June 30, 2007
Some Schools of Education Should Abandon Research Doctorates, Report Says
"Research-oriented doctoral programs in education vary widely in quality, and a significant number of them should close up shop, according to a report released on Monday by the Education Schools Project." (for subscribers)
The new report looks at how well the schools perform in training researchers. Mr. Levine and his colleagues conducted surveys of deans, faculty members, alumni, and school principals; scrutinized the research productivity and citation history of instructors in doctoral education programs; and analyzed the dissertations of more than 1,300 people who earned education doctorates in 2002.
The bottom line: While many institutions that offer doctoral education programs produce excellent researchers, Mr. Levine writes, many others "are not strong enough to sustain such programs in terms of their missions, hiring practices, faculty quantity and quality, research funding, and climate." [RJ]
YouTube loses first round in infringement suit
"Citing insufficient evidence, a federal judge in Los Angeles has refused to throw out a case against YouTube this week in the first substantive ruling to come out of the recent copyright infringement lawsuits involving video-sharing sites. But the judge will allow YouTube's lawyers to present a defense based on the "safe harbors" of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act." (sub req) [RJ]
June 29, 2007
Supreme Court Will Hear Case on Detainees
"The United States Supreme Court reversed course today and agreed to hear claims of Guantanamo detainees that they have a right to challenge their detentions in American federal courts." [RJ]
"The decision, announced in a brief order released this morning, set the stage for a historic legal battle that appeared likely to shape debates in the Bush administration about when and how to close the detention center that has become a lightening rod for international criticism.
The exceptionally unusual order, which required votes from five of the nine justices, gave lawyers for detainees more than they had requested in a motion asking the justices to reconsider an April decision declining to review the same case. Lawyers for detainees had asked only that the court hold the case open for future consideration. Today’s order meant that the court would hear the case in its next term, perhaps by December."
Friday Fun: I am thesaurus
Hat tip to Don Mac Gregor, CCH, for this one!
An iPhone Review Roundup
Check out the reviews from around the web:
- The iPhone Is a Breakthrough Handheld Computer, The Wall Street Journal
- The iPhone Matches Most of Its Hype, N.Y. Times
- A first look at the most eagerly anticipated gizmo ever, Newsweek
- Apple's iPhone isn't perfect, but it's worthy of the hype, USA Today
- Apple iPhone first take, Cnet
What do states owe the exonerated?
"States' compensation for wrongful imprisonment ranges from zero to millions of dollars." [RJ]
New Titles from the Brookings Institution Press
New Titles from the Brookings Institution Press include the following:
- Beyond Preemption: Force and Legitimacy in a Changing World
- Global Non-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism: The Impact of UNSCR 1540
- Failed Diplomacy: The Tragic Story of How North Korea Got the Bomb by Charles L. Pritchard
Force and Legitimacy in a Changing World
Ivo H. Daalder, ed.
c. 180pp., Brookings Institution Press, 2007
Paper Text, 978-0-8157-1685-3, $19.95
Book Description: America's three most recent wars—in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq—have raised profound questions about when to use military force, for what purpose, and who should make the decision whether to go to war. These crucial questions have been debated around the world with increasing intensity, and by beginning to provide important answers, Beyond Preemption moves the debate forward in significant ways.
During the past three years, the contributors to this volume have engaged in a global dialogue with political officials, military figures and strategists, and international lawyers from around the world on when and how to use force and in what way its use can best be legitimized. They found consensus that the world has changed so dramatically that much of the old way of thinking about when and how to go to use force to deal with new challenges has become largely obsolete.
Drawing on these high-level discussions, Ivo Daalder and his colleagues make specific proposals for how to forge a new international consensus on the vexing questions about the use of force, including its preemptive use, to address today’s interrelated threats of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and humanitarian crises. In Beyond Preemption, the authors also consider the critical matter of how these strategies could be best legitimized and be made palatable to domestic audiences and the international community at large.
Global Non-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism
The Impact of UNSCR 1540
Olivia Bosch and Peter van Ham, eds.
c. 253pp., Brookings Institution Press, Chatham House, and the Clingendael Institute, 2007
Paper Text, 978-0-8157-1017-2, $24.95
Book Description: Adopted in April 2004, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 obliges all states to take steps to prevent non-state actors from acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction, related materials, and their means of delivery for terrorist purposes. The United Nations thus placed itself firmly in the center of one of the world's key international security challenges. In this important book, noted scholars and policymakers examine a broad range of counter-proliferation measures, such as the Proliferation Security Initiative, within the scope of the resolution, and discuss its impact on the bioscientific community, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the International Atomic Energy Agency, trade and customs, and the role of the UN.
UNSCR 1540 calls on each state to prioritize and systemize its legal frameworks for curtailing proliferation. Its adoption raises many questions. How are the resolution's provisions being made operational and enforceable? Will 1540 make up for the inadequacies of the existing non-proliferation treaty regimes? Could it, in fact, serve as the foundation for a new system of international governance that effectively stifles proliferation, terrorism, and illicit trafficking? The complex issues highlighted in Global Non-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism will prove relevant for years to come.
The Tragic Story of How North Korea Got the Bomb
Charles L. Pritchard
c. 228pp., Brookings Institution Press, 2007
Trade Cloth, 978-0-8157-7200-2, $26.95
Book Description: North Korea's development of nuclear weapons raises fears of nuclear war on the peninsula and the specter of terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction. It also represents a dangerous and disturbing breakdown in U.S. foreign policy. Failed Diplomacy: The Tragic Story of How North Korea Got the Bomb offers an insider's view of what went wrong and allowed this isolated nation—a charter member of the Axis of Evil—to develop nuclear weapons.
Charles L. "Jack" Pritchard was intimately involved in developing America's North Korea policy under Presidents Clinton and Bush. Here, he offers an authoritative analysis of recent developments on the Korean peninsula and reveals how the Bush administration’s mistakes damaged the prospects of controlling nuclear proliferation. Although multilateral negotiations continue, Pritchard proclaims the Six-Party Talks as a failure.
Pritchard's chronicle begins in earnest with suspicions over North Korea's uranium enrichment program in 2002, leading to the demise of the Clinton-era Agreed Framework. Subsequently, Pyongyang kicked out international monitors and restarted its nuclear weapons program. Pritchard provides a first-hand account of how the Six-Party Talks were initiated and offers a play-by-play account of each round of negotiations, detailing the national interests of the key players—China, Japan, Russia, both Koreas, and the United States. The author believes the failure to prevent Kim Jong Il from "going nuclear" points to the need for a permanent security forum in Northeast Asia that would serve as a formal mechanism for dialogue in the region.
Could RateMyProfessors.com Be Right?
"What if RateMyProfessors.com — the site that professors love to hate — is more accurate than they think? Or what if officially sanctioned student evaluations of faculty members — which many professors like to contrast with RateMyProfessors.com — are just as dubious as RateMyProfessors?
Those are questions raised by a new study by two professors at the University of Maine who compared the ratings on RateMyProfessors.com of 426 Maine instructors with the formal student evaluations used by the university" [RJ]
June 28, 2007
Use of Race in School Placement Curbed
"In a decision of sweeping importance to educators, parents and schoolchildren across the country, the Supreme Court today sharply limited the ability of school districts to manage the racial makeup of the student bodies in their schools." [RJ]
Professional Reading: Socrates and Langdell in Legal Writing: Is the Socratic Method a Proper Tool for Legal Writing Courses?
Washburn Law Prof Jeffrey Jackson has deposited in SSRN a thought-provoking paper promoting the use of the Socratic Method in 1L legal writing programs, Socrates and Langdell in Legal Writing: Is the Socratic Method a Proper Tool for Legal Writing Courses? 43 Cal. W. L. Rev. 267 (Spring 2007). Here's the abstract:
While the Socratic method has historically been the predominant tool for legal education in many first year classes, its use in legal writing classes has been less widespread. Instead, legal writing classes have been at the forefront of teaching innovation in law, and this innovation has trickled down into other first year classes. However, in the rush to use innovative teaching methods, the value of the Socratic method as a teaching tool should not be ignored. The Socratic method, if used correctly, has the potential to be a valuable tool in the teaching of legal writing.
This article explores the fitness of the Socratic method as a tool for the teaching of legal writing classes in the first-year law school curriculum. It considers the advantages of the Socratic method as a tool for active learning, teaching cognitive skills in legal analysis, and encouraging the development oral skills. The article also explores the common criticisms of the Socratic method: the argument that it is humiliating and terrorizing for students; that it is hierarchical and unfair to women students; that it hides the ball and wastes class time; and that it encourages laziness and confusion in both students and professors. The article concludes that, while many of these criticisms have merit, the nature of legal writing classes has the potential to ameliorate the ill-effects of the Socratic method, and to enhance the methods advantages as a teaching tool.
A Quick Look at Refworld, UNHRC's Online Research Tool on Refugee Issues
"We have a website now that can be considered to be one of the best in areas linked to human rights, linked to the need to make law accessible to the general public and to all relevant actors in this field." High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres
Refworld's unparalleled collection of reports relating to situations in countries of origin, policy documents and positions, and documents relating to international and national legal frameworks has been carefully selected and compiled from – and with – UNHCR's global network of field offices, governments, international, regional and non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and judicial bodies. Until the launch of Refworld this information was only available in CD and DVD formats for a fee. [JH]
The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2006
"Special interest pressure is metastasizing into a permanent national threat to the fairness and impartiality of America’s courts, according to a major new report from the Justice at Stake Campaign and its partners, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and the National Institute for Money in State Politics.
"Justice at Stake’s report shows how in too many states, judicial elections are becoming political prizefights where partisans and special interests seek to install judges who will answer to them instead of the law and the constitution," said former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. "I hope that every state that elects judges in partisan elections will consider reforms."
Global Legal Monitor
From There, To Here, To Where?
The evolution of the blawgosphere by Bill Gratsch. Check it out! [RJ]
June 27, 2007
Apple, AT&T Unveil iPhone Service Plans
AT&T Inc. and Apple Inc. on Tuesday said wireless service for the iPhone will range from $59.99 per month to $99.99 per month.
The highly anticipated gadget retails for $499 for a model with 4 gigabytes of storage and $599 for one with 8 gigabytes. It's slated to go on sale at 6 p.m. local time Friday at Apple and AT&T retail stores as well as Apple's Web site.
The $59.99 monthly plan includes 450 minutes of voice time; a $79.99 plan includes 900 minutes; and a $99.99 plan includes 1,350 minutes. All three offer 200 text messages, unlimited data services, minutes that roll over month-to-month and mobile-to-mobile calls. There also is a $36 activation fee.
Looks like a cool but pretty pricey gadget. After watching Apple push dead-end products like the Newton and the Cube to Mac addicts, I'll wait for iPhone 2.0 before thinking about buying one. [JH, a CrackBerry addict]
A Crisis of Confidence: Americans’ Doubts About the Death Penalty
"According to a national public opinion poll conducted in 2007, the public is losing confidence in the death penalty. People are deeply concerned about the risk of executing the innocent, about the fairness of the process, and about the inability of capital punishment to accomplish its basic purposes. Most Americans believe that innocent people have already been executed, that the death penalty is not a deterrent to crime, and that a moratorium should be placed on all executions." [RJ]
The CIA's Family Jewels
"The full "family jewels" report, released today by the Central Intelligence Agency and detailing 25 years of Agency misdeeds, is now available on the Archive's Web site. The 702-page collection was delivered by CIA officers to the Archive at approximately 11:30 this morning -- 15 years after the Archive filed a Freedom of Information request for the documents.
The report is available for download in its entirety and is also split into five smaller files for easier download." [RJ]
Trafficking in Persons Report
"The Department of State is required by law to submit a Report each year to the U.S. Congress on foreign governments’ efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons. This Report is the sixth annual TIP Report. It is intended to raise global awareness, to highlight the growing efforts of the international community to combat human trafficking, and to encourage foreign governments to take effective actions to counter all forms of trafficking in persons. The Report has increasingly focused the efforts of a growing community of nations on sharing information and partnering in new and important ways." [RJ]
Lawmakers encourage colleges to consider using technological tools to curtail campus piracy
"Members of the U.S. House of Representatives quizzed college officials at a hearing on Tuesday about using technology to block illegal file sharing on their campuses — and nudged institutions that have not adopted such tactics to consider doing so." (for subscribers) [RJ]
Campbell Universtiy Law Library Receives Grant to Acquire The Making of Modern Law Collection
From the press release: "The Law Library of the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University is pleased to announce the receipt of a $133,400 grant from the Felburn Foundation that will pay for the addition of The Making of Modern Law to the Library’s permanent collection."