Foreign & International Blog
Polish law firms nominated to "The Lawyer" magazine awards.
Awards recognize the best law firms in sixteen regional categories. This year for the first time ever Polish law firms are among the nominees.
The results of the competition will be announced during a conference in Monte Carlo, to be held on 25-26 October 2012. The winners will be selected by a jury composed of fifteen managing partners of law firms and in-house lawyers from international corporations.
Gide Loyrette Nouel is a premier international law firm and the first to have originated in France. Founded in Paris in 1920, the Firm now operates from 19 offices in 15 countries. It has over 600 lawyers drawn from 40 different nationalities. Gide Loyrette Nouel offers some of the most respected specialists in each of the various sectors of national and international finance and business law.
An interesting and informative display of books on the history of French Criminal Law is currently available in L1 of the Law Library.
The earliest beginnings of modern Criminal Law in France from the late Middle Ages to the early Renaissance is represented by the Trial of the Templars in the early 1300s and the Trial of Jeanne d'Arc just over a hundred years later. While the former is an example of a medieval law trial, we see the evolution from medieval to early modern law reflected in the proceedings of the latter.
A copy of L'esprit des lois, a treatise on political theory published in 1748 by Charles de Secondat, the Baron of Montesquieu, is on display. This work not only helped to establish the classical theory of criminal law in France but also greatly influenced many other European political writers. Also on view are publications of important cases from the 1800s to today that contributed to reforms in criminal law. These cases illustrate the ways in which change is brought about in areas of criminal law, such as religious tolerance, punishment and torture.
The evolution of the French criminal justice system is reflected in a series of jury trials from the French Revolution through to the twentieth century. More recently, the influence of modern forensics has greatly impacted the history of criminology all over the world, and in France, the case study of Joseph Vacher, The Killer of Little Shepherds, shows the adaptation of French criminal justice to embrace these new scientific methods.
Through this small compilation of publications, you get a clear and concise overview of the development of French Criminal Law in its many aspects, from the late Middle Ages to modern times. In addition to the display case in L1, an exhibit of the works of Joseph Lemard is about to be showcased in L2. Lemard utilizes cartoonish illustrations in juxtaposition to serious legal language to portray his views on French criminal law. Special thanks to Dustin Hooten who created this exhibit.
Here are some steps on how to begin your research when you have a treaty in mind, and would like to see how foreign countries have implemented and interpreted the treaty in their own jurisprudence. In this instance, the topic of interest is the impact of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on juvenile justice. More specifically, we would like to look at post-CRC changes in criminal law and the sentencing of juveniles, as well as court decisions and case law regarding juvenile justice that invoke the CRC. Our goal in this case is to find a few countries, preferably a sample group of both developed and developing countries with different political backgrounds, to serve as case studies.
The website bayefsky.com is a good place to start, as we are able to focus the search specifically on the particular provisions of the CRC that deal with legal rights and criminal justice, and see some jurisprudence from there. The Universal Human Rights Index Database is another good research tool as it contains reports that show all countries who are members of the CRC and whether or not these countries are in compliance with the treaties. Through this database, we can sample different countries and their relevance to the research topic, then decide which ones to include in our research as case studies.
A search on Morris for this convention yields a number of results that might be useful in your research. A search on Morris for the following publications: international legal materials, international law reports, and international law in domestic courts, will result in a collection, translation, and republication of domestic decisions regarding the topic at hand. For instance, a search for "international law reports" on Morris brings us to the site justis.com. Using the drop-down menu to the left of the search box, we can select "cases" that will produce a second drop-down menu in which we can select "international law reports" to further narrow our search criteria. Then a search on "convention on the rights of the child" will provide all the relevant cases. This search yields 33 results.
Under "international legal materials" on Morris we can find links to all the relevant electronic resources through which to search for international legal materials: Westlaw Journals, HeinOnline Law Journal Library, HeinOnline Treaties and Agreements Library, and JSTOR. Combing databases such as these and ORIL (Oxford Reports on International Law) will provide many relevant international resources. A search on ORIL produces 48 results that expressly mention the CRC and the jurisdictional range.
These various searches produce a wealth of relevant information from which we can begin our research - all of which was done in English consulting only a few publications that collect and reprint some foreign decisions. Hopefully this gives you some indication of what countries are worth exploring further.
The Law of the Sea Treaty, formally known as the Third United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, or UNCLOS III, was adopted in 1982. Its purpose is to establish a comprehensive set of rules governing the oceans in relation to species protection, navigation rights and other environmental issues. It was intended to replace its predecessors, UNCLOS I adopted in 1958 and UNCLOS II adopted in 1960, which were believed to be inadequate. UNCLOS III has been in force since 1994 and has not been ratified by the U.S.
General research guides are great for getting an overview of the UNCLOS regime, see here, here and here. More detailed entries on specific issues relating to the treaty can be found in Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law.
International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas (ITLOS) was established by UNCLOS III in 1982. Appeal to the ITLOS is one of the means for the settlement of disputes concerning the interpretation or application of the Convention. Its mandate is further defined in Annex VI to the Convention which contains the Statute of the Tribunal. Other means include the International Court of Justice, an arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VII of the Convention, or a special arbitral tribunal constituted in accordance with Annex VIII. The ITLOS website includes basic texts and instruments of UNCLOS III, docket information, and texts of decisions. For historical preparatory materials relating to the series of treaties, consult the law library collected travaux guide.
Official ITLOS publications:
- ITLOS reports (texts of decisions rendered by the Tribunal)
- ITLOS Pleadings, Minutes and Documents
- ITLOS Yearbook (Includes the work of the Tribunal such as information about the judges and the organization, jurisdiction, procedure, practice, finances and privileges and immunities of the Tribunal)
A selection of helpful print and online sources:
- Basic Texts 2005 = Textes de base (the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea)
- International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea : basic documents
- Cases on the Law of the Sea
- Digest of international cases on the law of the sea
- Decisions of the World Court relevant to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea : a reference guide
- United National Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982: a commentary
- The rules of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea: a commentary
- International maritime boundaries
- Limits in the Seas (a series issued by the US Department of State on national arrangements for the measurement of marine areas by coastal states)
- United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982)
- Continental Shelf-Law and Legislation
- Contiguous zones (Law of the Sea)
- Economic zones (Law of the Sea)
- Marine resources conservation -- Law and legislation
- Marine resources development -- Law and legislation
- Common heritage of mankind (International law)
- Ocean bottom -- Law and legislation
- Ocean mining -- Law and legislaton
- Territorial waters
- Maritime law
- Law of the sea
Since January, several rebel groups have gained power and occupied northern Mali. What started as an independence movement by Tuareg secessionists for their so-called Azawad homeland has evolved into an attempt by rebel groups Ansar Dine ("Defenders of the Faith"), the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, (MUJAO), and al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb to impose strict Shariah law throughout the region. A coup in Bamako in March also exacerbated the growing crisis. Several articles about Mali's northern occupation have recently appeared in the news.
A recent NPR article, As Islamists Gain, Mali's Tradition Under Threat by Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, reports of the stoning of an unmarried couple and other destructive activities that reflect the rebels' aim to impose strict Islamic law in Mali and neighboring countries. The article also chronicles the rise and splintering of the rebellion and the military coup in Bamako on March 22, as well as the displacement of Mali's northern population and the destruction of holy sites.
Guled Yusuf and Lucas Bento focus on the defacement and destruction of Sufi shrines, mosques, tombs of Sufi saints, and other Timbuktu sites by rebel groups in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, The ‘End Times’ for Timbuktu? The article points to the ongoing destruction of the rich cultural history of Timbuktu, which includes 13 remaining UNESCO World Heritage Sites currently at risk. The article maintains that the destruction of religious and historical monuments are war crimes under the Rome Statute and that the persecution of religious or cultural groups is a crime against humanity. The authors argue that these crimes should be persecuted as such either by the International Criminal Court or by a country acting under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, pleas for peace and a reunited Mali have been made. According to a recent article Mali : rassemblement massif pour la paix à Bamako appearing in the French newspaper Liberation, Malians unwilling to see Mali divided have gathered in large numbers in a Bamako stadium to call for peace. Mali President Dioncounda Traore has also recently returned to Mali after a long medical absence in France to work towards reuniting the country. But the future of Mali still remains unclear at this point.
For research purposes, human rights reports from various government agencies and nongovernmental organizations can be used as reliable sources. Since the onslaught of the crisis in Mali, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also released several reports and articles dedicated to the human rights issues at stake. Human rights reports are generally also available from the US Department of State, but they have yet to publish a 2012 report on Mali.
Research guides are also available for resources located at both Sterling Memorial Library and the Lillian Goldman Law Library. We benefit from the rich collection of African resources available to us from SML, including a guide dedicated to Mali. The guide points researchers to a variety of sources covering social, political, economic, cultural, agricultural, and military data and statistics. It also includes news resources, government pages, humanitarian reports, and much more. Researchers can also check out Malian law in our Country-by-Country guide. Also, a "Call Number" search in Morris for Mali (KST) will return titles associated with Malian Law. Other human rights materials related to Mali can be found using a Morris "Subject Heading" search, human rights mali.
Digest of United States Practice in International Law 2011 – now exclusively online:.
The Digest is an annual record of the views and practice of the US government in public and private international law. Written by the Office of the Legal advisor of the US Department of State and co-published by Oxford University Press and the International Law Institute, the Digest provides relevant documents and excerpts along with short explanatory and background notes on significant issues from the previous year. These documents include treaties, diplomatic notes and correspondence, legal opinion letters, judicial decisions, Senate committee reports and press releases from the US Department of State as well as other governmental departments and agencies that deal with international law. Since accessibility is a goal of the publication, the Digest frequently cites to internet or other publicly available sources of the full text documents.
The Digest is useful for students, practitioners, and other members of the international legal community researching customary law or particular issues in international law or looking for an overview of a year in US international law. Of particular interest to the Yale community might be the sections devoted to human rights, investment, and private arbitration. Human rights issues appearing in the 2011 Digest include Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, U.S. initiatives to protect the human rights of LGBT persons, Children’s rights, food, water, and sanitation rights, U.S. Statement at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, climate change, torture, and the promotion of human rights during Arab Spring and with respect to counterterrorism. The section on trade, commercial relations, and investment covers issues relating to the North American Free Trade agreement and the World Trade Organization. Private arbitration issues include the Arbitration and Related Actions Arising from the Softwood Lumber Agreement, Removal from State Court of Case Related to an Arbitration, and the Enforceability of Arbitration Clauses.
For further information, read the summary of the contents of the 2011 Digest written by Legal Adviser and former Dean of Yale Law School Harold Hongju Koh.
On June 26, 2012 the Landgericht Köln (Cologne Regional Court) released an opinion on male circumcision. The court ruled that circumcision violates boys' rights to physical integrity. Thus, while a boy might consent to the procedure later in life, his parents' consent cannot trump the boy's right.
The decision in publicly available in German and a translation has recently been issued. The translation is unofficial and abbreviated, but will provide you with the court's reasoning. Additional information can be found in the Library of Congress's News and Events blog: Global Legal Monitor.
Further legal research can best be conducted via the library's subscription to Juris. Login information is available on the Inside page, under Library Database Passwords. You are also free to contact me directly.
The Law Library’s catalog is available in its “classic” form and in a single box faceted form called Encore. Traditionally, among the benefits of the “classic” catalog was the ability of the searcher to conduct complex “Boolean” searches and the ability of the researcher to search for an exact title or author. The benefit of Encore was its ease of use and the ability of the researcher to use facets to refine their results. However, Encore now allows a researcher to construct complex searches that allows it to provide most of the benefits of the “classic” catalog while retaining the benefits that it provides.
Encore allows researchers to search phrases, to specify where in a bibliographic record terms will appear and to combine terms using Boolean logic. Encore even allows the researcher to specify publication dates or ranges. These can later be narrowed using facets (they cannot be expanded).
To have Encore use the Boolean connector “and”, a researcher does not have to do anything. Simply entering two or more terms requires that they all appear in each result.
To specify a phrase in Encore, the researcher should use quotation marks. Searching for capital punishment returns more results than searching for “capital punishment”.
To require that alternative terms appear in other words, to use the Boolean connector “or” in Encore, the researcher will use the “pipe” character “|”. This is usually obtained by using the shifted version of the key with the backslash “\”.
The researcher will use parentheses to group terms into logical groups. So, if a researcher wants to provide some alternative ways of saying something, say murder, homicide, death, manslaughter, they would enter (murder | homicide | death | manslaughter). The parentheses are not truly required unless terms are added to the search in addition to the logical group. So in the above search, Encore will return the same results whether the parentheses are used or not, but if the researcher wants to add another term, say require that the word genocide also appears in each bibliographic record, then the parentheses is required. This is the form that search would take: (murder | homicide | death | manslaughter) genocide.
A researcher can also specify that the terms appear in particular parts of the bibliographic record. The form used is t:torts. The abbreviation of the part of the record, a colon, and the terms. The terms can appear in parentheses if logically necessary. The search t:(torts | negligence) will get material with either torts or negligence in the title.
The parts of a bibliographic record are: title (t), author (a), location (b), year (y), language (g), format (f), and which digital collection the material is from can be specified by using the “c” designation in the search.
There is one wrinkle that arises when searching the year field. The years are surrounded by square brackets. So y:[1970-2000] is the proper search statement that should be used when limiting an Encore search by date.
Format searches are also a bit different than other field searches. The format field is not a free text search field, the proper term for a particular format must be entered to limit searches to that format. The format codes include: b for books, i for internet, g for DVDs, @ for ebooks, s for serials, and d for therapy dog.
The Encore catalog offers researchers both a quick and easy entree into the Law Library’s collection and the ability to construct very focussed searches.
Five volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States are now available in ebook formats readable on Kindle, iPad, and other tablets. The Department of State's Office of the Historian plans to offer additional ebook volumes of Foreign Relations later this year.
Foreign Relations of the United States is the official record of significant U.S. foreign policy decisions and diplomatic activity. Begun in 1861, Foreign Relations spans over 450 volumes from the Lincoln to [Lyndon Baines] Johnson administrations. Yale students can access the full collection in HeinOnline. The Law Library also maintains the print version in the hallway leading to the Upper East Side.