Shane , Bangalore 06/25/10
But does this decision really include mediation?
I don't think it does. The court goes out of their way to restrict the decision to the facts of the case, namely the kinds of training and support that the HLP was trying to give. Those included-
-Teaching groups how to petition the UN for relief
-Teaching groups how to use "humanitarian law" to resolve disputes
- Advocating for groups internatinoally
- Using "legal experitse" to help negotiate agreements between groups and govt's.
- Teaching groups "negotiation skills" for dealing with international bodies.
So... aren't these things a different sort of animal than acting as a third party neutral? With the above kind of work, you are at the direction of the banned org, and doing it for their benefit. In mediation, you are independent, and doing it for society's benefit. I think there is a good-faith argument to be made that this case is distinguishable from an imaginary scenario in which a group proposing to conduct mediation with these groups would come before the court.
The court says that "Of course, the scope of the material-support statute may
not be clear in every application. But the dispositive point here is that the statutory terms are clear in their application to plaintiffs’ proposed conduct, which means that plaintiffs’ vagueness challenge must fail. Even assuming that a heightened standard applies because the material support statute potentially implicates speech, the statutory terms are not vague as applied to plaintiffs."
Of course, it is always the rule that they court is deciding only the case before them, but they do not need to and do not often add this kind of language, that to me, clearly indicates that they may be willing to hear a better test case, they just didn't think that the kinds of activities that were proposed here were very hard to decide.
So... what am I missing here? I'd be happy (sort of) if someone could point out where in this case it says that conducting mediations involving these group = aid. Everyone is up in arms that this issue has been decided, but I don't think it has.
dorit cypis, LA CA firstname.lastname@example.org 06/22/10
Love your thinking Robert! I was wondering when we would be seen as dangerous to the adversarial worlds? As an artist and a mediator, I enjoy the leap of faith required to shape shift in order to get the "work" accomplished.