Reported by Jonathan Franklin
University of Michigan Law Library
[At the Chair's request, the minutes were recorded by Jonathan Franklin, substituting for Secretary/Treasurer Radu Popa, who was unable to attend the meeting.—Editor.]
The annual business meeting of the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries was convened at 4:50 by incoming Chair Margareta Horiba of Tulane University Law Library. The outgoing Chair, Francisco Avalos, was unable to attend. Approximately fifty members were in attendance.
The minutes of the 1995 FCIL SIS business meeting as published in the Autumn 1995 FCIL Newsletter were adopted unanimously.
The Chair announced that the new Vice Chair/Chair-Elect would be Bill McCloy of the University of Washington, based on the results of the recent election.
The Chair further announced the Treasurer's Report based on figures provided by Radu Popa, the Secretary/Treasurer, who was unable to attend the Annual Meeting. Current balance was $2,689. The Treasurer's Report was adopted unanimously. It was noted that half of all SIS dues go into the SIS's account and the other half go to AALL general funds.
The Chair started the subcommittee reports by calling on Marci Hoffman, co-chair of the Education Subcommittee, to report. Marci Hoffman reported that the FCIL SIS sponsored four programs and a three-part human rights program and that three of these programs were cosponsored. The four FCIL SIS programs were Doing Business in Africa, Solving Foreign and International Reference Questions (cosponsored with Reader Services SIS), Hong Kong 1997 (cosponsored with the Asian-American Law Librarians Caucus), and the Global Harmonization of Copyright Law (cosponsored with the Copyright Committee).
Marci Hoffman also requested program submissions for the 1997 program and mentioned the possibility of proposing workshops. Several topics were raised including Rape as a War Crime, Teaching Foreign and International Law, a Mock Trial, Civil Law—The Basics, and International Alternative Dispute Resolution. These were all to be discussed at the Education Subcommittee meeting on Wednesday morning.
Several of the working groups that had met by the time of the business meeting will report on their discussions in the FCIL Newsletter. These include the Electronic Issues Working Group, the African Law Working Group, the Asian Law Working Group, the CIS and Eastern European Law Working Group, and the Latin American Law Working Group.
The Teaching Foreign and International Legal Research Working Group, represented at the business meeting by Lyonette Louis-Jacques, raised two related issues: first, whether the FCIL SIS as a whole was interested in creating pathfinders, and second, whether there was interest in putting them on a web site. As the discussion evolved, proposals were made that the pathfinders mirror the bibliographic presentations of the five institutes, the last of which had just ended. The specific proposals included getting the original authors to update their chapters and getting new authors to follow the same areas. Pathfinder creation was encouraged by Lyonette Louis-Jacques and Dan Wade. Others, including Ellen Schaffer, were concerned that this was a major undertaking that should not be started without an assessment of the number of people committed to the project. The discussion also addressed the inclusion of shorter, more narrow, pathfinders and creating links to existing pathfinders on FCIL topics already at other websites.
After an extensive discussion of the topic, Jonathan Pratter moved that the decision to officially support the creation of a clearinghouse for FCIL pathfinders be postponed until a formal proposal can be distributed to the members with the hope that the creation of a formal proposal will reflect the existence of a committed core group of members willing to devote themselves to this project. The motion was seconded by Ellen Schaffer and passed with a significant number of abstentions. Dan agreed to work on a draft proposal and submit it to the membership at large.
The International Issues Working Group, represented by Jolande Goldberg, repositioned the group to focus on the task of discussing the arrangement and classification of the documentation produced by IGOs, a rather more narrow topic than the working group's title implies. This discussion led to a historical review of how the electronic, processing, and international issues working groups grew out of the need for groups other than the existing geographically specific working groups.
This in turn led to a discussion of meeting times and working group meeting attendance, an issue the Chair had placed later on the agenda. Dan Wade mentioned, and others agreed, that the traditional Sunday schedule better suited the members of the FCIL SIS due to the lack of conflicts between FCIL working groups scheduled at the same time, the conclusion of all working groups prior to the commencement of the business meeting, and the lack of conflicts with other important events at the Annual Meeting. Others hoped that the past two years were unusual scheduling flukes that would not set a precedent for the 1997 Annual Meeting.
The Chair reported that Ken Rudolf has agreed to publish the FCIL Newsletter for another year. This announcement was met with unanimous applause. Mila reinforced that the newsletter is a better way to reach the FCIL membership than the INT-LAW listserv due to the large number of INT-LAW subscribers who are not members of the FCIL SIS.
The Clearinghouse Committee, represented by Telle Zoller, reported that over two hundred Spanish letters had been sent to law libraries and law schools in Latin America. They had received eight responses so far and will be pursuing opportunities by publicizing the program at the IALL meeting in Vancouver.
The Special Ad Hoc Committee for Materials for Third-World Countries has ceased to exist, having met its original goals.
Larry Wenger of the University of Virginia, as representative of the IALL, discussed the organization and the upcoming course in International Law Librarianship in Vancouver. He also mentioned the 1997 course will be in Lund, Sweden, and the 1998 course will be hosted by UNIDROIT in Rome, Italy.
The meeting concluded with new business. Ellen Schaffer encouraged parties interested in an expanded International Legal Materials on CD-ROM to write to ASIL to show their support for the project.
Bill McCloy asked all first time FCIL SIS business meeting attendees to stand. Ten new members were given a warm welcome and other members were encouraged to introduce themselves at the reception following the meeting.
The Chair, Margareta Horiba, adjourned the meeting at 5:50 and a reception followed.
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