Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stop violence against women!

The UN Security Council has recently adopted Resolution 1820 on women, peace and security (June 19, 2008). Specifically concerned with violence against women, it states inter alia:

Reiterating deep concern that, despite its repeated condemnation of violence against women and children in situations of armed conflict, including sexual
violence in situations of armed conflict, and despite its calls addressed to all parties
to armed conflict for the cessation of such acts with immediate effect, such acts
continue to occur, and in some situations have become systematic and widespread,
reaching appalling levels of brutality,

Reaffirming the important role of women in the prevention and resolution of
conflicts and in peacebuilding, and stressing the importance of their equal
participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion
of peace and security, and the need to increase their role in decision-making with
regard to conflict prevention and resolution...

Thus, it is not disputed that women play an important role in securing peace in the world... So, the next step is to increase their input in the decision-making of the world affairs. Unfortunately, as the recent US political atmosphere has reaffirmed it, the world is still dominated by men... If the US, one of the most democratic countries in the world is still woefully lagging behind in this, what could be said about others?

Of course, even more urgent is to stop the violence against women worldwide!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We, trial lawyers...

The California Public Defenders Association is presenting its 37th Annual Summer Basic Trial Skills Program at the University of San Diego... The program will last from July 27 thru August 1... This is strictly for criminal defense practitioners, as well as public defenders (with relatively limited experience)... But if I am going to be there, you are welcome to join us, as long as you belong to this exclusive group of developing trial lawyers... See, for us, trial lawyers, real life begins and ends in the courtroom, at trial!!! Words 'Objection, Your Honor' make up a whole host of reflexes day or night... Sometimes I blurt that out even when talking with my family... not joking... Then I often say 'But Your Honor' even to those not wearing that respectful robe... Losing my mind? Hardly. Just trying to become better at it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Learn from experts

For those interested in learning more about international criminal law, strongly recommend obtaining the upcoming 3-volume set on the subject by a prominent scholar M. Cherif Bassiouni. The publication can be ordered from Brill Publications here. He has written extensively on the issues arising in the field and was in fact the driving force behind the establishment of the International Criminal Court. For the last 30 years he has vehemently advocated for the very idea of the ICC, while many were still slumbering and/or rejecting the notion... Many scholars in the field call him the "father of international criminal law." He is currently a Professor of Law at DePaul University (see here).


On June 16, 1963 Восток launched into space. It carried the first woman ever flying into space. Чайка (Seagull) as her fly sign, Valentina Tereshkova (born March 6, 1937) had no problems whatsoever guiding the spaceship... A talented parachutist, she was selected among 4 other women to be the first.

She orbited the Earth 48 times and spent three days in space. Currently she is retired, enjoying a prestigious rank of Major General of the Russian Air Forces.

Those who have been reading my blog posts below know why the sign of Seagull is particularly dear to my heart...

Friday, June 13, 2008


Sometimes we get good news. Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court took further steps to rehabilitate the failures of the Bush Administration with respect to handling the detainees/enemy combatants in Guantanamo... Needless to say, these 'failures' amount to serious and systematic denigration of international humanitarian law. The decisions did not resolve everything and left certain things up in the air. For a synopsis of the two cases see here. But in light of the complexity of the legal issues involved and the political dynamic behind the scenes, this is an awesome move!

Friday, June 6, 2008

On June 6

1599, Diego Velazquez, a great Spanish painter of realism was born. His paintings were of diverse themes and of many styles, including baroque, realism and some Romanticism/idealism. He was famous with his portraits of some famous figures of the times, including the Pope, the King Philip IV. His most famous work was Las Meninas (1656). The one above is 'Venus With Mirror'.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

World Environment Day

UN is celebrating the World Environment Day today. On the occasion, and calling to end the world carbon addiction, the Secretary General has stated, "Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us, makes us deny important truths and blinds us to the consequences of our actions.” (here) Well said.

As a number-one contributor to the global warming, the United States should seriously take steps to confront and stop this addiction...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bribing scholars?

One of my awesome commentators below brought this study/report conducted by Southern Poverty Law Center to my attention. The report insinuates on the 'bribery' by Turkey of certain American scholars to join them in the denial of the Armenian genocide. It suggests that academicians, not only politicians are vulnerable to injustice. Well, I would call these pseudo-academicians... But that is dangerous. Because, if scholars, who have such a great influence on the development of the civilization, are complicit in human rights violations, then there is really not much of a hope...

See here

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

UN summit on global food crisis

The UN summit with world leaders gathering in Rome today is calling to confront the global food crisis/catastrophe. The Secretary-General has reiterated, "As I have said before, I say again now: Beggar Thy Neighbour food policies cannot work,” meaning that price controls and limits on exports are not helping any longer (see here). An estimated 850 million people around the world had a food shortage even before the current crisis. That number is estimated to grow by another 100 million... Only in Ethiopia as of today there are 176,000 children in urgent need for therapeutic care as a result of severe malnutrition and about 3.4 million people need food (see the story).

(photo credit)

Monday, June 2, 2008

On June 2

1793, Jean-Paul Marat led the expulsion of 31 Girondists from the French National Convention. It was followed by the Reign of Terror that had 17,000 to 40,000 counter revolutionaries guillotined over the next year. Marat, Robespierre and Danton were the most important figures in this period.

Marat was stabbed to death in his bathtub in July of the same year by a Girondist sympathizer, Charlotte Corday.

The 'Death of Marat' by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) above.