International Humanitarian Law and Philosophy of War

Law implies order and restraint and can act to deter war, whereas war means the absence of both. Efforts to regulate war are as old as war itself. Nations have always strived to limit the conduct of war with legal codes right from the ancient times. Proponents of such efforts assume that bringing war within the bounds of rational rules may somehow “humanize” war and control its brutalities. History reveals us that the development of a more elaborate legal regime has preceded apace with the increasing savagery and destructiveness of modern war. It also supports the view that ancient wars were lawless and had legal codes with humanitarian provisions similar to the modern laws of war. Nevertheless, the two World Wars lacked features of humanitarian law. They saw the law subverted to the dictates of battle, reduced to a propaganda battlefield where belligerents organized attacks and counter-attacks. Ultimately, the law failed to protect civilians from horrifying new weapons and tactics. Both the World Wars exhibited the inadequacy of the existing laws of war to prevent the frequent commission of wartime atrocities.

Today, International humanitarian law (IHL) provides a distinction between laws governing the resort to force (jus ad bellum) and laws regulating wartime conduct (jus in bello). Jus in bello is further divided into ‘the humanitarian laws’ (the Geneva laws), which protect specific classes of war victims such as prisoners of war and ‘the laws of war’ (the Hague laws), which regulate the overall means and methods of war. It is noteworthy, that the Geneva laws served the interests of the more powerful nations.

The ‘humanitarian laws’ and the ‘laws of war’ displays the interests of those nations that dominated the international conferences where these laws were drafted. The Humanitarian laws are characterized by strict prohibitions, whereas the Hague laws are vaguely worded and permissive with less regard for humanitarian consequences. It is important to understand that with the development of these legal principles, war has long been limited largely by factors independent of the law. For complex military, political, and economic reasons, belligerents tend to use the minimal force necessary to achieve their political objectives.

A detailed understanding pertaining to that requires an in-depth knowledge of the role of law in deterring wartime atrocities. By sanctioning military necessity, the laws of war ask that only belligerents act in accord with military self-interests. Belligerents who meet this requirement receive in return a powerful platform to convince and to protect their controversial conduce from humanitarian challenges. Moreover, the capacity of the laws of war to subvert their own humane rhetoric carries an implicit warning for future attempts to control wars, the promotion of supposedly humane laws may serve the purposes of under strained violence.

Rousseau rightly quotes: “the aim of war is to subdue a hostile state, a combatant has the right to kill the defenders to that state while they are armed; but as soon as they lay down their arms and surrender, they cease to be either enemies or instruments of the enemy; they become simply men once more, and no one has any longer the right to take their lives. War gives no right to inflict any more destruction than is necessary for victory.” In this way, Rousseau turned to reason as the basis for the law of war. The modern laws of war however claim precedent in the chivalric practices of medieval era. A more in-depth view of this era, however, finds the same coexistence of law and atrocities.

It is very crucial that the laws of war should be revised and re-codified from time to time taking into consideration the provisions under the Charter of the settlement of international disputes, which prohibits use of force. War not only affects the combatants but also the civilians and in most of the cases, the nature of the war is such that observance of the rules of war becomes impossible. Hence, there is a need for enforcement of human rights during war more specifically for protecting the civilian population. Where power prevails over law, it is the fundamental function of law to help in asserting the authority of power. In a varied and distinct ways, International humanitarian law aptly serves that purpose.

Author is a doctoral scholar at the Faculty of Law, University of M√ľnster, Germany

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Yeshwant_Naik/2344471

 

How to Find Good Legal Services Abroad

Advancement in technology has made it quick and easy to set up businesses abroad. Whether the business functions out of a brick-and- mortar office or a virtual one, doing business on an international level has become the norm. Conducting business in a foreign country entails familiarity with the host country’s laws. The legal intricacies of international trading could be quite challenging, and without the right legal guidance, a business owner may well end up paying penalties and fines, and saddled with legal hitches. What does it take to find good legal services abroad?

Areas of Specialization

One of the travails of establishments operating in a foreign country is finding good legal services. Lawyers usually specialize in one particular type of law, or other related areas. A lawyer may generally work on immigration cases, while another one may be a tax specialist. Note that there are lawyers who only render advice to their clients, and not represent them to actual court litigation.

General areas of legal practice include: personal injury, criminal law, tax, employment and family law. It is best to choose a lawyer that specializes in one’s legal concern and one that has a firm foundation in the laws of the host country.

Different Types of Lawyer

Foreign Legal Consultants may be classified as lawyers working for international law firms based in foreign countries. These attorneys may advise clients regarding the requirements and conditions of the host country’s law, but they may or may not be licensed to practice law in the country where they are based. If court representation is needed, a licensed lawyer in the country where he works is required.

Solicitors and Barristers are specialized lawyers who may be practicing in foreign countries. Solicitors generally do not represent clients in court, but advise them, and may put together legal cases for barristers to take to court.

Notaries usually do the functions of attorneys, but depending on the country they practice, their job description may vary. Notaries may draft transfers of property titles and wills. In some countries, notaries are Ministry of Justice appointees and may act as administrators in estate settlements.

Where to Find a Lawyer

Searching for a lawyer in a foreign country is no longer too tasking. Overseas embassies and consulates of most countries have listings of local lawyers who have expressed their willingness to assist citizens of another country. For example, an American in Thailand may go to the U.S. embassy and he will be furnished with a copy of local lawyers willing to assist a U.S. citizen.

There are international bar associations with local chapters that could help foreigners with their legal problems. Most of these associations and similar organizations have standing agreements with accredited members in other countries.

Law firms maintain websites. This should make it doubly easy for anyone needing legal counsel to find a qualified lawyer through this mode.

Law schools have credible law professors who may be practicing or may know a practicing lawyer in his circle. If the legal advice and drafts are needed, senior law students could handle these requirements.

Surely local contacts could refer qualified lawyers to meet one’s legal requisites.

Considerations When Selecting a Lawyer

Before settling for an attorney, there are several points to consider.

First, it is to your benefit to ask the lawyer in consideration his qualifications and experience. You may ask the lawyer’s strategy and plan in representing you. It is not impolite to ask how much his retainer fees are.

Do not hesitate to ask questions regarding your case. As your lawyer, he is expected to explain every plan and activity in a manner that you can understand.

Be very careful when turning over documents and money. Make sure that your lawyer understands and can tackle your legal concerns in a manner that is satisfactory to you. See to it that the lawyer-client confidentiality clause in the foreign country meets your expectations.

These pointers should enable you to find a qualified foreign lawyer to handle your legal needs in a suitable and agreeable manner.

If you’re looking for legal services in Thailand, visit Umpire Legal.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Thomas_M_Johanson/1243725

 

Lawyers: Phones Are The New Billboards

What can a lawyer do nowadays to stay in front of clients and brand themselves as leaders of the pack? Simple, stay in front of the thing clients use the most, phones.

There has been a trend with mobile devices over the last decade, mainly that they have become ubiquitous. Not only are most of the searches online happening through mobile devices (58%), but the majority of the adult world (one-third of the world population to be exact) owns and operates a cell phone. That means that if you want to stay in front of clients there’s something even greater than a billboard or park bench. It’s a phone.

Trade shows have caught on and booths have begun handing out products like Screen Cleaner Stickers that stick to the back of a phone and contain a custom logo or message. These trend setters caught on quickly that the best place to be is on the backs of phones through something like a screen cleaner or something like a Custom Phone Wallet.

Why do these products work?

People check their phones hundreds of times a day. Literally, studies have shone that people check their phones almost two hundred times a day. That means that if you put a logo or message on the back of a phone, it gets flashed around a couple hundred times a day for all to see.

The product’s are useful. Let’s take a screen cleaner that adheres to the back of your phone. How many times have you used your pants? Exactly. Using a little microfiber cloth is preferable for the vast majority of people. These cleaners have your logo on them and will not only remind your client, but pique the curiosity of all those around.

These products are unique. Considering how many people have phones, probably everybody you know, this product is very unique. I remember the first time I saw one and literally had to stop someone and inquire about what they had on their phone. Not only do I remember the logo I saw that day, but the name of the business. Something unique stands out more and spreads your message in a far more memorable way.

So, lawyers out there, turn your client’s phones into walking billboards that will adhere and spread your message for at least a year. This is a far more cost-effective way to market your practice than an expensive billboard.

Pristine Screens offers FREE Samples of their screen cleaners so you can see the power of the product risk free.

Get them at http://www.pristinescreens.com or call 800-540-5971

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Jason_Thomas/2358012

 

How a Private Investigator Could Help Improve Your Retail Business

If you’re the manager or owner of a retail company, you’ll know how important the customer-facing role of a shop assistant can be. When it comes to your customers, interaction with your staff could make or break their first impression of your business – and a good first impression could secure future visits.

In any business, building meaningful relationships with clients is what will set you apart from your competitors and enable you to deliver a memorable service. But when that service is memorable for all the wrong reasons, that impact on your customer could be detrimental to the success of your business as a whole.

The saying goes: a customer who has had a good experience will tell one person, whereas a customer who’s had a bad one will tell ten. This may be a generalisation, but there is truth behind the statement. The power of reputation is undeniable, and with complaint platforms more accessible than ever, yours could make or break your business.

If you have multiple staff in your employ, it may be difficult for you to keep track of how they are all performing – especially if you own multiple retail outlets. Even with a manager in house, you can’t always trust someone else to share your personal vision of how your company should deliver customer service.

This is why many business owners and managers enlist the help of so-called ‘mystery shoppers’ to allow them to see how their employees perform when they are not around. A mystery shopper can provide you with a full report of their experience as a ‘customer’ in your retail outlet, as well as the performance of individual employees.

Mystery shopping services are also delivered by private investigators that will go above and beyond to provide you with proof of their experience in store. This may come in the form of photographic or DVD evidence, or both, along with a comprehensive written report of their findings.

The reason many professional business owners opt for private investigators to keep an eye on their staff is that they are highly experienced in covert surveillance, so are discreet and will appear natural. They are also able to offer high-tech equipment, which will provide you with watertight evidence of your employees’ behavior.

The service can prove especially useful if you suspect an employee of breaking the terms of their contract or of stealing from the business. A personal investigator could provide you with enough evidence to follow through with disciplinary action.

Mystery shopping can also be incredibly valuable for staff training, showing your retail environment in action. You will be able to help employees to see where they are excelling in their performance, and where they may need to improve.

Some private investigators can also conduct test purchases on behalf of business owners to establish evidence of brand infringement or the sale of counterfeit goods. Many PIs perform these services at trade shows, markets and retail outlets in order to obtain evidence of wrongdoing.

If you’re interested in enlisting the help of a private investigator, start by searching online to find a private detective agency in your area. You will need to make sure that the company offers some sort of mystery shopping service, so call to speak to an adviser if you can’t see this service listed on their website.

Before committing to anything, be sure to read through the company’s privacy policy and terms and conditions. You will want to make sure that your information is handled in the strictest confidence. It’s best to discuss your concerns with an adviser to gain insight into how private investigators operate.

Specialist PI is a UK based private detective agency operating predominantly in London, Oxford and Hertfordshire. With a team of ex-police detectives, the agency provides its clients the utmost discretion and sensitivity, whilst insuring results with a proven track record of success. SPI are becoming the UK’s most successful underground detective service, able to undertake all kinds of detective and investigative work, including corporate fraud investigations, people searches, background checks, divorce and matrimonial cases, vehicle tracking services and covert surveillance. SPI enable their clients to speak in complete confidence, offering a professional no trace no fee service.Visit http://www.specialistpi.com/

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Mark_Parfitt/2273519

 

Communicating With Clients: Know Who Your Audience Is

Communicating with clients and colleagues used to be a simple matter. All you needed was a phone and some stationery. Today you need something more: flexibility.

Some people respond best to e-mail. Others like the human touch of a phone call. Younger clients prefer the laser efficiency and instant gratification of texting. Others still – such as co-workers – may respond quickest to a note left on their chair.

One person’s best method of communication is another person’s worst. Knowing which method to use in a given situation is an art and a science I find fascinating.

In the past, I’ve written about how technology changed the legal industry: The paradigm shifts of digital marketing, virtual law firms, e-discovery, outsourcing and so on.

But the biggest change of all is in day-to-day communication with clients, prospects and friends. This basic communication is the lifeblood of our industry. And it has changed profoundly.

Don’t take my word for it. Look at highlights from a study by Mary Tellis-Nayak of the National Research Corporation and NRC Health.

In just four years, we’ve seen major changes in the way we communicate.

  • Text messaging is on the rise. Texting is the preferred channel for the under-45 crowd. If you want to reach that age cohort and get a quick answer, texting might be the way to go.
  • Cellphone use skews older. People over 45 talk on cellphones more than their younger counterparts. Cellphone use increases between ages 45 and 74.
  • Home phones preferred for 75-plus. Many people younger than 45 don’t even have a landline. Those who do often see it as an emergency line. But many older clients need to be at home to be reached. Your best bet may be calling in the early morning or early evening.
  • Everyone’s going social. Online chat via Facebook is popular with 25- to 34-year-olds. Seventy-four percent of online consumers use social media websites. Facebook Messenger is a viable channel for private, two-way communication. Plus, many communities have members-only groups where peers rely on each other for info. Getting in on these conversations is a smart move.
  • Inboxes are out. E-mail usage is down 11 percent in four years. Don’t expect anyone to be as focused on their e-mail accounts as they used to be. Ever notice that many people you send e-mails to don’t read to the bottom? Me too. They miss out on important info. Make sure subject lines are crystal clear and that messages are simple and concise with the important stuff up top. I highlight any info or directions that require immediate action on the reader’s part.

One person’s best method of communication is another person’s worst.None of the above should come as a huge surprise. What’s interesting to me though is how the legal profession as a whole historically has been slow to adapt to the communication and technology trends that we all intuitively know to be true.

I’ve written about how lawyers can be set in our ways, and how that’s not always a bad thing. (Formal dress being one example that still has tremendous benefits in given circumstances.)

But being slow to adapt to communication trends can be detrimental to your practice. Do you recognize and meet the communication needs of each individual client? We’re in a service business. Good service means knowing when to customize our approach to each client.

Here are just a few signs that you might need to choose your communication methods more carefully:

Do you find yourself dashing off an e-mail out of convenience to avoid taking the time to chat with a client who needs back-and-forth communication to get to the bottom of their concerns?

Do you text someone who you know prefers e-mail?

Are you still only using phone calls or snail-mail, and not current methods?

In the legal industry, we have pressing deadlines and need to reach clients and opposing counsel ASAP. It’s crucial to be conversant with all channels of communication.

Knowing which method to use given the person and situation is key. Your clients will be happy. And you’ll get your job done in a more efficient way with less stress.

Michael C. Craven is a family law partner at Harrison & Held LLP. He is a member and officer of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has long been fascinated by the world of legal marketing.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Michael_Craven/693525