UN Watercourses Convention Symposium - Call for Papers

Friday, December 23, 2011

UNWC Global Initiative Symposium

Co-organised by IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science (under
the auspices of UNESCO), University of Dundee and WWF

The 1997 UN Watercourses Convention – What Relevance in the 21st

5th-8th June 2012, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK

Call for Papers

In 1994 the UN General Assembly made the decision to elaborate a global
framework instrument on the law of the non-navigational uses of
international watercourses (UN General Assembly Resolution 49/52).  The
resultant Convention was adopted in 1997 by more than 100 nations. Since
the Convention's adoption over 14 years ago, there has been a
heightened recognition of the numerous challenges humanity faces in
securing water for all, and a widespread acceptance that governance
plays a key role.  However, the legal architecture for international
watercourses remains fragmented, and the UNWC has not yet entered into

In recent years, a coalition of institutions under the general rubric
of the UNWC Global Initiative has come together to examine the
underlying reasons why the UNWC has not yet entered into force.
Additionally, the UNWC Global Initiative has sought to further knowledge
and understanding of the relevance of the UNWC in addressing the
contemporary pressures on the world's freshwater resources. As part of
the activities of the UNWC Global Initiative, the IHP-HELP Centre for
Water Law, Policy & Science in collaboration with WWF will be organising
a global symposium on the UNWC between 5th and 8th of June 2011.   The
aim of the symposium is to gather together a wide and diverse range of
experts from academia, government, international organisations, civil
society, etc, to debate the existing and potential relevance of this
global framework instrument.

Towards this endeavour the convenors of the symposium are inviting
experts to submit papers on a range of topics related to the UNWC.

Further details are available at

International Water Law Scholarship Programme

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Global Water Partnership together with IHP-HELP Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, under the auspices of UNESCO, at the University of Dundee, is looking to build on their successful 2011 International Water Law Programme (www.dundee.ac.uk/water/workshop), and offer scholarships for 30 participants to undertake a module in International Water Law, in Dundee 11-29 June 2012.

Scholarship recipients are responsible for all travel (to/from Dundee) and subsistence (food/accommodation) costs. GWP is aiming at providing funding for travel and subsistence for a limited number of successful Scholarship applicants. Even though final funding is pending, GWP and the University of Dundee now invite applications from suitable candidates.

Applications will be accepted from 24 November 2011 to 3 February 2012. Successful candidates will be notified at the beginning of March 2012 to allow as much time as possible to obtain visas, additional funding, etc.

The module is aimed at persons working in water resources who wish to acquire specialist knowledge of international water law, especially as it relates to transboundary water challenges in the GWP regions.

Applicants to the joint GWP-University of Dundee IWL Programme should be from GWP Partner organisations and are required to be proficient in English, either as native speakers, or to a standard of an IELTS score of 6.5. A university degree is required in Hydrology, Environmental Science, Law, Agriculture, or related field.

Read more and apply here: www.gwp.org/GWP-Dundee-2012

Anti Privatization Debate, Opaque Rules and Neglected ‘Privatised’ Water Services Provision: Some Lessons from Indonesia

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Below is my background paper for a conference held at IDS, Sussex University, a few months ago. It is being submitted for a publication, so I may need to withdraw this draft once the paper is accepted. Comments welcome!

Access here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1885726

 Anti Privatization Debate, Opaque Rules and Neglected 'Privatised' Water Services Provision: Some Lessons from Indonesia

Mohamad Mova Al 'Afghani 

University of Dundee - Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science

July 14, 2011

Out of 100 Articles in the Water Law, only one is dedicated to specifically regulate the drinking water and sanitation sector. Even this one article regulates Private Sector Participation (PSP) very vaguely. The Water Law neither provides clarity on the form of ownership nor the desired regulatory model. The implementing regulation of the Water Law implies that contracts between the government and the private sector will be the desired model, but left no clarity as to how the contract should be regulated.

As a result, there is a major lack of regulation in the water services sector. The idea to retain the ownership of assets while allowing PSP through contracts appears to be a modus-vivendi generated by the privatization debate. However, the contracts are not complemented by higher regulation to safeguard consumer's interest. In many regions, service levels and consumers rights are thus subjected to contractual negotiations to be agreed bilaterally between the authorities and the private sector while citizens are considered only as an auxiliary to the whole process.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 11

Keywords: water, law, privatisation, indonesia, infrastructure, utilities

Working Paper Series

Suggested Citation

Al 'Afghani, Mohamad Mova, Anti Privatization Debate, Opaque Rules and Neglected 'Privatised' Water Services Provision: Some Lessons from Indonesia (July 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1885726

Information materials on the human right to water and sanitation

Forwarded Message from IISD Listserve

Information materials on the human right to water and sanitation


On the occasion of activities jointly organized by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), UN-Habitat, the UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) at Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (20-22 June 2011), different information materials on the human right to water and sanitation have been produced. These include:


·         A Short Glossary on the human right to water and sanitation which defines frequently used terms http://bit.ly/kimZ4D


·         A Media Brief presenting the current situation and some examples illustrating how the human right to water and sanitation is being implemented in practice http://bit.ly/mCz9g8


·         A Reader, which provides basic references for easy reading and some of the latest and most relevant United Nations publications on this issue http://bit.ly/iAvqri


·         Eight Short Facts on the human right to water and sanitation http://bit.ly/k45MFs


·         A UN Milestones document presenting the UN historical background and evolution of recognition of the human right to water and sanitation http://bit.ly/jEnOiq


Also, a new thematic section on the human right to water and sanitation is now accessible from the Water Decade website: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/human_right_to_water.html


Further information on activities organized at the Forum can be found at: http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/media.html

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Spicing up the Court with some Planck/Maxwell wave-particle duality

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

In Ofcom v Information Commissioner, the Information Tribunal held that radio frequency waves from a BTS antenna qualifies as emission under EIR, which as a consequence, does not qualify for protection from disclosure, even if the information is deemed confidential. The discussion below is hilarious:


Mr Facenna, Counsel for T-Mobile, accepted that radio frequency waves may correctly be characterised as both "energy" and "radiation". He also accepted that it was a correct use of the English language to say that they were “emitted” from a base station. However, he argued that they nevertheless did not constitute "emissions" for the purposes of the EIR because the circumstances in which the EIR came into existence require the word to be given a particularly narrow meaning. Those circumstances were that EIR implemented the Directive which included, in its fifth recital, a statement that it was itself intended to be consistent with the 1998 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters ("the Aarhus Convention ").

Mr Facenna accepted that, even if we accepted that base station radiation should not be treated as "emissions", he was still faced with the presence of the words "energy" and "radiation" in subparagraph (b) of the definition. However, he argued that these two "factors" do not affect, and are not likely to affect, any of the elements of the environment referred to in subparagraph (a). At one stage this proposition seemed to be leading Mr Facenna and Mr Choudhury, Counsel for the Information Commissioner, into a debate on the scientific properties of radio waves. It was agreed that they are capable of having an effect on solid matter they come into contact with (for example, the agitation of the molecules of a piece of meat by microwaves for the purpose of cooking). However, it was debated whether or not they have any effect on the air through which they pass en route to such matter. We do not feel qualified to express any view on whether the less dense molecular structure of air results in all radio wave frequencies passing through it with no effect at all on individual molecules. We do not believe that it is necessary for us to do so. The definition is not intended to set out a scientific test and its words should be given their plain and natural meaning. On that basis we believe that radio wave emissions that pass through the atmosphere from a base station to any solid component of the natural world are likely to affect one or more of the elements listed in subparagraph (a) or the…

For all of these reasons we conclude that "emissions" in both subparagraph (b) of the definition of environmental information and regulation 12(9) should be given its plain and natural meaning and not the artificially narrow one set out in the IPPC Directive. As we have indicated it is accepted, on that basis, that radio wave radiation emanating from a base station is an emission.


It’s really nice to spice up the court with some Planck/Maxwell wave/particle duality Smile


Bribery Act (UK) 2011 is in Force. British Companies Overseas are covered for certain offences

Friday, July 1, 2011

The UK Bribery Act 2011 has just been given royal assent. Some of its offences covers British companies overseas.

s. 12 (5): An offence is committed under section 7 irrespective of whether the acts or omissions which form part of the offence take place in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.


s.7 Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery

(1) A relevant commercial organisation (“C”) is guilty of an offence under this
section if a person (“A”) associated with C bribes another person intending—
(a) to obtain or retain business for C, or
(b) to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for C.

Download the Original version of the Bribery Act here.


The Serious Fraud Office is in charge in enforcing these laws. There has been prosecutions involving Indonesian subsidiaries of an English companies in the past.

Two Indonesians Prosecuted for Selling Ipad with English Manual

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Detikcom reported that two Indonesians selling Ipad through the popular www.kaskus.us forum had been prossecuted. Indonesian consumer law Article 8(1) does prohibit business actors to sell computerware without equipping it with Indonesian language manual. Failure to comply entails a 5 year imprisonment. The law was, of course, meant to protect consumer. Sadly, it does not differentiate retail selling with direct selling. As a result, anyone wishing to sell their computer products through direct selling, will be liable for imprisonment, up to 5 years.

Kasus ini bermula ketika Dian dan Rendy menawarkan 2 buah Ipad 3G Wi Fi 64 GB di forum jual beli situs www.kaskus.us. Entah karena apa, tawaran ini membuat anggota polisi Polda Metro Jaya melakukan penyelidikan. Lantas, seorang anggota polisi, Eben Patar Opsunggu, menyamar sebagai pembeli. Transaksi pun dilakukan pada 24 November 2010 di City Walk, Tanah Abang, Jakarta Pusat.

Lantas, keduanya ditangkap polisi. Jaksa Penuntut Umum (JPU) Endang, mendakwa keduanya melanggar Pasal 62 Ayat (1) juncto Pasal 8 Ayat (1) Huruf j UU/ UU 8 Tahun 1999 tentang Perlindungan Konsumen karena tidak memiliki manual book berbahasa Indonesia. Lalu, Pasal 52 juncto Pasal 32 Ayat (1) UU Nomor 36/ 1999 tentang Telekomunikasi, karena I Pad belum terkategori alat elektronik komunikasi resmi. Ancaman pidana penjara paling lama 5 tahun penjara. Kasus ini masih berlangsung di PN Jakarta Pusat.

This is of course, an absolute stupidity, a barrier to trade, and probably a violation of human rights. Judges are expected to be wise when adjudicating this case, but as far as Indonesian judges are concerned, one cannot expect too much, even for something as trivial as this.


A case for legalizing bribery?

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Indian economist Kaushik Basu argued that in order to deter corruption, legal immunity should be given to bribe-giver (but not bribe-taker). That is, when an act of bribery is committed and both of the doers are caught, the bribe giver should be set free and allowed to collect their money, but the bribe taker should be punished.

This is indeed an interesting method for deterring corruption by managing its supply-side. It provides incentives for suppliers (bribe-giver) to report and turn over the bribe-taker to the police. He provides caveats however, that bribe giver may have an interest to manage his or her reputation in the underworld (I can imagine that someone like Ayin will have to be ‘credible’ enough in order to earn trust from the bureaucrat – that is to say, to have some sort of an underworld moral code). He also warn the possibilities that false charges of bribery on behalf of the public officials may rise, but this can be managed by increasing penalties for false charges – somewhat dilemmatic for a lawyer.


Anyway, download the paper here.


H.T. Marginal Revolution

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Nanotechnology and the Global South

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I come across this very interesting paper from Maclurcan about nanotechnology discourse in the global south. Of a particular interest is his elaboration on the conscious debate of both ‘short-term’ and ‘long-term’ nanotechnology:

In the meantime, the debate about Southern engagement with nanotechnology has forged ahead, assuming common understandings about what nanotechnology is and what it is not, as well as the general irrelevance of definitional debates. This is potentially problematic, given the conflicting way that nanotechnology is framed in the literature relating to the technology’s impact on, and in, the South. At different times, Southern nanotechnology debates have consciously drawn on understandings that correlate with both ‘near-term’ and ‘advanced’ nanotechnology. Whilst most writing presents near-term nanotechnology as the mainstream, there are instances where advanced nanotechnology has also been presented as ‘the reality’ for the South. Bruns, for example, sees answers for global poverty through a future of accessible abundance based on the application of advanced nanotechnology [27]. Al'Afghani, on the other hand, focuses on the need for future environmental laws in the South to incorporate “mechanisms for licensing, supervision and control of emissions and disposal methods for both MNT [molecular nanotechnology] products and nanofactories” [28]. Furthermore, a 2003 briefing document for a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Expert Group Meeting, predominantly attended by representatives from the Global South, refers to the ability for advanced nanotechnology to address medical, energy and environmental challenges via “…factories operating at the nanometer level, including nanoscale conveyor belts and robotic arms bringing molecular parts together precisely…” [29].

The bottomline of his paper is that how nanotechnology is framed will affect its regulation. Most debate has been focused on ‘near-term’ nanotechnology as opposed to ‘speculative’ (borrowing Maclurcan’s own words) nanotechnology.

As I have gathered mode knowledge on regulation, my perspective on license-management in molecular nanotechnology has changed. The more detailed explanation has to wait a bit however, since I am still preoccupied with water. 

Download the paper from SSRN (click here).

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Will the next wars be fought over water? [Live Webcast]

Sunday, March 20, 2011

That would be the title of the upcoming discussion panel to be moderated by the former Canadian Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien. The discussion is a part of a larger event entitled  "The Global Water Crisis: Addressing an Urgent Security Issue" , at the High-Level Expert Group meeting organized by the Inter Action Council of Former Heads of States and Government.

Prof. Patricia Wouters will represent the Dundee UNESCO Centre at the above InterAction Council High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) meeting. She will give a presentation at the discussion panel on the topic: Can the history of international co-operation over water continue? The complete list of the panel will be:

Will the next wars be fought over water?
  • Moderated by the Rt. Hon. Jean Chrétien
  • Dr. Fabrice Renaud—Conflicts and diplacement: Water as a hazard
  • Bob Sandford—Global pressures on water: Have we reached a tipping point?
  • Dr. Patricia Wouters—Can the history of international co-operation over water continue?
  • Moneef Zou’bi—Water in the Middle East: Source of conflict or co-operation?

Now for the more good news: You can join the discussion through the live webcast and ask questions to the panel members! Click here to sign up. The page will become live at the World Water Day, 22.3.11, commencing at 10:15 a.m. ET..

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Legal Jobs at ILR Linkedin Group

Monday, March 7, 2011







Linkedin opened up its job feature:

LinkedIn has made some upgrades to the Jobs section of LinkedIn groups that will make it much easier for group members and group managers to share LinkedIn jobs specifically tailored to your group. Group owners and managers can set up a keyword based feed of LinkedIn jobs into the group. Group members can also share relevant jobs into the group.

Organic postings from the old Groups "Jobs" tab are now in the Career discussions section.

We are excited about these changes. Be sure to visit the jobs section of your group and set up a targeted jobs feed for your group today.

Best Regards,

The LinkedIn Team

And so, the ILR Linkedin Group used this opportunity for its members to broadcast their talent-hunt. Join the ILR Linked Group here, and start posting your firm’s job offers.

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PEW's Research: Transparency makes citizen happier, more engaged

Friday, March 4, 2011

PEW has just released its latest survey on transparency of governance in local communities. The result: if the government shares information well, they also feel good about their civic institutions. Following is the summary of PEW's findings (see p.2):

  • Those who think local government does well in sharing information are also more likely to be satisfied with other parts of civic life such as the overall quality of their community and the performance of government and other institutions, as well as the ability of the entire information environment in their community to give them the information that matters.
  • Broadband users are sometimes less satisfied than others with community life. That raises the possibility that upgrades in a local information system might produce more critical, activist citizens.
  • Social media like Facebook and Twitter are emerging as key parts of the civic landscape and mobile connectivity is beginning to affect people’s interactions with civic life. Some 32% of the internet users across the three communities get local news from social networking site; 19% from blogs; 7% from Twitter. And 32% post updates and local news on their social networking sites.
The relationship between transparency system and 'trust' is unsurprising. When information is concealed, people will suspect that those holding the information is hiding something. On the contrary, when information is disclosed, people tend to perceive that everything runs well.

Hence, transparency system can also be used to exploit the masses. This is not an argument for opacity, but only to note that 'disclosure' is not always equal to 'transparency'. 

Read PEW's full report here.

OECD announces new transparency and anti-corruption initiative – clean.gov.biz

Thursday, March 3, 2011




OECD - Paris 3 March 2011



OECD announces new transparency and anti-corruption initiative – clean.gov.biz



The OECD is developing a new initiative to improve coordination of anti-corruption and transparency initiatives - first within its member countries, and then with all other relevant players, including governments, international organisations, NGOs and the private sector.


“We are developing a new initiative, clean.gov.biz, that will improve our own anti-corruption tools and reinforce their implementation,” OECD Deputy Secretary-General Richard Boucher said. “We then want to strengthen cooperation with all relevant players to ensure that our instruments complement those of our partners.”


Mr. Boucher discussed the initiative during the March 2-3 meeting of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, hosted at the OECD, underlining how many of its elements complement EITI work. EITI aims to improve natural resource management and reduce corruption by encouraging oil, gas and mining companies to publish the fees, royalties and taxes they pay and commiting governments to transparency about what they receive.


The OECD is at the forefront of global anti-corruption efforts. In 2010, its 34 member countries and leading partners including Brazil and Russia agreed to a Declaration on Propriety, Integrity and Transparency in the Conduct of International Business and Finance. The Declaration is based on OECD instruments including the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Entreprises, which since 1975 set standards for business behavior, and the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance, which set out broad rules to guide business conduct.


The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention commits 38 signatory governments to establish bribery of foreign public officials as a criminal offence. OECD work on public procurement, public sector integrity, including on lobbying and conflicts of interest, as well as budget transparency is at the core of the reform agenda in a growing number of countries. “Political turmoil in highly corrupted regimes reminds us that citizens around the world will no longer accept corruption as business as usual,” Mr. Boucher said.


The OECD is also actively cooperating with the G20 in the implementation of its Action Plan on Anti-Corruption, which includes initiatives on foreign bribery, asset recovery, international cooperation, protection of whistle blowers, government integrity and public-private partnerships in fighting corruption. It will co-organise with the French Presidency and the support of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime a G20 conference in April 27-28 on “Joining forces against corruption: G20 business and government.”


For further information on the OECD’s anti-corruption work, visit www.oecd.org/corruption or contact the OECD Media Division (tel: + 33 1 4524 9700; news.contact@oecd.org).




Media Coordinator

Public Affairs & Communications Directorate - Media Division


2, rue André Pascal - 75775 Paris Cedex 16
Tel: +33 1 45 24 14 28  or  +33 1 45 24 97 00  - Fax: +33 1 45 24 94 37

Bochra.KRIOUT@oecd.org  || www.oecd.org


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Center for Law Information supports "Special Procedure on climate change and human rights"

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A group of world Non Governmental Organizations, including the Center for Law Information (CeLI), petition for the establishment of a  Special Procedure on climate change and human rights. The NGOs consider that establishment of a special procedure, such as that which provide a mandate to a special rapporteur, would be an efficient way to tackle the issue.

A letter was sent to diplomatic missions in Geneva urging them to "publicly call for the creation of a Special Procedure on climate change and human rights who reports to the Human Rights Council in a resolution to be adopted at the 17th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in June 2011."

See attached letter for further information

Fwd: New Report on Global Governance of Nano-scale Technologies

Thursday, February 10, 2011



ETC Group News Release

10 February 2011


New Report on Global Governance of Nano-scale Technologies:

ETC Group's "Little" Contribution to the Big Conversation in Dakar

When activists, social movements and civil society organizations came together in Porto Alegre, Brazil for the first World Social Forum (WSF), governments had just begun pouring money into nano R&D. Now, a decade later, public investment has surpassed US$50 billion and averages $10 billion a year.  

Meanwhile, an estimated 50,000 people have come together to learn, debate and strategize at the WSF in Dakar, Senegal. ETC Group brings a new report – The Big Downturn? Nanogeopolitics – to that very large discussion. Executive director Pat Mooney explains why:  "An urgent topic in Dakar is the proper governance of emerging technologies and how society can best respond to threats – social, environmental, health – that new technologies may pose. Nanotechnology is a case in point, having been rolled out with virtually no government oversight or public debate."

Mooney adds, "Our first major report on nano-scale technologies, The Big Down, made its debut at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre eight years ago. We've brought The Big Downturn? to Dakar because nano commercialization and investment are increasing while the regulatory vacuum persists; nano's risks and impact need fuller discussion."

ETC Group's 68-page report, available for download from www.etcgroup.org/en/node/5245, provides a current snapshot of global investment, markets, governance and control, including patenting. Though the impact of tiny tech is especially difficult to discern given the lack of an agreed-upon definition for "nano" and the absence of labeling requirements, ETC Group's report finds:

  • Worldwide, there are more than 2000 nanotech enterprises researching and/or manufacturing nanoparticles.
  • Even while the majority of consumers remain in the dark about the existence of nano-scale ingredients in commercial products, the number of product lines far exceeds the 1500 or so that have been identified by publicly available market surveys.  
  • At least 60 countries have state nanotech initiatives, including newcomers Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The United States' public and private sectors together spend the most money; China fields more scientists. Meanwhile, Russia has suddenly emerged as the biggest public spender.
  • While analysts tout a whopping $224 billion nano-market, the actual market figure is drastically lower – perhaps by more than ten times.

The Big Downturn? Nanogeopolitics surveys current regulatory forays (e.g., baby-steps toward mandatory reporting requirements), standards development, public engagement schemes as well as activity by the world's most generous awarder of nano-patents, the US Patent & Trademark Office.

The report concludes that even though the nano-industry is nervous about its health and environmental exposure and some governments are having second thoughts about their decision to fast-track nanotech, no one is willing to retreat from a technology they've claimed will help end the global recession and usher in a "green economy" – and rake in trillions of dollars in revenue.

For more information, contact:

in Dakar

Pat Mooney mooney@etcgroup.org  cell: +1 613-240-0045

Diana Bronson diana@etcgroup.org   cell: +1 514-629-9236

local cell phone: + 221 + 77 487 5300

in the United States

Kathy Jo Wetter  kjo@etcgroup.org  phone: +1 919-688-7302


For more information about our work, please visit our website at http://www.etcgroup.org/

Interested in supporting our work? Donate Here! http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/5195

ETC Group is a registered Charity in Canada. ETC Headquarters are at:
431 Gilmour Street, Second Floor
Ottawa, ON K2P-0R5

To remove yourself from this list: http://www.etcgroup.org/index.php?q=civicrm/mailing/optout&reset=1&jid=112&qid=70939&h=21e3cd0bd5cb9222

International workshop - Dilemmas of choice: Responsibility in nanotechnology development (deadline March 31, 2011)

Monday, January 31, 2011

University of Padova 

International workshop
Dilemmas of choice
Responsibility in nanotechnology development
 Rovigo, Italy, June 6-7, 2011 (deadline: March 31, 2011)
More information and download here <http://www.ciga.unipd.it/index.php?pg=cms&amp;ext=p&amp;cms_codsec=73&amp;cms_codcms=1037>

The Centre for Environmental Law Decisions and Corporate Ethical Certification (CIGA) at the University of Padua and the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, organize an international workshop titled Dilemmas of choice. Responsibility in nanotechnology development, which is aimed at presenting and debating contributions from different disciplines on several issues concerning the relationship between nanotechnology innovation and responsibility.The workshop will be held in the Italian town of Rovigo on 6 and 7 June 2011.
The workshop scientific organization is supervised by an international Scientific Committee and will be composed of 4 sessions, of which two are open to abstract submission, while other two are devoted to the contribution of outstanding scholars on the topic of the workshop.
The two sessions open to abstract submission will focus respectively on: Session 1: topics concerning regulation and regulatory systems; and Session 2: topics regarding the role of responsibility in the management and the coordination of nanotechnology development. Abstract proposals should be sent to ciga@unipd.it <mailto:ciga@unipd.it> by March 31, 2011.
Introduction and background for the workshop
Policies formulation, academic research, business strategies, and civil society campaigns agree that nanotechnology development should be responsible. However, the notion of responsibility is extremely diversified in the public discourse of nanoscale technologies, shifting from specialized meanings, e.g. close to liability of industrial producers, or narrower definitions, focusing on toxicological aspects to be tested experimentally, to broader interpretations, considering issues like human rights protection, social cohesion and inclusiveness. The variety of these meanings is apparently dependent on the different normative and epistemic, even disciplinary, perspectives represented in the debate, on the heterogeneity of the social actors bearing such perspectives, and on the stage of the (nano)products life-cycle that is considered, on the plurality of technical fields that are associated with nanoscale science and technology, on the more or less .
Also, these different meanings suggest to commentators and operators different foci of attention and policy measures, ranging from radical appeals to precaution, to the experimentation of new procedures for rule-making, to the implementation of public understanding and/or public engagement activities, and to the development of tests, standards, and measures of exposition for humans and the environment.
On the one hand, the formulation and implementation of these policies are affected mostly by our capacity to conjugate what "responsible development" means for us in the future tense, i.e. with regard to the consequences of our actions onto future generations, but also with regard to the assumptions about future situations that influence our way of acting. On the other, assumption about individuals and their ties to broader social communities affect the solutions for developing nanotechnology responsibly: balancing safety and the legitimate pursue of knowledge or economic opportunities, individual freedoms and collective interests (in a stronger fashion, the "common good"), distributing costs and rewards, etc..
Goals of the workshop and thematic sessions
The workshop attempts to disentangle these complex meanings of responsibility in nanotechnology development by focusing on the following topics:
Session 1:
Responsibility and regulation under uncertainty
One of the most critical issues for regulation and governance consists in how to allocate the costs and burdens of the lack of scientific knowledge in term of responsibility. The use of the term "responsibility" instead of  "liability" corresponds - to the aim of this session - to acquire a global regulatory view of the way technological and scientific progress in nanotechnology will impact on the assumptions of risks both at the individual and collective choices levels (here a broad meaning of the term "risk" is intended, including ethical risks; social risks; health risks; occupational risks; environmental risks, etc.).
On one hand, the well known logic of "no data, no market" has already been advocated in order to support the development of precautionary measures in the different regulatory frameworks affected by nanoparticles. On the other hand, it has been noted that «without an adequate scientific framework there is no way to know what data to collect» while «progress in developing the necessary scientific knowledge often depends on having a lot of data on specific materials».
These 'dilemmas of precaution' intersect the concept of responsibility, which extends beyond the usual framework on risks and benefits and which implicitly calls for a broad normative reflection on possible technological impacts and future visions. Therefore, the uncertainty that characterizes nanotechnology seemingly requires an analysis of hopes and seduction around nano to be able to grasp the epistemic and normative challenges posed by these technologies. In order to discuss the delineated framework, this session welcomes papers that, among others, will consider the following questions: How regulation and civil liability interact in order to allocate risks and costs of innovation? Is it possible a real «coordinated approach» in circumstances of uncertainty? Confronting exposure risks evaluation at work to uncertainty challenges is the existing workers health protection regulation safe enough? Do the nanotechnology risks invoke a safer and more specific revision of the existing duties to protect health? What is the role of public authorities (e.g. US and EU agencies) and international or national agencies for standardization (e.g. ISO) that interact for developing standards of safety and sustainability as well as approaches for the maintenance of the highest level of safety in nanotechnology? How to address consumers' safety expectationswhen an innovative product is used? Is the process of information sharing effective (that is, e.g., used in cosmetics regulation) an effective way? How are these values interrelated? How is it possible to integrate responsibility into the thinking of emerging technologies? How should responsibility be linked to technological future visions?
Session 2
Coordinating responsibility in nanotechnology development
Recently, a renovated regime in tecnoscientific governance "taking seriously" technology development as a collective experiment, has been proposed to democratize technoscientific expertise, as well as to take more robust and legitimate in a situation whose characteristic features are epistemic uncertainty, normative plurality, diverging interests, and public unease.
The public engagement strategy advocated by this model of 'collective experimentation' has to cope with the dilemma of inclusion/exclusion in (participatory) decision-making and the corresponding struggle to define the boundaries of what instances, groups, knowledge, values, behaviours are relevant for the purposes of the process and to transfer the legitimacy gained by decisions from the groups and constituencies involved in the deliberative processes to the groups of the ones that have not been involved.
This tension between 'insiders' and 'outsiders' symmetrically applies to responsibility: Who is responsible? What is the extent of this responsibility? To whom? What are the criteria, arguments, and mechanisms tracing this boundaries and determining insiders and outsiders? What are the strategies to define and allocate tasks and duties? How do the meanings of responsibility change across product life-cycles, temporal horizons and sites of innovation? How are tasks and duties to pursue what is variably defined as 'responsible development', allocated? How do farther and closer temporal horizons dynamically interact? How do engagement mechanisms perform coordination? What is the influence of social representations in mutual relationships between actors participating to innovation processes?

Submissions, deadlines and practicalities
Papers focusing on other emerging technological fields (e.g. Biotechnology, Bioinformatics, Energy technologies, Information technology, Material Sciences, Robotics) are welcome as they provide exemplary cases and valuable lessons for nanotechnology. All abstracts (maximum 1000 words) should be prepared and sent in electronic form (.doc or .pdf) to: ciga@unipd.it <mailto:ciga@unipd.it> by March 31, 2011.
The file submitted should contain:
* ·                Authors' identification (name, position, affiliation, postal and email addresses)
* ·                 Thematic session title
* ·                Abstract title
* ·                Abstract text (approximately 1000 words)
* ·                Contact information of the corresponding Author (for co-authored abstracts)

After a blind review process, communication of acceptance will be sent by April 15, 2011.

Attendees are not required to pay any registration fee. Financial support for travel and accommodation is available for speakers in thematic sessions. Inquiries and applications for financial support to: ciga@unipd.it <mailto:ciga@unipd.it> .
Important dates:
Abstract submission: March 31, 2011
Notification of Acceptance/Rejection: April 15, 2011
Workshop: June 6-7, 2011
For information on the workshop:
www.ciga.unipd.it <http://www.ciga.unipd.it> or ciga@unipd.it <mailto:ciga@unipd.it>
The workshop is held in the Italian town of Rovigo, an ancient town in the Veneto Region, strategically located 45 minutes from Venice and its airport. Further information on Rovigo are available on these websites:
Scientific Committee
Antonio Da Re, CIGA, University of Padua
Guillermo Foladori, University of Zacatecas
Armin Grunwald, ITAS-Karsruhe Institute of Techology
Federico Neresini, Dept. of Sociology, University of Padua
Elena Pariotti, CIGA-University of Padua
Mariachiara Tallacchini, Faculty of Law, Catholic University of Milan
George Michael Tyshenko, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa
Local Organizing Committee
Simone Arnaldi, CIGA, University of Padua
Luca Grion, CIGA, University of Padua
Giorgia Guerra, CIGA, University of Padua
Mariassunta Piccinni, CIGA, University of Padua
Daniele Ruggiu, CIGA, University of Padua

The CIGA initiatives are supported by

You are receiving this newsletter because you subscribed it, or you have showed us your interest in our programs by either contacting us, or participating to our programs. Also, your contact information may have been gathered from the same publicly available web sources that are accessible to any person surfing the web.If you wish to unsubscribe, please send a message to ciga@unipd.it <mailto:ciga@unipd.it> with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line. Ciga respects your privacy and does not disclose, sell or rent your personal information to anyone without your consent.
CIGA Centre for Environmental Law Decisions and Corporate Ethical Certification
University of Padua

Administration: via VIII febbraio, 2 - 35122 Padova (Italia) - ph. +39 049 8273461 - fax +39 049 8273479
Offices: viale Porta Adige, 45 - 45100 Rovigo (Italia) - tel. +39 0425 377511
e-mail: ciga@unipd.it <mailto:ciga@unipd.it>
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Fw: Tax: Laws in some countries do not meet global standards

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

From: <Sara.SREBERNY-MOHAMMADI@oecd.org>
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 19:10:40 +0100
Subject: Tax: Laws in some countries do not meet global standards

OECD – Paris, 27 January 2011


Tax: Laws in some countries do not meet global standards 


The Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax purposes, hosted by the OECD, has released ten reports which evaluate jurisdictions' commitment to tax transparency and examine whether information is made available and accessible to foreign tax authorities. These reports follow eight others released in September 2010.


The Global Forum has been mandated by the G-20 to assist specific jurisdictions, as well as the international community, to assess the status of national tax legislation, examine whether the laws are enforced, and make recommendations for improvement. 


For five jurisdictions the Global Forum is releasing Phase 1 reports which assess the legal and regulatory framework of the jurisdictions. The other five combine Phase 1 and Phase 2 reviews  assessing both the legal framework and the practical implementation of the standard.


Phase 1 reviews


Four jurisdictions, Barbados, the Seychelles, San Marino and Trinidad and Tobago fall short of the international standard and will need to implement the recommendations made in their reports before moving to the next phase of their evaluations. It has been noted in the case of San Marino that important legislation has recently been passed (see annex 1 of the report) and will further be examined by the Global Forum.


The report on Guernsey shows that a satisfactory legal framework is in place but that there are minor issues that Guernsey has been asked to address.


Combined reviews


Mauritius underwent a combined review which showed that there are missing elements in the legal framework such as accounting information on some of the offshore companies. The assessment of the practice in Mauritius shows that there is room for improvement, in particular as regards the access to bank information by the tax authorities.


The four other "combined" reviews show that the systems in place in Australia, Denmark, Ireland and Norway have achieved effective exchange of information in practice. However, there are some minor issues related to information on bearer shares or nominees which will have to be addressed.



More than 60 reports will be completed by year end.


Contacts: Jeffrey Owens, Director, Centre for Tax Policy and Administration at +33 1 45 24 91 08 or jeffrey.owens@oecd.org / Pascal Saint-Amans, Head of the Global Secretariat at + 33 1 45 24 97 46 or pascal.saint-amans@oecd.org


Information on the work of the Global forum is available in the background information brief.

More information on the Global Forum is available at www.oecd.org/tax/transparency



The reports at a glance

Phase 1 Reviews: Legal and Regulatory Framework


Barbados: Some deficiencies have been identified in Barbados bilateral treaties and Barbados has not yet signed new agreements with all jurisdictions wishing to do so. The implementation of recommendations made in the report to address these and other matters will be reviewed in the next 12 months, and only then Barbados will be considered for moving onto the next phase of the evaluation.


Guernsey: The review of Guernsey showed that its legal and regulatory framework is largely in place to ensure effective exchange of information, notably sound access powers and an expanding network of bilateral agreements. Improvements to some accounting rules should nevertheless be made. The evaluation of the practical implementation of this framework will take place in 2012.


San Marino: The peer review has identified some deficiencies in the domestic laws of San Marino, notably including limitations in the authorities' powers to obtain information mainly on civil tax matters for the purpose of international cooperation. As a result it is not yet ready to move to the next stage of the evaluation.  San Marino has in the recent months passed a number of laws with a view to overcome these shortcomings.  Its position will therefore be reviewed.


Seychelles: The review of the Seychelles showed deficiencies as regards the availability of ownership and accounting information in respect of offshore entities. In addition, powers to access information should be strengthened. Amendments to its legal and regulatory system are necessary in order for the Seychelles to qualify for the next phase of the evaluation.


Trinidad and Tobago: Trinidad and Tobago is party to a number of bilateral treaties and a multilateral convention. However, it is unable to exchange information to the international standard since not all but one of these agreements has restrictions on access to information by Trinidad and Tobago's tax authorities. The implementation of the recommendations made in the report will be reviewed in the next 12 months, before Trinidad and Tobago is considered for the next phase of the evaluation.



Combined reviews: Legal and regulatory framework and also the implementation of that framework in practice


Australia: Australia is exchanging information to the standard with almost 80 countries. Australia's legal and institutional framework supports effective access to and provision of information requested by competent authorities of other jurisdictions.


Denmark: Denmark is exchanging information to the standard with almost 100 countries. Denmark's legal and institutional framework supports effective access to and provision of information requested by competent authorities of other jurisdictions.


Ireland: Ireland is exchanging information to the standard with over 50 countries. Ireland's legal and institutional framework supports effective access to and provision of information requested by competent authorities of other jurisdictions.


Mauritius: Mauritius has revised its legal and regulatory framework to give its competent authority broad access to most relevant information. However accounting information is not available in all cases and powers to obtain some information are untested. A further analysis will be undertaken in 6 months to assess whether Mauritius exchanges this information effectively and in a timely manner.


Norway: Norway is exchanging information to the standard with more than 100 countries. Norway's legal and institutional framework supports effective access to and provision of information requested by competent authorities of other jurisdictions.



Right to sanitation in India - Workshop in Geneva, 27-28 January

Saturday, January 22, 2011

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From: "IELRC.ORG" <info@ielrc.org>
Sender: ielrcnewsletter@gmail.com
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 12:46:37 +0530
To: <mova@alafghani.info>; <info@ielrc.org>
Subject: Right to sanitation in India - Workshop in Geneva, 27-28 January

Dear Colleague,
The International Environmental Law Research Centre (IELRC)  is organising a with the support of the Law Environment and Development Centre, School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London (SOAS) a workshop on the Right to Sanitation - Lessons from India in Geneva on 27–28 January 2011. 

This workshop will discuss key legal and policy aspects of the right to sanitation in India, one of the first such events to focus on the legal aspects of sanitation in India. Speakers will include lawyers who have worked on legal aspects of sanitation in pratice and theory, as well as a variety of other speakers, including the founder of the movement against manual scavenging. 

The full programme of this workshop is available at http://ielrc.org/activities/workshop_1101 and is also attached to this message.

This workshop is open for participation but registration is compulsory. Please register by sending an email to sanitation@ielrc.org. For any further information, please write to sanitation@ielrc.org.

International Environmental Law Research Centre (IELRC) 
International Environment House II, 1st Floor, 
7 Chemin de Balexert, 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland

Phone: +41 (0)22 797 26 23 Fax: +41 (0)22 797 26 23 
Email: info@ielrc.org  

Symposium and Workshop: National strategies for promoting security and sustainability within a rapidly changing world

Thursday, January 20, 2011


National Water Law: Managing Global Water Resources

Symposium and Workshop: National strategies for promoting security and sustainability within a rapidly changing world

June 20-24, 2011; Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science, University of Dundee, UK

Time Activities of Day 1: Monday 20th June 2011  
 9:00  Coffee and Registration
 9.30   Welcome – Principal Pete Downes,  Rector Brian Cox, Professor Patricia Wouters and Mr Andrew Allan
 10.00 The role of National Water Law - Professor Dan Tarlock. Includes break
 12.30 Lunch
 13.30 Water resource management and the implementation of national water law - Prof. Mike Muller
 15.30 Break
 16.00 What's in it for me? – group exercise
 17.00 Day 1 wrap-up – Prof. Patricia Wouters & Andrew Allan
 17.30 Reception
 Time Activities of Day 2: Tuesday 21st June 2011
 9.00 Introduction
 9.30 Water allocation systems - Andrew Allan.  Includes break.
 12:30 Lunch
 13:30 Excursion – Trip to St Andrews

Activities of Day 3: Wednesday 22nd June 2011
9:15The management of water quality - Prof. Bill Howarth.  Includes break.
13:30Case study on national water law in India - Videh Upadhyay.  Includes break.
17:00Wrap-up day three Prof. Patricia Wouters and Andrew Allan
18:00Reception and Symposium Gala Dinner

 Time Activities of Day 4 Thursday 23rd June 2011
 9:00 Introduction
 9:15 An introduction to the law on groundwater – Andrew Allan. Includes break
 12:30 Lunch
 13:30 Progression routes for continuing professional development: PG Cert, LLM (optional session) – Dr Sarah Hendry
 17:00 Legal case study group exercise.  Includes break
 18:00 Wrap-up day four Prof. Patricia Wouters and Andrew Allan
 TimeActivities of Day 5: Friday 24th June 2011
 9:00 Introduction
 9:15 The European legal context and the Water Framework Directive – Dr Sarah Hendry. Includes break
 12:30 Lunch
 13:30 Symposium wrap-up and closing remarks
 14:00 Sir Alan Langlands  Water Leaders Prize award
 15:00 Close