Entries for month: April 2012
April 30, 2012 · Jason Zarin
A friendly reminder --
Patrons are permitted to eat in the Williams Library, except in the Reading Room on the second floor.
As we head into finals, the Williams Library Reading Room becomes more popular and much more crowded. Please respect your fellow students and the silence of the Reading Room by eating in other permitted areas of the library.
For more information about the Library's food policy, please read Food & Drink Policies.
Best of luck on finals!
Library News · News for Students · Library Policies
April 26, 2012 · Andrew Stamm
Liberia's former President Charles Taylor was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity Thursday by the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The court was formed in 2002 to address the UN Security Council’s “deep concern at the very serious crimes committed within the territory of Sierra Leone against the people of Sierra Leone and United Nations and associated personnel and at the prevailing situation of impunity.” The trial was held in The Hague because conducting the proceedings in Sierra Leone itself was deemed potentially too destabilizing for West Africa.
Taylor was found guilty on 11 counts, including murder, conscription of child soldiers, rape and sexual slavery. He was tried for supplying weapons to the brutal rebel group Revolutionary United Front (RUF) during Sierra Leone's bloody civil war, which ended in 2001. In return, the rebels supplied him with raw diamonds, so-called blood diamonds.
The court found Taylor guilty of "sustained and significant" support for the rebels who committed the various atrocities, although it found him not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of ordering those abuses himself. The trial lasted 5 years and a sentencing hearing is scheduled for late May where Taylor could face life imprisonment.
Taylor is the first African head of state to be tried in an international court and the first former head of state to have a judgment brought against him since the Nuremburg trials that followed WWII. But, another former African head of state, Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, is now awaiting trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is also located in The Hague.
Current Awareness · International
April 23, 2012 · Roger Skalbeck
We have now concluded the 2012 Annual Student Survey for the Georgetown Law Library. This year, 485 students responded. Here's a quick overview chart showing the respresentation of student responses:
Thanks to all the students who responded. We've published a summary of responses on our site: 2012 Law Library Student Survey Responses.
Congratulations to 1L student William D. Reiter, who won an Amazon Kindle Fire as part of the drawing for this year's survey. He was chosen at random from all student responders. He is shown here with Associate Law Librarian Kumar Jayasuriya along with his new device.
Thanks again to our students for providing valuable feedback on library services, online content and resources. We're starting now to review all comments. Over the coming weeks, we'll review all comments.
Georgetown News · News for Alumni · Library News · News for Students
April 18, 2012 · Todd Venie
Patrons who use our Free and Low-Cost Legal Research Guide will be interested in some recent developments in the availability of free legal material online. First, Lexis recently shut down lexisOne, their site for free case law. Now, the only way to access case law through Lexis is to subscribe to their premium services (Lexis Advance and Lexis.com).
On a more positive note, however, the Public Library of Law (PLoL) is once again being kept up-to-date. The PLoL, provided by low-cost alternative Fastcase, was not being updated with current material for a brief time, but that problem seems to have been corrected.
Fastcase and PLoL are only two of the free and low-cost alternatives to the dominant legal research services. For more information, consult our research guide for the particular type of material you are interested in (cases, statutes, etc.). For each type of legal material, the guide has links to the relevant websites, dates of coverage, and available search options.
April 17, 2012 · Andrew Stamm
Change is afoot at the World Bank. Jim Yong Kim was recently named as the next president of the bank effective in June. Kim is a physician with a doctorate in anthropology and his development experience includes addressing the problem of making HIV treatment available in the developing world. Additionally, last week the World Bank announced its new Open Access policy, effective July 1, which formalizes its policy of making research and knowledge freely available online.
The new Open Access policy will be implemented in phases throughout the year. For the first phase, the World Bank just launched a new Open Knowledge Repository and adopted a set of Creative Commons copyright licenses.
Now anybody is free to use, re-use and redistribute most of the bank's knowledge products and research for commercial or non-commercial purposes. The policy will also apply to Bank research published with third party publishers including the institution’s two journals—World Bank Research Observer (WBRO) and World Bank Economic Review (WBER). The bank will respect publishing embargoes, but expects the amount of time it takes for externally published bank content to be included in its institutional repository to diminish over time.
While much of the bank’s research has been available for free on the World Bank website and other places, the Open Access policy marks a change in how that information is accessed. The Open Knowledge Repository will now be the new home for all World Bank research. It currently contains works from 2009-2012. It will be updated regularly and coverage will be expanded both backwards and forwards.
April 16, 2012 · Andrew J. Christensen
The Friends of the Georgetown Law Library invite you to the latest screening in the Law at the Movies film series:
Movie: Erin Brockovich (2000)
Date: Thursday, April 19, 2012
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: Hart Auditorium
Based upon a true story, this award-winning film focuses on a legal assistant and her small law firm who uncover and prosecute a class action suit over the environmental poisoning of a small California town. Julia Roberts won an Oscar for her portrayal of Brockovich, who sacrificed her time and limited resources in passionate pursuit of justice.
After the program, please stay for a discussion on the ethical, legal, and cultural aspects of the film. The panel will include:
Michael Frisch, Adjunct Professor of Law & Ethics Counsel
Kumar Jayasuriya, Adjunct Professor of Law & Associate Law Librarian
Andrew Christensen, Reference Librarian
Jason Zarin, Reference Librarian
To learn more about the Friends of the Georgetown Law Library program and the benefits of becoming a member, please visit http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/friends.
News for Faculty · Library News · News for Students
April 12, 2012 · Andrew Stamm
For several years, a day in April has been designated as “Denim Day” to promote public awareness of sexual violence against women. Here is some background on how Denim Day came to be.
It began in 1999 in response to an Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) decision that overturned a rape conviction. There was a dispute about consent. In overturning the decision on the consent issue, the court found that “it is nearly impossible to slip off tight jeans even partly without the active collaboration of the person who is wearing them.” As a response to this decision female legislators appeared on the doorstep of Parliament wearing jeans and holding signs that read “Jeans: An Alibi for Rape.”
There was a second, similar case in 2008 where the Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) reviewed a lower court decision with very similar reasoning which had found that “it was impossible to, with the girl wearing jeans and being seated, put his hand under her pants and touch” her. This time the high court overturned the lower court and its own 1999 ruling finding that “[t]he fact that the girl was wearing jeans was not an obstacle to her intimate parts, because it is possible for him to penetrate with his hand under the garment, which is not comparable to a chastity belt.”
This development has “closely aligned the Italian Supreme Court with the European Court of Human Rights’ dictates, and ultimately has marked a step forward towards gender equality and women’s right to sexual autonomy.”
Denim Day however lives on as a reminder and as a way to combat such attitudes.
Georgetown News · Foreign Law
April 10, 2012 · Marylin J. Raisch
Today the Chamber judgment of the ECHR came down in the case of Babar Ahmad and Others v. United Kingdom, application
nos. 24027/07, 11949/08, 36742/08, 66911/09 and 67354/09, dated 10 April 2012. This case concerns six alleged international terrorist detained in the UK, including the often-publicized case of Mustafa Kamal Mustafa (also known as Abu Hamza), The main points of the decision include the following:
"...no violation of Article 3 [of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of
the European Convention on Human Rights as a result of conditions of detention at ADX
Florence (a “supermax” prison in the United States) – if Mr Ahmad, Mr Ahsan, Mr Abu
Hamza, Mr Bary and Mr Al-Fawwaz were extradited to the USA; and,
no violation of Article 3 of the Convention as a result of the length of their possible
sentences if Mr Ahmad, Mr Ahsan, Abu Hamza, Mr Bary and Mr Al-Fawwaz were
Issues of conditions in detention after trial under death penalty and life- without- parole circumstances have been controversial in European human rights case law (protocol no. 6 of the European Human Rights treaty abolished the death penalty). It is important to note that this judgment is not final because there is a further procedure, with time limits, for referral to a Grand Chamber, which may take up the referral for further examination and final judgment, or decline to do so, making this decision the final one. The court considers, but is not bound by, its precedents. The treaty, formally known as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and its protocols, are posted at the Treaty Office of the Council of Europe.
April 10, 2012 · Margaret Krause
Member of the Georgetown Law community can now use HeinOnline to access State Attorney General Reports and Opinions for all 50 states, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This material is searchable by keyword or by Opinion Number. At this time, opinions and reports from 1980 to the present are available online and Hein is adding earlier opinions with the anticipation of making opinions from all years accessible over the next twelve months.
If you have any questions when using the HeinOnline database, feel free to ask a reference librarian.
News for Faculty · News for Students · Database News