West Law Report

Supremre Court Inc.

Posted in Jeffrey Rosen, US Supreme Court by mrkooenglish on May 19, 2008

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(Picture: Andy Friedman / NY Times)

Jeffrey Rosen, the law professor and author, wrote in NY Times magazine (16 Mar 2008) about the Supreme Court.

Judge Posner in Chicago University Law Review

Posted in Judge Posner, University of Chicago Law Review by mrkooenglish on May 17, 2008

Just found the last (Jan, already) issue of The University of Chicago Law Review is a Special Commemorating Twenty-five Years of Judge Richard A. Posner. As a fan of Judge Posner, I plan to read them all.

“Death in Georgia”

Posted in Capital punishment, Jeffrey Toobin by mrkooenglish on May 17, 2008

Few months ago Jeffrey Toobin wrote in the New Yorker about Brian Nichols and death penality reform in Georgia.

The Race Card

Posted in Authors@Google, racial discrimination by mrkooenglish on May 17, 2008

Authors@Google
Apr 2008

(58 min)

Richard Thompson Ford, the professor of law at Stanford University, talks about his book, The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse.

Ford, argues that ubiquitous accusations of discrimination in the United States frequently distract from serious racial injustices, which, in the ambivalent aftermath of the civil-rights era, “stem from isolation, poverty, and lack of socialization as much as from intentional discrimination or racism.” Drawing on examples from popular culture and the law, Ford guides readers through the worst of these abuses, and articulates a bold strategy for dealing with systematic injustice in a world of “racism without racists.”

Philippe Sands: use of torture undermines international law

The barrister answers readers’ question on Times:

Q: What consequences would the use of controlled “legislative” violence in the interrogation of suspects have for our present understanding of Human Rights?

A: In my view, the move to abusive interrogation has deeply undermined the United States’ ability to promote respect for international human rights law. For that reason I deeply regret what has happened and sincerely hope that the United States will take corrective measure and bring its own house in order before inaction compels prosecutors and judges in other jurisdictions feel the need to intervene.

Q: Are European countries that allowed rendition-flights to Guantanamo complicit in violating the absolute prohibition on torture under international law? If so, how can these countries be held accountable?

A: Article 4 of the Convention prohibiting torture, criminalises “an act by any person which constitutes complicity or participation in torture”. What constitutes complicity or participation will turn on the facts of a particular case. Knowing support for rendition flights, or turning a blind eye in circumstances in which torture is seen as likely or reasonably foreseeable, could constitute complicity or participation. Again, it turns on the facts, which are to be established.

Q: Why doesn’t the international committee put more pressure on the US to resolve this situation?

A: History shows that it can take time for countries to call to account abuses of international law. Senator Pinochet was arrested in London eight years after he had left office. But countries do seem to have turned a blind eye. On April 17, 2008 British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stood next to President Bush in the Rose Garden at the White House and said: “The world owes President George Bush a huge debt of gratitude for leading the world in our determination to root out terrorism, and to ensure that there is no safe haven for terrorism and no hiding place for terrorists.” (Read the transcript.)

President Bush has taken responsibility for approving techniques of interrogation that, in my view, have amounted to torture. Just a few weeks earlier President Bush vetoed legislation prohibiting the CIA from using the very same techniques of interrogation I describe in my book. “The bill Congress sent me,” President Bush said, “would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror — the CIA program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives”. (Click here for the transcript.)

Where would the detainees go?

Posted in Guantánamo, Jeffrey Toobin by mrkooenglish on May 12, 2008

Philippe Sands: Bush Administration Torture Policies

Posted in Guantánamo, Philippe Sands QC, war crime by mrkooenglish on May 10, 2008

6 May 2008

(8 min)

He speaks before the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Constitution, Civil Rights & Civil Liberties:

Philippe Sands without reservation, states that war crimes were committed by the most senior members of the Bush administration. He is a professor of law at the University College London and recently wrote a book “Torture Team”.

Read his testimony [*.pdf] and his article The Green Light on Vanity Fair (May 2008).

Sands: “Don’t call it a War on Terror”

(4 min)

Philippe Sands: Lawless World

Posted in Guantánamo, International Human Rights Law, Philippe Sands QC by mrkooenglish on May 10, 2008

Mar 2006

(2 hr)

Philippe Sands, a British international lawyer and law professor, discusses the current U.S. and British adminstrations’ international law.

Philippe Sands: Follows the Bush Torture Trail

Posted in Guantánamo, International Human Rights Law, John Yoo, Philippe Sands QC, Torture by mrkooenglish on May 10, 2008

8 May 2008


(10 min)


(10 min)

In the interview:

Attorney Philippe Sands Follows the Bush Administration Torture Trail A new exposé in Vanity Fair by British attorney Philippe Sands reveals new details about how attorney John Yoo and other high-ranking administration lawyers helped design and implement the interrogation policies seen at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and secret CIA prisons. According to Vanity Fair, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and other top officials personally visited Guantanamo in 2002, discussed interrogation techniques and witnessed interrogations. Sands joins us in our firehouse studio.

Rush transcript in Decomcracynow.org

Ask Philippe Sands

Posted in Guantánamo, International Human Rights Law, Philippe Sands QC, Torture by mrkooenglish on May 10, 2008

Philippe Sands, the writer of Lawless World, published his 2nd book Torture Team. The QC will answer readers’ question on Times Online on May 15. I’m thinking about question.

But first, I should get a copy of his 1st book (can’t find the new one yet) and re-read it. Read the interview in Times (4 May) and the book review of the new book on Times (4 May).

Read also his article in Guardian (19 Apr) about a Guantanamo officials’ interrogation tech inspired by the TV series, 24.

The Future of Reputation

Posted in Authors@Google, copyright, Defamation, Law and information, online privacy by mrkooenglish on May 7, 2008

Authors@Google: Daniel Solove
Feb 2008

(53 min)

Daniel J. Solove, an associate professor of law at the George Washington University Law School discusses his book “The Future of Reputation“:

What information about you is available on the Internet? What if it’s wrong, humiliating, or true but regrettable? Will it ever go away? Teeming with chatrooms, online discussion groups, and blogs, the Internet offers previously unimagined opportunities for personal expression and communication. But there’s a dark side to the story. A trail of information fragments about us is forever preserved on the Internet, instantly available in a Google search. A permanent chronicle of our private lives—often of dubious reliability and sometimes totally false—will follow us wherever we go, accessible to friends, strangers, dates, employers, neighbors, relatives, and anyone else who cares to look. This engrossing book, brimming with amazing examples of gossip, slander, and rumor on the Internet, explores the profound implications of the online collision between free speech and privacy.

Daniel Solove, an authority on information privacy law, offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cyber mobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Longstanding notions of privacy need review, the author contends: unless we establish a balance among privacy, free speech, and anonymity, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.