October 2019 FCIL-SIS Newsletter Is Out!

The October 2019 edition of the FCIL Newsletter is now out.  Inside the newsletter are:

  • a great piece from the Schaffer Grant recipient, Mariya Badeva-Bright;
  • Committee and Interest Group reports;
  • Business Meeting minutes from the 2019 Annual Meeting;
  • a note from the FCIL-SIS Chair, Loren Turner; and
  • a list of recent publications by FCIL-SIS members.

Check it out here!

From the Reference Desk: Primary Documents on Presidential Foreign Policy

By Amy Flick

Flickr LBJ et al 20 Feet Heads 25185934159_de5bd6bae5_n

Presidential busts from the now-defunct Presidents Park in Williamsburg, VA. Photo by Mobilius in Mobili via Flickr, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mobili/25185934159/in/photostream/, Creative Commons license.

“My professor said to cite primary sources in my paper on Harry Truman’s foreign policy, and she said to visit the Truman Library. Is there anything I can use here without going to Missouri?”

I don’t think that the professor meant for the student to travel to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri and browse through the archives to write a seminar paper. But I have received several requests for presidential documents and primary documents on presidential policies this semester. Recent questions have included:

  • Harry Truman’s statements regarding NATO
  • Harry Truman’s relationship with the CIA
  • Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan’s differing approaches to the Soviet Union (as influenced by their religious beliefs)
  • Theodore Roosevelt’s speeches and inaugural addresses
  • Donald Trump’s public statements about Ukraine (I wonder why that would be of interest?)

So, what counts as a primary source on presidential policy, particularly for questions about foreign policy? And where can we find these primary source documents, particularly for past administrations?

Part of the question here is the professor’s definition of “primary source,” since some of these questions are coming from students in legal history classes. Kent Olson’s Principles of Legal Research Concise Hornbook offers the definition “primary sources are the official pronouncements of the governmental lawmakers,” but he explains in a footnote that “[t]his sense of the terms primary and secondary is different from that found in history and other disciplines, where a ‘primary source’ can be a letter or contemporary newspaper account while a ‘secondary source’ is a later scholarly analysis.” [Olson, p. 7] I am assuming that the professors want the students to find the presidents’ own speeches and writings, particularly with the requests for presidential statements, but messages from administration officials would be helpful as well.

The first source to look at is Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, which includes speeches, messages to Congress, news conferences, memoranda, and addresses to international conferences. These types of research questions are good examples of the benefits of starting with the indexes – North Atlantic Treaty and North Atlantic Treaty Organization both appear as index terms in the Truman volumes. Public Papers of the Presidents is available on govinfo.gov, but the Hein Online U.S. Presidential Library is more searchable, and I don’t have to download the entire PDF volume. It’s available, and searchable, on Lexis and Westlaw as well. The Hein collection also includes published compilations of documents from presidents before Herbert Hoover, including the Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents for finding the speeches of Theodore Roosevelt.

The Hein US Presidential Library, Westlaw, Lexis, and govinfo.gov also have the Compilation of Presidential Documents, formerly the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents. Westlaw’s Daily Presidential Documents database has even more current documents than GPO’s.  These databases are good for finding press conferences and remarks at less formal events, including current tracking of President Trump’s statements. It’s possible to scan the ent recent documents in any version of the Compilation for remarks related to foreign policy, but since briefings and exchanges with reporters might cover a variety of topics, searching for statements on Ukraine, or the Soviet Union, is probably required.

The American Presidency Project at UC Santa Barbara is a great resource for finding presidential statements, speeches, and documents for earlier presidents, and for modern presidents, it also includes news conferences, interviews, and visits by foreign leaders. This database includes all the presidents, even 12 documents related to William Henry Harrison (who died in office 31 days into his term). The database can be searched or browsed by president, and the headings and document categories are helpful for finding useful documents. Direct statements about Carter or Reagan’s religious beliefs and the Soviet Union are going to be difficult to find, but there are many statements here about the Soviet Union to read and interpret.

The professor’s suggestion that the student “visit the Truman Library” presumably meant to visit its digital collections.  Presidential Libraries and Museums are repositories for the papers, records, and historical materials of the presidents. The National Archives and Records Administration administers 14 presidential libraries, starting with the Hoover administration. Some materials in the various libraries have been digitized and made available to the public, although much more would be available on-site. With some digging, the student researchers might find some relevant materials in the digitized collections. For instance, a draft of Reagan’s “evil empire” speech to the National Association of Evangelicals is available. The Truman Library’s online collections are especially helpful, with categories of digitized documents including The Development of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency predated the requirement that presidential papers be preserved, so the collecting of his papers, and their digitization, is a work in progress.  In spite of that, the Digital Library of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University includes a searchable collection of Roosevelt’s letters.

Since most of these requests were for the presidents’ foreign policy, I suggested Foreign Relations of the United States, available on the website of the State Department’s Office of the Historian, and on Hein Online. It was most useful for the requests on Truman and Carter policies, since most of the Reagan volumes are not yet available. For President Truman, there are multiple volumes on Western European Security that go into US participation in NATO. These include memoranda of conversations between the president and the Secretary of State, and messages from foreign governments reacting to Truman’s statements. FRUS was also helpful to the student researching the CIA, with a volume on Emergence of the Intelligence Establishment.

I also suggested additional secondary sources to some of these students, to supplement what they already had and as another source for finding statements and speeches. Besides the many biographies written on all the presidents, there are autobiographies and memoirs, although some may be ghostwritten. There are published collections of the speeches of Roosevelt, Truman, and Reagan. News databases are useful for finding excerpts and full speeches of the presidents, especially ProQuest Historical Newspapers for finding text of entire speeches by Theodore Roosevelt and Harry Truman.

One more source seemed necessary for finding statements of the current president.  Although finding President Trump’s tweets mentioned in news articles was not difficult, there is also the comprehensive and searchable Trump Twitter Archive. As of November 6, 2019, I find either “Ukraine” or “Ukrainian” mentioned in 141 tweets.

Donate to the Syllabi and Course Materials Database & Pay It Forward to Help Others

By Paul Moorman

I recently received a call from a student at my undergraduate alma mater asking for a donation. The student who called me was a pre-law history major who lived in the same dorm I had lived in and had received a scholarship to help pay for his tuition­—so basically he was me 30 years ago (although I was a political science major, but let’s not quibble over details). While I was talking to him, all the great memories I have from my undergraduate years came flooding back. When it came time for him to make the “big ask,” I was ready to say no like I usually do, but then I thought about it some more and decided that this time I would say yes and donate some money for a scholarship fund.  What ultimately helped me decide to make a donation was a realization that I had benefited from all those who had given generously to the school in the past.  I was now in a position in my life to be able to step up and help “pay it forward” by showing the same generosity that was shown to me by donating to others.

So why am I telling you this story? I’ll get there, but first let me start by saying that I’m one of the current co-chairs of the FCIL-SIS Teaching Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Interest Group. I, along with my co-chair, Amelia Landenberger, have a lot planned this year. One of our most important goals is to update the Syllabi and Course Materials Database and I am taking the lead on this project. As the readers of this blog likely know, it’s an amazing source of useful information for anyone teaching foreign, comparative, and international legal research and I’m confident many of you have used and consulted it while planning their courses. The database only exists because your colleagues have generously donated their courseware to help you. As useful as the current database is, it hasn’t been updated for a few years and it is starting to get long in the tooth. Legal research has changed dramatically in the past few years and FCIL-related legal research is no exception. As the tools and methods we use change, the way we teach our research courses needs to adapt to those changes.

So now it’s time for me to make my “big ask.”  Please consider this blog posting to be my first official request for you to donate your courseware to the Syllabi and Course Materials database. Unlike my alma mater, I’m not asking for money—instead I’m asking you to help by sharing your knowledge, expertise, experience, and hard work to help others who could benefit from it. If you have any FCIL-related courseware (you know who you are!), whether it be a syllabus, test, assignment, PowerPoint presentation, or even an entire module (really anything course related), now is the time to “pay it forward” and help your colleagues. If you’ve donated your courseware to the database in the past, please donate a more current version.  If you’ve never donated before, now is time to review your files and see if there’s anything you have that others could benefit from. Your colleagues have helped you in the past, now it’s time to help your colleagues.

My plan for the next few months is reach out to those who have donated to the database, and also to those who teach FCIL-related legal research courses, and ask you to donate your courseware to the database.  If you send the materials to me now by emailing it to me a pmoorman@law.usc.edu, you’ll save us both a lot of time and effort. Thank you in advance for your generosity.  Your colleagues and I are grateful.

Introducing…Dennis Sears as the November 2019 FCIL-SIS Member of the Month

Sears, Dennis FCIL1. Where did you grow up?

Salt Lake City, UT

2. Why did you select law librarianship as a career?

I worked as a reference assistant during law school and my career headed that way soon after that.

3. When did you develop an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law?

I have always had an interest in history and the humanities, especially European.  My interest in foreign, comparative, and international law grew out of that.

4. Who is your current employer? How long have  you worked there?

My current employer is Brigham Young University,  I have worked there for thirty years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I speak German.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Teaching legal research at the Law School.  I have loved teaching first year legal research as well as advanced legal research, federal tax research, and international research.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?


8. What song makes you want to get up and sing/dance?

“The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha

9. What ability or skill do you most wish you had (that you don’t have already)?

I wish I were more creative.

10. Aside from the basic necessities, what is one thing you can’t go a day without?

Time to ponder.  If I don’t/can’t take that time, my day just seems to fall apart.

11. Anything else you would like to share with us?

I find working with people in the FCIL-SIS one of the most fulfilling parts of my profession.

Book Review: The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities

ImpactofClimateChangeBy Sue Silverman

Maureen F. Tehan, Lee C. Godden, Margaret A. Young, and Kirsty A. Gover, The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities: International, National and Local Law Perspectives on REDD+  (Cambridge University Press, 2017) 415 p. Hardcover $147.00

REDD+ is a global program that encourages countries to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation through financial incentives. In The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities: International, National and Local Law Perspectives on REDD+,  the authors, Maureen F. Tehan, Lee C. Godden, Margaret A. Young, and Kirsty A. Gover, closely examine the structure, frameworks and safeguards of REDD+, and how REDD+ has developed and operates alongside other international and national legal regimes and norms, with the primary objective of assessing its impact upon the legal interests of indigenous peoples and forest dependent communities.[1]

The book is divided into four parts: Part I discusses REDD+ within the international context and explores its interaction with other international legal regimes and norms. Part II looks at how REDD+ interacts with indigenous communities at the national level, and Part III examines these regime interactions within the contexts of three countries: Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu.  Part III also analyzes climate change mitigation programs undertaken in Australia in order to draw lessons that may be applied to REDD+ programs.  Part IV summarizes the authors’ findings and conclusions and offers recommendations for moving forward and additional scholarship.

Part I begins by characterizing REDD+ as an emerging international legal regime and providing an overview of the laws and decision-making procedures established by the UNFCCC, the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol that are associated with REDD+.  The authors then discuss the key participants including the United Nations Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD), the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) based within the World Bank Group, and other nonstate actors such as civil society groups, academics, the private sector and policy makers who support the functional goals of REDD+.  The following chapters examine how REDD+ interacts and conflicts with other international legal regimes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna, the International Labor Organization, Convention No. 169, the CBD Nagoya Protocol, and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as norms established by customary international law.  The authors suggest that these horizontal regime interactions at the international level, along with vertical interactions between international and domestic legal regimes, impact the rights and interests of indigenous peoples.[2]

Part II focuses on REDD+’s interaction with sovereign states and indigenous peoples.  Here, the tangible conflicts presented by REDD+ programs come into focus as the authors unpack the intricacies and challenges of aligning REDD+ and the benefits conferred by REDD+ with indigenous property rights under statutory and customary law, indigenous identity law, and the normative obligation of obtaining free prior and informed consent (FPIC).  Because FPIC is integral to REDD+’s relationship with indigenous and forest dwelling communities and how those communities’ rights and livelihoods are impacted by REDD+ projects, a significant portion of Part II is devoted to examining this norm and how it is applied by UN-REDD and the World Bank’s FCPF, the two main funders of REDD+.  Part II also focuses heavily on tenure rights and REDD+’s emphasis on “secure and clear” tenure, a policy which favors those who currently possess land.[3] Ultimately, despite its intentions to include indigenous and forest-dependent communities within decision-making processes and benefit-sharing, those whose property rights are not recognized under national law or who are on the short end of the balance of power equation vis-à-vis the state or third parties with possessory or usufructuary rights, are inevitably left out of any benefit sharing or FPIC processes under REDD+.

Part III examines how the vertical and horizontal regime interactions discussed in Parts I and II play out in three country examples: Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu, and looks at the successes and shortcomings of climate change mitigation projects undertaken in Australia in how they account for the rights of indigenous communities. To help understand the local context within which REDD+ operates, the authors describe the history of land law and forest resources law, as well as the laws determining the recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples and local forest communities in each country. From these examples, the authors suggest REDD+ may draw lessons moving forward in how it might resolve conflicts between indigenous rights and the goals of climate change mitigation.

In their conclusion, the authors emphasize that “the unresolved legal claims of indigenous peoples are deeply context-specific and must be interrogated at the local level.” [4] For REDD+ to successfully promote the rights and livelihoods of indigenous populations while pursuing its goals of climate change mitigation, it must provide guidance in resolving domestic disputes regarding indigenous claims.[5]  In so doing, “attention to historic injustice, dispossession, the non-recognition of indigenous law, and the social and economic marginalization of indigenous and forest communities is essential.” [6]

With its detailed exploration of how REDD+ touches upon myriad issues of international and domestic law  including customary law, property and resource rights, and indigenous identity, this book is an excellent resource for academics, policy makers and attorneys exploring ways in which to balance the goals of climate change mitigation programs with the rights and interests of indigenous peoples, and how to incorporate indigenous communities into REDD+ or other climate change mitigation projects.  For example, the authors suggest that indigenous and local community carbon rights may be better framed as resource rights instead of rights tied to tenure, in order to promote the receipt of benefits among groups who are unable to establish “secure and clear” tenure, or who are dispossessed of their traditional land as a result of the formalization of tenure under national laws.[7]  The authors also describe opportunities for indigenous involvement in climate change mitigation projects, for example the savanna-burning activities based on traditional Aboriginal land burning practices in Australia.[8]

As the authors point out, “REDD+ is not a straightforward win-win approach to climate change mitigation,” but at the same time, “just and effective climate change mitigation must incorporate the perspectives of those who are affected by it and not merely those who have the resources to address the problem (and may be implicated in the causes of that problem).” Thus “unwieldy and complex” is just as it should be.[9]

[1] Maureen F. Tehan, Lee C. Godden, Margaret A. Young, and Kirsty A. Gover, The Impact of Climate Change Mitigation on Indigenous and Forest Communities: International, National and Local Law Perspectives on REDD+  (Cambridge University Press, 2017)

[2] Id. at 83.

[3] Id. at 130.

[4] Id. at 347.

[5] Id.

[6] Id. at 348.

[7] Id. at

[8] Id. at 324

[9] Id. at 352.

Second Call for IALL 2019 Bloggers

sydneyAre you heading down under for IALL 2019 in Sydney?  We’re still looking for bloggers to recap some of the program for the blog.  We’re had a few volunteers, but are looking for a few more, particularly for the following sessions, but are happy to have coverage of any session you’re planning on attending:

Monday, October 28th
9:45-10:30am:  Keynote: Australia’s Legal History & Colonial Legacy

Tuesday, October 29th
9:30-10:15am:  Australia’s Constitutional Quirks
10:15-11:00am:  International Law in Australia

Wednesday, October 30th
9:30-10:15am:  Contemporary Challenges to Open Justice: Law, Technology, and Culture
1:45-2:30pm:  International Environmental Law in Australia
2:30-3:15pm:  Criminal Law in Australia

If you are willing and able to recap one of these sessions or any other program from IALL 2019, please email Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu or Jessica Pierucci at jpierucci@law.uci.edu.

Upcoming Webinar — Cross-Border Cultural Competency: Teaching Foreign Law Students and Training International Lawyers

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, 12 pm to 1 pm US/Central, please join the FCIL-SIS and ALL-SIS Continuing Education Committees for a webinar on Cross-Border Cultural Competency: Teaching Foreign Law Students and Training International Lawyers. FCIL-SIS members can access a registration link here. ALL-SIS members can access a registration link here.

As law schools increasingly recruit foreign students, librarians are increasingly called upon to provide legal research training to foreign LL.M.s, S.J.D.s, and exchange students.

This webinar will provide insights from four panelists with extensive experience teaching foreign students in a variety of capacities:

  • Jodi Collova, Director of LL.M. Legal Research and Writing at Berkeley Law
  • Karina Condra, Foreign, Comparative & International Law Librarian at University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Heidi Frostestad Kuehl, Director of the Law Library at Northern Illinois University College of Law
  • Mike McArthur, Head, Foreign Comparative & International Law and Collection Development at Duke Law.

The panel will be moderated by Jessica Pierucci, Research Law Librarian for Foreign, Comparative, and International Law at UC Irvine School of Law.

The panelists will address cross-border cultural competency issues in answering a series of questions about their experience and learned best practices. Panelists will address helping foreign law students understand the skills needed for U.S. law practice and understanding, effectively addressing cultural differences that can impact learning, teaching classes with a mixture of U.S. and foreign law students, and bringing cultural competency skills to teaching U.S. students.

We encourage you to join us by registering now! FCIL-SIS members can access a registration link here. ALL-SIS members can access a registration link here.