A Blog on Blawgs
Although blogging is not new, it is new to me. Before this class, I had never written a blog and only read a few in passing. In fact, I didn’t know the difference between a “blog” and a “blawg” until today (a “blawg” is written by lawyers or focuses on law related topics). So with this very limited knowledge of blawgs, I never considered them a source of legal research. However, as a result of our last research assignment, I came across a couple of good blawgs for those interested in international human rights law.
Impunity Watch is a blawg sponsored by Syracuse University College of Law and written by Syracuse law students. According to the site, “Impunity Watch’s mission is to monitor and address horrific human rights abuses and possible situations of impunity.” They deal with fundamental human rights violations such as discrimination, human trafficking (whether for forced labor or sexual exploitation), the denial of access to food and water, and genocide. The goal is to hold those responsible for such acts accountable and bring them to justice.
What I especially liked about this blawg was its organization and usability. You can browse articles by continents or region. There is a large photo associated with each blog and an abstract. You can, then, click to “read more” if it interests you. There’s also a tab for featured articles if you don’t have a specific region in mind. They also have “Today’s Top Posts” and “Upcoming Events” available.
Intlawgrrls is a blawg has a little wider scope than Impunity Watch, though also deals with issues of discrimination and human rights. In their own words, Intlawgrrls are “voices on international law, policy, practice.” They “embrace foremothers’ names to encourage crisp commentary, delivered at times with a dash of sass.” As implied in their name “grrls,” all the authors are women, though their articles don’t necessarily focus on traditional “women issues.” The two primary contributors to the blawg are Diane Marie Amann, a law professor at the University of California-Davis and Beth Van Schaack, a law professor at Santa Clara University. Beth Van Schaack was a familiar name to me since she is a co-author of my International Criminal Law casebook.
This blawg has interesting articles on a variety of legal topics. They have many, many guest bloggers, so along with the blawg is a biography and picture of the guest author. The downside to this blawg is the format. Instead of tabs at the top of the page to search by region or topic, they have a basic word search text box. If you scroll down the page, along the right column you can also search by author and series topics they have done, such as the crime of aggression, disability rights, Guantanamo, and human rights in the United States. They also have connections to other blawgs if you continue down right column. Unfortunately, there are no search boxes on the right column, just a long list of all the authors, series topics, and other blawg links. So there’s some good information if you don’t mind scrolling a little while to find it.