Comparing American & European Human Rights Norms

From the archives! I wrote this essay in 2012 for my coursework in European human rights law, as part of my masters’ degree. Reading it now, five years and a law degree later (!) is a bit cringe, but I think it does a fairly decent job of explaining some of the more theoretical differences in American and European approaches to human rights.
Is the European recognition of positive obligations in human rights law superior to the view taken by the United States Supreme Court?

In the Liberal tradition, democracies emphasise the political and civil rights of their citizenry: autonomy, the rule of law, and both positive and negative liberties of the individual are some of many examples. But what of the negative and positive obligations regarding the state, in as much as human rights are concerned? While the democratic values of Europe and America are largely built upon the same ideals, it is the means by which their different legal systems ascertain government duty wherein a fundamental divergence of responsibility occurs. Principally, the distinction centres on the reach of law, and to what extent conflicts can be ameliorated through courts.

Weekend in Prague – Mucha’s Slav Epic in Autumn

One of the best parts of living in the UK is that I’m only a short flight away from some incredibly beautiful European destinations. This weekend, I finally made it to Eastern Europe, and visited one of my dearest friends in a city easy for both of us to get to: Prague.

The chill in the air, coupled with the overcast skies, really drew out the city’s architecture in my mind. It was so easy to get lost in thought, wondering about the Soviet history of the Czech Republic as contrasted with the ornate medieval buildings. I think there’s something quite beautiful and atmospheric about cobblestones and rainy days. Not least because they seem to be days made for museum visits.

Online Intermediary Liability in EU Copyright Enforcement (2013)

For my final essay on the GDL (the law conversion course here in England), I chose to write on intellectual property law. I argued that legal uncertainty and lack of proper enforcement strategies results in fragmentation across the Member States. I earned a Distinction (75% UK) on the paper.

This essay (18 pages, double spaced) includes a brief synopsis of intellectual property right basics, followed by a justification of the European Union’s competency to legislate in this area. The third section contextualises the problem of copyright infringement on the internet, with a specific focus on online intermediary liability.

MP3s crossing a Europe without borders

When I was in Germany several years ago, I attempted to play a music video on YouTube that I had first seen in the United Kingdom. It was blocked on copyright grounds. I wondered, if the European Union guarantees the free movement of goods and services between Member States (which the UK and Germany both are), how could Germany block access to music I could freely access back home in London?

This question inspired my Masters Thesis, which explored European copyright law in the context of digital music services. I even got to interview the head of licencing at Spotify as part of my research!

What does it mean to share your life with somebody?

Her (2013, directed by Spike Jonze).

To begin on a technical aesthetic note, the subtle and connotative usage of colour in this film was exceptional. As an homage to Apple’s “personalised” technology perhaps, I appreciated this nod to branding. For the sake of remembering, for the sake of being close – it’s easy to form associations with people and their scents, sounds, and colours.