Stewart and Colbert: The non-American view


Towards lunchtime, or actually whenever I feel like it, I catch up on the previous night’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. I am guaranteed to be perked up from the day’s dullness by taking in some hilarious commentary on the news, American cultural education, and some actual news through these shows. Laughing out loud is usually involved, even when it is my own country that is being chided (for being better than the US at something…). And throughout the years, the satire in these show has gained an important role in the media and even political landscape. A much cited fact or statistic on the state of the media in the United States is that many young people in the US get their news from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, despite the fact that these are billed as ‘fake news’ shows. So what is it about these shows that appeals to me and many Americans, and do we find them appealing for different reasons?

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Law on screen

In 2014, the European Society of International Law is proposing a panel at its annual conference dedicated to international law and film. My heart jumped a beat when I read its description. I assume that international lawyers, like normal people, enjoy such guilty pleasures as movies and television, so it is only natural that the personal and professional at one point come together. Naturally, I am tempted, and feel almost compelled, to attempt a contribution. From Judgement at Nuremberg to The West Wing, there are many examples of movies and television shows that are of interest to (international) lawyers. read more

State immunity upheld against human rights challenges in Strasbourg

Originally posted on UK Human Rights Blog:

Saudi_mapJones and Others v. the United Kingdom (application nos. 34356/06 and 40528/06) – read judgement

The Strasbourg Court has ruled that the inability of four men to bring torture compensation claims against Saudi Arabia in UK courts did not breach the Convention.  The Court held that a “grant of immunity to the state officials in the present case reflected generally recognised rules of public international law”  and that there had been no violation of  Article 6 (right of access to court).

The claimants argued that there there was emerging support for a special exception to this immunity in cases concerning civil claims for torture lodged against foreign State officials. But the Court took the view that the bulk of the authority was to the effect that the State’s right to immunity may not be circumvented by suing its servants or agents instead. The fact that conduct was unlawful or objectionable was not, of…

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Koh: dissing academia and legal scholarship

Watch Harold Koh, former U.S. Legal Adviser, slam the irrelevance of law review articles and academia in general for being irrelevant to policy-making. Awesome. I would to add to the failures he identifies – no problem statement and/or thesis, too many footnotes and the list goes on – namely the horrible writing one finds in many articles, in mine as well. I am trying to change that, and I now feel legitimated in tackling practical issues, and linking theory firmly with practice.

Canada and Denmark claim pieces of the Arctic

Originally posted on Arctika:

Canada’s deadline is Friday to apply to the commission for exclusive rights to what is likely to be another 1.7 million square kilometers of Arctic sea floor. The application under the Convention on the Law of the Sea will be the culmination of a decade of work and more than $200 million in public money.

Collection of data for the application has required more than a dozen icebreaker voyages, as well as trips by helicopters, airplanes and an unmanned, remote-controlled submarine that spent days under the ice, Leader-Post writes.

Denmark and Greenland last week submitted a claim for 62,000 square kilometers of Arctic sea floor, reports Politiken newspaper. The claim is the fourth of five that Denmark is expected to submit before a deadline in 2014 which in total could expand Denmark’s territory by around a million square kilometers.

Politiken reports that other Arctic countries have also submitted claims that…

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