Peace PalaceFrom September 5 – September 9, 2010, the International Association of Law Libraries hosted its 29th Annual Course on International Legal Information and Law entitled “Dutch Gateways to International Law” at The Hague, The Netherlands.   The meeting took place at the Peace Palace, where I joined approximately 200 librarians, attorneys, and professors in attendance from around the world.  The course is designed to provide international researchers with a clear understanding of the wider legal environment in which we operate.  In addition to presenting attendees with a review the legal system of the host country, the conference also featured several sessions in international law, including an assessment of the ongoing role of The Hague Conference on Private International Law, a review of recent cases at the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and presentations from various distinguished speakers regarding international criminal law, water law, law of the sea, maritime, harbor and transport law, air law, and The Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property, among many other topics.

Image:  IALL Annual Meeting attendees in front of the Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands.

CUL mobile siteIn a move designed to make online information more accessible to library patrons, Cornell University Library (CUL) recently launched CULite, a new mobile interface for the library’s website.  The Law Library is grateful to the mobile team that designed this feature for the benefit of all libraries on the Cornell campus, including ours.

Two alternatives are available to users: a device independent mobile site ( or an iPhone/iPod Touch app available free from iTunes.  Both options allow users to search the Classic Catalog, check individual Library hours, locate contact information for each Library, submit a question to an individual reference desk, and more.  Check out the promotional video on YouTube.  Your research just became a little easier.

An Unreal View of Earth courtesy of NASADid you know that although the first Earth Day was founded by a U.S. Senator, its successful organization was actually coordinated by a law student?  Denis Hayes, who later became an environmental lawyer, was, needless to say, preoccupied by issues other than his final exams at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the spring of 1970.

If you are looking for a few moments of pleasant diversion during this 40th Earth Day, I recommend relaxing with a book from the Cornell University Library that celebrates the earth.  Some to consider are:

In any of these books you will find the inspiration you need to take a break from your studies and take action on this Earth Day.

Image “An Unreal View of Earth” courtesy of NASA

Image from Cornell Law Library Trials CollectionAll members of the law school community are invited to an Open House for the Rare Book Room hosted by the Cornell Law Library this Thursday, March 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Rare Book Room is located on the eastern end of the Reading Room (on the Law Library’s third floor). Please join us for an introduction to some of the most treasured items from our collection, including the Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection, the Scottsboro Trials Collection, and our collection of Liberian Law. Light refreshments will be served.

Avon Center for Women and Justice logoBased at Cornell Law School, the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice provides an international forum for judiciary, governments, and civil society to work together to promote justice for women and girls who have been the target of gender-based violence.

The concept for the Center was born in 2008 at the Senior Roundtable for Women’s Justice hosted by the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. There, over seventy participating judges from around the world expressed the need for a medium in which they could continue their dialogue and thereby facilitate ongoing change to the global and domestic status of women and girls. Funded by the Avon Foundation for Women and supported by the Cornell Faculty Innovation in Teaching Program, the Avon Global Center is the first center of its kind.

Four major initiatives serve to further the Center’s mission: undertaking clinical projects; providing legal research assistance for judges; developing online legal resources and a discussion forum; and organizing and hosting an annual conference and other substantive events. This year’s conference entitled “Gender-Based Violence and Justice in Conflict and Post-Conflict Areas” will be held on March 12, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

The Avon Center also sponsors the Women and Global Justice Speaker Series at Cornell Law School. Prominent speakers from all over the world speak on issues related to violence against women. These events are free, but you must RSVP in advance (lunch is served).

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