My research interests have for more than five decades been directly or obliquely related to the making and administration of laws, especially with regard to women, in colonial and independent India. Indeed, my first series of articles, which appeared in the early 1960s, was on social reform and legislation in 19th century India. A little later, while researching for my doctoral dissertation on early Indian nationalism, I got interested in the Maharaja Libel Case.
‘Vote leave, take control’ was the slogan of almost fiendish simplicity that helped win the Brexit referendum, masking the mendacity and absence of vision that underlay it. The impulses it captures—wresting sovereignty back from remote elites to Westminster, with its proud democratic tradition—echo those that have for years underpinned the opprobrium directed at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in British public debate.
Democratic Party platform for 2016 repudiates a major provision of Obamacare – but no one has said this out loud. In particular, the Democratic Party has now officially called for abolition of the “Cadillac tax,” the Obamacare levy designed to control health care costs by taxing expensive employer health plans. Tucked away on page 35 of the Democratic platform is this enigmatic sentence: We will repeal the excise tax on high-cost health insurance and find revenue to offset it because we need to contain the long-term growth of health care costs.”
In preparation for the European Society of International Law (ESIL) 12th Annual Conference, we asked some of our authors to reflect on this year’s conference theme ‘How International Law Works in Times of Crisis’. What are the major challenges facing the field, and is international law effective in addressing these issues? What role do international lawyers play in confronting crises, both old and new?
On this date in 1670: a trial gets underway. The two defendants had been arrested several weeks earlier while preaching to a crowd in the street, and charged with unlawful assembly and creating a riot. Their trial, slated to begin on 1 September, had been pushed back to 3 September after preliminary wrangling between the judge and the defendants. And so on this date – 246 years ago today – the defendants were called before the bench.
The recently published ‘guidelines’ on police undercover operations prove to be just ‘business as usual’. The guidelines consist of 80 pages in which a new ‘alphabet soup’ of abbreviations describes each of a set of roles to be fulfilled by officers of given ranks.
The Leave vote in the EU referendum presents several potential challenges for employers which are of far more immediate and practical importance than speculation about the future direction of employment law in a post-EU environment.
And what is the best way to ensure an easy transition for offenders that are about to be released? Julian Roberts, author of Criminal Justice: A Very Short Introduction, tells us the top 10 things everyone should know about criminal justice, and what the chances and limitations of the Western system are.
For some campaigners, the acid test of the effectiveness of a putative global arms trade treaty was whether it would prohibit or somehow legitimize the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia. Of course, those who expected a total prohibition on arms trading were always going to be deeply disappointed, but many of us felt it similarly unlikely that an international instrument would ever make it impossible for internally repressive regimes to procure weapons on the open market.
A ‘kangaroo court’ is no more Australian than a Californian kangaroo rat. The term originated in the California of 1849, as a legacy of the summary and dubious efforts at informal justice on lawless gold fields. By contrast, the Australian gold fields of that period felt heavily the overbearing hand of the law. This contrast epitomes a larger paradox. Australians are seen as ‘disrespectful of authority’; the truth is they have, from their beginnings, been highly law-prone.
Record-breaking mobile app Pokémon Go has been downloaded over 75 million times worldwide, a number set only to increase as the game is released in more territories. What five common crimes have police officers had to attend to as a result of this craze taking off?
Legal knowledge doesn’t just come from textbooks and lectures. Last year, we asked Martin Partington, author of Introduction to the English Legal System, for his top ten film recommendations for law students and aspiring lawyers. This year he turns his attention to inspiring books that will get you thinking about our legal system, our society, and the role of lawyers – what would you add to his list?
There are two sets of EU legislation which have had and might continue to have a very positive impact of the lives and rights of UK citizens who travel abroad. I’m not talking about those UK citizens who have taken advantage of the rights of free movement to live and work in another part of the EU, but those who travel temporarily be it on holiday, visiting family or on business.
From Britain to the United States, France to Australia, Western states are struggling with an identity crisis: how to cultivate a common cultural ‘core’, a social ‘bond’, which goes beyond the global economy and political liberalism. It is too early to predict whether Brexit is the last gasp of the old structure of national identity, or its revival.
If you were accused of a crime that you did not commit, how confident are you that you would be found innocent? And what injuries and injustices could you endure before your innocence was finally proven?
When Laura Bush said in April 2016 that she wanted the President of the United States to care about Afghan women, one could reasonably infer that she would rather see Hillary Clinton elected President than Donald Trump. Hillary has proclaimed that women’s rights are human rights, meaning that to the extent that human rights have become a part of mainstream political discourse, so should women’s rights.