Category: Law

Should lawyers wilfully represent criminals they know are guilty?

According to (McBride, 2010) the ethical issue that confronts lawyers when defending a guilty client is the fact that it is a general stigma that a person guilty of a crime is required to be punished to the equivalent of the crime.

However, Asimow (2006) states that without correct solicitor representation, the defendant’s version of events will not be made clear to the court, this situation in itself will lead to the sentencing and punishment of the defendant solely based on the accusations of the prosecution.

What must be understood is that in all legal proceedings, situations will exist where a crime is a crime, for example, committing fraud in any circumstance will be seen and sentenced as fraud, however, the events leading up to, and during the offense, should be, and are considered in the court of law, with this process being referred to as, ‘case law’.

It should be noted, that during the proceedings of a case, a judge only knows the facts given by . . . Read More

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The importance of conceptions/definitions of terrorism to the analysis of counter-terrorism

Terrorism is the most discussed issue in early 21st century public discourse. Ever since the September 11, 2001 attacks on America, it has been a major pre-occupation of American diplomatic and military efforts. Since the United States is the leader of the prevailing uni-polar world, terrorism now has implications for all countries associated with it. In the context of the ongoing War on Terror, the concept of Islamist jihad is seen as the ideological springboard for the numerous suicide attacks witnessed recently. As a measure to retaliate to and prevent terror attacks, America and its allies have initiated several counter-terror operations in perceived geo-political hotspots. But differentiating between what comprises an act of terror and what can be classified as counter-terror is never straightforward – the official use of these labels is often purely a matter of rhetoric and self-serving bias. As renowned public intellectual Noam Chomsky succinctly points out, “if it is . . . Read More

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Compliance with the five main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code

The UK Corporate Governance Code was conceived and written by the Financial Reporting Council.  The Code is part of a set of Listing Rules mandated by the Financial Services Authority of UK.  The Code governs transparency and accountability standards for companies listed in the London Stock Exchange.  In essence, the Code is a set of guidelines (not mandatory rules) aimed at achieving good corporate governance standards in the UK.

The first principle of the Code pertains to the role of non-executive directors in a company.  It states that the appointments committee should be headed and managed by non-executive directors.  More importantly, their neutrality and lack of vested bias should be illustrated their lack of previous/present personal/professional connections.  By satisfactorily adhering to this principle, a UK company can convince shareholders and the regulator about its compliance with the Code.

The second main principle relates to executive . . . Read More

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How does the Australian constitution empower the Commonwealth Parliament to make the most of the country’s laws?

Australia has taken great strides in its short history as a democracy.  After winning sovereignty from British rule, the leaders of the young nation embarked upon creating democratic institutions and processes to ensure fairness and justice for all.  They looked up to British legal history and the American written constitution to chart out a robust constitution for Australia.  They’ve also incorporated deliberative mechanisms through which new laws could be passed.  And the Parliament of Australia (Commonwealth Parliament) is the core institution where the process of debate, consideration and passage of bills into laws plays out.  This is a crucial aspect of governing the nation, as it allowed obsolete laws to be replaced by more relevant ones (recent laws governing grants and rights of aboriginal Australians are a case in point).  The constitution states that “a new Commonwealth (national) law can only be made, or an existing law changed or removed, by or under the . . . Read More

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The History of the USA.: Three Branches of Government

What were the reasons that our Founding Fathers, at the Constitutional Convention of 1787, divided the federal government into the legislative, judicial, and executive branches. 2. How are the three branches of the our federal government supposed to interact? 3. Summarize the 1 & 2.

During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, our Founding Fathers deliberated on how the government should be organized.  After elaborate consideration they came to a consensus that the Federal government will be divided into three – the legislative, judicial and executive branches.  The rationale behind this division of power is that no one institution should have monopoly power over the affairs of the nation.  They realized that concentration of power as it existed in British monarchy led to autocratic and authoritarian rule by the king.  As a way of preventing this from happening in the newly founded nation, the Founding Fathers decided to divide authority . . . Read More

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Legitimacy and the Triumph of the Will

In global geo-politics, the term legitimacy comes up for discussion quite often.  This is especially true with regards to a government’s military actions in its foreign affairs.  But a distinction will have to be made between ‘legitimacy’ and ‘legality’.  ‘Legitimacy’ is seen as a matter of keeping to the spirit of the law, where as ‘legality’ is applied where technical details are concerned.  Hence a nation could be conducting a ‘legal’ operation upon another nation without a legitimate basis for it.  The ongoing occupation of Palestine by Israeli forces is a case in point, where the concocted legality betrays the lack of legitimacy of the occupation. The same analogy could be applied to the American occupation of Iraq, where even legality could be questioned.

’Triumph of the Will’ is a term used by politicians when a policy action succeeds against all odds.  The term is mostly employed in the context of a military venture or an economic . . . Read More

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Pirates of Globalization: An overview of Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property theft is one of the major concerns for global business leaders.  In an era of globalization and fast dissemination of information, fraudulent manufacturers employ sophisticated means of acquiring patented information and exploit it for commercial gain.  As Catherine Holahan notes in her article for Business Week, pirated goods now account for nearly 7 percent of all commercial activity across the world.  Developing economies such as India, China, Brazil and Russia are proving to be hotbeds for this trend as Intellectual Property laws are either vague or poorly developed here.  Moreover, in the era of the Internet, online commercial transactions across borders are especially difficult to bring under the purview of cyber law, as there is no consensus between different participant nations.  It is due to this reason that Digital Rights Management (DRM) has been conceived and implemented. (Holahan, 2008) The rest of this essay will look into some of the . . . Read More

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Search and Seizure in civil and common law systems

‘Search and Seizure’ are couple of legal terms (usually used together) in civil and common law systems, where law-enforcement authorities or their representatives, search a person’s property and confiscate valuable evidence to a purported crime.  The persons upon whom search and seizure are committed are selected on grounds of reasonable suspicion.  In most cases, the search operation does not lead to seizure of goods/property belonging to the suspected person.  At the time of the writing of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers reasoned that “search and seizure is a necessary exercise in the ongoing pursuit of criminals. Searches and seizures are used to produce evidence for the prosecution of alleged criminals. The police have the power to search and seize, but individuals are protected against Arbitrary, unreasonable police intrusions.” (, 2011)

The provisions under the search and seizure law are not uniform . . . Read More

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Recruitment and Hiring: Key laws, regulations and principles

Recruitment and Hiring is an important aspect of Human Resources Management, for it is here that candidate employees first come into contact.  In recent decades, the process of interviewing and screening candidates for possible employment has become more systematic and sophisticated.  Corporate laws have also caught up with the needs of organizations.  Vice versa, more regulations are imposed on companies to comply with basic standards during recruitment and hiring.  In other words, corporate laws pertaining to usage of employee/candidate information have gotten stringent over the years.  This is a positive development, for otherwise, important private information will be subject to misuse and exploitation. The rest of this essay will outline key laws, regulations and principles for recruiters to mull over as they discharge their duties in the HRM department.

It is common practice for employers to scrutinize past behavior of a potential employee and make sure that the . . . Read More

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Q & A on Separation of Church and State

1- Define the concept of “separation of church and state”
Separation of Church and State is one of the governing principles under the Constitution of the United States, which forbids any interference of religion in affairs of the state. At the time of the inclusion of this provision in the American constitution, it was seen as a revolutionary and progressive policy to adopt.

2- Where did it originate? Is it the US constitution, what did Thomas Jefferson mean when he spoke of maintaining “a wall of separation between church and state?”
First coined by Thomas Jefferson in his letter to Danbury Baptists Association in 1802, the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ does not appear as such in the Constitution. But, in the First Amendment to the constitution, it is noted that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, which in spirit . . . Read More

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