volume 14, number 3
In the Spotlight: The American Society of International
April 2000 AnnualMeeting
Jean Davis, FCIL-SIS Vice-Chair/Chair-elect
Brooklyn Law School
For the first time, all can enjoy highlights of ASIL�s recent annual
meeting: �International Law in Ferment: A New Vision for Theory and Practice.�
ASIL�s photos and descriptions of conference events, summaries of meeting
panels, and �contests of the day� appear at Extra! Extra! Read All
About It http://www.asil.org/annual_meeting/am2000.htm.
At an Electronic Resources Breakfast for information professionals,
Jill Watson (Director of Library and Information Resources, ASIL) and Marci
Hoffman (International and Foreign Law Librarian, Edward Bennett Williams
Library, Georgetown University Law Center) described:
1) the upcoming redesign of ASIL�s web site;
2) issues regarding the ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International
3) plans to develop an Electronic Information System for International
In future, international law news and core sources will appear on ASIL�s
home page. From this page, one will be able to rapidly track a topic
such as international criminal law or human rights. A user will be
able to provide background data and then to identify ASIL products and
services tailored to the user�s needs. Interest Group resources and
the ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law will be �up
front� and easy to access.
Marci outlined the history and purpose of the ASIL Guide to Electronic
Resources for International Law. She raised and led discussion of
key issues regarding the Electronic Resources project, such as: selecting
pertinent guide topics; presenting guides in an easy-to-use format; updating
data; sparking researchers� interest in the guides; and maintaining authors�
interest in their products.
Jill also informed the audience about ASIL�s developing EISIL.
EISIL likely will have:
1) a web-based, subject-oriented, hyperlinked index to international
law, initially focusing on primary documents;
2) a �Best [Web] Sites� guide that will expand on the ASIL Guide to
Electronic Resources for International Law; and
3) analysis and commentary, culled from ASIL publications like the
American Journal of International Law.
Following these presentations, Charlotte Ku (Executive Vice President
and Executive Director, ASIL) invited information professionals to introduce
themselves, to discuss their work, and to comment on ASIL�s existing web
site and planned redesign. All present appreciated this opportunity!
Jeanne Rehberg (Special Assistant to the Director and Reference Librarian
for International and Foreign Law, New York University School of Law Library)
praised the excellent Electronic Resources guides and other materials currently
available through http://www.asil.org. Stefanie Weigmann (Senior
Reference Librarian, Pappas Law Library, Boston University School of Law)
spoke in favor of including print and electronic sources in research guides.
Mirela Roznovschi (Reference Librarian for Foreign and International Law,
New York University School of Law Library) initiated discussion on the
need to apply standards when designing web databases. To learn more
about existing standards, consult Mirela�s valuable work, Evaluating Foreign
and International Legal Databases on the Internet and Checklists I and
II at http://www.law.nyu.edu/library/foreign_intl/index.html.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques (Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer
in Law, D�Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago Law School) discussed
her new web page, International Corporate Governance: Resources.
To review this page, and her many other helpful web resources, access http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/.
Silke Sahl (Reference Librarian for International, Foreign and Comparative
Law, Harvard Law School Library) described her participation in a documents
project concerning the Nuremberg trials of major German war criminals.
Silke and Stefanie are guiding the FCIL-SIS Education Committee in developing
a German legal research program proposal for AALL�s 2001 Annual Meeting.
Maria Smolka-Day (Associate Director for Foreign and International Law,
and Lecturer, Biddle Law Library, University of Pennsylvania Law School)
offered to aid librarians who seek English translations of Polish legal
materials. In future, her Polish law project results will appear
Louise Tsang (Reference Librarian, York University Law Library, Toronto,
Ontario) made many aware of:
1) her valuable �Overview of Sources of Canadian Law on the Web� at
LLRX.com http://www.llrx.com; and
2) her contributions to Women�s Human Rights Resources http://www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/diana/,
a part of the DIANA international human rights database. Over twenty
librarians provided insight into their exciting work.
At ASIL�s Innovations in Teaching International Law Interest Group meeting,
Marci and I shared �A New Vision for International Law Instruction: Changing
Roles/Relationships of Professors, Librarians, and Students.� A compilation
of related web sources appears at http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/intl/presentations/teachingintlaw.htm
and at http://brkl.brooklaw.edu/screens/marci.html.
At this presentation, we provided examples of how law schools are integrating
international law and international legal research into their curricula.
Marci and I noted librarians� efforts to support this integration.
We highlighted materials created for, and techniques used in, IFLR courses.
We also displayed resources developed for other law school programs, such
as the Asylum Case Research Guide http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/intl/cals/asylumresearch.htm
prepared for students in the Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown
University Law Center. I am inspired by the research guides developed
by the International and Foreign Law Department of the Edward Bennett Williams
Library, Georgetown University Law Center!
An article on teaching international legal research will appear in a
forthcoming issue of Legal Reference Services Quarterly. I collaborated
on this article with a terrific triumvirate: Stefanie; Victoria Szymczak
(Electronic Information Specialist and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law,
Brooklyn Law School); and FCIL-SIS Chair Katherine Topulos (Reference Librarian
and Foreign and International Law Specialist, Duke University School of
Law Library). One can access our course pages from the previously
described compilation of web sources and from the web page of the FCIL-SIS
Teaching Foreign and International Law Research Interest Group at http://www.law.lsu.edu/library/aall/index_aall.htm.
Those who have encouraged Victoria and me to add THE GAMES to our course
page -- check out http://www.wcbcourses.com/wcb/schools/LEXIS/law06/vszymcza/19/files/madness.html
It was a pleasure to address members of the International Law Students
Association (ILSA) with Diane Penneys Edelman (Professor and Co-Director
of the Legal Writing Program, Villanova University School of Law).
Our topic was �Researching and Preparing a Persuasive Written and Oral
Argument for International Law Moot Court Students.� Among the sources
that I emphasized were: ASIL�s Careers in International Law: Your Indispensable
Guide to Career Paths and Internships in International Law; Mark Janis�s
An Introduction to International Law (a student handbook); the ASIL Guide
to Electronic Resources for International Law; Victoria�s and my Introduction
to International Law Research at http://brkl.brooklaw.edu/screens/rgintl.html;
and Mirela�s Guide to Foreign and International Legal Databases at http://www.law.nyu.edu/library/foreign_intl/index.html.
Diane made me aware of The Project on International Courts and Tribunals
http://www.pict-pcti.org/ and the list of prior Jessup international moot
court competition topics in the Jessup Reporter. As Diane described
how to frame �questions presented,� structure point headings, and present
and respond to arguments, I realized that the audience would be able to
apply her excellent remarks throughout their legal careers. Good
luck to Jason Ravnsborg and other students at the University of South Dakota
School of Law who are working to �get Jessup up and running�! The
ILSA presentation conflicted with the famed �librarians dutch treat lunch,�
but I know that over twenty librarians responded to Katherine�s invitation.
During the ASIL conference, I also attended excellent international
arbitration programs. Panelists Antonio Parra (Deputy Secretary-General,
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)1),
Daniel Price, and Robert Volterra discussed ICSID�s role, as the number
of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) in force has increased to over
1,500. Price noted the broad definition of �investment� in many BITs.
He outlined various types of investment disputes: disagreements arising
out of an alleged breach of the BIT, an investment agreement, or an investment
authorization. Price then focused on procedures for resolving investor-state
disputes. Using Article IX of the United States-El Salvador BIT as
an example, Price urged careful selection of an available procedure for
resolving an investor-state dispute. Under Article IX, 1) submitting
a dispute to local courts or administrative tribunals of the BIT party
that is a party to the dispute, or 2) choosing a previously agreed upon
dispute settlement procedure (example: International Chamber of Commerce
arbitration) results in losing ICSID as a forum for dispute resolution.
Volterra�s remarks sparked an interesting discussion on the validity of
a state �carving out� provisions from a BIT to avoid using ICSID as a dispute
resolution forum. When he returns from a business trip abroad, Volterra
kindly will provide me with the citations to the cases that he mentioned.
Following this program, ICSID exhibitors provided me with a helpful
overview: Shihata and Parra, �The Experience of the International Centre
for Settlement of Investment Disputes� (14 ICSID REVIEW � Foreign Investment
Law Journal 299 (Fall 1999)). They also directed me to Christoph
Schreuer�s �Commentary on the ICSID Convention� (published in vols. 12-14
of ICSID REVIEW ). These exhibitors reminded me of the materials
available through http://www.worldbank.org/icsid/,
including: ICSID Basic Documents and Rules Governing the Additional Facility...;
ICSID Bibliography (which contains citations to many 1999 publications);
a list of contracting states and other signatories to the ICSID Convention;
lists of pending and concluded cases; texts of recent decisions and awards;
Bilateral Investment Treaties: Bibliography; a chronological list of BITs;
and a list of parties to BITs.
The next day, a panel that included Eric Posner and Nathalie Voser discussed
whether national courts, or other bodies, should be able to review international
commercial arbitration awards. On an international level, Voser favors
harmonizing and limiting grounds for setting aside an arbitration award
in the state of origin. Panel Chair Lucy Reed (Freshfields, New York)
offered to provide attendees with Voser�s accompanying paper discussing
the current situation in Europe concerning reviewability of arbitration
awards and Voser�s proposals to avoid results like those in the 1988 Hilmarton
case. Posner�s article, �Arbitration and the Harmonization of International
Commercial Law: A Defense of Mitsubishi,� appears in 39 Virginia Journal
of International Law 647 (Spring 1999).
A SPECIAL THANK YOU to Steven Roses, Carswell�s U.S. Account Representative,
for hosting an FCIL-SIS leadership lunch at ASIL�s Annual Meeting!
(I hope this entices YOU to serve as a future FCIL-SIS officer...)
1 The Convention on the Settlement of Investment
Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States of March 18, 1965
(575 U.N.T.S. 159) created ICSID. As outlined in this Convention,
ICSID offers facilities for conciliation and arbitration of investment
disputes between contracting states and nationals of other contracting
states. ICSID also has an �additional facility� for administering
conciliation, arbitration, and fact-finding proceedings that are outside
of this Convention�s scope. There are Rules Governing the Additional
Facility for the Administration of Proceedings by the Secretariat of the
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
to the next article, "Calendar of FCIL SIS-related Activities during the
AALL Annual Meeting"
to the Table of Contents