Author: Margaret M. deGuzman


Why Mindfulness is Increasingly Popular With Lawyers and Law Students

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to what is happening in the present moment without judgment. It includes both a formal, usually seated, meditation practice and a more general approach to life. Mindfulness practitioners seek to bring their full attention to whatever they are doing throughout the day. Mindfulness is a wonderfully simple idea that many of us – particularly high achieving lawyers and law students – find very difficult to implement. Our minds tend to dwell on the past (“Did that interview/exam go well?”) or race to the future (“Will I pass the bar/get a job after graduation?”). Keeping our attention in the present can be a formidable challenge, yet studies show that being mindful increases our health, productivity, and happiness. The documented benefits of mindfulness range from reducing stress and anxiety, to improving focus and concentration, enhancing listening and communications skills, and increasing overall wellbeing. Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the first people to promote mindfulness in the U.S., and others at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, have shown that mindfulness provides …

Boats in harbor

What is the Gravity Threshold for an ICC Investigation? Lessons from the Pre-Trial Chamber Decision in the Comoros Situation

On May 31, 2010, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted an eight-boat humanitarian flotilla en route to the Gaza Strip. In the course of boarding and taking control of the vessels, the IDF killed ten people and injured approximately fifty. In addition, there were allegedly hundreds of incidents of outrages upon personal dignity, and possibly torture. One of the boats was registered to the Union of the Comoros, a state party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which referred the situation to the Court. The Prosecutor opened a preliminary examination to determine whether a reasonable basis exists to investigate. Read the full paper at The American Society of International Law.