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FCIL Newsletter, October 1998
v. 13, no. 1

Asian Law Working Group Business Meeting
July 1998, Anaheim
Submitted by Wei Luo

Attendees: Bill McCloy, University of Washington Law Library; Maria Smolka-Day, University of Pennsylvania Law Library; Dan Wade, Yale University Law Library; Mirela Roznovschi, New York University Law Library; Faith Gan, Drew and Napier, Singapore; Rebecca Rungsang, Tilleke & Gibbins; Wei Luo, Washington University Law Library

The Asian Law Working Group business meeting was held at the Anaheim Hilton on July 15, 1998. Wei Luo, the chair of the group, convened the meeting. Because the meeting schedule was on Wednesday and started so early (7:30 am), only eight people attended the meeting this year. A significantly fewer number of librarians joined the meeting than did last year. The meeting started with librarians introducing the current status of Asian law collections from their institutions. A number of interesting topics and issues were raised and discussed during the meeting.

Faith Gan is the first law librarian from Singapore participating in the meeting. She offered her willingness to help us with Singapore law if we have reference questions. She can be reached via e-mail at faith.gan@drew-and-napier.com.sg.

Rebecca Rungsang mentioned that her firm in Thailand publishes and maintains a series of introductory articles to Thailand's laws on her firm's Web site at http://www.tginfo.com. These publications are very helpful for those who are not familiar with Thailand's laws.

Bill McCloy reported the University of Washington Law Library has finished its recon project of all CJK and the new bibliographical records should be downloaded into RLN soon. He is now undertaking a cooperative project to help New York University Law Library to catalog its CJK law collections on RLN. Bill also shared his discovery of the Japanese Supreme Court Web site at http://www.courts.go.jp/english/ehome.htm, which includes Japanese Supreme Court decisions published in Japanese.

Maria Smolka-Day reported that her library may begin collecting Chinese law books sometime in the future because her law school has hired a tenure-track professor who teaches Chinese law.

Dan Wade reported that his library may expand the Chinese law collection because one of the members of the law faculty was appointed by the White House to be an advisor to a program promoting the rule of law in China. Also, many of the law students at Yale are requesting the addition of Chinese law courses to the curriculum.

Mirela Roznovschi raised the issue that the general public cannot access the GLAN database. All the attendees agreed that they would like the FCIL of AALL to negotiate with the Library of Congress to seek the possibility of letting law librarians get access to the GLAN database.

Wei Luo reported that Washington University Law Library (in St. Louis) has been trying to build up its Chinese law collection since 1997. Recently, the law library acquired 400 volumes of Chinese law books published in China in recent years. Among these books, two case report publications are worthy of mention here. They are:

  • (1) Renmin fayuan anli xuan = Jen min fa yuan an li hsuaan (Selective Compilation of the People's Courts Cases), Pei-ching : Jen min fa yuan ch'u pan she, 1992- , 4 issues annually. This is an official compilation of cases published by the People's Court Press. The Supreme People's Court authorized the Chinese Practicing Law Institute (Zhongguo Yingyong Faxue Yanjiusuo) to select and compile this publication from the influential, important or controversial cases which were tried and decided by various level of courts. In 1997, four volumes of 1992-1996 Cumulative Compilation were published.
  • (2) Zhongguo shenpan anli yaolan = Chung-kuo shen p'an an li yao lan (Important Collections of Chinese judicated Cases), Pei-ching : Chung-kuo jen min kung an ta hsueh ch'u pan she, 1992-, annually. This publication is compiled and edited by the Training Center for Chinese Senior Judges and People's University School of Law and published by Chinese People's Public Security University.

The Washington University School of Law Library also subscribes to CEILaw: CEI Chinese Law and Regulation (http://www.ceilaw.com.cn/) on the Web. This Web site is hosted by the State Information Center, a Chinese central government agency. The contents are in Chinese but some laws and regulations have an English version as well. It includes two major databases: the National Laws and Regulations Data Bank which is a free and searchable database for Chinese laws and regulations covering from Oct. 1, 1949 to the end of 1996; and the New Laws and Regulations Online Searching which is free for searching although only subscribers can download the text of laws. The New Laws and Regulations database is updated daily and includes a list of laws published in the last 60 days. The databases include not only Chinese laws and regulations, but also cases and judicial interpretations. This Web site is probably the most reliable place to search and retrieve Chinese laws and regulations on the Internet. However, to download the files from the New Laws and Regulations Online Searching Database is quite complicated. Wei Luo wrote detailed instructions on how to set up the computer system to download the files. This instruction can be accessed at http://ls.wustl.edu/Infores/Library/Webscript/ceilaw.html.

Joan Liu, Serial Librarian from New York University School of Law Library, did not attend the meeting this year because she went to Beijing, China with her boss, Kathleen Price, the Director of NYU Law Library, during the AALL Annual Meeting. She reported they attended a workshop called CHINA CENTER FOR AMERICAN LAW STUDY (July 3-18, 1998) held by the PRC's State Education Commission and Ministry of Justice and the US Committee on Legal Educational Exchange with China. Kathleen Price co-directed the workshop. She and Joan Liu did a program to show how to do legal research via the Internet. Besides introducing the American/Chinese law databases and other resources on the web to the participants, they also emphasized research methodology and reviewed the most current development of legal information access in the world. They received very good feedback from the participants via e-mail after the workshop.

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