17 Jan 2008

Updates from last week

In one of my earlier posts I wrote about the recent happenings in the legal circles, selected ones only though (for so much happens that my feed reader brings me more than 1000 posts for each day from the selected blogs and sites I have subscribed to). But then the response which I received was such that I decided to make this a permanent feature in this blog (we are yet evolving as a serious contender for a law blog, remember???) and so here I do the honours of the second post in the series.

First things first. For everyone's knowledge, past deeds of two fellow contributors have caught up to them and have been written about by other bloggers;

  • Raghav's article on surrogacy law has been appreciated and recommended by Law and other Things blog. [click here for full post] Nice one Raghav.
  • And then, Faiz, an Indonesian law student in India has written a post on Social Change, quoting a long back written article of mine in Indian Bar Review. [click here for full post] It sounds really nice to find your name taken by other and that too unknown people in acceptance or recommending your words.

So much for the self praise part. Now for some serious business.

1. A serious looking blog on legal education has come up from
Albany. Titled as Best Practices for Legal Education, it carries good discussion on the various nuances of legal profession as emanating from the education. It may be a different factor that it relates primarily to legal education as imparted in the United States but than given the fact that the profession world over in integrated, it does have important ramifications for all. A nice read. [click here for the blog]

2. And then there is this post bringing out the
US version of the 'secularism', which reports a Federal judge declaring distribution of Bible in schools as unconstitutional. [click here for the full post] Just a quick word on this that in India it is a different version of secularism, with State abstaining itself completely from promoting any particular religion but also not interfering in the religious practices of the citizens, which are a part and parcel of the fundamental rights under Article 25 et. al of the Constitution of India.

3. Then this is a post on SSRN's recent list of top law professors. Paul Caron reports [click here for full report] on the list complied by SSRN and gives his insights on the top 100 tax law professors of the world. However I have my own views on the list compiled by SSRN for it compiles the same on the basis of the number of papers and abstracts posted by these professors on SSRN and the number of downloaded recorded against them. Clearly a bias can emerge if some institution seeks to increase the ratings of any given professor for its just takes a simple search option and download.

4. I found this one quiet interesting, not only from its contents but also from me drawing a simile to this with the
Newton's law (don't know which number it is) of motion that to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Given the fact that the United Kingdom has conquered and ruled over various parts of the world at a given point of time, it is not in centre stage to receive it back what it gave. First from the Indians, who have outnumbered the number of professionals here in UK working in financial, medical and almost all sectors and then as this post reports, US law firms coming over to acquire UK law firms. [click here for the full post]

5. On a lighter note, the next post deals with the advantage which a lawyer of a top US firm (Jones Day, if you have heard the name) brings out on writing a blog and going ahead with it. Just the other day I had posted about a similar news item but then this one is a bit mixed content with both professional and personal advantages brought over. A good read. [click here for full article]

6. And speaking of plastic money, UK Revenue authorities (HMRC) came out with their version of adopting to the change (and they really are quick in that regard) and out came the proposal so pay taxes by credit card. A probably hilarious but practically well suited idea, but for the woes of the banking companies. Nonetheless HMRC has come under criticism for this plan for God knows that
UK citizens can and in fact will criticize almost anything and everything on earth. But still a nice lesson learned on the ways of bringing laws closer to the people. [click here for full post]

7. This report is really a good one for all those fascinated and interested by the idea of JURIMETRICS and econometrics. I bring to their notice this Report prepared for US Congress on "How Crime in
United States is measured". Its a nicely written report and perhaps carries lessons for their Indian counterparts who still dwell upon outdated statistical means for compilation of crime data. [click here for full report]

8. Related to this report on measuring crime, I came across this site which publishes online source book of Criminal Justice Statistics. Containing detailed analysis of the various ingredients and factors affecting the criminal justice system, this is a must read for any student of criminal law. Hope the law professors are listening. [click here for the main page]

9. Also worthwhile to mention is this blog pioneered by three Harvard Fellows, and now professors in their own right at various law schools, on "Information Law". I mention about it for various counts. Firstly it draws upon the
Harvard Law School programme on 'Internet and Society', second because all three are professors in law and finally because this caters to a niche area on which not much material or thought is available. "Info/Law" as they call it, offers a worthwhile RSS feed to subscribe to. [click here for the blog]

10. This one is devoted to Law Resources. The Universal Digital Library is a worthwhile try to all those searching for projects/assignments or even topics for their upcoming initiatives. Hosting a compilation of ancient and modern literature on almost all issues, its a worth a try. [click here for the library]

Then there is this speech delivered by Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve in which he brings out what he perceives as the Federal Reserve's perception of the financial markets and monetary policy. Primarily an economic article but still I mention it for it carries a huge underlying message for financial institutions and the legal institutions grappling with the menace of sub-prime mortgage crisis and its spill overs. A must read for all economic and financial markets buffs. [click here for the full speech]

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