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Manpower firms to be barred from appointing agents

Kathmandu, September 7

Manpower firms will from now on not be allowed to appoint agents in the destination countries of migrant workers and also within the country. The draft of the amended Foreign Employment Act obtained by The Himalayan Times, says manpower firms need to open branches instead of appointing agents.

The new draft of the law has removed the provision of appointing agents in the labour destinations as well as within the country that had been provisioned by the Foreign Employment Act, 2007.

The amended draft of the law has mentioned that manpower firms must open branches for the purpose of marketing in the destination country. Similarly, branch offices will also be mandatory within the country to select foreign job aspirants.

Largely, manpower agencies have been relying on agents to bring in demand from destination countries. They have also been mobilising agents within the country to bring foreign job aspirants from various parts of the country to their offices to select workers to send them for foreign jobs.

Agents within the country have time and again been blamed for swindling money from foreign job aspirants by lying to the workers about better jobs in the destination countries. In destination countries too, it has been reported that agents charge high commission from manpower companies to send job demands through their firms. Also, manpower agencies have also been offering commission to agents in the destinations to bring job demands.

As Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) does not permit manpower firms from remitting commission money, the firms have been using informal channels. NRB, through the monetary policy of this fiscal, has allowed foreign exchange facility of $20,000 in a year either at one time or at intervals for foreign employment agencies that send more than 100 workers annually for foreign jobs. Those firms that send less than 100 workers in a year can utilise foreign exchange facility worth $15,000 in a year for promotion and marketing activities in the destination countries.

There are 734 manpower firms in operation and they might face challenges to operate branches in the labour destinations after the new law is enforced.

“In that scenario, foreign employment agencies will either have to down their shutters or merge with each other to strengthen their capacity,” a high level source at the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) said.

MoLE had also consulted with representatives of foreign employment agencies while reviewing the law. It has said the new law would address a wider range of issues concerning foreign employment.

The ministry had formed a committee led by its joint secretary and comprising executive director of Foreign Employment Promotion Board, director general of Department of Foreign Employment, undersecretary of legal division of MoLE and a representative each from Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies, and from the association of returnee migrant workers to review the law.


A version of this article appears in print on September 08, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.

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Judge was wildly unfamiliar not just with sex assault law, but with criminal law itself

CALGARY — The sexual assault case that saw then-Alberta Provincial Court Judge Robin Camp land in the soup was one hot mess — a classic of the he-said-she-said variety, with the additional complication of a witness who said the alleged victim told her she was going to have sex with the alleged attacker moments before the alleged assault.

And 474 pages of transcripts of the entire trial, released Wednesday by the Canadian Judicial Council panel now reviewing Camp’s conduct, as well as testimony from the “mentor” who has since helped the judge in his purported re-education, show that Camp was wildly unfamiliar not just with the law on sexual assault, but with the criminal law itself.

The 64-year-old Camp, who was appointed to the provincial bench in 2012 and then elevated to the Federal Court of Canada in June of last year, had only ever practised criminal law for a short time after he opened his practice in his native South Africa.

Thereafter, and certainly after he immigrated to Canada in 1998, he was a civil litigator, with a specialty in contractual, trust, oil and gas law.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Yet when he was named to the bench, it was as a judge in the criminal division.

The criminal courts are the rough-and-tumble sector of the law, very different from the rather more genteel corporate and commercial sides. But litigators from both big corporate and small boutique law firms are routinely appointed to the bench across the country. Camp is hardly alone, either in having little criminal law experience or in being expected to quickly master the nuances of a criminal trial.

In fact, his hired mentor, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Deborah McCawley, testified Wednesday that she “had no criminal law experience” when she was named to the Queen’s Bench, where about 75 per cent of her work until recently “was criminal law.”

Unlike Camp, however, McCawley was a federally appointed judge, which meant she could, and did, avail herself of “top-notch education programs” run by the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

Provincial court judges don’t have the same access or, she said, “the federal funding that allows us to attend” intensive seminars and workshops run by the NJI.

Camp, according to an agreed statement of facts now in evidence at the CJC hearing, received no training “on the law of sexual assault or how to conduct sexual assault trials,” which are particularly tricky because of prohibitions on a complainant’s previous sexual experience and on how what’s called post-incident conduct may or may not be used.

Probabilities very often don’t absolutely align with facts because human nature is infinite. But you have to deal with probabilities all the time

As the transcripts of the 2014 trial show, Camp was practically begging the prosecutor, Hyatt Mograbee, for guidance on how he could or should use the testimony he’d heard, and for specific case law.

“And the fact that she’s affectionate afterwards,” Camp asked Mograbee, “does that undermine her credibility?”

“Not in the Crown’s respectful submission,” Mograbee said. “You’re now getting into thinking about ways that you would expect a person to act after they’ve been sexually assaulted. And that can be a dangerous …

“Because,” she continued, “there isn’t a (single) way that people are expected to act …”

“Geez,” Camp replied, “well, that’s what probabilities are. Probabilities very often don’t absolutely align with facts because human nature is infinite. But you have to deal with probabilities all the time.”

It was one of those two independent witnesses, a then-22-year-old woman whose identity is protected, who testified that she, the alleged victim, Wagar and another young man went into the bathroom to smoke a joint and that she directly asked the girl, in front “like of everybody” if “she was going to have sexual relations with Alex, and she admitted she was going to.”

Prosecutor Mograbee suggested in cross-examination that the young woman was a friend of Wagar’s and “had his back,” the inference that she was protecting her friend.

But given that reasonable doubt must benefit an accused person — the legal equivalent of the tie going to the runner in baseball — it’s clear that the trial was more complex than reported, and that it’s possible that Camp’s ultimate decision to acquit Wagar, if not the language he used in doing it, may have been legally correct.

It’s that language — most infamously, when Camp asked the alleged victim why she didn’t “sink your bottom” into the bathroom sink so Wagar “couldn’t penetrate you?” or “keep your knees together” — and the stereotypical beliefs it suggested he may have, which are at the heart of the inquiry here.

Yet the transcripts suggest the judge was struggling to understand how an assault could have occurred without the co-operation of the alleged victim.

McCawley testified that despite her initial abhorrence at what he said at the trial, Camp was neither a misogynist nor a racist, but rather “extremely fair-minded.” She said that during their initial meetings, she struggled to “reconcile the transcripts with the person in front of me.”

She said he was extremely remorseful not only for his remarks to the alleged victim, but also for the damage done to the bench, “an institution I think he loves.”

McCawley is an expert in what’s called “social context education,” whereby judges are asked to challenge themselves for “unconscious bias.” It’s a process that must be continuous, McCawley said, admitting that when she first met Camp, then “a 63-year-old white South African male, I found myself guilty of the stereotypical thinking that I have spent a lifetime railing against.”

• Email: cblatchford@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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Judge was wildly unfamiliar not just with sexual assault law, but with criminal law itself

CALGARY — The sexual assault case that saw then-Alberta Provincial Court Judge Robin Camp land in the soup was one hot mess — a classic of the he-said-she-said variety, with the additional complication of a witness who said the alleged victim told her she was going to have sex with the alleged attacker moments before the alleged assault.

And 474 pages of transcripts of the entire trial, released Wednesday by the Canadian Judicial Council panel now reviewing Camp’s conduct, as well as testimony from the “mentor” who has since helped the judge in his purported re-education, show that Camp was wildly unfamiliar not just with the law on sexual assault, but with the criminal law itself.

The 64-year-old Camp, who was appointed to the provincial bench in 2012 and then elevated to the Federal Court of Canada in June of last year, had only ever practised criminal law for a short time after he opened his practice in his native South Africa.

Thereafter, and certainly after he immigrated to Canada in 1998, he was a civil litigator, with a specialty in contractual, trust, oil and gas law.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Yet when he was named to the bench, it was as a judge in the criminal division.

The criminal courts are the rough-and-tumble sector of the law, very different from the rather more genteel corporate and commercial sides. But litigators from both big corporate and small boutique law firms are routinely appointed to the bench across the country. Camp is hardly alone, either in having little criminal law experience or in being expected to quickly master the nuances of a criminal trial.

In fact, his hired mentor, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Deborah McCawley, testified Wednesday that she “had no criminal law experience” when she was named to the Queen’s Bench, where about 75 per cent of her work until recently “was criminal law.”

Unlike Camp, however, McCawley was a federally appointed judge, which meant she could, and did, avail herself of “top-notch education programs” run by the National Judicial Institute (NJI).

Provincial court judges don’t have the same access or, she said, “the federal funding that allows us to attend” intensive seminars and workshops run by the NJI.

Camp, according to an agreed statement of facts now in evidence at the CJC hearing, received no training “on the law of sexual assault or how to conduct sexual assault trials,” which are particularly tricky because of prohibitions on a complainant’s previous sexual experience and on how what’s called post-incident conduct may or may not be used.

Probabilities very often don’t absolutely align with facts because human nature is infinite. But you have to deal with probabilities all the time

As the transcripts of the 2014 trial show, Camp was practically begging the prosecutor, Hyatt Mograbee, for guidance on how he could or should use the testimony he’d heard, and for specific case law.

“And the fact that she’s affectionate afterwards,” Camp asked Mograbee, “does that undermine her credibility?”

“Not in the Crown’s respectful submission,” Mograbee said. “You’re now getting into thinking about ways that you would expect a person to act after they’ve been sexually assaulted. And that can be a dangerous …

“Because,” she continued, “there isn’t a (single) way that people are expected to act …”

“Geez,” Camp replied, “well, that’s what probabilities are. Probabilities very often don’t absolutely align with facts because human nature is infinite. But you have to deal with probabilities all the time.”

It was one of those two independent witnesses, a then-22-year-old woman whose identity is protected, who testified that she, the alleged victim, Wagar and another young man went into the bathroom to smoke a joint and that she directly asked the girl, in front “like of everybody” if “she was going to have sexual relations with Alex, and she admitted she was going to.”

Prosecutor Mograbee suggested in cross-examination that the young woman was a friend of Wagar’s and “had his back,” the inference that she was protecting her friend.

But given that reasonable doubt must benefit an accused person — the legal equivalent of the tie going to the runner in baseball — it’s clear that the trial was more complex than reported, and that it’s possible that Camp’s ultimate decision to acquit Wagar, if not the language he used in doing it, may have been legally correct.

It’s that language — most infamously, when Camp asked the alleged victim why she didn’t “sink your bottom” into the bathroom sink so Wagar “couldn’t penetrate you?” or “keep your knees together” — and the stereotypical beliefs it suggested he may have, which are at the heart of the inquiry here.

Yet the transcripts suggest the judge was struggling to understand how an assault could have occurred without the co-operation of the alleged victim.

McCawley testified that despite her initial abhorrence at what he said at the trial, Camp was neither a misogynist nor a racist, but rather “extremely fair-minded.” She said that during their initial meetings, she struggled to “reconcile the transcripts with the person in front of me.”

She said he was extremely remorseful not only for his remarks to the alleged victim, but also for the damage done to the bench, “an institution I think he loves.”

McCawley is an expert in what’s called “social context education,” whereby judges are asked to challenge themselves for “unconscious bias.” It’s a process that must be continuous, McCawley said, admitting that when she first met Camp, then “a 63-year-old white South African male, I found myself guilty of the stereotypical thinking that I have spent a lifetime railing against.”

• Email: cblatchford@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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Law Gets Win Rate Analysis Like Baseball – Now You Can Choose the Best Lawyer for Your Situation With Confidence

The sudden arrival of analytics to law is transforming the way that consumers choose their lawyers. Legal startup, Litigas, is empowering the average consumer to find the best attorney for their case type based on litigation data from Premonition, the world’s largest litigation database.


Miami, FL – September 7, 2016 – (Newswire.com)

The sudden arrival of analytics to law is transforming the way that consumers choose their lawyers. Legal startup, Litigas, is empowering the average consumer to find the best attorney for their case type based on litigation data from Premonition, the world’s largest litigation database.

Prestige in the legal industry has traditionally been based on law firm brand and peer recognition. However, the arrival of performance analytics is causing a fundamental shift in how lawyers are selected. “Law has historically been a credence good. This means the market relies on elite credentials and firm reputation as a proxy for skill,” explains Professor William Henderson, of Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

Premonition has an Artificial Intelligence system that mines Big Data to find out which lawyers win before which Judges. According to the company, “It is x-ray vision for the courtroom and a very, very unfair advantage in Litigation.” Premonition’s system can identify the best lawyers by actual performance data. win rate, case type, case duration and, most importantly, Judge. The company claims, based on their findings, that the right Lawyer/Judge pairing can, influence the outcome of the case by an average of 30.7%.

Until recently, this technology has only been available to Fortune 500 companies and major law firms. However, through Litigas, regular consumers can now access this insider information. Litigas, using Premonition’s data, lets regular consumers use the power of sophisticated analytics to choose their lawyer based on actual performance data, just like the largest corporations in the world and legal insiders.

According to Nathan Huber, Director at Premonition, “If you are in game seven of the World Series, who would you choose to pitch for your team? You would need to know the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing lineup as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your pitcher. You need to neutralize the opponent and give your team every advantage to win. This is not always obvious and requires sophisticated analytics. This is what Litigas does for lawyers. It helps you choose the best pitcher for the Big Game?”

Litigas is answering the nagging question of “How do I find the best lawyer?” It is bringing win-rates to the average consumer and doing it for free.

Learn more about Litigas at www.litigas.com/alt-home/


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Law Gets Win Rate Analysis Like Baseball – Now You Can Choose the Best Lawyer for Your Situation With Confidence


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Maker of Babyganics Sued in NY Federal Court for False Marketing Practices, Halunen Law Announces

NEW YORK & MINNEAPOLIS –(BUSINESS WIRE)


Consumers from New York and California filed a class action lawsuit in
federal district court in New York today against KAS Direct LLC,
alleging that the company uses deceptive marketing and business
practices to promote its Babyganics line of infant-oriented health,
hygiene, and personal-care and household cleaning products, said
plaintiffs law firm Halunen Law.


Despite its name, the suit alleges that most Babyganics products are not
manufactured using organic ingredients. Yet the company’s marketing has
made them appear as the organic and therefore safer and healthier – if
costlier – alternative to thousands of American parents concerned about
reducing their babies’ physical exposure at home to potentially harmful
synthetic chemicals the complaint alleges. Most Babyganics infant care
products are applied directly to the skin, such as sunscreens, diaper
rash rubs, insect repellents, and hand and face wipes. The suit alleges
that consumers have become increasingly concerned about the effects of
synthetic and chemical ingredients in their products and that Babyganics
is capitalizing on consumers’ concerns and their desire for “organic
products.”


The lawsuit alleges that the Babyganics name violates various consumer
protection statutes in California and New York, and by extension
throughout the United States, since Babyganics products are marketed
through various retail channels on a national basis. The lawsuit asks
the court to award class damages from KAS/Babyganics in excess of $5
million and to require the company to cease using marketing practices
that falsely portray it as an organic company making organically based
products.


According to the complaint, the Babyganics deception begins with the
brand name itself, which implies to consumers that the company is all
about organic products, despite the inclusion of laboratory-derived
chemicals in several products such as baby sunscreens and cleaning
agents. The Babyganics business is built on the idea that consumers will
pay more for organically-based products, because they perceive them to
be more healthful and life-enhancing, the complaint states. The
Babyganics name, itself an artificially contrived admixture of baby and
organics, was deliberately selected to suggest to consumers that
Babyganics differentiates itself – falsely – by making products free of
synthetic chemical intrusion or composition, says the complaint.


“Consumers deserve truth in labeling and should have confidence that
they can rely on product labels when making purchasing decisions. We are
talking about calling products ‘organic’ that contain potentially
harmful chemicals—we will fight hard to right what we believe is a
wrong,” says Melissa Wolchansky, attorney with Minneapolis-based Halunen
Law, one of three law firms filing the class action lawsuit on behalf of
plaintiffs Tanya Mayhew in New York and Tanveer Alibhai in California.


The deception allows Babyganics to charge premium prices for its
products, a practice that has unjustly enriched the company to the tune
of millions of dollars, the complaint alleges. So successful was
Babyganics strategy that it appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest
growing private companies in America in 2014, after reporting a 277
percent annual growth rate for the previous three years.


Plaintiff Mayhew purchased the Products because she saw the labeling,
advertising, the Defendant’s website, and read the packaging, which
represented that the products are “Organic” and “Mineral-Based.” The
marketing convinced her that Babyganics products were worth the premium
prices she paid for them, when in fact she now believes the products are
worth less than she paid.


Plaintiff Alibhai sought to reduce her young child’s sun exposure risk
in purchasing the Babyganics mineral-based sunscreen, believing it to be
free of chemical sunscreens. Her child developed a skin rash from using
the product, after which she discovered that Babyganics included several
chemicals, including Octinoxate and Octisalate, two active chemical
sunscreens that the Environmental Working Group (a member of a “sun
safety coalition” with KAS/Babyganics) tells consumers are under
scrutiny in Europe for potentially harmful human impacts. By featuring
the product as “mineral based,” Plaintiff Alibhai alleges that
Babyganics purposely sought to deceive health-conscious consumers into
believing the product was free of chemical sunscreens.


All told, Babyganics markets dozens of products for infant and household
care. While many of them contain some organic ingredients, they fall
short of meeting the legal standard for labeling a product as organic,
as defined by the California Organic Products Act of 2003 and the
National Organics Program, the complaint alleges. COPA mandates that “no
product shall be sold as organic pursuant to this article unless it is
produced according to regulations promulgated by the NOP, and consists
entirely of products manufactured only from raw or processed
agricultural products.”


Class action lawsuits are an effective means for redressing marketplace
fraud and deceit, empowering consumers – and the legal system – to take
action collectively against practices that may not, on an individual
transaction basis, be practical to litigate. “We stand up for consumers
against retail fraud, that’s what lawyers like myself do,” says
Wolchansky. “I encourage any consumer who believes they are victims of
systematic retail fraud to contact a class action law firm such as
Halunen Law or my co-counsel at Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca and The Sultzer
Law Group.”

About Halunen Law


Halunen Law has expertise in litigating consumer class actions and a
track record of success in challenging dishonest marketing, corporate
fraud and illegal business practices. Halunen also offers experienced
representation to employees and whistleblowers under the False Claims
Act and other statutes. Visit the firm’s website at www.halunenlaw.com.

About Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP


Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca has litigated scores of defective building
products and consumer cases and recovered over $2 billion for its
clients. Cuneo represents individuals and businesses that have been
victims of antitrust violations, faulty products, civil rights
violations, and securities fraud. Learn more about Cuneo Gilbert &
LaDuca at http://www.cuneolaw.com,
Washington, D.C. | Tel: (202) 789-3960.

About The Sultzer Law Group P.C.


The Sultzer Law Group, P.C. focuses on complex civil litigation,
including consumer class actions. The firm is headquartered in New York,
and maintains offices in California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Since
its founding in 2013, The Sultzer Law Group, P.C. has served as lead
counsel in numerous high-profile consumer class action cases. The firm’s
attorneys have contributed to or been featured in various well known
publications regarding their class action practice, including: Law360,
Inside Counsel Magazine, Risk Management Magazine, and CNBC News. More
detail about the firm, its practice areas, and its attorneys appears on
its website: www.thesultzerlawgroup.com.

Halunen Law
Melissa Wolchansky, 612-605-4098
or
Big
Thunder PR

Doug Hovelson, 612-722-5501
doughovelson@msn.com

Copyright Business Wire 2016

This article was originally distributed via Business Wire. Business Wire, Frankly and this Site make no warranties or representations in connection therewith. If you are affiliated with this page and would like it removed please contact pressreleases@franklyinc.com

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Report: Justice Dept. is divided on intent of law it's using to investigate

(c) 2016, The Washington Post.

WASHINGTON – The obscure law that authorities are using to investigate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe – and could possibly use to probe the overseas dealings of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort – is rarely enforced, and Justice Department officials and agents generally do not agree on its intent, according to am inspector general’s report released Wednesday.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires U.S. citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments to register with the Justice Department, generated only seven criminal cases between 1966 and 2015, according to the report. The department inspector general’s office found that agents and prosecutors had different understandings of the law and disagreed on how to apply it.

“We believe these differing understandings are indicative of the lack of a comprehensive Department enforcement strategy on FARA, which the Department should develop and integrate with its overall national security efforts,” the report concluded.

While the report would not affect McAuliffe, a Democrat, or Manafort directly, it shows how unusual it would be for prosecutors to initiate criminal proceedings against either of them.

In McAuliffe’s case, it is unclear exactly what has drawn investigators’ attention. Federal officials have told The Washington Post they are looking broadly at his personal finances, especially foreign sources of income. McAuliffe’s attorney has said they are investigating potential violations of FARA, though the lawyer insisted they will find no wrongdoing.

Manafort resigned from his job with Trump’s campaign amid reports of his past dealings in Ukraine. The Associated Press reported that he “helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.”

The firms – Mercury and the Podesta Group – said they were assured the funds came from a nonprofit group, not from a government or political party, and they registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act rather than FARA. Manafort, who did not register as a foreign agent or lobbyist for his Ukraine work, has said he never represented the governments of Ukraine or Russia.

The inspector general’s office found that registrations under FARA, which was passed in 1938 as an effort to combat fascist and communist propaganda, began to fall sharply in the mid-1990s.

The report found that enforcement actions are extremely rare. The Justice Department, the report said, had not sought civil relief under FARA since 1991, and two of the seven criminal cases it brought between 1966 and 2015 were dismissed. An eighth case was approved for prosecution in November 2015, according to the report.

In 2010, former congressman Mark Deli Siljander, R-Mich., pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and a charge under FARA, admitting that he had been hired by an Islamic charity based in Sudan to lobby for the group’s removal from a federal list of charities suspected of funding international terrorism, without being properly registered to do so.

The inspector general’s office found that FBI counterintelligence agents and officials in the national-security division had differing understandings about FARA’s intent and what actually constituted a “FARA case.”

According to the report, agents believed officials in the national-security division were reluctant to approve charges and seemed to prefer forcing alleged FARA violators to register rather than prosecuting them. Officials in the national-security division said they believed the primary goal of FARA was to “ensure appropriate registration and public disclosure,” though they disputed they were reluctant to approve charges when appropriate.

The law carves out what seem to be broad exemptions, and the national-security division said it could be difficult to determine whether think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, university and college campus groups, foreign media entities or others that may receive funding and direction from foreign governments are covered by them. The FARA unit comprises just eight people, according to the report.

justice-lobbying

Keywords: national security, fara, terry mcauliffe, paul manafort, foreign agents registration act, justice department, justice department inspector general

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Report: Justice Dept. is divided on intent of law it’s using to investigate McAuliffe

The obscure law that authorities are using to investigate Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — and could possibly use to probe the overseas dealings of former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — is rarely enforced, and Justice Department officials and agents generally do not agree on its intent, according to an inspector general’s report released Wednesday.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires U.S. citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments to register with the Justice Department, generated only seven criminal cases between 1966 and 2015, according to the report. The department inspector general’s office found that agents and prosecutors had different understandings of the law and disagreed on how to apply it.

“We believe these differing understandings are indicative of the lack of a comprehensive Department enforcement strategy on FARA, which the Department should develop and integrate with its overall national security efforts,” the report concluded.

While the report would not affect McAuliffe (D) or Manafort directly, it shows how unusual it would be for prosecutors to initiate criminal proceedings against either of them.

In McAuliffe’s case, it is unclear exactly what has drawn investigators’ attention. Federal officials have told The Washington Post they are looking broadly at his personal finances, especially foreign sources of income. McAuliffe’s attorney has said they are investigating potential violations of FARA, though the lawyer insisted they will find no wrongdoing.

Manafort resigned from his job with Trump’s campaign amid reports of his past dealings in Ukraine. The Associated Press reported that he “helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party’s efforts to influence U.S. policy.”

The firms — Mercury and the Podesta Group — said they were assured the funds came from a nonprofit group, not from a government or political party, and they registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act rather than FARA. Manafort, who did not register as a foreign agent or lobbyist for his Ukraine work, has said he never represented the governments of Ukraine or Russia.

The inspector general’s office found that registrations under FARA, which was passed in 1938 as an effort to combat fascist and communist propaganda, began to fall sharply in the mid-1990s.

The report found that enforcement actions are extremely rare. The Justice Department, the report said, had not sought civil relief under FARA since 1991, and two of the seven criminal cases it brought between 1966 and 2015 were dismissed. An eighth case was approved for prosecution in November 2015, according to the report.

In 2010, former congressman Mark Deli Siljander (R-Mich.) pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and a charge under FARA, admitting that he had been hired by an Islamic charity based in Sudan to lobby for the group’s removal from a federal list of charities suspected of funding international terrorism, without being properly registered to do so.

The inspector general’s office found that FBI counterintelligence agents and officials in the national-security division had differing understandings about FARA’s intent and what actually constituted a “FARA case.”

According to the report, agents believed officials in the national-security division were reluctant to approve charges and seemed to prefer forcing alleged FARA violators to register rather than prosecuting them. Officials in the national-security division said they believed the primary goal of FARA was to “ensure appropriate registration and public disclosure,” though they disputed they were reluctant to approve charges when appropriate.

The law carves out what seem to be broad exemptions, and the national-security division said it could be difficult to determine whether think tanks, nongovernmental organizations, university and college campus groups, foreign media entities or others that may receive funding and direction from foreign governments are covered by them. The FARA unit comprises just eight people, according to the report.

The national-security division said in a statement that its officials “agree with the report’s recommendations and in fact had already taken steps relating to several of the IG’s observations prior to the audit.”

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Further your studies in law

THE School of Law began offering a complete program in 2010 at Samabula Campus, and, due to demand, is now offering Law programs at Saweni campus also.

It aims to take the lead in providing a face-to-face legal education in the Asia Pacific region and the best theoretical and practical knowledge of ‘law in context’.

In the 8th year of its existence the School of Law has graduated and admitted to practice more than 80 members of Fiji’s legal profession who are practising in various spheres of employment, for example in government, private firms, and non-governmental organisations.

Our graduates come out of the university with a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) and are fully versed with Statutes, Common Law and Rules and Procedures of the Courts with respect to dealing with disputes resolution and litigation in the full range of the different areas of law.

They are qualified to occupy positions in the private sector as in-house counsel for commercial and company law, conveyancing and taxation or in government as lawyers in public law. A number of School of Law graduates — Programs offered:

Bachelor of Law (LLB)

The Bachelor of Laws degree comprises 32 subjects of which there are 30 compulsory subjects and two electives (of choice) which are studied in the third and fourth years.

The university decides every year which elective subjects it will offer in any one year. The Bachelor of Laws degree can be completed in four years by full-time students.

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP)

The program is designed to prepare law graduates for admission to the Bar as barristers and solicitors of the High Court of Fiji.

The GDLP is a competency skills based course with practical activities/tasks and assessments based on “real life” legal practice scenarios to help law graduates acquire necessary skills in client care, professional practice, conveyancing and advocacy, among others, to work effectively as entry level lawyers.

It is an intensive 18 weeks program designed to develop effective junior practitioners who will be ready to meet the standards expected of them when they enter the profession.

Master of Laws (LLM)

The School of Law encourages high calibre research into important questions of law, legal ideas and law in context in its Master of Laws (LLM) program.

This postgraduate degree can be done through courses or a thesis alongside relevant courses.

The Master’s program is both theoretical and practical and students are encouraged to explore their own topics of interest within the frameworks that are taught in the courses.

A welcome addition to the School of Law in 2016 was the International and Regional Affairs (INR) program formerly offered by the Centre for International and Regional Affairs (CIRA).

The INR’s postgraduate programs are designed to prepare graduates for practical career development in international and regional relations including diplomacy and security operations.

Both the Postgraduate Certificate and the Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations are also structured to assist with professional development of public servants, political analysts, military professionals, journalists, NGOs and others requiring sophisticated analytical skills to interpret and assess the implications of global and regional issues.

This program will assist those hoping to prepare themselves for careers with Government, media, international organisations and NGOs where a thorough grounding in international relations is required.

The programs offered in INR are:

* Postgraduate Certificate in International Relations;

* Postgraduate Certificate in Peace Keeping;

* Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations; and

* Master of International Relations and Diplomacy.

Overall the School of Law is able to provide a legal and international relations education that is intellectually rigorous, stimulating, robust, transferrable and global yet contextual in perspective.


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WASHINGTON (AP) – FBI agents and federal prosecutors disagree over the intent of a foreign lobbying disclosure law, creating confusion within the Justice Department and complicating enforcement, according to a government watchdog report released…

WASHINGTON (AP) – FBI agents and federal prosecutors disagree over the intent of a foreign lobbying disclosure law, creating confusion within the Justice Department and complicating enforcement, according to a government watchdog report released Wednesday.


The report from the department’s inspector general found that prosecutors and agents are at odds on how best to enforce the Foreign Agents Registration Act and on what constitutes a prosecutable case. The 1938 law, known as FARA, requires lobbyists to register if they represent foreign leaders or their political parties, and to disclose details about their work, including how much money they spend and receive.

The law is enforced by a unit within the Justice Department’s National Security Division, but few criminal prosecutions are brought and the number of registrations has dropped significantly in the last few decades.


The statute, even if rarely used as a criminal tool, has made headlines recently. A lawyer for Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in June that federal investigators were looking into whether McAuliffe lobbied the U.S. government on behalf of foreign interests, and The Associated Press reported last month on a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine interests directed by the firm of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Investigators interviewed for the inspector general report said Justice Department prosecutors were slow in reviewing possible cases and reluctant to approve charges, while prosecutors said the law’s primary purpose was to ensure proper registration and public disclosure – and not to pursue criminal charges.

Though willful failure to register under FARA can carry up to five years in prison, only seven criminal cases have been brought in the last 50 years.

Justice Department lawyers told the inspector general say they face a high legal burden in proving that a violation was willful and that lobbyists were operating under the “direction and control” of a foreign government. They also say their powers are limited because they can’t compel lobbying firms or others to turn over documents, and are pursuing civil investigative demand authority from Congress.

In a written response to the inspector general’s finding, the Justice Department said agents who were interviewed for the report appeared to confuse FARA – which the department considers to be primarily a disclosure statute – with a related criminal law that punishes espionage-like behavior on behalf of foreign governments or individuals.

That confusion “can lead to undue weight being given to criminal prosecution as the measure of FARA enforcement,” and insufficient recognition of the importance of administrative enforcement, such as encouraging voluntary compliance, the response said.

The inspector general made 14 recommendations, including that the Justice Department improve its oversight of FARA registrations and update its training for investigators and prosecutors. The department said it’s begun carrying out the recommendations and agreed with the importance of having a comprehensive FARA strategy and a better system for tracking cases.

“We continue to take additional steps now and look forward to maintaining a productive dialogue with FARA stakeholders on how to ensure the program remains able to continue fulfilling its role in helping protect our national security,” Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi said in a statement.

FARA was enacted in 1938 as a counter to German propaganda agents in the U.S. The number of registrations peaked in 1987 with a high of 916, but began to fall sharply in the mid-1990s, with only 360 active registrations at the end of 2014, according to the report.

Justice Department officials say they think the decline may be tied to filing fees first imposed in 1993 as well as the passage of the Lobbying Disclosure Act, which imposes less stringent requirements and carved out a large exemption, according to the report. The review found 62 percent of registrations were submitted late, though the Justice Department says more than half of the filings categorized as late were filed within 30 days of the filing deadline.

“All of this added up to our overall conclusion that the Justice Department lacks a comprehensive FARA enforcement strategy – and that such a strategy should be developed and integrated with the DOJ’s overall national security efforts,” Deputy Inspector General Rob Storch said in a podcast interview on the inspector general’s website.

The AP found that a firm run by Manafort directly orchestrated a covert Washington lobbying operation on behalf of Ukraine’s ruling political party but that Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, never disclosed the work under FARA. Manafort and Gates said the registration was not necessary, though Manafort resigned his position with the Trump campaign.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP











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Duterte backs micro firms, regional trade

President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines’ inclusive growth strategy will focus on innovating micro, small and medium enterprises development, e-commerce, youth and women entrepreneurship.

Duterte bared the plan during the 13th Asean Business and Investment Summit  recently held in Vientiane, Vietnam.

He said Asean in order to be a global player must ensure the effective implementation of key economic agreements and the integration of existing sub-regional cooperation frameworks such as the Greater Mekong Subregion , the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area.

“Hailing from Mindanao, I commit to promote BIMP-EAGA. We intend to open up our other major islands like Mindanao and the Visayas with high quality backbone infrastructure,” he said, adding the Philippines would accelerate infrastructure spending by improving national roads and bridges,” he said.

Duterte, joined by key economic managers Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, called on Asean to support MSME development and further expand the roll-on roll-off (RO-RO) facility to Davao-General Santos and Bitung in Indonesia.

“We will work and collaborate with Asean in helping the MSMEs look for all ways to connect them in the countries of Asean and the world. We will work in advancing our policy and regulatory environment providing an affordable and innovative digital platforms, and accessing best practices and financial resources,” he said.

Asean must engage the world in a “robust way” by maximizing free trade areas with Australia and New Zealand, China, India, Japan, and Korea, he said.

Duterte said Asean needed “stronger resolve and action to combat transnational crime” and noted that illicit and illegal drug trade undermined “social cohesion, the rule of law and the socio-economic programs of a country.”

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