Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Legal Advocacy Class Sept. 26

The plan today, September 26, was for you to watch the 2006 Mock Trial Championship. Apparently, there was a mix up and this did not occur. My sincere apologies for the inconvenience. We will pick up with our direct examinations on Monday. Feel free to e-mail me with questions.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Peru's Former President to Be Extradited

The Supreme Court of Chile ruled today that former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori will be extradited to Peru to face human rights charges. Like Pinochet, discussed in class, Fujimori allegedly used a secret squad of security personnel to eliminate his political enemies. Fujimori will face charges for ordering the "Colina Group" to kill 25 people during 1990 and 1991. As the International Herald Tribune observed, "The [extradition] ruling, which cannot be appealed, could set an important international precedent for extradition cases of former heads of state wanted for atrocities in other countries, according to human rights advocates." For more, read the IHT article or the Times of London story and see the Washington Office for Latin America for more background.

Judicial Reform in the UK

(Required for Comparative Justice Students)
When the Labour Party took control of British government in 1997 one of the reforms the party proposed was constitutional reform. The proposed reforms included abolishing the Lord Chancellor, creating a Supreme Court, and establishing an independent judicial commission to appoint judges. Over the last ten years the plan has crawled through the British political system meeting with strong opposition from the Law Lords. See this summary of the proposed plans and this UK Independent report on the response from the Law Lords. In the spring 2004, the Lords successfully defeated the reform plan as reported by the Guardian and the BBC, or at least delayed it for 10 years.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

No Convictions for Alleged War Crimes

(Required for POLI 337 Students)
In November 2005, Marine commanders in Iraq reported that one Marine and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed by an insurgent bomb and small-arms fire in Haditha. According to their report, the Marines returned fire, killing eight insurgents and wounding one. In March 2006, Time reported that the Marines responded to the bomb by killing 24 Iraqi civilians including women and children. According to Time, in part of the Marines response they "began firing, killing eight residents—including the owner, his wife, the owner's sister, a 2-year-old son and three young daughters." Since the military began investigating the incident only four Marines have been charged with the killings and none, to date, have convicted. Consider this NY Times report in light of our discussion of judicial independence, judicial review and judicial oversight of war powers. For more see this Human Rights Watch video report or this Democracy Now investigation.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Comparative Justice Assignments Posted

I have posted your Country Report and Writing Assignments on the course website (here). Please pick a country and date to give your oral report as soon as possible. You may e-mail me with your selection. Thanks.

Mock Trial Teams and Assignment

I've assigned the teams below. If you would like to change your assignment e-mail me and I will try to accommodate. These are likely to change before we compete.

Your assignment for Wednesday is to prepare a short oral summary of your argument. It should contain:
1. A statement of the result you are seeking. You may be specific or general here, but tell the judge/jury how you want them to rule.
2. Why you think that ruling is justified. Here identify the legal criteria that support the ruling you seek and the facts that support them. Be sure to name the three (3) witnesses you would call to support your case. You do not need to cite statutes and cases by name and number but you may if you wish.

Don't forget that our Monday classes will meet in PUP 354 from now on.

Here are the team assignments:



Chris M
Chris C