© Gobierno de Chile

The Case against China’s joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Dr Ming Du

China’s attitude toward the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has shifted over the past few years. Initially, China viewed the TPP as a US strategic tool to contain China’s rise and dominate the Asia-Pacific region. More recently, China’s attitude has been less suspicious. According to the Ministry of Commerce, China ‘will analyze the pros and cons as well as the possibility of joining the TPP, based on careful research and according to principles of equality and mutual benefit’.

I submit that China should not seek to join the TPP in the short term.

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Dodenhoff hate

Disability Hate Crime – ‘Only having a laugh’

Paul Dodenhoff

A number of months ago, I was walking through Preston mid-afternoon with a group of people, and suddenly a number of eggs rained down upon us from a second floor window above a shop. Glancing up, we witnessed two retreating, laughing males, probably about 18 to 20 years old. Luckily the eggs missed and no damage was done to either pride or clothing, nor was the incident reported to anybody as far as I’m aware.

Similarly, I was on a bus ride not long before that incident, where a group of rowdy schoolboys about 14 to 16 years old sitting on the upper deck of the bus, started throwing empty pop cans and spitting out of the bus windows at the passengers below as they exited the bus at a stop. This was reported to the driver of the bus, by one of the ‘victims’ of the incident.

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(c) The Constructor

The Problem With Traffic Lights: Ex Post Facto Precaution

John Pearson

Firstly for those of you misled by the title into thinking this post was a rant about traffic management systems, my apologies but thank you for the addition to my viewing figures. For those of you still reading at this point, the post will consider the efficacy of the widely used traffic light system of environmental risk management in major extraction projects.

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Kopela - japanwhaling

Japan’s predicament with whaling

Dr Sophia Kopela

The Japanese Prime Minister caused some concern on Monday last week when he told Parliament that he aimed ‘for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources’. This comes less than three months after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its Judgment in the long-running dispute concerning Japan’s whaling activities in the Antarctic. In this case brought before the ICJ by Australia against Japan, the World Court found that the Japanese whale research programme in the Antarctic (known as JARPA II) was in breach of Japan’s obligations in international law, and ordered Japan to revoke the relevant permits and to refrain from the granting of further permits in pursuance of this programme (see my previous blog).

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Beresford Trojan Horse

Trojan Horses in Birmingham; the Banning of Religion in Schools and Education

Dr Sarah Beresford

Tuesday 10th June saw the publication Ofsted’s much awaited report into 21 Birmingham schools in the so called leaked ‘Trojan horse’ letter which alleged a planned takeover of schools by Islamist extremists. One of the schools investigated was Park View Academy. Ofsted’s report found that the recruitment and promotion of staff at Parkview was unfair and opaque; students were not prepared adequately for life in a multicultural society; and there were few opportunities to learn about non-Muslim beliefs, nor adequate citizenship lessons or Sex and Relationships Education. This blog argues that this recent controversy is representative of a deeper problem than so-called ‘muslim take over plots’ or ‘Faith schools’. The issue is of the place of religion and religiosity in schools and in the curriculum. The issue has caused a public row between two senior coalition ministers with the Home Secretary Theresa May accusing the Education Secretary Michael Gove, of failing to deal with an alleged Islamist plot to take over schools. The issue goes deeper than a discussion on Faith schools (Park View is not a Faith school. If this amount of religious indoctrination can take place in a school which is not a faith school, what amount of indoctrination is taking place at faith schools?).

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Taken from International PEN. Musine Kokalari at the 1946 Trial.

A Pioneer for Her Time: Musine Kokalari

Dr Agata Fijalkowski

I am on a mission to revive the story of a little known Albanian writer and political dissident.

In 2012, when I first began my research in Tirana on the Enver Hoxha dictatorship and the way in which Albania is examining its dictatorial past, I was confronted time and time again by image above, in films and exhibits. (Taken from International PEN. Musine Kokalari at the 1946 Trial.)

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campbell badger3

The Legality of Badger Gassing

Prof David Campbell

In responses to excellent comments made on an earlier blog about the pilot badger culls, I have given it as my opinion that the prospects for successful judicial review of those culls are poor. This opinion is based on the nature of judicial review and is not in any way a substantive defence of the culls or the policy of ‘eradicating’ bTB that lies behind them. This policy is irrational in every sense other than the sense which guides judicial review, and the culls have been so completely a failure that I do think their continuation in their present form, and certainly their extension in that form to other parts of the UK, could be subject to successful judicial review. The definition of insanity attributed to Einstein – of repeating the same action in the expectation of a different result – has become very clichéd, but this is only because, as with all the clichés one cannot avoid using, it is profoundly true. To go on with these pilot culls without very substantially amending them, or to extend them in their present state, would, in my opinion, invite judicial review that had a real prospect of success.

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