The United States is not the only country whose supreme court is the exclusive subject of a blog.  Here’s a rundown of a few blogs about other countries’ high courts:

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EU flagAs an associate editor of the Cornell International Law Journal and as an exchange student at the University of Amsterdam, there have been times when I have had to quickly familiarize myself with the substantive law of the European Union.  With very little knowledge of the EU legal system, I relied heavily on law blogs to give me the background necessary to conduct research, cite court cases, and write an intelligible paper on an unfamiliar issue.  Below are a couple of the sites that I have found to be very helpful jumping off points.

One great website, geared toward students, academics, and professors, provides excellent summaries of recent cases: EU Law Blog.  It also gives detailed background information, breaking down some of the more difficult concepts of EU law.  The author cites to relevant case law often, and includes hyperlinks to official versions of the cases, making corroborating the information quick and easy.  The only drawbacks of the website are that there is no information about the author, and occasionally the posts, though informative, sound politically charged.  Additionally, the site is not comprehensive, in that you cannot find any and all European Court of Justice cases.  However, the posts are categorized by subject matter, making searching simple.  Although it is probably not a source to ultimately use as authority, it is a great tool in understanding a complex legal system.

Another website that I found useful is the European Court of Justice Blog.  This website is also not comprehensive, offering only a sampling of court cases, but the search function allows a user to sift quickly through relevant cases.  For example, if you needed to learn more about the “free movement of goods,” one of the EU’s four freedoms, you can select that subject area under “labels,” which generates a list of appropriate cases.  Each case description includes the background, the provisions of EU law at issue, the analysis of the case, and a link to the actual text of the judgment.  Additionally, citations and links throughout make checking work much easier.  A lawyer specializing in European administrative law oversees the postings on the blog, adding to the credibility of the information presented.  Again, while probably not sufficient to use as a citation on its own, the blog provides very helpful information for someone unfamiliar with EU law.

Erin Lein, Cornell Law School 3L student

The Law Library of Congress launched a blog in August 2010 titled In Custodia Legis (translation “In Protection of Law” or “In Guardianship of the Law”).  The Law Library of Congress is the largest law library in the world with over 2.65 million volumes.  Founded to provide legal materials to Congress, the Library of Congress now takes a global approach, recognizing the interconnectedness of national legal systems and working to ensure access to the world’s laws.  The blog also has a global viewpoint and is a great way to learn about international events related to legal information as well as the LLOC ‘s special collections and interesting questions they have received (check out the one on Al Capone’s jury).

Snitching by Alexandra NatapoffA blog can be a great place to dip into a new topic. Take the Snitching Blog, for example–an excellent resource for news and information about criminal informants, how they operate, and how they affect the U.S. criminal justice system. The blog has entries about cases in which an informant played a critical role, a heads-up about a recent NPR series on a confidential informant and the House of Death murders, and legislative reform efforts. You can find links to reports, data, and government hearings in the blog’s sidebar.

Alexandra Natapoff, a professor at Loyola Law School, authors the blog. She recently published a book entitled Snitching: Criminal Informants and the Erosion of American Justice, Cornell Law Library call number KF9665 .N38x 2009. You also may want to check out Ethan Brown’s Snitch: Informants, Cooperators & the Corruption of Justice, Cornell’s Olin Library call number HV8141 .B74 2007. Ancient history buffs should try Imperial Inquisitions: Prosecutors and Informants from Tiberius to Domitian by Steven H. Rutledge, Olin Library call number JC89 .R87x 2001.

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