Volume 15, No. 3
As Washington’s cherry trees burst into bloom, many ASIL1 Annual Meeting attendees discussed exciting projects at “Fostering an International Legal Information Network: A Program for Librarians and Information Managers.” (The crab cakes laced with Old Bay seasoning were great, too!)
Charlotte Ku (Executive Vice President and Executive Director, ASIL) explained how ASIL had expanded its presence in 2000. Examples of ASIL’s law school and law student outreach included: a workshop on how law professors could integrate international legal issues in their courses; a reduction from $45 to $25 in ASIL student dues; and ASIL career panels held on several campuses throughout the U.S.
Ms. Ku also noted that ASIL had expanded its Web and e-mail presence in 2000–use of http://www.asil.org/ rose 40%, noted authors produced 20 ASIL Insights, and the ASIL library staff responded to nearly 400 e-mail requests. Ms. Ku wishes to know what we like and need, and how ASIL can respond to our needs.
Jill Watson (Director of Library and Information Services, ASIL) stated
that ASIL had received $680,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to
design and launch the Electronic Information System for International Law.
ASIL’s 2000 Annual Report (contained in the March-April 2001 ASIL Newsletter)
discusses the framework, “best sites” segment, and prototype segment of
this site. We are eager to view the prototype! Ms. Watson requested that
if you have recently made decisions about thesauri and metadata standards
for a Web site, she would like to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marci Hoffman (International and Foreign Law Librarian, Williams Law Library, Georgetown University Law Center) informed attendees of two new ASIL Guides to Electronic Resources for International Law http://www.asil.org/resource/Home.htm: An Introduction to the ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law and Researching International Law on the Internet by Ms. Hoffman and Jill Watson; and International Commercial Arbitration by Charlotte Bynum (Reference Librarian, Cornell University Law Library). Wonderful work! FCIL Newsletter editor Anne Burnett also is developing an ASIL Guide on international organizations.
Following these presentations, the panelists continued their tradition of inviting information professionals to introduce themselves, to discuss their work, and to comment on ASIL’s products and services. All appreciated this opportunity!
M. Kathleen Price (Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law, New York University School of Law Library) described a partnership, the Information Transfer Network, to develop a global “law library without walls.” All present wished to accompany Jeanne Rehberg (Special Assistant to the Director and Reference Librarian for International and Foreign Law, NYUSLL) as she furthers this global law library mission by leading and attending cooperative training sessions at the University of Cape Town in May! Ms. Rehberg will delight us with highlights of her trip in the Fall 2001 FCIL Newsletter. Radu Popa (Associate Director for Research and Online Services, NYUSLL) has been concentrating on collection development. In future, he plans to create an annotated guide to international jurisprudence. Mirela Roznovschi (Reference Librarian for International and Foreign Law, NYUSLL) explained that she updates her highly useful Guide to Foreign and International Legal Databases http://www.law.nyu.edu/library/foreign_intl/index.html on a daily basis. We can now search this site with the Webinator Search Engine!
Paul Norman (Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London) won the award for “visitor who traveled the greatest distance to have lunch with us”! Mr. Norman was visiting NYUSLL as a representative of IALS, one of the Information Network Transfer partnership institutions. He described the Social Science Information Gateway project http://www.sosig.ac.uk, including the SOSIG Law Gateway. This Gateway provides guidance and access to global legal information resources on the Internet.
Marylin Raisch (International and Foreign Law Librarian, Bora Laskin
Law Library, University of Toronto) informed us that the Women’s Human
Rights Resources project http://www.law-lib.utoronto.ca/diana/ has received
a grant to transform HTML documents into a thoroughly indexed, full text
legal database of materials regarding women and international human rights
law. If you have produced materials on this topic, or wish to recommend
links to other sites on international women’s human rights law, please
Silke Sahl (International, Comparative and Foreign Law Librarian, Diamond Law Library, Columbia Law School) highlighted her institution’s Human & Constitutional Rights site http://www.hrcr.org/ and noted that she is developing a chart to compare constitutions. Author’s note: I frequently use Ms. Sahl’s Selective List of Guides to Foreign Legal Research http://library.law.columbia.edu/foreignguide.html.
The dynamic duo of Dan Wade (Foreign and International Law Librarian, Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School) and Tracy Thompson (International Law Librarian, GLLYLS) described recent additions to The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm. The Avalon Project continues to evolve under the able leadership of Bill Fray (Collection Services/Systems Librarian, GLLYLS). For example, new materials appear under link: Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Moreover, the Curiae Project (led by Stephanie Davidson, Reference Librarian, GLLYLS) is incorporating U.S. Supreme Court briefs–The Avalon Project site will link to these briefs.
Marie-Louise Bernal (Special Assistant to the Law Librarian, Law Library of Congress) described an exciting series of foreign law programs presented by Legal Specialists from the Law Library of Congress to the Law Librarians’ Society of Washington, DC. Stephen Clarke led “Fundamentals Of Foreign Legal Research: Canada” on March 7, 2001 and Peter Roudik conducted “Fundamentals Of Foreign Legal Research: Russia” on April 10, 2001. The May program will focus on Greece and the European Union.The speaker will be Senior Legal Specialist Theresa Papademetriou, who holds an LLB from the University of Athens, Greece and an LLM in international and comparative law from George Washington University Law Center, Washington, DC. Program announcements appear on LLSW’s Foreign and International Law Special Interest Section Web site http://www.llsdc.org/sis/forint/index.html. Author’s note: There are plans to make these presentations available on the Web, and I will track future developments.
FUTURE EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY: Those who attend the 2001 AALL Annual Meeting can learn about the German legal system from Law Library of Congress Legal Specialist Christa McClure at “The New Reality of a United Germany: German Legal Sources and Research Strategies” (B-4). This program will begin at 1:15 PM on Sunday, July 15, 2001.
Ms. Bernal also noted the recent addition of data on Nicaragua and Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Global Legal Information Network http://memory.loc.gov/law/GLINv1/.
Jeanette Yackle (Head of Reference for International, Foreign and Comparative
Law, International Legal Studies, Harvard Law School Library) highlighted
many recent updates to the International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Research Guides http://www.law.harvard.edu/library/research_guides/research_page.htm.
Author’s note: For those who wish to prepare for the “German Legal Sources” program, I recommend the highly useful Introduction to German Legal Research at this site!
Ann Sweeney (Librarian, Webmaster, and Information Officer, European Commission Delegation, Washington, DC) has created a time-saving Best European Union Law Websites page at http://www.eurunion.org/infores/BestLawSites.HTM. The Delegation’s comprehensive A-Z Index of European Union Websites http://www.eurunion.org/infores/euindex.htm is another excellent research starting point. In June 2001, Ms. Sweeney will speak at the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in San Antonio. She will discuss “Best EU Business Websites” on June 12 (9 AM), at the session: “One Dot Shopping: Best International Business Websites.” She has developed a Web page to accompany this presentation at http://www.eurunion.org/infores/BestBusSites.HTM. She also will speak on “Foreign Nationals” on June 13 (1 PM), at the session: “Secrets of the Reference Interview.” Author’s note: Also recently updated (April 2001)–the stellar guide, Accessing European Union Information http://www.eurunion.org/infores/resguide.htm.
Luz Sadak (Law Librarian, Law Library, Inter-American Development Bank) noted that there is a developing database on indigenous peoples available at http://www.usalatino.net/iadbtest/sds/ind/. This useful database includes citations to and excerpts of laws (arranged by country and by subject). The Indigenous Peoples and Community Development Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank is continuing to work on this site.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques (Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law, D’Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago Law School) is furthering her knowledge of international relations and soon will be developing an Anglo-American/ international law history portal. Author’s note: There is always new or updated material at Lyo’s Work-in-Progress http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/. Browse!
After reviewing Christian Wiktor’s Multilateral Treaty Calendar, 1648-1995 for the American Journal of International Law, John Gamble (Professor of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University) and nine political science students transformed data from this source into a statistical database of 6,000+ multilateral treaties spanning 1648-1995. Author’s note: I have e-mailed Professor Gamble to determine whether this database will become available to the public. I will provide further information in future.
The University of Georgia School of Law has received an uplink grant from USAID to provide training to Palestinian law faculty. Anne Burnett (Reference/Foreign and International Law Librarian, UGSLL) is exploring methods of offering the programs through Web casting.
Linda Thompson (Law Librarian, Law Library, Library Network of the World Bank Group) discussed the Global Banking Law Database http://188.8.131.52/ (29 participating jurisdictions and growing) and the developing Global Insolvency Law Database.
CONGRATULATIONS to Mabel Shaw, new mother of Will! This program offered a welcome opportunity to visit with Ms. Shaw, who is currently on maternity leave from her position as Assistant International and Foreign Law Librarian at the Williams Law Library of GULC.
Krista Lindhard and Tracy Bridgman (members of the International &
Law Department, WLLGULC) described the annotated guide: Researching International Economic Law on the Internet http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/intl/iiel/home.htm.Under each topic (example: Competition Law: Mergers), there are links to best sites, international instruments, government documents, and cases.
Romila Sudhir (Librarian, F. Clifton White Resource Center, International Foundation for Election Systems) explained that there are links to many jurisdictions’ election laws at the IFES site. See Links to Election Laws and Election Commissions on the Internet http://www.ifes.org/Electionlaws.htm. IFES participates in a joint project with Essex University to digitize election laws and results of elections in Eastern and Central Europe. We can access this segment of the site from http://www.ifes.org link: Europe & Newly Independent States. The F. Clifton White Resource Center at the IFES (1101 15th Street NW, 5th Floor, Washington, DC) is open to visitors (M-F, 9 AM-5:30 PM). The Resource Center’s specialized collection on elections has print copies of over 1330 election laws from 160+ countries. Prior to your first visit, please call Ms. Sudhir to schedule an appointment: (202) 872-4819.
FREE ELECTION LAW BOOK AVAILABLE FOR COST OF POSTAGE: If your institution would like a copy of Tome 1: L’Afrique Francophone. Série Internationale: Les Lois Electorales (published in 1998, 660 pp.), please contact Ms. Sudhir: email@example.com Law schools may request multiple copies. Ms. Sudhir would appreciate receiving the cost of postage if you request that she mail the book(s). (Remember: IFES is a private, nonprofit organization.)
Anita Green (Reference Specialist, U.S. Department of State) explained that her duties include answering reference questions from embassies throughout the world.
Insurance Law Librarian Yan Hong informed us about the excellent insurance law collection at the University of Connecticut School of Law Library. Her guide to this collection is available at http://www.law.uconn.edu/library/clipper/guides/insurance-law.pdf.
Jeanne Dixon (United Nations Information Centre, Washington, DC) provides
guidance in searching the United Nations Web site. Check out the UNICWASH
Home Page at http://www.unicwash.org/.
News of a friend abroad: our colleague Elisa Mason (firstname.lastname@example.org) is now Forced Migration Portal Information Officer at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford (http://www.qeh.ox.ac.uk/rsc). Additional information about the project is available at http://www.forcedmigration.org/portal/home/homepage.htm. Ms. Mason is also the author of Guide to International Refugee Law Resources on the Web at http://www.llrx.com/features/refugee.htm.
I exhorted new and old friends TO ADD THEIR NAMES to our Section’s List of Foreign and International Law Librarians Willing To Help Non-Specialists. To view the new document developed by Michael McCarthy (based on data previously compiled by Dan Wade), access: http://www.nyls.edu/library/FCIL.html.To send your entry to Mr. McCarthy: email@example.com. Remember: we all need to help each other!
My handout for It’s NOT Mission Impossible – Researching and Preparing a Persuasive Written and Oral Argument for International Law Moot Court Students is available at http://brkl.brooklaw.edu > Publications. Soon, Professor Diane Edelman’s handout also will appear at this site. Thank you Special Agents Burnett, Louis-Jacques, Rehberg, and Sahl for participating in this program! I was thrilled that so many colleagues attended my presentation. Also, I greatly appreciate the prizes for student Agents in Training provided by William S. Hein and Co. (Accidental Tourist on the New Frontier: An Introductory Guide to Global Legal Research), Lexis-Nexis (telephone credit cards and “Just Ask a Law Librarian” notepads), and Oceana Publications (Dictionary of International and Comparative Law). Following the formal program, I gave an improvisational 30-minute version for students from the Dominican Republic and the foreign jurisdictions of Louisiana and California who thought the session was scheduled to begin at 2 PM!
Final author’s note: To remain on schedule, many other colleagues who
attended this program limited their remarks to friendly introductions.
1. “ASIL” is the American Society of International Law.