Foreign, Comparative & International Law

Special Interest Section

Welcome to the online headquarters of the FCIL-SIS

The FCIL-SIS serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas and information on foreign, comparative and international law and legal research. The SIS also represents members' interests and concerns within AALL.


Congratulations to Atarino Helieisar
of Micronesia:
Recipient of the 2015 FCIL Schaffer Grant
for Foreign Law Librarians

Mr. Atarino A. Helieisar, recipient of the 2015 FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians, is the Chief Law Librarian of the Supreme Court of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Law Libraries, and is responsible for overseeing the operations of its four library locations in the FSM island states of Pohnpei, Chuuk, Yap, and Kosrae. Comprised of 607 islands, FSM is located in the Caroline Islands Archipelago, just above the Equator.

Mr. Helieisar will give a talk entitled “The Federated States of Micronesia Supreme Court Law Libraries: Bridging Legal Information in the FSM States & Beyond” on July 20 at 4:30 p.m. in the Marriott Grand Ballroom Salon D. His talk will discuss the information available to legal researchers interested in FSM law, as well as the outreach efforts the library has engaged in to bring the law to the community. This event is open to the entire AALL membership. 

For more information about Mr. Helieisar and his presentation, please visit his page on our website.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Atarino A. Helieisar to Philadelphia in July!

   Message from the Chair

June 2015:

Dear Colleagues: It has been an honor to serve as the 30th Chair of the FCIL-SIS. I can't believe my year at the helm is almost over! We are in good hands with Lucie Olejnikova taking over as Chair, with Alison Shea and Loren Turner joining the Executive Committee as Vice Chair/ Chair Elect and Secretary/ Treasurer respectively. Many thanks to outgoing Immediate Past Chair, Don Ford, and Secretary/ Treasurer Roy Sturgeon for their dedication and service to the FCIL-SIS.

I look forward to seeing many of you in Philadelphia in July. Please see our May Newsletter for a full schedule of events and programs. Below I've listed many of them:

Below is a list of several programs presented by our FCIL-SIS Colleagues:

Saturday, July 18:

9:30am - 4:45pm - Researching the European Union (pre-conference workshop; pre-registration required)
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Sunday, July 19:

1:00 - 2:00pm - Cross Border Disputes: Dissecting the International Investment Arbitration
(PCC Room 201BC)

4:00 - 5:00pm - Designers' Workshop: Subject Guides that Create the Effect You Want
(PCC Room 103BC)

Tuesday, July 21:

8:30 - 9:30am - Mighty MT: Enhancing the Value of Machine Translation Tools for FCIL Reference and Collection Development
(PCC Room 103BC)

Below is a list of our FCIL-SIS Meetings:

Sunday, July 19:

11:30 – 12:45 – Jurisdictions Interest Groups Joint Meeting (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Indigenous Peoples, Customary & Religious Law).

  • Welcome and Introduction (Joan Policastri) – 5 minutes
  • Customary & Religious Law: First year and future projects (Susan Gualtier) – 10 minutes
  • Africa: Launch of African Primary Source project (Victor Essien) – 5 minutes
  • Asia: ASEAN Update (Evelyn Ma) – 10 minutes
  • Europe:  Ukraine and ICC (Peter Roudik and Lucie Olejnikova) – 30 minutes
  • Individual Interest Group business meetings – 15 minutes

5:15 – 6:00pm – Foreign Selectors Interest Group

6:00 – 7:00pm – Publicity Committee

6:00 – 7:00pm – Internships and International Exchanges Committee

Monday, July 20:

7:15 – 8:30am – Business Meeting

3:15 – 4:15pm – Teaching Foreign and International Legal Research Interest Group

4:00 – 4:30pm – FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians Fundraising Committee

4:30 – 5:30pm – FCIL Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarian Recipient’s Presentation

5:45 – 6:45pm – AALL/FCIL/IALL Joint Reception for International Attendees

Tuesday, July 21:

12:30 – 2:00pm – Roman Law Interest Group (joint meeting with the Legal History and Rare Book SIS)

1:00 – 2:00pm – Education Committee

1:00 - 2:00pm – Electronic Research Interest Group

Teresa Miguel-Stearns
FCIL-SIS Chair 2014/15

News and Events

Congratulations to our well-deserving FCIL-SIS award winners for 2013-14!

Spirit of the FCIL-SIS – "presented each year to members whose work furthers our mission, serves the entire FCIL-SIS, and inspires other to act"
  • Julienne Grant
  • Ryan Harrington
  • Jim Hart
  • Carmen Valero

Daniel L. Wade FCIL-SIS Outstanding Service Award honoring a " member who has made outstanding contributions to the Section in the areas of section activity and professional service."

  • Lyonette Louis-Jacques
  • Alison Shea

Thomas H. Reynolds and Arturo A. Flores FCIL-SIS Publications Award given to a "member or members who have greatly contributed to the professional development of their AALL colleagues during any given year."

Congratulations to all our award winners!
*Note that all FCIL-SIS members can nominate colleagues for these awards. In the spring the Executive Committee will put out a call for such nominations.  See the individual Awards webpages for more information about each award.

Propose a program for AALL 2015!

As you probably already know, the 2015 'must-have' programming has been identified and released. Visit the AMPC page or our working site here to view the lists of identified must-haves in each of the six content categories.

Lucie Olejnikova and Dennis Sears, FCIL-SIS Education Committee co-chairs, are both available and happy to help, so please do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like our feedback/input, please be sure to submit your proposal (even a draft) to use by September 15, 2014, so we have sufficient time to review it and provide useful feedback. We are working closely with our content area liaison, Gayle Lynn-Nelson, who too will provide feedback with respect to the identified must-haves in each of the six content areas.

To propose a program, it must be submitted directly at the official AALL website: http://proposals.aallnet.org/.

The FCIL-SIS Publicity Committee would like to introduce you all to "DipLawMatic Dialogues," the newly redesigned FCIL-SIS blog, now available for viewing at: http://fcilsis.wordpress.com.

We hope that the new blog will serve as yet another great way for our group to share information, connect with other special interest sections and caucuses, and reach out to readers from other professions.

The Committee is currently working with the FCIL-SIS board to establish guidelines for the blog's content.  Potential columns and content that have already been identified include book and movie reviews, monthly member spotlights, collection highlights, and a regular column on legal translation.

Although we are still working out the details of which types of content will be included, we welcome your suggestions and ideas.  If you are interested in contributing to the blog or have ideas for columns or other content, please contact us at aall.fcil.blog@gmail.com or fill out the comment form on our Blog Administrators page to submit them for consideration.  As the new blog takes shape, we will be reaching out to the group and soliciting contributions via our listserv, website, and/or social media.  In the meantime, we hope that you will enjoy looking around and forwarding us your suggestions.

Susan Gualtier, Neel Agrawal, and Loren Turner, FCIL-SIS Publicity Committee