About Sergio Stone

Sergio Stone is the Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian at Stanford Law School. He received his JD degree from NYU and his MLIS degree from the University of Denver.

Legal Issues in the Republic of South Africa

“Legal Issues in the Republic of South Africa” is a Web site of 59 short articles written by H.C.J. van Rensburg on various aspects of South African law. Topics include criminal law, evidence, animal law, business organizations, labor law, and consumer law. Free registration is required.

http://legalissues.co.za/

 

Festival Justice et Cinema

La Rochelle, France offers an annual justice and film festival – Festival Justice et Cinema. Now in its third year, the 2011 edition was held June 10th and11th.

Each year’s festival offers a different theme, with this year’s films focusing on  screen portrayals of investigating magistrates (juge d’instruction)

 In addition to screening  films, the festival also offers discussions by legal practitioners, film critics, journalists, and academics.

http://www.festivaljusticeetcinema.fr/

The Web site also includes a biblioghraphy.

Law, Justice and Film

Looks like the University Jean Moulin and the Bar Association of Lyon’s conference on law and narrative cinema is turning into an annual event. The 2nd annual meeting was held in late March in Lyon. In addition to panels, the conference also screened films. Participants included screenwriters, directors, attorneys, professors, and administrative judges.

Les Rencontres Droit, Justice & Cinema 2011
Les questions de Droit et de Justice abordées par le prisme du cinéma de fiction
Lyon, France. March 21-25, 2011
http://lesmistons.typepad.com/files/dp-comoedia—rencontres-djc-20115.pdf

2010 Conference
http://www.barreaulyon.com/Le-Barreau-de-Lyon/Actualites/Rencontres-Droit-Justice-et-Cinema

Hat tip to the Law and Cinema Blog (Le Blog Droit et Cinéma)
http://lesmistons.typepad.com/blog/

Article on Blogging by Chinese Judges

Professor Anne Sy Cheung’s article in the Harvard International Law Journal includes a couple of interesting findings that merit further investigation.

On page 267 of the article, Prof. Sy Cheung writes:
“While Blogging by judges may be an unusual phenomenon in common law countries, it is not unusual in China. In fact, more than half of the bloggers in this study wrote in their real names.”

Table 1 of the article breaks down the content of blog postings by Chinese judges.  Nearly 34% of the blog postings related to legal research.

Appendix IV lists the most common legal research question asked by the judges:

1. Copies of laws, regulations, and rules as well as comments on them.
2. Comments and opinions on draft legislation.
3. Criticizing the Rules of Payment of Court Fees issued by the State Council in December 2006.
4. Researches on a broad range of topics, such as compensations for damages to person happened in schools, the principle of innocence, problems of the Property Law of the PRC, role of the procuratorate, land system and land reform, citizens’ rights and freedom, real estate development and house transactions, labor disputes including payment of wages and salaries, and compensation for damages to accidents at work, and introduction of the spiritual compensation to civil suits collateral to criminal proceedings (some of these researches have been published in journals by the writer, blog owner).
5. Discussions on the tradition of Chinese culture and law.
6. Copies of court decisions that have come to effect.
7. Judicial interpretations issued by the Supreme People’s Court.
8. Routine work of the courts.
9. Introduction of Western legal theory, thought, and practice.
10. Questions and answers for various post-followers.

Exercising Freedom of Speech Behind the Great Firewall : A Study of Judges’ and Lawyers Blogs in China
Harvard International Law Journal
Vol. 52 , April 2011

http://www.harvardilj.org/2011/04/online_52_cheung/

In you are interested in legal research issues in China, don’t forget about the Chinese and American Forum on Legal Information and Law Libraries Conference in Philadelphia in July. Information on program sessions and speakers is available at

http://cafllnet.org/annual-conference/

G-20 Materials

Each G-20 meeting has created its own Web site of documents, with varying degrees of comprehensiveness.  No central repository exists of G-20 documentation, but some recent initiatives might help.

Bloomberg Law has started a G-20 Declarations library under the “Global Law” tab.  It includes declarations from the G-20 summits since 2008.
http://www.bloomberglaw.com
Search > Global Law > World Organizations > Group of 20 > Declarations

An open access repository is being created at Archive-It. In addition to final proclamations, it should include preliminary documents and reports from experts and working groups.
http://www.archive-it.org/public/collection.html?id=2592

Accessing and Reusing Copyright Government Records

Accessing and Reusing Copyright Government Records

John Gilchrist

10 Law and Justice Journal 213 (2010)

Full text available at:

http://www.law.qut.edu.au/files/4.Access_and_Reuse_GILCHRIST_3.pdf

Abstract

The common policy objectives in modern liberal democracies of promoting open and accountable government and of preserving national culture and heritage are reflected in the provision of access to, and the preservation of unpublished and published works held by government. A wide spectrum of social enquiry is in whole or in part dependent on these government preserved holdings.

The policy objectives in Australia are manifested in two ways. One is in government archival practices and laws. The other is in the Australian Copyright Act 1968 facilitating access to, and the preservation of, unpublished and published works held by archives and libraries. While preservation of these works and the costs associated with it are in themselves a recognition of the public interest in accessing works held by archives and libraries, existing laws and practices facilitating access should be reviewed in light of technological changes in way we access, create and communicate works and in light of further moves towards openness in government.

This article outlines present archival practices and laws in Australia, and the scope of Copyright Act provisions,  before turning to reform. The focus will be on the Australian federal sphere.

Citations to Foreign Law in the Supreme Court of Canada

Waiting for Globalization: an Empirical Study of the McLachlin Court’s Foreign Judicial Citations

Peter McCormick

41 Ottawa Law Review 209

From the abstract:

…This paper explores the Supreme Court of Canada’s citations to judicial authority since 2000. The paper argues that the notion of non-Canadian citation must be disaggregated into three component parts – English, American and everything else. – before it can usefully be examined, these three exhibiting quite different patterns; an d its concludes that in none of them can the “expanding globalization” thesis be sustained. … Finally, it looks at the kinds of cases that tend to include non-Canadian citations, and suggests that not only are we still waiting for globalization, but to the extent that we are focusing primarily on rights-based jurisprudence, we may also be looking in the wrong place.

Documentary on Jean Monnet

Professor Don Smith of the University of Denver Strum College of Law has produced and posted a 90 minute documentary  on the life of Jean Monnet, one of the architects of the European Community. The film provides an interesting look into the genesis of the institutions that produced the European Union and the remarkable life of Jean Monnet.

Jean Monnet Father of Europe

http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/jean-monnet-father-of-europe

From the project description:

Jean Monnet has been called “The Father of Europe” by those who see his innovative and pioneering efforts in the 1950s as the key to establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the predecessor of today’s European Union.

Jean Monnet’s concept of “European community” was aimed at ending the ceaseless wars on the European continent and enhancing prosperity. And yet today in Europe – to say nothing of the rest of the world – Monnet is often a forgotten historical figure, his contributions to peace and prosperity in Europe largely overlooked.

In commemoration of this 20th century giant, 18 months ago Don C. Smith, who teaches “European Union Law & Policy” and “European Union Environmental Law & Policy” at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, embarked on an effort to produce a video documentary explaining who Monnet was and what his legacy is.

Mr. Smith’s interviews capture the observations and insight of those who worked with Monnet in the key years of the 1950s as well as individuals who have been influenced by Monnet’s contributions to European integration.

hat tip to Joan Policastri

UK MPs and the Use of Twitter

Microblogging, Constituency Service and Impression Mangaement: UK MPs and the Use of Twitter.

Nigel Jackson and Darren Lilleker

17 Journal of Legislative Studies 86 (March 2011)

Abstract:

Twitter, a microblogging site which allows users to deliver statements, thoughts and links in 140 characters to followers as well as a wider Internet audience, is the latest online communications technology adopted by MPs. Assessing the use of early adopters, this article considers which MPs are most likely to use Twitter (e.g. tweeting), and how. Content analysis of tweeting MPs was conducted, and identified personal and political characteristics which may influence use. The data suggested that of the six characteristics tested, gender, party and seniority had most impact on adoption. Applying Jones and Pittman’s (1982) typology there is clear evidence that MPs use Twitter as a tool of impression management. Constituency service is a secondary function of the use of Twitter by MPs. Where MPs use Twitter as part of their constituency role it is to promote their local activity. We note that a small group of MPs use Twitter as a regular communication channel, but most are only occasionally dipping their toe into the microbloggersphere.

Tahrir Documents Project (Egypt)

Tahrir Documents

http://www.tahrirdocuments.org/

The Project as described by the editors and staff of Tahrir Documents:

We are pleased to announce the launch of Tahrir Documents, an ongoing project to archive and translate printed discourse from the 2011Egyptian revolution and its aftermath. The website presents a diverse collection of materials — among them activist newspapers, personal essays, advertisements, missives, and party communications —- incomplete English translation alongside reproductions of the Arabic-language originals. The site will be updated regularly, frequently, and indefinitely as new writings appear in response to post-revolution developments, and as we locate earlier materials. The assembled documents address a variety of contemporary concerns including Muslim-Christian relations, constitutional amendments, moral conduct, revolutionary strategy, and the women’s rights movement. Some of the highlights of the collection:

 

* A defense of protestors’ continued sit-in at Tahrir Squarereleased on March 9th, the same day on which their encampment wasdestroyed by thugs

* Guidelines for personal behavior after the revolution

* Numerous denunciations of sectarian violence

* The announcement of new political parties and presidential candidates.

* Numerous articles debating the constitutional amendments passedlast week

* Selections from Gurnal and Revolutionary Egypt, activistnewspapers founded after the revolution

 

We invite you to examine the website, and to return regularly as we post communications and commentaries from the post-Mubarak era. We believe the archive indicative of the diversity of political thought and action in contemporary Egypt, and hope that this diversity is ofinterest to anyone following the country’s transforming situation. The archive is searchable. Tahrir Documents is the work of volunteer translators in Egypt and abroad. It is not affiliated with any of those authors or groups whose works appear in translation on the website, nor with any organization foreign or domestic.

 

For more information please write to the editorial board at

tahrirdocuments@gmail.com.

 

We invite the submission of materials for translation and publication on the website.