Archibald Cox, the great scholar of labor and constitutional law, passed away Saturday at the age of 92. Here are some of the stories: Baltimore Sun, NPR (audio), Boston Globe, New York Times. I had Cox for two classes at Harvard Law School, Labor Law and First Amendment. I took Labor Law from Cox my first year as an elective, and Cox made a huge impression one me. My early teaching style drew heavily on Cox as a model. I especially enjoyed his very rigorous, intellectually demanding approach, which required a deep engagement by students who wanted to keep up with Cox. Cox was both a mentor (he wrote many letters of recommendation) and a personal hero. He lived a long life, full of accomplishment and goodness. He was a wonderful teacher and a formidable lawyer. He will be remembered, of course, for his role in Watergate and as Solicitor General of the United States, but I will always remember the kindly face, the old and many times mended suits, and the pick up truck that Cox drove to Harvard. He was a giant.
In a letter dated 26 May [pdf], and addressed to Paul Twomey, the head of ICANN, this powerful body has revealed its irritation with ICANN's attempt to become a global Internet institution.
The three-page missive by CENTR chairman Paul Kane makes it plain that ccTLDs (country code top level domains) are unprepared to offer the additional finance that ICANN wants. Also the letter questions ICANN motives in seeking the budget hike.
ICANN knew it was liable to anger the rest of the world's countries by asking them for more money, so it increased the amount it asked from them by less than a third - where most others will have to pay double. ICANN even accepted that ccTLDs would pay less in "ICANN-tax" - 20 cents on a domain rather than the 25 cents for everyone else. This approach has been dismissed out of hand.
September 11 seared our collective memory perhaps even more vividly than December 7, 1941, and has evoked a natural demand both for retribution and for measures to keep us safe. Given the existing statutory and judicial authority for capital punishment, the U.S. Government has to confront the issue whether to seek the death penalty against those who are linked to the suicide attacks or to the organization that sponsored them or both. Meting out the death penalty to international terrorists involves difficult moral, legal, and policy questions. The September 11 crimes were not only domestic crimes, but also international ones. The magnitude of these crimes, the killing of over 3,000 innocent people, cries out for redress.
Yet most countries in the world, including nearly all our closest allies, have abolished capital punishment. None of the four currently operating international criminal tribunals is authorized to give a death sentence. In addition, the advent of the suicide bomber turns the deterrence justification for the death penalty inside out. Might the death penalty help create martyrs rather than discourage similar attacks? Could our imposing the death penalty increase support in the Islamic world for al Qaeda and other extremist groups? Furthermore, to what extent as a matter of constitutional law and policy, should a secondary actor, one who did not kill, but who was a member of a terrorist conspiracy, be subject to the death penalty? This Article examines these questions in the context of the Zacarias Moussaoui case, the supposed twentieth hijacker, who, on September 11, 2001, had been held in custody for twenty-six days.
Note: This article was published just before the Iraq prison scandal broke. The article, however, does discuss torture and the consequences of mistreating captured individuals suspected of committing acts of terrorism.
Originally delivered as a talk at an AALS clinical conference, the author urges teachers in the law clinic to feel and express emotion if they wish to teach students to value and work well with emotional information. She further argues that clinicians must tend their own roots in community and model this to students if they are to convey the importance of client community context to good outcomes.
Questions about the ethics of efficiency have not been much discussed. Aristotle says nothing, or almost nothing, to defend his claims about it. (I assume that efficiency and cleverness are more or less the same.) But the issue is important, not only for its own sake, but for the central place that efficiency has in the philosophy of practical reason. What is often thought of as the dominant or orthodox view, the "neo-Humean" conception of practical reason as purely instrumental, identifies the excellence of the practicalintellect with means-end efficiency, broadly understood. I will argue that efficiency, as it is conceived by the instrumentalist – in particular, as being indifferent to the moral quality of one's ends – not only makes the nasty person worse, but is a defect of character, in general. It follows, I think, that the instrumentalist conception of practical reason is false, just as it stands; at the very least, it must be qualified or revised.
Dari-Mattiacci and De Geest on Judgement Proofness
Giuseppe Dari-Mattiacci and Gerrit De Geest (George Mason University - School of Law and University of Utrecht - Utrecht School of Economics) have posted Judgment Proofness under Four Different Precaution Technologies (Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This study shows that the effects of judgment proofness on precaution depend on whether the injurer can reduce the probability of the accident, the magnitude of the harm, or both. Different legal solutions to the problem are examined: punitive damages, average compensation, undercompensation, accurate compensation and negligence. We find that when the injurer can only reduce the probability of the accident, negligence with average compensation is the best solution, but negligence with perfectly compensatory damages is the desirable solution if the injurer can only or also affect the magnitude of the harm.
This paper addresses the failure of legal education to relate failing professionalism to the problems of depression, addiction, and career dissatisfaction among lawyers. I describe a classroom approach that teaches students about the psychological foundations of well-being, identifies common attorney practices and attitudes that undermine well-being, and further guides students toward meaning and satisfaction in their careers by helping them identify core values. The paper summarizes recent empirical research on law students and general populations as a foundation for the discussion.
Call for Papers: Genocide, Collective Guilt and Reparations
CALL FOR PAPERS
Special Issue January 2006 & Book in the Metaphilosophy Series in Philosophy
Genocide, Collective Guilt and Reparations
Special Editors: Claudia Card, University of Wisconsin, Madison &
Armen T. Marsoobian, Southern Connecticut State University
The twentieth century has been indelibly marked as the century of
genocide. The first modern genocide of this century was that perpetrated
by the Ottoman Turks against the Armenians, the last by the Hutus of Rwanda
against the Tutsis. The term itself, “genocide,” was coined by Raphael
Lemkin in 1944 to capture the scope of the Nazi policies of race
extermination taking place across the face of Europe.
We have now come to rethink our own history through the lens of genocide.
Our national policy of slavery and the forcible removal of native Americans
from their lands have been reexamined in light of what we now identify as
The Blackwell philosophy journal Metaphilosophy will be publishing a
special issue in January of 2006 on the themes of genocide, collective
guilt and reparations. This issue will appear in book form in the late
spring of 2006. The journal welcomes all submissions of a philosophical
nature on these interrelated themes.
Some questions that may be addressed include:
* Are the current standards of what counts as genocide adequate?
* What can moral reflection add to our understanding of genocide?
* What is the nature and extent of collective guilt?
* Is collective guilt a viable moral concept?
* Are reparations for genocide and other large-scale acts of
injustice morally mandatory? Who should pay? Who should collect? What
good purpose do reparations serve?
* Is reconciliation between genocide perpetrators and victims morally
desirable? What would be the basis for such a reconciliation?
* What roles do truth, memory and forgetting play in the process of
Manuscripts in duplicate and not longer than 8,000 words should be sent to:
The Editors, Special Issue on Genocide,
Department of Philosophy
Southern Connecticut State University
New Haven, CT 06515 USA
Telephone: (203) 392-6792 Fax: (203) 392-6338
Author guidelines can be found on our website: