06 March 2015

ARTICLE: Viator on Creoles, Cajuns, and Language Law in Louisiana

Adams & Reese Distinguished Professor of Law James Etienne ViatorCreoles, Cajuns, and Language Law in Louisiana

Our friend, James Etienne Viator, of Loyola University (New Orleans) College of Law, has published an interesting article in Louisiana’s laws and languages. The article is available in Cajun French and English and in (Standard) French; they are also in (2014) 60 Loyola Law Review 273 and (2014) 60 Loyola Law Review 273 respectively.

The abstract of the first read:

This article, written in Cajun French and English, examines the word “Creole” and the history of laws about the French language in Louisiana. In recent decades, a growing awareness of the historical diminution of linguistic minorities and their languages around the world has led to increased efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of such minorities. In Louisiana, after decades of relegating Cajun French to second class status, in 1968 the Louisiana legislature created the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), a state agency tasked with preserving “Louisiana’s French language, heritage and culture.” The act establishing CODOFIL mandated that the Council “do any and all things necessary to accomplish the development, utilization, and preservation of the French language as found in the State of Louisiana.” But instead of teaching Cajun French, most Louisiana schools taught standard French, the purpose of CODOFIL was never fully realized, and both the Cajun French language, and culture, are still at risk of disappearing.

The abstracts of the second read:

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: Eavesdropping on Our Founding Fathers: How a Return to the Republic's Core Democratic Values Can Help Us Resolve the Surveillance Crisis

By Jeffrey S. Brand 
University of San Francisco - School of Law

The 21st Century has brought with it a surveillance crisis unprecedented in our history – a crisis that threatens our core values, among them the right to free expression, a free press, protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, and privacy. The crisis also threatens the right of citizens to engage in democratic policy making. 

It is a crisis that should surprise no one after the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a never-ending so-called War on Terror, and a concurrent, unimaginable technology revolution digitizing our information and communication systems. Indeed, cataclysmic national security concerns coupled with the ability to monitor literally every communication of every American have spawned a generation of offspring with names like Stellar Wind, Prism, Upstream, Manning, Assange, Wikileaks and Snowden. 

The article, "Eavesdropping on Our Founding Fathers. How a Return to the Republic’s Core Democratic Values Can Help Us Resolve the Surveillance Crisis", provides a look at the current crisis through the lens of the history that led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the legislation that lies at the heart of the current controversy and around which all administrations, Democratic and Republican, and America’s surveillance bureaucracy, the NSA, the CIA, the NDI and the FBI, have danced for nearly four decades. The article argues that a proper balance between legitimate national security interests and the sacred values and civil liberties that buttress America’s democratic institutions and aspirations can be best achieved if the current surveillance landscape is examined through that lens. 

In sum, "Eavesdropping on Our Founding Fathers" argues that solutions to the current surveillance crisis lie in a return to core values and first principles that implement the intent of the Founding Fathers to create an adversarial system of checks and balances among the various branches of the government which included bolstering the independence of the judiciary – values and principles which were eloquently argued during the FISA debates. The article examines those debates and details compromises that were made in the final legislation that became FISA – compromises that ultimately undermined FISA and allowed it to become a tool of rather than a check on the Executive Branch whose power the Act was intended to curb. 

Click here for further information.

BLOG: Modéer (Lund) on Comparative legal history and Comparative legal cultures

Highly Recommended. SPD

Professor Kjell Å Modéer (Lund) on Comparative legal history and Comparative legal cultures

WORKSHOP: Thinking about Law Comparatively (25 March 2015)

Highly Recommended! - SPD

CLSGC Half Day Workshop:

'Thinking about Law Comparatively'

25 March 2015

Time: 3:00 - 6:30pm 
Venue: Room 313, Law Building, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

Hosted by the Centre for Law and Society in a Global Context (CLSGC). 


Dr Maks Del Mar, Queen Mary University of London



eJOURNAL ANNOUNCEMENT: BioLaw Journal - Rivista di Biodiritto New Issue 1/2015

A new issue, no. 1/2015, of BioLaw Journal - Rivista di BioDiritto has just been published. BioLaw Journal – Rivista di BioDiritto is a peer reviewed, online law journal focusing on the relationships between law and life sciences under a comparative perspective. According to its interdisciplinary nature, the Journal hosts contributions in the fields of law, life sciences and bioethics.
The Journal presents articles, commentaries and book reviews which provide an innovative and original source of reference for academics, lawyers, legal and medical practitioners, law students, and anyone interested in national, European and international biolaw.

Click here for further information on this issue.

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Comparative Health Law and Policy

Critical Perspectives on Nigerian and Global Health Law

Edited by Irehobhude O. Iyioha, University of Alberta, Canada, and Remigius N. Nwabueze, University of Southampton, UK

  • Health law and policy in Nigeria is an evolving and complex field of law, spanning a broad legal landscape and drawn from various sources. In addressing and interacting with these sources the volume advances research on health care law and policy in Nigeria and spells the beginning of what may now be formally termed the ‘Nigerian health law and policy’ legal field.

    The collection provides a comparative analysis of relevant health policies and laws, such as reproductive and sexual health policy, organ donation and transplantation, abortion and assisted conception, with those in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and South Africa. It critically examines the duties and rights of physicians, patients, health institutions and organizations, and government parastatals against the backdrop of increased awareness of rights among patient populations. The subjects, which are discussed from a legal, ethical and policy-reform perspective, critique current legislation and policies and make suggestions for reform.

    The volume presents a cohesive, comparative, and comprehensive analysis of the state of health law and policy in Nigeria with those in the US, Canada, South Africa, and the UK. As such, it provides a valuable comparison between Western and Non-Western countries.
  • Click here for further information

BOOK ANNOUNCEMENT: Theorizing Transitional Justice

  • Edited by Claudio Corradetti, University of Oslo, Norway, Nir Eisikovits and Jack Volpe Rotondi, both at Suffolk University, USA
  • This book addresses the theoretical underpinnings of the field of transitional justice, something that has hitherto been lacking both in study and practice. With the common goal of clarifying some of the theoretical profiles of transitional justice strategies, the study is organized along crucial intersections evaluating aspects connected to the genealogy, the nature, the scope and the most appropriate methodology for the study of transitional justice. The chapters also take up normative and political considerations pertaining to specific transitional instruments such as war crime tribunals, truth commissions, administrative purges, reparations, and historical commissions.

    Bringing together some of the most original writings from established experts as well as from promising young scholars in the field, the collection will be an essential resource for researchers, academics and policy-makers in Law, Philosophy, Politics, and Sociology.

02 March 2015

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: Introduction: Religious Law in the 21st Century

By Michael A. Helfand 
Pepperdine University School of Law
Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 41, No. 991, 2014
Pepperdine University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015/15

Professor Helfand introduces this symposium on Religious Law in the 21st Century. Helfand notes that a recurring theme in recent debates over the relationship between law and religion is the unique challenge of reconciling conflicts not just between law and religion, but between the law of the nation-state and “religious legal communities” -- that is, communities that primarily experience their religious norms through the prism of legal rules. Muslim and Jewish communities serve as prime examples of such religious legal communities, and the challenges faced by these communities often parallel each other in important ways. Thus, an important subset of contemporary religious controversies -- from circumcision bans to anti-Sharia laws -- emerge as not only conflicts between law and religion, but as conflicts between law and law. And it is to this unique set of questions that the jointly-sponsored program of the Islamic Law and Jewish Law Sections of the American Association of Law Schools was addressed. The program was split into two thematic panels, and the articles in this symposium reflect those themes. The first -- titled “Religious Law in U.S. Courts” -- considered the various contexts in which U.S. courts have been asked to address religious questions that touch upon religious law. The second -- titled “Religious Law in the Secular State” -- considered contemporary issues related to the practice and implementation of religious law in secular democracies. Together, these papers bring new insight to these questions and serve as a springboard for discussion and debate about how religious law will fit into the ever-evolving landscape of the 21st century.

Click here to download this paper.

ARTICLE ANNOUNCEMENT: Randomized judicial rewiev

by Andrei Marmor
University of Southern California - Gould School of Law
February 23, 2015 USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 15-8

One of the main arguments in support of constitutional judicial review points to the need to curtail the legal and political power of majority rule instantiated by democratic legislative institutions. This article aims to challenge the counter majoritarian argument for judicial review by showing that there is very little difference, at least morally speaking, between the current structure of constitutional judicial review in the US, and a system that would impose limits on majoritarian decisions procedures by an entirely randomized mechanism. The argument is based on a hypothetical model of a randomized system of judicial review, and proceeds to show that between the actual practices of judicial review in the US, and the hypothetical randomized model, there is not much to recommend the former. The current system of constitutional judicial review is fraught with many arbitrary elements, to an extent that makes the system only marginally better, if at all, compared with an overtly and blatantly randomized system.

Click here to download this paper.