In the News

HLS faculty weigh in on recent legal news

A selection of analyses and opinions from Harvard Law School experts.

Three Lessons From Islamic State’s Retreat

An op-ed by Noah Feldman. Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish forces say that, with the help of three months of U.S. airstrikes, they’ve retaken the town of Kobani on the Syria-Turkey border from Islamic State. This success doesn’t change the basic strategic calculus of the war on the insurgent group: The fight for Kobani was always more about symbolism than military advantage. But the victory, if you can call it that, carries three lessons about how the conflict with Islamic State is going — and how it can and cannot be affected by the use of force. The first and most important lesson is that airstrikes alone can’t retake territory from Islamic State.Continue Reading at Bloomberg »

Assuring fairness during jury selection

An op-ed by Nancy Gertner. Questioning prospective jurors is tedious. The press usually ignores it. In Massachusetts, few judges or lawyers pay much attention to it. One judge bragged about the speed with which he picked a jury: “Ten minutes, tops, no matter what the case is.” But with the two high-profile cases of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Aaron Hernandez , all eyes are on jury selection. A new state statute and guidelines from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court may forecast a new approach for state courts — permitting jurors to be questioned by lawyers, not just judges, and on a broad range of issues — but only for cases after Feb. 1.Continue Reading at The Boston Globe »

A New Civil Rights Movement Is Already Growing at the Grass Roots

An op-ed by Derecka Purnell [`17].At a recent protest in Boston, a middle-aged woman angrily chanted at four black men: “Go to school! Get a job!” These men were my fellow Harvard Law School classmates, serving as legal observers to protect the rights of the protesters. Her thinking was an extreme representation of what many others believe: Young people are aimlessly “die-ing in” or stopping traffic without goals, strategies, preparation or even stakes. But young people are working and organizing.Continue Reading at The New York Times »

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