Sunday, December 8, 2019

‘Our sense of belonging within a legal system derives from our relationship to property, real or personal.’

The provocative title statement is approached from two perspectives in this critical discussion. In Part 1, the title statement strengths are reflected by the different ways that property rights have attracted such extensive England and Wales (EW) legal system attention. The accepted real and personal property definitions (as supplemented by modern-day Intellectual Property (IP) rights) lend seemingly compelling support to the view that property rights of all kinds dominate how individuals (persons and companies alike) are connected to the legal system. It is suggested that no sensible person can doubt that property-based relationships have been a core legal system feature for centuries (Choo, 2018, p.394).

In Part 2, an alternative, competing proposition is advanced that raises significant doubts concerning present day title statement accuracy. It has become apparent that human rights concepts are now a dominant (and seemingly pervasive) connection that many people rely upon when claiming a contemporary legal system 'sense of belonging'. European Convention on Human Rights 1950 (ECHR) Article 8 privacy and family life guarantees, Article 9 religious belief, and selected EW case law examples are used to support this human rights-based counter-argument. The different property based relationships that exist between the EW legal system and its society remain important. However, these Part 2 examples illustrate how human rights' universality ensures that anyone (including persons without any property rights to assert), can secure effective legal system recognition and rights enforcement in a much wider range of circumstances than more limiting property-based relationships.

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Sunday, September 1, 2019

New Issue: Journal of Conflict Resolution

The latest issue of the Journal of Conflict Resolution (Vol. 63, no. 9, October 2019) is out. Contents include:
  • Articles
    • Richard Traunmüller, Sara Kijewski, & Markus Freitag, The Silent Victims of Sexual Violence during War: Evidence from a List Experiment in Sri Lanka
    • Shanna Kirschner & Adam Miller, Does Peacekeeping Really Bring Peace? Peacekeepers and Combatant-perpetrated Sexual Violence in Civil Wars
    • Emily Kalah Gade, Michael Gabbay, Mohammed M. Hafez, & Zane Kelly, Networks of Cooperation: Rebel Alliances in Fragmented Civil Wars
    • Ursula Daxecker, Jessica Di Salvatore, & Andrea Ruggeri, Fraud Is What People Make of It: Election Fraud, Perceived Fraud, and Protesting in Nigeria
    • Patricia Justino & Bruno Martorano, Redistributive Preferences and Protests in Latin America
    • Marina G. Petrova, What Matters Is Who Supports You: Diaspora and Foreign States as External Supporters and Militants' Adoption of Nonviolence
    • Yoram Z. Haftel & Stephanie C. Hofmann, Rivalry and Overlap: Why Regional Economic Organizations Encroach on Security Organizations

    • Click to read

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Supreme Court OKs Retaliatory Arrests For Engaging In Protected Speech

The Supreme Court has declared it's cool with cops engaging in retaliatory arrests… just as long as they have the probable cause to do so. Given the thousands of obscure laws we've been cursed with by legislators, most law enforcement officers will be able to find someway to shut up someone by putting them in cuffs. (Whatever they're wrong about can be salvaged by the good faith exception.)

In this case, plaintiff Russell Bartlett was arrested after not talking to police and telling other winter festival attendees to not talk to the police. The officer who arrested Bartlett claimed Bartlett was drunk and disorderly, hence the supposedly-justified arrest. Here's the background, as summarized in the Supreme Court's opinion [PDF]

Click to read

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Law Student Makes Astute Points About Law School Before Just Going All Racist

In a now-deleted Reddit post in the law school subreddit, a soon-to-graduate Rutgers Law School student offers some advice for aspiring law students about the problems with the school. To the poster's credit, there are some good points in here that law students should take into account during the law school selection process. Then… things get all weird and racist.

The post was titled "AVOID Rutgers Law School at all costs. Extremely bad employment prospects." This isn't really true — at least compared to a lot of options out there.

That's not how this poster sees it:

Rutgers Law Student class of 2019 here to say that if you want to be employed when graduating (unlike 80%+ of our graduating class currently), or if you want to find employment beyond the 1 year state clerkship experience, avoid our school at all costs.

Click to read

Monday, April 23, 2018

I Actually Like New York’s Double Jeopardy Loophole The Way It Is, But We Can’t Have Such Nice Things

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is trying to close New York State's double jeopardy "loophole," in a clear attempt to protect prosecutions from possible Trump pardons of his cronies. Normally, prosecutions at the federal level do not preclude prosecutions at the state level. But New York has this weird rule where jeopardy attaches for state purposes if a defendant pleads guilty or a jury is sworn-in even for a federal case, subject to a few exceptions.

It means, potentially, that a person — say, Michael Cohen — who is tried by federal prosecutors, convicted, and pardoned by President Donald Trump could not later be prosecuted for state crimes, even though the president technically has no authority to pardon state crimes.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Ethical Considerations For Artificial Intelligence

When people imagine a future of "robot lawyers," they tend to focus on employment and economic effects — for example, the implications for the lawyer labor market (e.g., "will the robots take our jobs"). Often overlooked, but no less important, are the ethical implications of artificial intelligence.

Last week, at the Global Privacy Summit of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), I attended a session tackling this very subject — "Machines That Can Learn: Can They Also Be Taught Human Values?" — with the following panelists:

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

What is Unit 180 and why is it one of the biggest threats to world peace?

North Korea's main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet …