisdom of the market mechanism, distrust foreigners, undervalue the benefits of conserving labor, and pessimistically believe the economy is going from bad to worse. Caplan lays out several bold ways to make democratic government work better--for example, urging economic educators to focus on correcting popular misconceptions and recommending that democracies do less and let markets take up the slack.
The Myth of the Rational Voter takes an unflinching look at how people who vote under the influence of false beliefs ultimately end up with government that delivers lousy results. With the upcoming presidential election season drawing nearer, this thought-provoking book is sure to spark a long-overdue reappraisal of our elective system.
Cloth | 2007 | $35.00 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-12866-5
234 pp. | 6 x 9
Book Description: The politics of legitimacy is central to international relations. When states perceive an international organization as legitimate, they defer to it, associate themselves with it, and invoke its symbols. Examining the United Nations Security Council, Ian Hurd demonstrates how legitimacy is created, used, and contested in international relations. The Council's authority depends on its legitimacy, and therefore its legitimation and delegitimation are of the highest importance to states.
Through an examination of the politics of the Security Council, including the Iraq invasion and the negotiating history of the United Nations Charter, Hurd shows that when states use the Council's legitimacy for their own purposes, they reaffirm its stature and find themselves contributing to its authority. Case studies of the Libyan sanctions, peacekeeping efforts, and the symbolic politics of the Council demonstrate how the legitimacy of the Council shapes world politics and how legitimated authority can be transferred from states to international organizations. With authority shared between states and other institutions, the interstate system is not a realm of anarchy. Sovereignty is distributed among institutions that have power because they are perceived as legitimate.
This book's innovative approach to international organizations and international relations theory lends new insight into interactions between sovereign states and the United Nations, and between legitimacy and the exercise of power in international relations.
Cloth | 2007 | $39.50 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-12984-6
334 pp. | 6 x 9 | 10 tables.
Book Description: In this provocative book, Stein Ringen argues that the world's democracies are failing to live up to their ideals--the United States and Great Britain most especially. The core value of democracy, he contends, is freedom, the freedom to live a good life according to one's own choosing. Yet he shows that democracy's freedom is on the decline. Citizens are increasingly distrustful of political systems weighted by money, and they don't participate in political affairs as they once did. Ringen warns of the risks we face if this trend continues, and puts forth an ambitious proposal for democratic reforms.
The issues that concern him are ones that should concern us all. They include education, poverty, the social and economic roles of families, the lack of democracy in our economic lives, and the need to rejuvenate municipal democracy. Along the way, Ringen proposes policy solutions aimed at restoring democracy, such as universal vouchers for education, substituting the principle of individual insurance for social-welfare pensions, and rethinking how we measure poverty in rich and poor countries. He calls for the revival of local democracy, a democratically grounded global economy, and the protection of political democracy from the transgressions of economic power.
The way to protect democracy is not to cheer it, but to reform it. What Democracy Is For offers a bold defense of democratic ideals, grounded in real reforms.
The Impossibility of Religious Freedom
Winnifred Fallers Sullivan
Paper | 2007 | $19.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-13058-3
Cloth | 2005 | $26.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-11801-7
320 pp. | 6 x 9 | 20 halftones.
Book Description: The Constitution may guarantee it. But religious freedom in America is, in fact, impossible. So argues this timely and iconoclastic work by law and religion scholar Winnifred Sullivan. Sullivan uses as the backdrop for the book the trial of Warner vs. Boca Raton, a recent case concerning the laws that protect the free exercise of religion in America. The trial, for which the author served as an expert witness, concerned regulations banning certain memorials from a multiconfessional nondenominational cemetery in Boca Raton, Florida. The book portrays the unsuccessful struggle of Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish families in Boca Raton to preserve the practice of placing such religious artifacts as crosses and stars of David on the graves of the city-owned burial ground.
Sullivan demonstrates how, during the course of the proceeding, citizens from all walks of life and religious backgrounds were harassed to define just what their religion is. She argues that their plight points up a shocking truth: religion cannot be coherently defined for the purposes of American law, because everyone has different definitions of what religion is. Indeed, while religious freedom as a political idea was arguably once a force for tolerance, it has now become a force for intolerance, she maintains.
A clear-eyed look at the laws created to protect religious freedom, this vigorously argued book offers a new take on a right deemed by many to be necessary for a free democratic society. It will have broad appeal not only for religion scholars, but also for anyone interested in law and the Constitution.
Lawlessness and Economics:
Alternative Modes of Governance
Avinash K. Dixit
Paper | 2007 | $19.95 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-13034-7
Cloth | 2004 | $41.00 | ISBN13: 978-0-691-11486-6
184 pp. | 6 x 9 | 13 line illus. 6 tables.
Book Description: How can property rights be protected and contracts be enforced in countries where the rule of law is ineffective or absent? How can firms from advanced market economies do business in such circumstances? In Lawlessness and Economics, Avinash Dixit examines the theory of private institutions that transcend or supplement weak economic governance from the state.
In much of the world and through much of history, private mechanisms--such as long-term relationships, arbitration, social networks to disseminate information and norms to impose sanctions, and for-profit enforcement services--have grown up in place of formal, state-governed institutions. Even in countries with strong legal systems, many of these mechanisms continue under the shadow of the law. Numerous case studies and empirical investigations have demonstrated the variety, importance, and merits, and drawbacks of such institutions.
This book builds on these studies and constructs a toolkit of theoretical models to analyze them. The models shed new conceptual light on the different modes of governance, and deepen our understanding of the interaction of the alternative institutions with each other and with the government's law. For example, one model explains the limit on the size of social networks and illuminates problems in the transition to more formal legal systems as economies grow beyond this limit. Other models explain why for-profit enforcement is inefficient. The models also help us understand why state law dovetails with some non-state institutions and collides with others. This can help less-developed countries and transition economies devise better processes for the introduction or reform of their formal legal systems.
Constitutional Limitations on Domestic Surveillance
Oversight Hearing on the Constitutional Limitations on Domestic Surveillance Before the Subcomm. on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties of the H. Comm. on the Judiciary, 110 Cong. (2007).
- Statement of Steven G. Bradbury, Department of Justice
- Statement of Lee A. Casey, Baker Hostetler
- Statement of Bruce Fein, The Lichfield Group
- Statement of Louis Fisher, Law Library of Congress
Supremes' Financial Disclosure Reports Released Last Week
Money is reporting that the Supremes are generally well off financially. Only two justices have assets under $1M and many of the Supremes spent the past year jetting to such exotic locales as Malaysia and South Africa. [JH]
Are Publishers Warming to Google's Book Search?
Google could end up transforming the way people buy books — but it's not going to do so without a fight. Listen to NPR's All Things Considered. [JH]
Job candidates go under the microscope of the Internet
"For the new generation of law students and recent graduates, maintaining a professional appearance extends far beyond a full suit and an error-proof résumé — it means keeping it clean on the Internet. A majority of professional services companies, including law firms, conduct searches of job candidates on Google and social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace." (sub. req.) [RJ]
June 10, 2007
Amnesty International Launches Eyes On Darfur Website
Atrocities in Darfur. Amnesty International USA's Eyes On Darfur project leverages the power of high-resolution satellite imagery to provide unimpeachable evidence of the atrocities being committed in Darfur - enabling action by private citizens, policy makers and international courts. Eyes On Darfur also breaks new ground in protecting human rights by allowing people around the world to literally "watch over" and protect twelve intact, but highly vulnerable, villages using commercially available satellite imagery. The American Association for the Advancement of Science assisted AI by devising these tracking techniques using satellite imagery.
Read more about it on the Washington Post website.
Atrocities in Bir Kedouas. Today's Washington Post's feature, These Satellite Images Document an Atrocity, which documents atrocities in Chad. Before December 2005, the Chadian village of Bir Kedouas was a tidy collection of huts in walled compounds and cultivated fields. A later satellite image shows what is left: The former homesites (marked with red circles) and fields are now a charred scar in the earth. The entire population was either killed or fled. Such images may be providing a powerful new weapon in the struggle to stop genocide. Here's the gallery of high res satellite images published by the Washington Post.
Hopefully the international community cannot now ignore what is going on. With imaging like this one can hope the US media will be unable to ignore these terrible stories now. [JH]
High-Value Detainees were held at secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania
PACE rapporteur Dick Marty (Switzerland, ALDE) has revealed new evidence that US “high-value detainees” were held in secret CIA prisons in Poland and Romania during the period 2002-5 and alleges a secret agreement among NATO allies in October 2001 which provided the basic framework for this and other illegal CIA activities in Europe.