Asian Law Interest Group Met in New Orleans
by Sergio Stone
The Asian Law Interest Group met on July 16, 2007. Special thanks to Sharon Wang, Assistant Librarian at York University, for her insights about Asian law collections in Canada. We were honored to have the following law librarians from China attend the meeting: Ms. Lu Liying, Director of the Tsinghua University Law Library, Mr. Zhao Xiaohai of ChinaLawInfo and Mr. Cheng Zhen, Director of Reference at the National Library of China.
Substantive issues discussed at the meeting:
Former Asian Law Interest Group Chair, Chenglin Liu, is now an Assistant Professor of Law at St. Mary's University Law School. We all wish Chenglin best wishes on his new career.
Acquiring Materials from Asia
Evelyn Ma of Yale and Trinie Thai-Parker of Harvard provided details of their respective collections and graciously offered to assist others with acquisitions questions.
Harvard is collecting primary legal materials from East Asian countries, including all the official national gazettes. Sharon Wang highly recommended Frontiers of Law in China, published by Springer. This journal offers high quality translations into English of articles from prominent Chinese legal journals.
Evelyn Ma recommended the following book jobbers and publishers for acquiring monographs and serials from China: Lexis Book Co. Ltd. (Taiwan), China International Book Trading Company. Many libraries rely on the Eastview Information Services databases for full-text access to academic journals from China.
Most users expressed satisfaction with the Manupatra database for Indian legislation and case law. Sharon Wang reported that Manupatra works best with Internet Explorer, rather than Firefox. Both Harvard and Yale recently cancelled their Indlaw subscriptions in favor of Manupatra. Additional information about Indian publishers and legal databases will be available at the 2007 IALL Meeting in Mumbai, India.
The International Law in Domestic Courts database, which provides translations of judicial opinions involving application of international law in domestic courts, received mixed reviews. Some criticized the inadequate search interface and others thought the price didn't justify the limited number of cases available. The database probably works best for libraries that have only limited case law collections in vernacular languages. Marci Hoffman's review of International Law in Domestic Courts appeared in 35 INT'L J. OF LEG. INFO. 170.
Trinie Thai-Parker reported that the ISI Emerging Markets database includes a section of national legislation.
Online Discussion Lists from Southeast Asia: Malaysian Law Librarians Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MALLAwLib. Postings in English, Indonesian Law Library Group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/perpushukum-net/. Postings in Bahasa Indonesian.
Mary Sexton and Trinie Thai-Parker recommended the Chinese Law Professor Blog and China Law Discussion List.
The Asian Law Institute (ASLI) is accepting new members from North America. The University of Wisconsin Law School and the University of Washington School of Law have already joined. Contact Sergio Stone for copies of any of the papers presented at the 2007 ASLI Conference. Information about ASLI is available at: http://law.nus.edu.sg/asli/index.htm.
Many thanks to all who attended the early morning session and for everyone's excellent contributions. I look forward to seeing all of you in Portland at the next Asia Law Interest Group meeting.