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CA — The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers

July 9, 2015 Comments off

The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers (PDF)
Source: Canadian Centre for Court Technology

This ground-breaking discussion paper examines the complex issues surrounding the use by judges and tribunal members of social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The foundation of the discussion paper is an unprecedented survey of Canadian judicial officers. Responses from almost 700 participants (approximately 500 in English and 200 in French) provide valuable information about their use of, and opinions on, social media.

After a review of the responses, and consideration of what is currently available as guidance to judicial officers as well as examples of the implications of social media use, the discussion paper concludes with the recommendation that all judicial officers “have a duty to ensure that they understand the advantages, disadvantages and risks of the use of social media in personal and professional contexts and conduct themselves accordingly.”

The paper also concludes that existing policies, principles, codes of conduct or guidelines are inadequate to respond to that duty and suggests that until more guidance is provided, “judicial officers should use social media with caution, keeping in mind the above principles.”

Legal Responses to Health Emergencies

July 8, 2015 Comments off

Legal Responses to Health Emergencies
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains discussions of the regulations addressing health emergencies in 25 jurisdictions, including countries from six continents, the European Union, and the World Health Organization. All surveys included in this report review government structures tasked with delivering public health protection, relevant legislative frameworks for addressing health emergencies, and the powers of government institutions in times of health crises and their ability to mitigate the consequences of such crises. Analyses of the regulation of such issues as disease surveillance and notification systems are also provided.

CRS — Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges (April 2, 2015)

July 6, 2015 Comments off

Conflict Minerals and Resource Extraction: Dodd-Frank, SEC Regulations, and Legal Challenges (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Two sections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) require that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issue regulations to make public the involvement of U.S. companies in conflict minerals and in resource extraction payments. Supporters of the Dodd-Frank conflict minerals statute and the SEC implementing rule believe that such disclosures could have an impact on the amount of violence involved with the mining of conflict minerals. Opponents of the statute and rule argue that they require disclosures that are arbitrary and capricious and that some of the required disclosures violate the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. Supporters of the resource extraction statute and the SEC implementing rule believe that they are needed to achieve the goal of the transparency of payments made by resource extraction issuers to governments in order to foster reform and anticorruption and to improve the tax collection process. Opponents believe that they are arbitrary and capricious and violate the First Amendment. Legal challenges to the statutes and regulations have occurred, based primarily on administrative law and First Amendment grounds.

Top 10 Fastest Growing Canadian Industries

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Top 10 Fastest Growing Canadian Industries
Source: IBISWorld

The Canadian economy’s recovery from the recession has had wide-ranging impacts on domestic industries over the past five years. The ten fastest-growing industries over the past five years, measured by average growth in sales per year and compiled from IBISWorld’s 424 Canadian industry reports, feature industries from a variety of sectors, including heavy manufacturing, wholesaling and professional business services.

While each industry exhibited strong revenue growth, some have experienced cyclical growth while others have grown due to more secular trends. For example, the Nonferrous Metal Foundry Products Manufacturing industry has merely recovered from poor performance during the economic downturn and is unlikely to reach prerecessionary revenue levels. In contrast, up-and-coming industries, such as recycling facilities, have flourished due to longer-term shifts in consumer preferences. Similarly, industries such as fertilizer manufacturing have experienced wildly fluctuating demand, while others, such as the Beauty, Cosmetics and Fragrance Stores industry, have grown steadily over the five-year period.

Patenting and Innovation in China: Incentives, Policy, and Outcomes

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Patenting and Innovation in China: Incentives, Policy, and Outcomes
Source: RAND Corporation

China has undergone a patenting boom, with yearly increases in patent applications averaging 34 percent. Since 2000 this has resulted in a 16-fold increase in the annual number of patents and according to the United Nations, China’s patent office has received more patent filings than any other country (UN December 11, 2012). Previous literature indicates that this trend is driven by large volumes of low-quality patents. Given this, I was motivated to understand the drivers of this trend, the impact of patenting-promoting policies, and the innovative outcomes of Chinese firms. This dissertation examines these three questions in three separate essays: (1) What are the drivers of this patenting boom, and what implications exist for Chinese technical innovation? (2) What are the innovative impacts of the Indigenous Innovation Policy, which is designed to promote patenting? (3) How innovative are leading Chinese firms?

International Food Security Assessment, 2015-25

July 1, 2015 Comments off

International Food Security Assessment, 2015-25
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

The number of food-insecure people in the 76 low- and middle-income countries included in this report is projected to fall 9 percent, from 521 million in 2014 to 475 million in 2015. Over the longer term, the food security situation is projected to deteriorate as the share of population that is food insecure moves from 13.4 percent in 2015 to 15.1 percent in 2025.

Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Fatal Attraction: Western Muslimas and ISIS
Source: Perspectives on Terrorism

More than 550 Muslim women from Western countries have joined ISIS and moved to its proclaimed ‘Caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq. No extremist group has been able to attract so many female Western recruits so far, and their number continues to grow. This article is intended to explain the reasons behind such unprecedented success, the motivation of Western Muslimas to join ISIS and their roles in the ‘Islamic State’. It also compares living conditions under ISIS’ rule with the expectation induced by ISIS’ recruiters in women from the West who had shown an interest to make hijra and join ISIS. Understanding these factors is vital to figure out how to stop this trend and to assess the security threat posed to the West by possible female returnees, or radicalized sympathizers who are unable to leave their countries of residence.

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