It is a law-school maxim today that the United States is a common-law country, while most of Europe uses civil law: English-derived common law has as its most basic tenet the binding nature of judicial precedent, while Roman-derived civil law privileges statutes. But the more I investigate the history and details of each, the more clear it becomes to me that the United States, at least, owes (almost?) as much of its legal system to civil law as it does to “pure” common law.
In “Salamanders and Sons of God,” an article in The Many Legalities of Early America, Mary Sarah Bilder writes about the “Culture of Appeal in Early New England,” and situates the embrace of the right to appeal by New Englanders within the larger English and Roman legal tradition.
For two weeks this July, I participated in a conference/summer session in Vienna (VISU) on the nature of scientific evidence. The program brought together students and lecturers from a number of disciplines.
My VISU presentation on reasoning in analogy in Warren and Brandeis’ famous 1890 law review article on privacy.
For the last week I’ve been a part of the Vienna Institute Summer University (VISU) at the University of Vienna, at a two-week conference on “The Nature of Scientific Evidence.” The program brings together graduate students from a variety of disciplines from around the world to discuss science-related topics.
I have proposed comparative/transnational approaches between legal and societal understandings of privacy in the face of new technologies. Micol Siegel’s work suggests that I should, at the very least, consider my approach more critically.
“Lived history,” writes Bender, “is embedded in a plenitude of narratives. … [O]ver time, different themes or concepts, different narratives, will be deemed significant and emphasized” (page 1). The “plenitude of narratives” is formed by the stories historians tell about the past, by people at the time speaking and living their own experiences, by groups (ethnicities, races, classes, nations, cities) sharing common understandings, and is thus never simple nor unitary.
Intellectual property, despite the name, doesn’t quite work like regular property. A look at intellectual property markets highlight problems with a pure free-market approach that aren’t necessarily visible with other markets.
Myth #4 in Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths about Science and Religion is Syed Nomanul Haq’s article entitled “That Medieval Islamic Culture was Inhospitable to Science.”
In “Islam and Science,” an article written for the Oxford Handbook of Religion and Science, Nasr attempts to give a broad overview of the relationship of Islam to modern science and technology. He makes some key points regarding to criticism of Western science from an Islamic point a view.
The still-in-draft Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, beloved of some, is hated by many–including Google, apparently.
I’m generally in favor of holding companies liable for their actions — after all, if we treat corporations as “persons” under the law, then they should have responsibilities as well as protections and benefits. But I’m not sure about holding executives criminally liable — perhaps in the case of knowing pollution or conspiracy to cover up product dangers — but not, I think, for actions they are not directly responsible for, as in this case from Italy.