FIAN International: Defending the Right to Food Worldwide
For more than twenty years, the FoodFirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) has served as an international human rights advocate to defend and protect people’s right to adequate food. With a membership of approximately 3,600 national and individual constituents from over 50 countries around the world, FIAN’s mission is to expose and fight unjust and oppressive practices that deny people’s access to the resources necessary to feed themselves now and in the future. FIAN’s principles are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, and the organization holds consultative status to the United Nations. Through case-work and interventions, lobbying and advocacy, distribution of information and targeted education, the organization has created many programs to support its core mission, including the right to food, access to land, the right to water, extraterritorial state obligations, monitoring, justiciability of the right to food, gender issues and others. Without religious or political affiliation, the organization uniformly exerts public pressure through its programs to hold governments accountable for violations and to seek appropriate redress for victims. By means of a tab entitled “Cases,” the FIAN website documents and analyses concrete violations of the right to food dating back to 2007. In addition to a detailed summary of the background and final mandate pertaining to each case, copies of advocacy letters are also provided in the vernacular with English translations. A “Resources” tab provides access to a variety of FIAN publications that address multiple issues pertaining to the right to food. Included are an Annual Report, the Right to Food Quarterly (available via free subscription), reports on fact-finding missions and conferences, country studies, policy and research papers, fact sheets and more. All documents are available for free as PDFs, and occasionally, some documents are also available in print through the FIAN International Secretariat. A generic search function is available at the top right corner of the site, and an advanced search option is available through the Resources tab, where queries may be narrowed by topic, date, and/or type of document. A “Photo Gallery,” also located in the Resources tab, puts a face on the organization’s mission by attaching images to well-documented violations. A “World Wide” tab features a clickable map that enables users to identify documents related to particular geographic regions and countries. Finally, a “News” tab provides an introduction to the impact of FIAN’s work and other important updates regarding the international status of the human right to food. The site as a whole is available in both English and Spanish.
[Author: A. Emerson]
After World War II, military tribunals in Nuremberg and Tokyo famously tried the most prominent Japanese and Nazi leaders for committing war crimes. It is less commonly known that United Nations members, including the United Kingdom and the United States, established additional military tribunals in locations throughout Europe, East Asia, and the Pacific islands to try “minor” defendants (e.g., lower-ranking military officers and concentration camp administrators) for war crimes. The United Nations War Crimes Commission, believing these trials to be important for the development of international law, particularly in demonstrating the application of law to facts in war crimes trials, selected cases deemed to illustrate important legal or procedural issues for publication in Law Reports of Trials of War. The Commission published fourteen volumes of the Law Reports between 1947 and 1949. The fifteenth volume, published in 1949, contains a summary and overarching analysis of war crimes trials, including trials not included in the Law Reports. The Law Reports do not contain transcripts of the trials; they provide summaries recreated from the notes of court officers who were present at the trials. The amount of detail provided varies from case to case, but an individual trial report may contain some or all of the following: a brief description of the legal issues and facts of the case, the date and location of the proceedings, the names of the court officers, prosecutors, defenders, and accused, the charges, the opening and closing arguments, the positions of the prosecution and defense along with evidence submitted by them, including witness testimony, a summing up, the verdict and sentence, and notes with analysis of the legal issues in the case. The reports often contain direct quotations from the prosecution, defense, and witnesses. Crimes included describe the gassing of concentration camp prisoners, the execution of prisoners of war, scuttling ships, and keeping the head of a dead soldier as a souvenir. The Library of Congress digitized all fifteen volumes of the Law Reports and made them available on its website. The files are organized by volume and provided in PDF format. Each PDF is bookmarked according to the volume’s contents, making for easy access to individual cases (click on the bookmark in the left panel to jump to that section of the volume). The site provides links to additional digitized war crimes materials: The Case of General Yamashita: A Memorandum, and the Blue, Red, and Green series of reports and documents from the Nuremberg Trials. The Law Reports are an excellent resource for anyone studying World War II or the international law of war crimes.
[Author: I. Haight]
Created and maintained by Professor Harold Spaeth of Michigan State University College of Law, the Supreme Court Database contains information about each case decided by the Court between the 1953 and 2009 terms. Interactive search tools allow users to design and run their own statistical analysis or look up data about individual cases by case name or citation. The database includes more than 200 elements of information about each case, including which court’s decision was reviewed, how each justice voted, and links to the opinion on Westlaw, Lexis and Findlaw.com. Users can search cases by topic, limiting by “court era,” by the law’s constitutionality, and by individual justices. Because the database allows users to search by case, it is possible to analyze data with only basic statistical knowledge. Set to the right parameters, the database can answer questions like “Which decisions in the 1980s involved school desegregation?” or “In which criminal law cases did Justice Brennan and Chief Justice Burger vote the same way?” There are two ways to analyze the data available from the database. First is the online version, which requires no specialized software. The analysis is performed on the website by specifying the set of cases of interest and then summarizing selected variables. Second, the website contains downloadable versions of the database in a variety of formats which can be used to perform more complicated analyses. The downloadable empirical datasets, which are fairly technical, are intended primarily for political scientists, but the search tools could be used by other researchers of the Court, such as journalists, librarians, and students. Additionally, help is available on the site to aid users with searches and using the database to its fullest capability. The database is continuously updated by the Supreme Court Database's research team.
[Author: K. Noel]
InSITE contributors: A. Emerson, I. Haight, K. Noel, J. Pajerek (editor)
© 2010 Cornell Law Library
The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.