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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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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