Wednesday, December 07, 2005

WikiLaw - An Open-Content Legal Resource

We recently posted about WEX - A Wiki Legal Dictionary and Encyclopedia at the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School

We have since been informed of the existence of
WikiLaw - an open-content legal resource

WikiLaw has the following purposes:

"Wikilaw's goal is to build the largest open-content legal resource in the
world. Wikilaw hopes to tap into the knowledge of the roughly 1,000,000
lawyers in the United States to build one of the largest libaries or legal
information in the world. The Wiki is published under the GNU Free
Documentation License (GFDL), which means that all the information found
on the site can be copied, modified, and redistributed so long as the new
version grants the same freedoms to others and acknowledges the authors of
the Wikilaw article used.

Wikilaw has several different areas where collaborative development can
occur:

(1) Wiki-Treatises: Wiki-Treatises are collaborative documents created by
the Wikilaw community on various different aspects of the law.

(2) Wiki-Law-Review: allows anyone to post a "thesis" for an article,
which is freely editable by other users. Alternatively, anyone can post a
completed law review article and have other users contribute and edit the
article, subject to the GFDL license.

(3) Wiki-Law-Dictionary: seeks to collaboratively produce a comprehensive
law dictionary that is easily searchable and free.

(4) Wiki-Legislate: is an experiment that hypothesizes that a wide range
of individuals, not just politicians and special interest groups, can
contribute to the creation of our nation's laws. When Wiki-Legislate was
launched, it began in a vacuum with no laws. From scratch, the Wikilaw
community can construct laws that it feels should be imposed on society.
Initially, Wiki-Legistlate started with no laws. It assumed that no laws
existed in the world. All laws listed in this section are the
collaborative effort of the Wikilaw community. Wiki-Legislate is an
aggregator of viewpoints, which allows users to get together and decide
what law should be imposed on society. Wiki-Legislate hopes to become a
filter to accurately gague social norms, and tranform those norms into
law.

(5) Wiki-Motions: seeks to provide give practitioners a resource to help them drafting memos in support of their motions."


We at LawPundit think that it will be impossible to maintain a law wiki without some kind of editorial control over postings, so we will have to see how the open-content approach works in practice.
.

Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology

Below is an interesting law-related press release about the work of R.P. BenDedek, a theologian who has become fed up with the subjective and sloppy way in which archaeologists and historians have juggled evidence (or non-evidence) about the history of the Middle East to suit their personal predilections and to warp history. BenDedek tries to remedy the situation by applying the strict evidentiary standards of the law to archaeological inquiry, a process which we have previously named "evidentiary archaeology".

We have claimed similarly for many years now that mainstream Biblical chronology is flawed (1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, ) and that many archaeological theories of mainstream scholarship about the history of the Middle East would be thrown out of court for lack of evidence.

Indeed, we demonstrated explicitly some years ago that the dendrochronological work of Ernst Hollstein proved unequivocally that a ca. 30-year error has been made in Biblical chronology and that a study of eclipse data shows this to be an error of precisely 28 years.

Australian Theologian R.P. BenDedek has now rightly come to the same conclusion that Biblical chronology is in error. Here is the PRWEB posting and press release about BenDedek's writings:

"Australian Theologian takes Archaeologists and Historians to Court
Download this press release as an
Adobe PDF document

Australian theologian, historian and newspaper columnist, R.P. BenDedek has accused a number of archaeologists and historians, of using false documentary evidence to support claims in relation to the history of the Ancient Near East.

(PRWEB) December 4, 2005 -- Australian theologian, historian and
newspaper columnist, R.P. BenDedek has accused a number of
archaeologists and Historians, of using false documentary evidence to
support claims in relation to the history of the Ancient Near East.

In a four part series of 'legal' articles entitled "The Law, Rules of
Evidence & Archaeology", BenDedek, using both Australian and American
Law, has written a judicial cross examination of witnesses, to prove
that evidence used by academics to reconstruct the history of
Assyria, Syria, Judah and Israel, would not be permitted in a court
of law, and that their conclusions would not be 'beyond reasonable
doubt'.

Claiming their evidence is legally 'false evidence', he suggests that
prejudice and bias are the reasons why academics knowingly use
factually erroneous evidence.

In one criticism, he writes: "if you logically follow some 'contrary
academic explanations' that are offered without 'evidence', the
fanciful theory ultimately turns into a 'conspiracy theory', that
defies both evidence and logic
."

Whilst admitting errors exist in Israel's historical records, and
allowing Academics to draw inferences from fragmentary evidence,
BenDedek is adamant that they cannot be allowed to 'pass off opinions
as actual evidence of the facts'.

The Judge in BenDedek's criminal law cross examination exercise
received the verdict from the jury, and promptly threw the academic
evidence out of court.

Full story: The Law, Rules of Evidence & Archaeology Part 1.

[at] http://www.kingscalendar.com/cgi-bin/index.cgi?action=viewnews&id=256"

Typical for the reaction of mainstream scholars to the idea that they should base their theories on actual facts and evidence is this comment at Explorator:

"This is just strange ... some Australian theologian has taken archaeologists and historians 'to court' in regards to claims about the Ancient Near East...."

To which we can only say, yes, it must be STRANGE indeed to persons in these professions to have someone require that the archaeology and history of the Ancient Near East be written according to the actual EVIDENCE available and not according to the personal prejudices, biases, whims and opinions of academics who control the peer-reviewed journals in these academic fields.

A study at Berkeley on the failing research skills of many academics has some interesting things to say about THAT.

UPDATE

Read also Part II of Law, Evidence and Archaeology: Errors in Biblical Chronology.

A Flood of Visitors to LawPundit through digg

A recent posting at digg.com (not by us!) refers to our August 10, 2005 posting about the then almost unknown program Winpooch which we use as a real time watchdog for spyware, trojans and attempted registry changes.

Showing that digg is an extremely vibrant and populous tech community on the web, that cited digg.com posting has sent traffic to LawPundit soaring starting December 6. We hope that this greatly increased traffic is not permanent or it will surpass our transfer limit at 1and1. If that happens, LawPundit may not be accessible later this month, because the site shuts down automatically when the monthly transfer limit is exceeded. In any case, whatever happens, be assured we are back on January 1, 2006.

Google Analytics shows the "diggalanche" (first use of this term anywhere) on December 6 (note that the Geo Map Overlay here shows only geographic locations with two or more visitors to LawPundit):

Digg leads to LawPundit diggalanche


Update, December 7

Book sales help to pay for this website.

Stars Stones and Scholars

megaliths
As long as so many tech-interested visitors are here, some of you might be interested in looking at our book Stars Stones and Scholars as the ideal Christmas 2005 gift for the intellect who has everything, is interested in everything, or thinks he knows everything. This is the perfect book to challenge what is known. Click for details.
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