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'Pilgrims' celebrate human rights

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A newly formed coalition of Indiana University School of Law alumni of the Indianapolis and Bloomington law schools will launch the IU Alumni for International Human Rights Law organization Thursday - Thanksgiving - as "human rights pilgrims" for "active nonviolence."

The group is a "diverse, cohesive, volunteer, independent, nonpartisan, and educational group of IU alumni committed to fortify the rule of international human rights law," according to an e-mailed release from Perfecto "Boyet" Caparas, the organization's co-founder and coordinator, and program manager of the IU School of Law - Indianapolis Program in International Human Rights Law.

Human rights will be examined in various capacities, whether it's at IU, or on a local, national, regional, or international level. The group also will "initiate and support any and all efforts to develop, protect, and assist IU international human rights lawyers, scholars, and defenders," Caparas said.

For instance, two founding members, Robert Masbaum and Kevin Muñoz, signed an agreement Nov. 20 to help start a pro bono international human rights law education program for Indianapolis public school students on behalf of Human Rights Works, an Indianapolis-based non-governmental organization that is featured in the edition of Indiana Lawyer that publishes today in a story titled: "Human rights are group's passion."

The IU Alumni for International Human Rights Law organization is inspired by the curriculum of PIHRL, founded and directed by professor George Edwards; the participation of students and alumni of IU School of Law - Indianapolis on shadow reporting projects for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights in recent years; and the work of students and graduates who have done internships and/or worked for non-governmental organizations or for the U.N.

The group will further its goal of human rights for all by engaging "in any and all forms of ahimsa (nonviolence) to ensure the respect for, protection, and fulfillment of the universal, inalienable, interdependent, and indivisible economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights of all persons," Caparas said.

Membership will include faculty, staff, and students of the law schools.

Founding members include IU School of Law - Indianapolis alumni Fran Quigley, former ACLU of Indiana executive director and current director of operations for the Indiana-Kenya Partnership; Tuinese Edward Amuzu, who works as executive director of the Legal Resources Centre in Accra, Ghana; Sean Monkhouse, who works as a court officer of the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague, The Netherlands; Indiana pro bono attorney David Rothenberg, who is currently helping law students with U.N. shadow reporting projects on Australia and Chad; and Heidi Reed, J.D. candidate and IU-Bloomington alumna, who is pursuing her human rights studies at the University of Hong Kong and is an intern with Amnesty International in Hong Kong.

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  1. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  2. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  3. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  4. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  5. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

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