Foreign & International Blog
Lionel Messi, one of the world's greatest football (i.e. soccer) players at the moment, is caught in the middle of a conflict. His national squad, Argentina, has called him to play in the Olympics this month. His club team, Barcelona, who pays his multi-million euro salary, does not want him to go because of Champion's League obligations. Barcelona has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a ruling. Here is the court's summary of the dispute:
The CAS has registered an appeal from FC Barcelona against the decision
made by the Single Judge of the FIFA Players' Status Committee
regarding the release of players for the Olympic Games. This appeal
will be handled together with the appeals filed by FC Schalke 04 and
Werder Bremen against the same FIFA decision. The CAS will deliver its final ruling on or before 6 August 2008.
FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the governing body of football, has long contended that players should be released to play with their national teams. A single judge from the FIFA Players' Status Committee ruled on July 30, 2008 that the clubs must release their players to the national teams. This ruling was appealed by the clubs to the CAS.
AUGUST 6 UPDATE: According to Reuters, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has shockingly ruled that club teams may recall their players from their national teams! Regardless, both FIFA President Sepp Blatter and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge are calling on the clubs to allow their players to remain in China to compete in the Olympics.
Photo of Lionel Messi in his Argentina kit from the Guardian: CAS steps in to stop players heading to Beijing.
The Yale Law Library has quite a few resources pertaining to the Court of Arbitration for sport such as:
- The proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport - 2006 Conference - K3702 .P36 2007
- The Court of Arbitration for Sport, 1984 - 2006 - K3702 .C686 2006
- Arbitraje deportivo - K3702 .G66 2006
We also have other titles dealing with various aspects of sports law:
- The regulation of sport in the European Union - KJE6063 .R44X 2007
- Equal play: Title IX and social change - KF4166 .E68X 2007
- The strict liability principle and the human rights of athletes in doping cases - K3702 .S64 2007
There are many sports law journals, too (do a subject heading search in Morris, for example: Sports - law and legislation - united states - periodicals):
The U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia has created a webpage of public information on the Guantanamo Bay cases. Find the court schedule, court orders and opinions, and press releases and notices.
Meanwhile, back at the camp, the trial of Osama Bin Laden's driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, began about 10 days ago, as reported on NPR. In 2006, Yale law students worked closely with Mr. Hamdan's lawyer, Neal Katyal, a YLS grad, in his challenge of the use of military commissions; they were victorious. As a result, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Another Guantanamo prisoner, Omar Khadr, has been in the news recently as a result of the release of a videotaped interrogation conducted on the island. The video was released by Mr. Khadar's defense team, as explained in this story on NPR. An interesting history of Mr. Khadar's life and eventual detention at Guantanamo can be read in a 2006 article in Rolling Stone; a summary of his legal history can be found on Human Rights First.
The U.S. Dept. of Defense, Military Commissions, has a website with court filings and documents pertaining to Mr. Khadr's and Mr. Hamdan's cases, as well as other Guantanamo Bay detainees facing trial. The Military Commissions Act and Military Commissions Manual can also be found here.
The Yale Law Library has several recently published book on the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Guantanamo detainees:
- Honor Bound: Inside the Guantanamo Trials by Kyndra Miller Rotunda (2008)
- Bush, the Detainees, and the Constitution: The Battle over Presidential Power in the War on Terror by Howard Ball (2007)
- Beyond the Law: The Bush Administration's Unlawful Responses in the "War" on Terror by Jordan J. Paust (2007)
We also have interesting historical works on military commissions in the U.S.:
- Constitutional Limitation on Trials by Military Commissions by Harold Loeb (1943) (microfiche)
- Military Commissions for the Trial of Citizens: A Letter to the Attorney General of the United States by John H. James, Jr. (1860) (microfiche and MOML)
- An Argument to Establish the Illegality of Military Commissions in the United States, and Especially of the One Organized for the Trial of the Parties Charged with Conspiring to Assassinate the Late President, and Others, Presented to that Commission, on Monday, the 19th of June, 1865 by Reverdy Johnson, one of the counsel of Mrs. Surratt (1865)
There are several online, free research guides pertaining to the Military Commissions Act of 2006:
In an unprecedented decision the Vatican has granted Paraguayan President-elect Fernando Lugo dispensation of "all obligations as a priest, as a bishop and as a religious man of the Divine Word" (my translation). The dispensation by Pope Benedict XVI was formally announced today in Paraguay by Orlando Antonini, Apostalic Nuncio of the Vatican. Antonini also stated that this decision was reached after several years of research and analysis into Canon Law.
President-elect Lugo resigned from the priesthood in 2006 when he decided to run for president. His victory in April 2008 ended the 61-year rule of the Partido Colorado in Paraguay. He will officially take office on August 15, 2008. At the time of his 2006 resignation, he was advised that he might be excommunicated for violating the Vatican's rule against clerical involvement in politics. Read more...
Yale has a fantastic Canon Law collection located on the LES (Lower East Side) of the library, with current and historical texts in many languages, such as:
- The Canon Law (2002) (a handbook of Catholic Theology)
- Die Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des Canonischen Rechts (1875) (The History of the Sources and Literature of Canon Law (my translation) - a bibliography).
There are several excellent, free, online research guides to assist with Canon Law research:
There is even a blog dedicated to Canon Law by Prof. Edward N. Peters, J.D., J.C.D., Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, MI:
Recently I wrote that The Hague Academy of International Law's Recueil des Cours de l'Academie de la Haye was online with free browsing but at the time the Yale Law Library had not yet purchased a subscription to the full-text.
Today I am happy to write that we have subscribed and you can now browse, search and access all the full-text articles.
"The Academy is a prestigious international institution for the study and teaching of Public and Private
International Law and related subjects. The work of the Hague Academy receives the support and recognition of
the UN. Its purpose is to encourage a thorough and impartial examination of the problems arising from
international relations in the field of law. The courses deal with the theoretical and practical aspects of
the subject, including legislation and case law. All courses at the Academy are, in principle, published in the language in which they were delivered in the
You can also access our complete print collection in the Yale Law Library on L1, Call
No. KZ 3092 .R43.
Legal periodicals are often a good starting point when you are researching a broad legal topic. The Law Library has access to three online legal journal databases in Chinese: Chinese Academic Journals (CAJ), Wan Fang's Chinese Online Journals (COJ) and ChinaLawInfo's journal collection. For those who are interested in researching China law but are not proficient in Chinese, HeinOnline (Law Journal Library and Foreign & International Law Resources Collection), JSTOR and SpringerLink's Frontiers of Law in China include a variety of China-related legal and inter-disciplinary journal titles published in English. The latter, a collaborative publication by publisher Springer with Renmin University in Beijing consists of English translation of selective law review articles originally published in the vernacular by universities in China. While the quality of the English translation varies, the selection of articles provide an overview of legal issues currently of interest to the Chinese legal community.
For better access, the China Law Research Resources page in Morris (under Research tab) now has a link to a union list of China-Related Electronic Serial Titles included in the three journal databases. The selective list includes the more commonly known journals currently accessible from three A to Z lists in the law library research website (Legal Databases, Yale University Library E-Journals & Newspapers and Other Databases). They are arranged alphabetically by their Pinyin or English titles in the union list. Information relating to the coverage of each journal title is available as well as direct links to the databases.
Lastly, a recent blog post in Law Librarian Blog includes a useful bibliography of China-related journal articles and treatises published in English and German in 2007compiled by Dr. Knut Benjamin Pissler of Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. See here.
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the statistical arm of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), has launched a new web-based data service UNdata. Instead of clicking through data sets scattered in the websites of different UN agencies, users can now search and download a variety of statistical resources of the UN system through a single entry point.
The new portal provides useful features such as Country Profiles, Advanced Search and Glossaries to aid research. Currently, there are 14 databases and 6 glossaries containing over 55 million data points and covering a whole range of statistics relating to Population, Industry, Energy and the Environment, Trade and National Accounts. The UNdata wiki provides links to the sources' homepages and includes information about the methodology by which data sets are collected.
NPR reported this morning on Spain's battle to reclaim the treasure from a sunken Spanish vessel recovered in international waters in the Atlantic Ocean by Odyssey Marine Exploration of Tampa, FL. The 19th century shipwreck contained some 17 tons in silver coins, cuff links and other personal items, and
other artifacts; it may be the most valuable treasure ever discovered. Exact details of the discovery have yet to be revealed.
A Federal District Court in Tampa is reviewing Spain's claim to the treasure that Odyssey recovered. Spain insists that Odyssey's claim to the warship Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes is immoral and illegal. Spain compares the Nuestra Señora site to the grave sites of Gettysburg and the U.S.S. Arizona, as the sinking of Nuestra Señora precipitated Spain's entry into the Napoleonic wars. Odyssey maintains, however, that they found no vessel and no human remains, just the cargo, and there is nothing to prove that it is the cargo of La Senora. In PACER, the federal court's password-protected electronic filing database (which is available free to the public in several federal depository libraries), you can review court filings for this case (8:07-cv-00614-SDM-MAP) as well as several others in which the Kingdom of Spain has filed a claim (ask a reference librarian for assistance if needed).
So just what is the law pertaining to sunken treasures? Finders keepers? Return to rightful owner?
The Yale Law Library has several books pertaining to the law of sunken treasure and cultural patrimony. See, for example, Legal Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: National and International Perspectives. This book compares the laws, traditions, and perspectives of various countries, including the United States and Spain. Note the Subject Headings at the bottom of the record: Cultural property -- Protection -- Law and legislation; Shipwrecks; Salvage; Treasure-trove; Underwater archaeology -- Law and legislation. Click on any of them to find more works pertaining to that topic.
In comparison, see, The Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage: National Perspectives in Light of the UNESCO Convention 2001, for an international law focus and analysis. Under the Subject Heading, underwater archaeology - law and legislation, you will find books in several languages other than English, including French German, Spanish, Russian and Italian. Admiralty law also comes into play, specifically the Supplementary Admiralty Rules. See also, Admiralty and Maritime Law, available in print and electronically.
There are several international law databases you might try as well to find case law and law review articles. See our Foreign and International Resources page for the plethora of electronic resources at your fingertips, or ask a reference librarian for assistance.
In February, Myanmar had announced its intention to hold a democratic referendum on a draft constitution this month, and to hold democratic elections in 2010. Immediately prior to the cyclone, on May 2, 2008, the U.N. had taken official notice of Myanmar's intent and encouraged an open process. However, today the U.N. is urging Myanmar to delay this process.
Myanmar is being monitored by the United Nations for human rights violations. On March 18, 2008, the UN
Security Council held a meeting during which Ibrahim
Secretary-General's Special Envoy to Myanmar, reported on his March 6 - 10, 2008 visit
Myanmar. Mr. Kyaw Tint Swe, the government representative from Myanmar,
was present and also spoke at the meeting. The meeting was transcribed
in S.PV/5854, the provisional record of the public briefing.
The United Nations Human Rights Council has spoken many times to the human rights situation in Myanmar. Most recently, on March 28, 2008, the Council adopted resolution A/HRC/7/L.36 wherein the Council strongly deplored the "ongoing systematic
violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of
Myanmar" and extended the mandates of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and
protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the
Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. In a separate but related resolution A/HRC/7/L.37, the HRC, in accordance
April 2005, extended for one year the the Special Rapporteur's mandate, and urged, inter alia, the Government of Myanmar to "cooperate
fully with the Special Rapporteur and to respond favourably to his
requests to visit the country and to provide him with all information
and access to relevant bodies and institutions necessary to enable him
to fulfill his mandate effectively."
Watch the U.N. Human Rights Council, 7th Session UN Webcast on the two resolutions: the "Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" (A/HRC/7/L.36), and "Mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" (A/HRC/7/L.37). both from March 28, 2008 at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. See also, an archived video of "The Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar" from October 2, 2007 at the Palais de Nations in Geneva.
Find Security Council and other UN documents related to Myanmar on the website of the Security Council Report - Myanmar. SCR is an NGO headquartered in New York City.
The Yale Law Library collects human rights and interdisciplinary materials
pertaining to Myanmar; they are cataloged and located with other human
rights publications or social science materials on the Upper East Side rather than in the
Myanmar/Burmese legal collection (KNL) on the Lower East Side. If you
conduct a Morris Subject Heading search: Human Rights - Burma,
you'll return 26 hits. You can then sort Newest First and you'll find
several books written in the last few years, including a 2008
publication entitled Promoting Human Rights in Burma: A Critique of Western Sanctions Policy.
The Yale Law Library has a 2005 volume of Myanmar Laws, our most current compilation of laws from Myanmar. This is an English translation of the yearbook of Myanmar laws originally published in Burmese. You will find older materials if you do a Subject Heading search on Morris: Laws - Burma. Note that the laws of Myanmar are still cataloged by Library of Congress using Burma rather than Myanmar. Why is that? During a 2006 interview, Barbara Tillett, chief of the Library of Congress Cataloging Policy and Support Office, explained: "The Library of Congress is the national library for the United
States and to some extent we reflect US policy (for example using Burma
not Myanmar)." Read the BBC's take on this issue. You will see that our collection of law from Myanmar is quite small; there is not a lot being published nor do we heavily collect from this country. See our Country-by-Country guide to foreign legal research: Myanmar, for more print and electronic resources.
For assistance researching Myanmar law, please contact the reference team.
The Brandeis Institute for International Judges (BIIJ) "provides international judges with the opportunity to meet and
discuss critical issues concerning the theory and practice of
international justice. Institutes are held approximately every 18
months, bringing together judges serving on international courts and
tribunals around the world to reflect on both the philosophical aspects
and practical challenges of their work. The most recent Institute was
held from July 23-28, 2007, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA. The
next Institute is scheduled for January 4-9, 2009, in Trinidad."
The BIIJ website has reports for each of the previous institutes along with a group photo of each year's participants. The BIIJ is just one of the Brandeis Programs in International Justice and Society, which is part of the The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University.