Friday, November 13, 2009

Conference: Proportionality and Justice – Quantitative Aspects of Justice and Fairness

Call for Papers:

Inter-University Conference on Justice and Fairness at TUM Munich

On Proportionality and Justice – Quantitative Aspects of Justice and Fairness
Technische Universität München & Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, January 6 – 7, 2010

December 11th, 2009: Abstract submission deadline
December 16th, 2009: Notification of acceptance
December 20th, 2009: Early registration deadline
January 6 – 7, 2010: Conference
February 15th, 2010: Paper (e-book) submission deadline
April 30th, 2010: Paper (hard copy) submission deadline

From Wednesday 6th to Thursday 7th January, 2010 an inter-university and interdisciplinary conference on justice and fairness will be held at the TUM – Technische Universität München. This is the first inter-university, analytical and quantitative oriented conference on fairness and justice in Germany as well as at the TUM and LMU.
The Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Munich (LMU) – are both the highest ranked universities of Germany (see below) –inviting cordially to this inter-university and interdisciplinary conference on justice and fairness.

The conference is interdisciplinary: we invite papers from philosophy, didactics, computer science, media science, literature, social science, economics and related disciplines. Justice has at least two sides. Actually, there is a huge effort and focus on institutionalization. Whether this and the associated costs and bureaucracy is of value or not may one question among others. Sometimes this view, especially in Germany omits that finally a human ought to make a decision. A decision, he has to take the responsibility for. A glance at history shows us that the quantification of law was going hand in hand with a humanization and equalization of society. As there is a widespread altercation with justice among scholar form diverse faculties we invite them to a interdisciplinary discussion. Our thoughts and actions, our perception, imagination, and experience depend more and more on informational, computational, and robotic systems with increasing complexity and autonomy. What are their epistemic, ethical, and societal challenges for the future of mankind? The workshop will promote scholarly dialogues on all aspects of this turn of society.

Ruth Hagengruber (University of Paderborn)
Klaus Mainzer (TUM, Munich)
Lothar Philipps (LMU, Munich)
Peter Tillers (Cardozo Law School, New York)

We call for papers that cover topics pertaining to analytical and quantitative aspects of fairness and justice from the following list (but not restricted to this list):
Analytical philosophy: from quantity to quality, sets, structures, processes
Ontology /Theory of Mind: limits of revaluation
Metaphysics: foundation of quantification …
Ethics: institutional vs. human-centered view, problem of comparison …
Law: compensation & degree of penalty …
Economics: insurances, value of human as capital goods ...
Business studies: benefits, earnings & compensation …
Representation in media: representation of humans and life in economic, quantitative terms
Literature: cross-culture comparisons & concepts
Healthcare: value of quality time and care
Medicine: transplantation, ranking in palliative care, emergency medical aid …
Theology: concepts in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism …
Computer Science: how to handle short resources intelligent and fair, e.g. under constraints?
Mathematics: game theory, geometry, etc.
Didactics: How to teach quantification understandable?

We invite (analytical) philosophers, mathematicians, lawyers, economists, computer scientists, theologians, physicians, didactic, media scientists and other scholars interested in discussing these or other related topics to join the workshop, for an exchange of ideas on these subjects. Contributions focused on quantitative and analytical issues of fairness are especially encouraged, but papers on any aspect of justice are welcome. Final Papers should be not more than 10 to 15 pages long (3.000 to 5.000 words) to be presented in 20 minutes maximum, and to allow up to 10 minutes discussion. All accepted papers will be published within an e-book.
Selected papers from the conference will be considered for publication (hard copy). Contributions in English as well as in German are welcome.

Submissions should include (a) title, and (b) extended abstract of 300–500 words long. The submissions should preferably be sent in PDF (or MS Word or RTF if PDF is not possible) as an attachment to an email that should contain the author's name, affiliation, contact details, and the title of the submission.

The submissions should be made electronically, either as PDF, or in RTF or Word format to:

Registration fees (in EURO): 20 €; after December 20th, 2009: 30 €.

To book accommodation, please visit the official conference web site. The TUM campus has no own accommodation facilities (hotels), but TUM’s close situation (and good public transport service connections) open the possibility to stay all-around in Munich city.

Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Chair for Philosophy and Philosophy of Science and Technology & Carl von Linde-Academy, Munich
Ludwig-Maximilans Universitaet Muenchen, Chair for Philosophy of Law, Munich

Rainhard Z. Bengez ( Department for Philosophy and Philosophy of Science and Technology, TUM – Technical University of Munich, Arcisstr. 21, D-80333 Muenchen, Germany

Rainhard Z. Bengez, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Lilija Mieliauskiene, Kaunas Technology College, Lithuania
Lothar Philipps, University of Munich, Germany
Wolfgang Pietsch, Technical University of Munich, Germany
Gerhard Spilgies, Institute for Anthropotechnical Studies, Spain
Carsten Stolz, University of Ingolstadt, Germany
Fu Ching Wang, National Yunlin University of Science & Technology, Taiwan

The Technische Universität München (TUM: ) and the Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU: ) are Germany’s Universities of Excellence and according to QS World University Ranking 2009 the best German universities ( ) with a long historical tradition. There are several famous research centers in, e.g., Garching, Weihenstephan, and Rechts der Isar, Martinsried, etc. The conference will take place in the central buildings of TUM (Stammgelände) in the center of Munich near to beautiful museums, Schwabing, and close to TUM’s robotic center. This workshop is co-organized by the interdisciplinary center of TUM:


The dynamic evidence page

It's here (more or less): the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post.

Browser-based evidence marshaling: MarshalPlan in your browser

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Story of A, B & C

The Story of A, B & C: Hearsay Fortunes & Misfortunes

Alpha is an ambulatory person, a pedestrian. Beta is a rich boor. C is a chauffeur. He works for Beta.

One day Alpha ambulates, he goes for a walk. Beta has a cold. So he stays home in bed. However, he orders C to get some groceries.

On his way to the grocery store C runs into A -- he literally and actually runs into A -- with B’s Rolls Royce.

After the accident, C tells O, an onlooker, “I’m about to kick the bucket. I’m gonna have a heart attack. I just ran into A. And I’m injured. My arm is broken and my leg is broken.”

On hearing of the accident, B said to Z, “M’gosh, C was reckless.”

Lawsuits, naturally, ensue, including the following federal civil actions:

A brings a civil action against B. A seeks to recover on a theory of respondeat superior, for injuries inflicted by the negligent acts of B’s employee, C, while in the course of B’s employment.

A brings a separate civil action against C. He seeks to recover for personal injuries negligently inflicted by C.

C brings a civil action against B. He seeks to recover damages for injuries sustained while on the job.

B’s pretrial statement “M’gosh, C was reckless” is offered in the trial of A v B.
B objects that the statement is hearsay.

The objection is overruled. Explain why.

B’s pretrial statement is offered in the trial of A v. C.
C objects on the ground of hearsay.

A replies that B’s statement is an admission.

A is wrong. Please explain why.

A tries again: He states, “Your Honor, B’s statement is plainly against his interest. It is admissible under the exception for statements against interest.”

The trial judge responds, “No it isn’t.”

Explain the trial judge’s reply. Give two reasons why the trial judge is correct.

C’s pretrial statement “I’m about to kick the bucket. I’m gonna have a heart attack. I just ran into A. And I’m injured. My leg arm is broken and my leg is broken” is offered in the trial of C v. B.
B responds, “It’s hearsay, Your Honor.

C replies, “It’s a dying declaration, your Honor.”

B responds, “This isn’t a murder case. And C isn’t dead. His statement isn’t a dying declaration. And he’s offering the statement on his own behalf.”

The trial judge replies, “C’s statement is not admissible as a dying declaration. But not for the reasons you gave, counsel.”

The trial judge is correct. Please explain.

Does C’s statement nevertheless overcome the hearsay hurdle? If so, please explain why.


The "evidence module" of Spindle Law has quite a bit of material about the hearsay rule, hearsay exemptions, and hearsay exceptions.


The dynamic evidence page

It's here (more or less): the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post.

Browser-based evidence marshaling: MarshalPlan in your browser

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sex Abuse: Do Catholic Priests (and Nuns) Do It More?

A recent post on a list for law professors who specialize in the law of evidence made me ponder, once more, the explosive question of the "clergy sex abuse scandal." The reporting of this scandal broke in The Boston Globe while I was a visiting professor at Harvard in the spring semester of 2002. As the reporting on the scandal unfolded, I was struck that all of the accused clergy were members of the Roman Catholic Church. I thought to myself that Protestant clergy (for example) surely also occasionally succumb to sexual temptation and engage in wrongful sexual conduct. I sent an e-mail message to this effect to a Boston Globe reporter. The second (and last) reply I got from the reporter was that there is a consensus that child sexual abuse by Protestant clergy is not a problem. This thesis seemed -- and still seems -- counter-intuitive to me. (Later -- much later -- it occurred to me that perhaps the reporter meant that homosexual sexual abuse of minors is not a serious problem among non-Catholic clergy.)
N.B. #1: I am a resolute heterosexual. So my questioning and doubting are not motivated by a personal "sexual orientation" agenda.

N.B. #2: I am not a Roman Catholic. I have always been a Lutheran and for the time being I remain one.

I think it is very unlikely that wrongful sexual conduct by members of the clergy in Protestant churches is less common than wrongful sexual conduct by Roman Catholic clergy. I find support for this guess in (i) my beliefs about human nature and human sexual activity, (ii) anecdotal evidence, (iii) some (sparse) scholarly literature, and (iv) reports such as the following:
Daniel Burke, "Study: 3 Percent of Women Victims of Clergy Sexual Advances," (September 11, 2009): More than 3 percent of adult women who attend religious services at least once a month have been victims of clergy sexual misconduct, according to researchers at Baylor University. Put another way: in a congregation of 400 people, seven adult women have been targets of sexual advances by clergy, the study says. In addition, in one of 50 cases, the religious leader was married, according to the report. Four percent of respondents said they knew of a close friend or family member who had experienced a sexual advance by a clergy member in their own congregation, the study says. Baylor researchers said their report is the largest scientific study into clergy sexual misconduct with adults in the U.S. “Because many people are familiar with some of the high-profile cases of sexual misconduct, most people assume that it is just a matter of a few charismatic leaders preying on vulnerable followers,” said Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work at Baylor University and lead researcher in the study. “What this research tells us, however, is that clergy sexual misconduct with adults is a widespread problem in congregations of all sizes and occurs across denominations.”

While the sexual abuse of children, particularly by Catholic priests, has received outsize attention in the media and academia, the abuse of adults has received relatively little notice, according to Baylor researchers.

“We hope these findings will prompt congregations to consider adopting policies and procedures designed to protect their members from leaders who abuse their power,” said Garland. “Many people—including the victims themselves—often label incidences of clergy sexual misconduct with adults as `affairs.’ In reality, they are an abuse of spiritual power by the religious leader.”

The research was conducted using questions included in the National Opinion Research Center’s 2008 General Social Survey of more than 3,500 American adults and followed up by interviews with respondents.

So what accounts for the focus by media outlets such as the Boston Globe on sexual abuse by Catholic clergy?

These are some possibilities:

1. One possibility is simple ignorance -- ignorance that Protestant clergy (and clerics in other kinds of religious organizations) "do it too."

But if that's part of the explanation, I am inclined to view such ignorance as wilful. The reporters at the Boston Globe, for example, were probably quite familiar with popular literature such as Sinclair Lewis's Elmer Gantry, in which the "hero" -- a Protestant preacher -- engages in sexual misconduct of at least a sort.
2. Another possibility is that media outlets such as the Boston Globe have a degree of "homophobia."
This may explain some of the behavior of some media outlets. But it does not readily explain the behavior of the Boston Globe (which, ironically, once championed the activities of the gay "street priest" Paul Shanley [a central figure in the Boston Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal that broke 2002 A.D.] and decried the efforts of the Archdiocese of Boston to suppress Shanley's "street ministry").

However, anti-homosexual attitudes very probably play a large part in explaining the depth of the public outrage about homosexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy.

3. It is also possible that anti-Catholic bias played (and still plays) a role in the behavior of media outlets such as the Boston Globe and the New York Times.
The thesis that the Boston Globe in particular has suffered from anti-Catholic bias should not be too readily dismissed.
4. Some or much of the media focus on the Catholic clergy was probably the result of the activities of plaintiffs' lawyers who brought lawsuits on behalf of victims of clergy sex abuse. Those lawsuits have been brought almost exclusively against Catholic clergy and branches of the Roman Catholic Church.
I do not think it likely that a disproportionate number of those lawyers were either anti-Catholic or anti-gay (although I would not be astonished to find that I am wrong about this). My guess is that plaintiffs' lawyers focused on Catholic targets of lawsuits for damages because Catholic clergy and the Roman Catholic church were the most alluring targets for financial reasons: the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church made it possible -- after some tinkering was done with immunity rules pertaining to non-profits -- to bring actions for damages against entities with relatively deep pockets. (I deeply discount the hypothesis that the beneficent intentions of plaintiffs' lawyers explain why those lawyers so fervently pursued Catholic targets instead of Protestant targets. Plaintiffs' lawyers -- like many of the rest of us -- are primarily interested in money.)
Now that financially-rewarding Roman Catholic targets are drying up -- they have almost been exhausted -- we can expect to see -- and I think we are seeing -- an increasing number of sex abuse lawsuits against Protestant clergy and churches, Jewish clergy and organizations, other religious organizations and their clergy (e.g., Mormons, Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists), and -- eventually -- educators (regardless of religious persuasion) and those who employ educators (school boards, universities, and the like).


The dynamic evidence page

It's here (more or less): the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post.