This paper discusses the reasons why legal disputes cannot be resolved by simply referring to relevant laws. It will, also, discuss the Children’s Internet Protection Act and its evolution. Dispute resolution is a simple and, at the same time, a technical process that requires technical capacity. Over time, the society has become familiar with the most common traditional process of resolving disputes that the civil justice system embraces. This process entails litigation and trial whereby a jury or a judge takes charge to decide the ‘wrong’ and the ‘right’ in which case one person wins as the other one losses (Laudon & Traver, 2013). It is; however, significant to note that various other options such as arbitration, mediation, and negotiation are available, which, if properly utilized, can enable a successful process of conflict resolution. However, it is worth noting that there are several essentials that require reference during resolution of legal disputes.
The utilization of legal references during legal dispute resolution process is significant even though relevant laws in this context have never been satisfactory. The first reason is because of the extent of certain people’s attachment to their customary and traditional mechanisms of resolving disputes (Sternlight & Schneider, 2010). This is commonly practical among local communities that share similar cultural and traditional practices. Therefore, it is significant to note that these mechanisms other than relevant laws are available and do not maintain uniformity in their application since slight differences exist among different local communities. For instance, in a country such as Indonesia, dispute resolution processes are conducted beyond references to relevant laws because of the various approaches of local dispute resolution that different local communities embrace. Besides, cultural and traditional approaches have been with the people (local communities) long enough and they are familiar with them more than the modern arbitration approaches. During dispute resolution process using these mechanisms, discussions usually take center stage between the relevant parties. Such discussions happen with the view of achieving a consensus that is mutually acceptable such as suitable compensation or punishment (Laudon & Traver, 2013). It is, also, worth noting that references to relevant laws during a legal dispute resolution process are usually practical in an elite society. Literacy levels differ significantly among different local communities. This implies that local communities who have not been privileged to access western formal education may find reference to relevant laws insignificant. Education, in such a situation, becomes essential before introducing a civil justice system for resolving legal disputes.
In the year 2000, the U.S. Congress saw the need to protect children against detrimental effects of internet technology and; therefore, enacted the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014). This became an essential tool for addressing concerns that children would use internet and, in the process, come in contact with harmful content. In actual sense, CIPA demands libraries and schools to observe certain requirements. This is essential if such institutions obtain internal connections via the E-rate program. In this case, CIPA requires libraries and school institutions to certify that their internet safety policy is inclusive of technology protection measures. Until these institutions meet this requirement, they cannot qualify to obtain the discounts that are usually enabled by the E-rate program. In this case, the institutions should embrace protection measures that are capable of filtering or blocking access to internet appearances that are harmful to minors, child pornography, and obscene especially for computers that can freely be accessed by children. Moreover, before schools and libraries adopt such an internet safety policy, they require issuing reasonable notification and organize a meeting or public hearing with the aim of addressing the proposal. The regulations and the law offer libraries and schools substantial flexibility in regard to the mandate of public hearing. In this case, the general language implies that hearing of the internet safety policy can be included in the regular board meetings especially in a situation where such a meeting accommodates comments from the public.
Ultimately, schools and libraries should ensure that internet safety policy has the capacity to prevent children from accessing inappropriate matter. In this regard, the local education agency, school and library have the mandate to determine the kind of matter that may be inappropriate for minors. With respect to CIPE, technology protection measures refer to a particular technology that is relevant for filtering or blocking access to specified material over the internet. However, the legislation, also, gives mandate to an authorized individual to deactivate the filtering or blocking measure in the event that such an action can enable an adult person to access the internet for lawful purposes (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014). It should also be clear that legislation does not require adults and children to perform tracking of the internet. It aims at ensuring that children are secure and safe whenever they use chat rooms, electronic mail, and any other form that entails direct electronic communication. It, also, ensures that minors do not engage in criminal activities whenever they go online. It also ensures that there is no unauthorized dissemination, use or disclosure of personal information about children.
In regard to evolution of the legislation, the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) together with the Neighborhood Children’s Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) is an essential legislation, which Congress enacted in December 2000 to protect minors from technology related dangers (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014). Upon realization that minors were likely to encounter technology related dangers especially over the internet, the U.S. government embarked on installing PL 106-554, which was a huge federal appropriations measure. Later on April 2001, the regulations for CIPA were released by the Federal Communications Commission (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014). A suit against certain requirements like filtering in public libraries was filed later in 2001 by several groups that included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Library Association (ALA). The Philadelphia federal district court declared the filtering mandate with respect to public libraries unconstitutional. The Justice Department of the U.S then appealed the decision of the district court to the Supreme Court of the U.S. In June 2003, the Supreme Court declared its decision to uphold the Children’s Internet Protection Act (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2014).
In conclusion, this paper discussed the reasons why legal disputes cannot be resolved by simply referring to relevant laws. It, also, discussed the Children’s Internet Protection Act and its evolution. The utilization of legal references during legal dispute resolution process is significant even though relevant laws in this context have never been satisfactory. Dispute resolution processes are conducted beyond references to relevant laws because of the various approaches of local dispute resolution that different local communities embrace. Children’s Internet Protection Act requires libraries and school institutions to certify that their internet safety policy is inclusive of technology protection measures.
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