Schedule of FCIL Events in San Antonio

by Daniel Wade

FCIL-SIS EVENTS

2014 AALL ANNUAL MEETING, SAN ANTONIO

Sunday, July 13th

7:00 a.m. Subject Groups—Mariott Rivercenter-Salon C

  1. Customary and Religious Law Interest Group (CARLIG)
  2. European Law Interest Group
  3. Indigenous Law Interest Group
  4. Latin American Law Interest Group
  5. Strategic Planning Committee

7:15 a.m. African and Asian Law Interest Groups—Mariott Rivercenter-Conference 13

7:30 a.m. Translation Tools for the Law Librarian (Electronic Research Interest Group)—HBGCC-Room 206A

11:45 a.m. Global Law Resources Fair (Teaching FCIL Research Interest Group)—Mariott Riverwalk-Alamo Ballroom Salon D

5:30 p.m. Foreign Law Selectors Interest Group—HBGCC-Room 207A

Monday, July 14th

7:00 a.m. FCIL-SIS Outreach Groups—HBGCC-Room 207A:

  1. Internships and International Exchanges Committee
  2. Nominations Committee
  3. Newsletter Committee
  4. Publicity/Membership Committee
  5. Website Committee

7:45 a.m. FCIL-SIS Business Meeting—HBGCC-Room 207A

11:45 a.m. Executive Committee Presents: Envisioning the World’s International Criminal Law Library at the International Criminal Court—Mariott Riverwalk-Alamo-Ballroom Salon E

2:30 p. m. Hot Topic: Land Grabbing: Accessing Information to Protect Property Rights of Indigenous People—HBGCC Room 217D

5:30 p.m. International Attendees Joint Reception (AALL/FCIL/IALL) (sponsored by Bloomberg BNA, LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters & Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)—Mariott Rivercenter-Salon K

Tuesday, July 15th

7:15 a.m. FCIL-SIS Education Committee Meeting—HBGCC-Room 213B

7:15 a.m. FCIL-SIS Schaffer Grant for Foreign Law Librarians Fundraising and Selection Committee Meeting—HBGCC-213A

7:30 a.m. Coffee Talk “Beyond Your Boundaries: What Ancient Legal Systems Can Tell Us About Working Globally” (Roman Law Interest Group)—HBGCC-Parkview Concourse Level

8:30 a.m. Program E6: Mexican Law and Legal Research: Overcoming the Challenges—HBGCC-006AB

10:00 a.m. Social Event; discussion of The Crisis in Ukraine—meet in HBGCC-006AB

 

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The Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project: Enhancing Visibility and Promoting the Civil Law In English

by Susan Gualtier

In my role as FCIL librarian at the Louisiana State University Law Center, one of the most interesting aspects of my job has been the work that I’ve done with the Center of Civil Law Studies based at LSU:

The Center of Civil Law Studies (CCLS) was established in 1965 to promote and encourage the scientific study of the civil law system, its history, structure, principles, and actualities. Its purpose or mission is to facilitate a better understanding and further development of the private law of the State of Louisiana and other civil law jurisdictions, particularly those of continental Europe and Latin America, through theoretical and practical activities, such as publications, translations, sponsorship of faculty and student exchanges, visiting scholars, seminars, and lectures. The Center of Civil Law Studies promotes legal education by sponsoring foreign students who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity of studying a mixed legal system and American students who wish to expose themselves to other legal systems. Such programs take advantage of Louisiana’s natural position as an education center for international and comparative legal studies.

On April 10 and 11, I had the privilege of attending a conference organized by the CCLS entitled The Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project: Enhancing Visibility and Promoting the Civil Law in English. The conference, which brought together civil law scholars, translators, and jurilinguists from around the world, shed light on some recent translation projects and forthcoming publications that are sure to be of interest to law librarians, and explored the many issues surrounding the translation of law generally and with specific reference to the translation of civil law into English.

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Professor Olivier Moréteau, Director of the CCLS and holder of the Russell B. Long Eminent Scholars Academic Chair, kicked off the conference with a discussion of the Louisiana Civil Code Translation Project and the history of the Louisiana Civil Code’s various French and English iterations. Once published in both French and English out of deference to Louisiana’s bilingual culture, the Civil Code ceased being published in French after the end of the Civil War. Professor Moréteau explained that Louisiana has had a long history of creating its own unique “language” to express civil law concepts in English, and that the terminology can be quite close to that used in previous French language codes, both in Louisiana and in Europe. Over the past several years, the CCLS has worked on translating the code back into French, focusing on maintaining the unique tone of the Louisiana civil code and on demonstrating to French-speaking legal scholars that a civil code can indeed be written in English and made compatible with the common law while at the same time maintaining the distinct terminology and tone of the civil law tradition.

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Building upon these introductory themes, the conference speakers discussed a range of topics relating to legal translation, legal and linguistic equivalence, historical works of translation in the area of the civil law, and specific translation projects on which they have been working. The Hon. Nicholas Kasirer, of the Cour d’appel du Québec, delivered the annual Tucker Lecture, a keynote address entitled That Montreal Sound: The Influence of French Legal Ideas and the French Language on the Civil Law Expressed in English, during which he shared fascinating examples of the essential “Frenchness” of the English language Québec Civil Code. Agustin Parise, of Maastricht University, spoke on the first Spanish translation of the Louisiana Civil Code, and its influence on the civil codes of Latin America. Professors Alain Levasseur and John Randall Trahan of LSU, and Professor David Gruning of Loyola University in New Orleans, discussed their work on a new translation of the French Civil Code into English for Legifrance, while Michel Séjean of the University of Southern Brittany discussed his English translation of the French Code de commerce, and Serban Vacarelu, also of Maastricht University, mentioned his work in coordinating a forthcoming English translation of the Romanian Civil Code. In nearly all of the talks, emphasis was placed on preserving the tone and terminology of the civil law without falling back on similar-sounding common law terminology, and on the difficulties in reconciling the differences in the drafting traditions of the common law system, whose scholarship exists primarily in English, and of the civil law systems of Europe and Latin America.

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Perhaps the most fascinating portion of the conference, for me, was Professor Levasseur’s presentation of his experience in translating Gérard Cornu’s Vocabulaire juridique into English, with a specific focus on defining and translating those provisions most relevant to the Louisiana Civil Code. Having assisted Professor Levasseur with this project in my capacity as a librarian, I was excited to hear him discuss the final product and the approach that he had taken to the translation. Avoiding a word for word translation that might mislead readers accustomed to working exclusively in English or with common law concepts, Professor Levasseur decided to provide a descriptive explanation of the French term in English before providing suggested English terms (as well as terms to avoid.) In this way, the translation is constructed in a way that forces the reader to understand fully the nuance and meaning of the civil law term before choosing a word to express the concept English. The Vocabulaire juridique translation is now complete and will be available from LexisNexis in July 2014.

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Although a few of the lectures in this conference were admittedly a bit beyond my full understanding (both because they delved into the technical aspects of jurilinguistics, and because about half of them were delivered en Français), it was incredible to witness the group’s excitement and dedication to an area of study that is probably largely unfamiliar to most of us who have trained and are working in the United States legal profession. All of the presentations were recorded, and videos will be available on the CCLS website sometime during the next few weeks. In the meantime, those interested in the civil law tradition, and particularly in how it has developed in the Americas, should keep an eye on the CCLS website for further news about their very interesting work.  The Louisiana Civil Code translation is available on the LSU Law Center’s website, and individual segments are published in the Journal of Civil Law Studies on LSU’s Digital Commons as the translations are completed.  The Preliminary Title, as well as sections on the Law of Obligations and Suretyship and Mandate, are complete and available from both sources.

Consolidated Treaty Series Being Digitized by Oxford University Press

by Marylin Raisch

Here at ASIL, the most fun is chatting with editors and vendors about worthwhile projects, and not merely prices and products, on a more, shall we say, customer service basis. On Tuesday I spoke with John Louth, Editor in Chief of Academic Law at Oxford University Press, and he expects that by September 2014 the Clive Parry Consolidated Treaty Series, an essential source in international law as well as legal and world history, will be available electronically through OUP. While it will not yet be searchable through all of the the scanned texts, metadata will exist in the first stage of the process which will make it possible for researchers to access the texts.

At last! Electronic access to this collection of treaties from the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 through 1919 will make many smaller collections more complete and scholarly in content. For more information, contact OUP directly.

News From ASIL’s Director of Education and Research

by Joan Policastri

On Tuesday afternoon, ASIL’s Director of Education and Research, Wes Rist, dropped by the Research Kiosk and chatted with Wanita Scroggs, James Hart, and me. Wes has been in his position at ASIL for less than two years, but he has big plans to extend the educational offerings, and he was very happy to see that there was a research kiosk.

Wes is very interested in getting feedback from librarians about the programs and opportunities ASIL offers, such as the live streaming of sessions from the annual meeting, and is particularly interested in expanding ASIL’s member benefits in the area of career services. He said that the new issue of ASIL’s “Careers in International Law” focuses on the practical aspects of getting a job in international law, and that ASIL is planning to offer its members and Academic Partners a series of short webinars on professional development skills during the summer.

Another new resource, specifically for Academic Partners, is an upcoming webinar designed to give career services offices the tools needed to effectively advise students interested in international law careers. If possible, Wes would also like to add a track at next year’s annual meeting that focuses on professional development in the field of international law. Another new benefit that members and Academic Partners will enjoy is a job board to be offered through the ASIL website, which is scheduled for later this summer. Non-members will be able to pay for access to this resource.

Finally, Wes was very excited to let us know that ASIL will be offering online CLEs with special rates for ASIL members. Watch for more details on this exciting new offering.