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LGD 2002 (1) - Editorial





We welcome reader to the first issue of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (LGD) for 2002. This issue has a diverse range of papers covering issues such as governance, environmental laws, taxation, human rights and judicial activism to name a few. The delayed publication of this issue has been predicated upon certain human resource and structural changes in the management of the journal. These have now been resolved and we are on course as usual.

As usual this issue contains a diversity of materials including peer-reviewed articles, commentaries, book reviews, conference reports and documentation.

Continuing with the tradition of openness and debate from the larger reader community we are again publishing three commentaries by Shaheen Sardar Ali as part of the open forum. The three commentaries provide us with an insight of her experience with governance and government during her tenure as a Minister in Pakistan. Locating the strain between theory and practice the commentaries provide a window to the processes of government vis-à-vis the formulation of budgets and policy for delivery of health services in North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Pakistan. Readers are invited to submit their comments and views to the editors for publication on the journal.

2. Refereed Articles

There is a wealth of articles from a wide spectrum of contributors.

Amy J Bann addresses the development of an international-right-to-know via the emergence of effective measures for public disclosure of corporate environmental practices. The issue is addressed in light of recent developments such as the terrorist attacks and upcoming Rio+10 Conference on Sustainability. An assessment of existing initiatives is provided as well as recommendations for a binding global system grounded in international law.

F D A M Luoga examines the use and functioning of taxation in postcolonial Tanzania before the recent democratisation processes and the change to free market economy. To demonstrate two things. One, that the legal framework for taxation within which the reforms are implemented was designed for taxation without restraint. It did not contemplate taxation as one of the institutions concerned with state-society relations in governance. Two, the reforms implemented within the retained legal framework may not be viable in the contemporary environment. They lack democratic legitimacy and likely to foment resistance by citizens.

Bill Bowring discusses the relationship between human rights and social justice. He brings forth three aspects of this relationship, that is, confrontation, mediation and the process of self-realization. He then looks at these relationships in the context of globalization and questions the new discourse arising out of the same.

Modhuirma DasGupata revisits public interest litigation in India and critically analyses its impact vis-à-vis the protection of women’s rights. She argues that although the Supreme Court is limited in its abilities to promote and create social change, it’s efforts in this unique endeavour have led to a greater awareness of women’s issues and also an increase in gender based social action.

3. Commentaries

Alex Magaisa analyses how the three fundamental features of company law have been harnessed and manipulated by business firms to bolster their power and manage or avoid liability. It demonstrates the crucial roles they play in the construction of Corporate Groups and how, in so doing, they assist the management and avoidance of liability.

Sarkaris Avakian critically reviews the US government drug policy and enforcement popularly known as the ‘War on Drugs’. He illustrates that the incarceration rate of African-Americans and Hispanics is disproportionate to their ratio in the general population although more Caucasians use drugs than the minorities. One in three African-Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 at the present rate of incarceration will have experienced imprisonment in his lifetime. One in six Hispanics is estimated to go to prison while one in twenty-three Caucasians will have a similar experience. At the present rate of imprisonment the criminal justice system will accomplish by the year 2020 what the state segregation laws failed to do as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.

Georgios Zekos writes on Cyberspace and Globalization and examines how the dynamic relationship between globalisation and cyberspace impacts upon the notions of economy, sovereignty, and democracy.

Finally Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua writes on Nominal Democracy for Development In Africa. He questions whether the Western notion of 'rights', and the democratic processes associated with such notions are indeed broad enough to cover the necessary socio-economic civil rights.

4. Report

Julie Smith in this seminar report highlights the proceedings and issues vis-à-vis exploring the possibilities of developing internationally binding legislation and litigation strategies for the enforcement of labour rights. The report is based on the seminar organised by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), International Legal Working Group and International Restructuring Education Network Europe (IRENE). This seminar explored the legal possibilities for holding multinational corporations (MNCs) responsible for labour rights in their operations outside their home countries. It followed up from discussions held at two previous seminars organised by IRENE which brought NGOs, trade unions, academics and lawyers together to discuss these issues. The first seminar was held in Warwick, UK 20 – 21 March 2000, followed by a second seminar in Bad Boll, Germany 3 – 4 December 2001.

5. Book Review

Reena Patel review of ‘Gender and the Political Economy of Development: From Nationalism to Globalization’ highlights that the book presents readers with a critical discussion of the political economy of development, viewed through a gendered lens on a truly wide-ranging and panoramic scale. It is a book that enables the reader to think of gender and development from a global perspective, across a number of levels. It draws out the thread of gendered perspectives across local and global processes, within the historical processes of colonialism, post-colonialism and globalization.

6. And Finally

We hope you enjoy this topical edition of Law, Social Justice and Global Development (LGD) and find it to be interesting and worthy of debate.

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 standards for further information on submitting articles.

This Editorial was published on 8 November 2002.

Citation: 'Editorial', 2002 (1) Law, Social Justice and Global Development (LGD).
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