Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Interesting New Articles from Social Science Research Network on Terror, Religion and Legal Research Training

A very useful source of legal research is the Legal Scholarship Network, a subset of the Social Science Research Network. It is an online collection of legal research papers from around the world, downloadable for free. It is possible to sign up for automatic notification when new material is added on a topic of interest.

A valuable addition to anyone's current awareness resources.

Among the recent material that caught my attention:
  • National Security, Multiculturalism and Muslim Minorities (Kent Roach, University of Toronto): "Using case studies of Muslim minorities in Canada and Singapore, this paper examines the complex relationship between multiculturalism and national security. The first part of the paper examines the different characteristics of Muslim minorities in Canada and Singapore with an emphasis on how Canada's Muslim minority is smaller, more diverse and less well established than Singapore's. The next section examines some of the dangers of hurried or heavy-handed attempts to merge concerns about multiculturalism with security that do not build on pre-existing institutions and inter-group relations. Topics examined include Canada's creation of a new Cross Cultural Roundtable on Security, the aborted proposal in the United Kingdom for control orders with respect to religious extremism and Singapore's Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act. The next part outlines Canada's and Singapore's main responses to 9/11 with special attention to how these responses may affect the Muslim minorities in both countries and the way each society has managed the arrest and detention of suspected terrorists. The place of multiculturalism in the official national security policies released by both governments in 2004 is also examined. The next section explores the role of transparent and independent review of national security activities in the maintenance of public confidence in the fairness of the state's security strategies in multicultural societies. The final section critically examines the emerging trend of prosecuting speech associated with terrorism and the consequent blurring of anti-terrorism and anti-hate rationales for the prohibition of extreme political or religious speech. The article concludes with a discussion of how Canada and Singapore will deal with the challenges of crafting national security policies for their multicultural societies in their own distinct manner. "
  • Trial by Jury Involving Persons Accused of Terrorism or Supporting Terrorism (Neil Vidmar, Duke University): "The chapter raises issues about jurors' assumptions of innocence in the aftermath of terrorist bombings in the United States, England, Bali, Spain and elsewhere when persons are persons accused of committing acts of terrorism or indirectly supporting terrorists through financing organizations associated with terrorism. A study of a United States trial involving charges of supporting terrorism is used to illustrate the problem, but the thesis of this chapter is that the basic issues apply to trials that might be held in England, Australia, Canada or other countries with jury systems. "
  • Why Tolerate Religion? (Brian Leiter, University of Texas at Austin): "While the historical reasons for the special pride of place accorded religious toleration are familiar, what is surprising is that no one has been able to articulate a credible principled argument for tolerating religion qua religion: that is, an argument that would explain why, as a matter of moral or other principle, we ought to accord special legal and moral treatment to religious practices. There are, to be sure, principled arguments for why the state ought to tolerate a plethora of private choices, commitments, and practices of its citizenry, but none of these single out religion for anything like the special treatment it is accorded in, for example, American and Canadian constitutional law. So why tolerate religion? Not because of anything that has to do with it being religion as such - or so this paper argues. "
  • Privacy, Power, and Humiliation at Work: Re-Examining Appearance Regulation as an Invasion of Privacy (Catherine Risk, Duke University): "Workplace rules that deny fundamental aspects of personal autonomy are (in many states) and should be actionable invasions of privacy. Perhaps nowhere is the invasion more keenly felt than when an employer demands, under penalty of forfeiting one's livelihood, that one dress or alter one's physical appearance in a way that one finds offensive, degrading, inappropriate, or alien. Clothes and appearance are constitutive of how we see and feel about ourselves and how we construct ourselves for the rest of the world to see. Conventions of appearance for women and men, for racial, ethnic, and religious groups express and observe political and spiritual commitments that affect people at a deep psychological level. "
  • Rebooting Our Approach to Teaching Research: One Writing Program's Leap into the Computer Age (Carrie Teitcher, Brooklyn Law School): "In the fall of 2005, Brooklyn Law School's Writing Program significantly changed its approach to legal research instruction and entered a new era. In order to make our research lessons more effective and relevant to our students, we opted for a fully integrated approach in which we emphasized the importance of combining books, fee based legal research sources, and free Internet sources into a comprehensive research strategy. These changes acknowledge the realities of the computer age, the work place, and our students' own research experiences which are steeped in the Internet and computers. Eventually, we hope to make our students more discerning consumers of legal research and, ultimately, better analytical thinkers."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:21 pm


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