Extra extra! Transitional Justice, International Human Rights, and Debtors Prison

American Association for Justice Opens Applications for its Women for Justice Education Fund’s 2014 Mike Eidson Scholarship, Due 5/1

AAJ Logo

As the world’s largest trial bar, AAJ promotes justice and fairness for injured persons, safeguards victims’ rights—particularly the right to trial by jury—and strengthens the civil justice system through education and disclosure of information critical to public health and safety. AAJ fights daily to protect the civil justice system against corporations and powerful individuals.

The Mike Eidson Scholarship Fund was established by the AAJ Women for Justice Education Fund in 2008, in honor of AAJ Past President Mike Eidson, whose vision and generosity inspired it. The scholarship, traditionally in the amount of $5,000, is awarded annually to a rising 3L (or rising 4L in a night program) female student who has demonstrated a commitment to a career as a plaintiffs’ lawyer or criminal defense lawyer, along with dedication to upholding and defending the principles of the Constitution, and to the concept of a fair trial, the adversary system, and a just result for the injured, the accused, and those whose rights are jeopardized.

Download the application details here.

The Venice Academy of Human Rights 2014 Presents Conference on the “Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law”, Early Bird Registration 3/15

Venice Academy of Human Rights July 7-16, 2014

The Venice Academy of Human Rights is an international programme of excellence for human rights education, research and debate. It forms part of the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC). The theme of this year’s academy is “Judicial Legitimacy and the Rule of Law.”  Online applications are accepted until 4 May 2014. The Academy offers an “early bird” registration with a reduced participation fee until March 15, 2014.

For more information on the upcoming conference, click here.

University of Ulster’s Transitional Justice Institute Now Accepting Applications for LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice, Due 6/30

University of Ulster Transitional Justice Institute

We are currently accepting applications for the LLM Human Rights Law and Transitional Justice programme, for 2014-15 entry.  This exciting and innovative programme is offered by the Transitional Justice Institute and is the only one of its kind in the UK and Ireland.  It is delivered by active researchers at both the Jordanstown and Magee campuses, on a full-time (one year) or part-time (two +years) basis, providing excellent flexibility in location and duration of study.  The programme will enable you to develop skills highly relevant to legal practice, and to policy, research and advocacy roles.

For detailed information on the LLM Program and application details, click here.

Hot off the press!  ACLU and CLS Release Report on “Modern Day Prisoners”

ACLU Image of Hands Behind Bars

By: American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia Legal Services

The report describes a counterproductive debt system that punishes people for their poverty while bringing little benefit to government or the public. At its worst, it results in poor people being locked up because they lack the money to pay off debts imposed by the legal system – creating a modern version of the despised debtors’ prison. The report provides profiles of individuals and recommends a series of reforms to bring fairness to the system.

The report focuses on the state’s system of Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs) – fees, fines, costs and restitution imposed by courts on top of criminal sentences.  The debts accrue interest at an exorbitant rate of 12% a year and can amount to a lifetime sentence for someone without the means to pay them off.  In some instances, the expense of running the system costs a county more than the debts it collects.

Continue reading here.

ABA Resolution Endorses a Human Right to Adequate Food

ABA Logo

By: Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal

The ABA House of Delegates has passed a resolution calling for increased funding and a reordering of priorities to fight hunger in the United States.

Resolution 107 urges governments to increase funding and implement strategies “to promote the human right to adequate food and nutrition for all.” The resolution also urges the U.S. government to make the realization of a human right to adequate food a principal objective of domestic policy.

Continue reading here.