'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

[C]apital punishment today is 'reasonably well adapted to the purposes that it serves, but deterrent crime control and retributive justice are not prominent among them.' Instead, the death penalty promotes 'gratifications,' of 'professional and political users, of the mass media, and of its public audience.' ... [C]apital punishment derives 'its emotional power, its popular interest, and its perennial appeal' from five types of 'death penalty discourse.' They are: (1) political exploitation of the gap between the Furman decision and popular opinion; (2) adversarial legal proceedings featuring cultural tensions between capital punishment and liberal humanism; (3) the political association of capital punishment with larger political and cultural issues, such as civil rights, states’ rights, and crime control; (4) demands for revenge; and (5) the emotional power of imagining killing and death. ... '[T]he American death penalty has been transformed from a penal instrument that puts persons to death to a peculiar institution that puts death into discourse for political and cultural purposes.'

-- Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens (right, credit), summarizing and quoting the conclusions drawn by New York University Professor David Garland in his just-published book, Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition.
In the same review, Stevens restated his own conclusion, which he had announced in his opinion in Baze v. Rees (2008), that
the death penalty represents 'the pointless and needless extinction of life with only marginal contributions to any discernible social or public purposes.'

On December 1

On this day in ...
... 2009, the U.S. Senate voted 97-0 to confirm the 1st Vietnamese American federal judge appointed with life tenure pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Serving since then as a U.S. District Judge for the Central District of California is Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc Nguyen (left). Nguyen was born in 1965 in Dalat, in what was then South Vietnam. When that country was defeated in 1975, she came with her family to the United States. Following undergraduate and law studies at Occidental College and UCLA, respectively, she held a number of posts, including Deputy Chief of the General Crimes Division for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California, and Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

(Prior December 1 posts are here, here, and here.)

Wald on WikiLeaks

(Honored to welcome back alumna Patricia M. Wald, former federal and international judge, and former member of Presidential commission on U.S. intelligence, who contributes her thoughts on the unauthorized WikiLeaks release of U.S. diplomatic cables and military documents, some of which have been published in The New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais, and other media)

I think that freelancers do have some duty not to do things that will inevitably result in making any rational course of foreign relations more difficult.
Though it may be difficult to draw a precise line, I do see a difference between publishing the Pentagon Papers (after the fact), which disclosed the perfidy of the Vietnam War, and just dumping all sorts of personal calumny about foreign leaders – though part of these “dumps” may well have been motivated, like the Pentagon Papers, to show the futility of our sojourn in Afghanistan. (It seems almost impossible that the dumps aren’t violative of all sorts of laws.)
The episode also illustrates how our courtship with technology can be ruinous, by making it so easy to gain access to and disseminate so much classified material through young and immature intelligence operators.

Civil War Navy Daybook Now Online

The staff of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum published a Civil War Navy 150 Special Edition for The Daybook, its quarterly publication of local naval history.  This issue serves a primer for the events and facts concerning the war between the U.S. Navy and the C.S. Navy.  A PDF version of the issue can be downloaded here.  Print copies are still available. Requests for print copies can be made to The Daybook editor at gordon.b.calhoun@navy.mil

Guest Blogger: Yaël Ronen

It's IntLawGrrls' great pleasure to welcome Dr. Yaël Ronen (left) as today's guest blogger.
Yaël is an Assistant Professor of Public International law at Sha’arei Mishpat College in Hod HaSharon, Israel. She completed her PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2006, and the revised and updated version of her dissertation, Transition from Illegal Regimes under International Law, will be published by Cambridge University Press in May 2011.
In a 2-part guest series that begins today, Yaël recaps the history of international negotiations over Iran's nuclear program (here), then evaluates proposals for reform of the treaty regime under which they've been conducted (here). Her analysis derives from her just-published book, The Iran Nuclear Issue.
Yaël 's areas of expertise also include statehood and territorial status, humanitarian law, international human rights law and international criminal law. Topics of particular interest, as evident from Yaël's publication list, include the intersection between these areas of law, arising in issues such as whether the International Criminal Court has jurisdiction over acts committed in the Gaza Strip.
Yaël was recently invited as an expert contributor to the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project at UCLA School of Law, Human Rights and International Criminal Law Online Forum.
Prior to embarking on an academic career, Yaël served in the Israeli foreign service, both as a lawyer, representing Israel in the United Nations' Sixth Committee and before various human rights treaty bodies, and as a political officer, including a 2-year post in New Delhi, India.
She's also the academic editor of the Israel Law Review, which focuses on scholarship in the fields of human rights, public law and international law and examines the application of legal norms under conditions of conflict and political uncertainty. She welcomes submissions!
She dedicates her contribution to Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1812–1893). Of Garrett Anderson (below right), sister of Millicent Garrett Fawcett (prior IntLawGrrls post), Yaël writes:

She was the first woman to successfully complete the medical qualifying exams in Great Britain, the first woman physician in Great Britain, an advocate of women's suffrage and women's opportunities in higher education, and first woman mayor in England.
Garrett Anderson’s life is an inspiration not only because she repeatedly broke through gendered glass ceilings; but because she seemed to have managed to be not only ‘anything’, but ‘everything’: she was a professional, an activist, and a dedicated family-person. How did she do it all?

Garrett Anderson joins other IntLawGrrls transnational foremothers in the list just below the "visiting from..." map in our righthand column.
Heartfelt welcome!

Työpajassa tehtyä

Olin viikonloppuna tutustumassa Kameraseurojen liiton valokuvatyöpajaan Hangossa. Tutustumisen ohella päädyin opettamaan kahdelle henkilölle salamakuvauksen alkeita. Pirkko ja Tuula olivatkin hyviä oppilaita, koska halu oppia uutta oli kova ja he vieläpä kuuntelivat huolella mitä selitin. Ainakin osa puheestani taisi mennä jakeluun, sillä saimme aikaan ihan kelpo kuvia, joista tässä pari näytettä. Ei ollenkaan hullumpaa, kun muistaa, että kummallakaan ei ollut aikaisempaa kokemusta salamavalon käytöstä.
Yllä olevassa kuvassa täydensimme salamalla puiden välistä pilkistävää auringonvaloa. Valona on yksi Nikon SB-900 sateenvarjosta heijastettuna.
Tässä harjoittelimme vasten aurinkoa kuvaamista ja varjopuolen valaisua salamalla. Tässä valona on kaksi SB-900 salamaa heijastettuna sateenvarjosta. Kahdella salamalla saimme aukon enemmän valoa yhteen salamaan verrattuna. Tässä on käytössä Nikonin langaton nopean valotusajan salamatäsmäys, jota voi ohjata kameran yhdysrakenteisella salamalla toisin kuin joillakin muilla kameramerkeillä.

Negotiating Iran’s nuclear activities

(My thanks to IntLawGrrls for the opportunity to contribute a 2-part series of guest posts. Part 1 is below)

The recent announcement that Iran is willing to resume negotiations over its nuclear activities presents an opportunity to recap the development of the conflict over this issue, which erupted over eight years ago.
This conflict and its legal implications are considered in my book The Iran Nuclear Issue (Hart Publishing, 2010), on which this series of guest posts draws. In addition to a legal analysis, the book contains a detailed chronology and the texts of documents which underlie the evolution of the conflict.
In August 2002, an Iranian opposition group revealed the existence of two previously undisclosed nuclear facilities under construction in Iran.
In December 2002, the United States published satellite pictures of the two facilities, as proof of its long-held suspicions that Iran was pursuing both weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile capabilities.
Iran reacted by stating repeatedly that it was committed to the prevailing international legal regimes on weapons of mass destruction, including the 1968 Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Iran contended that its commitment derived not merely from its contractual obligations but, more importantly, from its religious convictions and historical experience. Iran maintained that its programme, which was aimed at mastering the complete fuel cycle, was intended solely to support a civilian nuclear energy programme. It explained that it had operated clandestinely because of obstructions, by the United States and other countries, to its overt activities.
Suspicion nonetheless arose and increased among various states, and the matter was taken up by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which began an intensive inspection and verification operation in Iran. The Agency found that Iran had made substantial efforts over the previous two decades to master an independent nuclear fuel cycle, and was carrying out research and development activities related to the treatment, storage and disposal of radioactive waste.
In June 2003, and several times subsequently, the Atomic Energy Agency declared that Iran had failed to comply with obligations under its bilateral Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement.
Calls ensued, on the one hand, to take decisive measures against Iran, including referral to the U.N. Security Council, and on the other hand, to give Iran a chance to rectify its conduct.
Amid this debate, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany -- the EU3 -- undertook to negotiate directly with Iran. In October 2003, the two sides issued the Tehran Statement, in which Iran agreed to cooperate fully with the Atomic Energy Agency in order to settle all outstanding issues and to correct any failures to comply with its Safeguards Agreement. The EU3, meanwhile, informed Iran that if it complied with its commitments, the EU3 would not seek referral of Iran’s dossier to the Security Council.
In mid-2004, Iran resumed work on uranium conversion.
To defuse the crisis that followed, the EU3 engaged again in negotiations with Iran; overall, however, those negotiations did not result in any change of policy. Both sides expressed disappointment with what each deemed the other’s broken promises, procrastination, and bad faith.
The EU3 consequently aligned with the United States, which had already been pressing the International Atomic Energy Agency Board of Governors to refer the Iranian issue to the Security Council. This Board urged Iran to re-establish full, Agency-verified suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development.
In January 2006, Iran began to enrich uranium in centrifuges at its Natanz plant. In reaction, the Agency's Board of Governors referred the Iran dossier to the Security Council, which has since adopted six resolutions under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. These resolutions imposed enforcement measures on Iran until it complied with the previous demands of the Security Council and the requests of the Board of Governors. The resolutions further added the suspension of work on all heavy-water-related projects, including the construction of the heavy-water research reactor in Arak (left). (photo credit) Enforcement measures include:
► A trade embargo on items and technologies which could contribute to the activities Iran was ordered to suspend; and
► A travel notification requirement and asset freeze with respect to designated individuals and entities involved in the activities Iran was ordered to suspend.
In August 2007, the Agency Secretariat and Iran negotiated a work plan to address a limited number of issues regarding Iran’s past nuclear programme. Outstanding issues have largely been addressed. But the Agency is still requesting that Iran:
► Account for and explain a series of documents found in its possession which point to nuclear weapons-related research; and
► Respond fully to queries on weapons studies that Iran had allegedly conducted. Iran denies the existence of any such studies.
These outstanding issues -- in addition to Iran’s continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment and construction of the heavy-water reactor and adhere to the Additional Protocol -- form the basis upon which the Security Council maintains the Iran dossier and pursues sanctions against Iran.
Iran, however, argues that the work plan issues have been resolved satisfactorily. It further argues that even under the Security Council’s own terms, there is no basis for continuing the sanctions regime or for maintaining the Iran case before the Security Council. Iran claims that nothing short of its total capitulation will satisfy the Western powers, and regards this as extortion.
Others accuse Iran of being the one engaging in blackmail, in its demand for economic assistance permitted under Articles III and IV of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and for the release of sanctions as conditions for returning to the path of non-proliferation. Western states argue that, given Iran’s past record of concealment and its overall policy, Iran cannot benefit from the doubt as to its ultimate goal. It seems that any stance adopted by Iran which falls short of complete acquiescence is regarded not only as an act of defiance but also as an indication that Iran has something to hide.

(Tomorrow, Part 2: Implications of this negotiating history)

On November 30

On this day in ...
... 1898, Dr. Marjorie M. Whiteman was born in Liberty Township in southern Ohio. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University, she earned her LL.B. and J.S.D. degrees from Yale. Her lifelong "distinguished career at the Department of State" included advising Eleanor Roosevelt from 1945 to 1951, when the former 1st Lady was the U.S. Representative to the U.N. General Assembly and chair of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. (credit for photo of Whiteman, 2d from right, along with 3 Commission members; from left, Charles Malik of Lebanon, René Cassin of France, and Roosevelt) Whiteman also served as advisor to 10 different Secretaries of State. According to this website,
Whiteman's greatest contribution to international law was the completion of a Digest of International Law in 1969. This fifteen-volume work continues to serve as a leading resource on international law for government officials and scholars.
In 1985, she became the 2d woman to receive the Manley O. Hudson Medal, awarded by the American Society of International Law for scholarship and achievement in international law. Whiteman died at her Liberty Township home a year later.

(Prior November 30 posts are here, here, and here.)

Incoming Foreign Relations chair

The arrival in January of the 112th Congress is slated to bring the 1st woman chair of the Foreign Relations Committee of either house of Congress.*
Moving from ranking minority member to chair will be U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (left).
In the United States since age 7, when her family fled her birthplace, Cuba, Ros-Lehtinen has served in Congress since 1989. As described by the Associated Press, her South Florida district "includes parts of Miami's Little Havana and the tourist-dependent and gay friendly Miami Beach and Florida Keys." That combination makes for the occasional unexpected position -- unlike many Republicans, she voted to repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
On many other issues, however, Ros-Lehtinen is likely to be a thorn in the side of policies favored by the administration of President Barack Obama. Examples of expected points of contention:
► She'll "resist any White House attempts to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."
► She "may try to chip away at the president's executive order" -- about which we've posted -- "allowing foreign aid for international groups that provide information about abortion services."
► She'd "like U.S. contributions to the U.N. to be voluntary until the U.S. creates an office to audit U.N. activities for transparency and eliminate waste." She's particularly critical of the U.N. Human Rights Council, whose members include countries like China, Saudia Arabia -- and the country with which she's expected to oppose any U.S. dialogue, Cuba. _____________________________

* A far cry from the "leadership" posts women tended to hold not so long ago -- more than 1 Congresswoman was chair of the House Beauty Shop Committee.

All-woman bench

Watched an excerpt of opening day at the Bemba trial (prior post), available in French on the International Criminal Court's YouTube channel.
Couldn't miss the rare all-woman Trial Chamber.
Presiding is Judge Sylvia Steiner (far right), who was a national judge in Brazil before she joined the ICC in 2003.
Also on the panel are Judges Joyce Aluoch (above, middle), who was a Justice on the Court of Appeal of Kenya before her 2003 election to the ICC, and Kuniko Ozaki (right) of Japan, who had been a law professor, a government official, and a U.N. officer before joining the ICC in January of this year.

On November 29

On this day in ...
... 1781, a 3-day massacre began when crewmembers tossed 54 African persons held in slavery out of the ship Zong and into the Atlantic Ocean. More than 120 persons would perish in this manner -- undertaken by the ship's captain, who aimed to file an insurance claim for the at-sea loss. "Another ten, in a display of defiance at the inhumanity of the slavers, threw themselves overboard and, in the words of a contemporary account, 'leaping into the sea, felt a momentary triumph in the embrace of death.'" (credit for photo of commemorative plaque, unveiled in 2007 in Jamaica) The insurance claim would be denied, but no one would be prosecuted in the incident; however, it provoked antislavery abolitionists to greater action.

(Prior November 29 posts are here, here, and here.)

Päivän maisemat

Olin käymässä Hangossa, josta lisää alkavalla viikolla, ja ajelin ennen kotiinlähtöäni rannalle näpsimään kuvia. Yllättäen rannalla olikin jäätävä viima, enkä jaksanut kauaa viihtyä, mutta ohessa kuitenkin kaksi kauniin talvipäivän kuvaa. Kuvasin ihan turistina rannalla seisten 30 metrin päässä parkkipaikasta.
Canon 60D, 17 - 85 mm, f/8, 1/250 s. ja ISO 100.
Pentax K-5, 18 - 55 mm, f/8, 1/640 s. ja ISO 100.

Questions constitutionnelles

Imagine if ex-Presidents were automatic members of the U.S. Supreme Court.
If, that is:
John Adams had been on the Court that decided Marbury v. Madison, or
George W. Bush were sitting now, while the Court continues to resolve cases involving post-9/11 policies?
Even ad hoc recusal might seem insufficient to relieve the Court of an unwelcome appearance of potential partiality.
Yet that is the situation in France.
As of right, former Presidents -- today, Valéry Giscard D'Estaing and Jacques Chirac -- serve on the Conseil constitutionnel. Serving along with them are 2 women and 7 additional men, each of whom owes nomination, to a 9-year term, to France's President or to a president of a house of parliament.
Le Monde's just raised questions about that arrangement, suggesting that it may be "obsolete." The Paris-based newspaper also is questioning the absence of any requirement that Conseil members satisfy some standard of judicial competence.
A couple developments have prompted these new questions about the 52-year-old institution:
►1 ex officio member, ex-Président Chirac, remains dogged by a range of legal problems (and see here), some of which were present even during his executive tenure.
► The Conseil is a "constitutional court" now more than ever. As IntLawGrrl Naomi Norberg then posted, it just acquired a judicial review power approaching that which its U.S. counterpart claimed in Marbury: consideration of a citizen's after-the-fact claim of constitutional violation. Since the change took effect in March, the Conseil's constitutional docket has mushroomed. Among the 1st uses of its new power, as Naomi also posted, was a September decision invalidating reforms pushed by the current Président, Nicolas Sarkozy, and enacted, of course, by the parliament.
Time will tell if Le Monde's questions gain traction.

On November 28

On this day in ...
... 1994, in what the BBC called "a blow for Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland" (left), voters for a 2d time rejected Norwegian membership in the European Union. Turnout was high -- 80% -- and the margin of victory was nearly 5 percentage points. After the 1st loss, she had resigned; this time she stayed on, waiting another 2 years before resigning as Norway's leader. Thereafter, from 1998 to 2003, Dr. Brundtland, a physician, was the Director-General of the World Health Organization. Norway remains outside the EU to this day.

(Prior November 28 posts are here, here, and here.)

CWL--Remembrance Day, Gettysburg, 2010

November 20, 2010, Remembrance Day, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Lieutenant Nick Griffey and Color Sargent Rea Andrew Redd [Civil War Librarian]. Taken immediately after the Remembrance Day Parade and immediate before the Ninth Pennsylvania Reserves, Company A, forms a column to march from Ziegler's Grove to the south side of Little Round Top where the Ninth's Monument is located.

New In The [E]Mail-Civil War Campaigner Volume 1 Number 4

Just in time for Thanksgiving! One of the hightlights of 2010 is the arrival of Civil War Campaigner magazine. Much like Civil War Historian, which is no longer published, CWC focuses on textiles, camplife and campcraft, campaign style reenactments and preservation news.

Issue four examines Federal issue blankets immediate before and during the war, an infantry company's paperwork, civilian wheelcaps and bonnets construction, the Army of the Potomac's Iron Brigade, the work of the Civil War Preservation Trust, and a the efforts of various coalitions in the past and present to save the battlefields around Richmond, Virginia.

The magazine is highly illustrated with photographs and the design is well managed. Without care, it could easily fall into a 'scrapbook' or 'fanzine' category. But with clear and concise writing, campaign-centered topics, CWC is many steps above publications that are generated with the main idea of 'let's make money off of reenactors.'

CWC is delivered by email but not as an attachment. The magazine is electronically hosted by Exact Editions. The software is easy to handle and the contents of the magazine may be read online or printed in part or the entire 90+ pages. With a subscriptions being offered for under $20 this five times a year publication is reasonably priced.

Black Women Teaching International Law (IV)

Back in the Spring I began posting ad hoc lists of Black women who teach international, comparative, foreign, immigration, refugee, and asylum law at United States law schools in response to a friend’s inquiry. Part of IntLawGrrls “Experts at Law” series, the earlier posts can be found here.
African-American, African, and African-descended women have made important strides in all aspects of internationalism since the days of the international foremothers depicted in IntLawGrrls' pages. Some early examples appear in A Retrospective: Blacks in U.S. Foreign Policy, edited by yours truly, IntLawGrrl Hope Lewis (TransAfrica Forum, 1987) (a historical photo essay available for download here and here).
The list is growing, and, one hopes, will continue to do so as a result of increasing attention to diversity in hiring, course assignment, and promotion practices as well as growing African-American interest in international law. See Professor Henry J. Richardson, III’s recent book analyzing the early history of such links, The Origins of African-American Interests in International Law (Carolina Academic Press, 2008).
Thanks to colleagues far and wide for their suggestions.
Jena Martin Amerson (left), Associate Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law (International Business Transactions)
Joyce A. Hughes (above right), Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law (Immigration Law, Refugees and Asylum Law). In 1971, Professor Hughes became the first African-American woman appointed to a tenure-track position at a majority law school, the University of Minnesota School of Law.
Judith A.M. Scully (right), Professor of Law, West Virginia University School of Law (International Human Rights Seminar: South Africa)

On November 27

On this day in ...
... 1981, Lotte Lenya (right) died from cancer in New York City, 83 years after she'd been born in Vienna, Austria, to working-class parents who'd named her Karoline Wilhelmine Charlotte Blamauer. After moving to Zurich as a teen-aged student, she took her 1st entertainment job and adopted the stage name that would stay with her for life. (photo credit) By 1921, Lenya was in Berlin, where eventually she created the role of Jenny Diver at the premiere performance of the play known in English as The Threepenny Opera, by Bertold Brecht and Lenya's husband, Kurt Weill. After World War II, which Lenya spent in Paris performing inter alia for the Voice of America, Lenya launched a Broadway and film career that included memorable turns as the Russian Colonel Rosa Klebb, a SPECTRE agent who battled James Bond.

(Prior November 27 posts are here, here, and here.)

Raphael Semmes Wins Week 5 Poll; Poll 6 Posted

Last month, the CWN 150 announced that it will begin a poll to decide who was the greatest naval officer of the Civil War. The polls will stretch over a few months, ultimately with a showdown between Union and Confederate officers. This past week, we highlighted our first poll with Confederate naval officers: Raphael Semmes, Josiah Tattnal, French Forrest, and Duncan Ingraham. After a week of voting, Raphael Semmes won decisively with 12 votes.We will be posting the second round of Confederate naval officers today: James Bullock, Sidney S. Lee, George Dixon, and Thomas Lockwood. Please vote, and encourage others to! Reproduced is Raphael Semmes' brief biography from the Naval History and Heritage Command:

Raphael Semmes was born in Charles County, Maryland, on 27 September 1809. Entering the Navy as a Midshipman in 1826, he subsequently studied law and was admitted to the bar while remaining in the service. During the Mexican War, he commanded the brig USS Somers in the Gulf of Mexico. She was lost in a storm off Vera Cruz in December 1846, but Semmes was commended for his actions in that incident. While on extended leave after the war, he practiced law in Mobile, Alabama. Promoted to the rank of Commander in 1855, Semmes was assigned to Lighthouse duties until 1861, when Alabama's secession from the Union prompted him to resign from the U.S. Navy and adhere to the Confederacy.

Appointed a Commander in the Confederate Navy in April 1861, Raphael Semmes was sent to New Orleans to convert a steamer into the cruiser CSS Sumter. He ran her through the Federal blockade in June 1861 and began a career of commerce raiding that is without equal in American naval history. During Sumter's six months' operations in the West Indies and the Atlantic, he captured eighteen merchant vessels and skillfully eluded pursuing Union warships. With his ship badly in need of overhaul, he brought her to Gibraltar in January 1862 and laid her up when the arrival of Federal cruisers made a return to sea impossible.

After taking himself and many of his officers to England, Semmes was promoted to the rank of Captain and given command of the newly-built cruiser CSS Alabama. From August 1862 until June 1864, Semmes took his ship through the Atlantic, into the Gulf of Mexico, around the Cape of Good Hope and into the East Indies, capturing some sixty merchantmen and sinking one Federal warship, USS Hatteras. At the end of her long cruise, Alabama was blockaded at Cherbourg, France, while seeking repairs. On 19 June 1864, Semmes took her to sea to fight the Union cruiser USS Kearsarge and was wounded when she was sunk in action. Rescued by the British yacht Dearhound, he went to England, recovered and made his way back to the Confederacy.

Semmes was promoted to Rear Admiral in February 1865 and commanded the James River Squadron during the last months of the Civil War. When the fall of Richmond, Virginia, forced the destruction of his ships, he was made a Brigadier General and led his sailors as an infantry force. Briefly imprisoned after the conflict, he worked as a teacher and newspaper editor until returning to Mobile, where he pursued a legal career. Raphael Semmes died on 30 August 1877.

Building Barricades to Protection

This week, Israel began building a $372 million, 155-mile barrier, including electric fencing and surveillance technology, along its border with Egypt.
As other routes for African migrants (such as the sea route between Libya and Italy) have been blocked, the numbers of migrants crossing the border from Egypt has increased dramatically. In 2009, Israel reported just over 4,000 undocumented migrants; that number is up to over 10,000 so far this calendar year. While the Israeli government claims that the wall will prevent Islamic militants and human traffickers from reaching Israel, it will also significantly impair the ability of asylum seekers to reach Israel.
One might expect a nation of refugees for whom the UN Refugee Convention was created to have a generous policy towards those seeking protection within its borders. This new barrier, however, presents just one more instance of Israel's failures to live up to its responsibilities under the UN Refugee Convention.
Israel hosted just over 4,000 asylum seekers in 2009, most from Eritrea and Sudan, yet Israeli NGOs report that the country has granted asylum to fewer than 200 applicants since it ratified the UN Refugee Convention in 1954. As described further in this report by the Israeli NGO Refugees' Rights Forum, the asylum process in Israel is dysfunctional, often requiring a wait of over a year for an interview. Rather than legally recognizing refugees from Eritrea and Sudan -- nations to which the UNHCR forbids deportation because of the dangers facing those who return -- Israel instead grants most of them temporary protection, a much less stable status that does not permit them to work and allows the Israeli government to return them when the situation the refugees' home country improves.
Those who are less lucky are detained (currently, over 2000 asylum seekers) or worse. Under Israel's "Hot Return" policy, authorities expel undocumented migrants directly to Egypt without providing access to asylum procedures and without obtaining guarantees against refoulement from the Egyptian government. The U.S. State Department reports that Egyptian authorities detain some of these asylum seekers, holding them in conditions that violate international human rights standards, and refoules thousands of others back to Eritrea and Sudan.
Though Israel must take seriously threats to its national security, this nation of refugees does itself a disservice by building further barricades to protection for those fleeing persecution.

Piracy duel

Our own Beth Van Schaack is debating laws of war and law on piracy at Opinio Juris. Her post responded to a post byDr. Douglas Guilfoyle, Lecturer in Law, Faculty of Laws, University College London. He subsequently filed a reply post.
Check 'em out.

On November 26

On this day in ...
... 1940 (70 years ago today), workers in Nazi-occupied Poland began to wall off a part of Warsaw as a ghetto "in which the Germans intend to herd the local Jewish population under dreadful living conditions. The Germans describe the move as a 'health measure.'" For the story of this World War II tragedy, click here.

(Prior November 26 posts are here, here, and here.)

Herkkyyttä vielä lisää hieman

Posti toi tänään Canon 60D:n, enkä malttanut olla laittamatta sen kanssa vierekkäin Pentax K-5 ja Nikon D700 kameroita pieneen herkkyysvertailuun.

Tämä herkkyyshomma on mielenkiintoinen asia, mutta vain pieni osa kokonaisuutta. Se on hyvä muistaa. Joka tapauksessa on hämmästyttävää kuinka paljon kennoteknologia ja prosessointi on parantunut. Pikkukennot ovat kehittyneet samalle tasolle kuin täyden koon kennot olivat kolmisen vuotta sitten.

Pentax K-5 on käytännössä yhtä hyvä herkkyydessä kuin Nikon D700. Nikon kohisee ehkä aavistuksen vähemmän, mutta Pentaxin kuva pitää ryhtinsä paremmin. Värit toistuvat tarkemmin. Canon on myös erittäin hyvä, eikä canonisteilla ole mitään syytä huoleen tässä suhteessa.

Kuvasin kaikki kuvat samoilla valotuksilla, mutta Pentaxin kuva on kaikista tummin, Canon on hieman vaaleampi ja Nikonin kuva kaikista vaalein. Tästä voisi äkkiä tehdä johtopäätöksen, että Nikonin kenno on herkempi kuin muut kaksi tai sitten Adoben kameraprofiili tekee jotain tai sitten... Kaikissa kameroissa oli samantyyppinen objektiivi: normaalizoom.

Kaikki kuvat on raakana kuvattu ja avattu Lightroomin oletusasetuksilla, jonka jälkeen tallenettu jpg-muotoon. Yritin asettaa valkotasapainon mahdollisimman samaksi kaikissa, mutta se on älyttömän vaikeaa eri merkkisten kameroiden välillä.

Lopetan hetkeksi tämän herkkyystirkistelyn, koska sitä on ollut nyt ihan tarpeeksi. Jos saan Nikon D7000:n jostakin, niin saatan tehdä vielä yhden vertailun.

Hauskaa tässä on, että pikkuinen Pentax pistää varmasti vipinää isojen poikien, niin Canonin kuin Nikoninkin, tuotekehittelyosastoille.


A few photos of American Thanksgivings past, from the collection of the U.S. Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information at the Library of Congress' American Memory digital archive. Enjoy!

(credit for 1942 photo, top, of maid serving Thanksgiving dinner to family of Howard University President Mordica Johnson, made by Gordon Parks in Washington, D.C.; credit for 1940 photo, middle, by Jack Delano of "Pumpkin pies and Thanksgiving dinner at the home of Mr. Timothy Levy Crouch, a Rogerine Quaker living in Ledyard, Connecticut"; credit for photo of store window sign, circa 1940, made by Marion Post Wolcott in South Boston, Virginia)

On November 25

On this day in ...
... 1975 (35 years ago today), Suriname won independence, with Dutch consent, nearly 21 years after it had become "an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands," and more than 300 years after it had become a colony of that European country. Today the country (map at right), about the same size as the U.S. state of Georgia and located at the northeastern coast of South America, is a republic with nearly half a million inhabitants. Its largest population bloc, at 27% is Hindustani (East Indian).

(Prior November 25 posts are here, here, and here.)

Pentax K-5, ISO 12800

Herkkyysesimerkkejä uudella Pentax K-5 kameralla on netissä näkynyt, mutta tässä yksi taatusti suomalainen versio, jonka äsken kuvasin Helsingin Töölössä.
Pentax K-5, 17 - 70 mm, f/4, 1/160 s. ja ISO 12800.
Tämä on raakana kuvattu, avattu Lightroom 3.0 oletusasetuksilla ja tallennettu jpg-kuvaksi. En ole tehnyt mitään säätöjä kuvaan. Kuva aukeaa täysikokoisena klikkaamalla. Käytin Pentax 17 - 70 mm f/4 DA objektiivia, jota suosittelen pakettina myytävän 18 - 55 millisen tilalle.

Africa-based international law projects

(Delighted to welcome back alumna Bonita Meyersfeld, who contributes a 2-part series of guest posts on international law in Africa. Part 2 is below; Part 1, published yesterday, is here.)

Having described the overall work of the Southern and Eastern African Regional Centre for Women’s Law at the University of Zimbabwe, I continue in this post with descriptions of research in progress:
Makanatsa Makonese (left), a Doctor of Philosophy Candidate, is examining Zimbabwe’s Post-Independence Land Reform Laws and Policies and Their Impact on Women’s Right to Agricultural Land: A Critical Analysis of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme from 2000 and Beyond.
This research seeks to assess the availability or otherwise of a legal, policy, and institutional framework governing the Fast Track Land Reform Programme in Zimbabwe. The focus is on women and their right to access, own, and control agricultural land. The effect over the years of the country’s property laws in general, and land laws in particular, will be critically examined. The goal is to establish whether there have been any efforts during the implementation of the fast track land reform programme to break away -- away from a system that subjugates women in property ownership and toward one that recognises women as equal partners in national economic, social, and political development and transformation.
A primary focus of the research is the recognition that the fast track land reform programme was and is not just about parcelling out land but also about: creating social classes; developing jurisprudence around land ownership and reform in Zimbabwe; and setting up centres and sources of power that are critical in shaping the country in various ways. The position of women in the matrix and the country’s level of compliance with international human rights standards and best practices therefore have to be examined.
The nuance of the work is its engagement in a rights analysis in a context of rights violations; namely, the land grabs and concomitant displacement of landowners.
► Research by Renifa Madenga (left), also a Doctor of Philosophy Candidate, is entitled Using Women’s Voices/Experiences To Interrogate The Efficacy Of The International Criminal Justice System on Rape: The case of Rwanda 1994 Genocide. (credit for photo (c) Robert H. Jackson Center)
Her study explores the lived reality and experience of rape survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. It is sited in the web of fears, needs, relationships, and anxieties that affect survivors of rapes committed during the Rwandan genocide, as well as their interactions with the international criminal justice system at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
Using the voices and experiences of survivors and witnesses, the study interrogates the efficacy of the justice system. Its major questions: Does the system acknowledge and condemn the egregious abuses suffered by victim survivor witnesses? Does it recognize and addresse the needs, fears, and aspirations of those survivor witnesses?
The researcher, Madenga, works as an Appeals Counsel in the ICTR Office of the Prosecutor, and chairs that office's 3-year-old Sexual Violence Committee.
Annette Mudola Mbogoh, another Doctor of Philosophy Candidate, is researching The 2007 Post-Election Violence As A Spring Board For Peace, Reconciliation And Reparation: A Case For The Participation And Involvement Of Women In Mombasa, Kenya.
The study investigates the participation of women in Mombasa in peace, reconciliation, and reparation processes through Kenya's Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission. Women suffered gross human rights violations in recurrent electoral violence in Mombasa -- in 1992, in 1997, and in the unprecedented 2007 general elections. (Prior IntLawGrrls posts available here.) Women have been internally displaced, lost their loved ones, their property, and their businesses. They are survivors of physical violence and rape. However, their voices, needs, and concerns have been sidelined in the current transitional justice process in Kenya (flag at right). The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission presents an opportunity for women’s voices, injustices, and stories to be heard, investigated, documented, and redressed in the ensuing reparation programmes.
Against this backdrop, this research investigates the level of participation of women in the unfolding truth commission process, as well as the factors hindering women’s active involvement. It seeks both to document injustices committed against women by virtue of their sex and to identify priority concerns and preferred reparations on the part of survivors. It interrogates the question of truth-telling versus justice. The study highlights the importance of reparations to achieve true reconciliation and the extent to which women’s multiple identities influences their choice between collective and individual reparations. The study explores the politics of representation amongst women in a very polarized and ethnicized community. It furthers the debate on the right to truth, which has been expounded by the institutions of the inter-American human rights system. These arguments are hinged on the new Constitution of Kenya, which enshrines women’s right to equality and representation in legislative bodies through reservation of special seats. Finally, the study recommends implementation of a gender perspective in peace and reconciliation efforts, as is espoused in international instruments such as U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1325 and 1820.
► Under examination by Catherine Makoni is The Impact of the Political Crisis in Zimbabwe on Women’s Right to Protection of the Law: An Investigation into the Handling of Cases of Politically Motivated Rape from 2000-2009.
Makoni's research investigates how cases of politically motivated rape have been dealt with, if at all, within the justice system of Zimbabwe (flag at right). The objective is to interrogate the duty of the state to protect women, and therefore its role to provide sufficient and meaningful redress. The research undertakes an empirical assessment of what assistance victim survivors of rape have received from both state and nonstate actors -- including officials of their own political party, who have undertaken to protect party members from acts of violence and intimidation by the ruling party. The study further seeks to influence responses by all these actors.
Rape was used as a tool for political coercion during the election periods in 2000, 2002, 2005 and 2008. The political crisis had an impact on how cases of politically motivated rape were dealt with at multiple levels. In brief, the State failed in its duty to protect women. The perceived inviolability of the perpetrators, as a result of their perceived political affiliation, determines whether allegations of rape are reported, investigated, prosecuted, and adjudicated. The law as presently formulated is not sufficient to cover the total scope of rape as it occurs when used as a tool for political coercion.
Rosalie Kumbirai Katsande, a Lecturer at the Centre, is Exploring the Potential of Laws and Procedures Governing Business Entities in Facilitating Women’s Entrepreneurial Development in the Horticultural Sector of Zimbabwe.
Inspiring this research is a passage in Peasants, Traders and Wives: Shona Women in the History of Zimbawe 1870 – 1939 (1996), in which Dr. Elizabeth Schmidt, Professor of History at Loyola University Maryland, writes:

When the Jesuit father A Hartmann visited the Shona Chief Chipanga in about 1891, he asked the chief how numerous the people where including women and children, the chief reportedly answered, 'women are not counted'. He then took a handful of dust from the ground and said, 'that is the woman. Hartman concluded that women were regarded as almost nonexistent.
In her own research project, Katsande explores women entrepreneurs in the horticulture sector of Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. Her work interrogates the appropriateness for the development of business regimes by government authorities for women in rural areas. In an effort to determine the appropriateness of current such regimes, the study traces the economic history of Zimbabwe and shows how women’s economic initiatives have been marginalized by historical processes. Laws designed during colonial governance continue to inform and limit women’s entrepreneurial potential and development.
Historically, state officials discouraged Zimbabwean women from settling in the towns and at the mines. The officials opposed the growth of a permanent and potentially explosive African population in the urban areas, and encouraged women and children to subsidize male wages through agricultural production at rural homesteads. State officials expected rural-based women to bear the social costs of production -- caring for the sick, disabled, and retired workers -- while raising the next generation of labourers. Innovation by women was deeply affected by legislative and policy restrictions.
Against this backdrop, the study considers the current government’s people-centred development approach from an African feminist perspective, which, inter alia, focuses on empowering African women to improve their own lives.
The study reveals challenges to community income-generating projects initiated by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development. These are reported to have failed to address women’s economic needs; indeed, they present more of a burden, as they add work on already overworked women.
Women in the areas of study are running potentially viable horticultural ventures. The profitability of these ventures is dependent on agricultural support and training; however, this is not being received. Instead, women in these communities are presented with artificially constructed income-generating projects.

These are some of the impressive projects under way at the Centre. Perhaps of primary importance is the investigation of the realities of individual lives and how to link them into the international human rights agendas through national legal and policy frameworks.

On November 24

On this day in ...
... 1950 (60 years ago today), Guys and Dolls, a musical based on Damon Runyon's short story of an improbable romance between Sky Masterson, a New York gambler, and Sarah Brown, head of a Salvation Army mission, made its Broadway début at the 46th Street Theater. "[M]iraculously able to mock the desperate denizens of Dream Street and celebrate them at the same time," the show, which featured a rendezvous in Havana and songs like "Luck Be a Lady," ran for 1,200 performances and within 5 years was made into a film starring Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and Jean Simmons.

(Prior November 24 posts are here, here, and here.)

Treaties no treat?

What to make of Jamie Rubin's blithe Farewell to the Age of the Treaty?
In an op-ed yesterday Rubin, a State Department spokesperson back when Madeleine Albright was Secretary of State, posited that treaties aren't "even worth the trouble anymore."
The "trouble," it appears, is not with international agreements themselves. Troublesome, rather, is securing 2/3 consent of the Senate, a constitutional sine qua non for U.S. ratification of a treaty. The requirement's now bedeviling President Barack Obama's bid for ratification, detailed here, of the U.S.-Russia New Start disarmament treaty. (prior posts) (credit for White House photo of April 2010 signing)
"'Fortunately, there is an alternative,'" Rubin breezed. He argued that statutes, which pass upon simple majorities of both houses of Congress, usually "will work just fine."
Even putting aside the glib assertion that "the international system has most of the rules it needs," Rubin's argument falters on a number of points:
History: The op-ed's ahistorical in its implication that this is a new problem. Presidential struggles to clear the 2/3 Senate hurdle are "nothing new," as our Opinio Juris colleague Duncan Hollis pointed out. Failure to secure approval dates at least to President Woodrow Wilson, and the Senate's rejections of the Versailles Treaty (right) and the League of Nations Covenant, in 1919 and again in 1920 -- years surely within the putative "Age of Treaties." Rubin himself no doubt recalls President Bill Clinton's CTBT debacle back in 1999.
Politics: Also implicit is an assumption that congressional majorities easily may be obtained. Rubin points to legislative efforts on climate change as an example of his position "already being used." He pretermits, however, that these efforts have yet to bear statutory fruit. Given that the New Year will inaugurate a House of Representatives with a heavy GOP lean, getting Congress to okay internationally aimed reforms would seem far from simple.
International Relations: Rubin's solution seems unlikely to give U.S. status abroad the hefty boost he suggests. Statutes and treaties are quite different legal animals. A statute may be altered, even repealed, at any time. Preferring the legislative path thus adds instability to the United States' foreign relations. What's more, a statute is the unilateral enactment of a single sovereign. In contrast, a treaty embodies that sovereign's consent not just to act, but to do so out of an international obligation. Treaties represent a deeper level of commitment, a promise to pursue global cooperation even if domestic political winds shift. Opting always for the U.S. statutory fix, at a time when other countries are urged to join treaty regimes, seems unlikely to ease what Rubin rightly calls "international frustration with American leadership."
Hard to see the op-ed's effort -- in essence, to put a brave face on an inferior option -- as much more than advance spin should New Start founder in the Senate.

Pentaxkuvaajan Nikon kokeilua

Minä kuvaan Nikonilla, mutta juuri nyt minulla on kaksi Pentaxia kokeilussa. Jos kiinnostaa lukea Pentaxilla kuvaavan kokemuksia Nikon D7000 kamerasta, niin sitten äkkiä tänne.

Pieni asetelma pienellä kameralla

Ostin taannoin valokuvauskirjan, jota voin suositella (Tuck, Kirk: Minimalist Lighting). Tuossa kirjassa on valaisuharjoituksia, joista yhden päätin tehdä, mutta hieman muunneltuna versiona.

Olin juuri hankkinut uuden pokkarikameran, Canon PowerShot S95:n, ja päätinkin tehdä kuvauksen tuolla pokkarilla. Onhan siinä manuaalisäädöt ja se osaa raw-formaatin; ulkoiselle salamalle siinä taas ei ole mitään kytkentää. No, onhan kameran kulmassa pienenpieni oma salama, ja LumoPro LP160 -salamassa taas optinen orjakenno; siinä ratkaisu. Koska en kuitenkaan halunnut kameran oman salaman valaisevan asetelmaa, askartelin foliovuoan palasta suuntaimen salaman eteen. Ideana oli estää valon kulku suoraan eteenpäin ja ohjata se vasemmalle sivulle LumoProon suuntaan. Idea ja sen toteutus toimi hyvin.

Valaisussa minulle haastavinta oli löytää valolle suunta, joka toteuttaisi parhaiten ideani: appelsiinin pyöreä muoto tulisi tulla esiin valoisuuden vaihtelulla, ja halusin irtolohkon kirkkaaksi. Heti alkajaiseksi huomasin, että heijastava varjo antaa liikaa valoa, joten ratkaisu oli läpiampuva varjo. Salamaa en halunnut siirtää kauemmaksi, sillä silloin valon luonne olisi muuttunut. Varjot olisivat siirtyneet, vaalentuneet ja muuttaneet muotoaan liikaa.

Kokeilin valaisua myös etuviistosta, mutta silloin appelsiinin kylki sai mielestäni liikaa valoa, ja appelsiinilohko taasen ei saanut haluamaani määrää valoa taustaansa. Kokeilin myös valaisua suoraan sivulta yläviiston sijaan, mutta appelsiinin muoto ei tällöin tullut minusta yhtä hyvin esiin. Lopullisessa otoksessa on yllä olevan kuvan tilanteen lisäksi pyöröheijastin sateenvarjon ja kameran välissä antamassa valoa appelsiinin leikkauskolon sisäpintaan.

Lopuksi kokeilin vielä kuvata saman asettelun Canon EOS 5D Mark II -järkkärilläni. Salamaksi vaihdoin Canon Speedlite 580 EXII:n, ja ohjaus rapahtui Elinchromen Skyporteilla. Heijastinta en nyt käyttänyt apuna. Halusin näyttää, mitä järjestelmäkameralla saa lisää kuvaan, ja niinpä käytin hyväkseni 50 mm:n f/1.4 -objektiivia täyden kennon kamerassa lyhyen syväterävyyden aikaansaamiseksi kuvaan. Omasta mielestäni asetelma on näin kuvattuna parempi.

Kyllä järjestelmäkameralla kuvaaminen on paljon helpompaa. Pokkarin käyttöä hankaloittaa jo sen pieni koko, ja hyvin pienet, lähekkäin olevat painikkeet. Zoomaus on myös pykälällistä, ja virransäästö kytkeytyessään vetää objektiivin kasaan; sitten saa taas nykytellä zoom-vipua. Pokkarin pieni kenno aikaansaa suuren syvyysterävyyden, mikä tuo rajoituksensa - ja toki joissain tilanteissa etunsa.

Päivän vinkki

RAW-työnkulkuohjelmissa, siis muissa kuin kameravalmistajien omissa, kestää aikansa saada tuki uusille kameroille. Esimerkiksi käyttämäni Bibble Pro 5 ei tue vielä S95:ttä, mutta onneksi löytyy kiertotie. Ilmaisella ExifTool-ohjelmalla voi exif-tietoihin muuttaa kameramallin edeltäjäversioksi, eli tässä tapauksessa S90:ksi, ja nytpä kuvat aukevatkin käsiteltäviksi. Pääteikkunan komentoriville vain käskysarja exiftool -model='Canon PowerShot S90' IMG_0001.CR2.

Sakari Hannula

Minä kokeilin tuota Saken vinkkiä heti Olympus E-5 kameran raakakuviin, joita Lightroom ei vieläkään osaa avata. Laitoin kameran mallinimeksi E-30, ja johan rupesivat kuvat aukenemaan.

Bloggers Team