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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Fighting cyber crime [timeline]

The Blackstone’s Police team will soon be attending the 10th International Conference on Evidence Based Policing and 2nd Cybercrime Conference in Cambridge. In advance of the event, take a look through the timeline below to learn more about some of the key events in the recent history of cyber crime. Don’t forget to come to the Oxford University Press stand and say hello if you’re attending the conference!

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Systems of law and the European project

Since the end of the Second World War, the European project has met with difficulties and even crises. Its momentum has, however, been strong enough to fend off these turbulent undercurrents, and it has developed incrementally in the decades since. Supported by its two pillars, The Council of Europe and the European Union, it is a Europe built on law, and the project is progressively taking on the contours of a new legal system.

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My advice to Mr. Bezos: pay some tax

Jeff Bezos, the billionaire founder of Amazon, has asked on Twitter for advice about the use of his fortune for philanthropy. My advice is that Mr. Bezos should pay some tax. Contemporary attention to philanthropy is largely attributable to the admirable work of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Jr. The Giving Pledge, Buffett and Gates have commendably encouraged rich individuals in the US and abroad to devote much of their wealth to charity.

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Landmark climate agreement holds its own

It is now beyond doubt that climate change is real. It is already happening, and human beings are largely responsible for it. The pending break of a massive iceberg from Antarctica’s Larsen C ice shelf is the latest reminder of this reality, and its potentially dire consequences. As if to drive home the urgency of the climate challenge, the cracking of Larsen C accelerated just as President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

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Puerto Rico in crisis

The US territory of Puerto Rico is currently experiencing its most severe and pro­longed economic downturn since the Great Depression (1929–33). Between 2006 and 2016, the island’s economy (measured as Gross National Product in constant 1954 prices) shrank by 15.2%, while total employment fell by 28.6%. The elimination of federal tax exemptions under Section 936 of the Internal Revenue Code in 2006 dealt a serious blow to the island’s manufacturing industry.

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If diplomacy did not exist, we would need to invent it

We now face a century of change like no other in history. Technology will transform how we meet our needs for peace, dignity and community. This will shatter the global political equilibrium, and shift power away from governments towards individuals. States, ideas and industries will go out of business. Inequality could grow.

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History of the United States’ Constitutional Law [timeline]

The law of the land is the Constitution of the United States of America. Consisting of 7 articles, drafted by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia, and 27 amendments, more than 200 years old, this document is the oldest written constitution of a national state in use anywhere in the world today. (The oldest written constitution of any sort in use today is the Massachusetts state constitution of 1780.)

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New bank resolution regime as an engine of EU integration

On 1 June 2017 the European Commission and Italy reached an agreement ‘in principle’ on the recapitalization of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS). A mere week later, the Single Resolution Board (SRB) put Banco Popular Español (BPE) into resolution, and had its shares transferred to Banco Santander. Both cases must be understood in the context of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and both can be considered as examples of how the new European bank resolution regime performs as an engine of European integration.

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How much do you know about refugees?

The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on 20 June each year. In honour of the UN World Refugee Day, we have compiled the following quiz about the extraordinary achievements of well-known people who have all had to flee their homelands. From artists to sportspeople, writers, and scientists of world renown, take our quiz to raise awareness and celebrate their talent and courage at a time when this has never been more important.

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Assessing the historical and imperial turn in International Law

Unlike international relations, international law has a long-standing tradition of teaching and research that connects history and theory. In recent years, a new wave of innovative scholarship, exploring the historical trajectory of international law and its complicity with colonial and imperial endeavors, has emerged. In fact, this transformation has been often regarded as a “historical turn” and even “imperial turn.”

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Loving and before

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court Case that ruled prohibitions on interracial marriages unconstitutional. The decision and the brave couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who challenged the Virginia statute denying their union because he was deemed a white man and she, a black woman, deserve celebration. The couple had grown up […]

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En Marche: Macron’s France and the European Union

On the evening of 7 May, Emmanuel Macron walked, almost marched, slowly across the courtyard of the Louvre to make his first speech as the President elect of the French Fifth Republic. He did so not, as others would have done, to the music of the “Marseillaise” but to the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – the “Ode to Joy”, the anthem of the European Union. It was, wrote Natalie Nougayrède in the Guardian, “the most meaningful, inspiring symbol Macron could choose”.

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Law and order fundamentalism and the US-Mexico border

Today, the United States is experiencing a surge of law and order fundamentalism in the US-Mexico borderland. As it pertains to the international divide, law and order fundamentalism as a political ideology has a long genealogy that stretches back to the late nineteenth century. It is grounded in anti-Mexicanism as well as the abiding conviction that the border is inherently dangerous and “needs” to be policed.

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Fixed Term Parliaments Act

Was there ever a more hollow and impotent piece of legislation than the UK’s Fixed Term Parliaments Act? Trumpeted by the Conservative-led coalition as a way of stopping opportunist prime ministers ever again calling snap elections to capitalize on hefty poll leads – by complicating simple confidence votes in ways that prompted Labour to condemn it as a constitutional “stitch-up” – within six short years of receiving Royal Assent it has proved itself wholly incapable of doing any such thing.

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The International Day of UN Peacekeepers

The twenty-ninth of May marks the ‘International Day of UN Peacekeepers’. Today, there are approximately 100,000 UN peacekeepers deployed across the globe, and these individuals’ contribution to the restoration and maintenance of international peace and security – often undertaken in exceptionally difficult circumstances – must be acknowledged. However, recent sexual abuse and exploitation scandals involving UN peacekeepers…

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Responsibility and attribution: Criminal law and film

Many of us have been intrigued this year by two powerful films which explore the difficulty of escaping a troubled past. In Oscar-winning Moonlight, we gradually discover why a small African-American boy is picked on as ‘different’ by his classmates, and follow his path from school-yard harassment and violence through drug dealing, a prison term and a painful achievement of liberation which nonetheless leaves the scars of the past deeply etched on his personality.

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