IALL Recap: Opening Night!

By Susan Gualtier

open2Hello, FCIL-SIS members!  Our IALL conference bloggers have had some very long conference days here in Berlin, but are excited to start bringing you some recaps now that the dust is settling and we being to return to the U.S.

open3The 34th Annual Course on International Law and Legal Information, Within and In Between: German Legal Tradition in Times of Internationalization and Beyond, kicked off on Sunday night at the Microsoft Atrium with welcome addresses from IALL President, Jeroen Vervliet, and President of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Hermann Parzinger.  Professor Dr. Thomas Duve then spoke on Transnationalisation of Law and Legal Scholarship: Intellectual and Institutional Challenges.

open4Following the opening remarks, the delegates were treated to a performance by the Berlin Fire Department’s Brass Band and a cocktail reception in the Atrium’s Digital Eatery.  On the way out, few could resist a little souvenir shopping at the nearby Ampelmann shop, featuring the green and red symbols shown on pedestrian signals in the former East Germany, which have since attained cult status as one of the few features of communist East Germany to have survived the German reunification.

Each day since the opening event has been packed with educational programming on German legal issues, as well as social and cultural events courtesy of this year’s local planning committee.  Though we have had a full week so far, we look forward to recapping individual programs and events over the course of the next several weeks.

open5

Join the FCIL-SIS Electronic Research Interest Group!

Join the FCIL-SIS Electronic Research Interest Group! Make a valuable contribution to the profession and enhance your reputation!

world

The Electronic Research Interest Group meets to discuss both the web presence of the group and also new developments in technology or databases.  (FCIL Newsletter 2011)  This year’s tasks will include updating some of the items on the FCIL website like Lyonette Louis Jacques & Mary Rumsey’s Jumpstart Your Foreign, Comparative, and International Research and increasing the number of contributions to the Teaching FCIL Syllabi and Course Material Database.  Some of our past efforts included:

  1. Exchanging information about FCIL-related commercial databases and other electronic resources;
  2. FCIL-related digitization projects;
  3. The revival of the FCIL blog, which became DipLawMatic Dialogues; and
  4. China’s RC Supreme People’s Court’s creation of a repository of their cases in English.

To volunteer contact James Hart at hartjw@uc.edu or 513-556-0160.

DipLawMatic Dialogues Is Heading to Berlin!

iall captureAs most of our readers are surely aware, this weekend marks the beginning of the International Association of Law Libraries 34th Annual Course on International Law and Legal Information!  This year’s conference takes place at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Berlin State Library), and the theme of the conference is “Within and in between: German Legal Tradition in Times of Internationalization and Beyond.”

The conference programming will “reflect Germany’s legal history and will characterize unique perspectives on international and domestic law issues as well as legal information items. Speakers at the sessions will include highly regarded German legal scholars, legal practitioners and law librarians.”  More information is available on the conference website.

If you are attending the conference and would like to contribute to our blog coverage, please contact Susan Gualtier at susan.gualtier@law.lsu.edu.

DipLawMatic Dialogues looks forward to bringing you conference coverage and photos throughout the next week!

Berlin_Brandenburger-Tor_0141_a

#IFLA2015 Daily: Final Update from Cape Town

IFLA2By: Marisol Floren and Sally Holterhoff

The role of the libraries in providing access to legal information in Africa was the focus of the first session of the Law Libraries Standing Committee (SC) on Tuesday: Access to Legal Information and Legislative Data in Africa: the Role of Libraries and Librarians. This session was organized in collaboration with two other sections: Library and Research Services for Parliaments and the Regional Office for Africa. The session was chaired by Margo Jeske, from the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa and Victoria Okojie from Nigeria.

Four speakers presented papers:

Speakers highlighted for some of the countries the enactment of laws or the creation of institutions to encourage building local capacity to collect, publish and keep legal information up-to-date. Across the countries the speakers enunciated similar challenges to sustain technical and physical capacity to publish the law; barriers are not only financial and technical but also institutional, changes in government organizations, for example. Kenya Law was presented as a model to be followed. Speakers discussed the role that libraries can play as collectors and providers of legal information and services, especially public libraries; several examples were given in the United States. One hundred and fifty librarians attended this first session.

On Tuesday evening the Law Libraries SC held its second business meeting chaired by Sonia Poulin (filling in for Claire Germain who was unable to attend). During this second business meeting the SC reviewed the events of the week and heard the reports of the members that attended relevant business or professional meetings. Sally Holterhoff and Marisol Floren reported on a meeting they had Sunday with Patrice Landry and Frederick Zarndt from IFLA’s Committee on Standards regarding the possibility of developing a standard on authentication of online legal materials. Sonia Poulin, Elizabeth Naumczyk and Marisol Floren, as new incoming officers, attended two leadership forums and a training session on IFLA about its operation and strategic plans, which provided guidelines for the operation of the sections. The topics of next year’s programs in Ohio were defined and program coordinators and teams were assigned. Two main areas of interest for next year’s programs were (a) digital privacy including the issues raised by “the right to be forgotten;” and (b) outreach by law librarians to public libraries to increase access to legal materials, improving access to justice for the public. The section has agreed to be involved with a 2016 IFLA pre-conference in Toronto on managing human resources in the library context.

Today is the last Law Library SC session, on the Future of Law Libraries. This session will be chaired by Sonia Poulin, from Alberta Law Libraries and Information Services, Canada. Speakers are Kirsty MacPhee from Tottle Partners, Australia; Carole Aippersbach (Alberta Legal Information Society, Canada); Allen Guerra Bustamante (Library of Congress Chile); Ali Irhamni and Joko Santoso (National Library of Indonesia), Yani Nurhadyani (Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia); and Denisse Espinace y Carolina Salas (Library of Congress Chile).

This is our last report…later today we both begin our long journeys back to the U.S., tired but very inspired and full of new ideas and information from our 2015 IFLA experience. All papers from IFLA sessions are posted in IFLA Law Library and please watch for a full report from us in the fall issue of the FCIL Newsletter.

#IFLA2015 Daily: More News from IFLA Cape Town

Ifla3By Carole Hinchcliff

IFLA Opening Session

The IFLA conference opening session was a big, bright, colourful and inspiring welcome to Africa. We were treated to a variety of entertainment, including storytelling, songs by the Children’s Choir and songs by leading South African singer, Vicki Sampson. This whetted our appetite for Tuesday evening’s cultural evening.

Programs

Many papers from the programs at the IFLA conference are freely available and can be found at the IFLA web site’s repository at http://library.ifla.org/. You can get a taste of the variety of program offerings by perusing the repository.

Law Libraries Standing Committee Reception

A highlight of the conference for law librarians was the annual reception. This year’s event was hosted by the organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) and was held at the new Cape Town law office of Bowman Gilfillan on Monday evening. We were joined by law librarians from the other offices of Bowman Gilfillan and other local law librarians and enjoyed good wine and food provided by South African legal publisher, Juta as we toured the new library and enjoyed the spectacular harbour views from the library’s balcony. It was an evening of laughter and friendship and the IFLA guests took advantage of the opportunity to have informal conversations about South African legal research sources and local sightseeing recommendations. A heartfelt thank you to Charmaine Bertram and our South African law librarian colleagues for being such gracious hosts.

IFLA Poster Sessions

A section of the exhibit hall was devoted to a display of over one hundred and thirty posters. From noon – 2 pm on two days of the conference, the poster authors were available to discuss their posters. An impressive poster was the one describing The African Law Library (ALL) a web site offering a variety of documents from different African jurisdictions. The ALL is a member of the Free Access to Law Movement (FALM). John Miller, Senior Librarian and Shella Hurree – Online Librarian spoke enthusiastically about their work in progress in increasing the amount of free legal information from all African jurisdictions. Review the ALL to see if this merits inclusion in your research guides.

Sally Holterhoff’s poster succinctly set out Valparaiso Law Library’s revamped legal research program for JD students. Sally entertained a variety of questions about the program and their process of continuous improvement to teach legal research problem solving concepts – the process of finding and appropriately applying legal information to address legal issues.

#IFLA2015 Daily: Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa

By: Marisol FlorIFLA2en and Sally Holterhoff

As is the tradition in IFLA the day before the opening of the official program on Sunday, the different officers and members of Sections and Special Interest Groups convene to discuss issues related to their programs and activities. The Law Libraries Standing Committee held on Saturday the first of the two business meetings that will take place during the conference. We are looking forward to two programs organized by the Standing Committee on the topics of: (a) Access to Legal Information and Legislative Data in Africa: The Role of Libraries and Librarians; and (b) the Future of Law Libraries: Tales of Existence and Transformation. The first session will take place on Tuesday, August 18, and the second session on Thursday August 20.

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the Law Libraries Standing Committee.  Sinikka Sipila, IFLA President, and Donna Scheeder, President Elect, attended the meeting. They discussed the work that is being developed by the Law Libraries Section on access and authentication of legal information and outlined the meeting that will discuss IFLA’s strategic plan that will model the UN SDGs.

One of the highlights of this year IFLA conference is the impact of the Lyon Declaration on Access to Information and Development and the recently approved United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs articulate that: “…access to information, knowledge and technologies are critical for the eradication of the major development challenges…the strengthening of democracy; and the promotion of social justice and cohesion …” This great accomplishment demonstrates IFLA’s advocacy  to influence the United Nations (UN) for the inclusion of libraries within their post 2015 development agenda.

Because Claire Germain, Chair of the Standing Committee, was not able to attend the Conference, the meeting was chaired by Pascal Sanz (National Library of France) and Sonia Poulin (Alberta Law Libraries, Canada). During the business meeting the Standing Committee elected new incoming officers and recognized the worked done by the outgoing members of the Standing Committee. New officers of the Standing Committee: Chair (Sonia Poulin), Secretary (Elizabeth Naumczyk, International Criminal Court) and Information Coordinator  (Marisol Floren, United States). Some possible topics for next year program were discussed as well; this discussion will continue during the following days and the second business meeting to be held on Tuesday.

Another important event of the day was the meeting of the USA Caucus. Members of the US delegation are working in different IFLA’s Committees especially on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression (FAIFE), and Copyright and Other Legal Matters (CLM).  They are developing a joint program on Tuesday on The Ethics of Access: Exploring Copyright, Licensing and Privacy in the Digital Environment. The organizing committee for IFLA 2016 to be held in Ohio reported on the events that will take place next year. One of the new features for next year is the Scholarship Program which will sponsor librarians from the United States and worldwide to attend IFLA in Ohio in 2016. ALA will be coordinating this program, targeted to the new generation of librarians. The application form will be online and the call out is programed for the end of September.

AALL 2015 Recap: FCIL Book Group – A Reading and Discussion of Bill Hayton, The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2014). xviii, 298 pages.

By Marylin Raisch

south china seaFor the second consecutive year, one of our most engaging and inspiring FCIL colleagues, Dan Wade, suggested that a group of SIS members get together informally to read and then discuss a book relevant to our field of librarianship, international law. He put forward the title above and several of us joined in on the read and discovered that doughnuts, coffee and other perks awaited us in our efforts. Hard work this, am I right? In any case, Dan put forward The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia, a “hot topic” book, as confirmed by the appearance just days before our meeting of an ASIL Insight essay: J. Ashley Roach, China’s Shifting Sands in the Spratlys, ASIL Insights (July 15, 2015), http://www.asil.org/insights/volume/19/issue/15/chinas-shifting-sands-spratlys.

On Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 9:30 a.m., the group met at the at the Philadelphia Convention Center and embarked on a lively discussion, provoked by several of us remarking on the journalistic style of the book, in contrast to the monographs many of us buy, use, and recommend to students for research. Dan asked us what we thought of this approach. Responses were mixed; the clear and simpler style kept many of us more engaged with the recitals of colonial and post-colonial history that were crucial to understanding the nature of this international dispute. The narrative and maps presented effectively a narrative about tiny islands, coral and guano, that dot the “South China Sea.” (These quotations started to seem necessary after reading that this area of the sea goes by other names depending upon whether one’s perspective is Philippine, Vietnamese, etc.). After guano was harvested, rumors in more recent times have arisen to the effect that more valuable resources lie beneath some of the islands: oil and/or natural gas. So far, no discoveries have confirmed this.

South China Sea attendeesMany of us are familiar with the classical international law views of the sea as well as the more recent regime, made formal after the Second World War, articulated in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). One of our participants observed that the rumored oil and gas would likely fall within national boundaries and not in the disputed areas, given that the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), an area not more than 200 nautical miles from a country’s coastal baseline (UNCLOS, art. 57). The 12-mile limit of a territorial sea is therefore much smaller and part of the sovereign territory. Our author described in detail the efforts of competing jurisdictions to build up tiny islands, install airstrips and the like, asserting evidence of control. Author Bill Hayton contrasted the “freedom of the seas” championed by Grotius in the 17th century with the more restrictive view of his contemporary John Selden, who believed some measure of restriction and control may be exercised by a coastal state. The compromise reflected in UNCLOS was put into an interesting light by Hayton, who describes a “mandala” view of power among southeast Asians at the beginning of the 19th century that contrasted with Europeans. A ruler’s power in their view diminished as one moved away from the center of a kingdom near the sovereign. The Westphalian view has been that rulers have the same degree of power throughout a territory and its limit is the boundary (Hayton, 46). Hayton seems to suggest that the western view is now one source of the tension and counterclaims in the South China Sea.

bagelAnother important question one of us posed to the group was to ask, what are the real current disputes and the role played by the hypothetical value of the resources there? The assertion of sovereignty by China PRC is the principal one of concern to the United States, even though claims and concerns have been asserted, over time, by Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan. It was noted in our group that it was very unfortunate that this territorial dispute had become so fraught within China-U.S. relations. Just as in the days of Selden and Grotius, sovereignty disputes sometimes serve to promote social cohesion, and the audience for the dispute (from a government’s perspective) may be an internal one as well. In military terms, any future success in asserting control of the South China Sea by China could prevent mobilization of the U.S. military in the area. Closing the sea in that way to U.S. maneuvers could be a game-changer, since only trade and marine exploration are protected in the EEZ (Article 56 (1) (b), UNCLOS), although this is precisely where ambiguity has arisen. Participant John Wilson contributed his knowledge of some theories of international relations as well, and this enhanced our perspective on the issues as did Gabriela Femenia’s work with a faculty member who studies this dispute.

This group book discussion would make a great annual meeting activity going forward, and thanks from all to Dan Wade for once again inaugurating what may become a deeply valued tradition. Thanks to Gabriela, our Philly local, who thought globally but acted locally to bring us the super-special, amazing doughnuts from Federal Donuts with flavors like red velvet cake, curry (saw this one on the web site) and more. This is one international debate that ended with lots of sugar and smiles! The duty may fall to Lyo to find us doughnuts like this in Chicago. No pressure…. see you next year!

south china sea with donut