Introducing…Melissa Hyland as the July 2020 FCIL-SIS Member of the Month

Atlas Lighting

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in South Florida, but I moved to North Carolina for college and ended up staying! I really love that you can visit both the mountains and the beach, but never actually have to leave your home state.

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

While I was in law school, the law librarians really mentored me. I worked as a reference desk assistant during my 2L and 3L years, and I was fascinated by the types of services provided by the law librarians. I just knew it was the type of work that I would enjoy doing. After law school, I practiced litigation for a couple years, but I always kept in the back of my mind the thought that law librarianship was an awesome option. When the opportunity to return to UNC to get my MSLS and work as a graduate assistant popped up, I jumped on it!

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

I developed an interest in FCIL research pretty early into my MSLS program. Once I started full-time as a reference librarian, I volunteered for every FCIL-related opportunity that came up and started to develop my skills in this area. I really enjoy the challenge of FCIL research, but I also love that you get to learn about the countries, their histories, and a bit of their culture, through FCIL research.

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

I currently work as the Reference and Faculty Research Services Librarian at the University of North Carolina School of Law. I’ve been in this position for 3 years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I’m working on improving my Spanish language skills. I’m much better at reading in Spanish than I am at speaking, so I’ve been trying to find more ways to practice my communication skills with friends and language partners. I also have this mini-goal in mind to study Japanese – mostly because I love the culture and hope to visit there one day soon.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

I manage our law library’s Faculty Research Service program, and I’ve tried to be very intentional about building relationships with our faculty and ensuring that we provide them with stellar work product. I’m so pleased with the growth of the program over the past three years, and I’ve also loved getting to know our law faculty better through it.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Chocolate chip cookies! I will order a chocolate chip cookie whenever it is on the menu, even at a fancy bakery. I’m probably missing out on lots of other amazing baking creations, but you just can’t go wrong with a good ol’ chocolate chipper.

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

My nerdiness is going to be so obvious here, but I love Disney movie soundtracks. Maybe I can blame this on growing up in Florida and spending a good part of my childhood at Disney World. I can go toe-to-toe on song lyrics with the best of Disney fans – but I find myself singing “I’ve Got a Dream” from Tangled a lot lately.

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

I think many people on this blog talk about improving their language skills. I agree – I’d love to improve what little skill I currently have, and I’d like to study new languages.

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

Books! It’s a good thing that I work in a university law library, because I have a library card that allows me to get my hands on so many out of print and older titles. It’s amazing.

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

I’m excited to be here!

Webinar Recap – Law Librarians Combatting Infodemic During COVID-19: Asia, Europe, Africa

By Jessica Pierucci

On June 18, 2020 the FCIL-SIS Continuing Education Committee hosted two webinars on Law Librarians Combatting Infodemic During COVID-19. This post recaps the first webinar on Asia, Europe, and Africa. A resources handout, slides, and recordings with far more information than could possibly fit into the recap can be found on the FCIL-SIS Continuing Education Committee webpage.

Headshots of the four panelists with the title Panelists and AALL logo



Alex Zhang shared updates on issues in countries across Asia and introduced the FCIL-SIS Asian Law Interest Group’s current project collecting and sharing valuable information on COVID-19 in the region.

Legal Frameworks

Alex identified three legal frameworks granting authority to address the public health crisis: constitutions, preexisting legislation, and new legislation.


Some countries relied on constitutional provisions to grant the state power to address COVID-19. Examples include Article 41 of the Japanese Constitution, Article 76 of the South Korea Constitution, and Interpretation 690 of the Taiwan Judicial Yuan Constitutional Court.

Preexisting legislation

Other countries already had legislation in place that they were able to rely upon, including India’s Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897 and 2005 Disaster Management Act, and Mainland China’s Law on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases Act of 2004 (last amended 2013).

New legislation

Still others enacted brand new legislation to address the public health crisis. Examples include Singapore’s Covid-19 Temporary Measure Act of 2020 and Philippines’ Bayanihan to Heal as One Act of 2020.

Technology and privacy

Using the example of China, Alex discussed two uses of technology to control the spread of COVID-19 that raise privacy questions. First, drones flying in remote areas and telling people spotted not wearing masks to go home (video). Second, requiring individuals to install a health tracking application on their smartphone and display a green QR code generated by the tracker to enter public spaces. Individuals assigned yellow or red QR codes must quarantine until their QR code turns green. The health, location, and other data collected in relation to generating the codes implicate many privacy concerns for the individuals required to install and use this tracking application.

Mapping Asian Legal Responses to COVID-19 Project

Alex and Sherry Chen are currently collecting primary and secondary sources to create a database on Asian legal responses to COVID-19. Many librarians have contributed sources to the project so far, leading to the project’s first publication, a newsletter providing narrative discussions of country responses and links to relevant sources. Recognizing that data trackers were already tracking some of this information, Alex and Sherry set out to provide added value by tracking countries not fully tracked elsewhere, such as Afghanistan and Yemen, and saving all sources for continued reference even if the resources disappear or are modified elsewhere.


Alison Shea discussed the European Union response to COVID-19 and legal issues in selected jurisdictions.

European Union

The EU does not have many explicit public health governance powers. As a result, the EU response has been largely financial, focusing on providing PPE, state aid, and supporting research. They have created a helpful website,, that aggregates travel, services, and health and safety information for EU countries.Map of Europe including color coding and labels, with Check out overlay, website where live version of map can be located

One legal issue of note is how COVID-19 has impacted free movement across borders within the EU. The Schengen Area originated from the 1985 Schengen Agreement and generally removes border controls to allow free travel within the EU, but EU countries unilaterally closed borders in light of COVID-19, restricting the free movement usually available in the region. The European Commission doesn’t have real enforcement mechanisms on internal border opening and closing, so the EC provided recommendations related to gradual border reopening through COM(2020) 550 on May 13, 2020 and COM(2020) 399 on June 11, 2020, but these are only recommendations.

COVID-19 has also impacted fundamental rights in the EU. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) enforces the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and, accordingly, released COVID-19 related bulletins, on equality, non-discrimination, racism, and privacy. The Council of Europe has also been working to protect human rights during the public health crisis.

Legal Issues in Selected Jurisdictions

Alison recently convened a group of reporters to start creating narrative reports on responses to COVID-19 across Europe. While this effort has just begun, Alison shared some interesting initial findings from a few countries.

The Czech Republic has been dealing with cross border worker issues arising from reciprocal and non-reciprocal border shutdowns.

Finland is also grappling with cross border worker issues, particularly in connection with Sweden. Finland has been reopening but keeping strict restrictions in place for Sweden due to Sweden’s more hands off approach to the crisis.

The French Constitutional Court affirmed an emergency law enacted in light of the crisis.

Germany is implementing the Corona-Warn-App for contract tracing. The application appears to do a good job maintaining privacy protections. Courts have upheld health regulations requiring face coverings.

Italy is running into some tricky constitutional issues related to emergency measures.


Yemisi Dina and Mariya Badeva-Bright jointly discussed the response to COVID-19 across Africa.

In terms of resources, an Africa CDC website has been in the works for a few years, but recently became fully operational and is a valuable resource for information on COVID-19. In addition, AfricanLII is collecting laws and scholarly commentary and making it available as quickly as possible. South Africa’s laws are generally available on AfricanLII within two to three days of Gazette publication, but laws from some countries in West Africa have taken weeks to arrive. AfricanLII is processing laws to add to the database as quickly as possible. The delay from some jurisdictions has led to residents not being able to access the laws applicable to them for weeks. Residents have had to rely on the news for this information and there has been some litigation over the delays.

Map of African continent with list of Coverage: African Union, Southern Africa, East Africa, West Africa

Other entities collecting COVID-19 legal resources include Kenya Law, Juta Law South Africa, and Lexis COVID-19 Centers for South Africa. Other COVID-19-related resources of interest include Africa Medical Supplies Platform, a socio-economic tracker from Finmark Trust, and commercial news from Webber Wentzel and ENSafrica. Afrobarometer is generally an excellent resource for socio-economic data. The resource has yet to post COVID-19 data so researchers can rely on Finmark Trust’s tracker for now but check for any updates from Afrobarometer down the line to obtain supplemental information.

Beyond litigation over delays, legislation has also faced numerous other legal challenges across the region. Some national level litigation has focused on constitutional compliance issues. Other litigation has focused on public health legislation considered inadequate and not updated since colonial times.

Call for Bloggers: AALL 2020

we_need_you_shutterstock_570489691It’s that time of the year–when we ask for volunteers to recap programs of AALL sessions of interest to the FCIL-SIS community.  With many employers imposing freezes on conference travel and others not being able to attend, it’s a wonderful way to share some of what you’re learning with your FCIL-SIS colleagues. In addition to Annual Meeting recaps, there are two pre-conference workshops that have been transitioned into a series or webinars that we encourage you to attend and to recap:

First up is the FCIL-SIS Civil Law Workshop on Tuesday, July 21st, comprised of four not-to-be-missed sessions led by your FCIL colleagues:

  • 10:00am CST: Introduction to Civil Law Jurisdictions: Traditions, Origins, and Terminology, with Marylin Raisch
  • 11:00am CST: The Role of Codes in Mixed and/or Civil Jurisdictions: Historical Traditions and Modern Developments, with Olivier Moreteau
  • 12:00pm CST: The Role of Cases in Mixed and/or Civil Jurisdictions: Historical Traditions and Modern Developments, with Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay
  • 2:00pm CST: A 90 minute “mock class” on research from a civil law perspective, in which panelists Jennifer Allison, Katarina Daniels, and Janet Kearney will focus on Germany, Quebec, and New Orleans.

Also of note is the Instructional Design for Law Librarians Workshop, spread out over three days from July 28 to July 30th. There are sessions on everything from backward design to designing learner-centric syllabi to best practices in instructional design for accessibility, including two sessions by FCIL-SIS members:

  • July 28th from 1:00-2:15pm CST: Instructional Design: Empowering Foreign LLM Students to Learn and Thrive, with Jennifer Allison
  • July 30th from 1:00-2:30pm CST: An Introduction to Evidence-Based Instruction: Using Cognitive Theory to Improve Your Teaching, with Alyson Drake

As always, we are happy to have recaps of any or all programs you’re attending, but we’ve identified a few other programs from the regular conference programming the FCIL-SIS community might be particularly interested in reading about in a recap. Unfortunately, speaker information is not available at the time of publication, but we will update once it is.

  • Tuesday, July 14th from 12:00-1:00pm CST: Race, Responsibility, and Revolution: Difficult Conversations and a Call to Action
  • Wednesday, July 15th from 10:30-11:30am CST: Working From Home: Lost in Space, Home Alone, or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
  • Wednesday, July 15th from 3:30-4:30pm CST: What the Japanese, the Swedes, and the Minimalists Can Teach Us About Legal Instruction
  • Thursday, July 16th from 12:00-1:00pm CST:  Fear and Loathing in Teaching Legal Research: Addressing Cultural Competence and Managing Implicit Bias
  • Thursday, July 16th from 3:30-4:30pm CST:  Law Library Neutrality in a Time of Political Upheaval

If you are interested in recapping any of the Annual Meeting or webinar sessions above or others not listed, please contact Alyson Drake or Jessica Pierucci.

Updates on COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: Mexico + Central America

This is the seventh in a series of updates by the AALL FCIL-SIS Latin American Law Interest Group and Latino Caucus in a project monitoring COVID-19 legal responses in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Updates will be posted every two weeks. The group also created its own website: Materials from a June 18, 2020 webinar on the project will be posted on the FCIL-SIS Continuing Education Committee webpage.


Name: Ulysses N. Jaen + the Ave Maria Law School Library Team

Workplace: Director of the Law Library, Ave Maria School of Law

Countries you are monitoring: Mexico + Central America


1. What is your interest in this project?

Five adults and two babies under a Veterans Memorial Law Library sign

Ave Maria Law School Library Team

Our team at the Ave Maria Law School Library has been researching the spread and mitigation of the Coronavirus. Therefore, we decided to divide and conquer our research for Mexico and Central America between our librarians. We are an international team: Asli Karaevli is from Turkey, Katia Tarnowicz is from Peru, Rachel Hocott and Rebekah Miller are sisters from Michigan and I, Ulysses Jaen, am from Nicaragua. We all live in South Florida which is the gateway to Latin America. Spanish is spoken here daily, and our economies are closely interconnected. We are all naturally inclined to monitoring Latin America and found this as a great opportunity to learn and share more about the area.

2. What have you noticed since the first week you began monitoring and until now?

MÉXICO. In January, the Mexican National Committee for Health Safety created a plan for how to handle COVID-19. In February, the cases of infected citizens started trickling in.  March saw a large influx of confirmed cases, and a diabetic man was recorded as the first death from the virus on March 18th. April saw the first recoveries from the virus as well as an increase from 1,000 to 15,000+ cases confirmed. Mexico received medical supplies from China and the United States to aid with the increase in cases. May saw much of the same in terms of increasing infections with record highs for both contracted cases and deaths from the virus almost weekly.

Furthermore, May also brought more turbulence economically, socially, and politically in Mexico. The central bank cut its rate to the lowest since 2016, and inflation rates accelerated quicker than previously expected.  That month also saw their largest trade deficit on record. Socially, many Mexicans displayed their fear of the pandemic with protests. The hospitals quickly filled up, and as COVID-19 deaths were linked with patients who had diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, concern increased because many in the Mexican population are afflicted with such diseases. For the first quarter of the year, homicides increased by 2.4% from the same quarter last year.

There were some conflicting statements made by the government’s ministries as to when the auto industry could resume. GM began reopening plants on May 21st followed by the Japanese automakers Nissan, Toyota, Honda. While Ford has reopened all four of its Mexico plants recently in June. On the other hand, as of June, the state of Puebla refused to open their auto factories for Volkswagen AG and Audi due to the pandemic conditions and fearing that the worst was yet to come. Government officials pushed to reopen the auto industry and pushed back on the ideas that the pandemic would impoverish millions and on recession forecasts. On May 18th, Mexico began reopening, and on the 28th the president declared his plans to begin international traveling despite the high record levels of COVID-19 cases. While President Obrador is still yet not taking any responsibility on the government’s underestimation of its mortality rate due to Covid-19,  he is continuing on his daily attacks on the country’s press and dismissing his critics as illegitimate sources, “fake news”, calling the journalists as “criminals.”

Headshot of Ulysses Jaen

Ulysses Jaen

NICARAGUA. Nicaragua is of particular interest to me. My mother is caught isolated from the rest of our family because the airlines have stopped servicing Nicaragua and the land borders are also closed off. She has been there for months and we are waiting to get her back to the USA as soon as possible. Nicaragua is also highly controversial because of its approach varying from the herd immunity theories from Sweden to flat out denial of cases even though the population is posting videos and testimonials of loved ones being lost due to COVID-19.

The Ortega government has refused to take safety measures or to acknowledge the effects of the pandemic, relying instead on mass disinformation and activities designed to portray the government as being prepared and claiming victory over the virus. On March 14, Daniel Ortega led a rally in Managua entitled “Love in the Time of Coronavirus.” His government has an ongoing campaign forcing health department workers and even teachers to go from house to house spreading their misinformation. On 03/18/2020, Nicaragua registered its first case of coronavirus infection, a 40-year-old Nicaraguan man who picked up the virus during a recent visit to Panama. The Ministry of Health (Minsa) has confirmed that Nicaragua registered its first death from coronavirus on March 26, 2020. This is the second of two patients with COVID-19 in the country as confirmed by the government. Ortega instituted an immediate burial order for all leading to the recording of “burial midnight express” incidents of relatives being buried right after passing with no wake or family visitation.

Ortega has since gone missing from the public eye for much of the past months, and has continued to refuse to impose a shelter-in-place order on the country, and to disavow any knowledge of communicable contagion in Nicaragua. However, an explosion of “pneumonia” related deaths is seen as highly suspicious by the population that insists they are in fact Coronavirus-related deaths.  The Nicaragua Citizens COVID-19 Observatory, a collaborative citizens-driven initiative, reported that they have detected more than a thousand probable COVID-19 infections and almost 200 fatalities.

3. What situation are you monitoring the most?

EL SALVADOR. The first measure started even before the first COVID-19 case in this country. On January 25th, The Government designated $ 8.6 million as a preventive measure. As of January 27, thermographic cameras and infrared digital thermometers were part of the equipment with which the Salvadoran authorities seek to detect people with coronavirus symptoms who seek to enter the country through the international airport, or by sea and terrestrial.

Map showing Mexico and Central American countriesOn February 2nd, the government in El Salvador suspended activities in theaters, museums, and others that involve massive attendances. On March 3rd, there were no registered cases across the country. However, President Nayib Bukele declared a national quarantine on March 11th across the country for 21 days, massive events suspended, and the local governments unified in the measures.

Furthermore, President Bukele has disavowed the order of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, which prohibits arresting people during the quarantine of the coronavirus pandemic. Negotiations between congress and President Bukele to reinstate the quarantine measures broke down. As of May, President Bukele proposed gradual reopening of the economy starting June 6 amid the coronavirus outbreak. By June 16, the country reported more than 4,000 confirmed cases and hit a daily high of 125 new reported cases, though some believe the figures are underreported. However, some also believe that strict lockdown measures implemented in mid-March by the government of President Nayib Bukele led to the relatively low figures. However, after the president and the general assembly failed to agree on a plan in June, lockdown measures expired and contagion increased.

GUATEMALA. By the end of March, as a first measure, Guatemala tried efforts to stop all deportations of Guatemalans from the U.S. government. Locally, authorities began giving away masks and establishing ways to apply fines to people who go out without masks, up to 150 thousand quetzales.

By mid-April most of Guatemala’s 196 confirmed COVID-19 cases and five deaths had appeared in the country’s urban centers, including Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango. However, later that month, the government reported the first case of community transmission in the Maya Kaqchikel town of Patzun, some 80km (50 miles) west of Guatemala City. By the end of April, the cases increased to 500 hundred, and the president requested social distancing and lockdown measures.

PANAMÁ. On March 9th, Panama had the first confirmed case of COVID 19: a 40-year-old woman from Spain, who entered Panamanian soil without control through the Tocumen International Airport. After five days from this first case, Panama declared a State of Emergency, instituting heightened surveillance measures in place at points of entry. On April 1, the government expanded movement restrictions based on gender. In June, union workers protested the government’s plans to reopen the economy despite 22,000 active cases.

4. Is there anything else you would like to add?

I loved how Poet Gioconda Belli analogized the Nicaragua Government’s response to the outbreak as “dark magical realism”. She has stated that “Poets are revered in Nicaragua” and she believes that’s exactly what has protected her from getting in trouble. I wish that other non-democratic countries also had shields against the “villains of poetry” who continue being strong critiques of governmental oppression.

Furthermore, the countries in Central America are working together as one through the Regional Contingency Plan against Coronavirus denominated by The Central American Integration System (SICA in Spanish). Each country was granted $1 million to each of the member countries of SICA, which has already been requested by Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Belize. The resilient characteristics from the people in Latin American countries facing massive food shortages, and historical economic contractions inspires us all.

From the Reference Desk: Cyber Operations and International Law

By Jonathan Pratter

A student had a question: If State A doxes State B for hacking State C, what would be the result under international law?  The student was in the law school class, International Law of Cyber Conflict.  My immediate response was, “That is a good question. Let me get back to you.”  Every reference librarian needs a fall-back response like this.  We can’t know everything immediately.  The question was substantive, but since the student was asking a librarian, I understood that she wanted to know what resources there are that would help answer the question.

Code in green and white on a computer screen

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on

The first step was to orient myself to the question: What is doxing?  There is a pretty good Wikipedia entry on doxing.  This raises another question: Can you trust Wikipedia?  As it happens, there is a Wikipedia entry on this point.  It says explicitly, “Wikipedia is not a reliable source.  Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time.  This means that any information it contains at any particular time could be vandalism, a work in progress, or just plain wrong.”  Nevertheless, I am prepared to use Wikipedia based on a critical factor of reliability: internal evidence.  If the entry is well-drafted, contains references, and has other indicia of reliability, then I am prepared to use it, at least for the purpose of orienting myself to a question. is a language site, a good one for definitions.  A collaboration between and Oxford University Press, it includes both a US English dictionary and a UK English dictionary, as well as a Spanish-English dictionary and grammars for both English and Spanish. defines doxing as the publication of private or identifying information on the internet about a particular individual, typically with malicious intent.  I would take a broader approach and define doxing as the malicious publication on the internet of sensitive information about an individual, an organization, or (why not?) about a state.

The law review literature has a small number of articles about doxing.  A good example is Julia M. McAllister, The Doxing Dilemma: Seeking a Remedy for the Malicious Publication of Personal Information, 85 Fordham L. Rev 2451 (2017).  You won’t find any articles on doxing done by or about states.  We law reference librarians know that you have to go into the law-related literature, especially when the subject is international.  International law and international relations overlap so much that it could be tantamount to negligence to fail to search in the latter when dealing with an issue of the former.  An extended search produces an article published on SSRN and in the Harvard National Security Journal, Doxfare: Politically Motivated Leaks and the Future of the Norm on Non-Intervention in the Era of Weaponized Information by Ido Kilovaty.  Note that the author is affiliated with US law schools, but the article appeared in the international law-related literature.  This is as close as I could get to a source on doxing by states.

The broader context here is cyber operations in general and international law.  States use computers and computer networks to act in the international sphere.  Does international law govern in cyberspace?  The generally accepted answer is yes.  The field is pretty new and international law has to adapt to operate in it.  General public international law applies to state conduct in cyberspace and some of the issues are fundamental.  Sovereignty, jurisdiction, state responsibility and attribution are examples.

Students in a course like International Law of Cyber Conflict may not realize that the foundations of public international law are critically relevant.  Where do you send them for a grounding in international law?  The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law is a great source for this.  Confusingly, Oxford University Press has chosen to integrate the encyclopedia with another one, the Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law.  In this connection, the question arises, what is the best one-volume textbook of public international law?  There are several one-volume introductions to the field.  My strong preference lies with James Crawford’s Brownlie’s Principles of Public International Law, 9th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2019).  It is authoritative, current and full of references to the primary sources and further reading.

Two secondary sources that have to be mentioned are the 2020 monograph Cyber Operations and International Law by François Delerue (Cambridge University Press) and the Talinn Manual 2.0 on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Operations (Cambridge University Press, 2017).  The upshot of the question about doxing by states is Tarlton Law Library’s new research guide on cyber operations and international law.

New FCIL Librarian Series: The Wrap-Up

By Janet Kearney

This is the fifth post in a series documenting my experience as a new FCIL librarian. I started as Foreign & International Law Librarian at Fordham University School of Law in February 2019.

This is my final installment of the New FCIL Librarian column, and it is perhaps the most meaningful to me. Let’s talk about a critical piece of continuing education: learning how to combat systemic racism and the power structures of white supremacy in our work as FCIL librarians and as humans inhabiting the same space on the planet. This is on all of our minds right now and frankly, as I’m continuing to learn, should be on our minds all the time.Book cover for "A Black Women's History of the United States"

Like the other continuing education we do, it is incumbent upon each of us to create a plan to actively learn and not rely solely on others to provide us education. How do we do it? It is not harder than other types of continuing education and should be a part of our normal process: look for webinars on the topic; add books to your lists; have discussions with coworkers and colleagues; involve yourself in volunteer work that exposes you and challenges you.

I’m working on my plan. My first step is continuing to educate myself (for example, reading How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi) and identifying ways to combat systemic racism and social justice more generally within my courses and my research. I am at the very beginning stages of this effort – currently reading Teaching Race: Pedagogy and Practice. This is relevant in our courses no matter the subject, even when the room is full of future big law corporate associates. (And maybe it’s even more important when this is the audience given the systemic disparities in big law!) As for research, whether for myself or a faculty member, we must recognize that the structures of systemic racism and white supremacy actively affect where members of academia are educated, who is published, where they are published, and what is ultimately cited to in subsequent scholarship – all critical indicators of success in the legal academy. The choices we make in our research matter.

Book cover of "How to Be An Antiracist" by Ibram X. KendiWhat I have learned so far in this process is that, for me, it is not enough to recognize the issues and be upset by them. Reading is just the first part – the real work is taking those ideas and concepts and actually implementing them in a meaningful way. I do not know what that looks like for me yet, but I know it needs to be done. What steps are you taking for your continuing education?

Resources & References (a very, very small drop in the bucket of resources):

GlobaLex May/June 2020 Issue is Live

By Lucie Olejnikova

GlobaLex May/June 2020 Issue features eight articles; six updates: Trading Systems in the Asian-Pacific Region, Luxembourg, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Qatar, and Somaliland; and two new articles: Guyana and an introduction to Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Webmasters and content managers, please update your pages. We thank all our wonderful authors, new and established, for their excellent contributions!


UPDATE: Researching the Trading Systems in the Asian-Pacific Region – APEC, ASEAN, TPP, CPTPP, RCEP and their Members by Evelyn Ma at

Evelyn Ma is Reference Librarian in Foreign and International law and Lecturer in Legal Research at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.


Guyana Law and Legal Research by Errol A. Adams at

Errol A. Adams received his primary and secondary education in Guyana. He has a B.A. in Judicial Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice – a senior college of The City University of New York; a J.D. from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and a M.L.S. from St. John’s University. He is the Reference and Scholarly Services Librarian at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.


UPDATE: The Jamaican Legal System and Legal Research by Jeanne Slowe and Claudette Solomon at

Jeanne Slowe , MSLIS (Pratt), LL.B (Lond), B.A. (UWI) is presently Law Librarian at the University of the Bahamas, Nassau, The Bahamas. She has worked as Assistant Librarian at the Norman Manley Law School, Mona Campus, Kingston Jamaica; Law Librarian at the Faculty of Law, Mona Campus, Jamaica; Law Librarian at the Eugene Dupuch Law School, Nassau, the Bahamas. Her areas of interest include information literacy, legal research methods and law librarianship. She is a member of the Library and information Association of Jamaica (LIAJA); The Caribbean Association of Law Libraries (CARALL) and the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL).

Claudette Solomon is a law librarian who has a law degree and graduate training in librarianship with emphasis on law librarianship. She went to live in the United Kingdom in 1979 and came home in 2010 to Jamaica where she now resides. She has worked as a law librarian with law firms in Jamaica and the United Kingdom. She has also independently taught students, practitioners and academics how to use law libraries and how to do effective legal research using print and ICT media here and in the United Kingdom. She has worked in public, academic and special libraries (legal and accounting ones) in Jamaica and the United Kingdom. She was formerly employed as a consultant law librarian in the Mona Faculty of Law Library, University of the West Indies, Mona. Claudette currently teaches a Legal Research Course to graduate students in the Department of Library Studies on the University of the West Indies Mona, Jamaica Campus and she is a Senior Adjunct Tutor in the Mona Law a Member of the Caribbean Association of Law Librarians: CARALL, of The Jamaican Association of Law Librarians: LINAJ an offshoot of CARALL, of The Jamaica Library Association: LIAJA.


UPDATE: The Legal System and Legal Research in Luxembourg by Laurence Raphael and Nicolas Henckes at

After starting her career as a legal adviser at the Publications Office of the European Union in Luxembourg, Laurence Raphael joined Legitech as the Legal Manager in 2006 until becoming its C.E.O in 2013. She is now Head of Legal Affairs at the Luxembourg Trade Confederation (Confédération luxembourgeoise du commerce), an employers’ organization. Laurence holds a graduate degree (D.E.A.) in Public and International law. Special thanks to Nicolas Henckes, former C.E.O. at Legitech, now Director of the Luxembourg Trade Confederation for his collaboration on the previous version of this article.

After starting his career as an M&A attorney with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP in Paris, Nicolas Henckes returned to Luxembourg where he became the Personal assistant to the Governor of the Luxembourg Central Bank. From 2005 on, he managed the Association momentanée Imprimerie Centrale regarding the public market of the Luxembourg Official Journal (Mémorial). On this basis, he created Legitech in early 2006 for the same shareholders. Starting in 2013, he became the Secretary General of the Union des Entreprises Luxembourgeoises – UEL (National Employers’ Organization). Nicolas graduated from HEC Paris, before obtaining a graduate degree (D.E.S.S.) in Business Law from the University Paris XI Law School. He also obtained the CEMS MIM awarded by the European leading business schools. Special thanks to Félix Mgbekonye, lawyer at Legitech for his collaboration on the first version of this article.


UPDATE: Legal Research in Nicaragua by Rodrigo Tabada Rodríguez and Ana Carolina Alvarez Gil at

Rodrigo Taboada Rodríguez is a Nicaraguan Lawyer who holds a law degree from the Universidad Católica de Chile. He also obtained an LL.M. degree from New York University (NYU). Currently he is a partner at Consortium Legal in Managua, Nicaragua .

Ana Carolina Alvarez is a Nicaraguan lawyer who holds a law degree from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA). She obtained an L.L.M from INIDEM Business Law School in 2017 She currently works as a corporate and finance attorney at Consortium Legal in Managua, Nicaragua.


An Introduction to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation by Shaher Awawdeh at

Shaher Awawdeh holds a Ph.D. in Middle East politics from the University of Exeter, United Kingdom. He is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Deputy Permanent Observer to the United Nations since 2014. Prior to assuming his post in New York, he served as the Head of Palestine Department at the OIC’s Headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he handled the file of the Arab-Israeli conflict since 2001. He is a member of Board of Directors of the Institute for Middle East Studies-Canada, which he co-founded in 2011. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Know Thy Heritage.


UPDATE: Qatar’s Legal System Governance and Business by Dr. Ahmed Aly Khedr at

Dr. Khedr is a faculty member and Adviser of Corporate Affairs. He holds LLB, BA of Police Science, LLM in International Commerce and PhD Highest Class with honor in Commercial Law major in Corporate Law and Corporate Governance from Ain Shams University. He holds Professional Education in Business Management, Corporate Restructuring, Mergers & and Acquisitions from Harvard University, professional (TOT) in Corporate Governance from (IFC) World Bank Group. In addition, he has many professional Courses and certifications relevant to Mediation, Compliance, AML/CFT, Development & Management, Computer and Information Security and Management of safety. Dr. Khedr has more 15 years’ experience in as practitioner, Lecturer and Adviser of Law and Corporate Affairs. He has published research and books on these topics in periodicals and scientific journals. He has provided consulting in Corporate Affairs to many firms, several multinational and local companies in MENA and USA. Ahmed has an experience in the MENA especially Egypt and the Gulf countries. The ABCCG (Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry) chose him for designing the first “Corporate Governance Program for Lawyers & Corporate Advisory” in UAE and Arab Region.


UPDATE: Researching the Somaliland Legal System by Prof. Mohamoud Hussein Farah at

Prof. Mohamoud Hussein Farah is a senior attorney, a member of Somaliland Lawyers Association, and has been the Dean at the College of Law and Legal Aid Clinic at the University of Hargeisa, Somalia, where he has been lecturing in Environmental Law and Natural Resource, Labour Law, Introduction to Law and Legal Systems, Maritime Law and Conflict of Laws since 2004. Prof. Farah served as the Vice Chairperson of Law Reform Commission (2009-2017) with long experience of work in the field of legal and law review and reforms through legal education and research of justice system. He has actively promoted human rights advocacy, has been engaged in judiciary institutions reform, and has been associated with other Universities including for example Mekelle School of Law in Ethiopia, Pretoria University, University of Cape Town in South Africa, and Djibouti University. He graduated from International University of Africa, Khartoum and holds an LL.B Degree in Law, PGD in Law and Economics from Sudan Academic Universities, LLM and M.A. in Security, Peace and Governance from University for Peace, an UN mandated institution. Prof. Farah with the assistance from Professor Gaskins is the founder of Somaliland Legal Clinic at the University of Hargeisa.


For more articles, visit


Updates on COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean: Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico

This is the sixth in a series of updates by the AALL FCIL-SIS Latin American Law Interest Group and Latino Caucus in a project monitoring COVID-19 legal responses in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Updates will be posted every two weeks. The group also created its own website: A webinar on the topic is scheduled for June 18, 2020.


Name: Ana Delgado

Workplace: Legal Research Librarian, Suffolk University Law School

Countries you are monitoring: Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico


1. What is your interest in this project?

Headshot of Ana Delgado

Ana Delgado

While living in our new normal, I have found myself with more time for introspection. Thinking about how I can do more, be more present, contribute to something bigger than myself and my immediate needs. As I was struggling to define what that next step should be, I received an email asking me to collaborate on a new project. This project allows me to research, analyze, and inform what the legal response to COVID-19 has been in Latin America, particularly Cuba, Dominican Republic, and my native Puerto Rico. We all have witnessed how fluid the situation has been, and still is. That fluidity exacerbates the impact that constant breaking news has over the information stream. This initiative allows me to share relevant information, consumable by all, in a concise format. On February 4, 2020, Dr. Sylvie Briand, WHO Director of Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness said, “that it was important not to censor information, but rather communicate what is known about the virus, and what is not known.” I argue that this same principle applies to the dissemination of the legal response around COVID-19.

2. What have you noticed since the first week you began monitoring and until now?

On March 6, 2020, I was boarding a flight to Puerto Rico, the airport was business as usual, with a few passengers wearing masks, and I, for one, washing my hands every time I got a chance. A few days later, I flew back to Boston, already with the news that the virus that seemed so far away was right next door. Things started to move quickly. I had one ear in Puerto Rico, following the press and the other in Boston, trying to keep up. On March 11, 2020, the WHO characterized the COVID-19 as an outbreak. On March 12, 2020, the first Executive Order, OE-2020-020, related to COVID-19, was published, and it declared Puerto Rico a State of Emergency. Following that initial Executive Order, OE- 2020- 23, established a curfew, from 5:00 am to 6:00 pm. The order included the closure of all businesses on the Island, with a few exceptions of businesses that tend to basics needs like food and medicine. At the time, Puerto Rico has published a total of 23 executive orders directly related to COVID-19.

Map of Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Honduras, etc.

On April 9, 2020, Cuba created a multidisciplinary medical task force focused on all things pertaining to COVID-19, including but not limited to quarantine protocols (that started on March 24, 2020), information dissemination, and developing training strategies for health care professionals. Based on these strategies as well as the renowned reputation of its medical services, Cuba has engaged in medical diplomacy efforts as it sends its doctors, nurses and other medical personnel all over the world: EuropeLatin America and other parts of the world.

Dominican Republic has been one of the most heavily affected countries in our region. As early as March 1, 2020, the country confirmed its first case which was also the very first case in all the Caribbean islands. The rapid increase of cases and the need to rapidly implement curfews and other preventive measures have created havoc in the country’s electoral calendar. Some elections were canceled abruptly at the last minute and others have been significantly delayed. The Organization of American States (OAS) has decided to open an inquiry into some irregularities in these electoral processes and has vowed to be a close observer. According to the the country’s Electoral Board, congressional and presidential general elections originally scheduled for May 17 are now set to take place on July 5. On June 1, 2020, Dominican Republic’s President Danilo Medina ratified the social distancing measures and extended the curfew (that began on March 17, 2020) until June 13, 2020.

3. Which situation are you monitoring most closely?

I am mainly monitoring the lifespan of Executive Orders in Puerto Rico, with a particular interest in Access to Justice and human rights. I am also interested in learning more about the contrast in the news about COVID-19 between Cuban official news outlets, like the Granma newspaper and independent journalism like that of Diario de Cuba. Issues of disinformation and ambiguous communication coming from various sources, be it official government information or “experts” informing citizens, are at a priority to our project, and we will be sharing our findings in the coming months.

4. Is there anything else you would like to add?

As we all know, this is a rapidly evolving situation, where many aspects of our lives have been altered one way or another. I am curious to learn more about legislation for economic development in the Caribbean. For example, Puerto Rico’s profile as a jurisdiction with many opportunities has been highlighted as part of the economic and health emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In Dominican Republic, international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the World Bank (WB) have approved a plethora of financial packages to help the country face the current economic impact as well as recover in a more sustainable way in the long term. There is going to be a time where this will all stop being an emergency with reactionary solutions, and when we will have to move towards permanent plans for society and the economy.  I look forward to studying future legal developments in this area for years to come.

May FCIL-SIS Newsletter Out Now!


Image by kalhh from Pixabay 

The May 2020 edition of the FCIL Newsletter is out now.  Inside the newsletter, you’ll find:


  • updates on the AALL virtual meeting, FCIL-SIS elections, FCIL-SIS awards, and more, by FCIL-SIS President Loren Turner;
  • two new resource reviews from the FCIL-SIS Electronic Research Interest Group:
    • China Law Translate, and
    • HUDOC;
  • a reminder about the upcoming FCIL-SIS webinar on combatting the infodemic during COVID-19; and
  • a list of recent publications by FCIL-SIS members.

Check it out here!

Asian Legal Responses to COVID-19: First Monthly Newsletter

This is the first in a series of posts sharing the results of the AALL FCIL-SIS Asian Law Interest Group’s Asian Legal Responses to COVID-19 project.

By Alex Zhang & Sherry Chen

Since we launched our Asian Legal Responses to COVID-19 project back in May, we have received over thirty responses from many members! Special thanks to many of you who have shared your findings and comments with us!

We have now created our first monthly newsletter to discuss the resources and information we have collected so far. The newsletter is available here:

We have also made the information/data available in a browseable and searchable table:

Please continue to share your findings with us here: