Monthly Archives: June 2014

(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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