“Human rights advocates claim that the depiction of torture in popular TV shows has had the effect of promoting the practice in real life, implying that the production companies may have failed to meet their responsibility to respect human rights as articulated in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.” [Faris Natour, JustMeans.com; Wired on Zero Dark Thirty] “So, ban Schindler’s List?” [@susanwake]
Meanwhile, the regime in Iran says it will sue over its depiction in the movie “Argo” [CNN; more from Wikipedia on French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, whose attempts to marry imprisoned terrorist Carlos the Jackal "have been frustrated by legal issues"]
The NYT’s Room for Debate airs pros and cons of what could be a significant new area of federal regulation.
A year ago the D.C. Circuit told the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that it needed to go through notice-and-comment rulemaking for its controversial program of full-body scanners at airports. The rulemaking process is intended to ensure that the agency lays out clearly the factual, legal and policy basis for its actions, with a chance for opponents to lodge objections and establish a basis for judicial review. As my colleague Jim Harper points out, the agency has dragged its heels about doing this — a sort of passive resistance it would probably not tolerate from the hapless citizens stuck in its lines. TSA screening is one of the most widely resented governmental intrusions on the individual citizen of our era. Shouldn’t we all demand that the federal government demonstrate adequate justification for imposing it? [Cato at Liberty and Ars Technica; Consumerist; Constitutional Law Prof, 2011] (& welcome National Review “Web Briefing” readers; John LaPlante, Detroit News “Water Cooler”)
My new post at Cato at Liberty is on Italian labor law professors Pietro Ichino and Carlo Dell’Aringa, who live under police protection because of their support for liberalization of the job market; two other professors, Massimo D’Antona and Mario Biagi, have been killed by Red Brigades gunmen. More: Coyote.
British prime minister David Cameron is fuming over the latest in a long string of rulings by the European Court of Human Rights, which now has stepped in to protect a militant Islamist cleric from deportation to Jordan, where he has been convicted in absentia of plotting terrorist attacks. [Independent, Telegraph]
More: Cameron calls for reform of ECHR, says it is turning into court of “fourth instance” for general appeal of British judicial decisions [Telegraph, Guardian, New Statesman, Conservative Home]
Kenneth Anderson at Instapundit notes the latest outbreak of “lawfare,” the use of litigation against diplomatic and military actors. “As with most of these advocacy campaigns, the point is not to win cases, but to create a public narrative that says the practice is unsavory and illegitimate, and leverage that into personal legal uncertainty for officials, whether in office or once they leave government.” I’ve got much more on the phenomenon — and its large base of support in present-day legal academia — in Schools for Misrule.
Separately, Gabriel Schoenfeld at National Affairs argues that “when it comes to the American government’s efforts to provide for the common defense, a far-reaching legalism has taken hold,” and Anderson has more on the legalities of last week’s Bin Laden raid.
Only stony-hearted Scrooges could oppose it, right? Earlier here, here, etc. More: PoL; Senate passes modified bill.
The National Review on a dubious federal compensation bill for Ground Zero emergency responders. More: PoL.
“The widow of a July 7 suicide bomber yesterday launched a High Court bid to be represented at the victims’ inquest – saying she had also suffered the loss of a loved one in the atrocity. Hasina Patel, whose husband was terrorist mastermind Mohammad Sidique Khan, is seeking legal aid to challenge the coroner’s decision to exclude Khan’s death from the hearing for the 52 victims of the 2005 London bombings.” [Daily Mail via Amy Alkon]
After a storm of criticism, Ingrid Betancourt withdrew her request for money from the government of Colombia, which launched a commando operation that rescued her from FARC guerrillas in 2008 after a six-year captivity. [Guardian, Moynihan/Hit and Run]