Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Sanctions and Economic Crisis in Cuba: State Announces Price Controls in Public and Private Sectors



Reuters is reporting ("Cuba, battling economic crisis, imposes sweeping price controls") that the Cuban State has announced a series of sweeping controls on prices in the public and private sectors in the wake of the mounting economic crisis that is deepening in Cuba.  That crisis, in turn has been made much more acute by the crisis in Venezuela (a principal supporter of the Cuban economy) with respect to which neither Russia nor China has provided an effective substitute.  More importantly, perhaps, is the growing effects of the trade restrictions and targeted sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration in response, in part, to Cuba's support of the Maduro regime in Venezuela (e.g., (1) The Pivot Toward the Caribbean; and (2) Announcement of Changes in US Policy Toward Cuba and the Caribbean Region: Remarks of US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo; Speech of John Bolton (anuncia nuevas sanciones para Venezuela, Cuba y Nicaragua) 17 April 2019). 

The reporting by Marc Frank for Reuters follows.  A few small points.  

First, price controls will have more symbolic than real effect.  Even in the small private sector, the state maintains a substantial control on pricing even before the freeze.  

Second, the object appears to have been, as suggested in the anonymous quotes, to suspend the market during this new "special period" and to rethink the nature of its complementary role in economic planning. For the moment that might involve redirecting such production to meet shortfalls at the retail level.  

Third, the increased wages and pensions will have a negative effect on the economy. The problem right now is that already too much cash is chasing too few goods.  The result of these increases will be either inflation or an inflated pricing scheme for the black market or barter transactions.  

Fourth, as a result, it will be difficult to both stimulate production (in the absence of state subsidies or orders) and combat inflation (while pouring more money into an economy where there are production shortfalls and no hard currency to meet demand with foreign goods).  

Fifth, this planning will only work if Russia, China, and Venezuela (the key players, there are others) will step in with subsidies. These traditionally involve overpaying for Cuban services (directing the surplus to the state), or underpricing goods and services provided to Cuba. Much of this will likely remain opaque and hard to gauge.  

Sixth, enforcement, as suggested by Marc Frank, will likely be difficult and itself expensive. 

The tactful warnings of Pavel Vidal and Andrew Zimbalist (quoted in the reporting) will not be heeded.  But that is because the state ideology makes those approaches incompatible with the fundamental vision of the Cuban political-economic model (Cuba's Caribbean Marxism).

The New Legislation: Prosecutorial Discretion Guidelines and Corporate Compliance

(Pix © 2004 Larry Catá Backer)

Why bother with law when in the modern administrative state, official exercises of discretion work all the better? There is a move toward the institutionalization of guidelines that increasingly serve as a set of shadow regulations without the bother of being formally regulatory that shifts effective authority from the letter of the law to the boundaries within administrative discretion may be exercised with impunity (in accordance with law). This reflex, of course, is central to the governance of private institutional actors--for example through the development of fiduciary duty law as a means of constraining the exercise of the discretionary decision making of members of a corporate board of directors. And it is certainly common among university administrators. But the delegation of regulatory authority within liberal democratic states might have been considered to require additional or distinctive approaches, ones traditionally bound up in mechanics like that of the Administrative procedure Act (see, e.g., here in the context of the 2019 "Census Case").

I have been examining the way that Leninist States have successfully built rule of law cultures on this mechanism.  Most recently, the transformation of Cuba's Caribbean Marxism provided a quite sophisticated window on the institutionalization of rule based authority through which rules provided the framework for the exercise of administrative discretion, as well as policy and principles within which such discretion might be exercised (e.g., here, and here). 

That sort of political culture is not unknown in liberal democracies either.  At the highest levels, of course, both political parties have, when it suited them, embraced the strategic use of presidential executive orders, standing procedures, and the like, to further their governance aims around the increasingly clunky mechanics of democratic law making that seems better suited for the republic building of the 18th century than the political desires of the 21st century.  And, indeed, this sort of transformation of the working style of liberal democracies now appear to have some value for compliance methods in Leninist systems (e.g., From a 'Two Thrust Approach' to a 'Two Sword One Thrust Strategy' to Combat Criminal Corruption: Government Enforcement of Compliance and Oversight by Sovereign Investors).

The move toward extra-legal regulation has found a particularly warm welcome--where else (?)--but with lawyers in the Department of Justice and their prosecutorial wings.  Without a wink of irony and clothed with a strategic reading of their customs, traditions, and self conception, the Department of Justice has over the last generation slowly begun to build a sophisticated codex of regulation in the form of self guidance on the exercise of their prosecutorial discretion.  The effect is not meant as much for internal self discipline and guidance. Rather these guidelines are meant to be projected out to the class of people and institutional organs against which they might assert the authority of the state. 

The temptations to move toward this shift of authority from the rule of law to the law of the exercise of discretion is especially irresistible where the prosecutorial organs of state power seek to protect against corruption or to further the governmentalization of enterprises through the institution of internal law systems (in the American parlance--compliance and monitoring programs designed to prevent, mitigate and avoid unlawful behaviors).  It is a trajectory that is as important in the "soft law" area of corporate social responsibility where one might substitute non-governmental organizations, or public international organizations for the organs of state prosecutorial power.  

It is with this in mind that one ought to carefully consider the latest regulatory actions of the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, again, disguised as guidance to its officials on the way in which they exercise discretion, but directed toward the objects of that discretionary exercise to change their behavior (and to induce internal regulatory reform, again in the jargon of compliance). 

What follows are the Antitrust Division's announcement that would consider, and potentially reward, effective compliance programs at the charging stage in criminal antitrust investigations, along with an excellent analysis prepared by Ropes and Grey's Kaede TohDavid ZhangMark S. PopofskyKennan Khatib and Stefan P. Schropp on its effects. The 18 page guidance for prosecutors’ evaluation of corporate compliance programs at the charging and sentencing stage may be accessed HERE: U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division: Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs in Criminal Antitrust Investigations (July 2019).

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Chinese Position on the Situation in Hong Kong: Chinese and English Language Versions of Statement on the State Council Information Office Published: 2019-07-29 [国务院港澳办新闻发言人介绍对香港当前局势的立场和看法 ]



Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr. Yang Guang



The situation in Hing Kong has become increasingly complicated since the popular reaction against he extradition law erupted into mass street manifestations of popular power during the middle of June. Since then, the situation has become more fluid.  The Hong Kong government has at least temporarily withdrawn the extradition law (which triggered these events). But protests have continued and demands broadened to cover a generalized fear of how the one country two systems will actually develop.  

There has been violence on both sides--the worst of which included the occupation of a Hong Kong Government building (on one side) and the beating of people at a Hong Kong metro station ostensibly by bandit elements (but likely for hire by elements of the state apparatus).

The fight for the "hearts and minds of both locals and the international community has intensified since the start of July.  One pays special attention, though when functionaries from the Chinese State Council speak. This post includes the original Chinese and a crude English translation of spokespersons of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr. Yang Guang and Ms. Xu Luying. The statements were developed through an interview with Deputy Director of the State Council Information Office, published on line as Yan Yanchun (interviewer), "A spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council introduced the position and views on the current situation in Hong Kong; source: Website of the State Council Information Office Published: 2019-07-29 (Link to Original [国务院港澳办新闻发言人介绍对香港当前局势的立场和看法] HERE)). Flora Sapio will produce a more elegant translation; please email us for more information.

The SOuth China Morning Post also reported on this.  See  "As it happened: how Beijing expressed ‘resolute support’ for Hong Kong’s government" (SCMP, 29 July 2019):
The controversy over the shelved extradition bill has plunged Hong Kong into its biggest political crisis since its 1997 return to Chinese rule. The city continues to be rocked by mass protests with demonstrators demanding a full withdrawal of the bill.  As protests have escalated and taken an increasingly violent turn in recent weeks, Hong Kong's police have struggled to restore order while facing a massive public backlash over their handling of demonstrators. The turmoil has not only worried Beijing's leaders but also put Hong Kong under the international spotlight as investors wonder if the financial hub has stumbled. The press conference on Monday by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office under the State Council, the first by Beijing's top policy office on Hong Kong since the handover, suggested top leaders had arrived at a view and formulated a response to the deadlock.

Deputy Director of the State Council Information 
Office, spokesperson, Yan Yanchun 
(photo by Zhang Xin) 
This was meant to be a very high profile expression of Chinese official positions. It also likely included a number of hints of thinking directed both to Hong Kong stakeholders, and the international community.  It will be useful to read these carefully to understand the current thinking, as well as the extent to which China has begun to develop "red lines" against which it may act.  There are a number of interesting points: (1)  the misunderstanding a cultivated by Hong Kong People; (2) the possible pernicious effects of outside influences provoking an unjustified panic; (3) the framing of the issues as just touching on the extradition law; (4) the concern over alarmism and the rupture of appropriate engagement through official channels as potentially threatening; (5) the warnings about the consequences of continued violence by what were characterized as radical and fringe elements themselves lawbreakers (extremist protestors  (激进示威));  (6) the willingness of China to protect its constitutional order by all appropriate means when and as it chooses, in accordance with its interpretation of its rights and obligations under the one state two systems framework; (7) the different conceptual starting points for rule of law discourse between the Hong Kong protagonists and its conception and deployment within the political discourse of China; and (8) the willingness for the moment to continue to work through the local government, though with the warning that in China's view, the violence "has also seriously touched (触碰) the bottom line of the principle of “One Country, Two Systems.”"

The shape and implementation of the one country two systems principle will likely be reshaped in any case and it will be with great interest that this ought to be observed and studied, especially for its utility in thinking through reunification with Taiwan, and relations with Belt and Road states.

And the student response:
"Hong Kong commuters could face traffic chaos on Tuesday morning, with protesters angry at Beijing’s response to the extradition bill crisis planning a non-cooperative campaign at a major railway station and blockades of major roads. On social media on Monday night, the protesters also discussed organising another sit-in at the airport, hours after the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office under China’s State Council expressed “resolute support” for the Hong Kong government over its handling of the saga." (Hong Kong facing rush hour chaos as anti-government protesters plan major disruption to city’s rail and road networks; SCMP 30 July 2019)

Friday, July 26, 2019

PowerPoints of Presentation: "Cuban Socialist Democracy 2.0—Popular Participation, Affirmation, and Engagement from Lineamientos to Cuba’s 2019 Constitution Presentation for the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy Annual Meeting



The Association of the Study of the Cuban Economy is hosting its Annual Conference 25-27 July, 2019 in Miami, Florida.  I have provided more information HERE: Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy Annual Conference: "Cuba - Growth or Decline? Is the Revolution Dead?".

I will be presenting the results o
f some of the ideas we started to theorize in "The Democratic Constitution of Illiberal States—An Empirical Approach to Theorizing Popular Participation, Representation and Constitutional Reform in Cuba," with Flora Sapio (Università degli Studi di Napoli “Orientale” (Italy)), and James Korman (Penn State School of International Affairs MIA 2019).  

More specifically I consider here the historical origins of the two principal  expressions of the democratic impulse that has emerged after 2011 in Cuba. The first is the movement toward the use of popular affirmation as a means of legitimating the work and programs of the vanguard Cuban Communist Party (PCC) through elections--both for representative to the National Assembly and for fundamental changes to the state which may be brought to the masses for referendum. The second is the movement toward endogenous forms of democratic expression, in this case through a refinement of well managed systems of popular engagement with policies and programs developed under the leadership of the PCC and then submitted to the National Assembly and "the people" for consultation, on the basis of which changes would be considered. Together, and nicely evidenced in the Constitutional Reform Project of 2018-2019, these trajectories are meant to provide the outline of Cuban Socialist Democracy 2.0.  

Finally, I consider a set of cautions against reading either too much into the theorization offered, or to judge these measures against the principles of liberal democratic organization and operation as a baseline.  The first caution is meant to expose the substantial difficulties of the development of a theory without a theory, one built out of practice elements that are themselves unstable. It also serves as a caution (common in the analysis of political theory in illiberal states) of the sometimes gross gaps between what one can glean as theory, and the actual functional effects and operation of the system on the ground.  The second is to caution against the transposition of liberal democratic conceits into a project designed to reject those conceits and to attempt to go in another direction.  

With these caveats in mind, it is still possible to see in the work of the Cuban Party-State, some glimmerings of a theory of democracy activity that serves as a potential challenge to the principles of liberal democratic organization that has, for some time, assumed that it occupies all of the possible space for discussion of democratic theory. That theoretical challenge, of course, is undermined by the realities of its implementation in Cuba.  And yet, the deficiencies of the implementation of the grand theories of liberal democracy in its own environment militates against making that gap decisive for judging the theory.

The PowerPoints of the presentation follow.  Please contact me for a copy of the paper.


Thursday, July 25, 2019

Plenary Presentation: Carmelo Mesa-Lago, "The Cuban Economy After 60 Years of Revolution: Continuities and Changes"; Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy 2019 Annual Meeting





The 2019 annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) was held in Miami July 25-27, at the Miami Hilton Downtown Hotel. Details on registration, lodging at the hotel, and the Program are at: www.ASCECuba.org. I have provided more information HERE: Association for the Study of the Cuban Ecoomy Annual Conference: "Cuba - Growth or Decline? Is the Revolution Dead?".
 
A highlight of the Annual Meeting was the Opening Plenary Presentation this year delivered by Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Economics and Latin American Studies, University of Pittsburgh.


A summary of his excellent presentation: "The Cuban Economy After 60 Years of Revolution: Continuities and Changes" follows. Mesa-Lago attempts ot make the case that Cuba's economic situation is the product of a confluence of historical patterns (the patron state syndrome), and an adherence to a strict model of central planning and state ownership of productive forces which has been rejected even by the great Asian Mraxist powerhouses--China and Vietnam.  He calls for a reconsideration of the "complementary" status of the private market within the Cuban economic model, and its liberation from the substantial state oversight to which it is now subject.







Wednesday, July 24, 2019

PowerPoints of Presentation: "The Democratic Constitution of Illiberal States—An Empirical Approach to Theorizing Popular Participation, Representation and Constitutional Reform in Cuba" Presentation for the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy Annual Meeting



The Association of the Study of the Cuban Economy is hosting its Annual Conference 25-27 July, 2019 in Miami, Florida.  I have provided more information HERE: Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy Annual Conference: "Cuba - Growth or Decline? Is the Revolution Dead?".

I will be presenting the results of a collaboration between Flora Sapio (Università degli Studi di Napoli “Orientale” (Italy)), James Korman (Penn State School of International Affairs MIA 2019), and myself. Entitled  "The Democratic Constitution of Illiberal States—An Empirical Approach to Theorizing Popular Participation, Representation and Constitutional Reform in Cuba," it evaluates some empirical evidence of the scope and character of informal engagement in the political process in Cuba, in the shadow of the formal structures of political engagement being developed since 2011. The paper will be published in Vol. 34 of the Emory International Law Review and the pre-publication version may be accessed in  SSRN HERE.

Of course, the usual caveats apply.  This study was not grounded in the premises and principles of democratic participation at the foundation of the organization of liberal democratic states.  However one understands the data, there is nothing here that suggests either a transition to (liberal) democracy, nor is there a suggestion of comparability to the standards of liberal democratic societies. The object of comparison are the pretensions and theoretical claims that are indigenous to the Marxist Leninist political model under which these expressions are not meant to exist.  And the object is to suggest the way in which trajectories of (still undertheorized) practices going back to the revolutionary (military) vanguard government of 1959-1976, may be producing either changes to the possibilities of mass engagement within the quite conceptually abstract theory of emerging Cuban Leninism, or whether it is meant as theatre to amuse the left in liberal democratic states on which the Cuban vanguard is dependent for the (economic) survival of the state.  

The presentation is part of a great panel on Cuba's 2019 Constitution (Rogelio de la Torre, organizer) and includes:
Larry Catá Backer, Penn State University, "Popular Participation in the Constitution of the Illiberal State—An Empirical Study of Popular Engagement and Constitutional Reform in Cuba and the Contours of Cuban Socialist Democracy 2.0"
Jose Gabilondo, Florida International University Law School, "Cuba's Civil Society in Conflict: Consitutional Debates About Same-Sex Marriage"
Boris González Arenas, Miembro de la Mesa de Unidad de Acción Democrática y colaborador de Diario de Cuba, "El castrismo y las regulaciones que lo propician"
Discussants: Jorge Esquirol, Florida International University Law School; Rafael Andrés Velázquez Pérez, Universidad de Holguín y Universidad de Vigo; Manuel Cuesta Morúa, Partido Arco Progresista y Miembro de la Mesa de Unidad de Acción Democrática
The PowerPoints of our presentaiton follows:


Monday, July 22, 2019

The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises:" Part1--Introductory Statement



The Coalition for Peace and Ethics BHR Treaty Project is considering Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities Corporations and Other Business Enterprises," released on 16 July 2019 by the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) Chairmanship. The CPE Introduction Statement can be accessed here: The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises" And a Call to Submit Comments Before October 2019.

For the informal Index/Table of Contents for the CPE Treaty Project postings on the Draft Legally Binding Instrument" please follow this link: Index of Posts.   We hope that makes navigating the CPE Treaty Project Commentary easier.  The postings will be listed in reverse chronological order.

This post includes the brief framing thoughts of members of  the CPE Treaty Project Team: Flora Sapio ("The Victims of the Draft Legally Binding Instrument"), and Larry Catá Backer ("The Instrumentalism of the Instrument and the Taming of Transnationalism").  Later posts will start with more specific comments on the treaty terms, its underlying ambitions, ideologies, and the feasibility of its gasp, given the constraints within which its authors are necessarily made to work.


The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises"-- Index of Posts




The Coalition for Peace and Ethics BHR Treaty Project is considering Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities Corporations and Other Business Enterprises," released on 16 July 2019 by the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) Chairmanship. The CPE Introduction Statement can be accessed here: The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises" And a Call to Submit Comments Before October 2019.

This Post will serve as an informal Index/Table of Contents for the CPE Treaty Project postings on the Draft Legally Binding Instrument."  Links back to this post will be provided in each posting.  We hope that makes navigating the CPE Treaty Project Commentary easier.  The postings will be listed in reverse chronological order.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises:" What Changed From the Zero Draft--A Side by Side Comparison




The Coalition for Peace and Ethics BHR Treaty Project is considering Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities Corporations and Other Business Enterprises," released on 16 July 2019 by the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) Chairmanship. The CPE Introduction Statement can be accessed here: The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises" And a Call to Submit Comments Before October 2019.

In our initial post we noted the potential utility of comparing this new draft to the original Zero Draft that garnered so much attention last year.  This post includes a side by side comparison of the Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument and the original Zero Draft.

One comment--the drafters of these documents have not made it easy.  There is a lot of symbolism in the ease with which a document is made accessible to those from whom engagement is sought.  The harder it is to engage deeply, the more likely that underlying the engagement is the notion that such depth of analysis is not necessary.  That, in turn, suggests the sort of elite project that this effort could not possibly have meant to convey.  These notions were strong motivators for CPE to seek to provide a FAST side by side comparison for those unable to invest the time or who might nt have the tech resources to do this for themselves.  CPE will prepare and distribute a downloadable version soon. 

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE IMAGES APPEAR SMALL ON THE SCREEN BUT THEY MAY BE ENLARGED.  ALTERNATIVELY THE SIDE BY SIDE PROVIDES A MEANS FOR THOSE WITH COPIES OF BOTH VERSIONS TO PRODUCE ALTERNATIVES SOLUTIONS.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

The New Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities of Corporations and Other Business Enterprises" And a Call to Submit Comments Before October 2019

(Pix this post all © Larry Catá Backer 2019)

It is always exciting to engage in the production of nostalgia.  That is even more the case when the production is for a worthy cause. And there is probably no worthier cause to my mind than the project to robustly embed a strict sensitivity to human rights norms within the operations of economic enterprises, or broadly, within the cultures of economic activity however undertaken. 

Even as political, social, and economic power fragment along new and ever more complex lines, many well-intentioned, sophisticated, and thoughtful people remain committed to a view of the world that has not only disappeared--except as to the wisps of its form that still serve as a means organizing factions--but that is being recast in ways we can hardly understand.  In a world in which law is being transformed into data with consequences, where enterprises increasingly govern their production chains through regulatory contract, where administrative discretion carries more weight in the public and private sector than the rules with respect to which they are rarely held to account, and where the boundaries between the public and private interventions of state and non-state institutions have become blurred (to put it mildly), it is hard to generate much more than a pedantic excitement over the efforts to finally (and three quarters of a century late) develop a gloriously antiquarian instrument for a civilization whose ghosts can only haunt us now.

I speak, of course, of the new Draft of the "Legally Binding Instrument to Regulate, in International Human Rights Law, The Activities Corporations and Other Business Enterprises," released on 16 July 2019 by the open-ended intergovernmental working group (OEIGWG) Chairmanship. "Ahead of the fifth session, the Permanent Mission of Ecuador, on behalf of the Chairmanship of the OEIGWG, released a revised draft legally binding instrument on business activities and human rights. The revised draft will serve as the basis for direct substantive intergovernmental negotiations during the fifth session of the OEIGWG, to be held from 14 to 18 October 2019, in Geneva." (Source: Open-ended intergovernmental working group on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights: Mandate).

Still, this is a worthy exercise (as I have suggested before (here, here, here, and here), not so much for its stated objectives, but for the principles and perspectives they may generate to contribute to the next generation of structural governance instruments that will have top be developed over the course of the next decade. To that end, a study of this Draft "Legally Binding Instrument" is both worthy and important--not just out of respect for those worthy people whose vision is therein articulated, but also for the value that its insights and failings contribute toward the useful end of embedding principles and expectations grounded in human rights within all economic activities. It will be useful, in that respect to compare this Draft to the original Zero Draft that circulated last year.

Lastly, serious study may be helpful to the members of the OEIGWG as they approach their consideration of this draft in October 2019. OEIGWG will officially and publicly consider the Draft Legally Binding Instrument at its next meeting in October 2019.  It might aid the OEIGWG and their advisors, including those charged with the drafting and defending of the Draft Legally Binding Instrument to receive thoughtful commentary by stakeholders and other interested parties. In its Note Verbale by the Chairmanship of the Working Group regarding the release of the revised draft legally binding instrument it was noted that:
The Chairmanship will convene informal consultations with Governments, regional groups, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations mechanisms, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders, before the fifth session of the OEIGWG, including on an updated program of work, in accordance with additional information to be announced in due course.
The Coalition for Peace and Ethics, as a member of that large group of interested stakeholders largely ignored by those who have been selected to influence the process--that is, as part of what the OEIGWG dismissively implies as the class of "irrelevant stakeholders"--urges all similarly situated stakeholders to make their views known to the OEIGWG and their functionaries before October 2019.  We encourage all civil society, business, state, and other actors, to participate actively and fearlessly in the process leading to (and eventually from) the efforts to fashion this instrument in this way.  CPE will be delighted to post those comments as well to its website as part of its Coalition for Peace and Ethics Project on the Effort to Elaborate an International Instrument on Business and Human Rights (for CPE Treaty Project analysis of the prior draft see ZeroDraft). Direct comments to  igwg-tncs@ohchr.org.

In addition,  over the course of the next several posts, the Coalition for Peace and Ethics BHR Treaty Project will consider this Draft "Legally Binding Instrument."  For this post the CPE-Treaty Project provides a copy of the Draft, which follows along with the Note Verbabale (along with additional links).


Publicación de borrador del ensayo "La debida diligencia en las universidades" [Posting Draft essay: Human Rights Due Diligence and the University].






Fue un gran placer anunciar la publicación del libro Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos (Carolina Olarte-Báceres, Catalina Irisarri Boada y Laura Arenas). Peralta, eds.) Será publicado por la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana y Grupo Editorial Ibañez (ISBN 978-958-749-000-0).

También me gustaría compartir con mis lectores hispanohablantes por vía de este post el borrador (previo a su publicación) de mi contribución (en español) titulado: La debida diligencia en las universidades.  El ensayo se deriva de una transcripción de las observaciones hechas en la Conferencia "Foro Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos" (Forum Obstacles and Challenges for Business and Human Rights).

It was a great pleasure to announce the publication of Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos (Carolina Olarte-Báceres, Catalina Irisarri Boada y Laura Arenas). Peralta, eds.) Será publicado por la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana y Grupo Editorial Ibañez (ISBN 978-958-749-000-0).
I would like to share with my Spanish speaker-readers in this post the pre-publication draft of my own contribution (Spanish only): La debida diligencia en la universidades [Human Rights Due Diligence in the University]. The essay is drawn from a transcript of remarks made at the Conference "Foro Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos" (Forum Obstacles and Challenges for Business and Human Rights).
Se puede obtener via SSRN [Downloadable version] ACQUI/HERE

Friday, July 19, 2019

Se Publica "Retos y Desafios de las Empresas y Los Derechos Humanos" [Obstacles and Challenges of Enterprises and Business and Human Rights] (Carolina Olarte-Báceres, Catalina Irisarri Boada, and Laura Arenas Peralta, eds.)



(Pix credit: here)

Para los hispanohablantes, me complace anunciar la publicación anticipada del libro Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos (Carolina Olarte-Báceres, Catalina Irisarri Boada y Laura Arenas). Peralta, eds.) Será publicado por la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana y Grupo Editorial Ibañez (ISBN 978-958-749-000-0).

El libro tiene su origen en la maravillosa conferencia organizada por los editores, que tuvo lugar en Bogotá en marzo de 2018 en la Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. Más sobre eso aquí: Anuncio de la Conferencia: "Foro Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos" (Foro Obstáculos y Desafíos para las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos).

Esta publicación incluye el borrador de Front Matter, incluido el índice (en español). Espero que aquellos interesados ​​en las perspectivas latinoamericanas sobre negocios y derechos humanos puedan considerar explorar la riqueza de conocimientos y perspectivas que los editores pudieron desarrollar en este trabajo.

For Spanish speakers I an delighted to announce the anticipated publication of the book, Retos y Desafios de las Empresas y Los Derechos Humanos [Obstacles and Challenges of Enterprises and Business and Human Rights] (Carolina Olarte-Báceres, Catalina Irisarri Boada, and Laura Arenas Peralta, eds.) to be published by the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Grupo Editorial Ibañez (ISBN 978-958-749-000-0).

The book has its origins in the wonderful conference organized by the editors, which took place in Bogotá in March 2018 at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana. More on that here:  Conference Announcement: "Foro Retos y Desafíos de las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos" (Forum Obstacles and Challenges for Business and Human Rights).

This post includes the draft Front Matter, including the table of contents (en Español). I hope that those with an interest in Latin American perspectives on business and human rights might consider exploring the wealth of knowledge and perspectives that the editors were able to develop in this work. 


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Association for the Study of the Cuban Ecoomy Annual Conference: "Cuba - Growth or Decline? Is the Revolution Dead?"





The 2019 annual conference of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy (ASCE) will be held in Miami July 25-27, at the Miami Hilton Downtown Hotel. Details on registration, lodging at the hotel, and the Program are at: www.ASCECuba.org

The 3-day event (Thursday - Saturday) features scholarly presentations and round table discussions by world-class experts, including from Cuba. The conference hotel is at 1601 Biscayne Blvd.

The theme of the 29 the conference is: "Cuba - Growth or Decline? Is the Revolution Dead?"

Among the topics discussed will be: the Cuban economy after 60 years of the revolution, continuities and change; developments in the domestic political situation, including debates about same-sex marriage and property rights; Cuba' s relationship with the United States and with Venezuela, including the application of the Helms-Burton Law, and the trade in oil, doctors, and weapons; current economic policies and the dual currency system; cuentapropismo and self-employment; the possibility of a new "special period" ; developments in agriculture and food shortages, as well as energy shortages; the adoption of new technologies and changes in internet policies.

The impressive roster of participants includes Professor Carmelo Mesa-Lago, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh; Professor Lillian Guerra, University of Florida-Gainesville, the official Keynote Speaker at the lunch; Professor Mauricio de Miranda Parrondo, Head of the Economics Department of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Cali, Colombia. Traveling from Cuba will be Professor Armando Nova, from la Universidad de la Habana, Manuel Cuesta-Morúa, from Arco Progresista, several independent journalists, and some cuentapropistas from small businesses in the island.

Papers will also be presented by Professors from various excellent American universities, and professionals from the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Labor, the International Monetary Fund, and the Department of State.

Members of ASCE are providing key support to the travel by Cuban scholars and for the student paper competition, thus contributing to generating a rich body of knowledge in line with ASCE's mission of promoting scholarly discussion on Cuba's economy and society.


ASCE is a non-profit, non-political organization, whose mission is to promote research, publications, and scholarly discussion on the Cuban economy in its broadest sense, including the social, economic, legal and environmental aspects of a transition to a free market economy and a democratic society in Cuba. ASCE is committed to a civil discussion of all points of view.

Please join us!


The Program follow along with links to videos of several of the panels:


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

QR Codes for Short Course at Universidad Latina de Panamá: "Introduction to the Language and Systems of Law in the US"


I have been posting the PowerPoints developed for the short course meant to introduce foreign lawyers and law students to the language of law, the ideologies, and the sub-systems of what together constitutes U.S. law. The Program was sponsored by the Universidad Latina de Panamá and Penn State Law. 

For ease of reference I have posted here QR Codes for each of the lectures.  They follow below and I hope they may prove useful.  Happy to chat with those interested about the soon to be published book on which these lectures were based, on the teacher's manual which should be completed soon, additional problem sets and exercises, or generally about the design and presentation of similar short courses.

The PowerPoints and related links may also be accessed HERE:  Panama-PSUIntroUSLaw2019 


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 7 Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation





I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.


It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course. I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the PowerPoints for our seventh and last session--which introduced students to the controversies around the issues of judicial review and constitutional interpretation. In particular, the students considered the function of the courts in the context of constitutional interpretation and the way in which the Common Law "method" was transformed into an instrument of politics through the application of the ideologies of interpretation "of" and "from" text. 



Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here


Monday, July 15, 2019

Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 6 Statutory Interpretation






I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.


It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course. I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the PowerPoints for our sixth session--which introduced students to the ideologies and techniques of statutory interpretation. 



Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 5 Administrative Regulations







I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.


It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course. I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the PowerPoints for our fifth session--which introduced students to administrative regulations.  It includes an analysis of the "Census Question" case: Department of Commerce v. New York, U.S. Supreme Court No. 18-966 Slip op. (Decided June 27, 2019)



Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 4 Statutes








I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.


It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course. I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the PowerPoints for our fourth session--which introduced students to the cultures, ideologies and expressions of statutory law within a complex federal system. 


Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here.







Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 3 Equity




I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.


It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course. I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the PowerPoints for our third session--which introduced students to the cultures, ideologies and expressions of equity and its relationship to other U.S. legal subsystems. Also explored was the manner in which Equity is both autonomous and permeates the foundations of the U.S. legal system .


Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here.






Thursday, July 11, 2019

Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 2 Common Law



I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.

It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course. I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the PowerPoints for our second session--which introduced students to the cultures, ideologies and expressions of common law. Particular attention is paid to common law as a set of substantive law field, as a method of judging, and as a method of approaching the relationship between law and the courts.


Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here.













Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Immersion in a Dynamic Legal Culture: Introducing Students in Panamá to the Law, Systems, and Legal Culture of the United States; Part 1 Introduction




 I was delighted to have the opportunity to teach in the Penn State Law-Universidad Latina de Panamá Program on the Legal English in the U.S. Legal System. The program gave me an opportunity to road test portions of my just finished book, Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States: Structures, Functions, Principles, and Practices in National and International Context (Carolina Academic Press, forthcoming 2019) (for writing about the development of this book in its prior versions, see IntrotoUSLawBook).  It also permitted me the opportunity to teach the introduction to the U.S. legal system both the well trained non-U.S. lawyers and to do it in Spanish over a short but intense course.

I am grateful to both institutions, and their respective leaderships, for helping to make this possible. A big shout out to my teaching assistants, Isa Ferrera Baca and Brandon Ruggiero, both of Penn State University, for their excellent work in putting together the materials, and especially for their organization of the program exercises and the English-Spanish vocabulary.


This post includes the Syllabus (including course philosophy in English and Spanish)) and the PowerPoints for the first class.  Future posts will follow the class to its conclusion. For those interested in reviewing the page proofs of the Introduction to the Law and Legal System of the United States, please email me for a copy.



Part 1 (Introduction) may be accessed here.
Part 2 (Common Law) may be accessed here.
Part 3 (Equity) may be accessed here.
Part 4 (Statutes) may be accessed here.
Part 5 (Administrative Regulations) may be accessed here.
Part 6 (Ideologies and Practice of Statutory Interpretation) may be accessed here.
Part 7 (Judicial Review and Constitutional Interpretation) may be accessed here.