Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health/medical, to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Note – three significant highlights of this week’s column: Consumer genetic testing that it’s now possible for law enforcement agencies to use genetic data to hunt down virtually anyone of European descent; FBI chief says threats from drones to U.S. ‘steadily escalating’; and Voice Phishing Scams Are Getting More Clever.
Law Librarian Lora Johns shares her response to “I would like to see an amicus brief filed by Alliance Defending Freedom in Slovakia.” For all of us who did not consider that Americans might want to—or even could—file friend-of-the-court briefs in other countries’ courts, this excellent guide is for you.
While Lyonette Louis-Jacques was conducting research on the subject of illustrated law books, she identified the extensive work of her colleague, Michael Widener – Yale Lillian Goldman Law Library. Mike has shared his research in a number of presentations and lectures that Lyo identifies for us, in addition to sharing her considerable insights and own work on this subject. The confluence of their respective work provides us with a “sense of wonder and play, things that can be in short supply in today’s world.”
Lyonette Louis-Jacques expertly guides us with this pathfinder on the research required to comprehensively address the frequently asked foreign and comparative law research question – how do I to find a country’s civil code?. A researcher might not know they need a civil code, but they often do. A civil code is the key to accessing all types of private law for many civil law jurisdictions. Modeled after the Code Napoléon or Code civil des Français (1804), a civil code usually contains laws relating to personal status, contracts, torts, “delict”, “obligations”, real and personal property, inheritance and succession, marriage, divorce, family, parent and child, private international law (conflict of laws/choice of law).
This article by Theresa Kaiser-Jarvis, Assistant Dean for International Affairs, University of Michigan Law School, discusses a pivotal issue that represents an increasingly significant development in the practice of law in the United States. Kaiser-Jarvis shines a bright light on the skills, knowledge and abilities that are now required of attorneys as the business world becomes less focused on the United States. She supports the position that as law firms search for new revenue streams and as American internal demographics become more diverse, we can expect that all U.S. lawyers will eventually need to be prepared for global practice.
The International Privacy Law Library on WorldLII has been expanded. The Library’s 32 databases include about 3,600 decisions of 13 privacy and data protection authorities, from New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Korea, Macau, Mauritius, the United States and the European Union.
Nicholas Pengelley and Sue Milne have revised, updated and expanded their guide which covers a comprehensive range of sources on topics that include: Parliaments and Laws; Finding Australian Legislation; Courts and Judgments; Finding Australian Cases; Treaties; Journal Literature; Legal Encyclopedias; Law Reform; Government Information; Dictionaries; Directories; Legal Research Guides; Publishers; Current Awareness; Discussion Lists; and Major Texts.
Jonathan Band provides a comprehensive guide to the recent international adoption of the “Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled.” The Treaty is intended to promote the making and distribution of copies of books and other published materials in formats accessible to people with print disabilities. The Treaty would achieve this objective by obligating signatory countries (referred to as Contracting Parties) to adopt exceptions in their copyright laws that permit the making of copies in accessible formats as well as the distribution of those copies both domestically and internationally. This memorandum explains the Treaty’s provisions. The memorandum concludes that Title 17 of the United States Code complies with the Treaty’s requirements, and thus that the United States could sign and ratify the Treaty without making any changes to domestic law.
Introducing the Central Library of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and of the European Council
Carlo Marzocchi Head of Sector, Library & Information Service shared this announcement on the resources of Central Library Council of the European Union. The Council of the European Union is the European Union institution where the Member States’ ministers responsible for specific areas (e.g. finance, health, education) meet to discuss issues of common concern within their countries. The European Council consists of the Heads of State, or Government, of the Member States, together with the President of the Council and the President of the Commission. The European Council provides the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and defines its general political directions and priorities. It does not exercise legislative functions. The administrative support to both institutions is ensured by the General Secretariat of the Council or GSC. The Central Library holds over 100,000 monographs and EU publications. Newspapers and periodicals from EU Member States are available in the reading room. The Official Journal of the European Communities is available on paper, on microfiche (until 1997), on CD-ROM (from 1998 on) and via internet.
The FLARE Index to Treaties (FIT), launched in March 2009 on the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies web server has been extended to cover about a third more treaties and conventions. In the past two years the Index has established itself as a valuable finding tool for the international lawyer. It is a fully searchable database now indexing and listing over 2,000 of the most significant multilateral treaties concluded from 1353 onwards and a number of significant bilateral treaties signed between 1353 and 1815. This article, by Steven Whittle and Peter Clinch describes the background to the extension and technical aspects of the updated implementation employed to deliver new content and finding features.