New FCIL Librarian Series: Spring Cleaning: Weeding the International Reference Print Collection

By Sarah Reis

This is the fourth post in a series of posts about adjusting to my new position as a foreign and international law librarian. I started my position at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in February 2018.

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Our library has a collection of international reference materials (I, REF) in print that includes items such as dictionaries, research guides, directories, and encyclopedias intended for in-library use only. In anticipation of upcoming renovations, I have been doing a bit of spring cleaning—reviewing our international reference collection to determine which books should stay in our new downsized reference section and which books should be sent to our closed stacks/basement, off-site storage, or withdrawn.

I created a spreadsheet with all of the titles in the collection to keep track of my recommendations for where the various books should go. We had a little over 250 titles (including series) for a total of nearly 900 individual books spanning over three short bookcases in the international reference collection. It was easier than expected for me to recommend reducing the size of this collection down to about 15% of that initial size (to approximately 125 books).

A significant number of titles in this collection were either outdated or available electronically, which made it easy for me to suggest for them to be stored elsewhere. But occasionally, I would recommend for us to keep a print copy of a title in our reference collection despite having online access. I primarily suggested keeping titles such as the bilingual/multilingual legal dictionaries as well as dictionaries or encyclopedias pertaining to specific areas of international law (e.g., international trade, terrorism, human rights).

During the course of this project, I discovered several items for which we also have electronic access either through one of our subscription databases or freely available online. For instance, we had digital access to many of the encyclopedias in this collection, such as the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (via Oxford Islamic Studies Online), Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity (via Gale Virtual Reference Library), and the Oxford Companion to Politics of the World (via Oxford Reference Premium Collection). Additionally, many other titles were available through HeinOnline. I am brainstorming effective methods to make students aware of the availability of electronic access to many of these international reference books, whether it be by adding them to our A-Z database list or perhaps creating a new research guide on international reference materials available electronically.

Many items in the collection were outdated, particularly the directories, but also items like Treaties in Force (we had 2012 and 2013 on the shelf!) and research guides geared toward conducting research online from 1996 or 2000. On several occasions, I even discovered that our online access to a title was more up-to-date than the print copy on the shelf.

A project like this would be beneficial for a new FCIL librarian who is looking for a good way to familiarize herself or himself with an important part of the law library’s FCIL collection. Going forward, I intend to review this international reference collection every year or two to ensure that it remains fresh and up-to-date. Too many outdated titles bring down the usefulness and perceived value of the collection as a whole. The collection also needs space to grow. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of new materials that will be “planted” in this collection, such as the International Citator and Research Guide: The Greenbook!

GDPR and Data Privacy at the ABA TECHSHOW

GDPRBy Meredith Capps

I recently attended the ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago, IL (along with quite a few other law librarians, an impressive turnout!), primarily to stay current on recent e-discovery practices and platforms as my library’s resident e-discovery expert, per my prior life as a law firm associate.  As an FCIL librarian, however, I was compelled to step out of former-litigator mode and attend what proved to be a fascinating session on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and data privacy laws.  The speakers, Steven M. Puiszis and Judy Shelby, described the ways in which the practices of U.S. law firms and their clients regarding personal information may run afoul of the law, and how U.S. entities should analyze their risk and approach compliance.

Puiszis and Shelby discussed the GDPR’s expansive reach, noting that even minimal activity in an EU state may render a foreign entity “established” in the EU for purposes of the regulation, and that even data that is not “processed” in the EU is covered by the regulation.  They emphasized that “personal information” is defined in a manner far broader than U.S. lawyers would expect, that there is no small business exception to the regulation, and that this information may reside in many repositories maintained by the typical U.S. firm or business, such as human resource databases, marketing databases, client databases, and, of course, email correspondence.  They discussed lawful bases to process personal information, noting that a law firm conflict check should qualify as information necessary for the defense of legal claims, and discussed anonymizing data as one means of ensuring compliance with GDPR.   Though there is uncertainty as to how GDPR will impact requests for documents in U.S. litigation, Shelby noted that federal courts are generally not receptive to enforcing foreign blocking statutes, and that the typical U.S. approach to discovery runs counter to GDPR’s goals of minimum storage.  Cautious U.S. litigants should nevertheless consider narrowly targeting requests for data that may be subject to GDPR, and consider whether anonymized data would suit their purposes.

Their discussion raised a few issues that brought to mind research questions well suited to a course on FCIL research:

  1. National law: Though as a regulation, rather than a directive, GDPR is directly applicable to member states and does not require domestic implementing measures, Puiszis emphasized that EU states maintain their own privacy laws and policies that U.S. entities must consider in addition to GDPR.  Furthermore, I found that European Commission guidance issued in May 2018 specifically notes that the regulation empowers member states to impose conditions and limitations beyond those imposed by GDPR, and contemplates individual member state determinations as to the applicability of the rules in certain sectors.  The EC also states that interpretation of the regulation will be left to European national courts.  In constructing an EU research question concerning GDPR, instructors could well introduce foreign law questions into their hypothetical research problem–questions for which researchers would not enjoy the benefit of the national transposition measures list provided only for directives in EUR-Lex.
  2. Cyber-insurance: Shelby discussed the possibility of obtaining cyber insurance to cover fines associated with GDPR violations, but noted that these fines may not be insurable under the domestic law of some states, raising another potential foreign law companion question.
  3. Recognition of foreign judgments: Though due to time constraints they could not discuss enforcement issues in depth, the speakers mentioned difficulties surrounding the imposition of fines when an entity lacks assets in the EU, and that international treaties or domestic laws such as the U.S. Uniform Foreign Money Judgements Recognition Act may provide mechanisms for cross-border enforcement.  As enforcement proceedings inevitably proceed, they should raise interesting examples involving a mix of foreign and international law.
  4. Data Protection/Processing Agreements (DPAs): Puiszis discussed the importance of entering into, and modifying per GDPR, agreements with vendors and third parties with whom firms, and their clients, may share personal information.  Asking students to locate sample agreements would be an excellent way to reinforce research instruction from 1L and Advanced Legal Research courses regarding publications containing forms and sample contracts.

GlobaLex February 2019 Issue is Live

By Lucie Olejnikova

As Globalex celebrates its 14th birthday this month, we are happy to bring you the February 2019 issue with four great updates: Microstates and Small Jurisdictions of Europe, Chile, Canada, and Dominican Republic. Congratulations and big thanks to all of our authors!  Webmasters and content managers, please update your pages.

UPDATE: Finding the Law of the Micro-States and Small Jurisdictions of Europe by Andrew Grossman at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Microstates1.html.

Andrew Grossman is a retired U.S. Foreign Service Officer who served in Seoul, Abidjan, London, Tehran, Algiers and Geneva. He holds the degrees of B.A. in Economics (Clark), LL.B. (Columbia), M.A. in L.I.S. (University College London) and of Licencié en droit européen et international, Maître & Docteur en droit (Louvain-la-Neuve) and is a member of the New York Bar. He now lives in London and in Switzerland, where he researches private international law issues, especially in the fields of nationality and tax. Among his publications are “Conflict of Laws in the Discharge of Debts in Bankruptcy”, 5 Int’l Insolvency Rev. 1 (1996), “Nationality and the Unrecognized State”, 50 Int’l & Comp. L.Q. 849 (2001), “Birthright citizenship as nationality of convenience”, Proceedings, Council of Europe, Third Conference on Nationality, Strasbourg, Oct. 11-12, 2004; and “‘Islamic land’: Group Rights, National Identity and Law”, 3 UCLA J. Islamic & Near E.L. 53 (2004).

UPDATE: Researching Canadian Law by Kim Nayyer at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Canada1.html.

Kim Nayyer is the Associate University Librarian (Law, Legal Research & Writing Program) for the UVic Libraries and an Adjunct Associate Professor for the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC, Canada. She oversees the Diana M Priestly Law Library at UVic and teaches legal research and writing, and advanced legal research and writing courses. She regularly presents a module on the Canadian Legal System and Canadian Legal Research for graduate students in the Faculty of Law. In 2017 Kim was invited to present the Canadian Legal Research: What US Law Professors Need to Knowat the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. Before joining UVic, she practiced as a research lawyer, managed library and knowledge resources, and developed and delivered legal research and writing instruction at law firms in Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton, and as a Legal Counsel at the Court of Appeal of Alberta. After law school and before practice Kim served as a Clerk to Associate Chief Justice Jerome at the Federal Court of Canada.

UPDATE: Essential Issues of the Chilean Legal System by Sergio Endress Gómez at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Chile1.html.

Sergio Endress has a master’s in law from the Universidad de Chile. He is a lawyer and has been a Professor of Taxation and Trial Taxation at the School of Law of the Universidad de Chile since 1994. He is also a partner of Endress y Cía., Tax Advisors. He has published “Las inversiones en materia Tributaria” (Investment from tax perspective), Editorial Conosur, 1994-1998; “Manual de Impuesto a la Renta” (Income Tax Handbook), by Patricio Figueroa V., Editorial Jurídica de Chile, 1997, reprinted in 2004, (in collaboration); “Tributación del Propietario de Empresa”, (Shareholders and Partners Taxation in Chile), Editorial Jurídica de Chile, 2005 and 2006; and several articles about taxation. Since 2007 to 2010, he was the Director of “Manual de Consultas Tributarias”, a monthly tax review published by Thompson Reuters (ex Lexisnexis) Chile.

UPDATE: Legal Research in the Dominican Republic by Marisol Florén Romero at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Dominican_Republic1.html.

Marisol Florén Romero is the Assistant Director for Library Services and Foreign & International Law Librarian at Florida International University (FIU) College of Law. Marisol Florén-Romero manages FIU Law Library legal reference, outreach and legal research instruction activities. She oversees the acquisition and development of FIU Law Library’s foreign and international collection and is the Special Collections librarian. Dr. Florén-Romero received her B.A. in History summa cum laude from the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, Spain; a M.L.S. with a minor in Latin American Librarianship from the University of Texas at Austin; and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

 

For more articles, visit http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/index.html.

 

 

Locating UK and EU Guidance on Brexit

By Alison Shea

Brexit
Over the past week, two things happened which inspired me to write this post.  First I read this story on how the Dutch government had set up a website to provide guidance to its citizens on how to prepare for Brexit, and of course I immediately imagined how awesome it would be if the Dutch Brexit monster featured in the story teamed up with Gritty for a buddy comedy.  Second, I read FCIL-SIS Chair Catherine Deane’s column in the FCIL Newsletter asking for people to volunteer to write a blog post for Diplawmatic Dialogues.

As much as I know you were hoping to read my script ideas for the Gritty/Brexit monster buddy comedy, I began wondering if any other countries had created a comprehensive guidance site for its citizens and businesses in advance of Brexit (and especially a no-deal Brexit).  It had previously occurred to me that teaching an EU and/or UK research classes this semester would be very challenging given the timing of Brexit, and I figured the best thing I could recommend to students given this uncertainty would be to look for and follow government guidance documents.

Why recommend government guidance documents?  Because the actual withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU – currently scheduled to occur at 11pm GMT on March 29 – now looks like it will be very abrupt (if it happens at all), it will not be possible to amend all relevant laws to reflect the changes immediately (check out this blog post for a brief overview of the magnitude of changes that need to occur).  Thus, it will be important for anyone with an interest in Brexit to follow the government’s guidance on how to deal with it until the law can catch up.  Not only is the guidance going to be crucial for those living and working in the UK, it will also be extremely important for any country that currently engages with the UK in its (soon to be former?) capacity as a fellow EU member.   Therefore, a list of places to locate government guidance seemed like a good tool to create for librarians and FCIL instructors to have in their toolbox over the coming month(s).

After spending a few days searching and locating guidance information for most of the EU member states, I realized that the EU had already beaten me to creating a list of the relevant government guidance sites.  This was an extremely disappointing discovery, since I had already pitched this as a great blog post to Alyson and Susan and was really proud of my advanced Google (and Google Translate) skills.  However, from all my searching I can at least share my top research tip: because “Brexit” isn’t a real word, it’s a great search term to use in any language!   In the end, Alyson and Susan convinced me that there could still be value in my post, and so I humbly present a (shorter) list of relevant sites for locating government guidance on Brexit.

It should go without saying that this is what I was able to locate as of February 26, 2019; the landscape of Brexit guidance will undoubtedly change the closer we get to “B-day”, and will also change if the UK government takes new action in the interim (the latest update is that a “meaningful vote” will be held by March 12), so stay tuned!*

United Kingdom guidance

European Union guidance

Individual European country guidance

Even non-EU member states are finding it necessary to prepare for Brexit, as these countries interact with the United Kingdom under various bilateral agreements with the European Union and the European Economic Area; see, for example, this recent agreement on arrangements of citizen’s rights for many of these non-EU countries.  Three countries that have especially close ties with the UK are listed here:

 

*Looking for suggestions on how to “stay tuned” to the ever-changing world of Brexit?  Here are some of my go-to sources for Brexit coverage:

From the Reference Desk: Is There An Annotated European Union Code?

By Amy Flick

“Is there an annotated European Union Code? I have an EU directive, and I need to find some cases that interpret it.”

First, having just taught a class on U.S. statutory legal research, I’m thrilled that a student thought to use an annotated code to find cases interpreting legislation.

There isn’t a European Union code, not exactly. But the European Union does have a classification system for its law, and there are sources for finding cases on a particular EU directive, from the European Court of Justice and from national courts.

The student was looking for cases on Directive 98/44/EC on patents for biotechnological inventions.

Although European Union law isn’t codified, the closest thing to a codification would be the Directory of Legal Acts on EUR-Lex. It arranges EU legislation in force by subject and includes consolidated acts incorporating amendments. Directive 98/44/EC is classified with Intellectual Property legislation at 17.20, but with a general heading at 17 of “Law relating to Undertakings,” I’m not sure I would have found it without already having found the Directory Classification. There is also the EuroVoc thesaurus for browsing legislation (and caselaw) by subject. Either the thesaurus terms or the Directory codes can be used in the EUR-Lex Advanced Search, along with text and other criteria (including type of legislation). In this case, a text search for “biotechnology AND patents” worked just as well.

The student already had the citation for Directive 98/44/EC, but I recommended that he look at the Directorate-General on Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs. The European Commission’s executive agencies are a great source for finding current legislation that they administer, with links to EUR-Lex. The DG’s page on Protection of Biotechnological Inventions includes the Biotech Directive with a summary, reports, and related documents, plus a State of Play of the Implementation of Directive 98/44/EC that has dates and citations for national legislation implementing the directive.

Summaries of EU Legislation on EUR-Lex are also a good way to find legislation by subject, including by general topic or to search. Again, a search for “biotechnology and patents” retrieved the summary for Directive 98/44/EC.

With a directive citation in hand, my student can find cases interpreting the directive. The EUR-Lex Document Information for the directive includes a “Relationship between documents” section that has links to Court of Justice judgments as published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

The European Court of Justice’s CURIA site has an advanced search page with a field for “references to case law or legislation,” including directives by number. It even allows searching for pinpoint references to paragraphs within the directive.

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Since directives require that EU member states implement them with national legislation, there are also national laws and cases in national courts on the directive.

Once a directive is found in EUR-Lex, the links in the left navigational side bar include “National Transposition.” These National Transpositions by Member State provide the citations to each member state’s implementing laws for the directive. He could also use EUR-Lex’s Advanced Search Form. Choose National Transposition as the collection and search by directive number (1998 and 44).

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For this particular directive, that “State of Play” from the Directorate-General cites national implementing legislation. If a Google search doesn’t retrieve the cited legislation, the student could use the Foreign Law Guide database or the Law Library of Congress’ Guide to Law Online to find sources for national legislation.  There’s also the European Union’s N-Lex gateway to search for national legislation in N-Lex with the directive citation.

Back to looking for cases interpreting the directive, the EUR-Lex advanced search can be used to search national caselaw as well. He could use the same EUR-Lex Advanced Search Form, choose National Case Law as the collection, and enter the directive number in the Instruments Cited field.

The European Union’s Association of the Councils of State and Supreme Administrative Jurisdictions has its own Dec.Nat. database for searching national decisions on European Union law. The search page includes a field for Provision of European Union Law for searching by directive number, or other EU legislation. The results list includes country, date, title of the case, and parties, with case details including a citation to the national law and link to related ECJ judgements.

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So, the European Union doesn’t have annotated code, not is there an “EU Code.” But it does have subject resources for finding legislation. And it offers multiple ways through EUR-Lex and other EU databases to find cases that interpret an EU directive, and national legislation implementing the directive.

And my thanks to Alison Shea for sharing her European Union expertise!

Go-To Resources for the Non-FCIL Librarian

Int_lComArb_Wordle_Word_Cloud__on_Navy__2016By Janet Kearney & Michelle Penn

Hello DipLawMatic Dialogues readers! This is the first in a set of posts from Michelle and Janet on FCIL for non-FCIL librarians; the next post will focus on teaching. Michelle and Janet are both from Fordham Law Library, where Michelle is Faculty Services Librarian and Janet just made the leap from Reference Librarian to FCIL Law Librarian. Thanks for having us!

Where can I find Singapore cases on surrogacy? How do I cite check this Russian statute?  How do I find the main sources of international humanitarian law? As librarians, we often receive questions that we don’t know the answers to. What sets us apart is the ability to strategize and efficiently learn the answer. So for those of us who dabble in FCIL or only rarely get questions or are just interested, here’s a collection – a research guide of research guides and a couple of databases. While this is from the perspective of two academic librarians, these should get you started and answer the most frequently asked questions regardless of your work environment!

Research Guides:

GlobaLex – For those of you on the FCIL-SIS listserv, you have probably seen the great (and frequent!) updates to Globalex. From the publisher,       “The guides and articles published are written by scholars well known in their respective fields and are recommended as a legal resource by universities, library schools, and legal training courses.” What does this mean for users? It provides the location of various documents, but it also puts the documents in the context of their legal system. This is helpful for both those incredibly specific (and seemingly random) journal student requests and questions with broad strokes. “I need Icelandic adoption laws” – Globalex will get you started. “I want to establish a standard as customary international law” – Globalex will help you there too! Available for free online, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/index.html.

UN Library Research Guides, are unsurprisingly, wonderful resources for areas of law involving the United Nations. The researcher should keep in mind though, that the guides apply to United Nations resources and are thus not complete regarding international law as a whole. For example, the resource guides on international law may inadvertently give the novice researcher the impression that international law begins and ends with the United Nations. Available for free online, http://research.un.org/en?b=s&group_id=2087.

Databases

The World Legal Information Institution, (World LII), is home to a number of free and non-profit databases helpful to the FCIL researcher, developed by the Australasian Legal Information Institution, British and Irish Legal Information Institute, Canadian Legal Information Institute, Cornell’s Legal Information Institute, Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute, and Wits University School of Law. The searchable databases include case law, legislation, treaties, law reform, law journals, and specialist subject databases from 123 jurisdictions. Though the interface may not be as flashy as those of paid resources, it allows for an impressive level of advanced Boolean searching, including proximity searching. Note that coverage and currency can vary widely by jurisdiction. http://www.worldlii.org/databases.html

vLex Global is similar to World LII, but it is a subscription resource. It also contains case law and statutes, occasional regulations, and journal articles from over 100+ jurisdictions. The added value comes from a wider variety of materials such as forms, administrative decisions, regulations, and legislation from countries that can be harder to navigate, especially when you do not speak the language. What really gets me excited about this is the translation tool and the ability to navigate collections in my native language – sure I can use Google translate and try to parse things out, but this eliminates some of the guesswork. Translations, although not perfect, can be made between multiple languages and is not limited to English. https://vlex.com/p/vlex-global/

For primary and secondary source research, HeinOnline is home to many databases helpful to the foreign and international legal researcher. One of the most useful databases is the World Treaty Library, which includes over 160,000 treaties from 1648 to the present, as well as related articles and publications. While much of the material on Hein’s World Constitutions Illustrated is available on free websites, the database is still a useful resource, consolidating constitutional information in one place with quality English translations. For secondary sources, Hein’s Index to Foreign and Legal Periodicals is the the go-to index for over 500 legal journals. https://home.heinonline.org/

Globalex January 2019 Issue is Live

By Lucie Olejnikova

In our first issue of 2019, we bring you a new article and four updates: researching the Right to Water, African Law, and the laws of Gambia, Malawi, and New Zealand. Congratulations and big thanks to our authors! Webmasters and content managers, please update your pages.

Researching the Human Right to Water with an Annotated Bibliography by Jootaek Lee at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Human_Right_to_Water.html.

Jootaek Lee is an assistant professor and librarian at Rutgers Law School (Newark). Professor Lee is also an adjunct professor and an affiliated faculty for the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) at the Northeastern University School of Law. He is also a Massachusetts attorney. Professor Lee, a prolific scholar and author, has been published in prestigious journals, including Georgetown Environmental Law Review, Law Library Journal, International Journal of Legal Information, Legal Reference Services Quarterly, Korea University Law Review, and Globalex by New York University Law School. His research focuses on human rights to land, water and education, Asian practice of international law, especially human rights and international criminal law, legal informatics, Korean law and legal education, and pedagogy in law. He made numerous presentations at national and international conferences.

UPDATE: Sources of Online Legal Information for African Countries by Vincent Moyer at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/African_Law1.html.

Vincent Moyer (B.S., J.D., and M.S. from the University of Illinois) is the Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, California.

UPDATE: Researching Gambian Legal Information by Flora Ogbuitepu Ngo-Martin at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Gambia1.html.

Flora Ogbuitepu obtained an LLB (Hons) from Kogi State University Anyigba, Nigeria, a B.L from the Nigerian Law School (Lagos Campus) and an LLM in human rights from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. She has a wealth of experience in the theory and practice of human rights law, corporate practice and other areas of law. As a researcher, she has also written numerous papers on human rights issues and legal audit, which have been published. She worked as a Senior Associate at Tope Adebayo LLP, a firm of Legal Practitioners and Arbitrators. At present, she works as a legal practitioner and consults for a variety of businesses and individuals in corporate law and other areas of law.

UPDATE: Malawi Legal System and Research Resources by Redson Edward Kapindu at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Malawi1.html.

Redson Kapindu is a Judge of the High Court of Malawi, and a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at the University of Johannesburg. Redson Kapindu holds a Ph.D. from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He also holds an LL.B. (Honors) from the University of Malawi; an LL.M. from the University of Pretoria; and a Diploma in International Human Rights from Lund University.

UPDATE: Access to New Zealand Law by Rosa Polaschek at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/New_Zealand1.html.

Rosa Polaschek graduated from the University of Auckland, BA/LLB (Hons) as a Senior Scholar in Law. She has worked as a Judges’ Clerk at the High Court of New Zealand, and subsequently at the Crown Law Office. Her interests are in constitutional and public law, and human rights law. In 2017, she was awarded the New Zealand Law Foundation’s Cleary Memorial Prize, for a young for barrister or solicitor who shows outstanding future promise in the legal profession. In 2018, Rosa was awarded a Hauser Global Scholarship to study at New York University toward an LLM (Master of Laws) degree. The article below updates the previous version, authored by Margaret Greville.

 

For more articles, visit Globalex at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/index.html.