Foreign & International Blog
E-Signature Law Updated in Russia
Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, signed into force a new federal law on electronic signatures, replacing the older 2002 law on the matter. According to the new law, there will be three different types of e-signatures, ranging from simple to complex ones. The e-signature is supposed to be widely used in dealing with state services over the Internet. The move is part of Medvedev’s long-term e-government project. Original article.
Strasbourg Court Holds Russian Republican Party Dissolution Illegal
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found illegal the dissolution of Russia’s Republican Party. The democracy-oriented Republican Party was created in 1990. In 2002, a new law on political parties was enacted, imposing restrictive requirements for party registration, including the requirement that each party have at least 50,000 members (up from 5,000 under the older law). The Ministry of Justice initiated the de-registration of the party on the grounds that it has an insufficient number of members, and in 2007, the Supreme Court ordered the party disbanded. Party leader Vladimir Ryzhkov filed a complaint with the ECHR arguing that the Ministry had no power to recount members of a party that had already been registered. The ECHR held for the Republican Party and awarded it $10,000 in legal expenses. Ryzhkov, however, does not intend to revive the Republican Party because he is participating in the creation of the new “Party of People's Freedom,” along with opposition leaders Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov. Currently, there are only seven parties registered in Russia. Original article.
Six Kazakh Supreme Court Justices Dismissed over Corruption Charges
Kazakhstan’s Senate (parliament’s upper chamber), acting upon a petition from President Nursultan Nazarbayev, dismissed six Supreme Court judges related to corruption charges recently brought against them. The charges allege that the judges “entered judgments in favor of private persons in breach of rights of citizens and the state.” Senators also recommended that Supreme Court Chairman Musabek Alimbekov resign voluntarily. Original article.
The Doha Development Round is the most current round of negotiations out of the World Trade Organization. The objective of the round is to lower trade barriers, but because the round has been continuing since November 2011, there are murmurs that the WTO might take some alternative measures to salvage the progress that has already been made.
Aside from your traditional news sources, the library subscribes to some publications such as the International Trade Reporter. These trade reporters are terrific for monitoring current events, and they are also tremendous resources for following a discrete topic and for looking for information from a specific jurisdiction.
The reporters are not limited to trade. We subscribe to the Environmental Law Reporter as well as the Investment Arbitration Reporter, just to name a few. While these are often geared towards practitioners, they make a terrific place for students who are looking for paper topics.
The Yale Law Library has an extensive collection of print and electronic resources for researching the law of India.
As with any research, it is important to familiarize yourself with the legal system of India. You can do this by examining any of the research guides available through our Country-by-Country Guide. The entry for India in the Foreign Law Guide (a subscription resource; also available in print) is particularly good for historical and background information.
For print secondary sources, run title, keyword and/or subject searches in MORRIS and Orbis first to find books from India on a particular topic. You can also go to the Lower East Side, Call Number KNS, to examine first-hand our Indian collection (or browse KNS in Morris). Law is organized topically within each country. Our library catalogs will further indicate if we subscribe to a journal in either print or electronic format. If we do not own a copy of the journal or book that you are looking for, you can search WorldCat and request the item via Interlibrary Loan using the "Yale Links" button.
For print primary resources please go to the Lower East Side of the Law Library, call number location KNS. Here we will have material on the Constitution of India (around KNS1744.5195), selections of Constitutional Debates and the following federal case reporters (in order of Bluebook (T.2.18, pp.335-8) preference):
- Supreme Court Reports (S.C.R.)(Official)
- All India Reporter (A.I.R.)(Official) which includes state cases
- Supreme Court Cases (S.C.C.)(Official).
In addition to federal and state reporters, the Lower East Side houses certain specialized reporters, such as:
However, the collection of specialized reporters is not complete in coverage. We do not carry titles such as Consumer Protection Reporter (abbreviated CPR) and Consumer Protection Judgments (abbreviated CPJ) can be ordered by library patrons through Interlibrary Loan.
We also carry codes and statutes of India. See, for example (in order of Bluebook preference):
And session laws:
Other primary print sources, including archived editions of India's constitution, India's Code, and Regulations are available by request from the Library Shelving Facility (LSF) via MORRIS.
For electronic primary resources, the Government of India's website, India Code is now an official source that can be cited to according to Bluebook. Yale Law Students also have access to India's statutory, case law, and legal literature, through the subscription database Manupatra (password on YLS Inside), which is also authoritative.
Additionally, although unofficial per Bluebook, the Legal Information Institute of India recently launced an extensive database of primary and secondary resources. LexisNexis (individual password) contains the reported and unreported decisions of the Supreme Court of India from 1999 to present, as well as select international arbitration agreements. More specialized information can be found through agency websites such as the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Finally, all newspapers are kept at Sterling Memorial Library's Newspaper Room for 6 months after receipt. Some are then archived in microfiche format. Always check Orbis for currency and title, as well as to find online versions. Certain papers are also available online through the newspaper's website:
The law library has access to a number of interdisciplinary databases covering international affairs and cross-disciplinary materials useful for researching foreign, comparative and international law.
CIAO Columbia International Affairs Online "publishes a wide range of scholarship from 1991 onward that includes working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs".
PAIS International & Archive contains citations to publications from over 120 countries. They include journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference reports, publications of international agencies, microfiche and miscellaneous web resources. Now via the CSA multisearch platform one can run cross-database searches within a wide range of social sciences databases such as EconLit, ERIC, Sociological Abstracts of Worldwide Political Science Abstracts
ISI Web of Knowledge includes citation databases such as the Social Science Citation Index from 1898 on and the Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Social Science & Humanities - from 1991 on. It is interoperable with Scopus (now known as SciVerse Scopus) which covers abstracts and citations of peer-reviewed research literature, web sources including open-access journals, with links to full-texts and other library resources. Originally launched as a scientific database, it also covers scholarly literature pertaining to arts and humanities and the social sciences.
All the resources can be accessed from the Yale Library Database & Article Searching webpage.
A new biography of Hersch Lauterpacht entitled, The Life of Sir Hersch Lauterpacht QC, FBA, LLD, is written by his devoted son, Elihu Lauterpacht, an international law scholar in his own right, and Reader and Lecturer at Cambridge. Elihu had previously published his father’s papers over a twenty-five year period in five volumes. The new biography is enhanced by twenty-four pages of plates and many extracts of correspondence. There is a bibliography of Lauterpacht’s published writings, a bibliography of writings about him, a list of obituaries, and a chronology of significant events in his life, as well as a detailed index to the book.
(photograph from the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law)
Born in Austria-Hungary in 1897, Hersch moved to England in the early 1920’s. After teaching at the London School of Economics, he assumed the Whewell Chair at Trinity College, Cambridge, to teach International Law in 1937. After the war he was involved in the prosecution of Michael Joyce, aka Lord Haw-Haw, and the major Nazi war criminals. He served on the United Nations International Law Commission 1952 to 1954 and as judge of the International Court of Justice from 1955 until his death in 1960. In 1956 he was knighted.
Herscht wrote numerous books on international legal topics and edited several editions of Lassa Oppenheim’s classic, International Law. He also led a very engaging life as a practitioner. He create International Law Reports (formerly Annual Digest and Reports of International Law Cases; also available online), an on-going collection of cases from around the world.
----- Daniel Wade
Chernobyl is open to tourists!
Moscow News - 20 March 2011
Ukraine announced official tours of the1986 nuclear disaster and open the sealed zone around the Chernobyl reactor to visitors who wish to learn more about the tragedy that occurred nearly a quarter of a century ago. Chernobyl's reactor No. 4 exploded on April 26, 1986, spewing radiation over a large swath of northern Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people were resettled from areas contaminated with radiation fallout in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. Related health problems still persist.
Today, radiation directly next to the sarcophagus encasing Block 4 is around 3 per hour. On an intercontinental flight you will receive around 5 microsieverts per hour due to cosmic radiation at high altitudes. So, technically a trip to Chernobyl is healthier than crossing the Atlantic.
You can read more from Time online.
The Law Library has several works related to this topic. See, for example:
- Chernobyl, the Forbidden Truth by Alla Yaroshinskay (1995)
- Chernobyl: Law and Communication: Transboundary Nuclear Air Pollution - The Legal Materials edited by Philippe Sands (1988)
Relevant subject headings include:
- nuclear power plants - ukraine - accidents
- liability for nuclear damages
- radioactive pollution - law and legislation
- chernobyl nuclear accident, chornoby'l, ukraine, 1986
- nuclear crisis control
Poland Grounds Tu-154M
The Associated Press - 28 March 2011
Poland has taken its remaining Soviet-made Tu-154M government plane out of service. President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others in the Smolensk region last April were killed when the Tu-154M crashed. Poland pulled the remaining Tu-154M from service after Russia ordered airlines to stop using Tu-154B aircraft following a fire and explosion that killed three people in January. A Russian report on the April crash found no fault with the plane.
The Law Library has a collection of both foreign and domestic aviation law and safety. See, for example:
- Why Airplanes Crash: Aviation Safety in a Changing World by Clinton V. Oster, Jr., John S. Strong, C. Kurt Zorn
- Aviation Law & Policy Series by various authors
Relevant subject headings include
- aeronautics - law and legislation
- aircraft accidents
- aircraft accidents - united states
Russia Sets Forward Clocks for the Last Time
Combined Reports - 28 March 2011
Russia is permanently on daylight-saving time after people set their clocks ahead one hour early on Sunday under a decree from President Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev, who has already tinkered with time by reducing the number of the country's time zones to nine from 11, has said switching clocks back and forth is bad for health.
Scientific studies show more suicides and heart attacks occur immediately after a shift to daylight-saving time, and that switching clocks back and forth causes more pollution.
Russia has been grappling for decades with issues of time in a country that stretches across 10,000 kilometers and whose northernmost reaches see less than an hour of sunlight a day during the winter months. The first recorded time change occurred in July 1917, and after several time-change reforms, daylight-saving time was introduced in 1981.
A poll conducted in February indicated that about 60 percent of Russians support Medvedev's decision to permanently set Moscow's time four hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, RIA-Novosti reported.
A Kremlin handout earlier this year, citing experts, said that depending on the region, the change would increase the amount of perceived daylight by 7 to 17 percent.
Russia's abolition of wintertime will, however, boost annual electricity consumption by 1 billion kilowatts per hour, or 0.01 percent of total usage, the Kremlin handout read, because mornings will be darker and people will need to use more energy.
"Since 1916, countries have, to one degree or another, been 'experimenting' with time, and I think the process is likely to continue," said Vladimir Krutikov, deputy head of the Federal Service for Technical Regulations and Measures, RIA-Novosti reported.
More than 100 countries, including the European Union and most U.S. states, use daylight-saving time. In ending the practice, Russia joins Japan, China, South Korea and the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Georgia in not changing clocks seasonally, Itar-Tass reported.
The Law Library has a rich collection of Russian Law. The Russian National Library also contains scanned historical works and current law and legislation available to the public. To begin researching the law of Russia, start with our Country-by-Country guide to Foreign Law Research.
Piracy Somali pirates and have been getting a lot of media attention lately. A new Somaliland pirate prison was recently opened with the financial assistance of the United Nations. But piracy is not limited to the coast of Somalia or East Africa.
The International Chamber of Commerce - Commercial Crime Services division has an interesting Piracy Map pinpointing the location of pirate activity around the world, along with a detailed description of each incident.
- Hijacking of ships
- Hijacking of ships Somalia
- Pirates History
- Pirates History 21st century
You will find books such as:
- Modern Piracy: A Reference Handbook by David F. Marley (2011)
- Jolly Roger with an Uzi: The Rise and Threat of Modern Piracy by Jack A. Gottschalk and Brian P. Flanagan with Lawrence J. Kahn and Dennis M. LaRochelle (2000)
- The Law of Piracy by Alfred P. Rubin (1998)
A search of the Index to Legal Periodicals turns up quite a few law review articles on piracy as well. See, for example:
- Dutton, Y. M. Pirates and impunity: Is the threat of asylum claims a reason to allow pirates to escape justice? Fordham International Law Journal v. 34 no. 2 (January 2011) p. 236-9
- Totten, C., et. al., Somali Piracy: Jurisdictional Issues, Enforcement Problems and Potential Solutions. Georgetown Journal of International Law v. 41 no. 2 (Winter 2010) p. 377-424
- Thedwall, C. Choosing the Right Yardarm: Establishing an International Court for Piracy. Georgetown Journal of International Law v. 41 no. 2 (Winter 2010) p. 501-23
Amnesty International has released a new report, entitled Death Sentences and Executions in 2010.
Asia and the Middle East are the two regions responsible for the most executions worldwide, and a significant portion of those sentences were for drug related crimes.
In the past decade, 31 countries have abolished the death penalty and the United Nations General Assembly has called for a Moratorium on the use of the Death Penalty.
Here in Connecticut, the Judiciary Committee is debating whether to abolish the Death Penalty. Public hearings were held on March 7. More information can be found on the Human Rights Now blog.
Beginning March 28th, the new digital subscription plan of the online edition of New York Times will limit public access of free contents to 20 articles per month. The law library has access (via Yale University Library’s subscription) to digital contents of the NYT from online aggregators such as Gale but the closest online alternative to NYTimes.com is the New York Times Image Edition provided by Newsbank. See earlier post here. Archives from 2007 are searchable and images of individual page or section can be printed but not downloaded. Online full-text contents of NY Times in HTML format provided by Gale start from 1985, by Westlaw and Lexis from 1980.
Another useful online newspaper aggregator is Proquest PressDisplay which includes image editions of close to 1000 domestic and foreign newspapers. Coverage varies depending on each newspaper. Back files of Chicago Tribune are available for the past couple of days but that of Le Monde are available for the past couple of months. To find available newspapers, search in Online Newspapers and Journals list by the title of the newspaper.
Finding judgments (on the merits), decisions (on admissibility), advisory opinions, resolutions, and reports of the European Court of Human Rights has never been easier. ECHR judgments can be found in both print and electronic format in both official and unofficial sources.
- Reports of Judgments & Decisions (Official print reports)
This series has about a 5 year lagtime. Today, each volume contains numerous ECHR judgments and decisions. Prior to 1996, however, judgments and decisions were published individually as Series A; the title of the case (i.e. the parties) is the title of the publication. In other words, you can do a title or keyword search in Morris for the case name and find the judgment or decisions if it was published. For example, if you search for the party, Matznetter, you will find the 1970 ECHR publication of the Matznetter case.
- European Court of Human Rights (Official database)
The ECHR's database, HUDOC, is an easy and efficient way to find an official version of an ECHR judgment or decision if you know the parties or case number. However, this can be a very labor-intensive means of searching for cases about a particular topic because the database does not provide absracts or summaries of the cases in the search results; you have to open and skim each case individually to determine if it is relevant to your research. You can also find Advisory Opinions, Reports, and Resolutions in HUDOC.
- Lexis (Human Rights Cases) (Unofficial database)
Lexis has full-coverage of the HUDOC judgments and decisions in its database, Human Rights Cases (which also covers a commercial human rights reporter broader than the ECHR). This is a terrific way to search full-text through the ECHR decisions. Note, however, you cannot pull up a case by ECHR citation (e.g.  ECHR 61498/08) in Lexis. All results are html only; pdfs are not available. Lexis requires a password and is available only to the YLS community.
- European Human Rights Reports (EHRR) (Unofficial print reporter)
EHRR is a commercial publication of the ECHR decisions. The volumes come out more frequently than the official reports and are fairly current (about a one-year lagtime). This series reprints many (but not all) of the ECHR judgments. It also has a feature in the back of each issue called Summaries and Extracts (SE) of other important decisions and judgments.
- Westlaw (EHRR) (Unofficial database)
This is a terrific way to search for ECHR judgments even if you do not have specific case names. You can conduct a full-text search of the EHRR and SE or limit your searching within various parameters (not yet available in WestlawNext). You can also pull up an EHRR citation (e.g. 51 EHRR 10; 49 EHRR SE11). All EHRR results are html only; pdfs of the reporter are not available. Westlaw requires a password and is available to the YLS community only.
- Pleadings, Oral Arguments, and Documents (Official print volumes)
From 1960-1995 (1987 decisions), the ECHR also published Series B containing briefs, transcripts, and other documents pertinent to various cases. Similar to the early volumes of Series A, you can do a title or keyword search or MORRIS using the case name (parties) to find individual volumes (e.g. the Lawless case). Although this series ended publication in 1995, one can still obtain court documents by contacting the ECHR directly.
Except for Westlaw and Lexis, all of these reporters and reports are accepted sources for Bluebook purposes (see Rule 21.5.3, p.194).