Category Archives: Current Events

Staff Recommendation Corner: “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains”

The-ShallowsTitle: The Shallows : What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

Author: Nicholas Carr.

QP360 .C3667 2010  (Popular Reading Collection, 4th floor)

Reviewed by: Hadas Livnat

Review: Carr argues that the format by which we absorb information is important, since neural paths in the brain re-wire in response to the specific format of information-conveying tools. He examines the resulting effects on our brains when we read information online and when we read it through the printed book. Carr’s argument is that the online environment as detrimental to our brains since it destroys concentration, and cites studies to support his theory. A thought-provoking and entertaining book.

4/5 stars

Library HighLights: Natural Disasters & The Law

Disaster Law & PolicyDisaster Law and Policy

Daniel A. Farber

KF3750 .F37 2010

 

From the Publisher: Disaster Law and Policy examines the growing field concerned with disaster prevention, emergency response, compensation & insurance, human rights, and community recovery. The first book on disaster law to appear in the wake of Katrina, this fascinating text provides the key building blocks for a thoughtful analysis of the issues that surround disaster-relief policy and procedure.

Law of EmergenciesThe Law of Emergencies

Nan D. Hunter

KF5900 .H86 2009

 

From the Publisher: The Law of Emergencies introduces the American legal system as it interacts with emergency management and public health issues. Hunter engages with and debates some of the most important Constitutional issues of our time, such as the tension between civil liberties and national security. She also shows how the law in this area plays out in the context of real life emergencies where individuals often have to make split-second decisions.

Children Law and DisastersChildren, Law, and Disasters: What We Learned from Katrina and the Hurricanes of 2005

ABA Center on Children and the Law

KF3735 .C475 2009

 

From the Publisher: This book, a collaboration between the American Bar Association and the University of Houston Law Center, examines the intersection of children, law and disasters like Hurricane Katrina. It looks at the experiences of children during the disasters and the first response to the events in order to demonstrate how we can do a better job for children. It acknowledges the considerable stress on systems such as juvenile justice, foster care, and education before the disasters and what needs to happen in a post-Katrina world.

CatastropheCatastrophe: Law, Politics, and the Humanitarian Impulse

Austin Sarat (Ed. )

KF3750 .C38 2009

 

From the Publisher: From 9/11 to Katrina, from Darfur to the Minnesota bridge collapse, ours is an “age of catastrophe.” In this era, catastrophic events seem to have a revelatory quality: they offer powerful reminders of the fragility of our social and institutional architectures, making painfully evident vulnerabilities in our social organization that were otherwise invisible. By disrupting the operation of fundamental mechanisms and infrastructures of the social order, they lay bare the conditions that make our sense of normalcy possible.

Emergencies and the limits of legalityEmergencies and the Limits of Legality

Victor V. Ramraj

K4700 .E46 2008

 

From the Publisher: This collection of essays – at the intersection of legal, political and social theory and practice – explores law’s capacity to constrain state power in times of crisis. The global response to the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States was no exception, and the wave of legislative responses is well documented. Yet there is an everpresent danger, borne out by historical and contemporary events, that even the most well -meaning executive, armed with extraordinary powers, will abuse them. This inevitably leads to another common tendency in an emergency, to invoke law not only to empower the state but also in a bid to constrain it. Can law constrain the emergency state or must the state at times act outside the law when its existence is threatened? If it must act outside the law, is such conduct necessarily fatal to aspirations of legality?

When Nature StrikesWhen Nature Strikes: Weather Disasters and the Law

Marsha L. Baum

KF3750 .B38 2007

 

From the Publisher: Shows us the human side of the weather by explaining how the law and weather interact. Both law and weather affect us every day of our modern lives, yet most people do not know how the weather has affected developments in the law, nor are they aware of how the law has attempted to develop ways to affect the weather. When Nature Strikes is the first book to examine the various areas in which law and weather meet and affect each other. This one-of-a-kind work describes the law related to weather in the United States in the context of specific cases, legislation, and administrative legal action.

2012 Presidential Election Information

As the November 6th election date draws near, you may wish to look more closely at the articles written by serious investigative journalists. Below are some sources of election information beyond the usual suspects of Fox, NBC etc., which are in the business of entertainment rather than serious journalism.

For progressive or conservative alternative press, see this list of U.S. independent media sources from Ithaca College.

Library Highlights: Law & Technology

I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy
Lori Andrews
HM851 .A66 2011
From the Publisher: Social networks are the defining cultural movement of our time, empowering us in constantly evolving ways. We can all now be reporters, alerting the world to breaking news, participating in crowd-sourced scientific research, and helping the police solve crimes. Social networks have even helped to bring down governments, but they have also greatly accelerated the erosion of our personal privacy rights. As leading expert on social networks and privacy Lori Andrews shows through ground- breaking in-depth research and a host of stunning stories of abuses, as we work and chat and shop and date (and even sometimes have sex) over the Web, we are opening ourselves up to increasingly intrusive, relentless, and anonymous surveillance—by employers, schools, lawyers, the police, and aggressive data aggregator services that compile an astonishing amount of information about us and sell it to any and all takers. But the legal system cannot be counted on to protect us—in the thousands of cases brought to trial by those whose rights have been violated, judges have most often ruled against them. That is why in addition to providing the best expert advice about protecting ourselves, Andrews pro- poses that we must all become supporters of a Constitution for the Web, which she has drafted and introduces in this book. Now is the time to join her and take action—the very future of privacy is at stake.

Legal Aspects of Managing Technology
Lee B. Burgunder
KF1890.H53 B87 2011
From the Publisher: This book is designed for businesspersons working with technological innovations in any field, including business, management, computer science, engineering, architecture, biology, or law. It focuses on integral technology law topics with substantial attention paid to the wide range of controversial issues regarding intellectual property rights, and coverage of all other key topics such as e-commerce, privacy, antitrust, and biotechnology. Its goal is not to make readers legal experts; rather it is too allow managers to understand the fundamental legal issues pertinent to technology management so that they can competently create strategic plans in consultation with their attorneys.

That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back
Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
BF408 .F747 2011
From the Publisher: In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we face—globalization, the revolution in in- formation technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumption— and spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how China’s educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which “that used to be us.” They explain how the paralysis of our political sys- tem and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.

The Real ID Act: Privacy and Government Surveillance
William Eyre
KF4791 .E97 2011
From the Publisher: Civil society in the United States in the 21st century has seen the abandonment of American concepts of individual freedom, privacy, expression and autonomy. Eyre ex- amines the Real ID Act in this context, as an example of laws passed since September 2001 restricting civil liberties. The Real ID Act facilitates the current and future surveillance regime. Real IDs and the database(s) to which they are linked represent a de facto national ID system facilitating monitoring citizens’ movements, speech and political activities when fully operational. The Real ID Act is examined as an unfunded mandate and vehicle for unconstitutional abridgement of First Amendment guarantees including political expression.

Computer Games and Virtual Worlds: a New Frontier in Intellectual Property Law
Ross A. Dannenberg … [et al.], editors.
KF3024.C6 C625 2010
From the Publisher: As the uses and ubiquity of video games and virtual worlds expand, the legal issues they raise grow more complex and commonplace. These issues include the traditional areas of intellectual property law, namely, copyright, trademark, patent and trade secrets, as affected by contractual issues arising from the end user licensing agreements (EULA) and terms of service (ToS) promulgated by each video game and virtual world proprietor. This book explores and discusses how to obtain these traditional rights in the non-traditional settings of video game and virtual world environments, and serves as a primer for legal practitioners researching these emerging legal issues. Each chapter addresses, in order, end user license agreements, copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, as addressed by U.S. law. The book also includes a commentary on international legal issues stemming from the multi-national user-base and foreign operation of many virtual worlds.

Principles of Cybercrime
Jonathan Clough, Monash University, Victoria
K5215 .C58 2010
From the Publisher: We live in a digital age. The proliferation of digital technology, and the convergence of computing and communication devices, has transformed the way in which we socialize and do business. While overwhelmingly positive, there has also been a dark side to these developments. Proving the maxim that crime follows opportunity, virtually every advance has been accompanied by a corresponding niche to be exploited for criminal purposes; so-called ‘cybercrimes’. Whether it be fraud, child pornography, stalking, criminal copyright infringement or attacks on computers themselves, criminals will find ways to exploit new technology. The challenge for all countries is to ensure their criminal laws keep pace. The challenge is a global one, and much can be learned from the experience of other jurisdictions. Focusing on Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal principles that apply to the prosecution of cybercrimes.

Library Highlights: International Law

Semiotics of International Law: Trade and Translation
Evandro Menezes de Carvalho
F86 K213 .C36713 2011
From the Publisher: Language carries more than meanings; language conveys a means of conceiving the world. In this sense, national legal systems expressed through national languages organize the Law based on their own understanding of reality. International Law becomes, in this context, the meeting point where different legal cultures and different views of world intersect. The diversity of languages and legal systems can enrich the possibilities of understanding and developing international law, but it can also represent an instability and unsafety factor to the international scenario. This multilegal-system and multilingual scenario adds to the complexity of international law and poses new challeng-es. One of them is legal translation, which is a field of knowledge and professional skill that has not been the subject of theoretical thinking on the part of legal scholars. How to negotiate, draft or inter-pret an international treaty that mirrors what the parties, – who belong to different legal cultures and who, on many occasions, speak different mother tongues – , want or wanted to say? By analyzing the decision-making process and the legal discourse adopted by the WTO’s Appellate Body, this book highlights the active role of language in diplomatic negotiations and in interpreting international law. In addition, it also shows that the debate on the effectiveness and legitimacy of International Law can-not be separated from the linguistic issue.

International Tax Law: A Legal Research Guide
Christopher C. Dykes
K103.T3 D95 2011
From the Publisher: This book presents an overview of the different aspects of international tax law as well as how to locate the various primary and secondary sources, including model tax conventions, bilateral tax treaties, and customary law. It also covers international taxation from the U.S. perspec-tive, and explores researching international tax law through online databases, using free sources as well as subscription services. Will be useful for law firms, tax professionals, law librarians, and all oth-ers interested in researching international tax law.

The New Global Law
Rafael Domingo
KZ3410 .D66 2010
From the Publisher: The dislocations of the worldwide economic crisis, the necessity of a system of global justice to address crimes against humanity, and the notorious ‘democratic deficit’ of internation-al institutions highlight the need for an innovative and truly global legal system, one that permits hu-manity to reorder itself according to acknowledged global needs and evolving consciousness. A new global law will constitute, by itself, a genuine legal order and will not be limited to a handful of moral principles that attempt to guide the conduct of the world’s peoples. If the law of nations served the hegemonic interests of Ancient Rome, and international law served those of the European nation-state, then a new global law will contribute to the common good of all humanity and, ideally, to the develop-ment of durable world peace. This volume offers a historical-juridical foundation for the development of this new global law.

Guide to ICSID Arbitration
Lucy Reed, Jan Paulsson, Nigel Blackaby
K3834 .R44 2011
From the Publisher: The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) has be-come the leading arbitration institution for the resolution of investor-state disputes. Today, any com-pany considering an investment in a foreign country and any financing entity playing a role in the in-vestment must be aware of ICSID and the growing matrix of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) and multilateral treaties (MITs), most notably, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), providing access to ICSID. Familiarity with the regime and jurispru-dence of ICSID arbitration is essential for any international investment lawyer, whether focused on transactions or disputes. This second edition of the Guide takes account of the scores of ICSID awards and decisions rendered since 2004, as well as significant amendments to ICSID rules and practices. It provides a sufficiently detailed but still ‘user-friendly’ understanding of what ICSID arbitration is, when and how it can and should be used, and how an ICSID case works from start to finish.

International White Collar Crime: Cases and Materials
Bruce Zagaris
KZ3410 .F38 2010
From the Publisher: Contemporary transnational criminals take advantage of globalization, trade lib-eralization, and emerging new technologies to commit a diverse range of crimes, and to move money, goods, services, and people instantaneously for purposes of pure economic gain and/or political vio-lence. This book captures the importance of transnational business crime and international relations by examining the rise of international economic crime and recent strategies in the United States and abroad to combat it. The book is organized into three main sections. The first part discusses substan-tive crimes, particularly tax, money laundering, and counter-terrorism financial enforcement; transna-tional corruption; transnational organized crime; and export control and economic sanctions. The se-cond part discusses procedural aspects of international white collar crime, namely extraterritorial ju-risdiction, evidence gathering, extradition, and international prisoner transfer. The third part discusses the role of international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Bank Group, Interpol, and economic integration groups.

Interpreting TRIPS: Globalisation of Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines
Hiroko Yamane
K1401.A41994 Y36 2011
From the Publisher: Protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs) has become a global issue. The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) Agreement outlines the minimum standards for IPR protection for WTO members and offers a global regime for IPR protection. However, the bene-fits of TRIPS are more questionable in poorer countries where national infrastructure for research and development (R&D) and social protection are inadequate, whereas the cost of innovation is high. To-day, after more than a decade of intense debate over global IPR protection, the problems remain acute, although there is also evidence of progress and cooperation.
This book examines various views of the role of IPRs as incentives for innovation against the backdrop of development and the transfer of technology between globalised, knowledge-based, high technology economies. The book retraces the origins, content and interpretations of the TRIPS Agreement, includ-ing its interpretations by WTO dispute settlement organs. It also analyses sources of controversy over IPRs, examining pharmaceutical industry strategies of emerging countries with different IPR policies.

San Diego Legal News: Medical marijuana dispensaries to be shut down in San Diego

In the news this week, is our own, Alex Kreit, Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Law & Social Justice. Professor Kreit is also chairperson of the city of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Task Force. His remarks, quoted in San Diego CityBeat, suggest that the de facto ban on medical marijuana dispensaries for the next year is the most reasonable compromise that could be made with the current city council members (Lamb). However, in Professor Kreit’s opinion, based on extensive empirical research in the San Diego community, the majority of San Diego residents would likely prefer to have well-regulated and conveniently accessible dispensaries.

In a letter to the City Council, published in San Diego Citybeat, Professor Kreit, on behalf of the City of San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Task Force, urges Council members to reconsider the excessively restrictive zoning regulations that would prohibit medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives from operating in large portions of the City of San Diego, to include central areas where the presence of dispensaries is supported by the majority of the local residents. The letter asks that Council members take into consideration the needs of patients who rely on convenient legal access to doctor-prescribed medication. “Those who will be hurt most by the draft ordinance will be the sickest patients, including the elderly and the disabled, who cannot travel long distances for their medicine and are unable to undertake the time and labor intensive process of attempting to grow medical marijuana for themselves. Indeed, the California legislature adopted the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003, which makes medical marijuana collectives and cooperatives legal, in order to protect the rights of patients like these.” (Maass).

What do you think about the new regulations?

References

U.S. Supreme Court News: Health-Care Reform Bill case

May the Supreme Court accept a case to determine the constitutionality of the Health Care Bill, where there is still a pending case on this issue in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals?

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli has asked the Supreme Court to hear a direct appeal of the federal case on the Constitutionality of the implementation of the health-care law. The Obama administration is urging the 4th Circuit Court of appeals to reverse the ruling that the health-care law is unconstitutional. The Department of Justice has filed a motion with the Supreme Court requesting that the Court wait for the 4th Circuit decision before deciding on this matter.

In response, Cuccinelli has filed a brief to try to convince the Supreme Court to hear the case before it goes to the Fourth Circuit. The case, Commonwealth of Virginia v. Kathleen Sebelius, is scheduled to be heard May 10 in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

On April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss Cuccinelli’s petition for the Supreme Court to hear the lawsuit and to bypass appellate court review.

Update: The Supreme Court decided not to hear the case.

“JULIE ROVNER: It’s pretty rare for the high court to agree to take a case directly from a trial court.

Professor TIMOTHY JOST (Washington and Lee University Law School): The case has to be of, quote, “such imperative public importance,” unquote, that it requires immediate determination in this court.

ROVNER: Timothy Jost is a law professor at Washington and Lee University Law School in Lexington, Virginia. He says the Court usually limits such expedited cases to those involving foreign relations, national security or national crises” (Rovner).

References