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1
New York removes mental health questions from bar application
February 26, 2020 09:46:10 pm
Alina Rizvi
The New York state bar application will no longer ask questions inquiring into mental health, Chief Judge Janet DiFore announced Wednesday.
DiFore made the announcement during her State of the Judiciary address. The goal is to protect law students seeking admission to the New York bar who are dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Law students that are dealing with these issues are less likely to seek help because of the mental health questions on the bar application. A recent survey conducted by the American Bar Association found that 42 percent of law students believed they needed help with mental or emotional issues, but only half sought help. Forty-five percent of students believed that seeking help would pose a threat to bar admission.
One of the questions being removed asks, “do you currently have any condition or impairment including, but not limited to a mental, emotional, psychiatric, nervous or behavioral disorder or condition, or an alcohol, drug or other substance abuse condition or impairment or gambling addiction, which in any way impairs or limits your ability to practice law?”
New York becomes the eleventh state in the US to remove mental health questions on bar applications.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/02/new-york-removes-mental-health-questions-from-bar-application/

2
Germany Constitutional Court overturns ban on professionally-assisted suicide
Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that individuals have a right to a self-determined death. This ruling overturns a previous ban on professionally-assisted suicide.
Section 217 of the German Criminal Code previously provided punishments of up to three years of imprisonment or a fine to anyone who, with the intention to help another individual commit suicide, provided the opportunity through either personally providing or procuring the professional services. This provision was challenged by multiple groups and individuals, including associations offering suicide assistance, individuals with serious illnesses, physicians and lawyers.
The law was meant to protect “autonomy and life,” but the court found that it exceeds “the limits of what constitutes a legitimate means for protecting personal autonomy in the decision on ending one’s life where it no longer protects free decisions of the individual but renders such decisions impossible.” The court found that the law violated the constitution, and had to be declared void.
The court held that the right to professionally-assisted suicide is not limited to serious or incurable illnesses or to certain stages of life. It is guaranteed in all stages of life and condition. Individuals also have the right to seek assistance from third parties.
As the court stated:
This right includes the freedom to take one’s own life and, as the case may be, resort to assistance provided voluntarily by third parties for this purpose. Where, in the exercise of this right, an individual decides to end their own life, having reached this decision based on how they personally define quality of life and a meaningful existence, their decision must, in principle, be respected by state and society as an act of autonomous self-determination.
In ruling that § 217 was void, the court noted that recognizing the right to professionally-assisted suicide does not mean that legislation cannot take measures to prevent general suicide. The court also noted that this ruling does not ban legislators from regulating suicide assistance.

https://www.jurist.org/news/2020/02/germany-constitutional-court-overturns-ban-on-professionally-assisted-suicide/

3
Corporate Legal Job / legal Officer Bangladesh Bank
« on: Yesterday at 10:16:26 AM »
Click the attached file.

4
Latest developments in Law / Are Europe's rape laws letting women down?
« on: January 11, 2020, 10:56:45 AM »
Are Europe's rape laws letting women down?

Women across Europe have taken to the streets over the past year to demand their governments do more to protect them from sexual violence.

Their anger was fuelled by two high-profile Spanish cases, which have forced countries to question how they prosecute rape.

A minority of countries in Europe base their legal definition of rape on a lack of consent. In others, rape must involve some sort of violence or threat. But pressure is growing on this to change.
https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-europe-50976830/are-europe-s-rape-laws-letting-women-down

5
‘The’. It’s omnipresent; we can’t imagine English without it. But it’s not much to look at. It isn’t descriptive, evocative or inspiring. Technically, it’s meaningless. And yet this bland and innocuous-seeming word could be one of the most potent in the English language.
 ‘The’ tops the league tables of most frequently used words in English, accounting for 5% of every 100 words used. “‘The’ really is miles above everything else,” says Jonathan Culpeper, professor of linguistics at Lancaster University. But why is this? The answer is two-fold, according to the BBC Radio 4 programme Word of Mouth. George Zipf, a 20th-Century US linguist and philologist, expounded the principle of least effort. He predicted that short and simple words would be the most frequent – and he was right.
The second reason is that ‘the’ lies at the heart of English grammar, having a function rather than a meaning. Words are split into two categories: expressions with a semantic meaning and functional words like ‘the’, ‘to’, ‘for’, with a job to do. ‘The’ can function in multiple ways. This is typical, explains Gary Thoms, assistant professor in linguistics at New York University: “a super high-usage word will often develop a real flexibility”, with different subtle uses that make it hard to define. Helping us understand what is being referred to, ‘the’ makes sense of nouns as a subject or an object. So even someone with a rudimentary grasp of English can tell the difference between ‘I ate an apple’ and ‘I ate the apple’.

‘Scoring the goal’ seems more important than ‘scoring a goal’ (Credit: Alamy)
But although ‘the’ has no meaning in itself, “it seems to be able to do things in subtle and miraculous ways,” says Michael Rosen, poet and author. Consider the difference between ‘he scored a goal’ and ‘he scored the goal’. The inclusion of ‘the’ immediately signals something important about that goal. Perhaps it was the only one of the match? Or maybe it was the clincher that won the league? Context very often determines sense.
There are many exceptions regarding the use of the definite article, for example in relation to proper nouns. We wouldn’t expect someone to say ‘the Jonathan’ but it’s not incorrect to say ‘you’re not the Jonathan I thought you were’. And a football commentator might deliberately create a generic vibe by saying, ‘you’ve got the Lampards in midfield’ to mean players like Lampard.
The use of ‘the’ could have increased as trade and manufacture grew in the run-up to the industrial revolution, when we needed to be referential about things and processes. ‘The’ helped distinguish clearly and could act as a quantifier, for example, ‘the slab of butter’.
This could lead to a belief that ‘the’ is a workhorse of English; functional but boring. Yet Rosen rejects that view. While primary school children are taught to use ‘wow’ words, choosing ‘exclaimed’ rather than ‘said’, he doesn’t think any word has more or less ‘wow’ factor than any other; it all depends on how it’s used. “Power in language comes from context... ‘the’ can be a wow word,” he says.
This simplest of words can be used for dramatic effect. At the start of Hamlet, a guard’s utterance of ‘Long live the King’ is soon followed by the apparition of the ghost: ‘Looks it not like the King?’ Who, the audience wonders, does ‘the’ refer to? The living King or a dead King? This kind of ambiguity is the kind of ‘hook’ that writers use to make us quizzical, a bit uneasy even. “‘The’ is doing a lot of work here,” says Rosen.
Deeper meaning
‘The’ can even have philosophical implications. The Austrian philosopher Alexius Meinong said a denoting phrase like ‘the round square’ introduced that object; there was now such a thing. According to Meinong, the word itself created non-existent objects, arguing that there are objects that exist and ones that don’t – but they are all created by language. “‘The’ has a kind of magical property in philosophy,” says Barry C Smith, director of the Institute of Philosophy, University of London.

‘The’ adds substance to phrases like ‘the man in the Moon’, implying that he exists (Credit: Alamy)
The British philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote a paper in 1905 called On Denoting, all about the definite article. Russell put forward a theory of definite descriptions. He thought it intolerable that phrases like ‘the man in the Moon’ were used as though they actually existed. He wanted to revise the surface grammar of English, as it was misleading and “not a good guide to the logic of the language”, explains Smith. This topic has been argued about, in a philosophical context, ever since. “Despite the simplicity of the word,” observes Thoms, “it’s been evading definition in a very precise way for a long time.”
Lynne Murphy, professor of linguistics at the University of Sussex, spoke at the Boring Conference in 2019, an event celebrating topics that are mundane, ordinary and overlooked, but are revealed to be fascinating. She pointed out how strange it is that our most commonly used word is one that many of the world’s languages don’t have. And how amazing English speakers are for getting to grips with the myriad ways in which it’s used.
Scandinavian languages such as Danish or Norwegian and some Semitic languages like Hebrew or Arabic use an affix (or a short addition to the end of a word) to determine whether the speaker is referring to a particular object or using a more general term. Latvian or Indonesian deploy a demonstrative – words like ‘this’ and ‘that’ – to do the job of ‘the’. There’s another group of languages that don’t use any of those resources, such as Urdu or Japanese.
Function words are very specific to each language. So, someone who is a native Hindi or Russian speaker is going to have to think very differently when constructing a sentence in English. Murphy says that she has noticed, for instance, that sometimes her Chinese students hedge their bets and include ‘the’ where it is not required. Conversely, Smith describes Russian friends who are so unsure when to use ‘the’ that they sometimes leave a little pause: ‘I went into... bank. I picked up... pen.’ English speakers learning a language with no equivalent of ‘the’ also struggle and might overcompensate by using words like ‘this’ and ‘that’ instead.
Atlantic divide
Even within the language, there are subtle differences in how ‘the’ is used in British and American English, such as when talking about playing a musical instrument. An American might be more likely to say ‘I play guitar’ whereas a British person might opt for ‘I play the guitar’. But there are some instruments where both nationalities might happily omit ‘the’, such as ‘I play drums’. Equally the same person might interchangeably refer to their playing of any given instrument with or without the definite article – because both are correct and both make sense.

Americans are more likely to say ‘I play piano’, whereas a Brit would probably say ‘I play the piano’ (Credit: Alamy)
And yet, keeping with the musical vibe, there’s a subtle difference in meaning of ‘the’ in the phrases ‘I play the piano’ and ‘I clean the piano’. We instinctively understand the former to mean the piano playing is general and not restricted to one instrument, and yet in the latter we know that it is one specific piano that is being rendered spick and span.
Culpeper says ‘the’ occurs about a third less in spoken language. Though of course whether it is used more frequently in text or speech depends on the subject in question. A more personal, emotional topic might have fewer instances of ‘the’ than something more formal. ‘The’ appears most frequently in academic prose, offering a useful word when imparting information – whether it’s scientific papers, legal contracts or the news. Novels use ‘the’ least, partly because they have conversation embedded in them.
Deborah Tannen, a US linguist, has a hypothesis that men deal more in report and women more in rapport – this could explain why men use ‘the’ more often
According to Culpeper, men say ‘the’ significantly more frequently. Deborah Tannen, an American linguist, has a hypothesis that men deal more in report and women more in rapport – this could explain why men use ‘the’ more often. Depending on context and background, in more traditional power structures, a woman may also have been socialised not to take the voice of authority so might use ‘the’ less frequently. Though any such gender-based generalisations also depend on the nature of the topic being studied.
Those in higher status positions also use ‘the’ more – it can be a signal of their prestige and (self) importance. And when we talk about ‘the prime minister’ or ‘the president’ it gives more power and authority to that role. It can also give a concept credibility or push an agenda. Talking about ‘the greenhouse effect’ or ‘the migration problem’ makes those ideas definite and presupposes their existence.
‘The’ can be a “very volatile” word, says Murphy. Someone who refers to ‘the Americans’ versus simply ‘Americans’ is more likely to be critical of that particular nationality in some capacity. When people referred to ‘the Jews’ in the build-up to the Holocaust, it became othering and objectifying. According to Murphy, “‘The’ makes the group seem like it’s a large, uniform mass, rather than a diverse group of individuals.” It’s why Trump was criticised for using the word in that context during a 2016 US presidential debate.
Origins
We don’t know exactly where ‘the’ comes from – it doesn’t have a precise ancestor in Old English grammar. The Anglo Saxons didn’t say ‘the’, but had their own versions. These haven’t completely died out, according to historical linguist Laura Wright. In parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumberland there is a remnant of Old English inflective forms of the definite article – t’ (as in “going t’ pub”).
The letter y in terms like ‘ye olde tea shop’ is from the old rune Thorn, part of a writing system used across northern Europe for centuries. It’s only relatively recently, with the introduction of the Roman alphabet, that ‘th’ has come into being.
‘The’ deserves to be celebrated. The three-letter word punches well above its weight in terms of impact and breadth of contextual meaning. It can be political, it can be dramatic – it can even bring non-existent concepts into being.
http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20200109-is-this-the-most-powerful-word-in-the-english-language


6
The only way to fight antisemitism is solidarity and compassion – not division
Joshua Leifer
Hate attacks are proof that antisemitism is alive and well. But fearmongering and regressive policing are not the answer. As the year draws to a close, the air in Brooklyn feels heavy. A spate of antisemitic attacks on Orthodox Jews – at least nine in about a week – has left many in the borough’s Jewish communities feeling vulnerable and frightened. Another antisemitic attack on Saturday in the largely ultra-Orthodox suburb of Monsey, New York – in which a machete-wielding man wounded five people, one of them critically – further traumatized communities already reeling. And this comes only weeks after two assailants opened fire on a kosher grocery in Jersey City, killing Mindel Ferencz and Moshe Deutsch, both Hasidic Jews, and Miguel Douglas Rodriguez.

The period beginning with the October 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 Jews were killed as they prayed, has seen antisemitic violence of an unprecedented severity in the United States. But what makes the stabbing in Monsey, the shooting in Jersey City, and many of the attacks in Brooklyn different from the Pittsburgh and Poway, California, synagogue shootings is that the alleged perpetrators were not white supremacists; nor were they white.
Rightwing forces, both within the Jewish community and outside it, have cynically seized on this fact to attribute these attacks to “the left” or “intersectionalism.” Yet the alleged perpetrators of many of the recent attacks appear to have acted without any clear or coherent political ideology; furthermore, the right seems to believe the terms “black” and “left” are interchangeable.
Even worse, while the calls for a decisive, dramatic response to these attacks are understandable, some of the measures being proposed are a kind of collective punishment of communities of color – communities already suffering from racialized over-policing, mass incarceration, extra-judicial state violence, and the same tides of gentrification that are also forcing many ultra-Orthodox Jews to leave the city for cheaper housing in the suburbs.
Following the attacks, the New York City mayor, Bill De Blasio, has pledged to dramatically increase police patrols in both Jewish communities and communities of color. Some Orthodox Jewish politicians are even demanding that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declare a state of emergency and deploy the National Guard to protect Jewish neighborhoods. Conservative pundits are using the recent antisemitic violence to argue against stricter gun laws and criminal justice reforms like the end of cash bail. On Twitter, there are rumblings about the need for Jews to arm and form militia-style self-defense groups.
These responses epitomize the logic of fracture, which is one of the defining processes of the current political moment. The logic of fracture appears when the pain of victimhood leads to callousness or blindness to – or worse, pleasure in – the pain of others who are coded as adversaries; their humanity – their victimhood, too – is obscured by fear and suspicion.
The logic of fracture breaks society into hostile, frightened, mutually suspicious groups and subgroups. It reduces the horizons of empathy, understanding, and solidarity. It turns people who share the same spaces – neighborhoods, buildings, buses, trains – as well as the same interests – affordable housing, clean streets, a living wage – into enemies. Its endpoint is a dystopia of embittered, terrified, suffering communities armed against each other, fighting against a backdrop of ever-increasing immiseration.
There is a centripetal quality to fracture. It creates a cycle – antagonism, then aggression, then explosion – which then repeats, becoming more severe with each repetition.
Practicing progressive solidarity means resisting these impulses. The logic of solidarity is the exact opposite of the logic of fracture. Solidarity requires overcoming differences to find common cause. That’s what makes it powerful as a concept – and frightening to those in power, who rule in part by keeping ordinary people divided against one another.
Solidarity is almost never easy. It is often less immediately gratifying. It can feel like being left vulnerable in what already feels like a moment of great vulnerability. But it is required to resist the process of fracture. What will not resist the logic of fracture: deploying heavily militarized police or the National Guard to patrol the streets of Brooklyn; glorifying violence or identitarian machismo; rushing to stock up on assault weapons; or inciting more hatred and suspicion in the press.

The United States is, as anyone who reads the news can feel, deep in a process of fracture. The election of Donald Trump, whose methods of campaigning and governing exemplify the logic of fracture, is both a cause and a symptom. So, too, are the antisemitic attacks that have left Jewish communities in the New York metropolitan area, as well as around the country, feeling defenseless.
The current moment requires leadership – from politicians to faith and community leaders to journalists – willing to address the root causes of tensions between different racial and religious groups instead of exacerbating them. It requires a wideness of moral vision, a perspective that can recognize, from a place of pain and suffering, the pain and suffering of others. It requires, in other words, more solidarity.
Joshua Leifer is an associate editor at Dissent
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/30/antisemitism-attacks-monsey-new-york-joshua-leifer


7
Latest developments in Law / China launches new law to protect doctors
« on: December 31, 2019, 11:11:57 AM »
China launches new law to protect doctors
China has introduced a new law with the aim of preventing violence against medical workers.
The announcement comes days after a female doctor was stabbed to death at a Beijing hospital.
The law bans any organisation or individual from threatening or harming the personal safety or dignity of medical workers, according to state media.
It will take effect on 1 June next year.
Yang Wen was working at Beijing Civil Aviation General Hospital's emergency ward on 24 December when she was attacked by a man.
Chinese media claims he was related to a patient who was receiving treatment on the ward.
Zhao Ning, an official at the National Health Commission said: "We are deeply aggrieved and enraged by this incident, particularly as the relevant law was being deliberated."
Under the new law, those "disturbing the medical environment, or harming medical workers' safety and dignity" will be given administrative punishments such as detention or a fine. It will also punish people found illegally obtaining, using or disclosing people's private healthcare information.
It's not the first case of a death or violence in a Chinese hospital.
According to CGTN, there were at least 12 "medical incidents" involving violence and two medical workers were killed in 2018 alone.
A recent survey by Dingxiang Yuan, an online site for healthcare professionals, found 85% of doctors had experienced violence in their workplace.
The article went on to add: "Doctors are responsible for protecting society from diseases. Who protects doctors?"
An article in medical journal The Lancet claims there are many reasons why doctors in Chinese hospitals are under threat.
Poor funding can result in errors or breakdowns in communication between doctors and patients, while other factors include negative media reports about medical staff, unrealistic expectations and large healthcare bills for families on low incomes.
Media captionJohn Sudworth looks at the rise in attacks at Chinese hospitals
In October, a female doctor was fatally stabbed by a cancer patient at a hospital in Lanzhou.
In August 2018, a doctor at a Tianjin hospital was stabbed to death by three men.
A few months before, a doctor in Anhui province was stabbed to death following an argument with the husband of a patient.
Some hospitals have even resorted to teaching its medical staff self defence.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-50940827

8
Legal employability / Is stress good or bad? It’s actually both.
« on: December 15, 2019, 02:37:13 PM »
Like many emergency responders, Nicholas Groom is used to stress at work. He speaks quickly, with an urgency that seems appropriate for a paramedic. “We’re a bit of a weird group because we voluntarily go into situations that other people run away from,” says 29-year-old Groom, a trustee for the College of Paramedics who lives in Oxfordshire, England. “You’ve got to like stress and pressure to an extent.”

On one hand, the stress can be helpful. “I find that when attending a serious incident, having some stress helps my decision-making, because it helps to maintain a focus on the situation,” Groom says. “Having you ‘on your toes’ slightly helps to remain aware of changing circumstances around you.”

On the other hand, the work can be highly pressurised. “Too much stress causes what we call cognitive overload and then impairs your ability to make decisions because you’ve lost that situational awareness,” he adds.
https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20191212-is-stress-good-or-bad-its-both

9
The spectacle of Aung San Suu Kyi, a once-persecuted Nobel peace laureate now defending her country against allegations of genocide over its treatment of the Rohingya minority, has been one of bewildering irony.
In the years after she was released from house arrest in 2010, princes, presidents and prime ministers welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi with open arms into their own opulent homes.
The feel-good factor of rubbing shoulders with someone who had dedicated much of her adult life to the pursuit of democracy was irresistible.
Then, the grandeur of the Peace Palace in The Hague - a marble-floored monument to global harmony - would have been comfortable surroundings for Myanmar's Nobel Peace Prize winner. A native habitat, even.
But not now. There was no red carpet, welcoming committee or brass band.
Instead the light pouring through the stained glass of the Great Hall of Justice illuminated an often haunted-looking figure who had chosen to come and listen to descriptions of some of the most unimaginably gruesome acts. Acts said to have been committed in her country. On her watch.
Media captionWatch: Who are the Rohingya?
After two years on trial in the court of international public opinion, Aung San Suu Kyi was now trying to win over the 17 judges at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) - as she defended the same Myanmar military which had taken away her freedom for 15 years.
It was something she - and the rest of the world - surely never imagined would happen.
The cognitive dissonance of a faded beacon of universal human rights arguing against the horrific testimony of some of the 740,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees who had her fled her country pulsed through The Hague this week.
Media captionHow did this peace icon end up at a genocide trial?
I realised that she was taking her seat in court 28 years to the day after she had accepted her Nobel prize, in absentia. It was a quirk of history that defined the slow-motion transformation of Aung San Suu Kyi's global standing.
I will long remember certain images from this remarkable week.
There were the Rohingya survivors who'd travelled from the crushing bleakness of Cox's Bazar - the largest refugee camp in the world - to be guests in the court.
Every morning, they arrived in the same type of sparkling executive transport as Ms Suu Kyi: afforded the same comfort as the leader of the country accused of trying to exterminate their people. For these three representatives of their stateless community, the scales of justice had finally levelled, if only for a few hours.
Image copyright EPA Image caption There have been demonstrations in support of Aung San Suu Kyi outside the court
Then there was the face of Aung San Suu Kyi, possibly hearing for the first time in such brutal detail the crimes alleged to have been perpetrated by the Burmese Army in their clearance operation in Rakhine state in August 2017.
Such was the interest in Aung San Suu Kyi's appearance, they had to open a second room to contain the international media. There were rueful shakes of the head, gentle intakes of breath as lawyers for The Gambia read out graphic accounts from Rohingya survivors: pregnant women beaten to death, mass rape, children thrown into fires.
We watched Ms Suu Kyi's face - seemingly frozen at times - on a large television as she listened to the allegations against her Myanmar.
Aung San Suu Kyi may have sat alongside her legal team and a small Burmese delegation but she often cut a lonely figure. She is a leader who has alienated herself from former friends in the West and taken refuge in the powerful embrace of China, which continues to provide invaluable economic support and political protection in the UN Security Council.
Media captionThe Rohingya mark two years of exile
It is the certainty of a Chinese veto on any vote on Myanmar's alleged crimes that has blocked the most obvious path to justice for the Rohingya: a referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
I will remember the crowds outside court - both for and against Ms Suu Kyi. More than a hundred supporters had flown the 5,000 miles from Myanmar to wave banners and shout slogans supporting "Mother Suu".
I have no doubt the affection for her was genuine - this was no communist regime-style gathering where pure fear drives the chanting and nobody want to be first to stop applauding. In fact, they sang an old favourite which criticises the former military dictatorship - the apparatus of evil which truly instilled terror in people's hearts.
That said, there was an approved list of songs and a ban on waving flags of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Presumably, this was to avoid the impression the NLD was benefitting from her appearance in the Hague. But be in no doubt her defence of the nation will have given her a huge domestic boost ahead of next year's general election in Myanmar.
Media captionJonathan Head visits the Hla Poe Kaung transit camp, which is built on the site of two demolished Rohingya villages
I saw three photographs this week which felt significant. The first was the image of 10 murdered Rohingya men in a grave in the village of Inn Din, shown to the court. This was the massacre exposed by Reuters reporters Kyaw Soe Oo and Wa Lone. The journalistic world rewarded them with a Pulitzer Prize; Myanmar handed them more than 500 days in prison. Aung San Suu Kyi's legal team suggested it was a gratuitous and tasteless picture to show.
When it was the Nobel Peace Prize winner's turn to put something on screen she chose a snap of a smiling crowd at a football match in Maungdaw township in Rakhine State. Buddhists and Muslims united, shoulder to shoulder. It felt a strange, naive and weak response to the Inn Din photo.
The third and final photograph was sent to me by a Burmese colleague in Yangon. I received it just as Aung San Suu Kyi was addressing the court for the final time. It showed a tank on the street.
Media captionWatch: Nick Beake gets a rare look at Myanmar's military parade
I froze. Was this a military coup? An attempt by the still-powerful generals to steal back the country while the democratically elected leader was defending their troops to the world? It turned out the tanks were apparently being transported to a new base but it caused hearts to race in a country whose transition to democracy is still precarious.
Aung San Suu Kyi's decision to come here ensured this would always become a massive spectacle and one which marked the end of any lingering hope in the West that she would distance herself from the army she doesn't control.
After two years of blistering international criticism for failing to use her moral authority to stand up for the Rohingya, she is now the permanent face of the legal defence of some of the worst abuses imaginable.
The generals, safe for now and far from the winter chill of The Hague, have watched a Nobel Peace Prize winner trying, in many people's eyes, to defend the indefensible. They wouldn't have it any other way.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-50770961

10
Latest developments in Law / How small law firms can innovate
« on: October 17, 2019, 12:33:51 PM »
Innovation does not always require spending enormous amounts of money or investing in high-end tech products, writes Marianne Marchesi.

The legal industry is currently going through perhaps one of the most intense times of disruption. As a small law firm, it can be easy to think that the ability to innovate and capitalise on this disruption is restricted to the “top end” of town – where access to resources, funding and technology is far greater.

However, innovation does not always mean spending huge sums of money, nor does it necessarily equate to developing the latest high-tech products. The beauty of being a small law firm is the agility that comes along with this, and therefore the accessibility to innovation in its many forms. Below are some areas where I believe small law firms can capitalise on innovation, as well as some action points.

Business models

Small law firms have the unique opportunity to reinvent their business models and flip the traditional way of legal practice on its head.

If we look at some of the key elements of a business model, such as value proposition and revenue streams, these are areas that are in themselves ripe for disruption. Pricing, for example, is a key area in which small law firms have a significant advantage in being able to innovate compared to more traditional legal firms. Alternative pricing models such as fixed fees and retainers are proving to be an especially effective way of standing out in the market.

Innovating your business model is ultimately about changing the way that we think about these key elements, and focusing on maximising value and maximising the services that we’re providing to our clients.

Some questions to consider when innovating your business model include:

1. Is your current business model working, i.e. what client problem does it solve?
2. How does it make money for you?
3. How does it make life easier for you and your clients?

Work culture

The legal industry is affected by a number of factors that can impact on mental health – such as billable hour targets, lack of flexible working styles and a general reluctance to speak about health issues.

Again, largely in part due to the agility enjoyed by small law firms, the possibilities in reinventing your work culture are endless. Some of the initiatives that I’ve seen small law firms implement, and that Legalite itself has implemented, include genuinely flexible work policies, dog-friendly offices and health and wellbeing seminars.

A key way to innovate your work culture is to involve your team in decision-making. The diversity of ideas, and feeling of empowerment that comes with contributing to a firm’s work culture, can in itself spur ideas.

Speak to your team to come up with three ideas to improve your work culture.

Services

Innovation in the legal industry is often about making services accessible. Coupled with alternative pricing models, small law firms can deliver legal services in ways which have been completely unheard of until recently.

For example, at Legalite we introduced a new service called “Legalite Counsel”. This offers clients bespoke in-house solutions by way of an outsourced legal counsel service on a retainer basis. Services such as these allow lawyers to truly act as an extension of their clients’ teams and deliver strategic advice to complement legal services.

The emphasis on online legal services also seems to be growing. There are numerous platforms available now which don’t require huge upfront costs and are themselves quite accessible.

Pick one service stream. How might you deliver this differently?

Marketing

Lastly, small law firms (and in particular, NewLaw firms) aren’t traditional, so it doesn’t make sense to rely on traditional marketing. In most cases, traditional marketing is expensive and even ignored by potential customers.

It’s often said that customers do business with people they know, like and trust. So, innovating in marketing can often be a matter of developing a rapport with your potential clients. For example, these days, social media is one of the biggest sources of information for customers, and there is ample opportunity to truly stand out as a law firm on social media.

Adding value to your clients can also be a simple but effective way of marketing. For instance, presenting on your area of expertise through webinars or thought leadership, or taking steps to follow up with clients long after a matter is done.

What is one thing you can do in the next week to add value to your clients?
https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/sme-law/26733-how-small-law-firms-can-innovate

11
Without encryption, we will lose all privacy. This is our new battleground

Edward Snowden
The US, UK and Australia are taking on Facebook in a bid to undermine the only method that protects our personal information
‘If internet traffic is unencrypted, any government, company, or criminal that happens to notice it can – and, in fact, does – steal a copy of it, secretly recording your information for ever.’ Photograph: Kacper Pempel/Reuters
In every country of the world, the security of computers keeps the lights on, the shelves stocked, the dams closed, and transportation running. For more than half a decade, the vulnerability of our computers and computer networks has been ranked the number one risk in the US Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment – that’s higher than terrorism, higher than war. Your bank balance, the local hospital’s equipment, and the 2020 US presidential election, among many, many other things, all depend on computer safety.
And yet, in the midst of the greatest computer security crisis in history, the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world’s information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe.
In the simplest terms, encryption is a method of protecting information, the primary way to keep digital communications safe. Every email you write, every keyword you type into a search box – every embarrassing thing you do online – is transmitted across an increasingly hostile internet. Earlier this month the US, alongside the UK and Australia, called on Facebook to create a “backdoor”, or fatal flaw, into its encrypted messaging apps, which would allow anyone with the key to that backdoor unlimited access to private communications. So far, Facebook has resisted this.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/15/encryption-lose-privacy-us-uk-australia-facebook

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Child poverty, domestic violence and mental health will be the priorities in New Zealand’s “wellbeing budget”, the finance minister has announced, with the nation declaring itself the first in the world to measure success by its people’s wellbeing.

On Tuesday Grant Robertson said that despite New Zealand’s “rockstar” economy many New Zealanders were being left behind, with home ownership at a 60-year low, the suicide rate climbing and homelessness and food aid grants on the rise.

According to predictions by the International Monetary Fund, the New Zealand economy is expected to grow at around 2.5 % in 2019 and 2.9% in 2020. But Robertson emphasised many New Zealanders were not benefitting in their daily lives.

Although comparable countries such as the UK have begun to measure the national rate of wellbeing, New Zealand is the first western country to design its entire budget around wellbeing priorities and instruct its ministries to design policies to improve wellbeing.
New Zealand 'people's' budget sees Ardern put billions more into health and education
Read more

“Sure, we had – and have – GDP growth rates that many other countries around the world envied, but for many New Zealanders, this GDP growth had not translated into higher living standards or better opportunities,” Robertson said. “How could we be a rockstar, they asked, with homelessness, child poverty and inequality on the rise?”

The 2019 budget will be handed down on 30 May.

“For me, wellbeing means people living lives of purpose, balance and meaning to them, and having the capabilities to do so,” said Robertson.

“This gap between rhetoric and reality, between haves and have-nots, between the elites and the people, has been exploited by populists around the globe.”

Robertson cited a cultural rehabilitation program for Māori high-security prisoners, aimed at reducing high rates of recidivism and reoffending, as the kind of project that would be prioritised in the budget.

The opposition National party has criticised the budget as being out of touch with New Zealanders’ values, and said what Kiwis really needed to improve their lives was better infrastructure and public services.

“According to this framework the government’s put in place, making a new friend is almost twice as valuable as not having to go to the emergency department,” said the National party’s spokeswoman on finance, Amy Adams, earlier in the year.

“Or getting on better with your neighbours is twice as valuable as avoiding diabetes – I just think it starts to become a nonsense,”

The Kingdom of Bhutan kickstarted the global wellbeing focus with the introduction of the Gross National Happiness Index in 2008, measuring things such as psychological health, living standards, community vitality and environmental and cultural resilience to inform government policy making.

But despite the index, the country remains a “least developed country” and the unemployment rate is rising. Bhutan also ranks 96 spots below the world’s happiest country, Finland, as defined by the UN in its annual World Happiness Report.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/14/new-zealands-world-first-wellbeing-budget-to-focus-on-poverty-and-mental-health

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University of Asia Pacific Journal of Law and Policy (ISSN 2518-024) (UAPJLP), Volume-4 Issue-1

Dear Sir/ Madam,

We are pleased to inform you that the Department of Law and Human Rights, University of Asia Pacific (UAP) is going to publish volume # 4 issue # 1 of the University of Asia Pacific Journal of Law and Policy (ISSN 2518-024) (UAPJLP). Original research based articles in law and policy areas are invited for publication in the upcoming issue. Please submit your manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief Email: UAPJLP@UAP-BD.EDU within July 31, 2019.   For details, you may visit the following links:

 

1. Guidelines for submission: http://uap-bd.edu/lhr/journal/submission-guidelines/

2. Latest Issue: http://uap-bd.edu/lhr/journal/volume-3-issue-1/

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dr. Chowdhury Ishrak Ahmed Siddiky

Editor-in Chief, UAPJLP

University of Asia Pacific

Dhaka- Bangladesh

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Bangladesh Taxes Bar Association / Trainee form
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