A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh
Wednesday 31 Dec 2008

Bill Marler [Managing Partner, Marler Clark LLP, PS]: "According to the latest news reports, the 22 companies implicated in the Chinese powdered milk crisis are likely to pay 1.1 billion yuan ($160 million) in compensation to the families of the over 294,000 children sickened by tainted milk products. The reports [read more]

Wednesday 31 Dec 2008

Guillermo Otálora Lozano [International Criminal Law Interest Group, American Society of International Law]: "The Italian rulings against Germany for crimes committed during the occupation reflect a growing trend in domestic courts' practice towards the lifting of immunities when international crimes are at stake. The ICJ has already dealt with issues [read more]

Monday 29 Dec 2008

Matt Belcher [Belcher Law Office, Chicago]: "If it weren't so gallingly embarrassing to the city of Big Shoulders, I would just laugh off the (alleged) Blagojevich exploits as another operatic example of the machine politics of the "Chicago way." For those of you not versed in the "Chicago way" please [read more]

Wednesday 24 Dec 2008

Jennifer Turner [Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, American Civil Liberties Union]: "On Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman revealed that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered aides to draw up plans for closing down the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay. The fact that Defense Secretary Gates has finally taken this [read more]

Tuesday 23 Dec 2008

Dr. Abdullahi Darman [Somali Law Council]: "Somalia has been a failed state since its military dictator was toppled in 1991. As a result it has been missing the ethics of one of the three fundamentals of a state - a functional government. Although, the paralyzed Somali Marine law specifically punished [read more]

Monday 22 Dec 2008

Joseph Logan and Michael Wahid Hanna [Researcher, Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch; Program Officer at The Century Foundation]: "On January 1, 2009, the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) [text, PDF] will take effect, establishing a legal basis for the continuing US military presence in [read more]

Friday 19 Dec 2008

Ken Gude [Associate Director, International Rights and Responsibility Program, Center for American Progress]: "The news Thursday that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is preparing for the closure of Guantanamo early in the Obama administration is more confirmation that the notorious prison's days are numbered. Yet while it is vitally important [read more]

Wednesday 17 Dec 2008

Julien Ball [Administrative Coordinator, Campaign to End the Death Penalty]: "The State of Tennessee wants to execute Gary Cone on a technicality. It is beyond dispute that the prosecution withheld crucial evidence in the case. Cone argued that he suffered from amphetamine psychosis when he committed a double murder and [read more]

Wednesday 17 Dec 2008

Pui-yin Lo [Deputy Chairman, Special Committee on Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights, Hong Kong Bar Association]: "The judgment of Mr. Justice Andrew Cheung of the Hong Kong Court of First Instance on December 8, 2008, held that: "the disenfranchisement provisions relating to voting and registration contravene the right to vote [read more]

Saturday 13 Dec 2008

Richard C. Dieter [Executive Director, Death Penalty Information Center]: "Death penalty cases are taking longer to resolve. In 2007, the average time between sentencing and execution was 12.7 years, the third year in a row in which the time was over 12 years. Many cases, like Cone v. Bell, which [read more]

Saturday 13 Dec 2008

Rania Atalla [US Executive Director, Women for Women International]: "Women in eastern Congo know exactly what it takes to end the conflict: They want the fighting to stop. They want to make a living for their families. And they want the men who are killing, maiming, and raping to be [read more]

Thursday 11 Dec 2008

Danny Kushlick [Head of Policy and Communications, Transform Drug Policy Foundation]: "The same week that saw the 75th anniversary of the repeal of alcohol prohibition also coincided with recent moves towards legally regulated production (as well as supply) of cannabis in the Netherlands, and a referendum in Switzerland approving legally [read more]

Wednesday 10 Dec 2008

Melanie Sloan [Executive Director, CREW]: "Federal prosecutors face some difficult hurdles in making a criminal case against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The first half of the criminal complaint against the governor involves allegations of a "pay to play" system. Forty of the seventy-six pages in the complaint detail the governor's [read more]

Tuesday 9 Dec 2008

Michelle M. Lindo McCluer [Director, National Institute of Military Justice]: "For the first time in half a century, the President approved a military death sentence this summer. Army Private Ronald Gray was sentenced to death by a military court-martial panel in 1988 after convicting him of two murders, three rapes, [read more]

Monday 8 Dec 2008

Mike Dubrasich [Executive Director, Western Institute for Study of the Environment]: "With her most recent decision, Magistrate Laporte is playing a game of judicial chicken, perverting NEPA, and causing catastrophic harm to the environment. Background: the Clinton (Dombeck) Roadless Rule was rushed through (by proclamation) in the waning days of [read more]

Sunday 7 Dec 2008

David Raynes [former Assistant Chief Investigation Officer in UK Customs, member of the International Task Force on Strategic Drug Policy]: "Observing from the US, what is happening in relation to drugs policy in Europe must seem truly confusing. Lurid headlines "Swiss legalise Heroin" or similar are half-truths. The reality is [read more]

Friday 5 Dec 2008

Awzar Thi [member, Asian Human Rights Commission, Hong Kong]: "The verdict to dissolve three parties in Thailand's coalition government and ban the prime minister and his party executives from politics for five years is the latest in a series of increasingly surreal judgments that have brought the country's senior judiciary [read more]

Friday 5 Dec 2008

Bahukutumbi Raman [former head of the Counter-Terrorism Division, Research and Analysis Wing (India's external intelligence agency)]: "From the night of November 26 to early morning on November 29, 160 Indians and 25 foreigners were killed in an unprecedented terrorist strike in Mumbai, which is viewed as India's economic capital. The [read more]

Thursday 4 Dec 2008

Robert Paterson [President, Renewal Consulting Group]: "The Canadian parliamentary system has an unwritten constitution based like the Common Law upon precedent and practice. It is also a system of indirect democracy where the voters elect a "Parliament," but do not vote for a Prime Minister. To operate as a government, [read more]

Tuesday 2 Dec 2008

Allen St. Pierre [Executive Director, NORML]: "The recent results on voter referendums in Switzerland to allow for permanent heroin assisted treatments, but against decriminalizing cannabis possession are vexingly informative.The near 40% support at the polls for cannabis decriminalization shows a strong plurality, but demonstrates that current Swiss public educational campaigns [read more]

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