Global Insight - 2014 Archive

October / November 2014

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Islamic State’s caliphate: law and history collide

The term ‘Islamic State’ is now being widely used to describe the militant group waging so barbaric a war in Syria and Iraq that even erstwhile ally al-Qaeda has broken with it. Global Insight considers whether the name reflects reality.

Climate justice: lawyers make a stand

Devastating damage to the ecosystem is inevitable if global warming exceeds two degrees Celsius, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – yet binding emissions targets remain elusive. Global Insight asks the world’s leading environmental lawyers if litigation can go where lawmakers fear to tread.

EU-US data privacy: bridging the gap

Revelations over data privacy – or the lack thereof – keep on coming: from US security agencies’ clandestine programmes to the recent iCloud scandal. Global Insight assesses the growing tensions between the EU and US, and potential ways forward.

Argentina’s debt tango

The Latin American country’s latest travails highlight the complex nature of sovereign debt defaults, ‘selective’ or otherwise.

Cambodia, war crimes and sexual violence

An investigation into allegations of serious sexual violence committed during the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s could debunk the widely accepted notion that the leadership aimed to create a utopia of gender equality.

Protecting free expression and curbing abuses

In these edited extracts, taken from chapters in the recently published IBA book Media Law & Ethics in the 21st Century, leading media lawyer Mark Stephens, multi-award winning newspaper editor Alan Rusbridger and one of the foremost experts in the area of privacy law, former judge David Eady, cover key concerns including protection of whistleblowers, escalating legal costs and differing views on the public interest.

Legal education in the digital age

A digital revolution is changing the model of training in professions from engineering and medicine to business and humanities – and legal education is no different. ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ are seeing hundreds of thousands of learners following courses through videos, podcasts and forums. Global Insight goes back to law school as you never knew it.

Failures in crisis management central to Malaysia Airlines delisting

The beleaguered airline owes its recent delisting and state buyout to the way it handled two major crises this year. Can other Asian listed companies learn from its mistakes?

August /September 2014

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Leading nations begin to act on climate change

Moves by the US and China to curb emissions are a good start, but not enough to ensure a win at next year’s Paris climate talks.

Global free trade in the 21st century

Two ambitious ‘mega-regional’ free trade agreements are currently being negotiated – one between the EU and US, the other among Pacific Rim countries, including the US, Japan and Australia. Such deals are hard to achieve, especially amid resistance and concerns over harm to the WTO.

Better together?

Ukraine has pinned its colours to the European mast, while Russia has formed the Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. Global Insight assesses the pro and cons of such alliances.

Energy wars

The crisis in Ukraine is forcing Europe to reduce its energy dependency on Moscow. As attention turns to Azerbaijan and its near neighbours despite strong links to Russia and China and severe governance concerns, Global Insight assesses the pitfalls and potential of a new energy frontier.

Navi Pillay

The IBA’s second live webcast of 2014 featured Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In conversation with the BBC’s Kirsty Lang, the renowned South African lawyer and judge drew on her own experience serving on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the International Criminal Court to discuss current human rights violations across the world, including Boko Haram’s kidnapping of girls in Nigeria, the war in Syria and unrest in Egypt. She also described the action that can be taken by organisations such as the Human Rights Council and the ICC to intervene and effect change.

Water shortages threaten global security

By 2050 almost 40 per cent of the world population will live in areas of high water stress – according to the OECD. As competition increases and the risk of conflict becomes more likely, Global Insight examines the growing danger of water insecurity.

Barriers to entry: diversity in law firms

Mounting evidence has established a clear link between a diverse workforce and greater levels of economic success. Yet law firms in particular seem to be slow on the uptake. Global Insight examines the factors that could be inhibiting progress.

Expertise across jurisdictions will give firms the edge in Asia

Investment is increasingly flowing from – as well as to – Asia’s major economies. Firms able to offer expertise on both sides are likely to capitalise on a potentially lucrative new wave of clients.

June / July 2014

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Fighting for a better future

Last year, protesters in Ukraine called for an end to corruption and ineffective governance at the highest levels.

Guilty until proven innocent

As tensions between Russia and Ukraine trigger travel bans and asset freezes, Global Insight reports on the secretive world of sanctions where the normal rules of justice and accountability have been turned on their head.

Energy focus: the future of fracking

Concerns over dwindling natural resources and energy security in the EU have intensified the global debate about fracking.

Justice at last for Chilean exiles

A recent landmark decision from the Americas’ highest human rights court brings long-overdue hope that victims of torture in Latin America can obtain swifter and better access to justice.

Sir David Baragwanath

His distinguished career, as Queen’s Counsel and judge of the High Court and Appeal Court of New Zealand among various high profile positions, now sees Sir David Baragwanath take on the Presidency of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the first international tribunal to adjudicate on terrorism as an international crime.

April / May 2014

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Banking on trust

Global Insight finds out from leading litigators and regulators whether the banking sector has cleaned up its act, or whether the worst is yet to come.

The noble pursuit of ligitation

Though strategic litigation and test cases make essential contributions to the rule of law, there’s concern that they’re being abused.

Arbitration: what does the future hold?

‘The IBA Guidelines: “a right step or a step too far?”...’

Magna Carta and the global community

‘UN Declaration: “a Magna Carta for all men everywhere”...’

Global leaders

The IBA’s first live webcast of 2014 featured the Hon. Michael Kirby, Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In conversation with the BBC’s Kirsty Lang, the former Australian High Court judge and IBAHRI Council member discusses the findings of the report and what steps can be taken to bring accountability for the ‘unspeakable atrocities’ allegedly perpetrated by the Pyongyang regime. He also gives his views on UNAIDs, the global ‘war on drugs’ and his long-term efforts for gay rights across the world.

February / March 2014

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The unbearable crisis

The crisis in Syria is putting unsustainable pressure on its neighbours – Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. With public services swamped by refugees and local tensions rising, Global Insight reports on Lebanon, a country bearing an impossible burden.

Asia: adopting the right mindset

Lawyers should consider factors beyond the letter of the law – such as how it has previously been enforced and local culture – in order to give the best advice, adopting a unique approach to each jurisdiction.

Living in a digital world: blessing or curse?

Technology has transformed how we live. With real-time global information constantly available, many of us routinely use smartphones or iPads. But, views on the merits of tech-gadgets vary.

Red flags flying

In 2008 Bernard Madoff admitted that his wealth management business was the biggest Ponzi scheme in history – having defrauded investors of $18bn. The shocking impact has reverberated around the finance world since. So how could it happen and who’s responsible for ensuring it doesn’t again?

Global leaders

Ángel Gurría has served as Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) since June 2006. Previously, he served as Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Finance and Public Credit. In this in-depth interview with former CNN news anchor Todd Benjamin, he shares his thoughts on the emerging economies, global inequality, anti-corruption, and the ongoing relevance of the OECD in a world of shifting economic power.

December 2013 / January 2014

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Madeleine Albright

The former US Secretary of State reflected on her ‘worst day’ and the need for the international system to respond to non-state actors and new realties during her IBA Annual Conference keynote address.

Paul Volcker: corruption and the rule of law

The former Fed Chairman emphasised the effects of corruption on business, human rights and democracy, insisting that the legal profession must actively defend against it to avoid complicity.

Poverty post-financial crisis: the rule (and role) of law

With input from high-level experts and Nobel laureates, the second phase of the IBA’s Task Force on the Financial Crisis re-envisages the role of the legal profession in fighting global poverty

Battling conflict

Armed groups rely on precious minerals to fund violence and, in 2010, US legislation aimed to break this connection. Global Insight reports on a European law that aims to go even further.

Twenty-first century slavery

As the IBA makes human trafficking a Presidential priority, Global Insight explores the world’s second largest criminal industry, affecting over 600,000 men, women and children every year.