How research impacts judges decisions

[Music] I’m deaf work and a professor of public international law at the University of Oxford and an academic affiliate at the bonagora Institute for Human Rights and I’m Malcolm Wallace I’m a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa and I’m a visitor to the Bonneville Institute of Human Rights doing research here Markham last year you were a judge in a case in South Africa where you decided that the South African government had an obligation to arrest the Sudanese President Omar al-bashir maybe you can tell us a bit about that case well it was he came to South Africa for an au conference a legal challenge was brought to say that the government was obliged to arrest him because it didn’t do so and he came to our court eventually Pete by then left the country and we held that under the statute under which South Africa acceded to the Rome convention the government was in fact obliged to cause him to be arrested pursuant to the ICC warrant and that this overrode or was preference to the statute that would ordinarily have vested him with diplomatic immunity as a hitter’s as a visiting head of state and as far as I’m aware this is the only time that a domestic court has dealt with this question and so not only does your judgment stand in South Africa it’s it’s as far as I know it’s still the only judgment in which this issue has been resolved and so it’s authoritative in in that sense too and in the judgment you relied on two articles that I have written on this issue because this is one of my areas of of research and I was and remain curious as to remain curious as to why you found those particular articles useful to you in your judgement well they were helpful because you had set out the the structure of the ICC how it worked with a reference from the Security Council which this one was one of only two some of the problems that arose from that reference about immunity and the arguments in favor of immunity and article 98 and the earlier article had been specifically about president al-bashir and immunity so they converged with the very problem before the court and provided a useful and very informative structure and background to the problem we were reading as a judge you have a choice as to the materials that you refer to obviously you refer to two previous cases and there are other things that you might choose to refer to and I wonder what it is that might sort of draw your attention to a particular piece of academic writing what are you looking for what do you find helpful in academic writing and what advice do you have for academics who might hope to to speak beyond academia speak to the judiciary what are the sort of things they should be thinking about that they’re they’re doing their research and doing their writing obviously the first thing is clarity and comprehensiveness of expression but most importantly if you’re going to want the the judge and if you’re talking about the judge you’re really talking about also the profession the practitioner if you want them to pay attention to what you’re writing you have to write to or address the situations that they are going to encounter we don’t by and large have the time to be philosophers of the law who leave that for the the jurisprudence and and so on where we’re in the business of dealing with specific cases and specific problems you [Music]

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An introduction to academic writing

hi my name is John Connor Oskie I’m an English as a foreign language instructor here at the National University of Science and Technology new species in this series of videos for the academic Writing Center I will be talking about different concepts techniques and strategies related to the field of academic writing in English in this first video I’d like to begin the series by providing a brief introduction to the field of academic writing and answer the following questions question 1 what is academic English number 2 what is academic writing number 3 what are the general characteristics of academic writing and number 4 why’s academic writing important let’s begin by addressing the first question what is academic English according to dr. Karen oh well of the Cambridge University Language Center at its most basic academic English is the variety of the English language that we use to share research research refers to the process of answering a research question by creating an argument that is supported through critical analysis and the use of evidence we use academic English to reach a wide general academic audience in an attempt to persuade them that the argument we’ve created to answer our research question is an effective one there are two varieties of academic English spoken academic English and written academic English let’s take a closer look at this second variety when most people think of academic writing they think of thesis papers composed by graduate students and research articles written by professional scholars while these are two great examples of academic writing the concept can be applied more generally to include a much wider variety of tasks and objectives as I mentioned in part 1 academic English is the variety of English used to convey research so academic writing is the variety of academic English used to convey research in writing that means there are many different kinds of academic writing from literature reviews to research papers to abstracts and lab reports while trying to compare and contrast all the many different types of academic writing is a tall order the most important thing to remember is that generally each kind of academic writing has its own rules and conventions as such it’s important to identify the rules and expectations for a particular genre of writing before starting to write I will discuss the rules and expectations for a few different genres in later videos while the characteristics of a piece of academic writing may differ depending on type there are few traits that are common to most academic writing first there are focused and specific expectations when producing a piece of academic writing academic writing is used to answer research questions these questions are either provided by a course instructor or developed by the writer or researcher good academic writing starts with focused and specific questions to be answered second academic writing emphasizes logical reasoning over emotional or sensory perceptions facts are more important than feelings writing clearly means thinking clearly and so effective academic writing demonstrates clear critical thinking and the ability to make arguments stronger by supporting them with evidence third academic writing must be clear English is both a low context and reader responsible language by this I mean readers will depend on what’s been written and believe it is the writers job to make his or her argument as comprehensive as possible fourth academic writing must be coherent this means that there are logical connections between sentences one way to do this is to begin sentences with information that relates back to the previous sentence it also means that paragraphs are unified around the single idea and that all the information included in a piece of writing helps to create an effective argument used to answer the research question finally the most effective academic writing follows a process while each writer will eventually develop his or her own unique process there are a few steps that most people follow when producing a piece of academic writing these steps include analyzing the task this involves clarifying your purpose for writing and identifying your target audience number two planning your argument next you need to develop a main claim and decide how you will support this claim using evidence step 3 research this is necessary in order to gather quality fact-based objective evidence that you need to create the argument you will use to support your main claim number four start and engage in the writing and drafting process no good writing is done overnight it’s important to produce multiple drafts and to both edit and proofread your writing while it is important to consider things like punctuation and proper spelling it is even more important to see how well you’ve structured your argument and the information in your writing to do this it’s a good idea to ask for comments from peers and colleagues finally there are many benefits of investing your time and energy in becoming a proficient academic writer academic writing is an important skill to master for a wide variety of professional and personal reasons first it allows writers to make individual contributions to the ongoing dialogues in their fields it allows individuals a greater voice and ability to participate in conversations about topics important to them additionally by mastering the skills necessary to become an effective academic writer a person also becomes an effective researcher and critical thinker finally academic writing is a marketable skill that improves one’s professional qualifications and makes one a more attractive candidate for potential employers so in the end we see that academic writing is about much more than just the act of writing which is itself not simply a skill but a collection of skills in addition to putting your thoughts on the page effective academic writing involves critical thinking the ability to create a convincing argument and good research skills I hope this video has helped to improve your understanding of what people mean when they talk about academic writing if you have any questions please feel free to bring them to us at the academic Writing Center once again I’m John Capp NeuroSky see you next time

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