Posts

RACIAL INEQUALITY AND SYSTEMIC INJUSTICE TACKLED BY U.S. COURTS

In a yet-to-be-published article , my colleagues Sahira Abdool, Tricia Cameron-Anglin, and Jeffrey Newman and I wrote that  the twin crises of systemic racial injustice and the Covid-19 pandemic have caused unprecedented social and economic upheaval – including economic contraction and violent street protests -- that pose existential threats to society. The article is an urgent call to action for judicial leaders, both judges and court administrators, not only to continue to provide critical justice services but also to become active participants  in a  whole-of-society approach (WOSA)  to combat racial injustice and the pandemic. For example, we urge court leaders to close   the gap between the law on the books and the law in practice by asking tough questions about differences between what we would like to see happen and what actually is happening in the justice system, such as the fact that   pretrial custody account for roughly one-third of all incarcerated individuals globally.

China Curtails Academic Freedom of Chinese Students and Their Professors in the U.S.

  For more than a decade, we have witnessed an erosion of political freedoms and civil liberties across the world amidst a democratic backsliding toward autocracy, a system of government in which a single person (the autocrat) possesses absolute power to weaken institutions such as an independent judiciary that sustain the democratic system. At the same time, a surveillance-based economy, and anti-democratic threats this poses have thrived.   This quote is from the abstract of an article on illiberalism I wrote that was published   August 10, 2020.   In the article I highlight China, where the mass surveillance of its citizenry is the most aggressive and invasive in the world. For example, using a range of personal data accessed by the government, citizens and businesses are supervised, judged, and rated as part of a “social credit system” that gives them “trustworthy” scores. Low scores ban them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by

Illiberalism Fueled by the Coronavirus Pandemic: An Existential Threat to Judicial Independence (Part Two)

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   This is the 15 th   in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to Covid-19 coronavirus  (SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name)  justice systems’ active participation in what is known as a   whole-of-society-approach   (WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19. The information in this post was drawn from recent reports in the  Economist , the  Guardian, Time, the Wall Street Journal , the Washington Pos t, the New York Times, and other news outlets. Views and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Last updated May 27, 2020. (An expanded version of both parts of this post is published in the INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COURT ADMINISTRATION, Volume 11, Issue 2 (Summer 2020)). Autocratization and Illiberalism: The New Normal? Autocratization is democratic backsliding, a trend toward autocracy, a system of government in which a single person (the autocrat) possesses absolute power to weaken institutions suc

Illiberalism Fueled by the Coronavirus Pandemic: An Existential Threat to Judicial Independence (Part One)

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This is the 14 th   in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to Covid-19 coronavirus  (SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name)  justice systems’ active participation in what is known as a   whole-of-society-approach   (WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19. The information in this post was drawn from recent reports in the  Economist , the  Wall Street Journal ,  the Washington Pos t,  Time , and other news outlets. Views and opinions expressed are the author’s own. Last updated May 22, 2020.  (An expanded version of both parts of this post is published in the  INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COURT ADMINISTRATION, Volume 11, Issue 2 (Summer 2020)). In a  Wall Street Journal  essay at the end of April 2020, Joseph A. Ladapo, an associate professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, wrote that the coronavirus pandemic has set the stage for a showdown between civil liberties  and public health (“The Looming Ci

Choosing Hope Over Despair: What have we learned so far from our experiences with the global Covid-19 pandemic?

This is the 13th in a series of blog posts beginning on February 4, 2020 focused on justice systems’ responses to the coronavirus pandemic -- SARS-CoV-2 is its technical name and Covid-19 is the disease it causes --and the justice systems’ active participation in a whole-of-society-approach (WOSA) to national security and safety threats such as Covid-19. Wall Street Journal’s columnist Peggy Noonan reflected on the question in the title above in her  April 11-12 Declarations column: As a nation we’ve learned that as a corporate entity of 330 million diverse souls we could quickly absorb, adapt and adjust to widespread disruption. I’m not sure we knew that. Crazy cowboy nation cooperated with the authorities. American comported itself as exactly what you thought it was or hoped it was but weren’t sure: compassionate, empathetic, committed, hard-working, creative and, as a friend said, funny as hell. Under great and immediate stress there’s been broad peacefulness and civility.