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 Cornell Law School Library has purchased two additional HeinOnline databases, Congress & the Courts and the History of International Law Collection, for use by the Cornell University community.

Congress & the Courts is a collection focusing on the organization, structure, and legislative history of the federal  courts and judiciary.  It includes William H. Manz’s Congress and the Courts: A Legislative History 1787-2010, covering the U.S. Congress’s approaches since 1789 to the composition and structure of Article III Courts.  It also includes Federal Judicial Center publications and scholarly articles about the federal courts.

The History of International Law Collection includes more than 700 titles going back to 1690.  These titles include classic books by authors such as Hugo Grotius and William Douglas, serials such as Studies in Transnational Legal Policy and Judicial Settlement of International Disputes, scholarly articles, and bibliographies.

You can explore the contents of these databases here.

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.

World Intellectual Property Day 2011Tuesday, April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, celebrated each year since 2000 and established by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The aim is to demonstrate how the IP system fosters not only music, arts and entertainment, but also all the products and technological innovations that help to shape our world. This day commemorates the date on which the Convention establishing WIPO originally entered into force in 1970.

For your IP research, you are invited to use these top-notch resources at Cornell Law Library:

  • BNA Intellectual Property Law Resource Center
  • IP Theory — a new peer-edited intellectual property law publication
  • JIPITEC – open access journal on intellectual property, information technology, and e-commerce law
  • Nimmer on Copyright – available on Lexis and on reserve in the law library (11 volumes)
  • McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition – available on Westlaw and on reserve in the law library (7 volumes)
  • Chisum on Patents – available on Lexis

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

Max Planck Encyclopedia logoThe Law Library has recently subscribed to the electronic version of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL).  The Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law, located in Heidelberg, Germany, is one of the foremost research centers for international law.  The Max Planck Encyclopedia, first published in paper between 1991 and 2001, is an essential resource for researching international law.  Now in an electronic format published by Oxford University Press, the MPEPIL offers a comprehensive, searchable database of frequently updated and new articles by highly regarded scholars from around the world.  Articles within the MPEPIL are fully cross referenced and linked to other articles in the database.  There are also links to other Oxford University Press databases to which the Law Library subscribes:

Access is by IP address, so you can access MPEPIL from any computer in the Law School or from http://uportal.cornell.edu.

Another recommended Oxford encyclopedia relating to international law is the Encyclopedia of Human Rights, also available online.

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.

PiratesPiracy is funny when it involves parrots with risqué vocabularies, saying “Argggh” a lot, and Johnny Depp proudly debarking from his sinking jalopy of a raft.  Piracy is deadly serious when it is a form of terrorism in which routes of commerce are disrupted, people die, and a sea captain in Swiss Family Robinson makes his granddaughter dress like a boy to protect her from…well, I could never figure out from what when I was eight years old.  But something really, really bad.

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day this coming Sunday (September 19th every year), here are some resources for learning about the not-so-funny legal aspects of piracy.

Digital libraries


  • The Law of Piracy. Alfred P. Rubin. 2nd ed. Irvington-on-Hudson, New York: Transnational Publishers, Inc., 1998.  Law Library call number K5277 .R89 1998.  This book traces the development of piracy and piracy law in the Greco-Roman world, England, and the United States.
  • La Piraterie au Vingtième Siècle: Piraterie Maritime et Aérienne.  Corinne Touret.  Paris: Librairie Générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, E.J.A., 1992.  Law Library call number K5277 .T68 1992.  This book takes an international law approach.
  • Patriot Pirates: The Privateer War for Freedom and Fortune in the American Revolution.  Robert H. Patton.  New York: Pantheon Books, 2008.  Olin Library call number E271. P27 2008.  Patriot Pirates describes of the history of American colonial privateers during the Revolutionary War (like Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind, except in a different war), their motivations, and the questionable legality of their actions.

Articles (links to HeinOnline)

Web sites

Image: “The Pirates” Under False Colors-Can They Capture the Ship of State? from Cornell University Library’s Collection of Political Americana, available on flickr.com.

CFR app logoThe U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a non-profit dedicated to helping citizens better understand foreign policy throughout the world, has a handy iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad app that brings CFR’s resources to your fingertips.  This app is FREE.  Keep current on the latest major world news, read analysis and expert briefs on foreign policy topics written by CFR’s staff, and learn background information about major issues in the world today.  Many articles are brief and to the point.  Here are some examples of what’s available from the app:

The app also offers access to transcripts of CFR meetings and interviews with international experts.  I recommend the CFR app to anyone interested in keeping up with international law and relations.

World Trade Organization LogoThe World Trade Organization (WTO) regulates trade between 153 member nations and provides a framework for the settlement of trade disputes between nations. The Cornell Law Library has recently acquired a subscription to TradeLawGuide, providing students and faculty with enhanced access to WTO law.

Use TradeLawGuide to search WTO agreements, instruments, jurisprudence, and Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) minutes. TradeLawGuide includes article and jurisprudence citators that allow you to update WTO law, and a Subject Navigator tool that indexes materials by subject. Training videos are available here.

Access TradeLawGuide from either the Trade Law or the International Law subject pages of our Online Legal Resources list, or search the library’s catalog for “TradeLawGuide.”

For more information on WTO law, check out this research guide or these articles by Cornell Law School Professor John Barceló.

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