AALL 2019 Call for Bloggers

We are hoping to once again provide robust coverage of the AALL Annual Meeting.  With this in mind, we are looking for volunteers to recap one or more programs in Atlanta. It’s a great way to serve the SIS and help those who can’t attend the Annual Meeting to learn a little.

Below are a list of some of the programs that we think would be especially interesting to FCIL-SIS members, but we are always open to members covering other programs, so if you’re going to be at something and would like to cover it, just let us know. To volunteer for any of the programs below or any other program, just email Alyson Drake at alyson.drake@ttu.edu.

Saturday, July 13:

  • 8:45am-12:00pm:  FCIL Bootcamp: Basic Training (Offsite–Georgetown)
  • 1:30pm-5:00pm:  FCIL Bootcamp: Advanced Training (Offsite-Georgetown)

Sunday, July 14:

  • 11:30am-12:30pm:  GDPR: What Your Library Needs to Know (WCC Room 147 AB)
  • 12:45pm-2:15pm:  FCIL-SIS Business Meeting (WCC Room 102 A)
  • 2:30pm-3:30pm:  Growing Out, Not Climbing Up (WCC Room 146 A)
  • 4:00pm-5:15pm:  Diversity & Inclusion Symposium: Privilege and Power in Legal Environments: Overcoming Barriers to Entry and Advancement (WCC Room 146 A)

Monday, July 15:

  • 9:30am-10:30am: Hungry, Hungry Hypos: Designing Raw Materials for Problem-Based Instruction (WCC Room 145 AB)
  • 9:30am-10:3am: Polishing Your Public Speaking: Beyond Picturing People in Their Underpants (WCC Room 150 AB)
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: The Age of AI: Emerging Regulatory Landscape Around the World (WCC Room 146 A)
  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Let’s Get Experiential! Creating Strategic Partnerships to Develop Experiential Simulation Courses (WCC Room 150 AB)
  • 1:30-2:45pm:  FCIL-SIS Teaching Foreign and International Legal Research Interest Group Meeting (Marriott Magnolia)
  • 3:00-4:00pm:  Locating Latin American Legal Sources (WCC Room 145 AB)
  • 5:30-6:30pm:  FCIL-SIS Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians Recipient Presentation (Marriott Marquis Ballroom Salon 4)

Tuesday, July 16:

  • 8:30am-9:30am:  Instruction Zone: Active Learning Ideas Showcase (WCC Room 145 AB)
  • 11:15am-12:15pm: Social Media as Primary Sources of Government Information (WCC 145 AB)
  • 11:15am-12:15pm: Better with Science: Strengthening Patron Learning (WCC Room 152 AB)

Introducing…Abby Dos Santos as the June 2019 FCIL Member of the Month

dos santos

1. Where did you grow up? 

I was born and raised in Washington, D.C.

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

When I was in law school, I started working in the law library because I loved spending time in the library and learning from the librarians.  After law school, I worked closely with my firm’s law librarian.  I loved researching and the process of finding the answer, more than the answer itself.  The law librarian at the firm encouraged me to pursue a career in law librarianship, and I did!

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

I have an undergraduate degree in international relations, and thought I would work in international development.  But I found a love for the law while working as an International Program Specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP)—providing technical assistance programs to foreign governments on topics related to international legal reform.  I further developed my interest in FCIL topics while working at Georgetown’s Wolff International & Comparative Law Library during library school and after graduating.

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

I currently work as the Reference Librarian at Caplin & Drysdale, in Washington, D.C.  I’ve been at Caplin & Drysdale for five years.  The firm primarily works in tax law and bankruptcy litigation, so I still use my FCIL knowledge when helping our attorneys find resources on tax treaties and other international tax issues.

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

My family is originally from Brazil, so I speak fluent Portuguese.  I’m also fluent in Spanish.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Redirecting my professional path to law librarianship and graduating from library school.  I’m very proud of graduating from law school, but as soon as I made the change to law librarianship, I knew it was the best decision for my professional career and thus has been the most significant so far.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?


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

Any Brazilian music

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

Speed reading

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

My phone (unfortunately)

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

I lived in Minnesota for college and law school, but came back to D.C. for library school.  I’m not sure how, but people tell me I still have a bit of a Minnesota accent.  So I’m probably one of the only native Washingtonians with a Minnesota accent!

From the Reference Desk: U.S. Acquisition of Pacific Island Territories

By Amy Flick


Courtesy of the CIA World Factbook, which is in the public domain.


“I have a citation that Guam was the first U.S. Pacific island territory, and I’m not sure that that’s correct. What date did it become a U.S. territory?”

At last, a ready reference question! This should be quick!

“What about Hawaii, Samoa, the Aleutians, Santa Catalina and the islands off the California coast? Oh, and I need to find the treaty for the U.S. acquisition of Guam, and for whichever of those acquisitions came first.”

So, not a quick question. I then spent the afternoon wading through the history of nineteenth-century U.S. colonialist adventures.

One issue to resolve here is definitions. Are the Aleutians and Santa Catalina considered Pacific island territories? With “U.S. Pacific island territory” part of the original question, are you including islands that are part of U.S. states? Do you want the acquisition date, or the date that the islands formally became U.S. territories? Beyond raising those questions, I leave it to the professor to decide, and I concentrate on finding dates and documents for acquisition of the islands she mentioned.

Since this was an urgent request, I started with Google hoping to find a list already compiled. I found lists of U.S. territorial acquisitions, with dates, from the Global Policy Forum and from Dr. Kathryn MacKay at Weber State University. These list the acquisition dates for the Mexican Cession (California) as 1848, Alaska 1867, Hawaii 1898, Guam 1898, and American Samoa 1899. The list from Dr. MacKay cited a publication from the U.S. Geological Survey, Franklin K. Van Zandt, Boundaries of the United States and the Several States. Emory’s catalog listed it with a link to the USGS. I went through them in the order listed in the USGS book.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2, 1848, 9 Stat. 922, T.S. 207, added California and other western territory to the United States as a purchase after the Mexican-American War. Article V of the treaty sets the boundaries, including “thence across the Rio Colorado, following the division line between Upper and Lower California, to the Pacific Ocean,” with no mention of the islands off the coast. Van Zandt at page 151 notes that California never had the status of an organized territory, but was instead admitted directly into the Union. The California state constitution of 1849, Article 12, asserted jurisdiction of “all the islands, harbors, and bays along and adjacent to the coast,” and an August 31, 1852 appropriations act of Congress at 10 Stat. 91 made an appropriation for subdividing the islands. And Santa Catalina was included in the County of Los Angeles in the Compiled Laws of California for 1850-1853. According to Van Zandt, “[t]he question of sovereignty over these islands has been raised several times, the claim being made that as they were not mentioned in the treaty of 1848, Mexico had not given up its title to them; but it is evident…that it was generally understood after the treaty was signed that the islands were a part of the territory ceded to the United States.” (Van Zandt, p. 152)

Alaska was purchased by treaty from Russia in 1867, in Treaty Concerning the Russian Possessions in North America, art. I, March 30, 1867, 15 Stat. 539, T.S. 301, 11 Bevans 1216, 1217 (1867). However, it wasn’t formally organized as a U.S. territory by act of Congress until August 24, 1912, 37 Stat. 512. Article I of the treaty sets Alaska’s boundaries, including “to the meridian of one hundred and ninety-three degrees west longitude, so as to include in the territory conveyed the whole of the Aleutian islands east of that meridian.”

Hawaii’s annexation was complicated. Characterized as a “voluntary action of its citizens” (Van Zandt at p.33),  the male property owners voting under the 1897 Constitution of the Republic of Hawaii, and was not by treaty. The Legislature of the Republic of Hawaii approved a Joint Resolution of annexation to the United States in 1895. Joint Resolution, Laws of the Republic of Hawaii 1892-1898, Special Session 1895, p. 100 (Aug. 13, 1898). Hawaii was annexed by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1898. Joint Resolution: To provide for annexing the Hawaiian Islands to the United States., Chapter 55, 55th Congress, Session 2, 30 Stat. 750, 751 (July 7, 1898). Hawaii became a U.S. territory by act of April 30, 1900, 31 Stat. 141.

Getting to the subject of the original question, Guam was ceded to the United States by Spain in the Treaty of Paris in 1898, along with the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. Treaty of Peace (Treaty of Paris), art. II, Dec. 10, 1898, 30 Stat. 1754, T.S. 343, 11 Bevans 615, 621 (1898).

As with Hawaii, American Samoa’s history is also complicated. According to Van Zandt (p. 36), the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany exercised a “joint protectorate” over Samoa after a naval confrontation over the islands in 1889. Samoa was divided into German and U.S. regions in an 1899 treaty with Germany and the United Kingdom. Adjustment of jurisdiction in Samoa, Dec. 2, 1899, 31 Stat. 1878, T.S. 314, 1 Bevans 276, 277 (1899). As Van Zandt notes at page 36 of the USGS document, “natives of Samoa had no part in this convention.” The Joint Resolution of Congress accepting the cession of the Samoan Islands came in 1929 by Public Resolution 89, Ch. 281, 70th Cong. 2d Sess., 45 Stat. 1253 (Feb. 20, 1929).

Of the islands and territories listed by the professor in her request, Santa Catalina and the islands off the coast of California were acquired by the United States first. Guam was acquired by treaty in 1898. The information from the U.S. Geological Survey document, Franklin K. Van Zandt, Boundaries of the United States and the Several States, made it easy to find the treaties, congressional acts, and state laws on Hein Online to send to the professor. (I’m linking here to the Library of Congress, HathiTrust, and other freely available sources, however.) I also recommended Foreign Relations of the United States for more documents related to the territorial acquisitions and treaties.

Introducing…Erin Gow as the May 2019 FCIL Member of the Month

erin gow1. Where did you grow up?

Richmond, Kentucky.

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

Did I select it?? I certainly didn’t mean to – it just sort of … happened.

The final requirement for my library degree at the University of Brighton (they no longer offer this course) was a dissertation based on a research project at a host library. Middle Temple Library,  a law library in London, was looking for someone to research their users’ training needs, and since I had a background in education I thought this sounded interesting. I ended up learning A LOT about legal research, and enjoying it more than I expected to. Just before graduation a related law library, Gray’s Inn Library, had an opening in their graduate trainee program, which was designed for library graduates without any legal experience. I applied and was hired, and once again I ended up learning A LOT about British law and legal systems, and really enjoying the experience. When they invited me to stay on for a second year, I was delighted, and then when a job opened up back at Middle Temple Library, where I had done my dissertation research, I immediately knew I wanted to apply. I became a law librarian because of a string of opportunities, some first class training and support from amazing law librarians, and the fact that I ended up enjoying the work a lot more than I ever expected to!

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

Gray’s Inn Library had a specialist collection of international law, but as an American working in British libraries all the law was foreign to me! It was really becoming the European Librarian at Middle Temple Library that made me realize how much I enjoyed FCIL work specifically though. I loved learning about the intricacies of the EU and the challenge of finding foreign legal materials from across Europe.

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

I have worked at the University of Louisville Law Library for nearly 3 years (in March!).

5. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Not really. I took several years of Spanish in high school and at college, and started to work on developing a reading knowledge of French and German while working at Middle Temple, but I simply don’t use any of this enough to have retained very much.

6. What is your most significant professional achievement?

Probably just the reality of being the European Librarian at Middle Temple Library for a little while. It’s an incredibly cool library and I really respect the librarians and library users at all the Inns of Court, so it felt like an achievement just to be hired there. In retrospect I also realize how much the job as a whole pushed me to develop a whole range of new professional skills and confidence, in a way that I didn’t even recognize as I was just getting up and doing the work to the best of my ability each day.

On the other hand, presenting at the British and Irish Association of Law Libraries annual conference in 2014 felt like a significant professional achievement at the time. It was fun to be aware of actually doing something significant (for me at any rate!), but also kind of intimidating.

7. What is your biggest food weakness?

Macaroni and cheese. I’ll eat it as a side dish or a main, homemade or from a box, fresh or frozen.

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

Honestly, I ‘m not really a dancer or a singer – see below.

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

I have always wanted to be able to play some sort of musical instrument or sing well. Unfortunately, I lack any sense of rhythm and can’t carry a tune in a bucket.

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

Orange juice – it’s my coffee.

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

I’m the current chair of the European Law Interest Group and would love to hear from anyone who would like to get involved with the group or share an idea for a project!

ASIL 2019 Recap: Late Breaking Panel: BREXIT and International Law

BrexitBy Marylin Raisch

Moderator: Oonagh Fitzgerald, Director of the International Research Program, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Ontario, Canada

Speakers: Robert Howse, New York University School of Law; Jessica Simonoff, U. S. Department of State; Sir Michael Wood, 20 Essex Street Chambers; Joao Rodrigues, European Parliament Liaison Office

The fact that the very day of this panel at ASIL was originally “Brexit Day,” that is, the day the UK Parliament was to exit the European Union, says a great deal about Brexit and the crisis at the nexus of international and constitutional law that it represents. However, it may happen April 12 if she cannot get her plan passed on this day, which would have given the UK until May 22nd instead.[1] (Or, as of this writing, at the end of this year if Labour cannot join up? Who knows…). This late-breaking panel was scheduled to end at 10:30 a.m., when the straw polling in Parliament on Prime Minister Teresa May’s proposal was to begin. And so it goes. (We learned soon after the panel session broke up that the proposal failed).

After briefly reviewing the timeline from the referendum in 2016, moderator Oohagh Fitzgerald provided a summary of the U.K. Supreme Court Decision of R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union [2017 UKSC 5]  (January 24, 2017). This is notable since the ruling of the court established that the UK executive could not just notify the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the EU; as with other UK treaties, an Act of Parliament would be required to permit that communication. (There is now in fact a European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Act 2017 as of Royal Assent dated March 16, 2017). With at least this basic context in place, and some reference to the role of House of Commons speaker Bercow in requiring substantial changes before another vote on the same matter could take place, the Moderator posed a series of questions to the panel.

  1. What is the state of international law in the UK in light of BREXIT? Does it demonstrate that international law is working as it should?

Panelists articulated several perspectives on this excellent question and seemed to cover the range from internationalist to newer reassertions of sovereignty. For example, Sir Michael Wood, who participated in negotiation of the UK treaty of access to the EU in his time as an EU-focused lawyer, stated that EU law is not really autonomous. It is embedded in treaties and so it is largely part of public international law. The issue of Northern Ireland, and the UK ideally remaining in some sort of customs union to avoid a hard border, may become one of rules of interpretation. There is disagreement between the UK and the EU on whether the art. 50 withdrawal mechanism operates to contract the UK out of even customary international law rules. While Sir Michael pointed out that some MPs think “fundamental” and “unforeseen” changes in circumstances are manifested in the backstop situation, and Brexiteers (pro-Brexit MPs and ministers) think this might permit departure from the Brexit agreement (and its backstop under art. 62 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties), he is not sure that this would be so. (Brexiteers want to prevent an eternal tie to the customs union). Many are skeptical that evidence of concern over an issue such as that, expressed in advance, could ever allow that issue to be called “unforeseen.” This panelist shared that skepticism, as he is more of an internationalist and former lawyer working with the UN International Law Commission and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

A different view was taken by the panelist from the current US State Department. Jessica Simonoff viewed Brexit as an outsider and saw it as not about development of supranational governments but rather as showing the ongoing significance of national identity. The rules are developed by consent, as underscored by the ability to depart from a treaty.  International law is alive and well because even after the UK delegated some of its international negotiating authority to the EU, it now can re-familiarize itself with some international law rules.

Professor Howse of NYU Law then contributed insights from international economic law as he pointed out that the UK would still be under the multilateral rules of the WTO. The logistics of new trade agreements and the hard border are not like the arrangements around which supply chains are organized. Pro-Brexit forces seem to him not to understand how new globalized trade actually works now, and a hard Brexit would create initial chaos with serious shortages of goods, at least temporarily. He also commented on the politics of Brexit, which he attributed in part not to a return to lost sovereignty, but to the work of elites using populism for political career advancement.

Panelist Rodrigues quipped that he “owns” his hat as EU bureaucrat. However, he prefers the term civil servant, a profession her noted ironically was established by the British.  The EU is an international organization, but one created by a body of laws that has a constitutional nature. He sees Brexit not really a legal question, because it is allowed under the treaty in the procedure outlined by the UK case. Moreover, a case went to the European Court of Justice on the issue of unilateral withdrawal from the Brexit process, and it was ruled permissible if done democratically. So the legal part is all sorted. But he asked the political question of how does a member state get itself to a decision to leave? What is disturbing is that here we are on Brexit Day and there is no clear manifestation of British will. International law is well; political process in Britain is not.

  1. May cannot use crown prerogative per the Miller case, in this instance of a treaty, but now can she not move ahead with a statute in place?

Sir Michael Wood pointed out that even with some of the specific legal hurdles surmounted, the situation carries huge implications for UK constitutional law and there should never have been a referendum. While the rule of law and the idea that a minister cannot put same issue to vote twice in same Parliament is the same rule that in UN from parliamentary procedure.  Treaties are executive and Parliament is not usually part of negotiations. In this case it has led to big problems.

Ms. Simonoff and Professor Howse, sharing a US perspective, observed that whether the UK is able to pull out of treaty has been moved to Parliament as a matter of constitutional law. Simonoff then compared the process to NAFTA withdrawal and Congressional involvement in those types of agreements. Howse noted and agreed that NAFTA would need some Congressional action for withdrawal. For WTO withdrawal, he speculated, were it to be contemplated, it would have to be based on resolutions of Congress, because the provision for review works through a Congressional process.

Rodrigues noted that there the Task Force on Article 50 Negotiations website was quite transparent, and indicated publicly what they would or would not accept. The EU 27 were united in how to deal with situation. Unlike Professor Howse, however, he thought populism played a crucial role.

  1. Is there a new bilateralism? Will getting out of massive relationship make the UK able to enter into such new agreements? Moderator Fitzgerald noted that European Council President Tusk thought bridging gap between any popular vote and orderly obligations needs to be worked out ahead and we have not seen that here in concrete plans for a new arrangement.

While Sir Michael Wood observed that the EU is not really multilateralism of the usual kind, Jessica Simonoff of US State thought that while bilateralism may simplify a discussion, a treaty negotiation is never really bilateral, as there are other voices in the room. Actions in the UK will always affect the EU. Contracts in many areas will be affected in the realm of private parties (for example, phone roaming fees now in EU after Brexit).

Professor Howse noted that ironically the less-discussed fall-back rules for the UK is a much bigger WTO multilateralism. The EU has now proven that it is a community of choice and right to depart is a real right. Euro-skeptics can now be shown that this is not like the old Soviet Union (to exaggerate) and that the EU made a good faith response. In his role as the EU civil servant on the panel, Mr. Rodrigues agreed that the EU will have to be flexible and negotiate a new trade agreement with the UK itself, so that is certainly bilateral.

  1. Q and A from the attendees consisted of three main questions:
    1. Will there be a way to adjudicate new disputes if there is a hard Brexit?
    2. Will the Good Friday Agreement and human rights in general be respected through some inclusion of the EU treaties’ principles on fundamental freedoms, and equality before the law, as applied in Ireland/N Ireland?
    3. Can the panel address what can be fairly referred to as a dishonest referendum? It was a dishonest vote: had it been between Remain and a version of Brexit, Remain would have won. The referendum was not an exercise in democratic will because no specific version of withdrawal was proposed.

The panelists answered all three questions together. Sir Michael Wood does think that temporary fixes will be used in a hard Brexit regarding air travel etc. He mused that the UK is paying to leave, and what if they say won’t pay if EU does not approve withdrawal agreement? Ms. Simonoff agreed that now that more information available, a second referendum could be good idea and not anti-democratic. Professor Howse thought democracy was manifested in the first vote, but people are also free to change their minds. Joao Rodrigues stated that the EU just sees it as done deal. Some provisional measures were taken by Council and Parliament to address a no-deal Brexit, such as in areas of customs, pharmaceuticals, etc., about 18-20 special measures, in fact. He thinks financial obligations of the agreement will come into the negotiations for a new UK- EU trade agreement, and rights of citizens as between the two jurisdictions will also play a part. He bases this on the UK rebate on fees that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher negotiated in the 1980s as manifestation of UK exceptionalism; they got it in 1984, so perhaps now as well.

As the panel ended and everyone left ready to check phones for news of the impending vote, all panelists- and attendees, no doubt- seemed to agree that whatever else it may be, Brexit has been good for stimulating interest in international law, and very good for lawyers.


[1] Update and Brexit timeline summary from a research report posted at the official Parliament website: “In a referendum held on 23 June 2016, the majority of the UK electorate voted to leave the European Union.

On 29 March 2017, in writing to European Council President Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister formally triggered Article 50 and began the two-year countdown to the UK formally leaving the EU (commonly known as ‘Brexit’).

The UK has long been expected to leave the European Union at 11pm on 29 March 2019.  However, following a House of Commons vote on 14 March 2019, the Government sought permission from the EU to extend Article 50 and agree a later Brexit date.

On 20 March 2019 the Prime Minister wrote to European Council President Donald Tusk, asking to extend Article 50 until 30 June 2019.

Following a European Council meeting the next day, EU27 leaders agreed to grant an extension comprising two possible dates: 22 May 2019, should the Withdrawal Agreement gain approval from MPs next week; or 12 April 2019, should the Withdrawal Agreement not be approved by the House of Commons.”


From the Reference Desk: Public Participation in Constitution Drafting

By Amy Flick

A request came through the library’s Student Research Consultation Request form, asking for help finding national constitutions that meet the human rights requirement of public participation, as well as the primary documents with the background or legislative history on the drafting process.

Misunderstanding the question, I prepared a quick list of my standard sources for searching national constitutions: the Constitute Project, and the databases for Hein Online’s World Constitutions Illustrated, Oxford Constitutions of the World, and the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law.

sr107-democratic-constitution-making-coverWhen the student arrived, I found that these weren’t the resources the student needed. She wanted examples of national constitutions whose drafting processes involved public participation. Searching within constitutions got us constitutional provisions for referenda and amendments, but not the drafting of the constitutions themselves.

I mapped out what I thought would be our four steps: see if there are any books or articles specifically on public participation in constitution drafting, find more general secondary sources on constitution drafting requirements, find specific constitutions that meet the requirements, and then find the documents related to those constitutions.

That was not the route we took either. As it turns out, there has been much written about public participation in constitution drafting. And many of those resources include multiple specific examples of national constitutions, complete with document citations.

We started with law review articles in Hein Online. “Constitution making” and “constitution building” worked better as search terms than “constitution drafting,” and not all articles that mentioned “public participation” provided on good examples. We refined by topic to “comparative law,” since some of our original results were not on foreign law. Most were on specific countries, including Iceland’s efforts to crowdsource a constitution. We did find some that compared the process in different countries, including:

  • David Landau, Constitution-Making Gone Wrong, 64 Ala. L. Rev. 923, 980 (2013)
  • Abrak Saati, Constitution-Building Bodies and the Sequencing of Public Participation: A Comparison of Seven Empirical Cases, 10 J. Pol. & L. 13, 25 (2017)

Our catalog had some good print resources that compared the drafting processes in multiple countries, and these included discussions of public participation, the issues with constitution drafting, and a lot of citations to other books and articles. Two of the relevant books in our collection are:

  • Tania Abbiate, Markus Böckenförde & Veronica Federico, Public Participation in African Constitutionalism (2018)
  • Framing the State in Times of Transition: Case Studies in Constitution Making (Laurel E. Miller ed., 2010)

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law was helpful as well. There was an entry by Joel I. Colón-Rios on Drafting of Constitutions, and it included a bibliography, plus a few document citations.

We tried a Google search for some of the cited documents, and we expanded from there to a more general search for “constitution drafting public participation.” We found several helpful articles and documents that way. I wasn’t sure how authoritative some of our results were, but they included many examples of constitution building to work from. Our better finds included:

Having found all this, we had plenty of examples for the student to look at. She planned to read further to focus on the better examples of public participation in drafting national constitutions. With specific examples in mind, I suggested more resources for books and articles.

  • vLex Global has books on the constitutions of the Latin American countries, including Ecuador
  • Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals on Hein Online
  • Emory’s library catalog has books on South Africa’s constitution drafting process
  • Oxford Constitutions of the World has constitutional overviews with discussion of the constitution drafting process, as well as bibliographies
  • Hein Online World Constitutions has scholarly articles on the constitutional history of many constitutions, most of them available on Hein Online

Finding the primary documents on the drafting process was more difficult. The secondary sources we found included discussions of the drafting process for many constitutions, and the secondary sources may be the best, and most available, sources for the student to cite. Although some of the books and articles included URLs for constitutional assemblies and other government sources, few of the URLs or links still worked. WorldCat had a few entries for reports and working papers from constitutional conferences and assemblies, but these could be more difficult to get through interlibrary loan, and would amount to a great deal of material to read through without specific page or date citations.  Where the secondary sources included citations to Official Gazettes, sources for those include:

For this student’s paper on public participation in the drafting of national constitutions, I recommended that the student focus on a few of the best examples. She is looking at Iceland and South Africa, but she may add one or two additional countries. This was a good project for letting secondary sources do a lot of the work of pointing out the best examples and providing citations, as well as including scholarly analysis. Finding the primary documents might be possible, but the student should let the secondary sources narrow down where to look.


Globalex March 2019 Issue Is Live

By Lucie Olejnikova

The March 2019 Issue of GlobaLex is live featuring a new article and three updates: the new Law of Spanish Autonomous Communities, and updates for Belarus, Chad, and ECOWAS/CEMAC. Below is the line-up. Webmasters and content managers, please update your pages. Congratulations and thank you to our wonderful new and well established authors!

Researching the Law of Spanish Autonomous Communities by Julienne E. Grant at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Spanish_Autonomous_Communities.html

Julienne E. Grant serves as Reference Librarian/Foreign & International Research Specialist at the Loyola University Chicago School of Law Library. She has published articles in Legal Reference Services Quarterly and the International Journal of Legal Information. She also co-authored a chapter (with Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns) for the forthcoming title, Latin American Collection Concepts: Essays on Libraries, Collaborations and New Approaches (McFarland, 2018). In addition, Ms. Grant is a regular contributor to the DipLawMatic Dialogues blog. She is a member of the FCIL-SIS and served as Chair of its Latin American Law Interest Group from 2013 to 2017. Ms. Grant earned a B.A. magna cum laude in Spanish from Middlebury College; an M.A. in Ibero-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; an M.A.L.S. from Rosary College (now Dominican University); and a J.D. cum laude from DePaul University. She spent her junior year as an undergraduate studying in Madrid, Spain.

UPDATE: Legal Research in Belarus by Darya Sarbay at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Belarus1.html.

Darya Sarbay is the Attorney at Law of the Allford Group Law Office. Darya is a member of the Firm’s dispute resolution practice and deals with general commercial practice. Previously she worked at the Legal & external affairs department of the British American Tobacco (Minsk office). Darya is a graduate of the Belarusian State University, Law Faculty. Nowadays Darya is LLM student at the Belarusian State University, Legal Regulation of Foreign Economic Activity (Minsk, Belarus). She is a participant of the prestigious competitions in law, including Willem C. Vis Commercial Arbitration Moot 2018 (Vienna, Austria), M. Rosenberg Competition in International Commercial Arbitration “VAVT-2019 – International Sale” (Moscow, Russia).

UPDATE: Regional Trade Agreements in Africa – A Historical and Bibliographic Account of ECOWAS and CEMAC by Miarom Begoto at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/CEMAC_ECOWAS1.html.

UPDATE: Introduction to the Legal System and Legal Research in Chad by Miarom Begoto at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Chad1.html

Miarom Bégoto holds a Bachelor’s degree in Private Law from the University of N’Djamena in Chad and two Masters in Private Law and Public Law, Human Rights option from the University of Lyon 2 and Grenoble 2, France. He teaches at the National School of Administration of Chad. He has held senior positions in the Chadian administration including the Ministry of Justice and the former Supreme Audit Institution, which became the chamber in the Supreme Court. Elected as a member of the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, he is currently the chairperson.
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