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Daily Archives: January 8, 2019

Legal Design for Practice

Perry-Kessaris, Amanda, Legal Design for Practice, Activism, Policy and Research (December 4, 2018). Available at SSRN:
“This paper offers an integrated introduction to how, conceptually, to think about what design can do for law; where, empirically, to find examples of legal design; and how, normatively, to assess it. It begins by highlighting three lawyerly concerns: the need to communicate; the need to balance structure and freedom; and the need to be at once practical, critical and imaginative. Next the paper highlights three features of designerly ways: a commitment to communication, an emphasis on experimentation, and an ability to make things visible and tangible. It is proposed that designerly ways can directly improve lawyerly communication; and that they can also generate new structured-yet-free spaces in which lawyers can be at once practical, critical and imaginative. The paper then provides examples of legal design in action across four fields of lawyering: legal practice, legal activism, policy-making and legal research. Emphasis is placed throughout on the need for a critical approach to legal design—that is, for legal design to be thought about and done with a commitment to avoiding, exposing and remedying biases and inequalities. In that spirit, the paper concludes with an assessment of some of the risks associated with legal design.”

Soft Law as Governing Law

Schwarcz, Steven L., Soft Law as Governing Law (January 3, 2019). Duke Law School Public Law & Legal Theory Series. Available at SSRN: “International business transactions increasingly are being conducted under “soft law”—a term referring to non-state rules that may be aspirational or reflect best practices but are not yet legally enforceable. In part,… Continue Reading

Why Are National Parks Still Open? Nobody Knows.

Outside: “…To recap, counter to previous practice, most of the big-name parks have been kept open during the current federal government shutdown. But 80 percent of park service employees have been furloughed, leaving our natural treasures protected by a skeleton crew of park police and other first responders. No one is collecting entry fees, no one… Continue Reading

A guide to anti-misinformation actions around the world

Poynter: “In mid-March, a European Commission high level group published its final report on misinformation, drawing upon the input of experts from around the world who gathered over several weeks to help the European Union figure out what to do about misinformation. The report created by the high-level group — announced in November to help… Continue Reading

The ‘innocent internet’ died and the 21st century was born [Opinion]

Houston Chronicle – John Leavitt: “Forget the calendar. Just as the 19th century didn’t really end until Armistice Day in 1918 and the 1960s counterculture lasted well into the 1970s, the 21st century didn’t begin at the end of 2000. It began in 2014. In that year, drought conditions in California hit record highs, prompting… Continue Reading

Please Forget Where I Was Last Summer: The Privacy Risks of Public Location (Meta)Data

Via arXiv – Please Forget Where I Was Last Summer: The Privacy Risks of Public Location (Meta)Data. [This is an extended version of our paper that will appear at NDSS 2019] “The exposure of location data constitutes a significant privacy risk to users as it can lead to de-anonymization, the inference of sensitive information, and… Continue Reading

Congress’s Authority to Influence and Control Executive Branch Agencies – CRS report – Congress’s Authority to Influence and Control Executive Branch Agencies, Updated December 19, 2018. “The Constitution neither establishes administrative agencies nor explicitly prescribes the manner by which they may be created. Even so, the Supreme Court has generally recognized that Congress has broad constitutional authority to establish and shape the federal… Continue Reading

The Special Counsel Investigation After the Attorney General’s Resignation

Via FAS: The Special Counsel Investigation After the Attorney General’s Resignation, CRS Legal Sidebar, January 2, 2019 : “Recent Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership changes have raised questions about their impact on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election and related matters. Who will oversee the investigation? How do personnel… Continue Reading

Federal government was bleak workplace for past 2 years and worsened after the shutdown

Washington Post: “Over two years, the Trump administration has dealt blow after blow to government employees — budget cuts, hiring freezes, inept Cabinet secretaries and, for some, open hostility to their fundamental mission. President Trump promised to shake up Washington, and he has. But the country’s 2 million federal workers have mostly soldiered on, believing… Continue Reading