Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an ongoing practice among many primitive peoples of the world. Rooted in religious doctrine and mysticism, this practice is a form of abuse against women, for it deprives them of attaining full sexual pleasure. Both the United States and the United Nations are powerful political entities that can do something about this problem. The United Nations, as part of its pledge to uphold principles stated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) document, has been at the forefront of efforts to curb this practice. The United States, on the other hand, has also chipped in with funding and lobbying efforts to eradicate FGM. But these efforts have not been sufficient to significantly reduce the occurrence of FGM. The rest of this essay will foray into the successes and failures of the US and the UN in protecting victims of FGM and also in preventing it.
The United Nations has brought up the issue of FGM under its broader program for . . . Read More
Football Hooliganism has been given plenty of attention in all forms of the media. One of the reasons why it has garnered such coverage is because it is apolitical and suits all political parties to condemn it. Furthermore, the violence and vitriol involved in acts of hooliganism are material that are easy to sell. In other words, the sensationalism inherent in news items of this sort interest audiences of different age groups and backgrounds. So one could argue that media’s extensive coverage of this phenomenon has more to do with marketing the media product rather than any upkeep of journalistic values. With this understanding one could also see the role of police in a different light. They could be perceived as agents in the content creation process, who contribute by giving information and video footage of hooligans. And since the media seldom question instances of police mistreatment of hooligans, they tend to act brashly and ruthlessly in controlling the . . . Read More
The book Courtroom 302 is a detailed analysis of the American Criminal Justice system. Written by author Steve Bogira, the book documents the insights and observations made by him during his tenure as a crime reporter for the Chicago Reader and later during his job as a police reporter. The book in question focusses on interesting and important criminal events in the year 1998 at a Cook County Felony courthouse and jail in Southern Chicago. One of the themes of the book is the systemic flaws in the nation’s criminal justice system, whereby, unjust and unfair sentences are dished out to people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Such an assessment might shake someone’s belief in the nations major institutions, but is nevertheless a sad truth. Bogira asserts that the justice system, along with the police department and the legislatures, combine to suppress dissenting voices and calls for positive change in the system. As it is, the criminal justice system is structured in such . . . Read More
Litigation public relations (LPR) are the set of communication activities that a company undertakes during the process of a litigation. The core objective of litigation public relations is to reduce damage to the image of the company; and this objective is usually achieved through skilful handling of media and a positive portrayal of the company’s case. There are both pros and cons to LPR, which are discussed in the rest of the essay.
One important question that PR managers need to answer is whether their activities as part of LPR are not a cover-up of fraudulent or unethical activity of the party they represent. One should remember that litigations against companies are only brought about when there is a strong suspicion of wrong-doing, and the litigation is raised usually by competing companies or the general public. While lawyers can argue that every company has the right to defend itse is lf, PR managers on the other hand usually act out of loyalty as well . . . Read More
Disparate Treatment and Disparate Impact are two theories under Title VII of the United States Civil Rights Act. Together, they were intended to prohibit discriminatory actions on part of employers toward racial, sexual or class minorities. The theory of Disparate Treatment first came into judicial discourse in the Griggs v. Duke Power Co. During and after this case, the term “business necessity” became central to deciding such cases. If business managers treat minorities in a disparate manner in the absence of compelling business needs, then their action can be construed as discriminatory and in violation of provisions under Title VII. In all disparate treatment cases,
“whether the issue is the truth or falsity of the employer’s reason for its action, or the co-existence of legitimate and illegitimate motives, whether the plaintiff puts on direct or circumstantial evidence, or both, the issue at the liability stage is simply whether the plaintiff has . . . Read More
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. And, in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) age, electronic communication between employees has thrown open many new ways of information leakage. As workplaces have become computerized, “questions have arisen as to an employer’s right to monitor personal use of these devices in the workplace. Cases indicate that an employee uses e-mail and the Internet for personal purposes at his or her peril.” (McEvoy, 2002, p.69) Employers usually claim that since they own the communications infrastructure in the company, they can decide policies regarding its use. One way to resolve such conflict of interest situations is by applying National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 and its amendments. “In addition to protecting workers’ rights . . . Read More
Privacy rights have taken added significance in urban centers across the world. As societies become more urbanized and proximity between strangers increases, instances of breach in privacy is bound to grow, leading to expansion in laws relating to privacy. In highly advanced societies like the United States, the rate of urbanization is very high, which means that privacy laws are lagging behind constantly evolving modes of social organization. It is no coincidence that phenomenon such as homosexuality are most openly discussed and practiced in highly urbanized regions like New England and the West Coast. Here, homosexuals are not ostracized and discriminated against. And the disclosure of this personal information to the other party is of little significance. (Habermas, 1989)
One could argue that threats to privacy rights of homosexuals come from two sources. First is due to social stigma and taboo, as is the case in conservative/rustic regions. Second is government mandated . . . Read More
Bills, which as essentially proposed laws, are very important to the democratic process. It is elected representatives, who on behalf of their constituency frame and present bills in the Congress. After debates and discussions, the House of representatives and the Senate take votes to approve or disapprove the bill. If the bill is favored by a majority of members in both the houses of Congress, then it is sent to the President for ratification. The President can either assent or decline it using his veto power. In the case of the latter, the houses of Congress can take it up again and if it manages to pass with two-thirds majority, then the bill automatically qualifies into a law with or without the President’s approval. There is another possibility, whereby the President neither assents or declines the bill (also called sitting on a bill), where upon passage of 10 working days, the bill is passed as law. There is an exception to this 10-day rule, commonly . . . Read More
The Articles of Confederation was the document that served as the precursor to the official constitution of the United States. The former was ratified in 1781, the latter was signed and accepted in 1789. The leaders of revolutionary America felt the need for unity among different states and the necessity to define the “relative powers of the Continental Congress and the individual states”; and this “led Congress to entrust the drafting of a federal constitution to a committee headed by John Dickinson”. The product of this tentative exercise is the Articles of Confederation which was submitted on July 12, 1776 to the Second Continental Congress. The three talking points it generated in Congressional sessions were “the apportionment of taxes according to population, the granting of one vote to each state, and the right of the federal government to dispose of public lands in the West”. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 2009) So concerns for the development and . . . Read More
As Islam established itself as an important religion with substantial following across the world, its religious leaders developed a financial system that is consistent with principles laid out in the Holy Koran and other sacred texts. The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) is an important organization which is constantly refining and improving the guidelines for financial transactions among the believers. Headquartered in Jeddah, the IFSB issued a list of Guiding Principles on Governance for Islamic Collective Investment Schemes in the year 2009. The following is a summary of the principles.
The guiding principles are meant to cover all sorts of Islamic Collective Investment Schemes (ICIS) including Islamic unit trusts, Islamic investment funds or Islamic mutual funds, etc. One of the main reasons for developing these principles is to standardize financial and banking practices across the Islamic world. Hence ICIS is defined to include a wide array of financial schemes . . . Read More