Opinion

The Irish Times view on the legal system: access denied

A great many people cannot afford to go to court because of the exorbitant amounts of money involved even for relatively straightforward cases. The Irish Times An effective legal system is a basic tenet of a functioning democracy, but no legal system can be effective unless every citizen has access to it. That points to a fundamental deficiency in our Republic. Long delays and outdated procedures contribute to the problem by deterring people from taking legal action, but the real ... Read More »

Crossing Divides: The friends who are good for your brain

Creative thinking is essential for everything from solving problems to personal fulfilment. So, how can we do more to nurture it? By Julie Van de Vyver & Richard Crisp, Durham University BBC Every day we are expected to make hundreds of decisions and judgements. These range from small ones, like what to have for breakfast, to big ones like whether to take a new job. The trouble is that our mental resources are limited – the human mind can only cope ... Read More »

John Dean: I Testified Against Nixon. Here’s My Advice for Michael Cohen.

My appearance before Congress helped take down a president. Will the same thing happen to Trump? By John W. Dean The New York Times There are several parallels between my testimony before Congress in 1973, about President Richard Nixon and his White House, and Michael Cohen’s testimony this week about President Trump and his business practices. Setting aside the differences regarding how we got there, we both found ourselves speaking before Congress, in multiple open and closed venues, about criminal ... Read More »

Why the profit motive demotivates employees

An often uncomfortable truth is that many, perhaps most, businesses exist to maximise profit. James Adonis The Canberra Times In a capitalist society that’s no bad thing, although bad things tend to arise when owners end up over-prioritising the profit motive. Businesses demonstrate the extent to which they prioritise profits over people in a number of ways. The obvious one is incentives. If, for example, managers are rewarded based on how well they maximise revenues and minimise costs and not, ... Read More »

When a kid breaks the law there’s so much more going on below the surface

We must recognise the link between mental conditions and youth crime Anonymous The Guardian The Kimberley is an exceptionally beautiful part of the continent. None of its natural splendour can be seen in one of the region’s courtrooms, however. The only noteworthy feature is the Western Australian coat of arms, with its iconic black swan and kangaroo paw. Opposite the magistrate’s chair sits a wide screen television, used in part to reach young offenders via video link. This screen streams ... Read More »

Venezuela: An Empty Shell Named Juan Guaido

Venezuela’s next problem, besides a crashed economy and an authoritarian regime, may be an opposition president incapable of running the country. Sergio Ocampo Madrid EL ESPECTADOR 2019-02-27 English edition • WORLDCRUNCH -OpEd- BOGOTÁ — Obviously, I want Maduro to fall. Obviously, I’m counting the minutes to the end of Venezuela’s nightmare, so we may start to rebuild it after a 20-year experiment that has both destroyed the country and largely killed the dream that many of us in Colombia share: ... Read More »

‘He Is a Racist, He Is a Con Man, and He Is a Cheat’

Nixon was bad, but nothing compared to Michael Cohen’s portrayal of “gangster” Trump. By Nicholas Kristof The New York Times Opinion Columnist Feb. 27, 2019 More than 45 years ago, as a 14-year-old farm kid in Oregon, I watched on a flickering black-and-white television as Richard Nixon’s former White House counsel, John Dean, testified about presidential misconduct in the Watergate scandal — and the second-most-corrupt administration in American history began to crumble. Now, watching Michael Cohen testify before Congress, I sense ... Read More »

Richard Leonard: Tony Blair’s ‘middle ground’ is a right-wing nightmare

The bedroom tax, rape clause and hostility to migrants show just how wrong Tony Blair was to say Labour had abandoned the “middle ground” of politics, writes Richard Leonard. The Scotsman Remember the bedroom tax? That pernicious Tory policy that encapsulated so much about what and who the Tories represent: seeing a housing crisis and punishing those who had the least to do with causing it and the… Labour forced the SNP Government to scrap it in Scotland, after it ... Read More »

The golden age of hydrocarbons has finally reached SA

JOHANNESBURG – There is is no gentle way of announcing it, or more telling, a more sophisticated way of avoiding saying it, that South Africa has officially entered its golden age of hydrocarbon extraction. Ambassador Bheki Gila In spite of the voices of sceptics, their disbelief not so much the fact that we have entered the age, but that it is golden, it would be naiveté of a disturbing kind that the country keeps walking into an age unbeknown to ... Read More »

Royal Commissions tell us a great deal about Corruption. But will Justice be an inevitable final chapter?

The string of Royal Commissions have provided us with stinging visual images of corruption, notably among bankers and clergymen. Josephine Zananiri Tasmanian Times Aside from some gratifyingly blunt cross-examination, causing a degree of humiliation, the legal outcomes are far from clear. At this point we might hazard a guess that corruption and justice are a sleight of hand depending on the cards dealt. Now if you happened by chance to find yourself in the top say five per cent of ... Read More »

Eamonn McCann: Why Chagos Islanders should be hailed as heroes

UN court finding may open the way for Chagos Islanders’ to return home The Irish Times In The Hague last month, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration found that the United Kingdom’s declaration in 2010 of a Marine Protection Area around the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean was illegal. The decision endorsed the claim of the government of Mauritius that the UK did not have jurisdiction to make rulings relating to the status of the area. The finding ... Read More »

These Are the World’s Healthiest Nations

Maybe it’s something in the gazpacho or paella, as Spain just surpassed Italy to become the world’s healthiest country. By Lee J Miller and Wei Lu Bloomberg That’s according to the 2019 edition of the Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, which ranks 169 economies according to factors that contribute to overall health. Spain placed sixth in the previous gauge, published in 2017. Four additional European nations were among the top 10 in 2019: Iceland (third place), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth) and Norway (ninth). Japan ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit throws up really big calls on jobs, the rural economy and peace

Cliff Taylor: Government would need to embark on a major programme of assistance for the companies affected The Irish Times The Omnibus Bill on Brexit, published yesterday, is an important piece of work to prepare for a no-deal Brexit. But the big decisions lie elsewhere. How do we support the sectors worst hit? And what about the Border? There is an almost irresistible temptation among the political classes to reassure us that everything is ready, and it will all be alright ... Read More »

Political corruption scars young voters forever, new research finds

Twenty-five years after the Clean Hands scandal in Italy, those who voted for the first time in 1994 still record less trust in democratic institutions and are more likely to vote for populist parties, according… AAAS and EurekAlert! New research finds that political corruption has a long-term scarring effect on trust in democratic institutions and on voters’ behavior and that such an effect differs according to one’s age cohort, with first-time voters at the… In particular, Bocconi University’s Arnstein Aassve, ... Read More »

Dear Scott and Bill, we’ve strayed from our values: a Socceroo’s plea

Football commentator Craig Foster, who helped save refugee Hakeem al-Araibi, has written a challenge to PM Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten: now save Australia’s humanity. Craig Foster The Sydney Morning Herald Dear Scott and Bill, Thank you for your support for Hakeem al-Araibi during his recent struggle for justice and for the welcome provided to him last week at Parliament House. It was a powerful moment to see a young refugee celebrated in the centre of our democracy, ... Read More »

US law recognizes Aegean treaty regime in Dodecanese

It was in 1920 that the United States first became seriously involved in issues arising from the Aegean treaty regime in the Dodecanese. Nicholas G. Karambelas ekathimerini In that year, the peace conference which culminated in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 had been convened. The fate of the 12 Aegean islands commonly known as the Dodecanese was one of the issues which the peace conference debated. The US Senate passed a resolution which called on the peace conference to ... Read More »