(Globalization of the information age and the law).Former writer of the Online column for this magazine, Valerie Footz, once said of the internet, "This is not the information highway; it's the information gravel road A gravel road is a type of unpaved road surfaced with gravel that has been brought to the site from a quarry or stream bed. They are common in less-developed nations, and also in the rural areas of developed nations such as Canada and the United States. . And we're all driving information Model Ts". Judging from the fact that at my local toy store A toy store, or toy shop, is a retail business specializing in the services of selling toys. No longer held to the limitations of the brick and mortar outlet, the toy store has successfully created a presence within the e-commerce industry. , I can pick up for under a hundred dollars something called V Mail, a writing pen that doubles as a voice recorder A digital, handheld device that is used to record short reminders. Very lightweight and typically using AAA batteries, such devices use flash memory to hold up to 100 messages and more. Messages can be retrieved sequentially or by direct access by message number. See microcassette. and can beam and receive voice mail up to 100 feet away, it appears that the younger set, at least, is on the fast track to the information race cars. Up-to-speed or not, we all seem to be hurtling into the information age, perhaps the Information Century, along with the global village which it seems to imply.
In this issue of LawNow, the December/January turn of the year issue, we look both forward and back: forward at the current state of laws of intellectual property and how they may change even more as intellectual property becomes the most treasured property of the information age; back at redressing the historical wrongs done to Aboriginal people during that last wave of globalization--the one called imperialism--so that Aboriginal people can participate in a just and equitable future.
In reading again of the treaties broken and the assimilationist if well-intentioned education policies gone horribly wrong, I feel compelled to wonder if we can manage the transition to the globalization globalization
Process by which the experience of everyday life, marked by the diffusion of commodities and ideas, is becoming standardized around the world. Factors that have contributed to globalization include increasingly sophisticated communications and transportation of the information age better than we managed the imperialism of the industrial age. Certainly, the protestors at Seattle, Davos, Montreal ... believe we cannot, and are working hard at bringing that to the world's attention.
But are there any signs that we might be learning from the past (and the protestors) in order to do better? There's no question that since Seattle, the leaders of international organizations have adopted the language of inclusion and equity. James Wolfensohn James Wolfensohn AO KBE (born December 1, 1933) was the ninth president of the World Bank Group. Early life
Wolfensohn was born in Sydney, Australia. According to The World's Banker , President of the World Bank, when talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to the UN Economic and Social Council this summer, said "Don't let people talk to you about the Internet being a luxury. While it is not an alternative to bread, it gives us the opportunity of bringing together knowledge and opportunity at all levels throughout the world. It is time to grasp that; it is time for us to pledge to each other in international institutions, bilateral institutions, private sector, civil society, and the leadership in the countries we are serving to come together and make sure that this new age, ... the digital revolution gives equity to poor people throughout the world."
Is this more than rhetoric? And can it be done? These are critical questions. As a part of civil society, a vehicle for information and discussion about law and justice, what is LawNow's role in this vital exploration of our global future? What editorial resolutions, do you our readers, want us to make as we move into 2001?
Should we perhaps explore more fully the international agreements Canada has signed and the international organizations to which we belong? Should we spend more words encouraging the nascent sense of international justice that all people of good will hope is emerging while condemning the injustices of the past and present?
We could write more, for example, of the International Criminal Court (ICC ICC
See: International Chamber of Commerce ) that -- once 60 countries have ratified the Rome Statute -- will be a permanent court for trying individuals accused of committing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. On October 25, 2000, Spain became the 22nd state to ratify the Rome Statute; Canada was the 14th country to ratify on July 7, 2000. Certainly, there will be plenty of work for the ICC when it becomes established: from Kosovo to Sierra Leone Sierra Leone (sēĕr`ə lēō`nē, lēōn`; sēr`ə lēōn), officially Republic of Sierra Leone, republic (2005 est. pop. 6,018,000), 27,699 sq mi (71,740 sq km), W Africa. , from Afghanistan to the Middle East, there are those who preach and act out hatred toward others: other ethnic groups, other religions, other genders, other sexual orientations.
Vaclav Havel Noun 1. Vaclav Havel - Czech dramatist and statesman whose plays opposed totalitarianism and who served as president of Czechoslovakia from 1989 to 1992 and president of the Czech Republic since 1993 (born in 1936)
Havel , President of the Czech Republic Czech Republic, Czech Česká Republika (2005 est. pop. 10,241,000), republic, 29,677 sq mi (78,864 sq km), central Europe. It is bordered by Slovakia on the east, Austria on the south, Germany on the west, and Poland on the north. , described the people who commit crimes against humanity in his speech to the Oslo Conference on "The Anatomy of Hate" in 1990: "People who hate ... harbor a permanent, ineradicable in·e·rad·i·ca·ble
Incapable of being eradicated.
ine·rad feeling of injury, a feeling that is, of course, out of all proportion to reality. It is as though these people wanted to be endlessly honoured, loved, and respected, as though they suffered from the chronic and painful awareness that others are ungratefully and unforgivably unjust toward them, not only because they don't honour and love them boundlessly, as they ought, but because they even -- or so it seems -- ignore them."
Within that profile, Havel identifies something that is for me a paradox and a problem: if as he says these are people who feel others are "ungratefully and unforgivably unjust toward them", how would an international court be able to convince the global community that substantive justice has been done? Is it possible even within our own country for laws, such as the Charter of Rights, as passed by legislator LEGISLATOR. One who makes laws.
2. In order to make good laws, it is necessary to understand those which are in force; the legislator ought therefore, to be thoroughly imbued with a knowledge of the laws of his country, their advantages and defects; to and interpreted by judge, to reconcile those who hate identifiable groups (whether they be homosexual, ethnic, or language minorities) with those minorities? Creating victor, victim, and offender as isolated classes through law will not, as I see it, move us toward greater justice and equity, nationally or globally. Perhaps then, one of LawNow's resolutions to advance the cause of global justice should be to explore the possibilities of a kind of law which is restorative re·stor·a·tive
1. Of or relating to restoration.
2. Tending or having the power to restore.
A medicine or other agent that helps to restore health, strength, or consciousness. , transformative, and inclusive; law which works to create moments of community across lines of otherness oth·er·ness
The quality or condition of being other or different, especially if exotic or strange: "We're going to see in Europe ... . We wouldn't be the only ones searching for that kind of law, but we might help spread the word. What do you think?