IALL 2018 Recap: Privacy in European Cross-Border Settings

By Meredith Capps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Law Librarians Convene in Luxembourg: IALL Plus One

By Julienne E. Grant


View of the Old City

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


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

Interpreters Booths in Chamber.jpg

Booth for Interpreters in the Chamber at the CJEU.

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


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

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

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.

Introducing…Sarah Reis as the October 2018 FCIL Librarian of the Month

1. Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in central Maryland, about halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., in an old farmhouse built in 1912 in a very rural area. One good thing about the AALL Annual Meeting being in roughly the same location this year and next year is that it makes it easy for me to visit my parents!

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

Prior to law school, I worked as a paralegal for three years at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., and that experience helped me realize, going in to law school, that I did not want to become a litigator. My favorite class during 1L year was Communication & Legal Reasoning, which is a two-semester legal research and writing course. My professor for that class was a former director of the law library (James W. McMasters), so I learned about this career path from him.

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

I developed an interest in foreign, comparative, and international law when I was working at Stanford Law School as a general reference librarian. The foreign and international law research requests were always were the most challenging, and thus the most interesting.

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

I work at the Pritzker Legal Research Center at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. I started working here about six months ago, but I attended law school here and worked at the law library while I was a student. I love how I now get to work alongside many people who were mentors to me when I was a student.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages? 

I do not. During high school, the Spanish and French classes conflicted with my math classes, so I got stuck on the Latin track and waived out of the foreign language requirement in college due to AP Latin credits. I have so many regrets. However, I am currently learning Spanish and am grateful for how technology has made it so easy and convenient to learn a new foreign language today.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

I am still early in my career as a librarian, so I hope the best is yet to come. One of the articles I wrote while earning my MLIS degree was published in Law Library Journal last year.

7. What is your biggest food weakness? 

Haribo gummy bears. “Haribo macht Kinder froh – und Erwachsene ebenso” is so very true. My family traveled to Germany almost every year when I was a kid, and one of the highlights of my childhood was visiting the Haribo gummy bear factory.

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

Come Together by The Beatles.

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

I wish I were fluent in many languages, like this Icelandic footballer. But if we are talking superpowers, then I’d say the ability to teleport. Or, in Harry Potter speak, the ability to Apparate.

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

My black cat, Pepper. But she probably actually qualifies as a basic necessity. Like any cat, her hobbies include eating and sleeping, fitting herself into any box or bag, and knocking things off tables. But unlike most cats, she is an excellent traveler—cars, trains, planes—it doesn’t matter. We have not gone on a boat trip together. Yet.

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

I am really looking forward to getting to know and working with everyone in this community!

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.



Introducing…Paul Moorman as the September 2018 FCIL Librarian of the Month

Paul Moorman

1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska.  No, not on a farm, but I have detasseled corn.

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

I remember first thinking about law librarianship as a career while still in law school after a particularly helpful reference librarian steered me in the right direction for a paper I was writing.  However, it wasn’t until about a decade after practicing law that I started to seriously consider making a career change.

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

I’m going to blame it on my stunning diplomatic victory as the representative of the Byelorussian SSR at the 1985 Omaha Area High School Model UN.   They hook you when you’re young.

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

I work for the USC Gould School of Law and I’ve been here for 13 years.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

German was one of my majors in college.  I used to consider myself conversationally fluent, but I’m very rusty. I’ve also taken classes in Spanish and Russian.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Achieving continuing appointment (our equivalent of tenure).

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Maybe you should ask what isn’t?  I indulge in salty snacks a lot more than is healthy.

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

I don’t do much dancing anymore except at weddings and if you look at my typical play lists you’ll see that I’m still stuck in the 80s, however, if I’m on the treadmill, I like to play Alors on Danse by Stromae, a Belgian who sings in French.  That song always makes me go a little faster.

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

I occasionally have dreams that I can fly and when I do they make me happy so I’ll say flying.

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

Coffee and the New York Times.

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

I am so lucky to have joined a profession that I love and that is filled with wonderful, smart, and generous people.   Life is fantastic when you love what you do.