Law Interest Group
As a tradition, every attendee took turns introducing him or herself and reported news about his or her library’s Asian law collection.
First, the participants discussed Japanese legal resources. So far there is no website that comprehensively covers Japanese statutes and cases. One of the most comprehensive Japanese law databases is Haney Taipei (Judicial Information System) in CD-Rom. This publication is very comprehensive including Japanese statutes and cases and very expensive ($12,000 to start with and $2,500 for annual updating). The CD-Rom is also difficult to use. Rob Britt pointed out an alternative to Haney Taipei. The alternative is called Legal Base in CD-Rom, which only costs $2,000 for the initial purchase and $1,000 for annual updating.
Second, the participants discussed Chinese legal resources. William McCloy said that his library bought a set of Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo fa dian = Code of the People's Republic of China in 130 volumes. This is the most comprehensive compilation of Chinese central and local laws and regulations in print format. The participants also discussed Chinese legal websites. Wei Luo talked about the new feature that Chinalawinfo.com developed. Under the new feature, a researcher can use hypertext to link relevant articles of Chinese laws and administrative regulations and cases together in its Chinese Law Database. For example, when you search Article 4 of the General Principle of Civil Law of the PRC, you will find there are 4 pieces of the Supreme People’s Judicial Interpretations and 12 cases talking about this article. (Please see: http://law.chinalawinfo.com/newlaw2002/SLC/SLC.asp?Db=chl&Gid=2780).
Wei Luo reported that William McCloy asked him to coordinate a program on Chinese legal research as a result of the strategic meeting of the FCIL SIS held in Seattle on July 12, 2003 and to invite the Asian Law Librarian Caucus to cosponsor this program. Wei Luo suggested the program to include Japanese and Korean legal research and seek someone from Harvard to talk about Asian law. The attendees spent most of the time to discuss the next year’s program. At the end, most of the attendees came to the consensus that the program should focus on Chinese, Japanese, and Korean legal research to fit the AALL next year’s theme of “Boston to Mumbai: The World of Legal Information.”