Entries for month: May 2012
May 31, 2012 · Andrew Stamm
In the “blood diamond” case, former Liberian president Charles Taylor was sentenced to 50 years in prison. His was the first conviction of a head of state by an international tribunal since the Nuremberg trials that followed WWII. He was found guilty by the joint Sierra Leone and UN Special Court for Sierra Leone last month of 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The court is located in The Hague.
Taylor is 64, and if his entire sentence is carried out, he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. The court is required to set a specific sentence; it cannot prescribe the death penalty or life imprisonment. Taylor is expected to appeal the sentence.
Justice Lussick who read the judgment in court noted that while Taylor’s convictions were for aiding and abetting the commission of crimes and that jurisprudence of the Special Court and related tribunals “holds that aiding and abetting as a mode of liability generally warrants a lesser sentence than that imposed for more direct forms of participation,” Taylor’s leadership role “puts him in a class of his own.” Two rebel commanders tried earlier were sentenced to 50 and 52 years respectively.
In their sentencing, the judges took in to account his good behavior while in detention, while apparently ignoring other mitigating factors proposed by the defense such as his age and health.
Current Awareness · International
May 29, 2012 · Barbara R. Monroe
Beginning Tuesday, May 29, 2012, the Law Library will give away older editions of casebooks and study aids, as well as treatises and other materials. The marked giveaway shelf is located in Williams Library in the Loewinger Lounge area of the Reading Room. The selection of materials will be replenished on a regular basis, and all Georgetown Law students, faculty and staff are welcome to come and help themselves.
News for Students
May 29, 2012 · Margaret Krause
The Freedom of Information Act gives citizens the right to request information from federal government agencies and the web portal, FOIA.gov, offers data and reports on the requests obtained and processed by the administrative agencies. Users of FOIA.gov can also create their own reports on the processing time, fee waivers and backlog of requests by agency for Fiscal Years 2008 through 2011.
The FOIA.gov web portal, created by the Department of Justice Office of Information Policy, also provides a direct link to the FOIA contacts by executive agency and features detailed guidance on how and where to make a FOIA request.
May 18, 2012 · Morgan Stoddard
Students, as you start your summer jobs, you likely will be faced with conducting research in unfamiliar areas of law, which means dealing with unfamiliar citations. Luckily, there are a number of specialized resources that will help you determine the source affiliated with a particular legal abbreviation.
Often the best resource, particularly for U.S. legal materials, is Bieber’s Dictionary of Legal Abbreviations. Most law libraries will have a copy, and Bieber’s is also available on Lexis. For citations to foreign and international sources, a great resource is the Index to Legal Citations and Abbreviations by Donald Raistrick.
For more resources and tips for discerning unfamiliar citations, see our Abbreviations and Acronyms Research Guide. Additionally, Georgetown Law students can always contact a librarian at the reference desk – even over the summer!
News for Students · Research
May 17, 2012 · Catherine Dunn
Lexis and Westlaw both restrict student access over the summer, but continuing students may request an extension of their passwords if they meet certain conditions. Examples of these conditions include:
Taking summer law school classes that require access for their course preparation and assignments;
Doing research associated with law review, law journal, or moot court work over the summer;
Serving as a research assistant for a faculty member; or
Working in an unpaid, nonprofit public internship or externship position for school credit or to fulfill a graduation requirement.
Note that this continued access must be for academic purposes only. Using a Lexis or Westlaw password for a commercial purpose is in direct violation of our academic subscription terms.
The extension of student passwords needs to be done separately with each vendor, and we have prepared a page with information on how to do so at http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/students/research_assistants.cfm. (Scroll down to the section entitled "Summer Use of Lexis and Westlaw.")
If you have additional questions regarding summer password extensions, please direct them to Pedro de Lencastre at Westlaw (email@example.com) and/or Lori Sorenson at Lexis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
News for Students · Research · Database News · Technology News
May 01, 2012 · Andrew J. Christensen
If you’ve recently used the Encore catalog interface to search for library materials, you may have noticed a helpful new feature: Direct links to relevant journal and newspaper articles now appear along with books and other resources in your search results.
Synergy, a new software add-on to the Encore search platform, works to retrieve full-text and summaries of individual documents and articles from over 25 of the Law Library’s most popular databases, including HeinOnline, ProQuest Congressional, LexisNexis Academic, ProQuest Newspapers, JSTOR, and LegalTrac.
In most cases, finding a specific law review article in PDF is now as easy as entering the article’s title or citation in the search box at http://discover.ll.georgetown.edu/iii/encore, or in a Keyword search under “Find Books, Journals and e-Resources” on the Law Library homepage at http://www.ll.georgetown.edu.
True to the resource discovery concept behind Encore, Synergy also offers enhanced options for more general article-level research on a topic.
For example, you can find articles related to any Encore search by clicking the Articles link at the top left of the results page. From there, browse and select from the corresponding documents in Hein Core Collections of legal periodicals listed by relevance, or choose another folder at left to see only articles within a certain topic or source category. Click the PDF or Full Text links to open the articles in new browser tabs. (See screenshots below.)
For more information or assistance using the new Encore Synergy feature, please get in touch with a reference librarian. We’ll be happy to help you out at the Wolff or Williams reference desks, by email, Live Help chat, or by phone.
News for Faculty · News for Students · Database News · Library Catalog