Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Collective Security or Cold War Revival?

Last Thursday, the United States activated a missile defense system in Romania, a former Warsaw Pact Soviet Satellite State turned NATO member. The United States installed the missile defense system to protect European nations from potential missile strikes from Iran as part of its collective security obligations to its NATO allies.

Despite the largely symbolic value of the Romanian missile shield, and despite the fact that the U.S. offered Moscow access to the control system so that the shield could also be used to protect Russia from missiles launched from the Middle East, the Russian government is not pleased by the development.

It remains to be seen whether missile shields end up contributing to global security or whether they trigger a renewed arms race and a new cold war.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Tropical Tuna Trouble

This week the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) created a compliance panel in what is hopefully the last step in a long-running trade dispute between the United States and Mexico over the labeling of tuna.

The conflict began when Mexico objected to the U.S. federal statutes and regulations that provide for when cans of tuna may be labeled as "dolphin-safe." See 16 U.S.C. § 1385 (2012 & Supp. III 2015); 50 C.F.R. §§ 216.91-216.92 (2015); see also Earth Island Inst. v. Hogarth, 494 F.3d 757 (9th Cir. 2007). Mexico contends that the U.S. requires certain dolphin safety measures for fishing operations in the area of the ocean often used by Mexican fishing boats that the U.S. does not require in other areas of the ocean and that the measures put Mexican tuna at a disadvantage in the U.S. market in violation of Article 2 of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).

The dispute was decided upon and appealed and re-decided several times within the DSB. (A summary of the twists and turns is available via the WTO's website.) Ultimately, the DSB held that the U.S.'s regulatory scheme for labeling tuna as "dolphin-safe" did illegally disadvantage Mexican tuna. The DSB based its decision largely on the fact that U.S. regulations require tuna from the Eastern Tropical Pacific (where Mexican fishing boats operate) to be certified by both fishing boat captains and outside observers to qualify for a dolphin-safe label, whereas tuna from other fisheries needed only be certified by the captain. As a result, earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration adjusted it rule to remove the requirement for outside observers, substituting training requirements for fish boat captains instead. See Enhanced Document Requirements and Captain Training Requirements to Support Use of the Dolphin Safe Label on Tuna Products, 81 Fed. Reg. 15444 (Mar. 23, 2016) (to be codified at 50 C.F.R. § 216.91).

The United States believes that the new regulation brings the tuna labeling requirements into compliance with its international obligations, but Mexico disagrees. Thus, the U.S. requested the compliance panel in order to put the proceedings to rest.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

New Titles from April 2016

Check out our Featured Acquisitions page for April 2016 to see the new titles in the Law Library!

A few sample titles:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Restricted Access to the Law Library Begins Friday Apr. 22

During the UK College of Law finals period, which runs from Friday, April 22 - Saturday May 7, access to the Law Library will be restricted to members of the College of Law community.  Law students, faculty, and staff will need to use their university IDs (a.k.a. Wildcards) to access the main part of the library at all times while the library is open.

Any other individuals needing to use Law Library materials during this time must inquire at the Law Library reference or circulation desks for assistance upon arrival.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Changes to Study Room Policies

Starting Monday April 11th, the Law Library will implement amendments to its study room policy.  These changes are to help enforce our long-time policy that study rooms are for law student use only.  

Upcoming Policy Changes
  • Study rooms will be locked when not in use.  Please lock the door when you end your reservation.
  • A study room key will be checked out to your library account when you check in for your reservation at the Circulation Desk.
  • Return the keys on time to avoid fines. 

o    Key fines:  Overdue = $5.00 per minute; Long Overdue or Lost = $200. 
o    Key fines are mandatory and non-negotiable.
o    They must be paid to the Law Library directly by cash or check only.
o    Note:  Library fines in excess of $20 will put your University account in bad standing; account blocks can prevent you from borrowing library materials and study room keys, registering for classes, and obtaining transcripts.  This policy is not new.
o    These fees are not intended to be punitive but to motivate study room users to return room keys on time. Without keys, we cannot limit use to law students only.

Standing Policies
  • User Requirements
  • Study rooms are limited to use by College of Law students, faculty and staff.
  • Study rooms are for group-study only; individual use is prohibited, excepting exam reservations made by the Dean of Academic Affairs.
  • All group members must be currently enrolled law students.

 Reservation Parameters
  • Study rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Reservations are mandatory.
  • Reservations may be made in 1- or 2-hour blocks, but may not exceed two hours per day.
  • Reservations cannot be made more than 24 hours in advance.
  • Groups forfeit their reservation if they are more than 15 minutes tardy.
  • Study room reservations requests may be denied if your current enrollment status cannot be confirmed.

General note: Law students are strongly encouraged to bring their Wildcard student ID cards when checking materials out, including study room keys.  It allows us to easily and accurately access your account and to confirm your identity and current standing in the library system. 

Questions can be directed to our circulation manager, Michel (Thompson) Yang by email ( or in-person during office hours M-F, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Beer!

What with the prevalence of divisive political campaigns these days, globalization and free trade have been in the news a lot lately. In fact, the popularity of both far right and far left campaigns has been explained as a reaction against decades of free trade policies. While free trade zones provide some benefits, such as reducing the risk of war between trading partners (this was the motivation for one of the first such groups, the European Coal and Steel Community), they do tend sometimes to discourage domestic production. Happily, however, sometimes domestic production can be increased without resorting to protectionism that would remove the benefits of free trade, especially if a topic comes along that is so popular that it transcends party lines... a topic such as beer.

Yesterday, the Kentucky Senate passed S.B. 11, which doubles the production limits of microbreweries in Kentucky, as well as allowing a range of new commercial activities for local wineries, distilleries, and breweries. The measure passed 31-6, after earlier passing the house in similarly overwhelming fashion (76-20). The bill still awaits the Governor's signature, but Lexington breweries reacted jubilantly to the bill's passage. In fact, both West Sixth Brewing and Country Boy Brewing proceeded with plans to expand their businesses immediately following the bill's passage. By enabling increased production, the Kentucky Legislature will allow local craft breweries to better compete with the international conglomerates that are the result of the globalization discussed above.