Foreign & International Blog
This research handbook affords an excellent introduction to the history of international law and an understanding of its theory from a historical perspective. It is one of the handbooks in Edward Elgar’s series on Research Handbooks in International Law. The Yale Law Library comprehensively collects the titles in this series which bear on international human rights, international environmental law, international financial regulation, and international criminal law among other topics.
The work covers the period from the origins of international law until now. The editor intends the work “as a useful starting point for identifying and examining the relevant issues of theory and history,” recognizing the multiplicity of legal theories, the myriad detail of international legal history, and the richness of approaches and methods. The work is divided into three parts, 1) The Essence and Developments of International Legal Theory, focusing on major theoretical developments, 2) Thematic Aspects of International Legal Theory, including international human rights, international criminal law, international law and EU law, and international law and international politics, and 3) the History of International Law, covering from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century.
The editor, Alexander Orakhelashvili, Lecturer at the University of Birmingham http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/law/staff/profile.aspx?ReferenceId=3817 , has also authored four of the volume’s seventeen articles. Philip Allott, Professor Emeritus of Trinity College, the University of Cambridge, http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=1057 has written the foreward, and one of the articles is intriguingly entitled “ ‘The holiness of the heart’s affection’: Philip Allot’s Theory of Social Idealism.” The work was inspired by the editor having participated in Professor Allott and James Crawford’s LLM course “the History and Theory of International Law” during the 2000/2001 academic year.
Most of the other contributors have English or Continental academic affiliations. The work ends with an index.
The New York Times has reported that The National League for Democracy, headed by Burmese opposition politician Aung San Suu Kyi, is going to return to the political system in Myanmar after an absence of more than two decades. Information on Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy can be found in Justin Wintle’s biography, Perfect Hostage: A Life of Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's Prisoner of Conscience. The announcement coincides with the news that Secretary Clinton would be visiting Myanmar, the first visit by a Secretary of State in over 50 years.
There are several books in the Foreign and International Law collection that deal with the political and transnational changes that have arisen in Myanmar in the last few years, including Free Burma: Transnational Legal Action and Corporate Accountability by John G. Dale and a collection of essays entitled Myanmar/Burma: Inside Challenges, Outside Interests, including pieces that address the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Myanmar will chair in 2014. Both catalog records contain links to the Google Books preview that provides access to the table of contents and images.
The essay collection's title "Myanmar/Burma" reveals an interesting debate as to which name should be used. The New York Times article previously mentioned clearly references “Myanmar” but President Obama is quoted using “Burma,” the colloquial word for Myanmar which has been used since British colonial rule of the country. Other news sources have similar disparity. BBC News refers to the country as Burma “because most of its audience is familiar with that name rather than Myanmar” but many speakers/writers choose Burma for political purposes: they do not accept the legitimacy of the Military Junta, which changed the name of the country to Myanmar in 1989.
The name choice is relevant to scholars, as many items will be described using one term or the other. A search for Myanmar as a keyword might yield far fewer titles or articles than are actually available. The Library of Congress classification system, for example, still refers to the country as Burma, so use that term when searching subject headings.
Poland will face legal action at the European Court of Justice for refusing to register right-hand drive vehicles, a stance that has brought it into conflict with the European Commission.
Polish law requires that the steering wheel is placed on the left-hand side of the vehicle. This means that in practice right-hand drive cars, both new and used, cannot be registered in Poland. According to the European Commission, these restrictions constitute a disproportionate barrier to the importation of such vehicles from other EU member states, for example by citizens returning to Poland after having worked in Britain. In September last year the Commission requested the Polish authorities to put an end to these restrictions, but they are still in place.
In the Commission’s view, if a motor vehicle meets EU requirements, it can be driven safely in all member states irrespective of whether it is left- or right-hand drive. Therefore, the Commission believes that a total ban on the registration of right-hand drive vehicles is disproportionate to the legitimate public policy objective of ensuring road safety.
As far as new cars are concerned, the Commission believes that the obstacles to the registration of right-hand vehicles are contrary to Directive 70/311/EEC on type-approval of steering equipment and framework Directive 2007/46/EC on EC type-approval of motor vehicles. Regarding used cars, the Commission insists that Poland is breaching EU rules on the free movement of goods (Article 34 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union).
Before taking Poland to the European Court of Justice, the European Commission exchanged correspondence with the Polish government concerning the issue. The Commission refused to accept the Polish government’s argument that the ban was for safety reasons. The Commission called on Poland to change the regulations, but to no avail. If the European Court of Justice upholds the Commission’s position, Poland will have to either lift the ban or face a multimillion-euro fine.
Poland is one of 26 EU countries with street traffic on the right, but the only one that prohibits the registration of right-hand drive vehicles.
The Yale Law School Library features a variety of online resources for research on English cases. Online resources can be accessed through the Yale Law School Library’s online research guides page on finding English cases, as well as the legal databases page.
In general, English case reporting can be divided into two main periods: prior to 1865 and after 1865. The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) for England & Wales has compiled most of the pre-1866 cases into the English Reports. Post-1865 cases are contained in the ICLR's own Law Reports. However, there are various other reporters throughout both time periods.
For a listing of the various case reporters and where to find them both in print and online, please visit our Finding English Cases Timeline. In addition, you may wish to consult the The Digest, which provides access to cases by name and subject.
The Foreign & International Law department of the Yale Law School Library has put together a display on Navajo law and the tribe's interactions with the U.S. federal government. The display can be found on L2 next to the Rare Books Reading Room.
Most of Yale Law School’s materials on American Indian law generously come from the Gertrude (Gigi) and Arthur Lazarus, Jr. Fund. Arthur Lazarus, Jr., who specializes in American Indian law, represented American Indian tribes in their claims against State and Federal governments, including several claims before the federal Indian Claims Commission. He also worked with Felix Cohen in Washington D.C. until Cohen’s death in 1953. Cohen, who pioneered American Indian law through his writing of the Indian New Deal and the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, also taught legal philosophy at Yale Law School. His papers are housed in the Yale Collection of Western Americana at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
Although Diné is the Navajo word for the tribe, the official name is Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation encompasses 27,000 square miles of the states of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The tribe is governed by the Navajo Nation Council, which creates and governs with the Navajo Tribal Code, first conceived in 1935 and consolidated with old tribal resolutions and federal laws in 1962. Traditional customs and values are to be considered when interpreting the code and form the basis of Navajo common law.
The Yale Law School Library features a variety of online resources for research on American Indian tribes, including the recently added American Indian Law Collection from HeinOnline. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, written by esteemed American Indian law scholar and Yale Law professor Felix Cohen, is described as “the single most important work in the field” and can be found in the LexisNexis database. Online resources can be accessed through the Yale Law School Library’s online research guides.
In relation to the theme of Alumni Weekend 2011, “Human Rights in a Turbulent World,” a new exhibit highlighting selected titles from the law library collection illuminating global human rights issues around the world is launched in the Foreign and International Law Reading Room.
The exhibit consists of selected titles authored by the Law School Faculty, panel of speakers at Alumni Weekend, as well as other Yale affiliates examining a wide spectrum of pressing issues. They range from the evolving role of the media in human rights reporting, the infringement of Freedom of Speech and civil rights in times of political conflicts, challenges posed by cross-border migration, global history of genocide and the role played by international tribunals in the adjudication of human rights violations.
In the Main Reading Room of our library we maintain two highly visible bookcases of NEW BOOKS. Among the titles currently on display in one of the bookcases are items about the international financial crisis. Authors include subject specialists, think tank members, academics, and hedge fund managers.
Some of the titles trace the meltdown to American sources. Among these is The Monster: How a Gang of Predatory Lenders and Wall Street Bankers Fleeced America and Spawned a Global Crisis. Another of these is The Great American Stickup, which finds origins of the crisis in the financial/political class who have surrounded such recent American Presidents as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.
Other titles examine the history of the current world-wide gap between wealth and poverty. One example is The Haves and Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality while another is Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind. In this second example, the author investigates economic inequalities between the postindustrial countries of the West and the poorer countries of the Third World. He attributes these inequalities to Third World countries’ exportation of commodities and the West’s exportation of manufactured goods.
Two of our new titles consider the experiences of a particular country. In one of these works, three think tank representatives look at Russia’s financial/economic situation in the wake of the world crisis. These authors predict long-term unviability for Russia’s economic system, if significant institutional reforms are not undertaken. In the second of these works, a hedge fund founder isolates what he perceives as the causes of the presently occurring Greek “Debt Crisis”. He offers three areas for concern: Greek society; EU politics; and the global financial markets.
Finally, two studies try to make predictions about topics in international finance. In one of these studies, The Global Outlook for Government Debt over the Next 25 Years, two members of the Peterson Institute set forth existing data and then extrapolate economic and policy implications. In the second of these studies, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute investigates sovereign wealth funds. In their lack of transparency and accountability he finds threats to future international financial stability.
Written by Margaret Chisholm
A major work on international law has recently been added to the Yale Law Library collection, a six volume encyclopedia simply entitled International Law. This publication is part of Routledge’s Critical Concepts encyclopedic series. Other Critical Concepts in Law encyclopedias in the collection include Feminist Legal Studies and Law and Economics, while Law and Institutions of Modern China is on order.
The editors, Joseph Weiler and Alan T. Nissel have created an anthology of articles covering both traditional and more contemporary approaches to international law. They have organized their work into the following sections:
Volume One “An Overview of the System” (The Politics of International Law, History of International Law, The Concept of International Law, International Law and Its Self-Identity, International Governance and Global Administrative Law;
Volumes Two and Three “Fundamentals of International Law,” International Law Making and the Sources of International Law, International Personality: States, International Personality: Real and Other Legal Persons, Territory, Sovereignty and Self-Determination; the Relationship Between Domestic and International Law, Jurisdiction, Dispute Resolution, State Responsibility for Violations of International Law, Democracy, Legitimacy and Pluralism;
Volume Four “International Law in and of Peace,” International Institutional Law, Law of the Sea, International Environmental Law, International Economic Law, Protection of Private Investments Under Public International Law, Social Dimension of International Law, Human Rights, Consular Law and Diplomatic Immunity, Neutrality;
Volume Five “International Law in and of War,” When States Go to War, Conquest and Occupation, Proxy-Wars, Terrorism and Non-State Actors, International Humanitarian and Criminal Law, Weapons of Mass Destruction;
Volume Six “International Law and” the Other, Economics, Literature, Phiosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religion, and Sociology. There is an index to the set in the back of volume six.
Articles of Yale Law School Faculty found in the encyclopedia include Myres S. McDougal, Harold D. Lasswell, and W. Michael Reisman, “The World Constitutive Process of Authoritative Decisions,” (Volume Two); Harold Hongju Koh, “Transnational Legal Process: The 1994 Roscoe Pound Lecture,” (Volume Two); and W. Michael Reisman, “The Resistance in Afghanistan is Engaged in a War of National Liberation: Editorial Statement,” (Volume Five).
Written by Daniel L. Wade
In the spirit of Yale’s success in creating the YALE-NUS College in Singapore, we are pleased to provide you with access to LawNet, Singapore’s leading legal research website. LawNet provides access to a host of primary material, such as the Singapore Law Reports, as well as secondary materials, including legal news and reference materials. The site is sponsored by The Singapore Academy of Law.
The database also provides access to Malaysian, English, and Indian case law. In fact, researchers looking to find the common law of Singapore should consult materials from these jurisdictions.
Per their website, the current LawNet modules include:
- Legal Research -- currently contains "Legal Workbench"
- Due Diligence (combines the Litigation and BizNet databases)
- Practitioners' ToolKit (PTK)
- Integrated Legal Requisition System (InteReq)
- Public Search Service - Integrated Land Information Service (PSS-INLIS)
- Intellectual Property
- Electronic Filing System
Normally, you can access our subscriptions from the "Legal Databases" page but at the moment, LawNet is in its trial stage. The username and password are posted on the inside page, under “Library Database Passwords.” We strongly encourage you to sample the database and provide your feedback.
You can learn more about our Singapore offerings from our Country-by-Country guide. A suitable introduction to the Singapore legal system can be found in the Foreign Law Guide, and a guide to conducting legal research is available via GlobaLex.