Archive

Archive for the ‘legal and law enforcement’ Category

The Human Rights Impact of Less Lethal Weapons and Other Law Enforcement Equipment

April 20, 2015 Comments off

The Human Rights Impact of Less Lethal Weapons and Other Law Enforcement Equipment
Source: Amnesty International

Law enforcement agencies around the world regularly misuse so-called “less-lethal” weapons and equipment for torture and their use can also have deadly consequences, Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation said as they launched a new briefing at the United Nations Crime Congress in Doha, Qatar.

The Human Rights Impact of Less Lethal Weapons and Other Law Enforcement Equipment details the medical and other risks associated with a wide range of weaponry and equipment used in policing, including crowd control during demonstrations, as well as in prisons. And it recommends stricter controls or, in some cases, bans to stem future abuses.

Amnesty International and Omega acknowledge the importance of developing less-lethal weapons, equipment and technologies, to reduce the risk of death or injury inherent in police use of firearms and other existing weapons.

When used responsibly by well-trained and fully accountable law enforcement officials, less-lethal weapons can prevent and minimize deaths and injuries to assailants, suspects and detainees, as well as protect the police and prison officers themselves.

But such equipment can have damaging and even deadly effects if it is not used in compliance with international human rights law and standards.

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement

April 20, 2015 Comments off

Reducing Harms to Boys and Young Men of Color from Criminal Justice System Involvement
Source: Urban Institute

Boys and young men of color are overrepresented in all aspects of the juvenile justice and criminal justice systems, at considerable cost to those involved, their families, and their communities. This overrepresentation is most acute for African Americans, although other communities of color are also affected. This paper reviews systemic, institutional, and community policies and practices that greatly impact the life chances of boys and young men of color. Policy and practice changes that would reduce criminal justice engagement and that would reduce the harms caused to communities of color from criminal justice engagement are identified and suggestions are made for developing more evidence of effectiveness for initiatives in this area.

Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

April 17, 2015 Comments off

Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.

In light of the recent events that have exposed rifts in the relationships between local police and the communities they protect and serve, on December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

In establishing the task force, the President spoke of the distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities—the sense that in a country where our basic principle is equality under the law, too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.

It became very clear that it is time for a comprehensive and multifaceted examination of all the interrelated parts of the criminal justice system and a focused investigation into how poverty, lack of education, mental health, and other social conditions cause or intersect with criminal behavior. We propose two overarching recommendations that will seek the answers to these questions.

0.1 OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: The President should support and provide funding for the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system for the purpose of making recommendations to the country on comprehensive criminal justice reform.

0.2 OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: The President should promote programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community based initiatives that address the core issues of poverty, education, health, and safety.

State Constitutional Right to Hunt and Fish

April 17, 2015 Comments off

State Constitutional Right to Hunt and Fish
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Eighteen states guarantee the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions, with 17 of those approved via the voters. While Vermont’s language dates back to 1777, the rest of these constitutional provisions—in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming—have passed since 1996. California and Rhode Island have language in their respective constitutions guaranteeing the right to fish, but not to hunt. Advocates also consider Alaska’s constitutional language—“Wherever occurring in their natural state, fish, wildlife, and waters are reserved to the people for common use”—as meeting the test because of its strong case law history.

2015 Data Breach Investigations Report

April 16, 2015 Comments off

2015 Data Breach Investigations Report
Source: Verizon

Prepare your enterprise to conduct individualized self-assessments of risk, so you can make realistic decisions on how to avoid cyber threats. The 2015 DBIR expands its investigation into nine common threat patterns and sizes up the effects of all types of data breaches, from small data disclosures to events that hit the headlines.

free registration required2

CRS — Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (April 6, 2015)

April 15, 2015 Comments off

Free Exercise of Religion by Closely Held Corporations: Implications of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

A 5-4 decision, issued over a highly critical dissent, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. resolved one of the many challenges raised in response to the contraceptive coverage requirement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Imputing the beliefs of owners of closely held corporations to such corporations, the U.S. Supreme Court found that closely held corporations that hold religious objections to certain contraceptive services cannot be required to provide coverage of those services in employee health plans. The Court’s decision was based on the protections offered under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a statute prohibiting the government from imposing a substantial burden on a person’s religious exercise unless it can show a compelling interest achieved by the least restrictive means. The Court declined to address the constitutional challenge, holding that the companies were protected under RFRA.

In the absence of a definition under RFRA, the majority interpreted the term “person” to include closely held corporations, even if they operated for-profit, and determined that the penalties that such companies would face if they failed to comply with the contraceptive coverage requirement would impose a substantial burden. Though the Court assumed that the government had a compelling interest to require contraceptive coverage under ACA, it found that less restrictive means (e.g., expanding the regulatory accommodation available to nonprofit employers with similar objections) could achieve that interest without requiring companies with religious objections to be subject to the requirement.

CRS — Net Neutrality: Selected Legal Issues Raised by the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order (April 6, 2015)

April 15, 2015 Comments off

Net Neutrality: Selected Legal Issues Raised by the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted an order that will impose rules governing the management of Internet traffic as it passes over broadband Internet access services (BIAS), whether those services are fixed or wireless. The rules are commonly known as “net neutrality” rules. The order was released in March 2015. According to the order, the rules ban the blocking of legal content, forbid paid prioritization of affiliated or proprietary content, and prohibit the throttling of legal content by broadband Internet access service providers (BIAS providers). The rules are subject to reasonable network management, as that term is defined by the FCC.

This is not the first time the FCC has attempted to impose some version of net neutrality rules. Most recently, the FCC issued the Open Internet Order in 2010, which would have created similar rules for the provision of broadband Internet access services. However, the bulk of those rules, with the sole exception of a disclosure rule, were struck down by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Interestingly, the court found that the FCC did have broad enough authority under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to impose the rules. However, the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, permits only “telecommunications services” to be regulated as common carriers. Broadband Internet access services were classified as “information services” under the act by the FCC. Because the court found some of the rules imposed by the Open Internet Order to be common carrier regulation per se, the court found that the rules could not be applied to broadband Internet access services.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,029 other followers