recruitment haikus

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Plastic smiles melt
Logic with pens and zeroes
Do you like our firm?

Palms are sore from shaking
Hands of smiling strangers
Too much jerking off

Lovely offices
With nice view and carpeting
Why is she crying?

Tie matches the socks
By design. Wish this place matched
With me as nicely

The anxiety
Rises with every word
Give me an offer

For bending over
Do I get the position?
Reach around a must

(s. carsley, from law student paper The Kraken)

comité de déontologie policière

posted in: montreal | 0

I went to see a colleague of mine plead at the police ethics committee yesterday, for the legal clinic that we both work at this semester. (although not yet lawyers, there are some exceptions where we can present arguments before administrative bodies)

it was great! I have also been to the immigration and refugee board, and it seemed very similar–less formal than a court, and the commissaire is a lot more approachable than a judge, with the main goal of earnestly discovering the truth rather than strict adherence to procedure. it is in these settings that justice is directly served to parties, who actively participate in proceedings themselves–and where a large majority of decision-making takes place, away from judges and lawyers.

the only thing that sucked was the social aspect. it involved a black youth (who seemed credible), and his mother actually came to vouch for his character. quite possibly another case of racial profiling by the police in ticketing a young black adolescent for no apparent reason. the burden that certain sectors of society face is totally unfair–the fact that since it was 11 am meant that this kid was not in school, and that his single mom was also not working, all in order to fight the wrong not made by them, but by a police officer (whom I did not see at the hearing, so presumably was working at the time).

I thought about whether that could have ever happened to me as a kid. never. ever ever. I don’t think I had even talked to cop, let alone been asked to identify myself randomly on the street as a teenager. how, then, do you keep from being angry as targeted individuals in this situation? as wronged communities? those days missed of school, of work, incrementally being pushed back… how can we not be angry against society for this injustice?


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I just realized how boring this paper sounds:

Paragraph 2 is also similar to Article 10 of the draft articles recommended by the WCED’s Experts Group on Environmental Law, which aims to prevent “transboundary environmental interference or significant risk thereof which causes substantial harm” (emphasis added). The present provision extends liability not only to physical harm, but also to the risks of that harm, allocating the loss of potential damage to the State that takes on the risky activity.

IPR protection in china

posted in: china | 0

My people are poor; people in western China are making RMB200 (US$24) per month. Now a bunch of foreigners want me to protect their Gucci handbags? I couldn’t care less.

so represents the views of rural Chinese government officials, according to Ekkehard Rathgeber, President of Bertelsmann Direct Group Asia. (found on china law blog)

this is the economic argument against uniform intellectual property rights protection for all countries: that it prevents some valuable activities that can contribute to a developing economy.

I wrote a paper arguing that patent protection does not make sense for least-developed countries: because the investments that go into imitating goods are far less than those that go into original R&D, it would be much easier for these LDCs to build their economies on ‘copycat’ industries. (and so-called “copies” can often become better as a result, since imitators will adapt their products to be more competitive on the market.)

only once a country has lifted itself out of the ‘poverty trap’ (to lift a phrase from Jeffrey Sachs) can it start thinking about enforcing IP laws–and as a middle-developed country it would be in its own interest to promote innovation and further economic growth (through incentives to innovate). an interesting case study for this is India, who developed a huge industry of copycat pharmaceuticals (they did not until recently protect drug patents) based on mainly American drugs. but on the other hand there was little investment in their own R&D, resulting in far fewer medicines that treat diseases that afflict mainly them.

and of course, once a country becomes highly-developed it will then be a big pusher of IPRs, since these compensate their inventors (an economic monopoly) and protect their innovations.

incentives and innovation vs. imitation and adaptation. all in the name of economics. hmmm.

arbitrary state power

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Starting second paper, about 3 days behind, but just had to post this: I’m writing about Canadian security certificates and was reading a report by the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) about Canadian security officials (read: CSIS) targeting Arab Muslims for “interrogation”.

Talk about questionable tactics: blocking doorways, threats, visits at work (one guy got fired shortly afterwards), giving false identification as to who they were, interrogating a minor. One person was asked to become an informant, and when he refused, the official abruptly ended the interview and proceeded to recite the names of the person’s children and several other pieces of personal information.

The security certificate provisions in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act are undergoing a constitutional challenge which will finally be heard by the Supreme Court in June. This is the first time I really care about the Supreme Court doing it right, and I’m actually worried about the outcome: these provisions are so blatantly against several fundamental rights in the Charter, and yet have passed through the federal courts as constitutional. Reading the judgments in the Charkaoui case are so so so disturbing, they are unlike any other constitutional cases (they don’t even mention so much as a section 7 analysis for #$%$-sake), the reasoning just doesn’t make sense.

I really hope it’s simply an unhappy coincidence that federal court judgments are incomprehensible, and not indicative of an endemic belief that someone can be put into detention without charge and without knowledge of the evidence against him, on the grounds of “national security”. We cannot simply trust that the government is always right since no one is infallible (especially CSIS), and when evidence is not open there is not even the opportunity to check this arbitrary power.

More later. For now, the report can be found here.

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