Sunday, May 31, 2015

Part 38: (Narcissus, Talismans, and Cognition): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from which Betita Horm Pepulim responds to Larry, and conversation continues.

Contents: HERE.  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Launch Event Announcement: World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2015



The World Justice Project was founded by William H. Neukom in 2006 as a presidential initiative of the American Bar Association (ABA), and with the initial support of 21 other strategic partners, the World Justice Project transitioned into an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2009. Its offices are located in Washington, DC, and Seattle, WA, USA. (here)  WJP produces a Rule of Law Index that "offers a detailed, multidimensional view of the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law in practice, and is the most comprehensive index of its kind." (WJP Rule of Law Index 2015).  The The Rule of Law Index 2014 Report may be accessed HERE.

WJP will launch the new WJP Rule of Law Index 2015 on June 2, 2015.

This post shares an announcement from the World Justice Project.


Program of the 2015 Workshop and Resources From the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum Held at Columbia University

(2015 Forum participants, from Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum)

Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum is a platform for collaboration among individuals teaching business and human rights worldwide. The Forum seeks to promote and strengthen business and human rights education by fostering collaboration among teachers.
The Forum has just concluded its annual workshop, held at Columbia University May 18-19, 2015. The Workshop included a number of great presentations going to issues of Business and Human Rights pedagogy and the substantive issues that are developing in this new field.

This post includes the program for the 2015 Workshop along with  links and descriptions of resources available to those interested in teaching the human rights elements of business governance, suitable especially for those in advanced undergraduate, law, business and international affairs schools.The PowerPoint of my presentation may be accessed HERE.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Part 37: (Narcissus, Talismans, and Cognition): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Parts 33-35, in which Betita Horm Pepulim responds to Larry and Flora.

Contents: HERE

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

From Our Friends at ASCE: Recent Essays on US-Cuba Normalization

The Association for the Study of the Cuba Economy (ASCE) is a non-profit, non-political organization that pursues the study of Cuba in a broad sense, with particular emphasis on the financial, economic, social, legal and environmental aspects of Cuba today and its process of transition and reforms. Its blog presents original contributions on the Cuban economy and society.  These essays remind us both of the challenges to normalization, and the future difficulties of reform as Cuba considers the extent to which it means to plug back into the global economy.

This post includes links to recent posts.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Part 36: (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition and the Depressed Academic): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Parts 33-35, in which Betita Horm Pepulim responds to the idea of philosophy as a form of bureaucratism of the undifferentiated self.

Contents: HERE

Sunday, May 24, 2015

EU Parliament Votes in Favor of Binding Regulations on Conflict Minerals Monitoring and Disclosure Regimes

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)


On 20 May, the European Parliament voted in favor of a proposal for a binding regulation on conflict minerals throughout sourcing enterprises' supply chains. Discussions on details of the final regulation are underway with EU member states. European Parliament, On the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council setting up a Union system for supply chain due diligence self-certification of responsible importers of tin, tantalum and tungsten, their ores, and gold originating in conflict-affected and high-risk areas (COM(2014)0111 – C7-0092/2014 – 2014/0059(COD) P8_TA(2015)0204)

The EU "Supply-Chain Due Diligence" standards will be based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance recommendations, created to help companies respect human rights and avoid contributing to conflict through their mineral purchases from conflict areas. More HERE. The March 20915 Opinion of the EU Parliament Committee on Development follows below.

Some background, thoughts and links to materials follow.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Part 35: (Narcissus, Talismans, Cognition and the Depressed Academic): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 33 and 34, in which Flora Sapio returns to the talisman.

Contents: HERE.  

Part 34: (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 32 and 33, in which Betita Horm Pepulim (BHP) and Ulisses Schwarz Viana (USV) Larry Catá Backer, consider aspects of the issues raised.

Contents: HERE

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Part 33: (Narcissus, Talismans and Cognition): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 31, in which Betita Horm Pepulim (BHP) responds to Flora Sapio with a rejoinder from Larry Catá Backer..

Contents: HERE


Friday, May 15, 2015

Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy--Call for Papers 2015 Annual Meeting: "Cuba--What's Next?"


The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy has one of the most interesting and consistent scholarship on Cuba that is straightforward and devoid of a single and relentless political agenda--something rare in Cuban studies. Here for its Mission Statement. Twenty-four volumes of the Annual Proceedings have been published. They are widely used inside and outside of Cuba by universities, research centers, government agencies and others. the conferences have been quite interesting with sometimes lively debate and an increasing presence of scholars and others from Cuba.
The theme for the 25th Annual Conference of the ASCE is "Cuba--What's Next?,"will focus on what to expect after the recent historic announcements of changes in diplomatic relations between Cuba and the US. Will Cuba make the necessary internal economic reforms to attract enough foreign direct investment to spur economic growth? When will currency reform be implemented? When will the agricultural sector be restructured to increase productivity and output? Can we expect Cuba to develop its banking system and establish well-functioning capital markets? The conference will also include a plenary session on Cuban economic and political trends as well as sessions on social, legal, and sectoral issues related to the economy and a student panel.

The Call for Papers (in English and Spanish) follows:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sexual Assualt at the American Law Institute--Controversy Over the Criminalization of Sexual Contact in the Proposed Revision of the Model Penal Code


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)


Sexual assault has been much in the news in the United States.  Especially in the context of the management of behaviors at universities, sexual assault constitutes a new frontier of managing cultural norms through law. (See here, here, and here).  The American Law Institute has taken up the issue as well, launching a project examining college and university procedures surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct on campus titled Project on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct on Campus: Procedural Frameworks and Analysis.

The criminalization of sexual assault has also become an issue of general concern. The issues raised go to the heart of two great trends in U.S jurisprudence.  The first is the move toward the criminalization of behaviors that society, through the state, seeks to control. The second touches on the value of the use of the criminal law as an instrument of social and cultural change. A subsidiary issue that is related to the use of the criminal law as an agent for cultural change involves the way that customary rules of process fairness are bent to the greater policy goals.There are many who view criminalization and the use of law instrumentally, and especially the criminal law, as a valuable tool for societal progress.  There are many who disagree.  Consider the position of 16 Penn Law faculty members wrote this open letter criticizing aspects of that policy, and of the federal government’s actions.

This general legal and political conflict has now spilled over into a battle over the approach and language of any new provision for the criminalization of sexual assault that is at the heart of the ALI's project, Model Penal Code: Sexual Assault and Related Offenses.
Purpose:
This project will re-examine Article 213 of the Model Penal Code, which was ahead of its time when approved by the ALI in 1962, but is now outdated and no longer a reliable guide for legislatures and courts.

Status:
Tentative Draft No. 1 was presented to the membership at the 2014 Annual Meeting. As time ran out before the discussion could be concluded, no vote was taken to approve the draft.
Between the 2014 meeting and the upcoming meeting of the ALI, a number of ALI members have raised some objections to the approach to be taken by the project's reporter, Stephen J. Schulhofer  and its associate reporter, Erin E. Murphy, both of NYU Law School. These objections go to the heart of the conflicts that go to the policy underlying contemporary efforts to change cultures and control behaviors now understood as sexual assault. Their memo follows.    


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Venkatesh Nayak on the Changes to Whistle-Blower Protection in India Approved by the Lok Sabha Amidst Opposition Walkout


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

Venkatesh Nayak, Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, has requested the circulation of the following essay, Proposals to amend the Whistleblower Protection Act approved by the Lok Sabha amidst Opposition walkout. His main point: "It is indeed a sad day for whistleblowers who have been martyred or attacked for daring to expose the truth about corruption through whistleblowing in India. The Lok Sabha has approved the regressive proposals tabled by the Central Government which will effectively prevent most whistleblower complaints from even being inquired into by the competent authorities. "

This is a supplement to his earlier essay entitled, If the Whistleblower Act amendments go through it might be easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than to get a whistleblower complaint inquired which can be accessed HERE.

The essay follows.

Part 32: (Narcissus and Talismans): Dialogues on a Philosophy for the Individual

(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

With this post Flora Sapio and I (and friends from time to time) continue an experiment in collaborative dialogue. The object is to approach the issue of philosophical inquiry from another, and perhaps more fundamentally ancient, manner. We begin, with this post, to develop a philosophy for the individual that itself is grounded on the negation of the isolated self as a basis for thought, and for elaboration. This conversation, like many of its kind, will develop naturally, in fits and starts. Your participation is encouraged. For ease of reading Flora Sapio is identified as (FS), and Larry Catá Backer as (LCB).

The friends continue their discussion from Part 31, in which Flora Sapio confronts the talisman quality of the self.

Contents: HERE.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Venkatesh Nayak on Undermining Whistle-Blower Protection in India


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015)

Venkatesh Nayak, Programme Coordinator, Access to Information Programme, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative in New Delhi, has requested the circulation of the following essay, entitled, If the Whistleblower Act amendments go through it might be easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle than to get a whistleblower complaint inquired.

The essay was produced for the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) in India.  It considers the effects of The Whistle Blowers Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2015.
The amendments to the bill are being carried out with a view to incorporate necessary provisions aimed at strengthening safeguards against disclosures which may prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of the country and security of the state, among other things. While government insists the amendments would address concerns relating to national security, some activists have claimed that it will dilute the measure. (Bill to amend whistleblowers law introduced in Lok Sabha, Indian Express, May 11, 2015)
For more on that amendment see HERE and HERE.  The essay that follows suggests that the amendments do in fact dilute whistle blower protection substanbtially more than any purported benefit to national sovereignty and security. It speaks particularly to the ways that the formal protections of a whistle blower provision may actually undermine the fundamental purposes of whistle blower statutes.  In effect it throws a useful light on a manifestation of the great tensions in such acts between institutional loyalties and the radical undermining for a greater purpose that whistle blowing represents. For a different view see here.

The essay follows. For those interested in the subject from a comparative perspective it also provides a wealth of original source material. It is especially useful for understanding the trans cultural character of the sorts of traps for the unwary, and the undermining frameworks, of whistleblower provisions.  It may be especially useful for those confronting similar issues in the United States (see, e.g., here and here).

The Indian Whistle Blower Protection Act of 2011 No. 17 of 2014 (9 May 2014) can  be accessed HERE.


Surya Deva on India's Temptations to Follow the Chinese Path

Surya Deva, an associate profess at City University of Hong Kong School of Law, specialists in business and human rights, and comparative constitutional law.




His latest research focuses in part on the similarities and differences between China and India.  See Surya Deva (ed.), Socio-Economic Rights in Emerging Free Markets: Comparative Insights from India and China (London: Routledge) (forthcoming 2014).  It is in that context that Professor Deva recently published an essay focusing on the pitfalls of any temptation for Inida to follow China's path to economic development.  Surya Deva,  Despite its democratic DNA, will India be lured by China's economic model?, South China Morning Post, May 11, 2015.  The essay and some comments, appear below.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Teacher's Manuel For Ravitch and Backer, Law & Religion: Cases, Materials, and Readings Now Available

Teacher’s Manual to Law and Religion: Cases, Materials, and Readings, Third Edition

Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State
Larry Catá Backer, Penn State

 

Casebook ISBN 9780314284075

Teacher's Manual ISBN 9780314284143

West Academic Publishing is pleased to announce that the Teacher’s Manual to Law and Religion: Cases, Materials, and Readings, Third Edition is now available for download. You’ll need to Sign In or Create a West Academic Account to gain access.
About the Casebook:
This book explores the field of law and religion integrating cases and theory in an accessible and balanced way. The third edition is incredibly up-to-date, including Hobby Lobby, Town of Greece, Hosanna Tabor, Salazar v. Buono, and Arizona v. Winn, just to name a few. It addresses the continuing debate over the meaning of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment and the evolution of church/state Law. The book includes article excerpts from some of the leading thinkers in the field. New to the third edition is a section addressing comparative law and religion; an important and timely addition to the book in our increasingly globalized field. The new edition also adds a section in Chapter One addressing the major tests used in Establishment Clause cases to lay the groundwork for students before they read the cases from which those tests are derived in later chapters. (See more...)
If you would like to request a complimentary print or digital copy of the casebook, or if you have questions about downloading the Teacher’s Manual or creating an account, please contact your West Academic Publishing Account Manager at accountmanager@westacademic.com.

José Antonio Rodríguez Miguez on State Aids and the Wider Context of Global Trade Discourse


(Pix (c) Larry Catá Backer 2015))




One of the most interesting aspects of the battle over the control of the discourse of global trade and investment--represented on one side by the Trans Pacific Partnership and its European analogue (the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), and on the other by recent efforts of China to establish a new trade infrastructure around a web of trade deals and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank on the nature and role of state intervention and operation within markets. It is here that one sees the great divide between Chinese and Western macro economic policies, and the space within which these distinct visions are most likely to clash.

Spanish readers might acquire a much better sense of the European position, one of the more refined and thoughtful public regulatory expressions of Western markets driven ideology, in a recently distributed work of Dr. José Antonio Rodriguez-Miguez, which appears in the Social Science Research Network:  El control europeo de las ayudas públicas: Visión general y la prohibición general de las ayudas (la noción de ayuda de Estado) (European State Aid Control: Introduction and General Prohibition (The Concept of State Aid)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Upcoming Conference: Transnational Legal Orders for Private Law and Business Regulation



Conference announcement from the incredible folks at UC Irvine. A forward thinking events that is likely to produce much profound food for thought. 

Transnational Legal Orders for Private Law and Business Regulation

Wednesday–Thursday, May 13–14, 2015
UC Irvine School of Law (Map)

This symposium assesses and evaluates the extent of change in private law and business regulation that transcends the nation state. Such law and regulation seek to produce order in an issue area that relevant actors construe as a problem. These problems range from labor rights of garment workers to food safety; to securities fraud and financial crises; to corporate social responsibility; to the allocation of authority among courts to hear transnational disputes. The legal norms adopt various legal forms and they vary in their formally binding nature. The legal norms are transnational insofar as they transcend and permeate state boundaries, since the problems are deemed difficult or impossible to address by a single nation state. National legislatures often do not play a central role in many of these areas.

The symposium evaluates developments in these areas, and the challenges and limits various initiatives face. The symposium brings leading legal theorists and empirical scholars from different countries into dialogue. The participants will engage, in particular, with the theoretical lens of “transnational legal orders” as elaborated in the new book by Terence Halliday and Gregory Shaffer, Transnational Legal Orders (Cambridge University Press 2015).

Hosted by the Center on Globalization, Law and Society, an umbrella center for the study of international, transnational and comparative law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.
Participants
Alexia Brunet Marks, Colorado
Hannah Buxbaum, Indiana
Larry Catá Backer, Penn State
Terry Halliday, American Bar Foundation
Ralf Michaels, Duke
Gregory Shaffer, UC Irvine
Robert Wai, Osgoode Hall
Chris Whytock, UC Irvine
Cynthia Williams, Osgoode Hall
Peer Zumbansen, King’s College London