We all know that laws can be odd or wacky, but most of us take the rule of law for granted. Law Day celebrates the rule of law and its contributions to creating a free society. Law Day began in 1957 with then American Bar Association (ABA) President Charles S. Rhyne. It was eventually proclaimed by President Eisenhower. Library of Congress has a nice research guide for the legal background of Law Day.
On the road to final exams, let library services help you out. Need to fuel up with additional prep materials? The library has old exams available for practice and review here. Forgot to pick up a study aid at the beginning of the semester? We have hornbooks, Nutshells, Black Letter Outlines, Examples and Explanations, flashcards, and more. Want more direction? Check out one of our books on preparing for and writing exams.
Know before you go: our complete guide to exam prep is available at http://lawlibraryguides.bu.edu/exampreparation
Want more? Stop by the reference desk to ask us about Bluebooking, our favorite study aids, or help researching your seminar paper.
As a continuing student your access to the Law Library’s materials will continue as it does today. Summer access to WestlawNext—-note that Westlaw Classic access for academic accounts ends June 30th— is available subject to the restrictions highlighted HERE. Summer access to both Lexis Advance and Bloomberg Law will continue as you use it today.
Graduating students take note:
- Lexis Advance offers ongoing unlimited access to until August 31st. You may additionally extend your access through their Graduate ID program by signing up HERE. This program will allow you unlimited use through December 31, 2014.
- Westlaw Next will allow graduating students 60 hours of use per month beginning in June through November 2014 IF you sign-up for their password extension program HERE. If you do not extend your password, your access will end May31, 2014.
- Bloomberg Law allows for ongoing unlimited access through December 31, 2014 for graduates. No action is required on your part.
For full details, visit the Library’s access for graduates page or contact a Reference Librarian.
What is your favorite Study Aid: a Nutshell, a CALI lesson, a outline, your favorite reference librarian, an extra large latte from Pavement, your dog? Celebrate with us. Send your study aid Shelfie to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it on our Facebook page.
What is a Shelfie? A picture or portrait of your bookshelf. We are extending that to include your study aid, wherever it may reside. Google recently did an April fools post about Shelfies which they were calling a “the SHareable sELFIE.”. But in the world of libraries and book lovers the shelfie is about what your bookshelf reveals about you. And we want to know what your favorite study aid says about you.
The library has recently licensed two new resources that could help: AILA Link and the Hein Immigration Law and Policy in the U.S. library. AILA, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, is starting to digitize their very helpful books and pair them with primary source materials. To access these materials please stop by the reference desk. Hein, which does such a fantastic job of providing access to historic primary source materials, has created a library that contains all the primary source material you will need for most immigration questions: current and historic versions of Title 8 of the USC and the CFR, as well as precedential agency ajudications.
The United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) issued a forceful report this week on the human rights record of the United States under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The report is linked here.
The committee’s “concluding observations” included 22 numbered sections detailing areas of concern and recommendations. These included topics that have been commented on frequently (NSA surveillance and privacy rights, the death penalty, targeted killings by drones and racial profiling) and a range of other concerns (from voting rights and the “criminalization of homelessness” to non-consensual psychiatric treatment and domestic violence). The report includes recommendations in all of these areas; and calls on the United States, among other things, to report on its compliance with several of the HRCs’ recommendations within one year, and to provide information on implementation of all the recommendations in its next periodic report, five years from now.
The HRC is one of the “treaty bodies” (or panels of experts) that receives reports from member states on their obligations under international human rights conventions. After receiving the member state’s report and hearing from, e.g., human rights and other “civil society organizations” about that state’s compliance or non-compliance with the convention, the treaty body issues its “Concluding Observations,” in which it states its principal matters of concern and recommendations.
Other UN treaty bodies include, e.g., the Committee Against Torture, which monitors implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Punishment or Treatment; and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women).
In addition to the treaty bodies, the UN’s human rights apparatus includes the Human Rights Council, a body of 47 UN member states elected by the General Assembly and based in Geneva that coordinates human rights activities for the UN; and the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the part of the UN’s Secretariat, or permanent bureaucracy, that works to advance human rights by, e.g., speaking out on human rights issues, coordinating activities with human rights organizations and other UN bodies and providing assistance to national governments.
Just in time for finals (and the bar exam), Paper Chase has come out with new review apps. 1Ls, download the free criminal law or property apps for a series of multiple choice review questions. Review by topic, mix ‘em up, and add more questions for $9.99 (or go analog and check out our Law-in-a-Flash flash cards at the circulation desk for free!). 3Ls and LLMs, if you’re preparing for the bar exam and want more topics, Paper Chase: Contracts and Paper Chase: Torts are also available.
One new resource that will be of interest to those whose research includes United Kingdom court decisions is ICLR Online. This database is provided by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales (ICLR), the publisher of the Law Reports, deemed the official reports of the UK.
The Law Reports include House of Lords cases (H.L.), Appeal Courts (A.C.), Queen’s Bench (Q.B.), Chancery (Ch.) and other included court decisions selected by the ICLR. As The Bluebook (Table T2. 42.1) directs, for UK cases since 1865, “Cite to the official Law Reports, if therein. … Other reporters should only be used if a case has not been reported in the Law Reports …”
To retrieve the classic British case on the necessity defense in criminal law, Regina v. Dudley and Stephens (1884) 14 QBD 273, for example, the Case Search feature can be used to search by Case name or by citation.
ICLR Online also allows for searching for keywords in the full text. Each case reported in the Law Reports and the associated Weekly Law Reports is included, in HTML and PDF formats. ICLR Online provides a Citator service that (depending on the case) provides some or all of the following: subject matter indexing, the appellate history of the case, cases considered in the case, legislation considered, subsequent consideration of the case in the courts, a words and phrases feature and links to select commentary.
Other research tools for accessing UK case law include the Law Reports database in Westlaw Classic and various UK case law databases available on Lexis.com, as well as the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII).
Due to popular demand, the Library has just added 6 more sessions, one each, of the following classes for the week after Spring Break:
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