Cite Unseen: How Neutral Citation and America's Law Schools Can Cure Our Strange Devotion to Bibliographical Orthodoxy and the Constriction of Open and Equal Access to the Law
law and society
Law and Society
Legal Analysis and Writing
Legal Research and Bibliography
Law and Society
Legal Writing and Research
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AbstractThis article looks at the phenomenon of legal citation and its unintended consequences. After considering the reasons for the American legal system’s devotion to precisely accurate and detailed citations and the history of American legal citation, the article looks at the effect the bibliographical orthodoxy promoted by the two leading citation manuals – The Bluebook and the ALWD Manual – has on open access to the law. In particular, the article looks at how the required common law citation format prescribed by both of these manuals helps to consolidate the market position of West and LexisNexis, the duopoly of legal publishing in this country. After considering the inadequacy of some present-day open access legal information sites, and exploring why it is that market pressures make it unlikely that a viable commercial competitor to the West/Lexis duopoly will emerge, the article concludes that the best approach to ensuring that the law remain free and open to all is through the use of a neutral citation format to describe case law and the formation of a consortium of American law schools to publish the law on the internet.
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Public Wrongs, Private Actions : Civil Lawsuits to Recover Stolen AssetsSotiropoulou, Anastasia; Sylvester, Katherine Rose; Mekki, Yannis; Brun, Jean Pierre; Dubois, Pascale Helene; Uttamchandani, Mahesh; Jaïs, Sarah; van der Does de Willebois, Emile; Hauch, Jeanne (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2014-10-20)Corruption and thefts of public assets harm a diffuse set of victims, weakens confidence in public institutions, damages the private investment climate, and threatens the foundations of the society as a whole. In developing countries with scarce public resources, the cost of corruption is an impediment to development: developing countries lose between US$20 to US$40 billion each year through bribery, misappropriation of funds, and other corrupt practices. Corruption is by no means a "victimless crime." This study aims to explore the standing of States and Government entities as victims and the possible recourse to private actions to redress public wrongs. States and Government entities may act as private litigants and bring civil suits to recover assets lost to corruption. The goal of this work is to promote knowledge and understanding as well as to increase the use of civil remedies and private lawsuits to recover stolen assets in the context of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) offences. The UNCAC, the global standard for the fight against corruption, does not contain a legal definition of corruption itself but lists an array of offences, including public and private sector bribery and the embezzlement of public and private sector funds. The study will mainly focus on these two types of corruption, namely bribery and embezzlement of funds. This study is not intended in any way to minimize the importance of criminal proceedings and confiscation in addressing acts of corruption. Rather, it will show that civil law remedies can effectively complement criminal penalties by attacking the economic base of corrupt activities both in the public and the private sectors. In fact, given the magnitude of the challenges, all avenues of asset recovery, be they criminal or civil, should be explored simultaneously in order to tackle corruption from each and every angle and achieve the goals of deterrence and enforcement. Hence, while criminal law expresses society's disapproval of the corrupt acts and aims at dissuasion, punishment, and confiscation of illicit proceeds, civil law focuses on victims' interests and aims at compensation and restitution. These procedures may occur sometimes in parallel, sometimes sequentially. An effective response to corruption very often requires concomitant use of both criminal and civil law remedies to achieve the desired result.
The World Bank Legal Review, Volume 4 : Legal Innovation and Empowerment for DevelopmentMuller, Sam; Thomas, Chantal; Cissé, Hassane; Wang, Chenguang; Wang, Chenguang; Thomas, Chantal; Muller, Sam; Cissé, Hassane (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013)The World Bank legal review gathers this input from around the world and compiles it into a useful resource for all development practitioners and scholars. The subtitle of this volume, legal innovation and empowerment for development, highlights how the law can respond to the chal-lenges posed to development objectives in a world slowly emerging from an economic crisis. The focus on innovation is a call for new, imaginative strategies and ways of thinking about what the law can do in the development realm. The focus on empowerment is a deliberate attempt to place the law into the hands of the poor; to give them another tool with which to resist poverty. This volume shows some of the ways that the law can make an innovative and empowering difference in development scenarios. Development problems are complex and varied, and the theme of innovation and empowerment naturally has a broad scope. Consequently, this volume reaches far and wide. It considers the nature, promise, and limitations of legal innovation and legal empowerment. It looks at concrete examples in places such as Africa, the Asia-Pacific region, and Latin America. It considers developments in issues with universal application, such as the rights of the disabled and the effectiveness of asset recovery measures. The theme of legal innovation and empowerment for development complements substantive and institutional sensibilities in current development policy. Substantively, development policy discourse seems to have moved away from tacking hard toward statist policy or neoliberal policy. Although this brief introduction cannot do justice to the richness and complexity of these contributions, it does consider each focal point in turn.
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