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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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