2014 Justice in Review

On December 17, 2014, Law@theMargins Editor Ms. Chaumtoli Huq hosted a Facebook chat with several contributors to the blog on looking back at 2014 and reviewing the year’s events through a social justice lens.  You can read the full chat on the event page. Contributors included: Maurice Pianko, Founder of Intern Justice; Rocio Alejandra Avila, formerly Senior Fellow, Women Employment Rights Clinic of Golden Gate University; Sharmin Sadequee, Organizer on Criminal Justice…

January 9, 2015

#LaborDispatches from Bangladesh

By Chaumtoli Huq Last year, on June 27, 2013, I visited the site of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh, two months after the death of over 1,100 workers.  A mother stood looking at the site, mourning the death of her daughter who worked in the garment factory. Fixated on the debris, that had not yet been fully cleared, and by then covered by rainwater, she feared that…

August 16, 2014

Bioethics, Scientific Research and the GMO Debate

“Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors…in order that the creations of our minds shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind.  Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations.” – Albert Einstein’s Speech to students at California Institute of Technology on February 16, 1931 “Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to…

September 22, 2013

If GMO Foods Are Safe, Put a Label On It

I expected that the supposed benefits of GMO foods would be heatly debated, but why is there such fierce opposition to GMO labeling laws.  If it is in fact safe, then, companies should put a label on it.  Stand by your product, and educate consumers on its benefits.

August 7, 2013

Perspectives: The First Immigration Public Defender System: New York City 2013

Professor Mark Noferi teaches a Civil Rights and Immigration Seminar at Brooklyn Law School, as well as legal writing. http://www.brooklaw.edu/faculty/directory/facultymember/biography.aspx?id=mark.noferi On Friday, July 19, the New York City Council allocated $500,000 towards the “nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation,” as the New York Times described it.  $500,000 may seem small.  But New York’s pilot project shows that immigration appointed counsel is achievable, politically, financially, and logistically.  More importantly, the New…

August 1, 2013

Eggplant and the Constitutional Right to Health and a Balanced Ecology

Pamphlet to Farmers from ABSP-II funded by USAID Imagine if people living in the United States could petition the courts on the grounds that they have a constitutional right to their individual health and a balanced and healthy ecology.  Imagine if companies were required to demonstrate with full scientific certainty that any product entering into the market for human consumption is free from harmful consequences or food produced would not…

July 17, 2013

Aftermath of the Rana Plaza Tragedy: Social and Health Issues Emerge Amid Struggle for Workers’ Rights

Two months after the Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh on April 24, where over a thousand workers died and countless others were injured, families who lost a loved one or workers who were seriously injured face obstacles in obtaining compensation for lost wages, adequate health care for issues related to their injuries, and counseling for severe post-traumatic stress from the tragedy.  It is hard to imagine the full…

June 24, 2013

(inter)Generation Movement Lawyer 2.0

In the 1960s, the term movement lawyer emerged to identify the lawyer that provided legal support to the social movements of the time from civil rights to women rights.   Movement lawyers fell along a wide ideological spectrum from Thurgood Marshall as the lawyer for NAACP to William Kunstler.   There were less publicly known lawyers such as Leo Branton Jr. who represented Angela Davis. Since then, lawyers who see their work…

June 14, 2013

Perspectives: Civil Rights as Labor Rights

On this May Day, an internationally recognized workers’ day, we are reminded that thousands of American workers continue to face discrimination on the job each year based on a protected status, such as race, gender or religion, despite a patchwork of existing state and federal anti-discrimination laws. In recent years, for example, nearly 100,000 workers have filed discrimination claims annually with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), and about…

May 1, 2013

If There’s a Movement, and NYT Doesn’t Cover it, Is it a Movement?

Police Crush Pro Democracy Movement – 1987 Nobel prize poet laureate Rabindranath Tagore has a famous song cherished by Bengali activists which loosely translates to:  If no one heeds your call, then travel the road by yourself.  This has been interpreted as a call for courage and an inspiration to chart a path for social justice on one’s own.  But does that make a social movement? Of course, quotes abound…

April 16, 2013