by Janice Selberg
Wayne State University Law Library
I've found it more and more difficult to choose just a few deserving questions, answers and issues for this column. In this issue in particular, there were many items I was hard pressed to delete. For all of you who find INT-LAW an indispensable tool, keep sending those messages!
Casey Palowitch, IANWeb, 1 March 1995: The International Affairs Network presents the IANWeb, a comprehensive hypertext guide to the worldwide network accessible resources available to scholars in the study of International Affairs. The IANWeb provides scholars, students and professionals in International Affairs with "one-stop" access to all resources, contacts, and other information relevant to International Affairs and available on the Internet. The IANWeb is part of the Virtual Library project and is itself linked with many other WWW-based information resources worldwide . . .
. . . The International Affairs Network Web (http://www.pitt.edu/~ian) is a hypertext resource in support of the mission of the International Affairs Network (IAN), a project designed to enhance the institutional capacity of schools of International Affairs in East and Central Europe and the Newly Independent States. It is a collaborative venture involving the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and its International Management Development Institute (IMDI), the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA), and selected institutions in the region. In addition to Research Resource guides, the IANWeb is also the home of information about the project and partner schools, and project-specific pages on the activities of the International Affairs Network.
These hypertext documents can be viewed using WWW browsing software such as the free Mosaic package for Macintosh, XWindows, and MSWindows, available from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, or other browsers such as OmniWeb for NeXTSTEP, and the character-mode browser Lynx.
The International Affairs Network is funded by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts.
For further information, contact (in USA): Wolfgang Schloer (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Casey Palowitch (email@example.com).
International Affairs Network
IMDI/GSPIA, 3J22 Forbes Quad
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA
Elliott Chabot, U.S. House of Representatives, 2 March 1995: Copies of the constitutions of several nations, as well as the constitutions of several of the states of the United States, are available on the Internet at http://www.pls.com:8001
Wiltrud Harms, University of California Boalt Hall, 22 March 1995: The following is for those who do not have access to LEXIS and who are novices in multilateral treaty research (and who want alternatives to treaty searching on the Internet):
I find the annual index (always contained in the November issue of the paper version) of the ILM very easy to use. It only takes a minute to be directed to the ILM issue that contains the wanted treaty text (if it was reprinted). If I know the date when an "important" multilateral (sometimes even bilateral) treaty was adopted, then I can assume that the ILM will have the text reprinted usually 2-6 months later. If I have no idea at all in which decade the treaty was adopted, then I usually consult the key word indexes of Multilateral Treaties: Index and Current Status, or the UN's Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary General, or the table of contents (Part 2) of the U.S. Department of State's Treaties in Force. These lead me to treaty entries which supply the needed date (and a source for the text which helps if the ILM did not reprint the treaty after all).
Fay Henexson, California Department of Justice, 22 March 1995: Maybe someone out there can help verify that the following treaty is still in force and has not been amended.
I have checked my Jan. 1, 1994, edition of Treaties in Force. The attorney has a copy and just wants to make sure that no recent changes have been made. It is a treaty with Mexico: Treaty on the execution of penal sentences; signed 11/25/76; entered into force 11/30/77.
I already tried Lexis and the treaty database has a big hole from the mid-1960s to the 80s, so that was no help.
William Walker, Vanderbilt University, 23 March 1995: Probably the easiest and most accurate way to verify that the treaty is still in force and unmodified since the last issue of Treaties in Force is to call the Treaty Office at the State Department, 202-647-2044.
Caren Doyle, Baker & McKenzie (San Francisco), 15 May 1995: I need to find the full text of the 1985 U.S.-Israeli Free Trade Agreement, including annexes and implementing legislation. Most of the treaty appears in ILM but not the full text. I've requested a copy from the Treaty Office, but I may go gray(er) waiting for the document.
Esther Snyder, Bar Ilan University (Israel), 16 May 1995: You might be able to find the agreement on the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs gopher: israel-info.gov.il. If not, it is in the Israel Treaty Series Kitvei amana; but it's probably faster to find in U.S. materials.
Randall J. Snyder, Department of State: The Office of Treaty Affairs in the Office of the Legal Adviser here at the Department of State publishes the TIAS prints (along with UST and Treaties in Force). They may be contacted at 202-647-2044 and will provide copies. More recent agreements may also be found on Lexis and Westlaw, and it is always worth checking International Legal Materials, the American Society of International Law publication.
The Office of Treaty Affairs is currently working on an electronic BBS, which would contain new agreements and treaty status information. Details to be provided when they are available. Also, I am available to help as well.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques, University of Chicago, 13 May 1995: As you know, I've been maintaining the INT-LAW FAQ (answers to frequently-asked-questions about the INTLAW list). The most recent version is 15K (about 5-6 pages long) and is dated 22 April 1995. This version answers general questions about INT-LAW including how to unsubscribe and how to subscribe. It is available via the World Wide Web at the following URL: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/intlawfaq.html
You can get at it if you have a Web browser such as Lynx, Netscape, Mosaic, or Cello. You can also get at it if you have telnet capability (as you can with all resources that have a URL gopher://, telnet://, ftp://, http://, mailto://, news://). To do so, go to a site that enables public access to its Lynx Web browser such as Cornell, Chicago-Kent, or Indiana law schools:
telnet www.law.cornell.edu, login: www
telnet www.law.indiana.edu, login: www
telnet www.kentlaw.edu, login: www
Once at these sites, you can go to any other Internet address that you have the URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for, by entering g (for "Go to"). This will open a command line that will prompt you to enter the URL you want to go to. In this case, enter: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/~llou/intlawfaq.html. And you'll be right at the INT-LAW FAQ!
P.S. I can also e-mail a copy of the INT-LAW FAQ to any interested person. Plus, I hope to HTML-ize the FAQ, so that it'll have hypertext links, and it would be possible to jump to the sections you're interested in and email or save to a file just that section.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques, University of Chicago, 13 May 1995: I'm forwarding this post with permission to INT-LAW . . .
You will need to access via a guest account, using the account name guest and the password guest. So if you web over to http://lawhk.hku.hk, you'll get a message saying access without authorization denied, but it will retry, and say "Enter username for Law-On-Project at lawhk.hku.hk:". Enter guest. Then it'll ask for your password. Enter guest. And you're there!
Chan Chi Ming, University of Hong Kong, 12 May 1995: I am happy to inform you that the Law-On-Line Project of the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong has already set up a database of Chinese laws and regulations. This database contains the full text of Chinese laws and administrative regulations since 1949 and it is updated every month. It contains the full text of each document. However, only the Chinese version (in B5) code is currently available. The English version will be opened in July. All data is provided by the Legislative Affairs Bureau of the State Council of the PRC. Subscription will be required for using this database.
Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.
Sally Kelley, University of Arkansas, 13 May 1995: A few weeks ago there were postings about a new database of Mexican environmental law on Lexis which was not available to educational subscribers. I noticed this morning that this database and others from the ERM Computer Services are now on the Lexis educational subscription menu in the ENVIRN library!
These databases include environmental, health, and safety laws and regulations for eight countries (Brazil, France, European Union, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom) and regulations for all fifty states!
According to the guides, these databases contain "full-text translations of pertinent law and regulation governing environmental, occupational health and safety (EHS), and hazardous materials transportation activities for numerous international jurisdictions. Researched by regional EHS regulatory experts and translated by highly skilled technical translators, this data is a key tool for any industry doing business in another country." These files are supposed to be updated monthly.
Shotaro Hamamoto, Kyoto University (Japan), 16 May 1995: I heard that The Classics of International Law, originally published by the Carnegie Institution in 1911, had just been reprinted (in 1995). Would you tell me which publisher reprinted The Classics? The celebrated series of classical works include: Grotius, Vattel, Pufendorf, Belli, Ayala, etc.
Tooru Umeda, Reitaku University (Japan), 17 May 1995: The reprint of The Classics was published by Slatkine Reprints- Henry Duant Institute, Geneva in 1986. It includes the whole works you mentioned. The original was published in 1916, wasn't it? Hoping to be of help.
Sara Carter, University of Kent (UK), 16 May 1995: In this Library we currently have a subscription to UN Mimeographed Documents class I-IV, which cover General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, Security Council and Disarmament Commission, and Trusteeship Council.
These are a nightmare to maintain, as well as to search. I am considering recommending that we discontinue our subscription in favour of using online access via the UN server.
I have found it difficult navigating my way through the UN documents on the Internet, and wonder whether the UNBIS CD-ROM would help me.
Does anyone have any advice or comments?
J.P. Grant, University of Glasgow (UK), 17 May 1995: I received a trial version of UNBIS CD-ROM last month. I and a group of senior International Law students conducted an evaluation and concluded that the information available was all available elsewhere, that the system was not user-friendly (being DOS based) and that it was too expensive for what it is. We have decided not to take it.
Wiltrud Harms, University of California Boalt Hall, 23 May 1995: Several days ago, Sarah Carter mentioned the nightmare to maintain UN mimeographed documents and asked whether one could use UN documents made available on the UNDP gopher server as an alternative--and whether the new UNBIS Plus CD-ROM could serve as a navigating tool.
Much could be said about the difficulties of maintaining UN working documents but I only have the time to make the following comment in this regard: if a library is subscribing to UN mimeos, then it also must be prepared to allocate considerable time to library assistants and reference staff to maintain these thousands of documents received annually - and to familiarize themselves with the UN organization and its documents system.
Both are interesting but very complex and, I think, even the smartest person needs quite some time to gain a thorough understanding of both. The few UN bibliographic and reference tools, especially the UN Yearbook and UNDOC: Current Index are great tools but, again, it takes time to learn to really utilize all their special features and those of the other tools such as Index to Proceedings of the General Assembly/ Security Council, etc. . . . If there is not enough manpower available, then libraries will probably have no other alternative than subscribing to UN documents on fiche (although I personally hate to do research with fiche) and also acquire indexes on CD-ROMs that provide access to the fiche.
I am afraid that the UNDP gopher server is in no way an alternative at the present time for a UN documents collection in paper or on fiche. The UNDP gopher provides great current information through all its press releases but its selection of documents is extremely limited (with the exception of conference documents and resolution texts of the main organs). Also, the documents are often very difficult to locate and the arrangement and organization leaves much to be desired. The gopher server is not at all intended to replace documents collections but it is a unique source for current information on UN activities and in general an extra tool to find a few selected "hot" documents earlier than the paper copy would appear.
In regards to UNBIS Plus, the new UN CD-ROM which offers all of its bibliographic tools online: I experimented with it last Friday for an hour at another library and liked it very much. I am used to searching for UN documents in UNDOC: Current Index and in the RLIN database and found the UNBIS Plus comparatively easy to use. It will not enable you to find UN documents posted on the UN gopher but it should greatly facilitate access to UN documents collections. I am sure that sometime soon more list members (myself included) will comment in detail on UNBIS Plus.
Laura Kinkle, Dewey Ballantine (Washington, DC), 16 May 1995: In December 1991, the Act of Barahona was signed by the presidents of the Andean Pact nations. This act provided for the establishment of a free trade area between Venezuela, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. I need to find a copy of this act.
Marylin Raisch, Columbia University, 16 May 1995: The Acta de Barahona can be found in a journal we have here at Columbia called Integración Latinoamericana in vol. 17 at p. 62, the issue for January/February 1992, Spanish only.
Lyonette Louis-Jacques, University of Chicago, 17 May 1995: A short note that beginning with January 1995, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has merged its two monthly reviews, Copyright and Industrial Property, into one journal: Industrial Property and Copyright. I've used the two journals in the past to get really current texts (they're monthly) in English or English translation of foreign statutes and international agreements related to patents, trademarks, copyrights (including the protection of computer software/programs), trade secrets, etc.
May 17, 1995: I'm posting this for a colleague not on this list. He's looking for a site on the net where intellectual property laws from outside the U.S. are available in English. It would be great to find a site that has many (or several), but if there are sites with individual countries' laws, he'll be delighted to know about them as well.
Elliot Chabot, U.S. House of Representatives, 18 May 1995: I would start with material at: http://www.pls.com:8001-/his/105.htm, which includes material on the laws of Canada and several other countries.
Information on the copyright law of Norway can be found at: http://www.oslonett.no/home/kopinor/KOPINOR.html
Material on Russia's copyright law can be found at: http://www.spb.su/rulesreg/3-/ind_intl.html
The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency can be reached at: http://cancopy.com
David Selden, Orr & Reno (Concord, NH), 24 May 1995: I am trying to locate information about versions of European law that require one litigant to lose some portion of its fee award if its damages turn out to be less than its demand. I have seen mention of Swiss Law or rule that has this effect. Could you tell me where I can find such information?
Margaret Aycock, University of Houston, 24 May 1995: For a general discussion you could consult the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Vol. XI Torts, "The Apportionment of Damages" at pages 121-126. For a discussion of Swiss law where damages may be reduced because facts for which the party is responsible have contributed to create or increase the damage or to aggravate the position of the debtor, read page 134. Perhaps you might find some law review articles concerning the award of damages in the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.
Alan Edwards, University of Otago (New Zealand), 25 May 1995: I wish to identify cases on Article 14(3)(b) of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (or the equivalent Article 6(3)(b) of the European Convention on Human Rights or equivalents in national legislation) in which the point at issue was NOT access to counsel or adequate time to prepare a defence, but any other aspects of having access to facilities for preparing a defence.
Andrew Byrnes, University of Hong Kong, 25 May 1995: There have been a number of cases on art 11(2)(b) of Hong Kong's Bill of Rights, which is in identical terms to art 14(3)(b) of the ICCPR (and is expressly intended to enact that provision). They touch on matters such as disclosure of unused material, access to a computer to analyse records and other matters.
They are all noted in our Bill of Rights Bulletin and reported in the Hong Kong Public Law Reports (HKU Press). I am happy to send you further details if this would help.
Elisa Mason, UNCHR, 30 May 1995: Recently, there have been a number of requests posted for electronic copies of various multitreaties and/or UN declarations. While a number of people have already responded to these requests, and have in fact already pointed researchers to REFWORLD (http://www.unicc.org/unhcrcdr for Web browsers or go to gopher.unicc.org and selectRefWorld from the menu), I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to let you know what conventions you can expect to find once in the UNHCR/CDR gopher.
From the main menu of the gopher, select "Legal Information." Then select REFINT (international instruments). You'll be presented with a list of titles that are available. REFINT includes the full-text of conventions and treaties that relate to refugee and human rights issues. Reservations and lists of states parties are also included where relevant. Moreover, the texts are available in both French and English . . .
One thing to keep in mind is that REFINT tends to include conventions, or multilateral treaties that enter into force upon receipt of the requisite number of signatures. Some exceptions are made with the inclusion of "non-binding" declarations (e.g., the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) . . .
We have been experiencing technical difficulties uploading files to the gopher. We are painfully aware of the lack of currency in REFWORLD, but as soon as these problems are ironed out, we hope to maintain a regular update schedule. Please bear with us!
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