ILNews

Human rights celebrated at law school

Rebecca Berfanger
November 30, 2009
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Indianapolis-based Human Rights Works has again teamed up with Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis' Program in International Human Rights Law to host a celebration to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights.

This year, the free event that is open to the public, "Embrace diversity; end discrimination," will take place 4 to 6 p.m. Dec. 4 in the law school atrium, 530 W. New York St., Indianapolis.

Keynote speaker will be Fran Quigley, visiting professor at the Indianapolis law school and associate director of the Indiana-Kenya Partnership/AMPATH program. He is a past executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and is now on that organization's board of directors.

Quigley also co-founded the Legal Aid Centre of Eldoret, a legal clinic that helps people with HIV/AIDS who are served by the AMPATH program in Eldoret, Kenya, with plans to serve other area residents who have civil legal issues.

In addition to human rights efforts in Kenya, the event will focus on current events in The Republic of Guinea. The western African country has made international news following the killing of more than 150 people by government troops during a political rally in the capital, Conakry, in September.

The human rights event will offer ways for participants to get involved with these and other issues.

Entertainment and refreshments will be provided. Students from the law school will read poetry and DJ Kyle Long will play local and international music. More information about Human Rights Works is on its Web site, www.humanrightsworks.com.

Professor George Edwards, director and founder of the Indianapolis law school's PIHRL, said in a statement, "Eleanor Roosevelt, who was instrumental in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ... said 'Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home.' ... Our annual Human Rights Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on how each of us is entitled to human rights, freedom, and dignity."

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  1. He TIL team,please zap this comment too since it was merely marking a scammer and not reflecting on the story. Thanks, happy Monday, keep up the fine work.

  2. You just need my social security number sent to your Gmail account to process then loan, right? Beware scammers indeed.

  3. The appellate court just said doctors can be sued for reporting child abuse. The most dangerous form of child abuse with the highest mortality rate of any form of child abuse (between 6% and 9% according to the below listed studies). Now doctors will be far less likely to report this form of dangerous child abuse in Indiana. If you want to know what this is, google the names Lacey Spears, Julie Conley (and look at what happened when uninformed judges returned that child against medical advice), Hope Ybarra, and Dixie Blanchard. Here is some really good reporting on what this allegation was: http://media.star-telegram.com/Munchausenmoms/ Here are the two research papers: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213487900810 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213403000309 25% of sibling are dead in that second study. 25%!!! Unbelievable ruling. Chilling. Wrong.

  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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