Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: European Union Looks to Move Towards Greater and Lesser Unity Simultaneously

Yesterday, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, released a letter to the members of the Council outlining the parameters of an E.U. reform deal reached with British Prime Minister David Cameron. Essentially, the deal exempts the U.K. and other non-Euro countries from certain aspects of economic integration, exempts the U.K. from further political integration, and would provide mechanisms for member states to challenge or block the applicability of certain E.U. regulations on principles of subsidiarity. While these exemptions would lead to less unity between the U.K. and the Continent, Tusk asserts that the concessions will allow greater unity for members who want it by dropping the British anchor which has been slowing the process down.

It remains to be seen if the deal will be accepted. Not only will Tusk need to convince the other E.U. members that his argument holds water, but Cameron will need to convince the increasingly Euroskeptic British population that staying in the E.U. in a limited fashion makes sense. Early results have not been promising. Cameron is expected to hold a referendum on the deal (and on continued E.U. membership for the U.K.) in June, a referendum that will likely greatly impact the future of Europe.

Monday, February 1, 2016

National Survey of State Laws now on HeinOnline!

The Law Library now subscribes to the National Survey of State Laws collection on HeinOnline. This collection allows researchers to browse by legal topic and access charts summarizing the approaches taken to the topic by each state. The charts also provide citations to the relevant state laws that provide for the individual approaches taken by the states. If your research needs call for a state-by-state comparison of an issue, this is a great resource to consult!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Comparative Legal Research Tool Available in the Law Library

The law library now subscribes to Global Regulation, a database that allows topical searching of laws across 27 jurisdictions around the world. In addition to leading researchers to the full texts of the relevant laws, the database uses computer-driven translation to provide the results in English, despite the country of origin. If you're considering including a comparative component to a paper, you may want to give it a look!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Georgia on ICC's Mind

This morning, the International Criminal Court issued a decision authorizing an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred during the 2008 war between Russia and its neighbor (and former fellow-participant in the U.S.S.R.) Georgia. During that conflict, both sides were alleged to have committed war crimes and/or crimes against humanity. It will be interesting to see what the ICC Prosecutor's investigation reveals.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Colombian Ceasefire

The government of Colombia has been engaged in an ongoing war against leftist paramilitary groups, such as FARC, for more than half a century. At various points in its history the conflict has served as a Cold War proxy war and as the front line of the War on Drugs. Now, however, there is hope for peace as the Colombian government and FARC have been holding peace talks in Cuba. The BBC reported this week that the two sides have made enough progress that they have asked for a U.N. mission to monitor a ceasefire agreement which they plan to have finished by March.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesdays Around the World: Legos, building blocks of fundamental human rights

Last fall, popular toy maker Lego denied a request for a bulk purchase of Lego bricks by a dissident Chinese artist. Ai Weiwei planned to use the bricks for an art installation in Austrlia, but Lego told him that they would not allow the toys to be used for political statements. Lego's decision caused a minor outrage in the art community, which viewed the restriction as an assault on the freedom of expression.

Happily, after reconsidering the issue in light of its perceived effect on the fundamental right of freedom of expression, Lego recently reversed its decision, is supplying Ai with the bricks he needs, and will no longer question the purpose of bulk orders. So, now everything is awesome.

Lego replica of the U.N. Headquarters in New York

In International Law, freedom of expression is explicitly recognized as a fundamental human right in Article 19 of the U.N.'s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Interestingly, Article 19 includes the clause "through any media," which would apply to Legos as an artistic medium.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Now Circulating: Portable Book Lamps

Need more reading light in the library? 

Check out one of our new rechargeable book lamps from the circulation desk!

Our book lamps are capable of clipping to a book or of free standing on a flat surface and come with a usb cable for recharging or hooking up to a power source. Please note that you will be required to return the lamp, the cable, and the box when you are finished with your borrowed lamp.

A new law library book lamp. Also pictured and available for circulation: book stand, and 20th Ed. Bluebook.