Recap: Jurisdictions Interest Groups Joint Meeting

By Alyson Drake

This year’s Jurisdictions Interest Groups Joint Meeting was a fantastic opportunity to hear from our FCIL-SIS colleagues on interesting topics and interest group projects.

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jenJennifer Allison from the European Law Interest Group kicked off the meeting with an informative discussion of recent changes to German asylum law.  First, Jennifer explained that asylum for the politically persecuted is a constitutional right in Germany, under Grundgesetz article 16a.  She highlighted three 2016 laws related to German asylum law:

  • The Data Exchange Improvement Act, aimed at improving procedures for the exchange of data between government groups and other entities dealing with refugees;
  • The Act Introducing an Accelerated Asylum Procedure, which explains how accelerated asylum procedure will work for those cases where a fraudulent application for asylum is expected or where there’s a potential risk to the safety of the country by an applicant; and
  • The Act Simplifying Expulsion of Foreign Criminals and the Broadened Suspension of Refugee Recognition for Criminal Asylum Applicant, which amends earlier asylum laws.

She also discussed the Integration Act, the latest asylum legislation, which has yet to come into force and encourages asylum seekers and grantees to participate in training programs to help integrate them into German culture.

german law guideJennifer also provided a handout with various German law sources and other helpful sources, which can be found on her German Law Research Guide; it includes a section on German asylum law.  She also highly recommended following Jenny Gesley, who is the German Law Specialist at the Library of Congress, on Twitter for updates relating to German law.  One other resource she highly recommended is the Linguee German-English Dictionary, which gives good examples of legal terminology in context.

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Next up were Juice Lee and Steven Alexander de Costa, speaking on behalf of the Latin America Interest Group.  They presented the IG’s progress on the “Guide to Legal Research on Cuba.”  The guide will include information on Cuba’s history and Cuban law.  It will also include both Spanish and English language resources. The expected completion date of the guide is September 1st, 2016, and the group is still deciding on where to publish the guide after completion.

Steven discussed a little about his experiences working on the legal history portion of the guide.  He explained that the project was unique because materials relating to Cuba’s legal history weren’t widely available, particularly in English.  He noted that he learned some interesting facts about Cuba’s legal history, including that the modern history of Cuba began with the 1959 revolution, and that the legal system entwines both civil and socialist law, as well as some common law.  Interestingly, Cuban law still owes a lot to Spanish civil codes.

cuban lawIn the discussion that followed the update, it was noted that LLMC is currently working on digitizing approximately 200 Cuban materials, and that the National Library of Cuba has joined to cause and is helping find rare titles and more materials.  Teresa Miguel-Stearns also briefly discussed her recent trip to Cuba.

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The third speaker was Yemisi Dina from the Africa Interest Group, updating the group on completing phase one of her the South Western Nigeria digitization project.  One recent development is that she’s created a blog, digesting cases before customary courts in two cities in South Western Nigeria.

Yemisi shared several observations with the group:

  • yemisiCustomary law has a future in the legal system of Nigeria and other African countries. Customary courts are disorganized, but the government is interested. Yemisi noted that the government put a structure together for her to visit.
  • The resolution process is open to everyone, not just certain demographic groups. Yemisi observed that educated people are using the customary courts to resolve their disputes.
  • The majority of issues before the customary courts are divorce; rent; and child custody. Yemisi mentioned that land disputes used to be before the courts a great deal, but that those disputes have died down.
  • The courts face several challenges, including financial issues, as they are not funded by the government; limited resources, such as courts having only one staff person working at the court; and a lack of technology.

Yemisi welcomes comments about and suggestions for her project.

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perkinsFinally, Steven Perkins from the Indigenous Peoples Interest Group gave an interesting talk on some of the issues regarding DNA testing of Indigenous Peoples.

First, Steven discussed some of the different types of DNA testing that can take place, including the testing that can be done to determine the ethnic groups from which a person gets their DNA.  Next, Steven provided a brief history of the relationship between scientists and Native American tribes, namely that scientists have been analyzing tribe blood over the last 50 years, but that some challenges arose in how scientists were using their samples.  Scientists conducted research beyond the scope of what they told the tribes would be done, gave samples out to other scientists, and moved around the blood samples to different schools.  As such, the tribe had to set some boundaries and recollect the blood that had been passed around.  As such, tribes have created a guide to decide how to approach these situations.  The guide is found on the National Congress of American Indians website.  Most notably, the tribes keep the data and keep custody of the samples, and have procedures for determining whether a person is part of a particular tribe.

Thank you to all the speakers for presenting such a robust Jurisdictions IG meeting!

FCIL-SIS Jurisdictions Interest Groups To Meet On Sunday

FCIL-SIS invites all AALL conference attendees to join us for our Jurisdictions Interest Groups Joint Meeting this Sunday, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm, in the Hyatt-Water Tower Room.  The program will include substantive presentations from several of our interest groups, as well as 15 minutes at the end of the meeting for each group to discuss their plans for the coming year.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

SUNDAY July 17, 2016

12:30 PM – 2:00 PM

FCIL-SIS Jurisdictions IG Joint Meeting (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Indigenous Peoples, Customary & Religious Law, Roman Law) (Hyatt-Water Tower)

Meeting Topics:

  • Welcome and Intro (Susan Gualtier, Louisiana State University School of Law Library) – 5 minutes
  • European Law: Recent Developments in German Law Related to Asylum and Refugees: A Brief Overview for Law Librarians (Jennifer Alison, Harvard Law School Library) – 20 minutes
  • Latin America: Cuban Legal Research Guide (Julienne Grant, Loyola University Chicago Law Library, et al.) – 10 minutes
  • Africa: Updates of the Digitization Case Law Project from South Western Nigeria (Yemisi Dina, Osgood Hall Law School Library) – 20 minutes
  • Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous Peoples and DNA Testing: Friend or Foe? (Steven Perkins, Greenberg Traurig, LLP) – 20 minutes
  • Individual Interest Groups business meetings – 15 minutes

Everyone is welcome to attend the presentations and to check out our interest groups, so please spread the word to anyone interested in these areas of foreign law.  FCIL-SIS looks forward to seeing you there!

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Schedule of FCIL Events in Philadelphia

Blog Postcards 2015Hello FCIL-SIS!  Are you ready for Philly?  We at the publicity committee certainly are!  We have swag for the exhibit hall ready to go, and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our SIS friends again next week!

As we approach the 2015 AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, we encourage you to keep an eye on the blog and to follow us on Twitter for coverage of FCIL-SIS programming both during and after the conferenceIf you are interested in covering any of the events listed below, please contact blog administrators Susan Gualtier (susan.gualtier@law.lsu.edu) or Loren Turner (lturner@law.ufl.edu).  Finally, remember to send us your original photos from the Philadelphia conference so that we can share them with our readers who were unable to attend!

FCIL-SIS EVENTS

2015 AALL ANNUAL MEETING, PHILADELPHIA

Saturday, July 18

9:30am – 4:45 pm

Researching the European Union (University of Pennsylvania Law School)

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Exhibit Hall Ribbon-Cutting/Opening Reception. Stop by the FCIL-SIS table!

Sunday, July 19

11:30 am – 12:45 pm

AALL/LexisNexis Call for Papers: Researching International Agreements other than Article II

Treaties (PCC-Room 104A)

FCIL-SIS Jurisdictions Interest Groups Joint Meeting (Marriott-Grand Ballroom Salon C)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Cross-Border Disputes: Dissecting the International Investment Arbitration (PCC-Room

201BC)

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Designers’ Workshop: Subject Guides that Create the Effect You Want (PCC-Room 103BC)

5:15 pm – 6:00 pm

FCIL-SIS Foreign Selectors Interest Group (Marriott-Room 306)

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

FCIL-SIS Internships and International Exchanges Committee (Marriott-Room 310)

FCIL-SIS Publicity Committee (Marriott-Room 308)

Monday, July 20

7:15 am – 8:30 am

FCIL-SIS Business Meeting and Breakfast (PCC-Room 110AB)

3:15 pm – 4:25 pm

FCIL-SIS Teaching Foreign and International Legal Research Interest Group (PCC-Room

112A)

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm

FCIL-SIS Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians Fundraising Committee (Marriott-

Conference Suite 2)

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

FCIL-SIS Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians Recipient Presentation (Marriott-Grand

Ballroom Salon D)

5:45 pm – 6:45 pm

International Attendees Joint Reception (AALL/FCIL/IALL) (Marriott-Grand Ballroom Salon

IJ)

Tuesday, July 21

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Mighty MT: Enhancing the Value of Machine Translation Tools for FCIL Reference and

Collection Services (PCC-Room 103BC)

12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

LHRB/FCIL-SIS Roman Law Interest Group: Researching the Corpus Juris Civilis (PCC-Room

105A)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

FCIL-SIS Education Committee (Marriott-Grand Ballroom Salon B)

FCIL-SIS Electronic Research Interest Group (PCC-Room 104B)

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Indigenous Peoples Law Interest Group Report, AALL 2014

By Joan Policastri

The Indigenous Peoples Law Interest Group has been mostly dormant for the past year, but no more. The San Antonio meeting was inspirational, and we hope to accomplish a number of goals over the next year.  We appreciate your input as we work to prioritize our projects.  Some suggested ideas for things to accomplish in the next year include:

  • Setting up our own web page
  • Gathering and posting laws related to indigenous peoples by region
  • Creating a list of serials, both legal and non-legal,  related to indigenous peoples
  • Creating a forum for questions and comments regarding the new KIA-KIX Classification for Indigenous Peoples of North America
  • Coordinating with other interest groups to discuss indigenous law aspects in other areas of specialization (indigenous peoples are concerned with virtually all FCIL areas)
  • Gauging interest in an Indigenous Law newsletter, email list, or blog where interesting members can let each other know what is happening in the world of Indigenous Law and communicate with regard to particular projects
  • Designing a webinar on the topic of Indigenous Law

The opportunity to participate in the “Hot Topic” presentation, “Land Grabbing: Accessing Information to Protect Property Rights of Indigenous People,” was a great way to re-energize. If you were not able to attend the program, please be sure to visit the Wiki for access to the presentations and research materials.

I know that many interested folks were not able to attend the San Antonio meeting. If you are interested in any of these projects or in simply being on any email list, please send me your contact information at joan.policastri@colorado.edu and let me know your interest.  And, please feel free to make other suggestions as well.

Many thanks to everyone for your interest and support of the Indigenous Peoples Law Interest Group!  We look forward to hearing from you.

Latin American Law Interest Group Meeting Report

By Julienne Grant

The Latin American Law Interest Group met at 7 a.m. on Sunday, July 13th. Seven people attended, including invited guest Irene Kraft (2014 Schaffer Grant recipient.) A number of agenda items were discussed. First, Chair Julienne Grant announced that the Group’s new webpage is up and running. Next, the Group discussed the weekly e-update and whether e-mail was the best format for distribution. Several of the attendees wondered whether the updates could be moved to the webpage, or the information could be moved to a blog; these options will be explored. News sources that members are looking at include La Jornada (Mexico), El País (Spain), the Latin American Herald Tribune, and the Miami Herald.

Jonathan Pratter next unveiled the “Mexican Law and Legal Research” guide (available on the webpage) that was prepared in conjunction with the July 15th Mexican Law program. Eight members of the Group contributed pieces to the guide (Jonathan Pratter, Julienne Grant, Marisol Floren-Romero, Bianca Anderson, Teresa Miguel-Stearns, Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Jootaek Lee, and Sergio Stone.)

Next on the agenda was the topic of Latin American vendors of legal materials. Teresa had compiled a vendors list for SALALM (Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials) in 2010. She will update this and post it on the Group’s webpage. After a brief discussion of Latin American vendors, the attendees discussed an earlier proposal (originating with Joyce Manno Janto) to establish a formal exchange program between U.S. and Chilean law librarians. Feasibility issues were noted, including language barriers. Teresa will speak with Claudia Cuevas (Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile) at IALL (Buenos Aires) about the overall feasibility of the project, and Irene generously offered to help in any way possible.

The attendees next talked about other future projects, including the possibility of assembling another law/legal research guide, focusing on a different Latin American country. The Mexican guide was a tremendous amount of work, but attendees expressed interest in participating in a similar project. Country possibilities mentioned were Argentina, Colombia, and Cuba.

2014 Schaffer Grant recipient Irene Kraft (currently at the International Criminal Court) next provided an update on the Biblioteca del Congreso Nacional de Chile (BCN). Irene worked there from 2008-2013—first as a general reference librarian, and then did FCIL work because she is multilingual. Irene explained that every major piece of legislation proposed to the Chilean Congress has a comparative law component/justification, so comparative law research is important at the BCN. Irene indicated that the BCN is currently undergoing a major internal restructuring, which involves a number of retirements. Soledad Ferreiro retired as Director; she had pushed for the BCN’s legislative database, which was funded by the World Bank. Manuel Alfonso Pérez, a historian and long-time BCN employee, now heads the Library.

Irene also noted that Chile’s most recent elections resulted in a huge change in the composition of Parliament, and that recently-elected President Michelle Bachelet (also President from 2006-2010) is pushing for various fiscal, educational, and electoral reforms. One attendee asked Irene about the Rapa Nui and Mapuche communities in Chile. She indicated that controversies involving these indigenous groups still rarely make the news.

Many thanks to Irene for joining us!!

 

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CARLIG Holds Inaugural Meeting in San Antonio

By Susan GualtierIMG_3427

The new Customary and Religious Law Interest Group held its very first meeting this weekend in San Antonio! We are very excited to report on the meeting and to encourage all of you to join us in this new endeavor.

As a preliminary matter, the members who attended the meeting decided to keep the current name and the acronym “CARLIG.” We also decided that all group communications should take place through the My Communities group to whatever extent possible.

The group then spent the remainder of the meeting discussing potential projects on which to work in the coming year, as well as ideas for programming proposals for next year’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. The group decided to work on developing bibliographies or collection guides containing “critical resources” that every library should have in building a minimum core collection. Collection guides will be created for the different religious law and canon law systems, and for customary legal systems and customary law in general. The second project on which the group would like to work in the coming year is to identify the major collections in each area of interest.

With regard to programming, it was suggested that because the group’s interests are somewhat esoteric, we may want to focus on ideas for informal programming, such as coffee talks and book discussions, in the event that our formal proposals are not accepted. The group agreed that this was an excellent idea and will watch for interesting books and discussion topics around which to build informal programming in Philadelphia. The group also discussed ideas for formal programming, including topics that may lend themselves to collaboration with other AALL groups, such as the Legal History and Rare Books SIS. Because of next year’s location in Philadelphia, which is close to Amish and Mennonite communities in Pennsylvania, the group intends to develop a proposal addressing the accommodation of religious minorities in larger communities. Other ideas included programs on teaching customary law research in FCIL research classes, family law and/or women’s rights issues in mixed legal systems, the resurgence in witchcraft accusations in a number of customary law communities in different parts of the world (as well as a potential tie-in with similar accusations occurring in Louisiana and Florida Haitian voodoo communities), and medieval customary laws in Europe and their influence on modern laws and legal systems.

After meeting on Sunday, the group reported its activities at the FCIL-SIS business meeting on Monday morning, which seemed to generate even more interest in the new IG. We hope that more AALL members will join our roster and share their ideas for projects and programming. As chair of the new group, I will be contacting everyone who has expressed interest over the next few days so that we can get the ball rolling on developing our projects and programming proposals. I will also be creating a forum in which we can all share our ideas and work to develop our programming proposals. In the meantime, if you wish to participate or to follow the group’s activities, please join our My Communities group to receive notifications as they post. We look forward to sharing our interests with the AALL community.

Introducing the FCIL-SIS Customary and Religious Law Interest Group!

The FCIL-SIS is excited to announce the formation of a brand new Interest Group just in time for the Annual Meeting in San Antonio. Currently going by the name of “CARLIG” – an acronym for “Customary and Religious Law Interest Group” – this new IG will provide a forum for AALL members interested in the research and study of all types of customary, tribal, religious, and canon law systems.

CARLIG will hold its inaugural meeting on Sunday, July 13, 2014 at 7:00 AM in Marriott Rivercenter-Salon C, as part of the FCIL-SIS Subject Groups meetings. We will discuss leadership and group structure, future projects, potential programming proposals for the 2015 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, and much more. Given the many FCIL-SIS members who have already expressed interest, the new IG is sure to gain traction and provide us with a forum to discuss and work on projects relating to these often overlooked areas of foreign law.

Whether you already specialize in religious or customary legal systems, have a work-related or “extracurricular” interest, or simply want to learn more about what they are, we encourage you to join us for our meeting in San Antonio!  For additional information, or to be added to our membership list, please contact Susan Gualtier at susan.gualtier@law.lsu.edu and join our My Communities group to receive notifications relating to future projects and events.

 

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