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Category Archives: Legal Research

Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative

“The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)  that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. StAR works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitate more systematic and timely return of stolen assets.

  • Provide training and capacity building – StAR delivers introductory awareness-raising workshops and more advanced training courses on asset recovery to all institutions, practitioners and stakeholders involved in the asset recovery process. To date, more than 720 participants from 70 countries have participated in regional and national training in Latin America, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. In addition, StAR actively engages with several countries, helping them at their request – develop legislation to strengthen legal frameworks to support asset recovery; assisting in the development of their institutional frameworks and strengthening their capacity to conduct succesfully their asset recovery efforts.
  • Provide policy analysis and knowledge-building – StAR has published policy papers, expert guides and a database of asset recovery cases in collaboration with a wide range of practitioners from diverse professional backgrounds, regions and legal traditions. They include TRACK (Tools and Resources for Anti-Corruption Knowledge), developed by UNODC and the StAR Asset Recovery Watch. These knowledge products help practitioners work effectively on stolen asset recovery and promote policy development in international asset recovery. Civil society organizations and the news media use these tools in their research, information campaigns and advocacy work. StAR also assists in developing practitioner networks, such as the Global Focal Point Initiative a joint initiative with INTERPOL, which facilitates the exchange of information among practitioners before filing of mutual legal assistance requests.
  • Assist countries in recovery of stolen assets – Upon request, StAR provides technical assistance to countries that are operationally engaged in asset recovery cases. Working with all the relevant institutions – including financial centers and anti-corruption agencies – StAR adds value by offering technical advice and best practices in the development of case strategy, as well as in the identification and mobilization of the most appropriate asset-tracing tools – such as mutual legal assistance, seizing and confiscating assets, and assisting in the acceleration of international cooperation. StAR performs the role of a neutral convener or facilitator among parties in the international asset recovery process, to promote effective “quiet diplomacy.”

New on LLRX – Amicus Curiae: Information in the Service of Justice

Via – Amicus Curiae: Information in the Service of Justice: From Ken Strutin’s introduction to this guide: In the legal system, such intonements have taken on the form of specialized briefs called amicus curiae (“friend of the court”). And through extension and by complement they have appeared in the form of law reviews, mediaContinue Reading

OPM Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care

United States Office of Personnel Management – Handbook on Leave and Workplace Flexibilities for Childbirth, Adoption, and Foster Care – April, 2015. “As part of his effort to ensure that all employees have paid time off available for childbirth, adoption and foster care, the President has directed all Federal agencies, to the extent permitted byContinue Reading

Study on Pollution: Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter

Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Residential Proximity to Major Roads and Measures of Brain Structure – Elissa H. Wilker, Sarah R. Preis, Alexa S. Beiser, Philip A. Wolf, Rhoda Au, Itai Kloog, Wenyuan Li, Joel Schwartz, Petros Koutrakis, Charles DeCarli, Sudha Seshadri, and Murray A. Mittleman. Stroke, 2015 DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.008348 “Background and Purpose—Long-term exposure toContinue Reading

The Chernobyl Story – 29th Anniversary

Andrew Leatherbarrow: “At precisely 01:23:40 on the morning of April 26th, 1986, a control room operator named Alexander Akimov made his fateful decision to press the Emergency Shutdown button at Ukraine’s Chernobyl nuclear power station. The reactor exploded, annihilating its containment building and sending a lethal cloud of radioactive particles across Europe. This unprecedented accidentContinue Reading

World Intellectual Property Day 2015 Events

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – “Every April 26 we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity… WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 188 member states.Continue Reading

Why understanding the legally disruptive nature of climate change matters

Liz Fisher, Eloise Scotford, and Emily Barritt:  “It is now commonly recognized by governments that climate change is an issue that must be addressed. The 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Paris in December 2015 is the most high profile example of this, butContinue Reading

International Atomic Energy Agency Lacks Transparency, Observers and Researchers Say

“The nuclear inspection agency that is central to the current Iran negotiations is flunking international transparency norms, according to a report posted today by and the National Security Archive’s Nuclear Vault. Key documents about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proceedings, found in various national archives and private collections but closed at Agency headquarters inContinue Reading

FBI Flawed Forensic Hair Chemistry Testimony Spanned Two Decades

Spencer S. Hsu – Washington Post –  “The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’sContinue Reading

Key Federal Agencies Lack Timely Response to Basic FOIA Request

“The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse sent 21 federal agencies identical FOIA requests on Jan. 22nd and 23rd. Sixty-five business days later, only seven agencies have provided usable data in response to the request. One agency, the CIA, denied the request, which is for basic records that track the processing of the FOIA requests the agencyContinue Reading

CRS – Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress

Cuba: Issues for the 114th Congress. Mark P. Sullivan Specialist in Latin American Affairs, April 17, 2015. “Cuba remains a one-party communist state with a poor record on human rights. The country’s political succession in 2006 from the long-ruling Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl was characterized by a remarkable degree of stability. In 2013,Continue Reading

Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies

CRS Report – Mountaintop Mining: Background on Current Controversies. Claudia Copeland, Specialist in Resources and Environmental Policy. April 20, 2015. “Mountaintop removal mining involves removing the top of a mountain in order to recover the coal seams contained there. This practice occurs in six Appalachian states (Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Ohio). ItContinue Reading