'Truly a David and Goliath case': Six young people take 32 countries to court in unprecedented case
The European Court of Human Rights will hear an "unprecedented" lawsuit on Wednesday, brought by six young people against 32 European countries accusing them of failing to tackle the human-caused climate crisis.
The claimants, between ages 11 and 24 and all from Portugal, will argue that they are on the frontlines of climate change and ask the court to force these countries to rapidly accelerate climate action.
It is the first climate case to be filed with the European Court of Human Rights and is the largest of a total of three climate lawsuits the court is hearing.
Sunday, October 1, 2023
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Monday, July 10, 2023
Sunday, April 16, 2023
Arguments are a necessary part of life, but they don't necessarily have to be fraught. Psychologist Dan Shapiro has identified three barriers to productive arguments: an us-versus-them identity, not showing appreciation, and a lack of affiliation. Breaking through these barriers requires us to be better listeners and to recategorize our sense of "us."
I hate arguments. I hate the way it feels when my blood pressure rises and the cortisol kicks in. I hate the frustration that comes from talking past one another or reaching an impasse on an important issue. I especially hate the awkward apologies I have to dole out the morning after — because I definitely shouldn't have said that, and yes, it was a cheap shot.
Monday, January 16, 2023
Brothers Karamazov written by Dostoevsky in 1879 became an all time best seller which also provides us even today many useful insights into the field of "Therapeutic Jurisprudence". Until recently there has been no general theory concerning the impact of legal processes upon participant wellbeing and its implications for attaining justice system objectives. This gap has been filled by Therapeutic Jurisprudence.
Admirers of the book include scientists such as Albert Einstein, philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein] and Martin Heidegger, as well as many other famous writers.
Sigmund Freud called it "the most magnificent novel ever written" and was fascinated with what he saw as its Oedipal themes. In 1928 Freud published a paper titled "Dostoevsky and Parricide" in which he investigated Dostoevsky's own neuroses.
Dostoevsky considered the introduction of the European Jury trial and its adversarial justice and alleged discovery of truth would supplant Russia's pure, Christian attitude to truth.
The Brothers Karamazov is a message for Russians and also all of us not to accept the court as the most civil and equitable means of achieving justice. Looking into the attorney's statements, the lay and expert witnesses, the introduction of dubious expert witnesses on both sides of the trial, the judge and public response to trial, all capture well author's disillusionment with Western Judicial reforms of the nineteenth century.
The experts contradict one another, and the doctor from Moscow and Doctor Herzenstube take the case to pursue their personal vendettas against each other, overall making "the expert testimony appear ludicrous."
It is here that the value of Therapeutic jurisprudence becomes useful. TJ says that the processes used by courts, judicial officers, lawyers and other justice system personnel can impede, promote or be neutral in relation to outcomes connected with participant wellbeing such as respect for the justice system and the law, offender rehabilitation and addressing issues underlying legal disputes.
The fact that evidence can be misconstrued to deny the truth and the fact that evidence is essential to proving the truth indicates Dostoevsky's belief that "evidence…is a two edged sword that can cut either way.
At the AUGP TJ Centre, It is our desire, to be a strong proponents worldwide in adapting the use of more comprehensive, psychologically optimal, and emotionally intelligent means of dealing with conflicts.
It is also our goal to propose new processes to be added to the range of existing processes—such as in the use of mediation in civil, criminal, and family law cases and the establishment of special intervention courts or lists to address broader issues underlying legal problems where such an intervention is consistent with other justice system principles.
Prof. Lakshman Madurasinghe
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Friday, August 19, 2022
Don't succumb to Johnson derangement syndrome, they tell us.
Stay calm. Keep a sense of proportion. Don't get carried away. As a matter of self-care, that might be good advice for those at risk of bursting a blood vessel in their rage at this government and its leader. But learning to shrug off Boris Johnson's conduct carries risks of its own. It can mean missing, or underreacting to, acts that merit furious opposition – such as when, before our very eyes, the prime minister destroys the principle that sits at the very foundation of a free society, a principle first codified in this country eight centuries ago and without which a life free of fear is impossible. I'm talking about the rule of law.
Thursday, June 2, 2022
The outcome of the Johnny Depp defamation trial turned a bit of celebrity jurisprudence on its head — the long-standing conventional wisdom that it's easier for a VIP to prevail with a libel claim in the United Kingdom than in the United States.
The reason, according to legal experts, may simply boil down to the fact that Depp's action against his ex-wife Amber Heard in the UK — which he lost — happened to be decided by a judge, whereas his case in the United States was decided by a jury.
"The answer is simple," said George Freeman, executive director of the Media Law Resource Center. "It was up to the jury."
Friday, May 20, 2022
Since the advent of forensic DNA technology in 1989, more than 3,000 people have been exonerated in the United States after being wrongfully convicted of an array of crimes as simple as drug possession to as serious as capital murder. Texas has the second most exonerations of any state, with more than 400. Some of these miscarriages of justice were detected and remedied quickly, but other innocent men and women languished in prison for decades before the injustices against them were uncovered.
Often, these false convictions result from the fact that the police and prosecutors conceal evidence of a defendant’s innocence. And because of an unholy trinity of legal doctrines, they seldom face repercussions. That should change.
Sunday, April 24, 2022
Law is not the only way to try and control behavior. Psychological manipulation, brute force, and managerial direction are other alternatives. The complaints about law and lawyers are familiar. If you engage in legal processes, they can be slow, inefficient, complicated to navigate, expensive; and, in their process or in their outcomes, unjust. In the face of these complaints and the fact that we have alternatives to governance by law, why should rule by law shape some of the standards by which we evaluate the legitimacy of governments?
To be able to answer that question, we have to first understand what law is. The starting point for my response is a very simple and very thin understanding articulated by a scholar upon whose work I draw upon frequently: Lon Fuller. According to Fuller, law is “the enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules.” A set of conditions need to be met in order for that to be possible. Rules have to take a certain form. We can’t govern our conduct on the basis of rules that are kept secret, so promulgation is needed. Neither can rules be contradictory, such that so we don’t know what to do, so rules must be consistent. Nor can rules tell me today what I needed to do yesterday, so rules must be prospective rather than retrospective.
Monday, April 11, 2022
In our society, the court system is quickly becoming a formative institution, performing functions previously relegated to home, family, religious institutions, and schools. Even the healing community is making its way into the court system with the advent of drug courts and other forms of therapeutic jurisprudence. A judge’s leadership skills are critical in managing the changes in the system, the integrated relationships that develop as well as the impact on their own work. Those most successful will lead with their head and their heart. In Tahiti, there may not be a word for sadness. Nevertheless, the emotion is there with all the attendant signs and behaviors. What is missing is a language, a word that describes the feeling causing the behavior associated with sadness. This kind of literacy is important to develop here regarding emotional intelligence, awareness, and a language for communicating the connection between our cognitive brain and our affective brain, our mind, and our heart, and the result that kind of learning can have on our work and our lives.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Restorative justice and therapeutic jurisprudence highlight the importance of empowering parties, of actively involving them in dispute resolution processes, and of using processes that comprehensively address underlying issues.204 They also stress the value of helping parties manage emotions associated with their legal problems and the importance of professionals exercising emotional intelligence skills in their work. The values and processes they promote have significant implications for the functioning of courts, lawyers and the justice system in general.
They challenge conventional thinking about courts, legal practice and the role of litigants and clients, while offering a richer and more professionally rewarding vision of their respective roles. However, they are not a panacea for the justice system’s problems. Restorative justice is not effective in all cases, and other values of the justice system may outweigh therapeutic values in particular cases.205 Nevertheless, there are good reasons for considering how therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice can be more extensively used in the justice system and how their values can be incorporated into legal education. In addition to providing knowledge of the law and its application and advocacy, legal education should provide the interpersonal, intrapersonal and problem-solving skills needed for a happy and successful professional life.
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Max Weber, citing Leon Trotsky at Brest-Litovsk, bluntly stated that “every state is founded on violence.” The imaginative theories that have been at times employed to justify the state violence do not fall under the scope of this article. What is analyzed here is the orderly way in which the state elites have jointly prepared the ground to dominate individuals in the fourth technological revolution.
Law and War
Pursuant to the standard definition of German sociologist Max Weber in “Politics as a Vocation” (1918), the state is “a human community that (successfully) claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” In other words, a state is nothing more than a narrow group of people (i.e., the government) who manage to exert violence on larger groups (i.e., the subjects) in a certain place (i.e., the territory).