Bork-Peril Justice

On June 6, 2007, Robert H. Bork caused to be filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York, wherein he is the named Plaintiff, and the Yale Club of New York City is the named Defendant.

Mr. Bork’s cause of action arises out of an incident which occurred on June 6, 2006, on which date Mr. Bork was visiting the Yale Club, a private club, in New York City, to deliver a speech at a luncheon sponsored by the New Criterion Magazine. It is perhaps interesting to note that Mr. Bork, though not a Yale alum, was a professor at the Yale School of Law during the Sixties and Seventies. He is currently a Professor of Law at the Ave Maria Law School located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It does not appear that he was on medical leave during the 2006-2007 academic year.

Mr. Bork’s complaint was not verified, but was signed by his attorneys on his behalf. Your correspondent is unfamiliar with New York legal procedure. It is unknown whether there is a one year statute of limitations on tort actions in New York, and the suit was started on the last possible day it could successfully been brought, or if the filing on the one year anniversary of Mr. Bork’s injury was merely coincidental.

While attempting to ascend the dais on the date in question, Mr. Bork lost his balance, and fell backwards, hitting his left leg on the subject dais and hitting his head on an inconveniently placed heat register. While other, lesser, non-originalist, non-textualist men may have been deterred from a further assault on the lofty height, Mr. Bork, being a trouper, was made of sterner stuff. Though he may have been bloodied, he was unbowed. He raised himself up from the shambles of his fallen self, ascended that self-same dais, and delivered his oration like a good ‘un. It is unknown whether the head injury affected the form or content of the speech. I suspect that, after his talk, and after thunderous applause, Mr. Bork descended the dais, unaided, shook the hands of many well-wishers, and left the premises. One assumes, but admittedly does not know, that Mr. Bork, as a Virginia resident, employed in Michigan, was paid some small stipend for his comments.

The members of the Yale Club may well have been distressed, if not confused to read the subsequent complaint served on the organization by Mr. Bork’s attorneys. The complaint alleges that the Yale club failed to provide a safe dais or stairs or a handrail between the dais and the floor. Also, the dais was at an unreasonable height from the floor.

Mr. Bork’s complaint contains two counts, one alleging negligence and one alleging gross negligence. The allegations of fact in both counts are exactly the same in both counts except the words “wantonly, willfully and recklessly” are substituted in Count Two for the word “negligently” in Count One.

Mr. Bork alleges a leg injury (apparently the injury to his head from the heat register resolved), causing a large hematoma, which later burst, requiring surgery. Excruciating pain resulted, which prevented him from working his “typical” schedule after the injury. He also endured months of “relative inactivity” due to his injuries, and was “largely immobile” for some months.

Medical bills were incurred, and some lost income alleged, though, as indicated, he gave his speech that day, and was not listed as “on medical leave” on the Ave Maria website.

What does the complaint indicate that Mr. Bork, the accident victim, deserves in order to make him whole for this injury, caused by the negligence and willful, wanton, and reckless conduct of the Yale Club:

1. $1,000,000, and

2. Punitive damages, and

3. Pre-and post-judgment costs, interest and attorney fees.

For those who may not know Mr. Bork, he has served as Solicitor General of the United States, acting Attorney General, and Federal Court of Appeals Judge. In 1987, he was nominated for the US Supreme Court by President Reagan. His nomination was vigorously opposed by many groups, and the Senate eventually rejected his confirmation. The word “Bork” has now become a verb and as of 2002 has appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary. The word is defined: “To destroy a judicial nominee through a concerted attack on his character, background and philosophy.” During the confirmation process, opponents went so far as to obtain Mr. Bork’s video rental records. It is some interest to note that one video rented by Mr. Bork was the Marx Brothers’ “A Day at the Races”.

So we see that even highly educated, intelligent persons with long pedigrees of public service like Mr. Bork can become victims of negligent and reckless actions by organizations and corporations.

While it appears that Mr. Bork has much in common with many other persons injured apparently through no fault of their own, we should not separate Robert Bork the victim from Robert Bork the legal scholar and philosopher, and former judge, quite yet. For while this case may be the first occasion where Mr. Bork has been a part of the legal system in the role of injured plaintiff, he has previously expressed some definite opinions on the subject.

Mr. Bork has long been an advocate of “tort reform” measures to restrict the rights of injured persons. As recently as 2002, in an article he authored in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Mr. Bork that Congress, by legislation, displace state tort law. He admitted, however, that the framers of our Constitution did not grant Congress such power. Mr. Bork wrote:

“State tort law today is different in kind from the state tort law known to the generation of the Framers. The present tort system poses dangers to interstate commerce not unlike those faced under the Articles of Confederation. Even if Congress would not, in 1789, have had the power to displace state tort law, the nature of the problem has changed so dramatically as to bring the problem within the scope of the power granted to Congress. Accordingly, proposals, such as placing limits or caps on punitive damages, or eliminating joint or strict liability, which may once have been clearly understood as beyond Congress’s power, may now be constitutionally appropriate.”

Such a federal tort system would, Mr. Bork believes, combat the problem of frivolous claims and excessive punitive damage awards that apparently plague state courts.

Mr. Bork has long been an advocate of judicial restraint. He has criticized judges who “legislate from the bench.” Reinterpreting the US Constitution to grant Congress powers admittedly not included by the Constitution’s authors sounds like a liberal dose of judicial activism to me.

Admittedly, I know very little about the facts of Mr. Bork’s accident. If the Yale Club did not provide a means of ascending a dais and if it was a very high step and if there was no support provided, I can see how a case of negligence could be proven. No argument from me that the claim itself is frivolous. And, if Mr. Bork can prove his case, and if he incurred medical expenses, and wage loss and pain and suffering, he is entitled to reasonable compensation from the responsible parties. That seems to make common sense. But what makes this case especially interesting, is the nature of the claims a person of
Mr. Bork’s philosophy makes against the parties he holds responsible and the relief to which he claims he is entitled. It is also equally fascinating to consider what relief Mr. Bork get if his accident occurred under similar circumstances at the Detroit Athletic Club, Detroit, Michigan, the state where Mr. Bork is employed as a Professor of Law. And, coincidentally, a state where much of the indigenous judiciary has made Mr. Bork’s legal philosophy (or what they thought it was), the law of this state.

First, let’s take a closer look at Mr. Bork’s New York complaint. Quite honestly, if there is negligence here, it is because someone at the event didn’t think a step or railing to the dais was needed. Or forgot to even think whether one was necessary. Or accidentally removed on that was already there. Simple carelessness. Well, that is not quite good enough for Mr. Bork, the advocate of restraint, and the opponent of the frivolous claim. He alleges that the actions of the Yale Club were not merely negligent or careless, but willful, wanton and reckless. Maybe I misunderstood the facts. Maybe a member of the Yale Club threw him off the dais.

Anyhow, the actions of the Yale Club were so shocking the Mr. Bork does not merely want reasonable compensation ($1,000,000), but Mr. Bork wants the Yale Club to pay punitive damages, which of course he will be happy to keep for himself.

The reader might say that if the law in New York is so screwed up so as to allow people to collect such damages, why should Mr. Bork, merely because he doesn’t personally believe in such remedies, be precluded from obtaining all allows.

I would agree. It takes a man of strong character to let his personal beliefs restrain him from glomming onto all the bucks he can.

Except for this. Mr. Bork asks for punitive damages. New York law does not allow them. Mr. Bork asks for pre-judgment interest. New York law does not allow it. Mr. Bork asks for attorney fees. New York law does not allow them. Mr. Bork asks for $1,000,000 compensatory damages in his complaint. A federal complaint need only claim damages of $75,000 to invoke the jurisdiction of the court.

Now if these are the kind of remedies Mr. Bork wants included in the national tort law legislation he advocates, he might find that he has a lot more support among plaintiff attorneys than he thought.

Second, let’s move the location of Mr. Bork’s accident to the great state of Michigan, where Professor Bork helps develop the skills of future members of our state Bar.

In Michigan, the jury Mr. Bork demanded in his complaint would never hear his case. Mr. Bork would not get compensatory damages, much less punitive damages, even if the owners of the club admitted negligence. Mr. Bork could have fallen and killed himself due to the admitted negligence of any and all possible defendants, and Mr. Bork’s estate would be entitled to nothing other than possibly the bill for cleaning his blood off the dais.

Like Mr. Bork, many members of the Michigan Supreme Court are members of the Federalist Society, long-time advocates of “tort reform”. Mr. Bork’s judicial philosophy is called “Originalism.” The judicial philosophy of the Michigan Supreme Court majority is called “Textualism.” They are merely different euphemisms to label what is the worst kind of judicial activism as judicial restraint.

Well, cases decided by Mr. Bork’s adherents on the Michigan Supreme Court would make short work of Mr. Bork’s complaint. The height of a step is something Mr. Bork could see, so it was up to him to make sure he ascended it without injuring himself. The club has no duty to provide a step or railing or warning or anything else. After the fall, Mr. Bork ascended the dais without falling again, which is elegant proof that he should have done it without falling the first time.
If Mr. Bork was to argue that there was no other way to get onto the dais other than climbing an excessively high step, he would be no further ahead. Michigan cases would inform him, as his case was dismissed, that he was not required to ascend the dais at all. He could have spoken at floor level. He could have refused to speak at all, or he could have had the event cancelled and rescheduled for another day when there was a step or railing to the dais. If he had simply followed one of those three available alternate courses of action, he would not have fallen. If he hurt himself he has only himself to blame.

If Mr. Bork did not like the result of his Michigan case, he could appeal its dismissal. And some time down the road after an Appeals Court upheld the dismissal, Professor Bork might find himself using his own case to teach his Ave Maria law class the advantages of “tort reform.”

Robert Bork is a fine teacher. He teaches us a great many things by his actions in this case. First, the principles of tort reform apply to others, not to me. Secondly, frivolous suits are those brought by everyone–else. Thirdly, legal philosophy be damned–show me the money!!

May there always be men and women who will protect the common citizen from those who think them worthy of no consideration.

From the Originalists and the Textualists, Good Lord, deliver us. And, as they might say at the end of class at Ave Maria Law School—Amen.

The Rule of Law

One of the most fundamental requirements of a civil society is the rule of law which means that the people must follow the law of the land irrespective of his or her status or position in the society. In the modern world, the developed countries feel proud that their society is governed by the rule of law while most developing countries like India feel ashamed that their society does not have the rule of law. The developed countries are the role model for the underdeveloped countries, where the rule of law is still a distant dream.

Societies that follow rule of law are often considered more civilized as there is much more order in the society. Every thing in such societies appears to be in order. The roads are clean, lawns and parks are well-maintained, government officials work in office, trains and public transports run on time. Further, there is virtually no corruption in public offices. People are well paid, deliver better efficiencies and keep everything neat and clean. These societies appear perfect to the people of other parts of the world, who often wonder why they can’t be like them.

All societies need laws for their existence. Even though the laws may be different in each society, yet there are some basic principles that are common to all laws of the world. These fundamental principles are equality, fraternity, justice and liberty. The Indian constitution, for example, incorporates these goals in the preamble to the constitution which seeks to secure for all its citizens justice, liberty, equality and to promote among them the spirit of fraternity.

These principles are so universal in nature that they find place in every civilized society of the world. It is matter of great surprise that in reality the outcome of the rule of law is just the opposite. The more civilized a society is, the more is the inequality among its population – more injustice to the have-nots, less liberty due to strict enforcement of law and more hatred among the citizens based on race, caste and religion. What goes wrong in the implementation in the so-called rule of law?

Law of Nature

Indian thinkers in the Vedic period, i.e. around 3000 years before the birth of Christ, discovered that the universe does not perform its functions at random but follows certain laws. These were called “Rita” or the universal laws or principles that guided the universe. The progress of man can be largely attributed in understanding these basic principles of nature and exploiting them for the benefit of the human race at the cost of the rest of the creations. The laws of man, therefore, run contrary to the laws of nature as they are human-centric and not designed for all the creations of God or Nature.

One of the basic differences between man-made-laws and the laws of Nature is that the laws of nature are spontaneous as they require no effort in implementation. For example, in a natural piece of earth like a forest, the earth produces trees, plants, fruits and vegetables spontaneously without any need of watering or breeding. The nature itself provides timely rain and fertilizer to the new plants. The forests and the mountains are covered with greenery and beauty, which is purely natural since it comes without any effort.

On the contrary, the man-made creations like parks, trees, plants are artificially made. They too may look as beautiful as the natural ones, yet they cannot survive without regular effort on the part of man. Imagine a park, which is not maintained for a few months, or a house not cleaned for months. It will lose all its beauty and soon be filled with dust and weeds. No building or modern gadget can survive without external effort from man. However, all natural creations are able to survive on their own and maintain their existence; and enjoy their life without any external support.

The laws of nature are just as they treat every specie (and not only man) with equality. In a jungle, every specie gets its due share of food, air and water which enable them to live a dignified life without being dependent on any other creation. Nature makes no distinction between one specie, and the other as all species are the children of the same God.

However, in the man’s world, every other creature is killed if it is not useful for man. They can survive only if they can be useful for man. Thus man’s world does not treat any other creature of the nature with respect and does not provide them any right of equality, liberty, justice or fraternity. He cleverly usurps this universal law and makes it applicable only for human beings. For all other lesser species, he has created a man-made-law, calling it ‘the law of jungle’ or ‘the survival of the fittest’ which justifies his domination over the weak creations. The fact, on the contrary, is that the laws of jungle are far more just and equal for all species than the man-made-law.

Most men are not concerned about the way they treat the lesser animals as they feel that ‘the survival of the fittest’ theory is more logical than the laws of nature. However, they forget that every principle created in the universe has to be applied on them also and that they may not always be a beneficiary. Man-made-laws do not stop with animals but they soon spread their wings to encompass human beings, too. This is where conflicts between man and man starts that gives rise to hatred and wars. Man feels the pinch when the law of jungle is applied against them and the law of nature is denied to him. He is hurt when he is treated like weeds by the society.

Weeds: The Undesirable Plants of Nature?

One of the most interesting creations of the natural world is weed. Weeds are undesirable vegetation in the kingdom of plants. Weeds are defined as any plant that is not valued by the human society and usually tends to overgrow or compete with valued flora. Weeds are the plants which are considered by human beings as unattractive, undesirable, or troublesome.

In the natural world, man has to continuously fight against weeds to make their artificial plants survive. Weeds grow automatically and if the artificial gardens do not have the support of man, it is soon overpowered by weeds and the whole field or garden becomes full of weeds. Weeds are created by Nature (God) as no human effort is required to grow them. They are, however, so powerful that man has to continuously guard his creation from these weeds, lest all creation of the civilized society is destroyed. Weeds are as undesirable to man in the world of plants as criminals in the human society.

Criminals: The Necessary Evil for the Civil Society

Similar to weeds in the natural world, there is a growth of criminals in civilized societies. Who these criminals are? Why do they grow? Whether the criminals are healthy people or are they mentally ill as often thought by the civilized world?

Criminals are defined as the people who commit crime. Crime is defined as an act that is a violation of the criminal law that is punishable by law. Crime is usually considered an evil act and criminals are often seen as evil created by Devil, out there to destroy the civilized citizens, the children of God.

There are many similarities between criminals and weeds. Criminals grow automatically in every society and the society has to work hard to weed out these criminals. Criminals like weeds are so powerful and competitive that they have the power to defeat the civilized people. They are, therefore, fought jointly by the society. Yet in every society, there is crime and there are criminals. We are used to look criminals as evil that is unnecessary just like weeds. Yet if God (Nature) is the creator of all, then everything in this world must have been created with a purpose. “What could be the purpose of creation of criminals?” We wonder.

Criminals are, as a matter of fact, creation of the civilized world. In an uncivilized world, there would be no law, so there can be no violation of law and hence, no criminal. If we wish to understand the utility of criminals in the civilized world, we must imagine the world of nature without weeds. In such a world, all plants will have to be grown by man with artificial watering – canals, tube-wells, and other irrigation systems used for agriculture. In all certainty, man will grow only such crops and plants that are useful to man and the rest of the species would surely not survive in the man’s world. Further, man’s energy is limited and with all his effort, he can hardly take care of a minuscule part of the world by artificial plantation, so the rest of the physical world would be without plants and so without oxygen and other animal life and eco-system. This will soon lead to the end of the world including the human being.

The role of criminals is similar to the role of the weeds. Imagine a world without crime i.e. everyone follows the law of the land without questioning. It will only provide status quo in the world. Kings will always be kings and only their children or loved ones can become kings. Poor will always be poor. Kings will frame more inhuman laws that would give them more powers. The less fortunate people would die out of hunger and poverty as they won’t break the law and the state will have no obligation to feed them. Thus the world without criminals would be a place where people will die due to inaction, boredom and cruelty. Such an ideal world, indeed, would be the most inhuman and most undesirable to mankind.

Thankfully, people called criminals automatically grow in every civil society as soon as man creates laws to govern it. The laws of man are always challenged by them since they are mostly against the laws of nature i.e. equality, justice, liberty and fraternity. States always have to face opposition from such people who break the law and are known as criminals. They may have an ugly appearance as weeds but they only provide oxygen to the society for its life. Thus in posterity, people recognize them not as criminals but as heroes.

The Path of Heroism

While man hates criminals, he worships the heroes. He can lay his most valuable possession i.e. his life on a single call from his hero. Who are these heroes? Are they law-abiding civilized people or the law-defying criminals? Take the example of Mahatma Gandhi in the modern world. He was perhaps the biggest criminal in the time of the British rule in India and he was jailed many times on charges of being waging war against the state. He spent more than 15 years in jail for his various crimes. Yet the people of India call him ‘Father of the Nation’ and love him more than any civilized person on the earth. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in jail, yet he is a national hero not only for South Africa but for the entire world.

In history, we can find numerous examples of great people who have broken the law and having been punished for their criminal acts. The list includes people like Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Socrates and Galileo. Yet it is these people who changed the history of the world and they are rightly worshiped as heroes by the masses even after their death.

How many people you have ever known who have become heroes without breaking the law and committing crimes in their time? Perhaps none. Heroes are created not by following the law but by breaking the law.

Rule of Divine Law

It is not always good to follow the law blindly as it provides order and rule of law in the society but kills the humanity as the implementation of most of the man-made laws are against the natural laws. Man-made laws are often disguised under the cover of natural laws like equality, justice, liberty and fraternity yet they serve just the opposite purpose. Most people see the letter of the law but fail to grasp its spirit. One must understand that breaking man-made laws is one of the fundamental requirements of all civil societies, if it contradicts the natural or divine laws. Thus every person who breaks the law need not be a criminal. One must go deeper into the facts before declaring a law-breaker to be a criminal. The key distinction perhaps would be to see if he is breaking the law for the interest of the humanity or for his own selfish end. Is it need-based or greed-based? There lies the distinction between good and evil, between a true criminal and a hero. One who is breaking a law for others or to fight injustice is a hero and not a criminal. A poet said “Jo lade din ke khet, Sura toi” (One who fights for the weak is the real hero).

Criminal Justice Report Writing: Interviewing Victims

Experienced police officers say that interviewing victims can be one of the most stressful parts of the job. Victims bring a host of negative and sometimes overwhelming feelings to the interview: fear, rage, helplessness, confusion, and guilt. The officer, on the other hand, has a job to do–gathering information–and a limited time frame to work with. Follow the guidelines below to conduct a victim interview efficiently and effectively.

1. Acknowledge the victim’s feelings first. It’s understandable that an officer might want to get to the facts right away, bypassing the victim’s feelings. But this approach is likely to backfire: Feelings ignored don’t disappear–instead they’re likely to return with the volume turned up.

A businesslike tone that inspires confidence (“You’re safe now, Ma’am” or “I understand that you’ve been through a horrible experience”) builds trust and sets the stage for an effective interview.

2. Don’t blame the victim. Your job is to prosecute lawbreakers, not victims. Citizens sometimes complain that law enforcement makes them feel guilty about what happened to them: A rape victim has a nice figure and attractive clothes; a burglarized house had open windows; a car involved in an accident was exceeding the speed limit. Get the facts, but focus your attention on the offender’s wrongdoing.

3. Avoid excessive questioning. Cooperate with other personnel at the scene to ensure that victims aren’t asked to go over the same information repeatedly. Stifle your curiosity and stick only to relevant information.

4. Be fair and professional. It’s human nature to like some people better than others, to think in stereotypes, and to treat one person better (or worse) than another. And it’s human nature to let your biases affect your interactions with other people.

But professionals are expected to hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior. Avoid showing your disapproval of a victim’s lifestyle, values, or beliefs. Here are some situations that might challenge your professionalism:

-an African-American officer investigates a crime against a white citizen who displays Confederate flag in his home and on his car

-a middle-income officer interviews a single mother who’s living in a small, sparsely furnished, and untidy home

-an officer who belongs to a religion that opposes homosexuality interviews a lesbian who was assaulted by her partner

-a Jewish officer investigates a crime against a man who is outspokenly anti-Semitic

5. Examine your own attitudes towards laws and lawbreakers. Past experience can color your views of what does or does not constitute a crime, and those attitudes can cause an officer to adopt a dismissive attitude toward a victim’s concerns. Remember that you’re enforcing society’s laws, not your own values.

For example, an officer who grew up in a family of avid hunters may wonder why she’s asked to enforce wildlife protection laws. Someone whose parents had a violent relationship may not see the point of prosecuting a man who assaulted his wife.

It’s vital to be aware of how your past has shaped you and to make appropriate adjustments in your attitude when necessary. Law enforcement–as the name applies–is about laws, not your biases and opinions.

6. Educate yourself about community resources for victims, and offer information when appropriate. Experts say that victims can experience long-term damage to both their health and their relationships. Most communities offer services to help victims deal with injuries, emotions, and adjustment to everyday living. Make sure you have the information you need (booklets, fliers, phone numbers). Document any information you share with victims.

These guidelines, based on officers with long experience in talking to victims, can go a long way to enhancing your professionalism and the reputation your agency enjoys in your community. Review them often, and practice them whenever possible: The benefits are both significant and long lasting.

Media Law and the Rights of Women in India

Introduction

Women’s rights, as a term, typically refers to the freedoms inherently possessed by
women and girls of all ages, which may be institutionalized, ignored or illegitimately
suppressed by law, custom, and behavior in a particular society. These liberties are
grouped together and differentiated from broader notions of human rights because they
often differ from the freedoms inherently possessed by or recognized for men and boys,
and because activism surrounding this issue claims an inherent historical and traditional
bias against the exercise of rights by women.

Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include, though are not
limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (universal suffrage); to
hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to education; to
serve in the military; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital, parental and
religious rights. Today, women in most nations can vote, own property, work in many
different professions, and hold public office. These are some of the rights of the modern
woman. But women have not always been allowed to do these things, similar to the
experiences of the majority of men throughout history. Women and their supporters have
waged and in some places continue to wage long campaigns to win the same rights as
modern men and be viewed as equals in society.

Evolution of women’s rights in India

Position of women in ancient India

The position of women since long has been pitiable in all aspects of life and her
subjection by males has been throughout a matter of history. She could not feel
independent, and act as so, barring a few exceptions.

The women in Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men and independence in action.
Not only they had the place of honour, but were entitled to participate freely in social
activities. They were allowed to pursue the academic attainments and shared the family
life with full vigour. They were free to select their conjugal partner and exercised free
will in entering into the matrimonial bondage.

The privileges that women enjoyed in the Vedic period were short lived and the position
of women began to decline from the latter Vedic period onwards. Post Vedic period saw
the emergence of Manusmrithi. The injunctions of Manu merged the wife’s individuality
with that of her husband and recommended strict seclusions for women and rigorous
discipline for widows. While glorifying motherhood and allowing women all freedom in
the management of the household, he permitted child marriage and polygamy. In the
Dharma-shastra women are unambiguously equated with the sudras. Even the Gita
places women, vaisyas and sudras in the same category and describes them as being of
sinful birth. Moreover women lead a life in abject misery. The women were denied the
right of equal opportunity in the field of education as well as in employment. The
inhuman system of .Sati. was prevalent as a compulsory custom. Widows were not only
precluded from remarrying, but they were also not allowed to live after the death of their
husband. There also existed the system of Purda, were the women had to cover her face
and body with a robe when she was to be seen in public. These were not only deprivation
of the rights of women but were also social evils which plagued the ancient Indian
society. The other evils which affected the women in ancient India were child marriage,
female infanticide, Dowry system etc.

During the British rule, many new rules were being legislated to abolish certain social
evils which have direct impact on the rights of the women. Many social reformers during
this period including Raja Ram Mohan Roy worked hard for the abolition of the system
of sati and reinstated in its place the right of widows to remarry. More emphasis was
given to provide opportunities for improving the plight of women like improving
opportunities for female education etc.

After Independence, most of the social evils like Sati system, child marriage, female
infanticide etc which affected the rights of women adversely were abolished. More laws
were enacted to provide women equal status with man in the field of education and
employment opportunities, laws were also enacted for preventing discrimination against
women on the basis of gender. Constitution of India also provides for provisions in order
to protect the rights of women. Reservations were made in the public sector to increase
the ratio of women population and to bring it in par with the male population. The Indian
penal code has also adopted stringent measures to deal with crimes against women. Penal
punishments were incorporated for dealing with the crimes of rape, marital violence
against women, prostitution etc. The Dowry Prohibition act also provides for punishment
in giving and accepting of Dowry. Recently a bill was enacted to prevent harassment of
women in their work places.

International conventions for the protection and promotion of women rights

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

(CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an
international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines
what constitutes discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action
to end such discrimination.

The Convention defines discrimination against women as “…any distinction, exclusion
or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or
nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital
status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental
freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”

By accepting the Convention, States commit themselves to undertake a series of
measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including:
To incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal system, abolish
all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against
women; Establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection
of women against discrimination; and to ensure elimination of all acts of discrimination
against women by persons, organizations or enterprises.

The Convention provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men
through ensuring women’s equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public
life — including the right to vote and to stand for election — as well as education, health
and employment. States parties agree to take all appropriate measures, including
legislation and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human
rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of
women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and
family relations. It affirms women’s rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality
and the nationality of their children. States parties also agree to take appropriate measures
against all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of women.

Countries that have ratified or acceded to the Convention are legally bound to put its
provisions into practice. They are also committed to submit national reports, at least
every four years, on measures they have taken to comply with their treaty obligations.

United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict

Bearing in mind the need to provide special protection to women and children belonging
to the civilian population, solemnly proclaims this Declaration on the Protection of
Women and Children in Emergency and Armed Conflict and calls for the strict
observance of the Declaration by all Member States:

1. Attacks and bombings on the civilian population, inflicting incalculable suffering,
especially on women and children, who are the most vulnerable members of the
population, shall be prohibited, and such acts shall be condemned.

2. The use of chemical and bacteriological weapons in the course of military operations
constitutes one of the most flagrant violations of the Geneva Protocol of 1925, the
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the principles of international humanitarian law and
inflicts heavy losses on civilian populations, including defenceless women and children,
and shall be severely condemned.

3. All States shall abide fully by their obligations under the Geneva Protocol of 1925 and
the Geneva Conventions of 1949, as well as other instruments of international law
relative to respect for human rights in armed conflicts, which offer important guarantees
for the protection of women and children.

4. All efforts shall be made by States involved in armed conflicts, military operations in
foreign territories or military operations in territories still under colonial domination to
spare women and children from the ravages of war. All the necessary steps shall be taken
to ensure the prohibition of measures such as persecution, torture, punitive measures,
degrading treatment and violence, particularly against that part of the civilian population
that consists of women and children.

5. All forms of repression and cruel and inhuman treatment of women and children,
including imprisonment, torture, shooting, mass arrests, collective punishment,
destruction of dwellings and forcible eviction, committed by belligerents in the course of
military operations or in occupied territories shall be considered criminal.

6. Women and children belonging to the civilian population and finding themselves in
circumstances of emergency and armed conflict in the struggle for peace, selfdetermination,

national liberation and independence, or who live in occupied territories,
shall not be deprived of shelter, food, medical aid or other inalienable rights, in
accordance with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child or other
instruments of international law.

United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women

The declaration mainly aims at protecting women from torture. For the purposes of this
Declaration, the term “violence against women” means any act of gender-based violence
that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering
to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty,
whether occurring in public or in private life.

Article 2

Violence against women shall be understood to encompass, but not be limited to, the
following:

( a ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including
battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence,
marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women,
non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation;

( b ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general
community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in
educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;

( c ) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State,
wherever it occurs.

The Declaration aims at making the world a safer destination for women and to enjoy
their rights without any encumbrances.

ACLU Women’s Rights Project

Since 1972, the ACLU Women’s Rights Project has worked to empower women and
advance equality. Many people, before and since, have contributed to our effort.
The Women’s Rights Project focuses on four core areas:

Employment

WRP advocates on behalf of low-wage immigrant women workers, works to eliminate
welfare disparities, and seeks to end workplace discrimination.

Violence Against Women
WRP is committed to advancing battered women’s civil rights, assisting women in their
efforts to keep themselves and their children safe, and challenging the housing and
employment discrimination experienced by so many battered women, especially low income and women of color.

Criminal Justice
WRP addresses the harms to women and girls caught up in the criminal and juvenile
justice systems, including their conditions of confinement, and the impact of sentencing
and incarceration policies on women and their children.
Education

WRP is dedicated to ensuring that public schools do not become sex-segregated and that
girls and boys receive equal educational opportunities.

Legislations in India for the Protection of Women
The major women specific legislations in India are the following:

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956- The Immoral Traffic act aimed at
preventing immoral activities using women. It provides punishment for women
trafficking, carrying on the business of prostitution, keeping a brothel etc.

Role of Media in the protection of women’s rights

Media plays a very important role in creating awareness among the women community
about their inherent rights, which they were deprived of for many centuries. Media plays
the role of a saviour in whom the power to protect and enhance the rights of the women is
arrogated. Media through its visual broadcasting should project the abject and miserable
lives and living conditions of women in rural India. More documentaries and screen plays
projecting women.s rights should be aired through visual media. Media plays an
important role in coordinating the activities of social workers who play an important role
in striving to establish women.s rights. Print media through various journals meant
exclusively for women entails a place in this men dominated world. Media has certain
forums specifically for the promotion and advancement of the interest of women folk.
Media through its various agencies helps to agitate and voice against any intrusion into
the rights of the women. In the modern age crimes against women have also became very
rampant, media was an active tool in voicing against such acts and bringing such illegal
acts to the eyes of the concerned authorities and thus keeping the issue as a hot spot
which requires urgent attention. Media also acts as an effective tool in educating people
against the commission of such atrocious acts against the women community and thus
preserving their purity and sacredness. Media also through various debates and
discussions help the legislators in identifying new areas for legislating laws for the
protection of women.

Negative effects of media on the rights of women

Media has both positive as well as negative effects on the rights of women. Media has
been a cause for the increase in infringement of the right to privacy of a woman. Media
through obscene publication and visual presentations have demeaned the dignity of
women in the modern society. Modern films tend to glorify violence and as a result
infuse such ideas in the minds of the youth. Media has played a significant role in the
promotion and circulation of pornographic materials which in turn will result in
trafficking of women, flesh trade etc. Media is a corner stone in shaping the lives of the
new generation, as majority of the modern generation are glued to them. Media through
films and publications tend to drastically revolutionise the minds of the people without
their knowledge and awareness. Hence there has to be a strict check and control on the
contents that are aired and published through the media. It was this concept which paved
the way for the development of media laws.

Media laws and its Evolution in India

In India the Press is free but subject to certain reasonable restrictions imposed by the
Constitution of India, 1950, as amended (“Constitution”). Before the impact of
globalisation was felt, the mass media was wholly controlled by the government, which
let the media project only what the government wanted the public to see and in a way in
which it wanted the public to see it. However, with the onset of globalisation and
privatisation, the situation has undergone a humongous change.

Before the invention of communication satellites, communication was mainly in the
form of national media, both public and private, in India and abroad. Then came the
‘transnational media’ with the progress of communication technologies like Satellite
delivery and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network), the outcome: local TV, global
films and global information systems.

In such an era of media upsurge, it becomes an absolute necessity to impose certain legal
checks and bounds on transmission and communication. In the due course of this article,
we would discuss the various aspects of media and the relevant legal checks and bounds
governing them.

Historical Perspective of Mass Media Laws

Mass Media laws in India have a long history and are deeply rooted in the country.s
colonial experience under British rule. The earliest regulatory measures can be traced
back to 1799 when Lord Wellesley promulgated the Press Regulations, which had the
effect of imposing pre-censorship on an infant newspaper publishing industry. The onset
of 1835 saw the promulgation of the Press Act, which undid most of, the repressive
features of earlier legislations on the subject.

Thereafter on 18th June 1857, the government passed the .Gagging Act., which among
various other things, introduced compulsory licensing for the owning or running of
printing presses; empowered the government to prohibit the publication or circulation of
any newspaper, book or other printed material and banned the publication or
dissemination of statements or news stories which had a tendency to cause a furore
against the government, thereby weakening its authority.

Then followed the .Press and Registration of Books Act. in 1867 and which continues to
remain in force till date. Governor General Lord Lytton promulgated the .Vernacular
Press Act. of 1878 allowing the government to clamp down on the publication of
writings deemed seditious and to impose punitive sanctions on printers and publishers
who failed to fall in line. In 1908, Lord Minto promulgated the .Newspapers (Incitement
to Offences) Act, 1908 which authorized local authorities to take action against the editor
of any newspaper that published matter deemed to constitute an incitement to rebellion.
However, the most significant day in the history of Media Regulations was the 26th of
January 1950 . the day on which the Constitution was brought into force. The colonial
experience of the Indians made them realise the crucial significance of the .Freedom of
Press.. Such freedom was therefore incorporated in the Constitution; to empower the
Press to disseminate knowledge to the masses and the Constituent Assembly thus,
decided to safeguard this .Freedom of Press. as a fundamental right. Although, the Indian
Constitution does not expressly mention the liberty of the press, it is evident that the
liberty of the press is included in the freedom of speech and expression under Article 19
(1)(a). It is however pertinent to mention that, such freedom is not absolute but is
qualified by certain clearly defined limitations under Article 19(2) in the interests of the
public.

It is necessary to mention here that, this freedom under Article 19(1)(a) is not only
cribbed, cabined and confined to newspapers and periodicals but also includes pamphlets,
leaflets, handbills, circulars and every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of
information and opinion:

Thus, although the freedom of the press is guaranteed as a fundamental right, it is
necessary for us to deal with the various laws governing the different areas of media so as
to appreciate the vast expanse of media laws.

Regulations in print media
The Freedom Of Press and the Freedom Of Expression can be regarded as the very basis
of a democratic form of government. Every business enterprise is involved in the laws of
the nation, the state and the community in which it operates. Newspaper publishers find
themselves more .hemmed in. by legal restrictions than many other businesses do .
despite the fact that the freedom of press is protected by the Indian constitution. The
various Acts, which have to be taken into consideration when dealing with the
regulations imposed upon the Print Media, are:

_ The Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 . This Act regulates printing presses
and newspapers and makes registration with an appointed Authority compulsory for all
printing presses.

_ _The Press (Objectionable Matters) Act, 1951 . This enactment provides against the
printing and publication of incitement to crime and other objectionable matters.

_ _The Newspaper (Prices and Pages) Act, 1956 . This statute empowers the Central
Government to regulate the price of newspapers in relation to the number of pages and
size and also to regulate the allocation of space to be allowed for advertising matter.

Regulations in broadcasting
The broadcast media was under complete monopoly of the Government of India. Private
organizations were involved only in commercial advertising and sponsorships of
programmes. However, in Secretary, Ministry of I&B v. CAB1, the Supreme Court clearly
differed from the aforementioned monopolistic approach and emphasized that, every
citizen has a right to telecast and broadcast to the viewers/listeners any important event
through electronic media, television or radio and also provided that the Government had
no monopoly over such electronic media as such monopolistic power of the Government
was not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution or in any other law prevailing in the
country.
This judgment, thus, brought about a great change in the position prevailing in the
broadcast media, and such sector became open to the citizens.
1 (1995) 2 SCC 161

Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 basically regulates the operation of
Cable Television in the territory of India and regulates the subscription rates and the total
number of total subscribers receiving programmes transmitted in the basic tier. In
pursuance of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2002, the
Central Government may make it obligatory for every cable operator to transmit or
retransmit programme of any pay channel through an addressable system as and when the
Central Government so notifies. Such notification may also specify the number of free to
air channels to be included in the package of channels forming the basic service tier
film . India is one of the largest producers of motion pictures in the world.
Encompassing three major spheres of activity . production, distribution and exhibition,
the industry has an all-India spread, employing thousands of people and entertaining
millions each year. The various laws in force regulating the making and screening of
films are: –

The Cinematograph Act, 1952 . The Cinematograph Act of 1952 has been passed to
make provisions for a certification of cinematographed films for exhibitions by means of
Cinematograph. Under this Act, a Board of Film Censors (now renamed Central Board
of Film Certification) with advisory panels at regional centres is empowered to examine
every film and sanction it whether for unrestricted exhibition or for exhibition restricted
to adults. The Board is also empowered to refuse to sanction a film for public exhibition.
In K. A. Abbas v. Union of India, the petitioner for the first time challenged the validity of
censorship as violative of his fundamental right of speech and expression. The Supreme
Court however observed that, pre-censorship of films under the Cinematograph Act was
justified under Article 19(2) on the ground that films have to be treated separately from
other forms of art and expression because a motion picture was able to stir up emotion
more deeply and thus, classification of films between two categories .A. (for adults only)
and .U. (for all) was brought about2.
2 AIR 1971 SC 481

Advertising
Advertising communication is a mix of arts and facts subservient to ethical principles. In
order to be consumer-oriented, advertisement will have to be truthful and ethical. It
should not mislead the consumer. If it so happens, the credibility is lost.

In order to enforce an ethical regulating code, the Advertising Standards Council of India
was set up. Inspired by a similar code of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) UK,
ASCI follows the following basic guidelines in order to achieve the acceptance of fair
advertising practices in the interest of the consumer: –

· To ensure the truthfulness and honesty of representations and claims made by
advertisements and to safe guard against misleading advertising;

· To ensure that advertisement are not offensive to generally accepted standards of public
decency;

· To safeguard against indiscriminate use of advertising for promotion of products which
are regarded as hazardous to society or to individuals to a degree or of a type which is
unacceptable to society at large; and

· To ensure that advertisements observe fairness in competition so that the consumers
need to be informed on choices in the market places and canons of generally accepted
competitive behaviour in business are both served.

Media laws and its relation to the Rights of the Women

Media Law has its applicability in ensuring and preserving the rights of the women.
Media has been regulated with regard to its right in publishing and broadcasting by
enacting the media laws. These laws have a direct impetus to the protection of women.s
rights. Media Laws through its enactments regulating the print media takes away from the
press the absolute power vested in them previously. Media laws protect the women.s
right by preventing the print media from publishing articles and journals that goes
detrimental to the interest of the women folk and intrude their privacy.

Exceptional Career Alternatives for a Criminal Justice University Graduate

Virtually all graduates from a criminal justice university go into the law enforcement industry as law enforcement officers, detectives, or security staff. On the other hand, what several would-be students DON’T know is that there’s a wide variety of other justice careers that are obtainable. From customs work to diversion investigation for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, criminal justice careers aren’t only limited by security and police work. And, even though police and security work are both important and very critical roles inside the industry, there are options available for any criminal justice university grad who could be interested in something distinctive. Let’s look into a number of the less widely recognized agencies where certified criminal justice professionals can find jobs.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF): The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms or “ATF” as it is known to marketplace specialists and buffs of televised crime dramas is an agency that is in charge of curtailing firearm and substance trafficking. The ATF investigates and tries to avert outlawed activity involving alcoholic beverages, tobacco and guns together with local and state task forces. From stopping cigarette smuggling to defending North America against both domestic and international terror hazards, ATF specialists make sure that polices and laws are adhered to and that U.S. citizens are kept safer.

National Park Services (NPS): The National Park Services is a U.S. federal agency accountable for the general management of national parks and various other national monuments and historical landmarks. Presently, there are actually 58 national parks in the United States – the most well-known of these being Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.

Graduated pupils from the criminal justice university are well-placed to find a job with the National Park Services being a park guard, park police, or perhaps a park ranger. Tasks of national park law enforcement could range to some degree, but the general work is the same: making certain the basic safety of the millions of tourists vacationing is enforced in these parks each and every year. National park law enforcement officials are given the job of making sure holidaymakers and guests adhere to both national and park rules.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is a government law enforcement organization accountable for shielding our nation’s boundaries by enforcing customs and immigration guidelines, distinguishing and wiping out border and customs vulnerabilities, and combating against the other sorts of problems that jeopardize our national stability.

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): The Drug Enforcement Administration is a different of the innumerable federal law enforcement services performing under the U.S. Department of Justice. The DEA is accountable for fighting against drug smuggling in and out of the U.S. as well as drug abuse in our borders. The DEA enforces federal drug legal guidelines and actually works to purge our streets and cities of banned drugs while instructing citizens on their danger.

From combating the criminal sale of prescription drugs to revealing substantial scale criminal drug distributions, DEA pros keep our residents safe and educated of the perils often affiliated with prohibited drugs and the drug industry. Numerous criminal justice graduates find work as DEA agents or as other styles of law enforcement within the DEA.

Though police officers are a vital part of criminal justice, the discipline doesn’t stop there. By acquiring your criminal justice or law enforcement degree from a criminal justice university, you will be prepared and place yourself for an exhilarating career within the criminal justice field.