Monday, February 1, 2016

National Survey of State Laws Available Online

It's been said – many times – that the correct answer to most legal questions is "It depends." While it may be clichéd, the statement does emphasize how each legal situation is completely unique, and governed by a complex mix of the facts, the jurisdiction, and the controlling legal authority. 50-state surveys are an excellent tool for comparing the differences between jurisdictions on a particular legal matter.

The latest edition of the National Survey of State Laws (7th ed. 2015) recently landed in the Goodson Law Library's Reference Collection. Like the previous editions, this reference work provides charts comparing state legislation on various topics, both civil and criminal. New this year, though, is an accompanying electronic edition of the National Survey series in HeinOnline. Get up to speed on state-by-state differences on such topics as legal ages (for parental emancipation, ability to sue, ability to make contracts, etc.), the minimum wage, and criminal statutes of limitations, among others. All prior editions of the National Survey, back to 1993, are also available to browse or search.

The National Survey of State Laws is just one example of a source for 50-state surveys. Duke Law also maintains a campus-wide subscription to HeinOnline's Subject Compilations of State Laws database. Based on a book series (available in the library's Reference Collection), this resource is searchable by keyword or browseable by topic, and indexes multi-state surveys from premium databases such as LexisNexis and Westlaw, footnotes and appendices to law review articles, and non-governmental organization websites. Compare, for example, the single chart on capital punishment from the 2015 National Survey with the variety of surveys retrieved with a subject search of capital punishment in the Subject Compilations.

HeinOnline will link to the full-text of any law reviews or other Subject Compilations results which are available elsewhere in the Hein database library. Note that since the latest Subject Compilations volume is 2014, the 2015 National Survey of State Laws does not yet appear in Subject Compilations search results, although presumably these results will be cross-linked in future Subject Compilations. For now, though, it is worth checking both HeinOnline libraries for 50-state surveys, in addition to a general web search for additional non-governmental organization surveys. For help with locating 50-state surveys or legislation on a particular topic, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, January 25, 2016

No More FOMO: The Library Latest

Yes, yes, we know. FOMO, or "fear of missing out," is a term more frequently applied to social gatherings than to scholarship. But when you are researching a seminar paper, conducting a preemption check for your journal note, or even simply looking for something good to read, you don’t want to miss the latest or greatest resources. Fortunately, you have easy ways to keep up with the latest developments in the Goodson Law Library and on your research topics.

New Library Acquisitions: The Advanced Search of the Duke Libraries Catalog includes a tab to Browse New Titles. You can view recently-added items in the Law Library or other campus libraries within the last week, month, or three months. If you really want to preview the latest, you can also choose to view titles that are currently "On Order" for a particular library. (Note that in catalog search results, you can also change the default sorting option from "Relevance" to "Pub date (newest)" to view the most recent results for any search.)

Trial Databases: The Duke University Libraries often provide access to subscription database trials, which can be viewed at the link under More Research Databases. You can test out current campus-wide trials and leave feedback to help make purchasing decisions about particular databases. (On the Law Library's Legal Databases & Links page, the most recent additions are marked with an orange N.)

Journal Tables of Contents: The Legal Databases & Links page also includes a link to the weekly Current Index to Legal Periodicals (also available through Westlaw). CILP provides a weekly update to the latest law journal tables of contents, organized by subject area. Links are provided to the articles on Lexis Advance and Westlaw. (You can also set up search alerts for specific journals or subject areas within Lexis Advance, Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, or other databases.)

Topical Newsletters: A bit more practical in focus than academic journals, newsletters can be great sources of information about the latest case law, legislation, and other legal developments. Sign up for subjects of interest at Bloomberg BNA (or Bloomberg Law) or Law360.com (or via Lexis Advance) to receive regular email updates in your selected topical areas.

For help with using any of these time-saving research techniques, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Remembering the Nuremberg Trials: Part II

Part II of “Remembering the Nuremberg Trials” by Reference Librarian Marguerite Most (see part I) introduces several documents which predated World War II and were cited by the victor allies to support the legitimacy of the trials, and continues with an introduction to the significance of the trials for international criminal law today. 

Following the unconditional surrender of Germany in 1945 and the signing of the London Charter, the Nuremberg trials (formally known as the International Military Tribunal (IMT)) opened. The trials established a framework for what is now commonly understood to be "international criminal law." But for nearly the entire seventy years since the Nuremberg trials ended in October 1946, lawyers and historians have discussed the repercussions of the trials as legal and historical precedent. Here is how Amnesty International explains the legacy. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum explains the significance of the trials here.

Some legal scholars have suggested that the "Nuremberg Legacy" finds its best expression today in the intellectual ferment which has developed in the wake of World War II and in the precedent the trials serve as a jurisdictional model. This is sometimes identified as the moral-ethical component of the "Nuremberg Legacy." That moral-ethical component can be traced in a heightening social consciousness in many individuals, and to increased moral and political recognition that a court of law is capable of sanctioning the commission of international crimes.

Although there have been laws of war since ancient times, scholars  often refer to two 19th century events as marking the beginning of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and as helping to secure the legitimacy of the tribunal at Nuremberg: the Lieber Code and the Battle of Solferino during the early wars of Italian unification. The Lieber Code, which provided an early codification of the laws of war, was prepared by Francis Lieber and promulgated by President Lincoln as General Orders No. 100 on April 24, 1863. The Code set out sanctions for pillage, rape, inhumane treatment of prisoners, and other atrocities. The Code remains the basis of most regulations of the law of war for the United States and under international law. Prosecutions for war crimes under the Lieber Code, however, were conducted only by national courts.

The 1859 battle of Solferino led to the first Red Cross societies and to early campaigns to adopt the armed conflict rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), including those set out in the Geneva Conventions. These rules specifically protect people who are not taking part in the hostilities (civilians, health workers and aid workers) as well as the wounded and prisoners of war.
 
The International Red Cross sets out the history of what is known as the Martens clause, a part of the preamble of the 1907 Hague Convention, on its website. The clause has been invoked time and again as providing a morality of law and is seen as proclaiming for the first time that principles of customary international law arise from laws of humanity and public conscience, and exist separate from nation states. In Nuremberg the clause was invoked in response to assertions that the Nuremberg Charter constituted retroactive penal legislation. 
 
In 1946 the UN General Assembly affirmed the principles of the Nuremberg Charter and the Nuremberg Tribunal’s judgment in Resolution 95(I). In 1950 these rules were codified by the International Law Commission as the Nuremberg Principles. The 1948 Genocide Convention arose from a proposal to "correct" the Nuremberg judgment by including "peacetime genocide" as an international war crime. The Commission continues to address crimes against humanity today.

Attempts to establish an international criminal court can be traced to the 1948 adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but momentum slowed during the cold war. Calls for such a court returned to the UN agenda in 1989 as the cold war ended and later in response to limitations seen in the tribunals established by the Security Council for the former Yugoslavia in 1993 and Rwanda in 1994. These tribunals were established to try crimes within a specific time period and a specific conflict; scholars and commentators have interpreted the importance of the tribunals in different ways, shaped by the conflicts and political concerns of their own times. And some voices in the international community advocated for a permanent criminal court.

In 1998 the Rome Statute, a treaty providing for the creation of the International Criminal Court, was ratified by the requisite 60 nation states and the ICC was established. By April 2015, the treaty had been adopted by 123 countries. The Rome Statute gives the ICC jurisdiction over crimes broadly categorized as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. Cultural and political issues around the ICC today include questions of jurisdiction, varying concepts of justice, the redress of victims, and definitions of sexual and gender-related crimes. 
 
The trials at Nuremberg are also recognized as the beginning of the international human rights movement – the IMT was the first international adjudication of human rights. Its effect is felt in the United Nations Genocide Convention, the United Nations Universal Bill of Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Telford Taylor, former Chief Prosecutor during the Nuremberg Trials, wrote in Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy (included in the library display) that the trials "cast a long shadow into the future." "Today," he wrote, "'Nuremberg' is both what actually happened there and what people think happened, and the second is more important than the first." In 1970 after the revelations of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, Taylor wrote this about the Nazi trials, "sea change is itself a reality, and it is not the bare record but the ethos of Nuremberg with which we must reckon today." Not all reckoning has been favorable.

Nonetheless, by recognizing that individuals have rights that are not dependent on nation-state recognition and by holding individuals responsible for violations of international law, Nuremberg should be remembered as an important step forward in the evolution of a civilized world.

--Marguerite Most, Reference Librarian & Senior Lecturing Fellow

Monday, January 11, 2016

Remembering the Nuremberg Trials: Part I

In this two-part guest post, Reference Librarian Marguerite Most explores resources related to the current Riddick Room exhibit on the Nuremberg trials. Part I looks at the Nuremberg War Crime Trials (the International Military Tribunal), which occurred in 1945-1946 at the end of World War II. Part II, appearing later this week, is a brief introduction to the influence of the Tribunal on international law and the International Criminal Court, and a look back at several of the 18th and 19th century documents on which the legitimacy of the trials was built.

The year was 1945 and the Second World War was over. On November 20, the Nuremberg Trials began. The trials were the first attempt to punish those responsible for the inhuman crimes committed by the German Nazi regime. The 70th anniversary year of the trials in 2015 was commemorated with numerous programs and in those seventy years historians and legal scholars have continued to examine their legacy. They are considered a landmark in international law, praised for setting out moral principles against aggressive warfare and giving rise to a modern international law of human rights. The trials have also been criticized as having frustrated efforts to establish an international framework for prosecuting crimes against humanity. There is general agreement today that the promise of the trials has been only imperfectly realized.

Millions of civilians were murdered by the Nazi regime. The chief victims were Jews, but the Nazis also targeted Gypsies, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals and the disabled. In the aftermath of the war the enormity of the crimes and the number of individuals involved raised questions about how to punish Nazi criminals. Some in the United States agreed with those in Great Britain who favored summary execution of major criminals; others argued against summary execution. In the end, the Allies adopted the framework set out in the concepts of the Bernays Plan, which provided for trials before an International Military Tribunal. (The plan was named after Lt. Colonel Murray Bernays of the U.S. War Department.). See the 1945 Yalta Memorandum to President Roosevelt and the report of Robert H. Jackson for details of negotiations behind the Allies agreement to convene the International Military Tribunal (IMT).

The Tribunal opened at Nuremberg with a trial conducted by the four major allied powers representing the governments of the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France. In his 1949 appraisal of the trials published in volume 23 of the Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science, Telford Taylor, Chief of Counsel for War Crimes, Office of Military Government for the U. S., identified these principles embodied in the London Charter of August 8, 1945 and later confirmed by the judgment of the Tribunal:
  1. Certain standards of conduct are a matter of international law; 
  2. Men who violate these international standards are criminals and may be convicted and punished under international law before tribunals established to enforce the law; and 
  3. These standards proscribe and make criminal under international law the deliberate planning and launching of an aggressive war, as defined in Article 6 (a) of the Charter (Crimes Against Peace); violations of the laws and customs of war (War Crimes – Article 6 (b)); and other certain categories of inhumane acts against civilian populations and persecutions on political, racial or religious groups… (Crimes against Humanity – Article 6(c)).
Courtroom procedures in the first trial were included in the London Charter, and were intended to provide defendants due process and a fair trial. The law governing the handling of subsequent cases was set out in the Control Council Law Number 10. The documents were similar with two major exceptions. Although both defined crimes against peace as planning or waging of aggressive war, "Number 10" defined crimes against peace to include invasions as well as wars, and provided for the recognition of atrocities perpetrated prior to the outbreak of the war.

Indictments of defendants focused on four counts: crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit such crimes. Under both sets of laws superior orders were not a defense, but could be a mitigating factor if no moral choice was possible. Defendants generally did not deny the atrocities, but rather sought to shift responsibility to others. In addition to the first trial, twelve more trials took place with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson serving as chief prosecutor. Jackson summarized the trials in a statement which declared that Nuremberg will "commend itself to posterity as fulfilling humanity's aspirations to do justice."

Visitors to Nuremberg today can visit the Memorium Nuremberg Trials at the Regional Court Nürnberg-Fürth, and see Court Room 600, where the trials were held. The museum's online exhibit provides a short overview of the trials and their repercussions.

A subject search of the Duke University Libraries catalog retrieves books about the trial proceedings, books about individual prosecutors and defendants, and many books about the influence of the IMT on later trials. The World Trials Library in HeinOnline includes the 42 volumes of the trials, as well as historical treatises considering the trials from the perspectives of the major allies and Germany.

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School provides online access to a tremendous volume of materials about the IMT including The Blue Set (trial proceeding volumes); the rules of procedure, the text of trial motions, and the Judgment of the Tribunal (recognized today as the basis for the rules of international law adopted by International Law Commission of the United Nations in 1950, and known as the Nuremberg Principles). Other texts include documents cited in the proceedings.

Harvard Law Library's ongoing Nuremberg Trials Project contains over 1 million pages of documents relating to the trials including transcripts, briefs, evidence files and other primary materials of interest to researchers in history, ethics, genocide, and war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

Students interesting in learning more about the trials might begin by reviewing two symposiums held twenty years apart. In 1995 Duke Law School co-sponsored Nuremberg and the Rule of Law: A Fifty-Year Verdict. Presentations from the Conference, which was held at the Judge Advocates General's School in Charlottesville, are available in volume 149 of the Military Law Review. In April 2015 a conference at the Berkeley School of Law School provided an opportunity for scholars worldwide to gather and reflect on the trials. Reflections on the Legacy of Nuremberg: The 70th Anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials are available on YouTube.

Stop by the "Nuremberg Legacy" display in the window of the Goodson Law Library's Riddick Room to see a few of many law library books about the trials and a few items from the library's J. Marshall Doswell Nuremberg Trials Collection.

--Marguerite Most, Reference Librarian & Senior Lecturing Fellow

Friday, January 8, 2016

Guilt-Free Images

Earlier this week, the New York Public Library announced that it has made nearly 200,000 public domain images available as free high-resolution downloads in its NYPL Digital Collections. Previously, the items had been available to search and view, but could be downloaded only in low-resolution formats; high-resolution downloads were available by request and required a processing fee.

Marion Post Wolcott, "Spectators and witnesses on second day of Superior Court during trial of automobile accident case during Court Week in Granville County Court House, Oxford, North Carolina. November 1939." From New York Public Library Digital Collections.
This is welcome news for researchers who are looking to enhance a presentation or other multimedia with some visual interest. While sites like Google Image Search and Flickr provide easy access to millions of images, the image quality may be lower than needed for an audiovisual project, and there are added concerns about copyright and fair use. (Tip: use Google Advanced Image Search or Flickr's post-search filters to limit results not only to the appropriate size, but also to clarify usage rights to locate public domain or Creative Commons license images.)

The Duke University Libraries also offer several subscription databases with images, which could enhance presentations or other educational research. AP Images includes millions of photographs from the Associated Press files over the last century. Duke researchers may also access the Art Museum Image Gallery, which contains nearly 100,000 images from 3000 B.C. to the present day. If using subscription resources, be sure to consult any associated use restrictions on the items you'd like to download.

For more information about copyright law and permissions, the Medical Center Library at Duke has a helpful guide to Copyright and Education, which covers such topics as obtaining permissions and fair use. This guide also links to an online treatise by Duke's Scholarly Communications Officer (and Law School LARW research instructor) Kevin L. Smith, Owning and Using Scholarship: An IP Handbook for Teachers and Researchers (2014). Chapter 4, in particular, discusses "Using Copyrighted Works in Scholarship" and contains the important research reminder that "The Internet is NOT the Public Domain."

For help with locating public domain images, finding library materials on copyright law, or anything else, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Legal Research Via State Bar Associations: An Update

The vast majority of state bar associations offer their members free access to one of the major low-cost legal research services, Casemaker and Fastcase. The advantages are obvious for solo practitioners and small-firm attorneys, who rely on these research services for access to primary law and selected secondary materials. But even Biglaw practitioners can benefit from access to these alternatives to premium services like Westlaw, Lexis, and Bloomberg: they provide uncluttered case law and statute searching, and include unique features like Fastcase's interactive search results timeline (covered in the ABA Journal last year), local legal materials such as county and city codes, and secondary sources like CasemakerLibra's Continuing Legal Education collection or Fastcase's treatise library (added after its recent acquisition of the now-defunct service Loislaw).

There have been some changes to the state bar associations' legal research offerings since the Goodson Blogson last surveyed the landscape in summer 2014. The Goodson Law Library now hosts a map of state bar association-provided legal research services. Updated for December 2015, this map provides quick access to the current research service provided by each state bar.

State bar association research offerings, Dec. 2015

Fastcase maintains a slight market edge, with 27 state bar associations providing their members free access compared to Casemaker's 22 state bars. (These numbers include Texas, still the only state to provide its members with free access to both services.) Three state bar associations (California, Delaware, and South Dakota) provide no free research benefit to their members. However, many attorneys in California receive Fastcase or Casemaker as a benefit of county or local bar association membership, while South Dakota offers its members a discounted rate for Fastcase.

Curious to see these services in action? Members of the Duke University community can access a campus-wide version of Fastcase, which does not require a separate username and password (but also does not save user search history, as an individual account through a bar association would). Current law students may create an account on CasemakerX, an educational version of Casemaker, with their Duke Law email address. 
Many state bar associations (including North Carolina) also offer free law student memberships, which include access to the research service offered. To locate the bar association in the state where you plan to practice, check out the American Bar Association's online state and local bar association directory.

For more information about the campus versions of these services, or for assistance locating the best legal research service for your needs, be sure to Ask a Librarian.

Monday, December 21, 2015

ProQuest Regulatory Insight Now Available

The Goodson Law Library has subscribed to the ProQuest Regulatory Insight database. Current members of the Duke University community may access this new electronic resource via the online catalog, or through the Legal Databases & Links list.

Much like its sister site ProQuest Legislative Insight offers for federal legislative history materials, ProQuest Regulatory Insight includes compiled regulatory histories for administrative materials related to enacted federal laws. (For an example, see the compiled history for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.) The just-released first phase of this database includes regulatory histories from laws enacted during 2001-2015. As additional regulatory histories are added throughout the year 2016, the database will eventually cover the time period 1936-2016.

ProQuest Regulatory Insight also provides detailed indexing and full-text searching of the text of the Federal Register (back to 2000) and the Code of Federal Regulations (back to 1997); over the next year, ProQuest will expand coverage of these sources back to their inception in the 1930s.

The Law Library's Federal Administrative Law research guide provides additional resources for researching regulatory history materials in both print and online formats. For help with locating administrative law or regulatory history resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.