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:

Happy new year — welcome to 2013!

We’ve made a few changes in the law library’s database offerings:

  • We now subscribe to Oxford Bibliographies: International Law.  This database includes 48 articles guiding researchers to the best scholarship available in international law.  Examples of topics include Genocide, International Criminal Law, and International Organizations.  This database is available for use both on and off campus for the entire Cornell community.
  • While we’ve subscribed to PKULaw for quite some time, until now it has been available only at the law school.  We’re pleased to announce that it is now available for use by the entire Cornell community, both on and off campus, in its English and Chinese versions.  PKULaw is a comprehensive and authoritative database of Chinese legal information, which contains all the laws, regulations, and cases in Chinese since 1949. It also includes all issues of 35 domestic law journals, with over 100,000 full-text articles in Chinese.  (Note that not all Chinese-language materials are available in the English database.)
  • We have expanded our holdings in Oxford Reports in International Law to include decisions not only on International Law in Domestic Courts but also International Criminal Law and International Human Rights Law.  This database is available only using law school computers.
  • We no longer have a separate subscription to Getting the Deal Through.  The resources in that database are now available via Bloomberg Law.  Members of the law school community who would like a Bloomberg Law password should contact Cornell Law Library Reference.

The Law Library is pleased to welcome Priya Rai, Deputy Librarian in Charge at the Justice T.P.S. Chawla Library, National Law University in Delhi, to Cornell Law School.

Ms. Rai’s visit is made possible through the Bitner Research Fellows Fund.  This endowment is designed to provide foreign law librarians with exposure to Cornell Law Library’s excellent resources and the expertise of its professional librarians, while learning about advanced legal research in a global context.

Ms. Rai will present at the faculty workshop on Wednesday, July 25, 12:00 Noon, in the Weiss Faculty Lounge.  Entitled “Access to Legal Information in the Digital Age: A Comparative Study of Electronic Commercial Databases and Public Domain Resource in Law,” her presentation will include the results of her research involving law students and faculty from leading law schools in India. In addition to comparing open access and commercial legal databases, she will discuss initiatives to promote access to legal information to all Indian citizens.

Ms. Rai is the 2012 recipient of the FCIL-SIS Schaffer Grant.   This grant provides financial assistance for a foreign law librarian to attend the American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting, which she will do immediately prior to visiting Cornell.

If you’re studying, working on, or interested in foreign and international business, labor, or regulatory matters, you should be familiar with Getting the Deal Through (GTDT).  Purchased by the Cornell Law Library, and available for use by the entire Cornell community, GTDT is a current awareness service that provides guides to law and regulations in 48 practice areas and more than 150 countries worldwide.

GTDT’s current awareness guides address numerous questions about law and regulation in countries around the world.  For example, in the new guide Foreign Investment Review 2012, some of the questions answered are:

  1. What, in general terms, are your government’s policies and practices regarding oversight and review of foreign investment?
  2. What are the main laws that directly or indirectly regulate acquisitions and investments by foreign nationals on the basis of the national interest?
  3. How is a foreign investor or foreign investment defined in the applicable law?
  4. Are there special rules for investments made by foreign state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and sovereign wealth funds (SWFs)? How is an SOE or SWF defined?

These questions, and 19 more, are answered for each of 26 jurisdictions worldwide.   GTDT also recently added 2012 guides to telecom, gas regulation, banking regulation, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, anti-corruption regulation, and merger control.

Cornell students, faculty, and staff may access GTDT here or through the Cornell University Library Catalog.

The online resource Getting the Deal Through provides summaries of the laws of many countries on business-related topics (called “Practice Areas”) such as banking regulation, the environment, shipping, mergers & acquisitions, and product liability. The summaries, which are written by practicing attorneys throughout the world, are organized in a Q&A format. Getting the Deal Through has summaries for more than 40 practice areas and 100 jurisdictions, although not every jurisdiction is covered for each practice area. Material is up to date within the past year or so. Summaries for a practice area/jurisdiction (e.g. banking regulation in Argentina) can be downloaded in PDF. You can create a custom report by selecting only the countries and questions that interest you. To get to the database, do a title search in the Cornell Library catalog for “Getting the Deal Through” OR use the link on the Law Library’s Online Legal Resources page for Corporate & Securities.

Map of EritreaCongratulations to Luwam Dirar, Cornell JSD student, who recently published the research guide for Eritrea she co-authored with Kibrom Tesfagabir. The guide, entitled Introduction to Eritrean Legal System and Research, includes the following sections:

  • Constitutionalism
  • Government (National Assembly, Executive, Judiciary)
  • Court structure (regular courts, military courts, Sharia courts, etc.)
  • Legal education
  • Resources for researchers

The guide is published by Globalex, an online collection of research tools for foreign and international law hosted by the Hauser Global Law School Program at NYU Law. Globalex publishes research guides for many countries, and these are a great, free place to help familiarize yourself with that country’s legal system and legal publications, including Web sites. The foreign law guides are generally written by lawyers who have studied and practiced in these countries. Globalex also publishes research guides about international law and comparative law.

Dunia Zongwe, a JSD candidate at Cornell Law School, gave a lecture at the Cornell University Institute for African Development on Sep. 2, 2010.  Dunia, who is a former fellow of the Institute, spoke about how African countries can leverage their natural resources endowments to develop infrastructure, which in turn will promote the development of socio-economic rights.  Click here to read the paper.

Luwam Dirar, Cornell JSD student

World mapFor researching foreign law, the Cornell Law Library F&I Guide is a time saver and sometimes even a life saver!  This Guide and other guides are available under Research Guides on the Law Library home page.  Use the Guide to start your research or for ideas when you get stuck.  All 192 nations of the world are covered, listed by geographic region under “Foreign Law Sites.”

Once you select the country you want to research, you will see options for “Cornell Law Library Resources” and “Guides and Other Resources,”  but the four links in the brown box may be all you need (described in detail below):

Foreign Law Guide by Reynolds and Flores is the bible for foreign law research.  It is an online subscription resource available through Cornell Law Library and must be accessed via campus computer or through your Cornell ID.  Foreign Law Guide provides background on the history of each country’s legal system and where to find legal resources, both print and online.

Guide to Law Online is a compilation of resources for each country from the Law Library of Congress.  The Guide organizes links under branches of government and links to cases and statutes (among other things), if available.  It is free for everyone.

World Legal Information Institute (WLII) provides online information for countries by topic.  If the information isn’t listed, it is most likely not available online. This Web site is free for everyone.

CIA World Factbook is a respected source for general information about individual countries.  It is a good idea to understand the country’s government and legal system before plunging into foreign law research.  The Web site is free.

Like most online resources, these four generally do not cover information beyond the early 1990s.  For older cases and laws, you will have to look for print resources (use the F&I Guide to find print resources at Cornell Law Library).  It is often difficult to find case law and legislation in English and the information you seek may not be available.  As a last resort, you could call the embassy, a law library, or a law firm in the country you are researching.

Consider using the F&I Guide as a one stop shop for your research needs.  You are always welcome to come to the Reference Desk in the Reading Room for help.

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