By Law (by + law)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The effects of competition and equal treatment laws on gender wage differentials

ECONOMIC POLICY, Issue 50 2007
Doris Weichselbaumer
SUMMARY International gender wage gaps Discrimination, if it is inefficient, can be eliminated by competition. In most countries, it is also forbidden by law. This paper evaluates the influence of economic and legal factors on the portion of male-female wage differentials that is not explained by other worker characteristics and may be due to discrimination. We use a new international data set of suitable gender wage gap measures, constructed from the results of existing studies. Meta-analysis of the data shows that increased competition and adoption of international conventions concerning equal treatment laws both reduce gender wage gaps, while legislation that prevents women from performing strenuous or dangerous jobs tends to increase it. , Doris Weichselbaumer and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer [source]

Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Taking Up Positions And Meeting Pressure

Sverre Grepperud
This paper portrays voluntary agreements as a Nash-bargaining game between the authorities and the polluting industry. Before bargaining starts, the authorities threaten to introduce emission licences if the negotiations come to nothing, while industry, by the use of lobbying campaigns, can make it politically costly to regulate by law. The most likely game of the ones considered is characterized by the authorities first announcing a level of licensing, whereupon industry will adjust its lobbying activity. This game results in a relatively defensive industry and authorities than other games under consideration. [source]

Impact of Mandatory Physician Reporting on Accident Risk in Epilepsy

EPILEPSIA, Issue 8 2007
Richard S McLachlan
Summary:,Background: In some jurisdictions, physicians are required by law to report patients with seizures to the department of motor vehicles. We assessed the hypothesis that mandatory reporting reduces the risk of automobile accidents in people with epilepsy. Methods: A retrospective survey of driving and accident rates was done by mailed questionnaire to two groups of subjects with epilepsy in Canada, one living in Ontario where reporting is mandatory and the other in Alberta where it is not. Responses were obtained from a control group without epilepsy for comparison. Results: The epilepsy (n = 425) and control (n = 375) groups were comparable in age and sex. Seventy-three percent of the epilepsy group were or had been licensed drivers compared to 94% of the controls (rr 0.77, 95% CI 0.73,0.83, p < 0.001). Lifetime accident rate of licensed drivers was 58% in epilepsy and 60% in controls (rr 0.99, 95%CI 0.82,1.19, ns) while 9% of the epilepsy group and 9% of the controls had an accident in the previous year (rr 1.00, 95%CI 0.95,1.06, ns). All those with epilepsy in Ontario (n = 202) and Alberta (n = 223), also comparable in age and sex, had equal lifetime accident rates of 45 and 46% (rr 0.99, 95%CI 0.67,1.47, ns) and 1-year rates of 11 and 8% (rr 1.38, 95%CI 0.59,3.27, ns). In Ontario, 20% of drivers were unlicensed compared to 9% in Alberta (rr 2.39, 95%CI 1.17,4.89, p = 0.01) Conclusion: Although it is clearly dangerous for many people with ongoing seizures to drive, the findings provide no support for the hypothesis that mandatory reporting of patients by physicians reduces accident risk and suggest that concerns about the impact of epilepsy on driving compared to other medical and nonmedical risk factors may be excessive. [source]

Growth in women's political representation: A longitudinal exploration of democracy, electoral system and gender quotas

The expansion of women's formal political representation ranks among the most significant trends in international politics of the last 100 years. Though women made steady political progress, substantial country-level variation exists in patterns of growth and change. In this article, longitudinal theories are developed to examine how political factors affect women's political representation over time. Latent growth curve models are used to assess the growth of women in politics in 110 countries from 1975 to 2000. The article investigates how electoral systems, national-level gender quotas and growth of democracy , both political rights and civil liberties , impact country-level trajectories of women's legislative representation. It is found: first, national quotas do affect women's political presence, but at a lower level than legislated by law; second, the impact of a proportional representation system on women's political representation is steady over time; and third, democracy, especially civil liberties, does not affect the level of women's political representation in the earliest period, but does influence the growth of women's political representation over time. These findings both reinforce and challenge prior cross-sectional models of women's political representation. [source]

Stepparenting After Divorce: Stepparents' Legal Position Regarding Custody, Access, and Support,

Jason D. Hans
Both the research and the clinical literature indicate that over time stepparents and stepchildren may develop emotional attachments similar to their biological counterparts. Nevertheless, stepparents are legal strangers to stepchildren,the relationship is not protected by law during marriage or following marital dissolution. There are some legal avenues by which stepparents may obtain parenting rights or be required to provide financial support for a stepchild following divorce. The legal process encountered by stepparents regarding custody, access, and child support are elucidated here, in addition to a discussion of policy recommendations and practical implications. [source]

Alternative Forms of Mixing Banking with Commerce: Evidence from American History

Joseph G. Haubrich
Much of the discussion about banking and commerce in America has failed to make several crucial distinctions and has not accounted for many arrangements that have promoted the mixing of these activities. We investigate the history of banking and commerce in the United States, looking both at bank control of commercial firms and commercial firms' control of banks. We trace how these controls have changed with shifting definitions of "bank" and changing methods of "control." Despite the regulations prohibiting some arrangements that promote financial control, we find evidence of extensive linkages between banking and commerce in the United States. These linkages usually build on devices that are very close substitutes to the arrangements prohibited by law. Altogether, our findings question the often made claim that traditionally banking in the United States has been separated from commerce. Furthermore, given that research on Japan and Germany has shown that the mixing of banking and commerce matters for a variety of issues, our evidence also raises some questions on similar research in the United States which makes the simplifying assumption that these industries are separated. [source]

Rethinking Law and Violence: The Domestic Violence (Prevention) Bill in India, 2002

GENDER & HISTORY, Issue 3 2004
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
This essay focuses on the controversy generated by recent proposed legislation on domestic violence in India. An alternative draft bill on domestic violence prepared by the feminist legal NGO, the Lawyers' Collective, and supported by women's groups nationally, includes a demand that victims of domestic violence (usually wives) be permitted by law to continue to occupy the domestic home, a demand that the Government bill has refused to include. This demand is theoretically informed by a politics of space. Bodies and space are linked, to the extent that each is an abstraction without the concept of the other to ground it. The feminist legal proposal challenges property-as-absolute-(male) ownership by conceptualising the household as, instead, shared domestic space. The proposal does not dissimulate common sense , it is conscious of being radical, in part at least because it demystifies the ,domestic' as an ideological construct and offers it instead realistically and minimally as simply an alternative to destitution. The recognition that there are no support structures for dependant women outside the family (such as, for example, state-sponsored welfare institutions), so that destitution can be both sudden and real for women of any class and circumstances, has led to the conceptualisation of a law that formulates a right to shared space as one that makes no claim to shared ownership , while at the same time questioning the other's absolute property right. Despite the limited nature of the claim it makes, this proposal has been viewed as threatening by Indian law-makers. [source]

The barnacle and the building: a modern morality tale

Abstract A rare and almost complete barnacle fossil, previously described on the basis of two isolated shell fragments, was recently exposed in a limestone block on the outer wall of Melbourne's Old Magistrates' Courts in Victoria, Australia. These courts comprise one of the oldest and grandest buildings in Melbourne and because of this they have a heritage listing. As heritage-listed buildings are protected from alteration by law, and as removal of the fossil would be deemed "alteration", official permission had to be obtained to extract the specimen. This paper discusses the processes involved with extraction of a unique specimen from a protected building and provides an overview of the palaeontological significance of the fossil. Consideration is given to the likely fate of a fossil of this nature, situated a little below eye level on a busy city street, if it was left in situ; finally, the implications of designating a holotype from material removed from a building are assessed. [source]

Canadian Policy on Human Trafficking: A Four-year Analysis1

Jacqueline Oxman-Martinez
ABSTRACT This article introduces readers to Canadian Government policy and practice surrounding human trafficking since the adoption of the United Nations (UN) Protocol on Trafficking in 2000. After offering an overview of the UN Protocol, the article reviews and critically analyses Canada's efforts in the three key areas of the Protocol: prevention of human trafficking, protection of trafficking victims, and the prosecution of traffickers. Since the beginning of our research, progress has been made in Canadian policy responses. The Government began by developing and implementing its tools for the prosecution of traffickers, thereby responding to most of the prosecution recommendations of the UN Protocol. Different government agencies are also coordinating their efforts to implement prevention projects, both in source countries and at home, including awareness-raising campaigns, education campaigns, and policy development collaborations. However, the more structural elements of prevention have yet to be adequately addressed. Finally, without shifting their basic border control framework, Canadian government agencies are in the process of improving the protection of trafficking victims who are intercepted in law enforcement operations or who come forward for help. These protection measures would be strengthened further if migrants' rights were explicitly protected by law, something that has failed to occur given recent prioritization of crime and security. The formal protection of victims, as implemented to some degree in several European and American policies, is introduced for comparison. The article concludes with the remaining challenges that face Canadian policy makers, particularly in terms of shifting away from current focus on crime and security to the protection and promotion of the human rights of trafficking victims. LA POLITIQUE CANADIENNE EN MATIÈRE DE TRAITE DES ÊTRES HUMAINS : UNE ANALYSE SUR QUATRE ANS Cet article présente au lecteur la politique et la pratique du gouvernement canadien en matière de traite des êtres humains depuis l'adoption, en 2000, du Protocole additionnel à la Convention des Nations unies contre la criminalité transnationale organisée visant à prévenir, réprimer et punir la traite des personnes, en particulier des femmes et des enfants. Après avoir présenté le Protocole dans son ensemble, l'article examine et analyse de façon critique l'action du Canada dans trois domaines essentiels du Protocole : la prévention de la traite, la protection des victimes et la punition des trafiquants. Depuis le début de notre recherche, le Canada a fait un pas en avant dans les mesures politiques adoptées. Le gouvernement a commencé par élaborer et mettre en oeuvre des mécanismes pour punir les trafiquants, donnant de ce fait suite à la plupart des recommandations du protocole des Nations unies en la matière. Par ailleurs, différents organes de l'État coordonnent leurs efforts pour mettre en place des projets de prévention, tant dans les pays d'origine que sur le territoire canadien, avec des campagnes de sensibilisation et d'éducation, et des collaborations en matière d'élaboration des politiques. Il reste néanmoins à trouver une solution adéquate aux aspects les plus structurels de la prévention. Enfin, sans s'éloigner du cadre fondamental du contrôle des frontières, les services gouvernementaux canadiens améliorent actuellement la protection des victimes de la traite interceptées lors d'opérations de police ou qui viennent demander de l'aide. Ces mesures de protection seraient davantage renforcées si les droits des migrants étaient explicitement inscrits dans la loi, ce qui n'est pas le cas en raison de la priorité accordée à la répression de la criminalité et à la sécurité. La protection formelle des victimes, telle que mise en oeuvre jusqu'à un certain point par des mesures appliquées en Europe et aux États-Unis, est présentée à titre de comparaison. Les conclusions de cet article exposent les défis auxquels restent confrontés les décideurs canadiens, à savoir moins insister sur la répression de la criminalité et la sécurité pour s'occuper davantage de la protection et de la promotion des droits fondamentaux des victimes de la traite. POLÍTICA CANADIENSE RELATIVA A LA TRATA DE PERSONAS: UN ANÁLISIS CUADRIENAL Este artículo presenta las políticas y prácticas del Gobierno canadiense en torno a la trata de personas desde la adopción, en 2000, del Protocolo de las Naciones Unidas relativo a la trata de personas. Tras hacer un repaso del Protocolo de las Naciones Unidas, este artículo examina y analiza críticamente los empeños del Canadá en tres esferas clave del Protocolo: prevención de la trata de personas, protección de las víctimas de la trata, y enjuiciamiento de los traficantes. Desde que se iniciara este estudio se han observado progresos en las respuestas políticas canadienses. El Gobierno comenzó desarrollando y llevando a la práctica sus instrumentos para la sanción y enjuiciamiento de los traficantes, respondiendo así a la mayoría de las recomendaciones de enjuiciamiento que contiene el Protocolo de las Naciones Unidas. Varias instituciones gubernamentales también coordinan sus esfuerzos con miras a la puesta en práctica de proyectos de prevención, tanto en los países de origen como en el Canadá, incluyendo campañas de concienciación, campañas educativas y colaboraciones con miras al desarrollo de políticas. Sin embargo, aún quedan por encarar los elementos más estructurales de la prevención. Finalmente, sin salir del marco básico de control de fronteras, las instituciones gubernamentales canadienses están tratando de mejorar la protección de las víctimas de la trata interceptadas en operaciones de aplicación de la ley o que se presentan a las autoridades con miras a solicitar ayuda. Si se aspira a proteger explícitamente por ley los derechos de los migrantes, habrá que reforzar las medidas de protección, algo que no figura entre las prioridades establecidas recientemente con relación al ámbito delictivo y de seguridad. Con fines comparativos, se presenta la protección oficial que brindan a las víctimas las políticas europeas y americanas. Este artículo concluye con los desafíos que tienen ante sí los formuladores de políticas canadienses, particularmente en cuanto al cambio del centro de atención actual en materia de actividades delictivas y de seguridad hacia la protección y promoción de los derechos humanos de las víctimas de la trata. [source]

The Force of a Weak Field: Law and Lawyers in the Government of the European Union (For a Renewed Research Agenda)

Antoine Vauchez
Rather than considering legal and judicial arenas as the mere surface of the weighty social processes that shape European integration, this article contends that they are actually one of the essential spaces where the government of Europe is being produced. To account for this paramount role played by law in EU polity, two hitherto unexplored research paths are followed. First of all, a socio-historical perspective focuses on the critical junctures at which Law has been formalized as a science of European government providing critical devices for integration. Second, a more sociological stance is taken in relation to the functioning of the "European legal field" (ELF). A preliminary inquiry leads to its characterization as weak, with porous internal and external borders. This article argues that this weak autonomy is what makes it strong and influential when it comes to shaping the representations and principles of EU government. [source]

European Integration and Migration Policy: Vertical Policy-making as Venue Shopping

Virginie Guiraudon
Since the beginning of the 1980s, migration and asylum policy in Europe has increasingly been elaborated in supranational forums and implemented by transnational actors. I argue that a venue-shopping framework is best suited to account for the timing, form and content of European co-operation in this area. The venues less amenable to restrictive migration control policy are national high courts, other ministries and migrant-aid organizations. Building upon pre-existing policy settings and developing new policy frames, governments have circumvented national constraints on migration control by creating transnational co-operation mechanisms dominated by law and order officials, with EU institutions playing a minor role. European transgovernmental working groups have avoided judicial scrutiny, eliminated other national adversaries and enlisted the help of transnational actors such as transit countries and carriers. [source]

Coercive and Face-Threatening Questions to Left-Wing and Right-Wing Politicians During Two Italian Broadcasts: Conversational Indexes of Par Conditio for Democracy Systems,

Augusto Gnisci
Indexes of political interviewers' neutrality, proposed in the face model, capture the treatment reserved in televised interviews for politicians or parties. This contribution proposes that they should be introduced in the official survey of political appearances on television and be prescribed by law. The research compares questions of 2 Italian interviewers to the same 13 politicians (7 left-wing, 6 right-wing). In over 11 hr of interviews (7 months' sampling), 804 questions were codified. Italian interviewers were less threatening than their Anglo Saxon colleagues, even if just as coercive. They treated the government less coercively than the opposition, even if they were just as threatening; and they seemed sensitive to the prestige of politicians. Implications of the proposal are discussed. [source]

How do nurses record pedagogical activities?

Nurses' documentation in patient records in a cardiac rehabilitation unit for patients who have undergone coronary artery bypass surgery
Aims., To describe the use of pedagogically related keywords and the content of notes connected to these keywords, as they appear in nursing records in a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery rehabilitation unit. Background., Nursing documentation is an important component of clinical practice and is regulated by law in Sweden. Studies have been carried out in order to evaluate the educational and rehabilitative needs of patients following CABG surgery but, as yet, no study has contained an in-depth evaluation of how nurses document pedagogical activities in the records of these patients. Methods., The records of 265 patients admitted to a rehabilitation unit following CABG surgery were analysed. The records were structured in accordance with the VIPS model. Using this model, pedagogically related keywords: communication, cognition/development and information/education were selected. The analysis of the data consisted of three parts: the frequency with which pedagogically related keywords are used, the content and the structure of the notes. Results., Apart from the term ,communication', pedagogically related keywords were seldom used. Communication appeared in all records describing limitations, although no explicit reference was made to pedagogical activities. The notes related to cognition/development were grouped into the following themes: nurses' actions, assessment of knowledge and provision of information, advice and instructions as well as patients' wishes and experiences. The themes related to information were the provision of information and advice in addition to relevant nursing actions. The structure of the documentation was simple. Conclusions., The documentation of pedagogical activities in nursing records was infrequent and inadequate. Relevance to clinical practice., The patients' need for knowledge and the nurses' teaching must be documented in the patient records so as to clearly reflect the frequency and quality of pedagogical activities. [source]

Developing Local Emergency Management by Co-Ordination Between Municipalities in Policy Networks: Experiences from Sweden

Jenny Palm
This study aims to increase our understanding of how co-operation in inter-municipality policy networks in a Swedish region is established and maintained regarding emergency management. We discuss how a network of five municipalities emerged and took shape. Overall, we conclude that co-ordination and co-operation in municipal emergency management are probably relatively easy to develop, because it is easy for the involved actors to see the benefits. Sharing resources is seen as crucial when establishing and, not least, financing efficient, high-quality emergency management. The municipalities' lack of resources to provide effective emergency services, as required by law, makes them dependent on each other. Limits for co-ordination were connected to distance and other geographical factors. Other limits of equal importance were linked to factors such as culture/tradition, mutual understanding, size of partners, and unwillingness to give up authority as well as a prior barrier for co-operation between small and bigger municipalities. [source]

Trade Secrets and Information Sharing

Thomas Rønde
If trade secrets are weakly protected by law, firms risk losing their valuable information when employees are hired by competitors. It may therefore be optimal to limit the number of employees who share the trade secrets even if it reduces the firm's productive efficiency. The benefits of limited information sharing are greatest if the efficiency cost is low and the competition in the market is neither very tough nor very weak. It is shown that it is more profitable to reduce the information sharing by giving the employees different information than by giving some employees more information than others. [source]

Forecasting murder within a population of probationers and parolees: a high stakes application of statistical learning

Richard Berk
Summary., Forecasts of future dangerousness are often used to inform the sentencing decisions of convicted offenders. For individuals who are sentenced to probation or paroled to community supervision, such forecasts affect the conditions under which they are to be supervised. The statistical criterion for these forecasts is commonly called recidivism, which is defined as a charge or conviction for any new offence, no matter how minor. Only rarely do such forecasts make distinctions on the basis of the seriousness of offences. Yet seriousness may be central to public concerns, and judges are increasingly required by law and sentencing guidelines to make assessments of seriousness. At the very least, information about seriousness is essential for allocating scarce resources for community supervision of convicted offenders. The paper focuses only on murderous conduct by individuals on probation or parole. Using data on a population of over 60000 cases from Philadelphia's Adult Probation and Parole Department, we forecast whether each offender will be charged with a homicide or attempted homicide within 2 years of beginning community supervision. We use a statistical learning approach that makes no assumptions about how predictors are related to the outcome. We also build in the costs of false negative and false positive charges and use half of the data to build the forecasting model, and the other half of the data to evaluate the quality of the forecasts. Forecasts that are based on this approach offer the possibility of concentrating rehabilitation, treatment and surveillance resources on a small subset of convicted offenders who may be in greatest need, and who pose the greatest risk to society. [source]

Juvenile Court Judges' Perceptions of What Factors Affect Juvenile Offenders' Likelihood of Rehabilitation

ABSTRACT An instrument was developed to measure whether judges perceive the likelihood of rehabilitation to be influenced by extra-legal factors. A self-administered questionnaire was sent to 1,040 juvenile court judges across the United States. Two indices-extra-legal and legal-were created to measure the relationship between judges' perceptions and the factors they consider in their transfer decisions. Primary analysis used frequencies, cross-tabulations, and measures of association. The factors that judges may consider in their transfer decisions are specified and vary according to state statutes. Extra-legal factors are never included in the statutes as factors that may be considered. Nonetheless, the findings suggest that judges consider extra-legal factors in determining an offender's likelihood of rehabilitation. The results suggest that both male and non-minority judges' perceive that extra-legal characteristics affect an offender's likelihood of rehabilitation. All judges seem to believe that family structure and prior record are almost equally important factors in determining offenders' likelihood of rehabilitation. Thus, although judges consider legal factors in determining an offender's likelihood of rehabilitation, they also include criteria not explicitly permitted by law. [source]

School urinalysis screening in Korea

NEPHROLOGY, Issue 2007
SUMMARY: Since 1998, by law, all school children in Korea must have an annual urinalysis. The first early morning urine specimen is examined by a simple dipstick method for the detection of proteinuria, haematuria and glucose. If a urine test is positive, a second test is performed by paediatric nephrologists. We analysed urinalysis data of school urinalysis screening. We also analysed the results of clinical data and the renal biopsy findings of patients referred to our medical centre due to abnormal urinalysis result. To date, about five million students have been screened since annual school urinalysis started in January 1998. Among them, isolated proteinuria was about 0.2%, occult blood was about 0.8%, and glucosuria was about 0.07% from January 1998 to December 2004. Among referred patients, renal biopsy was taken in 63.1% of isolated haematuria, 10.5% of isolated proteinuria and 69.9% of haematuria combined with proteinuria. Histopathological findings are IgA nephropathy in 43.8%, mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis in 38.4%, Henoch,Schönlein nephritis in 2.7%, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis in 1.6% and lupus nephritis in 0.5%. Alport disease showed 0.6% as a hereditary disease. In conclusion, the school urinalysis screening could detect chronic renal disease in its early stage. Early detection using school urinalysis screening and confirmatory diagnosis by renal biopsy seems to be helpful for assessment of prognosis and intervention of chronic renal disease progression. [source]

State Obligation, Sovereignty, and Theories of International Law

POLITICS & POLICY, Issue 3 2001
Marc G. Pufong
Much of what constitutes the business of international relations is undertaken by states in response to their perceived self-interest, and the commitments of states create duties and obligations. This paper assesses critical values that permeate substantive understanding of state duties and obligations. It explores how states traditionally gain community standing and how their choices bind them to existing community norms, even though some are often contested. Assuming a state to be a bona-fide and recognized member of the international community, its self-interested activities, praise-worthy or controversial, create obligation, i.e., a moral and legal duty recognized and actionable by law. In practice, what actually constitutes obligation may not be the same in all situations, or be fulfilled similarly by the same parties, or confer the same rights. It is difficult to establish a uniform reference with which to grapple with state obligation across all situations. This difficulty, however, does not enlighten debates on state responsibilities with regard to the binding force of international law where human rights abuses and other moral/legal violations are concerned. The argument is presented that since community membership, statehood, and state capacity provide the prima-facie basis for state obligation, attempts by rogue states to raise and frame secondary issues of sovereignty and autonomy in order to fence-out noncompliance are invalid States, therefore, are obligated and duty bound by community norms despite subsequent defenses that are raised in an effort to expunge transgressions. [source]

Historicising Criminalisation: Conceptual and Empirical Issues

Nicola Lacey
This paper charts a renaissance in scholarly analysis of criminalisation, and suggests that we do not have the conceptual tools or empirical knowledge to make the claims about ,overcriminalisation' which motivate much of this scholarship. My argument gives further shape to projects under the umbrella of criminalisation, setting out some of the conceptual issues to be resolved before we can work towards an adequate interpretive, and normative, vision of how criminal law has been and might be used. The paper elaborates a number of projects in ,criminalisation scholarship', and suggests there is a failure adequately to distinguish the different senses of ,criminalisation' in the literature, or the varying methods which might be applied within historical, interpretive, analytic and normative studies of criminalisation. In conclusion, the paper argues for a certain genre of criminalisation scholarship, and for a multi-disciplinary criminalisation research agenda informed by history, sociology and political science as much as by law, criminology and philosophy. [source]

The Continuing Conceptual Crisis in the Common Law of the Contract of Employment

Lizzie Barmes
The effects on the common law of the contract of employment of the decision of the House of Lords in Johnson v Unisys Ltd are considered. The focus is on liability rather than remedies. It is argued that the case created conceptual instability in the common law understanding of a breach of a contract of employment. The logical consequence of the majority reasoning is that in some cases the existence or not of a breach by an employer is contingent on an employee's reaction. Relevant case law history and developments since the Johnson decision inform a detailed critique of the arguments that underpinned it. A solution is suggested according to which, prima facie, contracts of employment would be required to be performed in accordance with terms that have been implied by law. [source]

Floodplains of a regulated southern alpine river (Brenno, Switzerland): ecological assessment and conservation options

M. Brunke
Abstract 1.The fifth-order southern alpine Brenno River and its floodplains are severely impaired by embankments, water abstractions and the construction of dams for hydropower generation. The river's annual mean discharge is reduced to 27% of the natural flow and the number of small (50,100 m3 s,1) and medium-sized (101,150 m3 s,1) floods is reduced significantly. 2.Lateral hydrological connectivity has decreased strongly as a result of the flow regulation, whereas the significance of vertical connectivity has increased. The remnants of the middle and lower floodplains still contain springbrooks, ponds, and intermittently connected channels, which are all sustained by emerging groundwater. 3.Aquatic floodplain habitats can be classified partially by faunal composition. The lotic/lentic gradient appears to be a dominant compound factor structuring invertebrate assemblages when considering all aquatic habitats. The exfiltration of groundwater in conjunction with a reduced lateral connectivity enables the occurrence of many stenotopic species. 4.A comparison of present floodplains with those shown on historical maps shows that the fluvial landscape has changed markedly. The proportions of functional floodplain units characterized by autogenic succession and trends to late successional stages (i.e. senescence) have increased. 5.Floodplains of the Brenno river are still considered to represent important ecological areas and they are protected by law. Whilst the legislative protection of floodplains is the basis for conservation, this does not include the restoration of driving hydrological processes. An annual release of small- and medium-sized floods could generate a diversity of disturbances, thereby promoting rejuvenation and counteracting senescence. 6.Alternative conservation options that circumvent ongoing contracts of water use, though generally promising, are limited because of the operation of hydropower schemes. At present the exfiltrations of groundwater mitigate the impacts of flow regulation on the ecological integrity of the floodplains. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Importance of addressing National Electrical Code® violations that result in unusual exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields

Jack Adams
Abstract We evaluated wiring in multifamily developments containing National Electrical Code® (NEC®) violations as a source of unusual exposure to 60 Hz magnetic fields. Two methods were used in this evaluation: measurement and modeling. We measured the building wiring as a source of magnetic fields in six multifamily developments in Michigan. In this small sample, building wiring proved to be an important source of exposure in four of the six cases. In all four cases with exposure from building wiring, one or more NEC violations were involved. To supplement our measurement efforts, we used computer modeling to compare magnetic field exposure due to building wiring with magnetic field exposure from external power lines. Our calculations showed that where the building wiring has a NEC violation leading to net current loops, the exposure due to wiring is likely to be more important than that from external power lines. Our results support the results obtained in a recent study of the exposure of Californian K-12 students to magnetic fields, where building wiring with one or more NEC violation was found to be the single most important exposure source. If 60 Hz magnetic fields are important to avoid, then improved enforcement of the NEC, as required by law, is perhaps the single most important mitigation policy to adopt. Bioelectromagnetics 25:102,106, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

How to implement the multidisciplinary approach in prostate cancer management: the Belgian model

Simon Van Belle
The Belgian oncology care system has been the subject of a major reorganization in recent years. The basis of this reorganization is the obligatory implementation of standardized care programmes in every hospital and the recognition of dedicated oncology specialists. Furthermore, health authorities created the multidisciplinary oncology consultation (MOC), as it was recognized that there was a need to organize and to reimburse the existing multidisciplinary approach. At MOC, a patient's case is discussed and a strategic plan is developed for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The conditions that have to be met for reimbursement of this MOC are strictly defined by law and include yearly follow-up meetings. The success of this multidisciplinary approach is partially attributable to legal requirements and reimbursement, but also to the willingness of the medical community to accept the concept that a multidisciplinary approach is the best investment to improve patient outcomes in cancer care. [source]

The American distortion of the ombudsman concept and its influence on Canada

Donald C. Rowat
This is achieved by having the office created by law and having the ombudsman appointed by the legislature and made its agent. But as adopted and expanded in the United States, and to a lesser extent in Canada, the concept has been distorted by extending it at first to embrace so-called ombudsmen appointed by the heads of the departments or agencies being complained against, and then to the non-profit and profit sectors of society through similar appointment by the heads of universities, hospitals, and business corporations for internal student, patient, and employee complaints. This article shows how this development has similarly influenced Canada, and concludes with recommendations designed to restore the original concept as the desired objective and thus once again make Canada a world leader in ombudsmanship. Sommaire: L'essence du concept initial de l'ombudsman, tel qu'adopté par les démocraties occidentales, a été l'indépendance de l'ombudsman par rapport à l'organisation administrative faisant l'objet de plaintes. Cela a été rendu possible par le fait que cette position fut créée par la loi et que l'ombudsman est nommé par l'assemblée législative qui en fait son agent. Mais le concept tel qu'adopté et développé aux États-Unis, et dans une moindre mesure au Canada, a été déformé lorsqu'il a étéélargi tout d'abord pour inclure les soi-disant ombudsmen nommés par les chefs de ministères ou d'agences faisant l'objet de plaintes, et ensuite les secteurs à but non lucratif et lucratif de la société par le biais de nominations similaires par des chefs d'universités, d'hôpitaux et d'entreprises en ce qui concerne les plaintes internes d'étudiants, de patients et d'employés. L'auteur montre comment cette évolution a influencé le Canada et conclut en faisant des recommandations visant à restaurer le concept initial comme l'objectif désiré, et à faire ainsi à nouveau du Canada un leader mondial en matière de protection du citoyen. [source]

The 75th anniversary of the World Council of Optometry: Seventy-five years of advancing eye care by optometrists worldwide

Damien P Smith PhD AM
SUMMARY Over 75 years, the World Council of Optometry has developed as an organisation with the mission and appropriate strategies to improve the quality of eye and vision care around the world, especially by advancing the delivery of that care by educated, regulated, primary care optometrists. However, WCO is unknown to most optometrists and ,international optometry' is not part of the optometric curriculum in our schools, just as it is rarely on the agenda of our professional associations. As a consequence, many optometrists do not understand the difficulties faced by their colleagues in other countries, in both clinical and political challenges. Australian optometrists are regulated by law, educated at state universities, eligible for service coverage by universal health insurance, able to detect disease in the eye using diagnostic agents and, in increasing numbers, able to treat disease in the eye with therapeutic drugs. However, this community standing and professional privilege, taken for granted by most Australian optometrists, cannot be exported. In fact, an Australian optometrist would be jailed in many countries around the world just for doing the ordinary clinical procedures that he or she does on every patient, by routine, day in and day out. All optometrists should feel ownership of WCO and all should have a commitment to its mission to facilitate the enhancement and development of eye and vision care by optometrists worldwide. Australian optometrists are already linked to WCO through their membership of Optometrists Association Australia, which is itself a longstanding and valued member of WCO. To prosper for a further 75 years, WCO needs continued global volunteerism and from those unable to directly participate, financial support through donations and sponsorship. [source]