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LGD 2000 (1) - Editorial

Professor Abdul Paliwala
Director of
ELJ, LCCand C&IT Director, UKCLE
University of Warwick



1. Launch of a New Electronic Law Journal

We welcome readers to the First Issue of this new journal, the Journal of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (LGD).

LGD is an innovative new electronic law journal covering a range of topics relating to legal issues surrounding the impact of globalisation on social development and justice around the world.

The Journal contains a diversity of materials including peer reviewed and non-refereed articles, commentaries, book reviews, and conference reports and papers, as well as information papers, news and details of global conferences. It is envisaged that the Journal will provide a much-needed academic forum for furthering the debate on this rapidly expanding and hugely important area. Please see the Scope of the Journalfor the full range of topics the journal will cover.

2. Dedication to Dr Lawrence Tshuma

This issue is dedicated to the memory of Dr Lawrence Tshuma who died tragically in 1999. Lawrence was an important influence in the formation of this journal as a founding and active member of the editorial team. We are particularly proud to publish Lawrence's articleon hierarchies of governance in this issue which was submitted to us before he died.

As the notes for appreciation for Lawrence and the evidence of his own work indicates, he was a leading scholar on issues of concern to this journal. Two essays, by Professors Julio Faundezand Abdul Paliwalaare published in this edition as a specific tribute to Lawrence's work on good governance and social justice. They are also being published in a large hardcopy volume of essays in honour of Dr Tshuma edited by Professor Faundez, Mary E Footer and Joseph J Norton, entitled 'Governance, Development and Globalization', available from Blackstone Press, January 2001.

3. Articles

We are particularly pleased to note the wealth and variety of articles in this volume, from a broad mix of global contributors. The issue includes some theoretical pieces from authors such as Peter Fitzpatrickfrom the School of Law, Birbeck College London, and Jill Grime,a Child-Law Consultant from the University of Warwick., as well as commentaries from authors Tundu Lissu, from the Institutions and Governance Program, at the World Resources Institute in Washington, and Desmond Fernandes and Leo Saldanha, from De Montfort University, andThe Environment Support Group, Bangalore, India, respectively,and Sol Picciottofrom Lancaster University. There are also contributions from IRENE, (International Restructuring Education Network Europe), based in The Netherlands, and Douglas Harris.

3.1 Globalisation and Human Rights

Some of the main themes explored here include the impact of globalisation on human rights. This is developed specifically in two theoretical articles. Fitzpatrick, in his article 'Globalisation and the Humanity of Rights', looks at how 'globalisation' and 'human rights' may be mutually exclusive terms, and Grimeexamines the need to give proper international and coherent consideration to children's rights in a 'global society'.

3.2 The Economics of Globalisation

Fundamental to the globalisation process is the co-ordination and regulation of the financial structures underpinning the movement of goods and resources, monies and peoples across diminishing (or conversely, expanding) boundaries. Tshuma'sarticle highlights the different paradigms for global economic control in the context of the exponetial growth of global capitalism.

These financial issues also raise other important questions such as the role, power and ultimately liability of multilateral corporations, the significance of privatisation, and the difficulties involved in reforming legal systems in developing and 'transitional' societies. The report from the IRENE Conference(20-21 March 2000) examines the liability of multinational institutions and proposes a number of legal possibilities and initiatives for regulating their activities. Picciottoexamines the lessons can be drawn from the breakdown of the multilateral agreement on investment (MAI). Paliwaladiscusses the governance of privatising industries in developing countries and Faundezhighlights the difficulties facing many countries in attempting to reform their legal systems.

3.3 Case Studies in India and Africa

Fernandes and Saldanhameanwhile, expose the sham of the Mangalore Power Company Controversy in India in their thought-provoking piece 'Deep Politics, Liberalisation and Corruption' and Lissu, provides a very useful case study on the legal issues surrounding wildlife management in Tanzania's pastoral lands, with a focus on theNgorongoro Conservation Areaand the effects that wildlife conservation has had on thepastoral communities of East Africa.

3.4 Other features 

Finally Douglas Harrisreviews the book 'The Law of the Post Colonials', edited by Eve Darian-Smith and Peter Fitzpatrick., a collection of essays examining Law and Post Colonial theory.

Regular features will include the conference diary, news update and discussion forum, which we hope you will be able to contribute to from time to time.

4. Why Electronic Journals?

We believe that this all electronic journal is an ideal vehicle for achieving the goal of promoting vibrant debate about social justice issues for the following reasons:

  1. It will promote the concept of an electronic Bazaar. Every issue will include articles of the highest academic merit, which will be reviewed by an international group of academics. In particular, it will promote scholarship from developing countries, whose scholars are currently ill served in legal scholarship world-wide. It can thus enable cross-cutting dialogue among developing country scholars. In addition to refereed academic articles, it will also include important articles, reports and commentaries from the coal face: from academics, pressure groups and think tanks, legal practitioners and politicians. It will be a pluralist journal in the sense that it will attempt to hear all types of voices on the subject, especially including subaltern ones. This wide mix is sustainable because electronic journals, unlike their hardcopy sisters, need not have problems of space or be hung up about the audience in ways that paper journals are. Our intention is to bridge the divide between academic and practitioner work, between different intellectual traditions world-wide.
  2. It is likely to have a much wider audience than that of esoteric paper journals. Firstly the audience is global. We are aware that there is information poverty between the rich countries and the poor ones. Nevertheless, we are also aware, from the evidence of our sister journal, the Journal of Information, Law and Technology, that because of the growth of the internet in developing countries, because we are a free journal (unlike most hardcopy to electronic publications) and because of our electronic Bazaar philosophy, our reach is greater.
  3. It can overcome the distance between the author and the reader by promoting comment and conferencing facilities. We fully intend to do this.
  4. It will publish in time, and therefore have a fresh contemporary feel to the material in it. We can even publish revised versions of articles where this is necessary. While there will be fixed issues of the journal with publication dates, articles can be published in between those dates where the circumstances merit publication. Many prestigious paper journals have an extensive backlog of articles, which may be out of date by the time of publication.
  5. Because an electronic journal is not bound by paper conventions, we can do much more with hypertext and multimedia and instant discussions of issues. It can promote an adventurous seamlessness of knowledge.

5. And finally

We hope you enjoy this first issue of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (LGD). We welcome you as readers to participate fully in the journal by contributing to the discussion, and perhaps by being stimulated sufficiently to contribute your own articles and commentaries, whether your are located in the academe or on the coal face or in between. Please see the submissions standardsfor further information on submitting articles.