Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Week Hours

The Law Library will be opened reduced hours this week for the Thanksgiving holiday - please plan accordingly!

Tuesday, Nov. 25
7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 26
7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 27

Friday, Nov. 28
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
No Reference Services Available

Saturday, Nov. 2
Resume Regular Hours

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesdays Around the World: ICJ Elections

On Tuesday, the International Court of Justice announced the election of Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica as the final member of the court for this round of elections. This follows the election of four other I.C.J. judges, including American Joan E. Donoghue, at the beginning of November.

According to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, the ICJ features fifteen judges elected to nine-year terms. Elections are staggered so that a third of the court is up for election every three years. The U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly do the electing, and each candidate must obtain a majority in each body. Judges may stand for reelection, but no more than one judge of any one nationality may sit on the court at once.

While this process may seem convoluted, it does tend to ensure more responsiveness and diversity of viewpoints than appointment with lifetime tenure has. Maybe the U.S. should amend the Constitution to adopt something similar, substituting "more than one alum of the same law school" for "more than one national of the same state"?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Wednesdays Around the World: ASEAN Summit

The twenty-fifth annual ASEAN summit meets in Myanmar this week. The summit is a meeting of delegations from the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as heads of state from world powers who trade with Southeast Asian nations. In fact, quite a few of these heads of state have already made the international news for actions taken at the summit. First, Vladimir Putin caused a minor diplomatic scandal when he showed himself to be a major international player, in multiple meanings of the word. Then, it was reported that the U.S. and China were creating rival clubs for trade and trying to get all the cool nations to join theirs. Finally, and most shocking of all, Presidents Obama and Xi came to a surprise agreement to limit air pollution. And, these were just the highlights of the summit so far. This all goes to show how important Intergovernmental Organizations are to modern diplomacy and international law, especially when one considers that the U.S. and China aren't even officially ASEAN members.

Monday, November 3, 2014

New Titles from October 2014

Check out our Featured Acquisitions page for October 2014 to see the new titles in the Law Library last month!

A few sample titles:
And the new DVDs from last month:
  • Barbarians at the Gate.   Recounts the events surrounding the 1988 leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco, the biggest history at the time, and widely considered to be a textbook example of corporate and executive greed. 
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Vol. 1.  Once a third-rate superhero, Harvey Birdman is now a third-rate lawyer. His cases always involve legal disputes between cartoon characters, many from Hanna Barbera cartoons.
  • I Am Sam.  When the authorities take his daughter away, Sam shames a high-priced lawyer into taking his case pro bono.

A selection of our new titles can be found on our "New Books" display atop the reference section in the library lobby.  Enjoy your browsing!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Quiz Drawing Winners

The winners from the Halloween Quiz entries have been drawn, and the winners are:

Bloomberg Law Battery Extender/Power Source:
Joshua Spears
John Charles Leabo
Tom Travis

Bloomberg Law Travel Outlet Extender
M. Ashley Hatfield
Chris Ficker
Alexis Vaughan

Firehouse Subs $25 Gift Card, provided by Bloomberg Law:
Emily McClure

$25 Starbucks Gift Card, provided by Bloomberg Law:
Catherine Gavin

$25 Starbucks Gift Card and accompanying swag bag, provided by West:
Felisa Bowman

3,000 Lexis Points, provided by Lexis:
Jiten Patel

To retrieve your prizes, please see Tina Brooks in room 122 in the Law Library.

Thank you to all who participated in the contest, and thank you to West, Lexis, and Bloomberg for their generous prize donations.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Exam Prep Materials in the Law Library

It's that time of year again; we're into the second half the semester and finals are drawing ever-nearer.  Here is a reminder of some of the exam prep materials available to aid you in your studies:

Study Aids
  • Electronic: 
    • The Westlaw Study Aid Subscription offers study aid materials on a wide variety of legal topics and includes series such as the Acing Series, Gilbert Law Summaries, Nutshells, Black Letter Outlines, and many more.
    • The Understanding and Questions & Answers series of study aids are available in e-book form from the Law Library's subscription to the Lexis Digital Library.
  • Print:  The Law Library has a variety of study aids on the study aid spindle next to the circulation desk and case briefs behind the circulation desk.  All 1L course subjects are covered, as are a wide variety of upper class subjects.
  • Audio: Also available on the study aid spindle, all 1L course subjects have CD or MP3 study aids available, and many of the upper class subjects are covered as well.
Past Exams
Check out the Exam Archive for past or sample exams for your courses.  If you don't find any for your class, ask your professor if they have put print copies on reserve at the Law Library circulation desk or if they have posted some on the class TWEN page.

CALI Lessons
CALI provides online lessons and tutorials on a variety of legal topics that can be useful in class review and exam prep.  You'll need a UK student authorization code to access them, so please contact the circulation or reference desks for the code, or email me at

Studying Effectively
Need some guidance on how to use those exam prep tools effectively? Now is a good time to make an appointment with UK Law's Academic Success director, Jane Grisé ( for advice on how to make the most of the tools at your disposal and the time remaining in the semester.
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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesdays Around the World: the Increasingly Meaningless Syrian Border

According to media reports today, Kurdish Peshmerga from Iraq have crossed into the Syrian town of Kobane to reinforce Syrian Kurdish forces under siege by Islamic State militants. Interestingly, Turkey is allowing the passage of Iraqi Kurds into the threatened town, despite Turkey's troubled relationship with Turkish and Syrian Kurds. This sort of tangled web of allegiances and antagonisms is what happens when arbitrary, artificial lines are drawn on a map just to advance imperialist interests (and then later to make the resulting region work with international law after the inevitable decolonization).

Speaking of arbitrary, artificial lines, one of the major principles of the state-based international legal system is the respect for individual states' territorial integrity, and thus a respect for the same arbitrary lines drawn on the map. However, Syria's borders have begun to be largely ignored, with the Islamic State claiming Syrian territory, and with the United States and various (though not all) allies performing combat operations against the Islamic State in Syria.

Typically, to conduct armed operations within a state's borders legally, one must meet one of several criteria: the state whose borders are being ignored could formally invite the armed intervention (which the Iraqi government fighting IS has done, but won't work in Syria, as there is some dispute as to who the legitimate government of that country should be), the U.N. Security Council could authorize the intervention (unlikely to happen since Russia can veto Security Council resolutions as a Permanent Member and is a traditional ally of one of the Syrian factions), or the state doing the intervention could be acting in self-defense, either on its own or on behalf of an ally. This latter seems to be the stance the U.S. is taking, though the U.S. action is against the Islamic State but is violating Syrian sovereignty. Of course, this is not the first time that American forces have violated third-party territorial sovereignty in hot pursuit of enemy combatants. Nor the second. Nor the third or fourth or...