Thursday, May 29, 2008

New White Paper from "Human Rights First"

In Pursuit of Justice: Prosecuting Terrorist Cases in the Federal Court, is a new paper from the organization Human Rights First.

This paper presents "some much-needed practical information on how the U.S. criminal justice system has worked in the past and should work in the future... This White Paper gives a detailed demonstration of the strengths and capacities of the federal criminal justice system to try individuals accused of terrorism and other threats to national security."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On the 100 Most Creative Moments in American Law

Thinking About Law and Creativity: On the 100 Most Creative Moments in American Law, by Robert F. Blomquist, Valparaiso University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Draft article is available here:

From the abstract: "In most cultural contexts creativity is viewed as an unalloyed virtue. Law is different: given the inherently conservative and slow-moving pace of legal evolution, innovation in the law is viewed by many observers as problematic. Yet American revolutionaries, constitutionalists, legislators, chief executives, judges, administrators, scholars and activists have creatively changed the law for over two centuries in mostly positive ways with some admittedly questionable innovations. This article makes a bold new proposal - the articulation and ranking of America's most creative legal moments - designed to energize and clarify our synoptic thinking about the nature of legal creativity."

Monday, May 12, 2008

Prof. Hartnell's Newest Article

Helen Hartnell's new article, Living La Vida Lex Mercatoria, has been published in the XII N.S. Uniform Law Review at 733-760 (2007).

As many of you already know, this journal is the highly regarded bilingual Uniform Law Review / Revue de Droit Uniforme, which is the oldest and most widely read journal in the world on the harmonization and unification of law, published by Rome-based UNIDROIT (i.e., the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law). UNIDROIT is currently an independent international organization, and was founded in 1926 as a specialized agency of the League of Nations.

Prof. Benedetto's New Article

Professor Michele Benedetto has a new article on the immigration court system, Crisis on the Immigration Bench: An Ethical Perspective, 73 Brooklyn Law Review (2008). Here's the abstract from SSRN:

The troubled status of the immigration court system has garnered much attention from scholars, appellate judges, and even the United States Attorney General. This article suggests a new lens through which to examine the acknowledged crisis in immigration courts: judicial ethics. Because the term judicial ethics encompasses a broad array of principles, the article narrows its focus to bias and incompetence on the part of immigration judges in the courtroom.

Immigration judges operate as a unique judiciary under the Executive Branch of government. An examination of the modern immigration court system, including inadequate disciplinary procedures for immigration judges, reveals that the existing structural crisis has substantial implications for judicial ethics. Evidence of biased and incompetent judicial conduct has been found in statistics showing inconsistent decisions and cases reviewed by circuit courts. Recognizing the breadth and severity of the problem, the Attorney General proposed new ethical Codes of Conduct for immigration judges in June 2007. However, the proposed Codes are weakened by their lack of specificity and enforceability. Accordingly, the article recommends reforms designed to encourage unbiased and competent judicial behavior. Implementation of these reforms will initiate the process of restoring the ethical integrity of the immigration bench.