Friday, October 07, 2011

QJustice 2012

The planning for the conference QJustice 12, May 22-24, 2012, Lisbon, Portugal, is proceeding apace.

The three general conference topics are:
Module 1: Inference and causality; 
Module 2: Consequentialism; 
Module 3: Distributive justice.

Organizers & program committee members include

Rainhard Z. Bengez, TU Munich, Germany
Lothar Philipps, LMU – Munich University, Germany
Maria Fernanda Palma, FDUL – IDPCC, Portugal
Augusto Silva Dias, FDUL – IDPCC, Portugal
Paulo de Sousa Mendes, FDUL – IDPCC, Portugal
David Duarte, FDUL – Institute of Juridical and Political Sciences (ICJP), Portugal
Rui Soares Pereira, FDUL – IDPCC, Portugal
José de Sousa e Brito, New University of Lisbon, Portugal
José Manuel Aroso Linhares, University of Coimbra Law Faculty, Portugal
Giovanni Sartor, European University Institute, Law Department, Florence, Italy
Feliciana Tafuri, LMU -- Munich, Germany

 Peter Tillers, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, USA
Joseph Gastwirth, George Washington University, USA
Scott Brewer, Harvard Law School, Harvard University, USA
Vern Walker, Hofstra University, USA

Institutional sponsors include:

Carl von Linde Academy, Technical University of Munich
Institute of Penal Law & Criminal Sciences, University of Lisbon Law Faculty
Portuguese Association for Law Theory, Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Lisbon
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, New York

Panelists include ... many interesting & important people (stay tuned for details).

Conference papers will be published, some of them in a special issue of Law, Probability and Risk,

QJustice 12 is part of a series of conferences organized by Rainhard Bengez, under the umbrella of the network "Quantitative Justice and Fairness." See The general mission of this network is to address "the use, the limits and mediation aspects of formal/quantitive methods in connection with any of the the following topics:
* Ethics, moral theories and theories of human rights (e.g., assessment as of harms & benefits to other persons; quantitative models of justice and fairness)
* Legal theory (balancing rights and duties; formal and quantitative models of legal argumentation/justification)
* Law (quantification and the application of the law, e.g., compensation for economic harm, for pain & suffering; criminal punishment and deterrence)
* Analytical philosophy (ontology and metaphysics of quantification)
* Science, technology and legal responsibilities (neurosciences and the measurement of mind, assessing environmental and human impacts of dangerous technologies, responsibilities of scientists)
* Mathematics & Computer science (mathematical and computational approaches to model justice and fairness, e.g., game theory, geometry, fractals, etc)
* Evidence (mathematical & statistical analysis of factual inferences in trials; burdens of persuasion and proof)
* Economics (economic and decision-theoretic models of justice and fairness)
* Medicine & Health care (e.g., measuring the quality of medical care; allocating medical resources, etc)
* Theology (views in Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc., of quantitative aspects of justice and fairness )
* STS - Science and Technology Studies (e.g. breaking down the black boxes of social behavior and social actions)
* Public Understanding of Complex Decisions and Mediation (e.g. how can a better understanding of our underlying quantitative measures and concepts be helpful in cross-cultural discussions, politics, etc. )

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Fuller and Hart Want to Know: What Is a "Sidewalk"?

H.L.A. Hart and Lon Fuller famously discussed whether roller skating in a park amounts to operating a motor vehicle in a park. Cf.

Monday, January 02, 2006


Monday, April 04, 2011

In September 2011 the Is-roller-skating-in-the-park-driving-a-motor-vehicle-in-the-park? hypo took on yet another guise. Marc Weber pointed out a case he was involved in: People v Pena (Joshua) 2011 NY Slip Op 21340 (Sept. 28, 2011). There defendant "was charged with riding a bicycle on a sidewalk in violation of section 19-176(b) of the Administrative Code of the City of New York, upon allegations that he rode the bicycle "on a pedestrian pathway inside the entrance of a [specified] subway station." The prosecutor argued that "'sidewalk' ... encompass[es] all manner of 'pedestrian conduits,' even those 'set back from the street.'" The court rejected this argument:
[W]e agree with defendant that the underlying information was facially insufficient since it failed to set forth, prima facie, defendant's commission of the charged offense. Even if established as true, allegations that defendant was observed riding a bicycle inside a subway station entrance would not make out a legally sufficient case that defendant violated Administrative Code § 19-176(b), an essential element of which is proof that the bicycle riding take place on a "sidewalk," a term narrowly defined in the ordinance as "that portion of the street ... between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent property lines, intended for the use of pedestrians." We decline to adopt the People's broad reading of the term "sidewalk" as encompassing all manner of "pedestrian conduits," even those "set back from the street." Had the City Council intended to extend the definitional reach of the term "sidewalk" in [*2]such an expansive fashion, it would have been a simple matter to include appropriate language to that effect, as it did elsewhere in the Administrative Code (see Code § 7-201[c][1][b] [The Pothole Law], defining a sidewalk to include "a boardwalk, underpass, pedestrian walk or path, step and stairway"]).
This bicycle rider knows that the issue was never in doubt. Nothing in New York City constitutes a "sidewalk" for purposes of bicycle riding in New York City (if, that is, the rider proceeds slowly and cautiously and does not swear at pedestrians who obstruct his [her] path).


Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

A Useful Perspective on Life from the Late Steve Jobs

Although I was not one of those people who wanted to deify Steve Jobs, he did make a perceptive comment a few years ago:

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose," Mr. Jobs said in a commencement speech at Stanford University in June 2005, almost a year after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Yukari Kane & Geoffrey Fowler, Steven Paul Jobs, 1955-2011 Wall Street Journal (Onloine) (Oct. 6, 2011).


The dynamic evidence page

Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Criminal Educational Choice; Energy Production in the United States

The following matter is not precisely on topic -- but it is interesting:

Micheal Flaherty The Latest Crime Wave: Sending Your Child to a Better School Wall Street Journal Onlline (Oct. 1, 2011):
In case you needed further proof of the American education system's failings, especially in poor and minority communities, consider the latest crime to spread across the country: educational theft. That's the charge that has landed several parents, such as Ohio's Kelley Williams-Bolar, in jail this year. An African-American mother of two, Ms. Williams-Bolar last year used her father's address to enroll her two daughters in a better public school outside of their neighborhood. After spending nine days behind bars charged with grand theft, the single mother was convicted of two felony counts. Not only did this stain her spotless record, but it threatened her ability to earn the teacher's license she had been working on.
The following item is even more off-topic (the topic of evidence and inference) but it is also very interesting:
Stephen Moore How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia Wall Street Journal Online (October 1, 2011):
When OPEC was at its peak in the 1990s, the U.S. imported about two-thirds of its oil. Now we import less than half of it, and about 40% of what we do import comes from Mexico and Canada.
I fancy myself an old-fashioned liberal: I think economic welfare (both of the nation and the individual) is very important. Energy costs are therefore important in my mind.


The dynamic evidence page

Evidence marshaling software MarshalPlan

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.