Friday, October 26, 2007

Test One Grades

Test one is graded. You may e-mail me to get your score if you would like. Please use your UMBC account.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Legal Internship Program

Legal Internship applications are due November 16. The legal internship program places selected students with various judges and attorneys. Recent placements have included several Circuit Court judges, Law firms, the State's Attorney's Office, the Public Defenders Office, law firms, the ACLU, and other legal advocacy groups. In their field work, students have learned various professional skills including legal research and writing, interviewing, negotiation, mediation, advocacy, etc. This program also gives students insight into the administration of justice, and into the relationship of courts to other institutions, electorate, and to individuals. Students earn 7 credits through successful completion of the internship program.

You must have junior standing and at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify.

If intersted download the information sheet and the application (Both are MS Word documents).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Comparative Justice Review

Post your review questions in the comments.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Student Presentations

Here are the links to the power point files that I have. If other students who have presented can send me their power point files I'll post them. Thanks.

New Zealand



Check in tomorrow for the blog review.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Musharraf Wins Election but Court Challenge Remains

(Required for Comparative Justice Students)

By Sarah Akhtar
General Pervez Musharraf successfully attained reelection on October 6 as Pakistan’s president in a landslide victory, receiving 252 of 257 parliamentary votes2. Despite the perceived dubiousness of the election process (Pakistan’s Parliament is filled with Musharraf’s supporters due to the rigging of the 2002 elections), Musharraf will assume the Presidency unless thwarted by the Supreme Court. The Court must rule on whether it was legal for Musharraf to seek election while he was still army chief1.
With his election, the judiciary now finds itself in a precarious position. It can declare Musharraf’s victory unconstitutional, maintaining its legitimacy in the eyes of the public, but risking an attack by the military on its sovereignty as a legitimate institution. Or the Court can bow to Musharraf’s pressures, allowing it to stand as an institution, but losing its credibility, which the Chief Justice has fought so hard to maintain. Given the Court ruled the day before elections that electoral process could proceed, I predict it will take the latter course. If it does Musharraf has agreed to resign his post in the army and become a civilian leader1. Whatever the outcome, there can be no doubt that the Judiciary will have a vital role in determining the extent to which the Pakistani government will shift in its transition from military rule to a civil democracy.

Haider, Kamran. “Musharraf Set to Win Vote as Victory Hangs on Court.” Washington Post Online 6 Oct. 2007. Nation. 7 Oct. 2007. .

“Musharraf Wins Presidential Vote.” BBC Online 6 Oct. 2007. South Asia. 7 Oct. 2007. .

Due process slow… but eventual in New Zealand

(Required for Comparative Justice Students)

By Dan McKenzie
The heightened state of concern over potential terrorism has tested the power of the judiciary and the rule of law in New Zealand. Mr. Ahmed Zaoui was an influential member of the Islamic Salvation Front (ISF) in Algeria. After the ISF had made significant ground in acquiring democratically elected control of the country, military forces opposed to the ISF began a systematic purge of ISF members. Mr. Zaoui fled the country eventually arriving in New Zealand where he was granted refugee status by the Refugee Status Appeal Authority in 2002.

Mr. Zaoui was soon arrested and declared a national security risk by the Security Intelligence Services. In compliance with this assessment the Minister of Immigration ordered the deportation of Mr. Zaoui at which point an appeal was made to the Inspector General of Intelligence for repeal of the security risk assessment. The Inspector General failed to initiate the review placing the status of Mr. Zaoui in limbo and resulting in his imprisonment for twenty three months.

In 2005 Mr.Zaoui brought the issue via appeal to the newly formed Supreme Court (established 2004) where it would blossom into one of the defining cases of the new court. In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Zaoui had to be released on bail and that the Inspector General must rule on Mr. Zaoui’s security assessment appeal. The court used inherent jurisdiction and broke with tradition by deciding the case themselves instead of returning the case to the High Court. More important, the Justices ruled that the Minister of Immigration had to take into account human rights when deciding whether to deport. In this case Mr. Zaoui faced the possibility of torture and the loss of life and liberty if deported to Algeria. Furthermore, the court noted that even if Mr. Zaoui was a security risk, he could not be deported if such actions would violate the protections under the New Zealand Bill of Rights, Convention Against Torture, or the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.

Despite this decision the Inspector General did not revoke Mr. Zaoui’s security risk assessment until September 16, 2007. Although released on bail, for two years Mr. Zaoui was prohibited from seeking employment, endured a 10pm to 6am curfew, and was forced to reside at a monastery. And so goes the sometimes slow march of due process, five years too long, but far better than the alternative.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Comparative Justice Readings

The readings for Monday, 10/8, Comparative Justice, are stacked outside my office door (PUP 316). I will try to post them as PDF files as well.