Richard Dawkins es una de las grandes mentes de nuestro tiempo; aun así, en su memoria de reciente publicación, Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science, observa que las grandes mentes suelen equivocarse cuando abandonan su campo de experiencia. Dawkins cita al gran astrónomo Fred Hoyle, cuyo libro La naturaleza del universo fue una lectura esencial hace medio siglo. Cuando Hoyle se inclinó por la biología, se fue por el mal camino. Lo mismo le sucede a Dawkins cuando pasa de la ciencia al derecho.
Dawkins considera al derecho como una cinchada. De un lado, dice, defienden a rajatabla una propuesta “la crean o no”, mientras que la parte contraria le paga a alguien para presentar los contraargumentos más sólidos.… Seguir leyendo »
The Air France pilots’ strike may be over, but France’s labor strife is far from resolved. The government seemed helpless as the iconic French carrier bled away 20 million euros a day during the two-week walkout. Though President François Hollande is on record as favoring reform, what exactly could he and his ministers have done to avert the costly shutdown at a time when France is so desperately in need of economic revival?
Unless the French-Dutch airline, now doomed to yet another year of unprofitability, radically overhauls its business model, its plans to make its Transavia subsidiary competitive with Ryanair, easyJet and other low-cost carriers will go nowhere.… Seguir leyendo »
As America seeks a legal justification for intervening in Syria it might do well to explore a different road to Damascus.
In Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” a father and son walk along a road and see a man brutally beating an old horse. The horrified boy tries to help the nag, but his father pulls him away, saying “It’s not our business!” The boy’s moral instincts, Dostoevsky shows us, are still intact whereas the father’s have atrophied. But does the father or the other witnesses have a legal or moral obligation to stop the cruelty?
Law students studying liability read the case of a man walking along a beach who sees a person drowning just off shore.… Seguir leyendo »
On April 11th the French Republic will give birth to two new crimes: hiding one’s face in public and encouraging another to hide her face. On March 2nd the prime minister sent a circular to the head of each of France’s regional departments to explain the rationale of the new law. “The French Republic,” he proclaimed, “does not live with a hidden face.”
While the French president has made it clear that Muslim women who hide their faces are not welcome in France, the new law is not limited to Muslims. For the French government now believes that “to hide the face breaches minimal needs of social life.”
So on April 11th hiding one’s face in public will become a misdemeanor, with a €150 fine and/or civic training to teach the criminal the need to show her face.… Seguir leyendo »
Two years ago, France’s highest court denied citizenship to a Muslim woman on the grounds that she had not assimilated into French society. I agreed to defend her before the European Court of Human Rights. I could have emphasized religious freedom; I raised the argument, but there was an easier way to show that the court had gone astray.
French law gives two tests of assimilation: knowledge of the language and absence of a criminal record. My client spoke fluent French and had no criminal record. But reports of interviews by social workers said that she had showed up wearing a niqab.… Seguir leyendo »