Legal Website of the Month Archive
The Cato journal is a public policy journal that is written and edited to be accessible to lay readers.
HAGUE JUSTICE JOURNAL
The Hague justice journal includes legal articles, commentaries, and overviews of court documents of several international courts.
The ELS bibliography is a database hosted by the UCLA School of Law that contains empirical legal research material published after July 2005. The database includes law reviews from top law schools in the country, major specialty journals, legal journals not published by law schools, and journals in other areas: economics, political science, sociology, anthropology and psychology. Entries include the following bibliographic data: author and affiliation, subject categories, and data in Blue Book format. The articles are searchable by author, title, subject and year.
LAWPROSE, INC. : INTERVIEWS OF UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JUSTICES
This site presents interviews conducted by Bryan Garner in 2006 and 2007 with 8 of the 9 U.S. Supreme Court Justices. In these interviews, the justices talk about issues such as writing legal briefs and appearing before the court.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW NET
Created as a client service tool in 1998 by environmental and energy lawyer David Blackmar, Environmental Law Net is a leading resource for environmental law research and news. This site is currently under reconstruction, but currently visitors may access information via the two main content divisions: legal information libraries and community resources. There are six legal information libraries which are broken into document libraries and task-specific libraries. The document libraries cover laws and regulations, court and agency decisions, and other agency documents. The task-specific libraries cover compliance, enforcement and litigation, and real estate and corporate transactions. The community resources area provides a daily newsfeed, reference tools, a moderated interview and seminar forum, editorial articles, and other useful features.
ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL OF THE STATES
Based in Washington, D.C., Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) is a nonprofit association of state and territorial environmental commissioners. The website highlights the work of ECOS, including the states involved, projects, research, and the policies of ECOS.
EU ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY HANDBOOK : A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF EU ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION : MAKING IT ACCESSIBLE TO ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND DECISION MAKERS
This 2005 book was edited by Stefan Scheuer. It describes the history and current status of EU environmental law, and also looks to the future by analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the actions taken so far.
THE JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY, SCIENCE & LAW
This journal is sponsored by the University of Miami’s Ethics Program and the Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Public Policy. According to the journal’s website, it “is an interdisciplinary forum dedicated to examining issues in the intersection of applied philosophy, science, and the law. The Journal seeks to stimulate research and publish articles in the following areas: Philosophical issues associated with science policy and the growth of technology; Philosophy, the legal system, and scientific evidence; The influence of legal and ethical guidelines on scientific research; and Educational issues relating to how legal and ethical guidelines are taught within scientific fields.
This journal comes from the Cato Institute. It provides analysis of regulatory and economic policies by the nation’s leading economists, policy analysts, and legal experts.
STANFORD AGORA: AN ONLINE JOURNAL OF LEGAL PERSPECTIVES
STANFORD JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES
The final 2 titles for March 2008 are the Stanford Agora: an Online Journal of Legal Perspectives and its predecessor, the Stanford journal of legal studies. According to the Agora’s website, it “is an exclusively online journal that seeks to enrich legal discourse by creating a forum for the discussion of vital legal issues by lawyers and non-lawyers alike. “Agora” is the ancient Greek word for “marketplace”. The Greek Agora served as a forum for philosophical discussion and debate. Today the desire for intense intellectual interaction has not waned, but the forum for discussion has moved: today’s agora is the Internet. Capitalizing on this revolutionary platform, Stanford Agora supplements traditional written content with multimedia texts and interactive elements.
THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY PROJECT
This site contains over 75,000 documents related to the study of the American Presidency, including public papers, annual messages to Congress on the state of the Union, inaugural addresses, radio addresses, acceptance speeches, presidential candidates debates, party platforms, elections data, and an audio/video archive.
THE PRESIDENTIAL TIMELINE OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
The Presidential Timeline is a gateway to the digitized collections of the twelve Presidential Libraries of the National Archives, from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton. It includes an interactive timeline, educational activities, and also documents, photographs, audio recordings, and video relating to the events of the presidents’ lives.
THE JAMES MADISON PAPERS
This site consists of approximately 12,000 items housed in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, captured in some 72,000 digital images, including correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous manuscripts. Highlights include a copy of Thomas Jefferson’s notes from the Continental Congress of 1776, including Jefferson’s copy of the Declaration of Independence as amended by Congress. Among Madison’s correspondents were Jefferson, Dolly Madison, James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and Noah Webster.
THE MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. PAPERS PROJECT AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY
This site was chosen as one of the “Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2000” by RUSA Quarterly. According to the website’s Overview, “[t]he King Papers Project is a major research effort to assemble and disseminate historical information concerning Martin Luther King, Jr. and the social movements in which he participated.” In addition to an extensive King Biography, Encyclopedia, and collection of Audio recordings, the website includes the most complete inventory available of King’s major sermons, speeches, public statements, published writings, manuscripts, and substantial notes and outlines. Each of the 1,750 catalog records in the inventory contains information that enables scholars to identify the documents and determine the archival location of the original.
THE CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION CLEARINGHOUSE
According to the website, “The Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse is a collection of documents and information about civil rights cases in selected case categories across the United States. Currently, the categories include: Child Welfare, Criminal Justice (Other), Disability Rights-Pub. Accom., Education, Election/Voting Rights, Equal Employment, Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance, Immigration, Jail Conditions, Juvenile Institution, Mental Health Facility, Mental Retardation Facility, Nursing Home Conditions, Policing, Prison Conditions, Public Benefits, Public Defenders, Public Housing, School Desegregation, Speech and Religious Freedom. The site is dedicated to injunctive rather than damages litigation — that is, to cases seeking policy or operational change, not cases seeking money.”
THE PEW FORUM ON RELIGION & PUBLIC LIFE
Launched in 2001, this site seeks to promote a deeper understanding of issues at the intersection of religion and public affairs. The Forum focuses on four key areas of research: Religion and Politics (where the focus is on the influence of religion and religious organizations on political behavior, including voting and campaigns); Religion and the Law (where the Forum analyzes church-state controversies such as Supreme Court battles over the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance and school vouchers); Religion and Domestic Policy (where the Forum examines a wide range of policy debates from abortion and gay marriage to stem cell research and faith-based initiatives); and Religion and World Affairs (where it explores the integral role religion plays in world affairs, with a particular focus on religions impact on U.S. foreign policy).
The homepage of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, this site provides general information about issues affecting consumers such as auto fraud, binding mandatory arbitration, credit reporting problems, debt collection abuse, identity theft, lemon law, military consumer rights, predatory lending practices, and student loans. The site also has an extensive collection of amicus briefs.
This site provides the first free, full-text searchable database of Supreme Court and Federal Appellate case reports. It is a resource for attorneys, legal scholars, and the general public. AltLaw is a joint project of Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology, and the Silicon Flatirons Program at the University of Colorado Law School, and is a work in progress.
RESEARCH-BASED WEB DESIGN & USABILITY GUIDELINES
These guidelines were originally designed to help National Cancer Institute staff improve the presentation of cancer-related information to cancer researchers and the public, though they are applicable to anyone who designs and manages information web sites.
NATIONAL INDIAN LAW LIBRARY (NILL)
According to NILL’s homepage, “…NILL is a public law library devoted to federal Indian and tribal law. Our mission is to develop and make accessible a unique and valuable collection of Indian law resources and other information relating to Native Americans. NILL places special emphasis on fulfilling the information needs of Indian law advocates and others working on behalf of Native Americans.” The library serves all members of the general public including individuals and organizations working on behalf of Native Americans. In addition to the library catalog and lists of resources by topic, the site features the Tribal Law Gateway which is a database for finding constitutions and codes of federally recognized tribes, and an online collection of digitized codes and constitutions. The site also provides a current awareness service called Indian Law Bulletins.
TOBACCO CONTROL ARCHIVES
The Tobacco Control Archives (TCA) is a print and digital collection of papers, documents, and electronic resources related to tobacco control issues maintained by Galen, the digital library of the University of California at San Francisco. The primary digital collection is the ?Legacy Tobacco Documents Library? which consists of over ?7 million documents concerning scientific research, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, and sales of cigarettes.? Also available through TCA are the complaints and other tobacco litigation documents filed by the Attorneys General of 44 states, government reports on tobacco industry, and some e-books. Finally, detailed finding aids for the paper collections are available online.
A project of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, this site collects legal research topics submitted by practitioners for law students to explore in faculty-supervised writing projects for academic credit.
BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
This is the official website of the Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States. The site presents detailed information about the Federal Reserve system, its board of governors, Federal Reserve banks, and monetary policy. The site also provides access to information on payment systems, economic research and data, consumer information, reporting forms, and online publications. This site was named one of the “Best Free Reference Web Sites 2004;” and received this review in the RUSA Quarterly: “Maintained by the governing body of the Federal Reserve, this site provides an excellent gateway for the Federal Reserve System as a whole. Both banking professionals and those with a general interest in the economy will find useful features on this site. A search engine, as well as topical links, lead the user to rich descriptive and full-text material that includes press releases, statistical data, speeches, publications, and consumer information. In addition to descriptions of the twelve Federal Reserve district banks, there is an electronic map which links to the district homepages, which provide valuable information about different regional economies. This site is an excellent starting point for anyone interested in banking at the federal level or the economy as a whole.”–Reviewed March 5, 2004 “Best Free Reference Web Sites 2004,” RUSA Quarterly, Fall 2004. Comp. by the MARS Best Free Websites Committee, RUSA, ALA.
FED IN PRINT : AN INDEX TO FEDERAL RESERVE ECONOMIC RESEARCH
This searchable catalog is hosted on the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco website, and also contains links to the Latest Working Papers and New Economic Articles.
CongressLink is produced by the Dirksen Congressional Center, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve public engagement in politics through better understanding of Congress. The website provides information about the U.S. Congress, how it works, its members and leaders, and the public policies it produces. One of its projects is the Civil Rights Documentation Project, which describes the legislative process involved in the struggle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The project web page provides a detailed, month by month timeline of that development, from January 1963 through the law?s enactment in August 1965. Icons indicate whether a timeline date focuses on the social context or legislative process, and names of key politicians and cites to specific bill numbers are included.
THE RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE HOME PAGE
The Rutherford Institute was founded in 1982 by attorney and author John W. Whitehead. As a “civil liberties organization that provides free legal services to people whose constitutional and human rights have been threatened or violated,” the Institute has a mission to both litigate in defense of religious and civil liberties and to educate the public about constitutional rights. The website provides extensive information about Rutherford and its issues of focus. These issues include free speech, religious freedom, church rights, parents rights, zero tolerance, search and seizure, death penalty, and sexual harassment.
UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES
The Forum acts as an advisory body to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and it is charged with providing “expert advice and recommendations” to the Council and to “raise awareness and promote the integration and coordination of activities relating to indigenous issues within the United Nations system.” The website provides a variety of information and materials on the Forum. The history and mandate of the Forum are described in detail. Details of the Forum’s members, secretariat, and monthly calendar are available. Of particular interest to researchers are the articles, speeches, and official documents made available. Speeches include statements and messages delivered by Forum officials. Various background documents and resolutions are included in the official documents section listed by symbol number. The Forum’s session documents are also available.
NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW
According to the website, “(t)he articles are scholarly pieces, written by students and legal professionals focusing on provocative current issues and trends in international and comparative law. The publication is intended to serve as a forum for analysis of international legal topics that is both useful and thought provoking.” .
CRIME & JUSTICE DATA ONLINE
This site presents statistics on crime and justice in the United States, including information about crime trends, homicide trends and characteristics, law enforcement management, and administrative statistics. Statistics for state and local agencies are available.
DIRECTORY OF OPEN ACCESS JOURNALS : DOAJ
The DOAJ lists free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals, and aims to cover all subjects and languages. As of today (8/1/07), there are 2,795 journals in the directory; 834 of the journals are searchable at article level; 141,333 articles are included; and 53 journals are listed under the Law subject heading. Of the law-related journals, most are either entirely in English or provide some English language articles.
OFFICIAL DOCUMENT SYSTEM OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations Official Documents System (ODS) is the electronic repository for official documents published by the United Nations. It comprises the full text of United Nations parliamentary documents (including resolutions and decisions) issued at United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations Office in Geneva since 1993 as well as at the United Nations Office in Vienna since 1997. The number of duty stations covered by the ODS is expanding as the regional commissions have started to load documents. In addition to parliamentary documentation, United Nations administrative issuances (ST/AI/-, ST/IC/- and ST/SGB/-), considered valid at time of input, are included in the database. UN Resolutions, which includes the official records version of resolutions of the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council and Trusteeship Council since 1946. Earlier UN documents (prior to 1993) are being added daily.
Includes links to documents of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government as well as regulatory and administrative decisions and miscellaneous federal government information.
GovSpot is a government information portal, simplifying the search for government websites, documents, facts and figures, news, public policy information and political organizations.
ACTUAL INNOCENCE AWARENESS DATABASE
“The Actual Innocence awareness database provides a listing of United States resources to those interested in the area of wrongful convictions. It encompasses the categories of popular media (such as newspaper articles and segments which aired on television news magazines), journal articles, books, reports, legislation and websites. The materials are classified into what are considered the primary causes of wrongful conviction: forensics/DNA; eyewitness identification; false confessions; jailhouse informants; police and/or prosecutorial misconduct; and ineffective representation. There is also a “general” category for those items which defy further categorization.”–Home page.
ISEA INTERNATIONAL ENERGY TREATIES
ISEA stands for International Sustainable Energy Assessment, which is a project of the Unversity of Colorado School of Law’s Energy and Environmental Security Initiative. This database contains in-force energy treaties from every country in the world. Subject areas include cooperation agreements, electricity infrastructure, energy markets, energy storage, fossil energy, nuclear energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and transportation.
RESEARCHING U.S. TREATIES AND AGREEMENTS
Researching U.S. treaties and agreements , a guide by Marci Hoffman available on the LLRX (Law Library Resource Xchange) website. Marci has created an extensive guide to researching multilaterial and bilateral agreements to which the United States is a signatory. Topics include: locating and updating treaties; indexes to treaty collections; treaty research online; status information; implementation and interpretation; drafting of treaties; and bilateral treaties outside of the U.S.
THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LAW CENTER
The Center is part of the University of Arkansas School of Law, and the site is a premier source for information and scholarly research on agricultural and food law. The site features “Reading Rooms” that provide in-depth coverage on specific agricultural and food subjects, which include topical background information, statutes, regulations, judicial and administrative decisions, Center publications, and online reference sources. The National AgLaw Reporter, a regularly updated electronic newsletter, provides current news, case summaries, regulatory changes, and administrative decisions. United States Farm Bills offers the full text of the nation’s farm bills from 1933 to the present, along with links to legislative history, analysis, and background resources. A quarterly-updated and searchable AgLaw Bibliography provides scholarly sources on 48 agricultural and food law topics.
FLAG, FARMERS’ LEGAL ACTION GROUP, INCORPORATED
FLAG is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services to family farmers and their rural communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land. FLAG focuses on areas such as factory farms, biotechnology, disaster assistance, and sustainable and organic agriculture. The FLAG main page provides news, press releases, Farm Service Agency (FSA) administrative notices, and related articles. Summaries of significant decisions in agricultural law court cases are published in the Farmers’ Legal Action Report. Visitors to FLAG’s page may read the Group’s comments to federal rules and highlights of the Federal Register. FLAG’s amicus briefs are also available on the site.
FOREIGN LAW TRANSLATIONS
Containing nearly 1,000 translated judicial decisions and statutes, this website is a resource for French, German, Italian, Austrian and Israeli legal materials in the fields of constitutional, administrative, contract and tort law.
LAW AND POLITICS BOOK REVIEW
The Law and Politics Book Review
is sponsored by the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Reviews are published frequently, and readers are notified by e-mail as new ones are available. The Section has a membership of almost 900 and presently sends the Review to over 1,300 readers in 39 countries. The electronic medium enables us to review almost every book about the legal process and politics, to do longer reviews than are usually published, and to make the reviews available within six months of our receipt of the book. The review presently remains available for an indefinite period on the
World Wide Web home page.
CENTER FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Center is a self-sustaining division of Freedom House, an American human rights group. Its objective is to defend against religious persecution of all groups throughout the world. The website contains current news, country profiles, newsletters, and other relevant information.
THE HISTORY OF THE SUPREME COURT
“…this very thorough website was created to complement a major television series on the history of the Supreme Court that will soon appear on PBS. Within each one of the site’s sections, users will find essays and teaching materials on gender equality, social rights, personal liberties, and equal access to schools. The site also includes a very nice interactive timeline of landmark cases handed down since 1792. Finally, the site also includes a searchable encyclopedia of terms and court cases of note.”
INDIAN TRUST, COBELL V. NORTON.
Provided by the Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund, Inc. The site details “a class-action lawsuit filed on June 10, 1996, in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. to force the federal government to account for billions of dollars belonging to approximately 500,000 American Indians and their heirs, and held in trust since the late 19th century.” A case overview provides basic background to the litigation, as well as a timeline detailing all major events in the litigation. Court documents, including plaintiff briefs, trial transcripts, court opinions, and letters are all available online in PDF. Media coverage, from the inception of the case to the present, is provided with full text newspaper articles, editorials, press releases, and interviews.
EARLY RECOGNIZED TREATIES WITH AMERICAN INDIAN NATIONS
Digitized collection of the nine remaining American Indian treaties created between the years 1722 and 1805, which are not included in Kappler’s Indian affairs: laws and treaties. The collection includes the seven early treaties between a number of American Indian nations and the British, and of two treaties with the United States that were never published in the Statutes at large.
U.S. SUPREME COURT DATABASES
This data collection encompasses all aspects of United States Supreme Court decision-making from the 1946 term to the most recent term. Datasets are also available by various terms, and by individual justices for certain terms.
THE U.S. COURTS OF APPEALS DATABASE
“The Appeals Court Database Project was designed to create an extensive dataset to facilitate the empirical analysis of the votes of judges and the decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeals…the database was designed to code a random sample of cases since 1925.”–Home page
Provides links to both general and special audience newspapers available online, as well as to other news sources such as magazines and radio and television stations. Coverage is worldwide.
According to the JURIST website, it “…is a Web-based legal news and real-time legal research service powered by a mostly-volunteer team of over 30 part-time law student reporters, editors, and Web developers led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. JURIST is produced as a public service for the continuing legal education of its readers and law student staffers, and uses the latest Internet technology to track important legal news stories and materials and present them rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.”
“D-Lib Magazine is a solely electronic publication with a primary focus on digital library research and development, including but not limited to new technologies, applications, and contextual social and economic issues.”–About D-Lib Magazine
E : ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE
Web site of the Environmental Defense, a not-for-profit environmental advocacy organization. Offers campaigns and action items for activists, resources for journalists and researchers, and programs which bring together experts in science, law and economics to tackle complex environmental issues
EARTHTRENDS : THE ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION PORTAL
An environmental information portal for researching global topics, such as water resources, climate and atmosphere, population and health, energy resources, and agriculture and food. Allows users to gather information from the searchable database, display data tables, view country profiles, or select maps with global, regional, and country-level environmental information
FIELD : FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND DEVELOPMENT
Founded in 1989 by a small group of international lawyers, the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development is an organization which offers its advice and assistance to governments, inter-governmental entities and non-governmental organizations world-wide. The website provides papers and publications, including Explanatory Guides, International Environmental Law Papers, EU Environmental Law Papers, and other relevant materials. The site also provides overviews of its current and past projects dealing with issues such as biodiversity, marine resources, climate change, and strengthening capacity
REPRESENTING CHILDREN WORLDWIDE
Representing Children Worldwide is a research project which compiles information and resources on how children’s voices are heard in child protective proceedings around the country and around the world in the year 2005. The website provides a summary of the practices of the 194 signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child (UNCRC) with respect to this question, as well as background information on the jurisdiction’s child protective practices and web resources and contact information for further research in this field
INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION
The website provides information about the work and history of the Commission. In the “Researching the work of the Commission” section, the following materials are included: a research guide, topics, texts and instruments, documentation, publications and a search page. The publications area also includes the full text of the Commission’s yearbooks
MUNICIPAL CODE CORPORATION
The Municipal Code Corporation site contains local government codes of ordinances from around United States, as well as links to related organizations.
MUNICIPAL CODES WEB LIBRARY.
The Municipal codes web library provides links to municipal and county codes from various states published through LexisNexis Municipal Codes Publishing and Ordlink Services.
GLOBAL LEGAL INFORMATION NETWORK
GLIN is a database of laws, regulations, and other complementary legal sources. The documents included in the database are contributed by the governments of the member nations from the original official texts which are deposited, by agreement of the members, in a server at the Library of Congress, sponsored by the Law Library of Congress. The basic elements of this database are: (1) full texts of the documents in the official language of the country of origin; (2) summaries or abstracts in English; and (3) an English thesaurus. GLIN data fields in the database include country/entity, GLIN thesaurus, title, date of issuance, date of publication, instrument class, instrument number, language, and others. The summaries or abstracts are linked electronically to the corresponding full texts. Access to the contents of the database is at two levels: guests have access to the summaries and citations to laws; members and associate members can access the full content of the database upon issuance of passwords. Inquiries about GLIN can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY : SUPREME COURT NOMINATION HEARINGS
This site contains PDF files of all Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on *successful* Supreme Court nominations from the Rehnquist-Powell hearings in 1971 to the Roberts hearings in 2005. The older prints have been both scanned and OCR’ed, so they are searchable, as well as amenable to copy and paste functions. Specifically, the transcripts include the hearings on the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court nominations of William H. Rehnquist, Lewis F. Powell, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, David H. Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer; Hearing on the Nomination of Justice William H. Rehnquist to be Chief Justice of the United States; Hearing on the Nomination of John G. Roberts, Jr. to be Chief Justice of the United States. Presumably, the Alito hearing will be added when the Committee print is published.
ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE
The “Alliance for justice” works to promote a fair and independent judiciary and strengthen public interest advocacy. Its website contains extensive information about its political activities and membership functions. In addition, the “Research and Publications” section provides the full text of reports (in PDF) on judicial nominations and select bills and legislation, and other publications aimed at non-profit and foundation organizers.