While exciting topics such as autonomous weapons and cyberwarfare may at first blush seem like the most “important new frontiers” in international humanitarian law, there is another more immediate and complex challenge confronting those engaged in current and looming wars, a challenge with a human face. Today and unfortunately tomorrow, professional militaries find, and will continue to find, it increasingly difficult to determine who is friend or foe in the modern battle-space.
We live in an age when Americans are both captivated and disturbed by murder trials. The Netflix smash hit Making a Murderer went viral in late December as it chronicled the seemingly wrongful convictions of a Wisconsin man and his teenage nephew for the gruesome killing of a young photographer. The success of this documentary was hardly surprising in the wake of 2014’s Serial, the most popular podcast in history and winner of a Peabody Award.
Julian Assange is an unusual figure in the world of hacktivism. He embraced his notoriety as leader of Wikileaks, and on 4 February 2016, he appeared on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy holding a copy of a UN panel report that declared that he has been “arbitrarily detained” while avoiding extradition to Sweden for alleged rape for almost six years (British and Swedish prosecutors still seek to detain him).
Ninety-nine years ago this week, Puerto Ricans became citizens of the United States. What does this anniversary signify? That depends a lot on who you ask (and be careful who you ask, since most Americans have no idea how or why Puerto Ricans became US citizens, or if they’re even citizens at all).
What do you do when faced with wrongdoing – do you blame or do you forgive? Especially when confronted with offences that lie on the more severe end of the spectrum and cause terrible psychological or physical trauma or death, nothing can feel more natural than to blame.
Article III of the Constitution gives the President the right to “nominate…Judges of the supreme Court.” Article III also gives the Senate the right to grant its “Advice and Consent” to such nominations—or not. Both President Obama and Senate Republicans are settling into a protracted political struggle over the appointment of Justice Scalia’s successor.
The Paris Agreement, held from 30 November to 12 December 2015, has been hailed as a “historic turning point” in the battle against global climate change. Consequently, dialogue surrounding greenhouse gas emissions, particularly around political and economic compliance.
Retractions in scholarly journals have reached record levels. Doctorates have been removed from politicians and others for plagiarism, there has been tasteless denigration of academic colleagues under cover of academic freedom, researchers have been jailed for fraud, and conflicts of interest involving private industry’s role at universities have generated notoriety.
As a researcher of transitional justice since 2008, focusing on Afghanistan, I have remained engaged with victims at close proximity. The concept of victimhood is particularly complex in Afghanistan, considering that, over decades, one brutal and repressive regime has led to another, afflicting millions of lives. Many have been victimized under all regimes; some have been perpetrators under one and victims under another.
This month, we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice. Apart from being an occasion for celebration too good to pass up, it is also a good opportunity to take stock of the last ten years and look to what the next ten might hold.
In early November 2015, the Belgian and Dutch press announced that a small land swap was in the making between Belgium and the Netherlands. Agreement has been reached at the local level that Belgium would cede a small peninsula in the river Maas [Meuse] of about 14 hectares – the size of 28 soccer fields – to the Netherlands. In return, Belgium would get a smaller piece of Dutch territory where it had already built a water lock.
When we pay our bills using a plastic card, we are simply authorizing alterations to the information stored in some computers. This is one aspect of the symbiotic relationship that now exists between money and information. The modern financial world is byzantine in its complexity, and mathematics is involved in many ways, not all of them transparently clear. Fortunately there are some bright spots, such as the fact that it is now possible to measure information.
In 2015, more people fled from persecution, war, human rights violations, discrimination, and other hardship than at any other time since World War II. UNHCR, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, estimates that worldwide more than 60 million people, or one in every 122, have been forced to flee their homes.
The CISG may be called a true story of worldwide success which is not only proven by the ever increasing number of member states around the world but also by the fact that during the last 20 years the CISG has served as a decisive blueprint for law-making in the area of contract law on the international as well as on the domestic level.
Cometh the new year, cometh the fresh round of allegations that United Nations peacekeepers raped or abused some of the most vulnerable people in the world. 2016 has just begun and already reports are surfacing of UN peacekeepers paying to have sex with girls as young as 13 at a displaced persons camp in the Central African Republic.
Sometimes it is gratifying to have predicted the future. Sometimes it is not. The recent postponement of the so-called “Cadillac tax” until 2020 falls into the latter category. I predicted this kind of outcome when the Cadillac tax was first enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as “Obamacare.” I am unhappy that events have now proven this prediction correct.