Shifting Law Enforcement Goals to Reduce Mass Incarceration

The need to reform law enforcement practices is now at the center of American public discourse. Join the Brennan Center and the nation’s leading law enforcement and economic policy experts, including U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, for a full-day conference focused on transforming prosecutorial practices and federal funding structures to both decrease crime and violence and reduce the nation’s incarcerated population.

Experts will discuss: What role should prosecutors and police play in reform efforts? Should their goal be simply to enforce and prosecute to their fullest authority, or should they also strive to reduce unnecessary arrests and incarceration? How can federal funding help modernize local law enforcement nationwide?

Please RSVP by filling out the form below or clicking here. If you have any additional questions, please contact Brennan Center Events Coordinator, Jafreen Uddin, at 646-292-8345 or

Speakers will include: 

Cyrus Vance, Jr., Manhattan District Attorney * Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, Washington, D.C. * Gene Sperling, former Director, White House National Economic Council * Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress * Lanny Breuer, former Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice * Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey * Kenneth Polite, Jr., U.S. Attorney, Eastern District of Louisiana * Timothy Purdon, U.S. Attorney, District of North Dakota * Barry R. Grissom, U.S. Attorney, District of Kansas * Doug Gansler, Maryland Attorney General * Anthony Batts, Commissioner, Baltimore Police Department * James E. Johnson, former Undersecretary for Enforcement, U.S. Department of Treasury * Robert Greenstein, President & Founder, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities * Jeff Tsai, Special Assistant Attorney General, Office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris * Mark Earley, former Virginia Attorney General, former President, Prison Fellowship, Signatory, Right on Crime * Jeremy Travis, President, John Jay College of Criminal Justice * Inimai Chettiar, Director, Justice Program, Brennan Center

2014 BC Information Summit

UBC Robson Square Theatre, Vancouver
Friday, September 19, 2014

The pace of change in both the freedom of information and privacy spheres keeps picking up, and won’t be slowing any time soon.

A lot has happened since our last Information Summit, including:

  • Open data systems have made large strides in the amount of data being made available, but questions are being asked about whether this data is primarily aimed at spurring innovation in the private sector rather than transparency in the public sector.
  • A major Supreme Court of Canada decision on freedom of information expanding the use of the ‘policy advice’ exception.
  • Thanks in large part to whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, we know a lot more about the massive electronic surveillance systems being run at our expense by the national security agencies in this country and elsewhere.
  • Whistleblowers have provided important information to citizens about various questionable government activities, and most have paid a heavy price for their actions.
  • Government information sharing, data mining and identity management systems that were in the planning stages, like Integrated Case Management and the BC Services Card, are now up and running.

Information Summit 2014 features a roster of experts and people intimately involved in how the world of information is changing. It will also help to map out where we can expect to be in the not too distant future.

Will Open Data achieve its promise? Can we find the efficiencies in government operations promised by new technology while still protecting privacy? What can be done to ensure that citizens are able to get vital information from government and other public bodies?

This year’s Information Summit will provide a unique opportunity to have this discussion with those who have been tackling these challenges head-on. We’ll hear about what works, what to avoid, and what practical steps can be taken in this current climate to promote access, and protect privacy.

You won’t want to miss this vital and engaging discussion.

African Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights

The United Nations Working Group on Business and Human Rights is convening the African Regional Forum on Business and Human Rights, due to be held from 16 to 18 September 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Forum is organised with the support of the African Union Commission’s Department of Political Affairs, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Global Compact are also collaborating to support the organisation of the event.


The Forum provides a multi-stakeholder regional platform for dialogue on the implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which are the United Nations-endorsed standard to define the respective duties and responsibilities of Governments and business enterprises for preventing and addressing adverse human rights impacts arising from business activities.  The Working Group on Business and Human Rights has a mandate to promote the effective and comprehensive implementation of the Guiding Principles world-wide and to identify, exchange and promote good practices and lessons learned. The event is the second regional forum convened by the Working Group.

Objectives and focus

The main goals are to promote multi-stakeholder dialogue and cooperation on business and human rights and on the implementation of the Guiding Principles, provide capacity-building opportunities for practitioners and civil society, identify material issues and challenges on business and human rights in the region, identify emerging innovative practices designed to manage corporate impacts, and reinforce synergies between global efforts and initiatives at the regional and local levels.

Key issues that will be expected to be addressed at the African Regional Forum include challenges and opportunities for implementing the Guiding Principles related to:

  • National action plans
  • Access to effective remedies (both judicial and non-judicial)
  • Investment in natural resources (extractive industries and land)
  • The important role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the informal sector
  • Ways of promoting the prevention and mitigation of business-related human rights risks
  • Capacity building
  • Sharing experiences and lessons from other regions

The agenda will be posted on this page in due course.

International Courts and Domestic Politics

Since the establishment of the first permanent international court in 1922, states have created more than 25 international judicial bodies. This trend towards international judicialization has accelerated after the end of the Cold War. States have thus established a cascade of international courts and tribunals, the mandates of which go well beyond peace and arbitration to cover issues as diverse as human rights, international criminal law, trade and investment, and new courts are being called for in issue-areas where they do not yet exist. Moreover, in some areas, courts have arguably managed to expand their authority beyond their original mandates, and engage not only in adjudicating, interpreting and monitoring international treaty compliance, but increasingly contribute to the making of international law.

This development suggests a number of challenging research puzzles, especially as international courts impact on domestic political orders. For instance, how do governments, parliaments, national courts, bureaucracies and other sub-state actors and institutions interact with the new authority of international courts? Under which conditions do these international judicial bodies become effective nationally? And how does this new and expanding international judiciary impact on established national constitutional democratic orders?

Drawing on political science, law and sociology, this interdisciplinary  conference seeks to address these and other questions relating to the impact of international judicial institutions on domestic legal and political orders.

Internet Governance Forum 2014

The Ninth Annual IGF Meeting will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on 2-5 September 2014. The venue of the meeting is Lütfi Kirdar International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC). The overarching theme for the meeting is: “Connecting Continents for Enhanced Multistakeholder Internet Governance” with the following subthemes.

Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo has issued an official invitation to the Ninth Annual Internet Governance Forum Meeting. The draft programme paper for the 9th IGF is available. It is a rolling document which will be updated as the preparatory process for the Istanbul meeting progresses.

[NEWOnline registration to the IGF 2014 is has closed onsite registration will begin at the Lütfi Kirdar International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) on 30 August at 10 am. Members of the press are expected to bring the following supporting documentation.

A provisional list of registered participants for the IGF 2014 meeting is now available.

[NEWA new schedule (v1.1) for the 9th IGF Annual Meeting is availablePlease note that some modifications may occur.

Remote hubs registration deadline has passed.

Media accreditation for IGF meetings takes place in accordance with the United Nations accreditation requirements. The list of requirements is accessible here. Journalists interested in applying for accreditation for the IGF 2014 meeting are invited to contact . The deadline for Media accreditation registrations is the 22 August.

Details on visas, accommodations, and other information can be found on the host country website –