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.

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!

2019 AALL Program Proposals due Oct. 1


There is only one week left to submit your program proposals for the 2019 AALL Conference in Washington, D.C. (see here for the call for proposals, which includes resources for creating a proposal and the AMPC’s timeline).   If you are interested in proposing a FCIL-related program for the conference or in joining someone else’s program as a consultant or speaker, please contact Dennis Sears and Loren Turner. They will help you develop your ideas, recruit speakers, and edit your proposals before submission.  There is no time to waste!

Call for Bloggers: Law via the Internet Conference 2018

DipLawMatic Dialogues
is now soliciting bloggers for the upcoming Law Via the Internet Conference in Florence, Italy on October 11th and 12th.  This year’s theme is “Knowledge of the Law in the Big Data Age.”  If you are attending the conference and would be willing to blog on one or more programs you’re attending, we’d love to have your recaps to share with those who aren’t able to attend.  If you’re interested in blogging for us, please email Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu.

See the full conference program here: http://lvi2018.ittig.cnr.it/conference-program.



Second Call for Bloggers for IALL 2018

luxembourgThe 37th Annual Course of the International Association of Law Libraries is taking place from September 30, 2018 to October 3, 2018 in Luxembourg.  We’re looking for volunteers to recap one or more sessions for us.  Blog posts are short–between 400 and 700 words–and easy to do, and they’re a great way to contribute to the SIS.  Recapping a session is a great way to share your knowledge with those who are unable to attend.

We’re happy to have recaps for any session you’re planning on attending, but think our readers would be particularly interested in the following if you’re looking for ideas of which programs to recap:

Sunday, September 30th:

  • Pre-Conference Workshop, “Workshop on Library Innovation & Robot Usage

Monday, October 1st:

  • 9:30-11:00:  Introduction to the Legal System of Luxembourg and its History

Tuesday, October 2nd:

  • 9:30-11:00:  The Max Planck Institute Luxembourg: 50th Anniversary of EU Procedural Law
  • 11:30-1:00:  Privacy in European Cross-Border Settings
  • 11:30-1:00:  Traditional Cultural Expressions and International Intellectual Property Law
  • 2:15-4:30:  EiPro-Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law

Wednesday, October 3rd:

  • 11:45-12:30:  Robot Law
  • 16:35-17:25:  Lecture of a Member of the Court of Justice of the European Union

Thanks to our three volunteers so far–Charles Bjork, Caitlin Hunter, and Jessica Pierucci –for their willing to report back on the conference!

If you’re attending IALL and are interested in blogging for DipLawMatic Dialogues, please contact Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu with the name(s) of the session(s) you’d like to recap.  Thank you in advance!