Thursday, February 25, 2010

EC Event: ACTA Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting

DG Trade of EC announced this event.

ACTA – Stakeholders' Consultation Meeting

The Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission is organising a meeting on 22 March 2010, to inform and consult interested parties about the negotiation of a plurilateral Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The goal of ACTA is to provide an improved framework for countries committed to intellectual property protection, in view of effectively addressing the challenges of IPR infringement today.

The purposes of the meeting will be to:

1) Inform stakeholders about the ACTA goals and the negotiation process so far;

2) Receive comments from stakeholders about their views (expectations or concerns) regarding ACTA.

Relevant information about the ACTA negotiations can be found at the External Trade website. A detailed written state-of-play of the negotiation is available at the same location.


Date: Monday 22nd March 2010
Time: 10.00 – 12:30
Location: Charlemagne Building, Room Alcide de Gaspieri - Rue de la Loi, 170 B-1049 Brussels

To register (pre-registration is required for security reasons)

- Please send an email with your name and the name of the represented organisation to
- Due to the room capacity (approx. 350), participation will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. Presence of more than one person per participating organisation will also be conditioned to the total number of participants.
- Closing date for registration: 15 March 2010
- Please note: Admission is free. However, the European Commission is not able to cover travel or subsistence expenses for attendance at this meeting.
- Those unable to participate in the meeting and/or wishing to present their positions in writing may send their comments to , no later than 22 March 2010.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The Formation of Critical Realism

About the Book

This series of interviews, conducted in the form of exchanges between Roy Bhaskar and Mervyn Hartwig, tells a riveting story of the formation and development of critical realism.

Three intersecting and interweaving narratives unfold in the course of this unfinished story: the personal narrative of Roy Bhaskar, born of an Indian father and English mother, a child of post-war Britain and Indian partition and independence; the intellectual narrative of the emergence and growth of critical realism; and a world-historical story, itself theorized by critical realism in its discussion of the development of modernity.

This book gives an invaluable account of the development of critical realism, and its consolidation as a leading philosophy of our times. It takes us through the major moments of its formation, the principal objections to and controversies within critical realism, the establishment of its institutions, and considers its limits and future development. Special features of the book include discussion of the genesis of critical realism, and the origins and nature of the so-called dialectical and spiritual turns.

The informal dialogical style of The Formation of Critical Realism makes it compelling reading and an invaluable source for students of critical realism as well as all those interested in the intellectual story of our times.

UK Human Rights Committee on "three strikes" Rule

Digital Economy Bill introduced by the UK Government in the House of Lards on 19 November 2009 contains so-called "three strike" rule (gratuate response). This is to combat an illegal file-sharing via a two-stage process: first, by requiring ISPs to maintain a list of accounts of suspected users; and second, through delegated powers to introduce technical measures, such as disconnection.

The Billl provoked concerns about rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and procedural justice and fairness. On February 5, 2010, the Joint Committee on Human Rights appointed by the House of Lords and the House of Commons issued its final report on the issues.

Concerning the procedural fairness and justice, the report says:

"1.44 We accept that there is no clear answer to whether the decisions taken during the process of issuing copyright infringement reports and infringement lists involve the determination of any individuals’ civil rights and that it is unlikely that Article 6 ECHR is engaged. However, in the light of the acceptance by the EU that a fair process is necessary for regulation of individual service users’ access to the internet, we consider that statutory provision for a right to appeal to an independent body against inclusion on any infringement list at this stage would lead to a fairer procedure and so be a human rights enhancing measure.


1.48 Although there is very little detail about the appeal mechanism, the enforcement and reviewing bodies on the face of the Bill, it is our view that, provided the time frame for review and appeal is adequate and the measures are routinely suspended until the right of appeal is exhausted, it is unlikely that these provisions will be structurally incompatible with Article 6 ECHR. The provision of a review by an independent reviewing body and a full right to appeal before the First Tier Tribunal, prior to the imposition of any sanction is adequate to meet the requirements of the Convention for a hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal."