Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Int'l Law Resources

New IL databases from Oxford Reports:

Westminster Law Library has added access to three new International Law databases from Oxford Reports: Internal Criminal Law, International Human Rights Decisions, and International Courts of General Jurisdiction. From our Databases/Indexes choices, choose “Oxford Reports on International Law” and you will find links to these three new resources, as well as our old friend, International Law in Domestic Courts.

The International Criminal Law database includes cases from the International Criminal Court, international tribunals, special courts, and the Extraordinary Chambers for Cambodia. The International Human Rights Decisions includes decisions and awards from the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, the African Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights, and several UN Committees. The International Courts of General Jurisdiction includes decisions and awards from the International Court of Justice, the Permanent Court of International Justice, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. All the databases are updated regularly.

Another feature on the site is the Oxford Law Citator, which links to key details of a decision including official and parallel citations, procedural stages, cases cited in and citing the decision, and available case reports and judgments.

by Joan Policastri, Foreign & International Legal Research Specialist

Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Read-Anything-Cuz-No-One-Can-Stop-You Week

Pick up an "I read banned books" button at the Circulation Desk to show your support for intellectual freedom. You rebel you.

How many banned/challenged books have you read?
What's the difference between challenging and banning?

"[I]t's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers."
- Judy Blume

And check out Stacey Bowers' post on intellectual freedom.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Banned Books Week

September 27th marks the first day of Banned Books Week 2008. Banned Books Week (BBW) has been observed every year since 1982. BBW is about democracy and intellectual freedom – freedom to choose the books that you want. BBW is about helping to ensure that there is unrestricted access to information, no matter whether a person agrees or disagrees with that point of view. It is about our First Amendment Right to freedom of speech and attempts to draw attention to the fact that individuals and organizations consistently try to ban books from the public and promote the concept of censorship. In 2007, the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom received over 400 challenges to books requesting that the materials be removed from a particular library.

If you want to stand up to book banning and censorship, then read or talk about a banned book. You might also considering joining an organization dedicated to intellectual freedom issues.

Here are some quotes to ponder:

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable”
- Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan, Jr.

“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us”
- Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

“A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone”
- Jo Goodwin

Want to know more about banned books and censorship? Check out these sites:


ALA: Banned Books Week - Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Amnesty International USA: Banned Books Week

National Coalition Against Censorship

ALA: Censorship Basics

PBS: Definitions of Censorship

Denver Public Library: Banned Books Week 2008

by Stacey Bowers, Access Services Librarian

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Office Hours: Lexis & Westlaw

Need help formulating a search strategy, deciding what database to use or just trying to figure out how to register your password? Stop by the Lexis or Westlaw tables on the second floor of the law school for assistance!

Lexis Student Reps:
  • Monday: 10am - 1pm; 2:30pm-5pm; 5:30pm-7:30pm
  • Tuesday: 8am-10:30am; 11am-1pm; 3pm-7:30pm
  • Wednesday: 10am-1pm & 2:30pm-6pm
  • Thursday: 8am-10:30pm & 3pm - 7:30pm
1-800-45-LEXIS or http://www.lexisnexis.com/lawschool/help

Friday, September 19, 2008

New United Nations Treaty Collection Website

"The Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations, is pleased to announce its new and substantially enhanced Web site in English and French at United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC), is the authoritative source of information on multilateral treaties deposited with the UN Secretary-General and treaties registered with the UN Secretariat. A user name and password are no longer needed to access the collection..." The new URL is http://treaties.un.org.

The library's links have been updated. While the website has a new format, you can still find the familiar databases. The first link is to Status of Treaties, which is the database for Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General. Once on the site, the format is similar to the old site, but with more choices on the left-hand side.

If you have any questions, contact Joan Policastri, Foreign & International Legal Research Specialist, at jpolicastri@law.du.edu.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Max Planck Encyclopedia now available online

A new online edition of the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law, is now available from the Databases/Indexes A-Z list.

This standard resource in public international law is being fully updated, with new materials added periodically. The August 2008 addition of 450 items included articles on the fragmentation of international law, genocide, and the Taliban. The encyclopedia covers over 700 topics with increased coverage of international criminal law, international dispute settlement, trade law and environmental law.

The updates will be added in batches from 2008 to 2010 and the next group of articles will be added in October.

Constitution Day

(Oops, yes this is a day late.)

Sept. 17th is Constitution Day, celebrating the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

For more information:
Constitution Day resources from the National Constitution Center
Resources for students and Educators from the National Archives
Constitution Day research guide from LLRX
The Colorado Courts Celebrate Constitution Day (2006) - message from Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey, from the Colorado Courts website

Finding Colorado Lawyer articles

Journals can often be found in multiple databases. The key is to check the database's coverage: Does it cover every issue ever published or just the last five years? Is it comprehensive coverage or "selected" articles? Full-text or just abstracts of the articles? Ask yourself, do I need to search all articles ever published in the Colorado Lawyer? Do I need just the article or do I need the pictures and charts too?

Here are some places you can find the Colorado Lawyer*:
  • CasemakerX - Full-text archives of the entire run of the Colorado Lawyer, from the first issue in 1971. Images and charts are NOT included, but can be obtained by contacting the publication, or from the print copies at WLL. Cannot search by citation.
  • Westlaw - "Selected coverage" from 1983-present. Database identifier: COLAW. Allows citation searching. Graphs, charts and pictures not included.
  • LegalTrac - Abstracts of the articles from 1980-present.
  • The shelves! - Westminster has two print sets of the Colorado Lawyer. The bright orange set is easy to spot in the Colorado materials section on the third floor, at KFC1869 .C62. The green set is on the first floor with the other periodicals. We also have a microform set on the second floor, if you're really in a bind.
Just want to browse the latest table of contents? See the TCL page at the Colorado Bar's website.

*The Colorado Lawyer is the official publication of the Colorado Bar Association.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Environment Complete

WLL has a new database: Environment Complete

Find it on the law library website by following this path:
Research > Databases/Indexes > Go button > Environment Complete > EBSCO Web > Environment Complete (click on the name)

Environment Complete offers deep coverage in applicable areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, renewable energy sources, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more. Environment Complete contains more than 1,957,000 records from more than 1,700 domestic and international titles going back to the 1940s (including 1,125 active core titles) as well as more than 120 monographs. The database also contains full text for more than 680 journals, including many of the most used journals in the discipline, such as Environment (back to 1975), Ecologist, Conservation Biology, etc. Additionally, Environment Complete provides full text for 120 monographs, such as Encyclopedia of World Environmental History (3 volumes), Advances in Water Treatment & Environmental Management, etc.

From Joan Policastri, WLL's Foreign & International Legal Research Specialist:
Environment Complete has more than 1,700 domestic and international titles, including full text for over 680 journals and 120 monographs and provides coverage of a wide variety of environmental topics including ecosystems, renewable energy, natural resources, pollution, urban planning, and environmental law. Titles go back to the 1940’s. Searches can be simple or advanced and a link at the top of the results allows the user to refine the results. In the left hand column of the results page, the database provides related subjects that can be searched, and a subject thesaurus of search terms is provided so that one can easily search under other terms if the original search did not provide the desired information. The opening search screen also allows you to “apply related words” which is helpful if you want to broaden your search or if you aren’t completely familiar the vocabulary in the field you are researching and you also have the option of searching within the full text of materials.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

(Humorous) Law Student Advice on YouTube

Now that the dust has settled from orientation and the beginning of school, do you find yourself needing a pick-me-up? Check out the humorous YouTube videos by Jesse & Brian from the University of Utah. The guys are entertaining. Take a peak and let me know what you think!

First Semester Recap

1L Lessons Learned

Monday, September 8, 2008

Requests for Account Information

An email requesting confirmation of your account information purporting to be from the webmaster is a phishing attempt--an attempt to steal your personal information. All such requests from any institution should be ignored.

Thank you to all who alerted me to this attempt. If you are ever doubtful of the legitimacy of an email, please do ask.

If you did take the bait and bite on this particular phishing expedition, change your password immediately. In webmail, the change password option is under options. You need to know that the domain is law in order to change your password. If you notice untoward activity in your account, let us know.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Foreign & Int'l. Legal Research Specialist

For those of you who may not have heard, our FCIL Librarian, Sergio Stone, left us to establish the FCIL position at Stanford University’s Law Library. In the meantime, you can direct your foreign, comparative, and international law research questions to Joan Policastri, our Foreign & International Legal Research Specialist. She has scheduled office hours twice a week, is available by appointment, and can answer questions submitted by email. Here are the details…

Foreign and International Law Reference - Fall 2008 Hours and Availability

Rm. 130D
Wednesdays and Thursdays, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
And by appointment.
You may also send questions by email.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

3am-ish reference help

Ever have a research question at 3am? For quick questions while the library is closed, try AskColorado, a 24-7 online reference service. This service is staffed by Colorado librarians during normal business hours and by a tutoring service at night. Legal questions beyond their capabilities are forwarded to DU law librarians and may incur a 24-hr delay, so this service is best for brief factual questions and general search assistance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Recycling at DU

The Sturm College of Law is proud of its LEED certified building. Make sure you review the recycling guidelines that were e-mailed to the DU community last month -- everyone has a responsibility to create a sustainable campus.

Just a few of the law school's "green" features:
  • Designed to use 40-percent less energy than a comparable conventional building
  • Each floor has an area to recycle glass, paper and plastics
  • Showers are available for students, faculty and staff who walk or ride their bikes
  • Building materials contain a high percentage of post-consumer recycled materials, including structural steel, copper roof, carpeting and acoustic tiles, resulting in more than 50-percent of all construction wastes being diverted from landfills and recycled
  • Natural groundwater is collected and recycled for landscape irrigation, reducing the building’s use of treated city water. Native plants and special irrigation technology have resulted in result in 70-percent less water used for landscaping