IALL 2018 Recap: Privacy in European Cross-Border Settings

By Meredith Capps

In Privacy in European Cross-Border Settings, Dr. Christina Mariottini spoke of a new understanding of privacy, distinguishing between the traditional notions of privacy, which were territorial and time-limited, versus privacy in an automated and computerized setting, where violations are potentially permanent in nature and information is ubiquitous.  Whereas in the year 2000, 738 million people used the Internet, now 4.2 billion do, creating a complex and layered legal privacy landscape.

Historically, continental Europe, the US, and the UK have embraced different rationales for a right to privacy.  In continental Europe, privacy is considered an expression of dignity and self-determination.  In the US, privacy is considered an expression of liberty and protection from government intrusion (ex. unreasonable searches and searches), and commodified in certain instances (ex. a right to publicity).  Conversely, in the UK there was until recently no general tort for violation of privacy.  Privacy is generally defined in accordance with the notion of an individual’s space, whereas data protection refers to the specific area of the law that regulates the “processing of data associated with an identifiable individual.”  Defamation and the right to reputation are defined as allegations or imputations, characterized by a certain degree of falsehood, of a fact made public that disparages the reputation.  The right to freedom of expression must be balanced against the right of privacy in these conceptions.

Dr. Mariottini went on to describe a number of sources of regulation of privacy in the EU:

  • Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states: “everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) construes article to include data protection.
  • The Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (Convention 108) of 1981 (modernized in 2018), the first binding legal instrument adopted in the EU in the field of data protection.
  • The Charter on Fundamental Rights of the EU, Articles 7 and 8, recognizing respect for private life and protection of personal data as closely related, but separate fundamental rights. (In addition, Article 53 clarifies that these provisions set a minimum standard.)
  • And, most recently, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the aim of which is to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in today’s data-driven world.

GDPRIn the GDPR, “personal data” is “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’)…in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.”  “Processing” refers to “any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means…”

The GDPR includes several notable provisions.  Whereas prior privacy regulations were ambiguous with respect to territorial scope, Article 3 expands territorial scope to include personal data processed outside the EU.  Data subjects can easily withdraw consent to use of their data, and data controllers must notify data subjects of breach within 72 hours of knowledge of that breach.  Data subjects also retain a right to access their personal data and a right to have their data erased and no longer disseminated—the “right to be forgotten.” The law enforcement directive provides rules governing use of personal data by law enforcement authorities

Dr. Mariottini concluded by discussing the outlook on the current proposals for new legislation.  E-evidence regulations governing access to and preservation of electronic data held by companies is one area of concern, and Mariottini discussed debates regarding the CLOUD Act in the US, and improving existing mutual legal assistance agreement.  In response to questions from the group, Mariottini noted that despite criticism, the GDPR is serving as a model, with Brazil about to adopt similar legislation, and even China considering the issue.  She noted that though social media platforms such as Facebook were quick to draft policies purporting to align with GDPR, most of these policies do not, in fact, comply with EU law.

Law Librarians Convene in Luxembourg: IALL Plus One

By Julienne E. Grant


View of the Old City

I began writing this during a long layover at Heathrow after having spent a week in Luxembourg. There, I had attended the 2018 IALL Annual Course (Sept. 30–Oct. 3) and piggybacked on to a one-day program at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) (Oct. 4), “Challenges Facing Modern Law Libraries.”  In all honesty, I was just happy to be out of the United States during a week of polarizing events at the national and local levels.  I also enjoyed the (mostly) lovely weather in Luxembourg where it was still warm enough to sit outside at cafés and already cold enough to note the subtle scent of roasting chestnuts.


The IALL Course itself was outstanding.  Focusing on the theme of “Law in Luxembourg—Where Local Tradition Meets European and International Innovation,” the various speakers collectively offered a fascinating glimpse of the multiple layers of Luxembourgish law, as well as selected aspects of EU and international law. Ranging from a local practitioner to scholars from the Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law, the speakers were engaging and progressive. (I will defer to other colleagues to report on the individual sessions, as I don’t want to steal their thunder.)  The IALL conference also included visits to Luxembourg’s National Library and the CJEU. At the end of the CJEU tour, we had a rare opportunity to meet with the UK’s Advocate General at the Court of Justice, Eleanor Sharpston. I was curious how Brexit might affect her position, although I decided it would be impertinent to ask.  Instead, I found an article about this very question;  according to it, the answer is still unclear (like everything else related to Brexit).

Interpreters Booths in Chamber.jpg

Booth for Interpreters in the Chamber at the CJEU.

Serendipitously, I was able to attend a one-day program at the CJEU that followed IALL.  Justice Koen Lenaerts, who was just re-elected President of the CJEU on October 9, opened the conference; he was followed by an all-star cast of speakers, including the Law Librarian of Congress, Jane Sánchez (via video). The speakers primarily addressed the challenges facing modern law libraries: for example, the increasing globalization of legal practice; the proliferating diversity of source formats; the skyrocketing costs of legal materials; and the increasing prominence of other disciplines in legal practice and research.  The conference itself was bilingual (French/English), and two teams of three interpreters each provided simultaneous translations (French to English, and vice versa).  The interpreters sat in soundproof booths along the periphery of the venue where audience members sat. Each of us had personal headphones and channel selectors, with the target languages assigned different frequencies.


During my week-long sojourn in Luxembourg, I also had a chance to learn about this small, but charming country.  Here are a few surprising things I discovered during my stay:

Many thanks to IALL’s Local Planning Committee and the CJEU for organizing two terrific events for law librarians.  Although Luxembourg is indeed small, with a population of only about 600,000, these conferences showcased it, both as an important player in the EU context and a unique jurisdiction in its own right.

Teaching FCIL Research Series: An Interview With Myself

By John Scherrer

Author’s note: The format of this post was inspired by Saul Bellow’s “An Interview with Myself.”  Or Henry Hart’s The Power of Congress to Limit the Jurisdiction of Federal Courts: An Exercise in Dialectic.  Or the author is just too plain lazy to pen prose.  You decide.

Q: Let’s start: you’re an FCIL librarian?

A: Not at all—I just dabble.  For one, our school doesn’t offer an FCIL course.  My reference office neighbor says I know how to find old, weird English things, so she’s dubbed me the unofficial FCIL dude.  In that role, I’ve done a few one-off presentations.
sherlockQ: What was your last gig?

A: Comparative Criminal Law.  The instructor is a serious Sherlockian, as in being an authority on Doyle.  His class reads Holmes stories and they analyze how the stories’ crimes would be treated by U.K. and U.S law in Victorian and modern times.
Q: So how did you prepare for the class?

A: Watching lots of Benedict Cumberbatch.  That’s my jam, as the kids say.
Q: No Tony Stark?

A: He’s Derek Lutz and also that obnoxious dude in Weird Science.  Not Sherlock.
Q: You’re totally betraying your age.

A: Don’t my students know this.
Q: And after a copious amount of PBS Masterpiece…

A: Chapter 22 in Fundamentals of Legal Research is excellent—that gives a great overview of UK resources.  I also looked at the Foreign Law Guide and GlobaLex.  And Alison Shea submitted a UK lesson to the AALL-FCIL syllabi bank.  By the way, I’ll be embarrassed if I missed any other UK centric materials on the FCIL-SIS site.
Q: What about pedagogy?

A: My previous presentations on foreign law resources have seemed like mere smorgasbord offerings to the students.  In, say, Comparative Constitutional Law, the students’ paper topics were all over the place, so there was a lot of ground to cover.  It wasn’t a very interactive class.  So I thought this was a great opportunity to use Nearpod and insert multiple choice quiz questions throughout the PowerPoint.
Q: How did that go?

A: Still a work in progress.  But I was thrilled that no student chose Lloyd Dobler’s Commentaries on the Laws of England as the answer to the last question.
Q: Huh?

A: OK, I grow old, I grow old, I shall wear my trousers rolled.  Or should my peeps refer to an ill-fitting cardigan?  I will say, though, that when I suggested Flavor Flav as a mnemonic device to remember Wayne LaFave of Search and Seizure fame, just about everyone got it.  Everything old is new again.
Q: So what was the biggest challenge for this class?  Besides your propensity for self-indulgence…

A: Our library doesn’t have a particularly strong UK collection.  If the students wanted, say, The Digest or a current edition of Halsbury’s, they would have to take the Metro to Georgetown.  But for the historic UK material, I actually love that a student couldn’t rely upon a Westlaw keyword search and instead should start by looking at the index in the first edition of Halsbury’s.
Q: And you didn’t have to worry about translations.

A: Indeed.  Thankfully no student has come to me with a Law French document.  The closest thing I’ve come to a translation is telling students how to read the regnal years.  That was mostly solved with a handout.
Q: You also met for required individual research consultations shortly after the class?

A: Right.  One takeaway from those meetings was that despite adding a “major key alert” to the secondary sources slide (and a shout out to DJ Nick Harrell for the major key alert idea), I needed to emphasize secondary sources more in class.  Simply too many students were starting with Google.  After the meetings, I sent follow-up emails to the students that included links to Halsbury’s and Russell on Crime.  In retrospect, I should have given the students a tour of HathiTrust during my initial presentation and pointed out the finding aids available for Halsbury’s and Russell.  After all, the Halsbury’s index is itself two volumes and around 2000 pages.  It’s intuitive for me to start there, but not for them.
Q: Backing up a second, is Google really all that bad?

A: Well, no.  Using Google I found that the Wikipedia entry for Statutes at Large includes a very useful index for Pickering’s Statutes with hyperlinks.  But I don’t want the students to start and end their research with Google.  The ones who do might suffer the fate of Sisyphus?  Almost make it to the top of the hill but don’t quite summit.  Then starting anew, they try a fresh keyword search and yet still never reach the top.
Q: Last question: any advice to librarians tackling UK law?

A: Don’t assume the students will be able to find a case even when they know the citation—especially with the old stuff.  Thank goodness for the Cardiff Index to Legal Abbreviations!

IALL 2018 Preconference Workshop on Library Innovation & Robot Usage

By Mike McArthur

TORY and Presenters

TORY, Ms. Juja Chakarova, and Dr. Johannes Travert at the IALL Preconference Workshop on Library Innovation & Robot Usage.

The 2018 IALL Annual Course kicked-off its pre-conference workshop at the Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law (MPI) in Luxembourg on Sept. 30th. The presenters included Ms. Juja Chakarova, the Head of the Library at MPI, robot designer Dr. Johannes Trabert of MetraLabs GmbH, and TORY, the inventory control robot previously used at the MPI library.

To frame the presentation, Ms. Chakarova began by explaining that the discussion would be limited to innovations that were relevant to libraries, specifically those dealing with text, letters, and languages while largely excluding those related to media, art, and other fields. She then continued by describing some of the tools that have impacted libraries throughout Europe, from the development of the typewriter in the late 1800s, to the 1960s and the introduction of automation provided by the PDP-11 line of “mini-computers.” Pointing to the Apollo 11 experiments, she contrasted the capacities of computing at the time where NASA computers ran at 40 kHz and utilized 64 kB of memory. A typical laptop today is hundreds of times more powerful, running at 2.6 Ghz and using multiple GB of memory. It isn’t a stretch to say that the entire computing power of the Apollo mission is eclipsed by a simple Google search.

After some more descriptions of technological advancement related to Moore’s Law and the disruptive influence brought by “increasingly capable machines” in Richard Susskind’s book “The Future of Professions,” Ms. Chakarova finished by bringing it back to innovation as it relates to librarians. Mentioning how card catalogs and loan cards once revolutionized the user experience, she shared that her library had directly tackled their inventory issues through the use of an innovative robot.

Dr. Trabert stepped forward to explain. Having previously worked at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, he had returned to Germany to work for a company that develops mobile service robots, mostly to do simple tasks such as to guide customers to products in a store. His company worked with the MPI library to design a robot that would automate their inventory control functions using RFID, which has replaced the need for visual, camera-based functions. The goal, he said, was to free the librarians for work they were more suited for, especially interaction with patrons.

The robot that MPI had used for setting up its inventory control is named TORY. Using a set of programs, maps, and sensors, TORY is capable of autonomous movement around the library even when patrons are present, which can sometimes be tricky as standard safety features must be robust enough to let it operate around untrained people. Dr. Trabert had graciously brought TORY back to the library for a live demonstration. A table with numerous books had been set up on a card table at the front of the room and TORY quickly rounded the table while a list of titles and a tile count streamed onto the projector screen.

At this point the audience peppered the presenters with questions:

  • Does it work with compact shelving? Answer: It is surprisingly mobile, but can’t turn the crank for you…)
  • What do students do to TORY? Answer: We have a very responsible patron base so no hats, stickers, or other pranks.
  • How much do these cost? Answer: This model is about 30,000 euros and there is no leasing model yet.
  • What about a warranty? Answer: There are of course many maintenance packages.
  • What happens if there is an error? Answer: Robots like TORY have an emergency signal they send out when their sensors are blocked.

We also discovered that to process the 35,000 volumes in the collection, a few students were hired to place RFID strips in each book, which was completed over the course of two months.

Ms. Chakarova finished up by explaining that in countries like Japan where the population is more inclined to trust robots, they are being used in a wide variety of capacities. And while there is a general fear that automation will displace our jobs, an informal survey of the audience found that almost 90% were not afraid. This wrapped-up the pre-conference workshop.

IALL 2018 Recap: What is the European Union, a Union of Citizens and States, a New Constitutional Topos?

By Caitlin Hunter

Eurocracy (4).JPGIn What is the European Union, a Union of Citizens and States, a New Constitutional Topos?, Peace Palace Law Library director Jeroen Vervliet kicked off the day with a lively question and answer session with Jaap Hoeksma about Hoeksma’s EU-themed board game, Eurocracy. Hoeksma was inspired to create the board game after he realized that, although he was a law professor, he could not satisfactorily explain what the EU was to his students. EU scholars fought fiercely over two conceptions of the EU. The inter-governmentalists conceived of the EU as an international organization formed by multiple states that fully retained their own sovereignty. In contrast, the federalists saw an ultimate end game in which the EU would become a single federated state. Because EU scholars themselves disagreed over what the EU was, Hoeksma could not clearly explain it to his students.

Hoeksma decided to take a piece of advice from Nietzsche: when you have a problem you can’t solve, turn it into a game! In the resulting Eurocracy board game, players take on the role of citizens of the EU fighting to win support for their political party. The board game served as a valuable tool for introducing students to the EU and also raised a deeper philosophical question: Why is it so complex for scholars to explain the EU, but so intuitive for students to understand it in the context of the game? The answer is a key shift in perspective. The game requires students to take on the perspective of an EU citizen. In contrast, scholars are trapped in a Westphalian model, which views states as the center of all international relations. This model is not functional for the EU, which is simultaneously a union both of states and of individual citizens.

Eurocracy 3.JPG

The failure to understand the EU as a union of citizens as well as of states has dramatic consequences for its ability to preserve democracy and defend its existence. In the 1980s, the union between EU states grew closer, while individual citizens were kept at bay. Citizens felt a strong and justified fear that they were trading democracy for bureaucracy. 1992’s Maastricht Treaty took a step in the right direction by formally recognizing individuals within the EU as citizens of both the EU and of their member states, entitled to vote and exercise their democratic rights as part of both systems. However, many politicians show little understanding of and commitment to the new Maastrichtian alternative to the traditional Westphalian model.

Critics refer to the EU as an “unidentified political object” or even “the Fourth Reich” and complain that it suffers from a democratic deficit. (Of course, as an audience member noted and Hoeksma agreed, the Westphalian model has many democratic deficits, too! They just don’t get as much press.) To preserve the EU in the face of its current crises, its supporters must continue to press for the rights of individual citizens within the EU, such as the adoption of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union in the 2007 Lisbon Treaty. As long as scholars remain stuck in a false dichotomy between federation and inter-governmentalism, the EU’s supporters cannot explain what the EU is about and preserve its democratic ideals.

Report for IFLA 2018, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

By Anne Burnett and Marisol Floren


Attendees at the Law Libraries Section Standing Committee Meeting at IFLA WLIC 2018.

Several members of the FCIL SIS joined 3500+ librarian colleagues in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, this past August 24-30 for the World Library and Information Congress (WLIC), the annual conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). IFLA’s Law Libraries Section sponsored two educational programs during the WLIC. In this post, we provide detailed accounts of these two programs, which focused on the importance that access to, and an understanding of the law, plays in times of crisis as well as in everyday life.

For a report from the overall WLIC conference, including details of the Law Libraries Section’s business meetings, please see the October issue of the FCIL SIS newsletter.

Program: The Role of Government and Law Libraries in Times of Crisis and Turmoil

FCIS SIS member Heather Casey chaired a program featuring speakers from three different libraries providing examples of different roles played by government and law libraries in responding to crises, access to justice initiatives, and social advocacy projects.


Edita Bačić, Dr. Yolanda Jones, and Jane Sanchez present on “The Role of Government and Law Libraries in Times of Crisis and Turmoil” at IFLA WLIC 2018.

  • Jane Sanchez, Law Librarian of Congress presented on the actions that the Law Library of Congress has taken to promote peace, democracy, and the rule of law in countries in turmoil, either from war or natural disaster. In addition to donating books and helping to reconstruct a legal research collection, the LLoC has facilitated virtual repatriation of legal materials by digitizing countries’ law holdings at Library of Congress. Recent efforts have involved legal materials in war-torn Afghanistan, in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and with the State Attorney’s Office of Puerto Rico after hurricanes Irma and Maria.
  • AALL member, Dr. Yolanda Jones, Director, Florida A&M (FAMU) College of Law Library, discussed her paper titled “The Special Access to Justice Mission of an HBCU” and illustrated the response of an academic law library at a Historically Black College or University in the United States to provide access to law and justice services to under-served communities. In addition to serving the FAMU Law School community, Dr. Jones’ library serves as the county library, and 50% of their reference desk traffic comes from members of the public and local attorneys.
  • Edita Bačić, Faculty of Law, at the University of Split in Croatia, reflected on the role of librarians as social and political forces in a presentation titled “Neutrality Versus Proactivity in Libraries during Turbulent Times.” She shared her experiences as a librarian advocating for improvement of social conditions in Croatia. Ms. Bačić asserted that human rights, the right to information, and the need for social inclusion are the bases of modern social movements in achieving social justice, and that librarians need to be an active force proactively involved in the life of their community. She maintained that librarianship is no longer limited to professional responsibility in relation to the library users and that there is a responsibility for development of the entire community.

Program: Legal Capability: Law as a Life Skill


Dave Nolette and Sonia Poulin of Vancouver’s Justice Education Society present at IFLA WLIC 2018.

Chaired and moderated by Law Libraries Section Standing Committee Chair Sonia Poulin of the Justice Education Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, this program discussed two initiatives, one in Canada and one in the United States, that seek to enable youth and adults to acquire “legal capability,” described as the knowledge, understanding and life skills necessary to engage with the law in everyday issues carrying legal implications. Speakers Dave Nolette and Marc Legacy from the Justice Education Society provided an overview of the types of skills and behaviors their organization helps build in the K-12 curriculum and via web services. The goal is for their clients to learn about the law, to recognize and diagnose legal problems, and to gain the competencies necessary to identify risks, address and resolve conflicts, communicate, negotiate, and think critically about issues.

Speaker Bonnie Rose Hough, Principal Managing Attorney for the Center for Families, Children & the Courts of the Judicial Council of California, oversees the California court system’s Access to Justice, Self Help, Family Law, Domestic Violence, and Tribal/State programs. Via video, Ms. Hough shared statistics about the large percentage of litigants in the California courts who do not have legal representation, and she described the California courts’ self-help system, which provides thousands of legal documents and forms, many translated into Spanish (and some in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese), to assist unrepresented litigants.

At next year’s WLIC in Athens, Greece, the Law Libraries Section will again sponsor two programs. We hope to see you there!

New FCIL Librarian Series: Collection Development and Electronic Resources

By Sarah Reis, Foreign and International Law Librarian, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

This is the first post in a series of posts over the next year about adjusting to my new position as a foreign and international law librarian. I started my position at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in February 2018 and was formerly a general reference librarian at another law school.

Back in February, I started my position as Foreign & International Law Librarian at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. Weather-wise, February is admittedly not the most ideal time to move from northern California, where I had previously been working as a general reference librarian at Stanford Law School, to Chicago. But the timing was perfect for allowing me to become acquainted with foreign and international law resources at my own pace. Rather than scrambling to offer various in-class research sessions for the students in the international human rights clinic or immediately diving in to teaching an FCIL class for the first time, I had the opportunity to spend time familiarizing myself with our collection and electronic resources.

At Northwestern, I am a member of the selection committee. Collection development was a new responsibility for me because I was not a member of the collection development committee at the library where I previously worked. Here, the selection committee decides as a group whether our library will purchase certain monographs and whether we should subscribe to or cancel certain electronic databases and print subscriptions. In print, we collect various international law materials, but not as many foreign law materials, and the materials tend to be in English. We provide our law school community with access to numerous e-resources that would be helpful in conducting foreign and international legal research, but generally do not subscribe to databases that are geared toward researching the law of a specific foreign country, with the exception of Westlaw China. For instance, we do not subscribe to databases such as Beck-Online (German law) or Kodeks (Russian law).

Over the summer, I conducted a survey comparing the FCIL databases that our library subscribed to with the databases our peer law libraries subscribed to, based on what I could glean from their database pages and research guides available on their law library websites.* The purpose was to identify whether our library was missing any key FCIL resources or if we were subscribing to any resources that we could consider canceling.

I would recommend any new FCIL librarian to take on a similar task because this turned out to be an excellent way to acquaint myself with the range of resources useful for conducting foreign and international legal research. I spent time browsing, running test searches, and exploring the content for all of the databases we subscribed to, and also looked into what I could expect to find in resources for which we did not have subscriptions.

Taking a close look at the database pages and research guides of various other law library websites also provided insight into how to effectively organize and highlight resources. Most law library websites, including ours, have an A-to-Z list of legal databases. Some libraries make it easy for users to filter all of the e-resources to view only those that specifically pertain to foreign and international law, other libraries list all of their e-resources in one alphabetical list, and still other libraries organize e-resources into very specific categories (e.g., e-resources pertaining to a particular jurisdiction or international law topic). Our library organizes e-resources pertaining to foreign and international law under a category of “Foreign and International” to make it easy for users to pull up a list of just these resources filed under this category.

Law libraries differ in whether they integrate free resources, such as the UN Official Document System, EUR-Lex, or GlobaLex, alongside their subscription resources on their database pages. Our library opts to include primarily subscription databases on our A-to-Z database list because we do not want our database list to become too overwhelming for students. However, we highlight both subscription resources and free resources in our research guides, which are intended to provide more in-depth coverage on how to research specific topics.

Conducting this survey afforded our library the opportunity to update our list of databases on our law library website. I uncovered a few e-resources that our main campus library subscribed to that would also be of interest for law students conducting international legal research, so we added these resources to the law library’s database list to improve access to them. But more importantly, participating in the selection committee helped me feel much better prepared for the first few weeks of the fall semester when I provided various in-class research sessions aimed at giving the students an overview of foreign and international law resources available through the library.

* I would be happy to share a copy of my spreadsheet with anyone who is interested in looking at it, with the caveat that libraries may have subscribed to or canceled subscriptions since I compiled it or may subscribe to additional databases that are not listed on their law library websites.