Saturday, April 10, 2010

World Peace Thru Law Newsletter: April 2010

Washington State Bar Association
World Peace Through Law Section Newsletter
April 2010

April 27:
Building Peace Through Environmental Justice

The Section's meeting on April 27, 2010, entitled “Building Peace Through Environmental Justice”, is our program in honor of Earth Day, focused on the rapidly developing field of human rights and the environment.

Carmen Gonzalez, Professor, Seattle University Law School, will speak on “NAFTA, Biodiversity and Human Rights.” Jim Puckett, Executive Director at the Basel Action Network, a US-based advocacy organisation targeting the trade of toxic waste, will speak on “The Case of the International Trade in Electronic Waste: Justice and Poisons Adrift on a Tide of Globalization.” Join us for a mini-CLE on building peace through environmental justice, from noon-1:30 p.m.! Approved for 1.5 general CLE credits.
Time/Place: Noon – 1 p.m. at the WSBA office, 1325 4th Ave., Ste. 600, Seattle.
Approved for 1 general CLE credit.

Cost: Free for Section members and law students; $25 for others. Register now! We hope to see you there!

From “The Global Food Crisis”

“The right to food is recognized as a fundamental human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child …

… Ecosystem biodiversity and food crop diversity are essential to food security for at least two reasons. First, highly diverse ecosystems are more resilient to environmental perturbations (such the droughts, heavy rains, and outbreaks of new pests that may be associated with climate change) and provide a wide range of “free” ecosystem services (such as pest control, pollination, and enhanced soil fertility). Second, modern plant breeders depend on wild crops to furnish the fresh germplasm that can be used to produce crops capable of withstanding a variety of environmental stresses and of serving as new food sources. Alarmingly, the expansion of industrial agriculture is exacerbating the vulnerability of the world’s food supply to catastrophic climate change by narrowing the number of food crops cultivated, reducing the genetic diversity within these cultivated crops, degrading ecosystem services, and encouraging reliance on non-renewable petroleum-based agrochemicals whose production and use release greenhouse gases….”

--- Carmen G. Gonzalez , The Global Food Crisis: Law, Policy, and the Elusive Quest for Justice, 13 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal (2010). Electronic copy available at:

2010 Upcoming Events

• May 25: Rick Lorenz speaks on “The Legal Obligations of an Occupying Power under International Humanitarian Law.”
• June – December: Programs tbd. Let's hear your ideas!

From the Basel Action Network website

“…There is an ugly underbelly of economic globalisation that few wish to talk about.

Under the guise of simply utilizing the “competitive advantage” of cheap labour markets in poorer areas of the world, a disproportionate burden of toxic waste, dangerous products and polluting technologies are currently being exported from rich industrialised countries to poorer developing countries.

In effect, rather than being helped to leap-frog over dirty development cycles directly toward clean production methods, developing countries are instead being asked to perpetuate some of the world's most toxic industries and products and are even asked to become the global dumping ground for much of the world's toxic wastes….”

“About the Basel Action Network …” at

Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center
Seeks Volunteers for Hotline

SMDCC’s mission is to provide accurate, comprehensive, and objective information about Selective Service, military law, military regulations & administrative procedures to anyone in need of this service, and to assist them in applying this information to their own situation and goals. Sometimes callers wish to leave the military, sometimes they wish to stay in; SMDCC’s job is to be an objective source of information and support for the individual’s decision. SMDCC also supports conscientious objectors and promotes individual and collective resistance to war and preparations for war.

SMDCC’s primary program is fielding the Washington state calls that come into the National GI Rights hotline (877-447-4487

Our next volunteer training is scheduled for late spring/early summer. This is a valuable opportunity to work with active duty military members to provide unbiased support. You will also benefit from the ongoing support of current volunteers. Please join us! See http://www.sdmcc.orhg for more information; contact Cindy Sousa, Volunteer Counselor Coordinator at or 20734-5040

I’m on the board of SMDCC and find this a very positive organization to work with. Center volunteer do not engage in the practice of law (sometimes there’s a referral to an active lawyer) making this an attractive choice for persons on inactive status. I hope you will consider joining us! ---REW

“At noon we cut stalks -
Perspiration drips to earth -
Rice grows from hardship”
- Chang Chan-Pao

“Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized”
- Universal Declaration
of Human Rights

“Give me spots
on the apples,
but leave me
the birds and
the bees,
- Joni Mitchell
“Big Yellow Taxi”

This is a publication of a section of the Washington State Bar Association. All opinions and comments represent the views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by WSBA, its officers or agents.

I'm the editor of the above newsletter of the WSBA World Peace Through Law Section, and experimenting with different ways to get the information out there. Anyway, it's one of my compositions so it belongs in this scrapbook.