Welcome New Students!

Posted on September 16th, by Sarah Weiner & Beth Nehrling in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

First of all, congratulations and welcome! We are the Harvard Law and International Development Society—a diverse mix of students from Harvard Law School, the Kennedy School of Government, the Tufts Fletcher School, and other graduate schools in Boston who share a passion for the challenges and opportunities that lie at the intersection of law, policy and international development. We are firmly committed to two goals: making a difference in international development and providing our members with opportunities to get involved in hands-on, exciting and high-impact work in a field of their choice. Whether you have experience in international development or are interested in learning more about it, we would like to invite you to learn more about the work we do and meet some of our members. We look forward to getting to know you all this fall!

There are three main ways to get involved with LIDS as a new student at one of our member schools:

1)     Work on a LIDS-Orrick project. Join a group of 5-10 graduate students and work directly with a senior client at one of our partners—generally, a development-focused NGO, IGO, or an entrepreneur serving the bottom of the pyramid. LIDS projects are excellent opportunities to … Read More »

Whose Custom, Whose Law, Whose Land?

Posted on September 11th, by Marian Grove in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

Colonial and apartheid policies in South Africa have had lasting – and complex – impact on indigenous customary law, and with it, on indigent people’s access to land.

“Customary law” is a general term referring to the indigenous or local customs and traditions (i.e. laws) of peoples that live communally. Under colonial rule in South Africa, customary law was given a third class status beneath western-imported British common law and Roman-Dutch civil law. Colonial rulers superficially recognized native customs, but simultaneously supplanted them with western legal concepts such as the ownership of property by a single homestead through a deed or other written entitlement. As a general rule, the colonial government acknowledged indigenous leadership structures only to the extent that it benefitted its system of indirect rule. Hence, the government drew (often with little cultural understanding) firm ethnic and geographic boundaries around tribes, instating chiefs they knew to be subservient to colonial control, and declaring that tribe members could obtain land or other resources only through these tribes and chiefs. Apartheid deepened these distortions of traditional leadership and custom, locking native people within the physical and cultural bounds of tribes and chiefs whose power had been enhanced by colonial impact.

Following the … Read More »

Announcing the Release of LIDS Global Volume I!

Posted on September 9th, by Chris Crawford and Liz Loftus in LIDS LIVE. 1 Comment

LIDS is proud to announce the publication of Volume I of LIDS Global’s international research efforts for the 2013-2014 academic year. Check out the full text of this exciting, collaborative research project on the LIDS Global page and stay tuned for information about how to get involved in 2014-2015!

Last year, LIDS Global embarked on an ambitious, pilot initiative to facilitate collaborations with development-focused student groups outside of the United States. Groups from law schools in Singapore, Tanzania, India, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka formed the inaugural LIDS Global research teams and Volume I presents a compilation of outstanding research from the first four schools. The upcoming publication of Sri Lanka’s innovative contribution will mark the beginning of work on Volume II.

The topic of Volume I, corruption, is a follow-up to a 2012-2013 LIDS white paper that was published in the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Magazine, “Access to Remedies for Transnational Public Bribery.” The white paper proposed that victims of corruption in developing countries should receive compensation for their injuries through the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S. anti-corruption statute.

While the main argument of the paper explored the need for more robust transnational compensation, the paper left significant unanswered questions related to how … Read More »

Applications Open: LIDS Fall 2014 Project Leaders

Posted on September 7th, by Ameya Naik in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

Apply now to lead / participate in LIDS-Orrick projects with partner organizations! The deadline for team leader applications is September 12.

The list of projects for Fall 2014 is:

– The Afghan Independent Bar Association (AIBA), Examining and modifying regulatory frameworks to accommodate an expanding legal aid sector
– International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Developing analytical methods for negotiation research in humanitarian diplomacy
– morethanshelters, implementing partner of UNHCR, Creating frameworks to facilitate cross-sector collaboration to develop Al Za’atari Camp (Jordan)
– Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG), Examining state authority over education in post-conflict states
– South Pacific Business Development (SPBD), Researching the issuance of financial instruments in Samoa and the US for a development corporation
– Transparency International – Kenya, Mapping and analyzing global anti-corruption policies and enforcement in the humanitarian aid sector
– World Resources Institute (WRI), Assessing the security of collective land rights for an online global mapping platform
– LIDS Global White Paper, Exploring the development of a legal toolkit to reduce bribery in “demand-side” countries
 

To work with LIDS and our partners on these pressing development, post-conflict and humanitarian issues, please submit applications through these links: Apply to lead projects by September 12 2014 at 11:59PM and apply to work on projects by September 23 2014 at 11:59PM.

To learn more about the LIDS fall … Read More »

Advocating data-driven Judicial Reform in India

Posted on September 2nd, by Ameya Naik in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

I have worked this summer with The Takshashila Institution, a public policy think-tank in India. Part of my work included co-authoring a policy brief on judicial reforms. The brief is under review for publication, but the subject has become very topical: the Supreme Court recently turned down the idea of operating “Fast Track Courts” to resolve cases against elected Parliamentarians against whom criminal cases are pending, preferring instead to place the burden on the Executive to not elevate such persons to important Ministerial assignments.

Fast Track Courts were initiated, originally, as an experimental solution to the considerable (and growing) backlog of unresolved cases pending before all levels of the judiciary in India. Constituted with funding from the central government, they have proved a qualified success, demonstrating a disposal rate considerably higher than ordinary courts at the same level. Since they are only a procedural innovation, working with the same personnel and no new facts on record, this has prompted concerns that such cases are at higher risk for wrongful conviction and miscarriage of justice. Nowhere is this criticism more pronounced than in the resort to Fast Track Courts for tackling crimes against women.

That move, in turn, is part of a broader set of … Read More »