Author Archives: Lyonette Louis-Jacques

About Lyonette Louis-Jacques

Foreign and International Law Librarian and Lecturer in Law, D'Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago Law School

Trial for Malaysian law database, Current Law Journal, ends July 20th

The D’Angelo Law Library has arranged a two-week free trial of Current Law Journal (CLJ) which ends July 20, 2015. The CLJ database includes Malaysian cases, articles, practice notes, legislative forms, precedents, sample agreements, and legislation. There is also a Shariah law reports component. Find out more at and

If you have a current University of Chicago ID and are interested in trying out the database, contact Lyonette Louis-Jacques, Foreign and International Law Librarian, at for login information.

New online resource:

The D’Angelo Law Library recently added to its collection of useful databases for researching international commercial arbitration. Check out ArbitrationLaw (Juris).  This database includes arbitration law journal articles, ebooks, treatises, handbooks, yearbooks, and practice guides.  It has reports of arbitral awards and court decisions, arbitration rules, laws, and treaties. 

You can access the full text online to the World Arbitration Reporter, the Encyclopedia of International Arbitration Law and Practice, titles in the ASA (Swiss Arbitration Association) and IAI (International Arbitration Institute) book series, and AAA/ICDR (American Arbitration Association/International Center for Dispute Resolution) handbooks and  yearbooks.  The ArbitrationLaw database is particularly useful for researching arbitration law practice and procedure in Asia and Central and Eastern Europe.  It specifically has commentary on arbitration practice in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Korea, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey.

ArbitrationLaw also contains the following journals: The American Review of International Arbitration (ARIA) 1990- ; Dispute Resolution Journal (DRJ) 1965- ; European International Arbitration Review (EIAR); Journal of American Arbitration (JAA); Journal of Damages in International Arbitration (JDIA); Journal of Technology in International Arbitration; Stockholm Arbitration Report (SAR) 1999-2003; Stockholm International Arbitration Review (SIAR) 2004-2009; World Arbitration and Mediation Review (WAMR) 1990- .

New e-resource: IFAR’s art law and cultural property databases

If you are interested in art law research, the D’Angelo Law Library now provides e-access to the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)’s Art Law & Cultural Property databases. IFAR describes them as follows:

International Cultural Property/Ownership & Export Legislation (ICPOEL)

This section contains legislation governing the export and ownership of cultural property from dozens of countries. The legislation is presented in both summary form and as complete text; the latter in the original language and in translation. Selected historical legislation is also included, as, while superseded or amended, it can be useful for researchers looking for statutes applicable at the time of the acquisition, export or import of an art object. Links connect foreign legislation to relevant U.S. case law. There are also links to relevant international conventions and bilateral agreements.

Case Law & Statutes (CLS)

This section contains an extensive body of primarily U.S. case law, including both litigated cases and, notably, hard-to-find, out-of-court settlements. The material is organized under eight topics: World War II-Era/Holocaust Related Art Loss; Cultural Property (Antiquities) Disputes Over Non-United States Property; United States Cultural Property; Art Theft (other than World War II and cultural property looting); Other Ownership Title Disputes/Claims Including Conversion and Breach of Contract; Art Fraud, Attribution, Authenticity, Forgery, Libel, and Defamatory Statements; Valuation/Appraisal; and Copyright, Moral Rights and Other Issues.

Under each topic, relevant cases are summarized (where possible, with images of the art objects in question). There are also links to relevant U.S. statutes, foreign legislation and a glossary.

Happy Lunar New Year 2015!

Lyo Chinese New Year 2015 photoChinese New Year/Spring Festival celebrations start today, February 19, 2015, and end on March 5, 2015. It’s confusing whether 2015 is the Year of the Sheep, Goat, or Ram because the character “羊” means “horned animal”. It could also be the Year of the Antelope!  🙂  Let’s celebrate anyway!

If you’re in a serious research frame of mind, you can celebrate by checking out what we have in our Chinese law collection, including our databases. Books,  journals and other law-related materials are located in the D’Angelo Law Library and in the Chinese Studies collection at Regenstein’s East Asian Library.  We subscribe to ChinaLawInfo/LawInfoChina, Westlaw China, and Wangfang Data: Policies and Laws of China (PLOC).

Infernal Affairs (movie)For fun, check out the movies in our law library DVD Collection! We have all three Infernal Affairs action flicks. 

We also own Farewell My Concubine (recommended by our LL.M.s), The Story of Qiu Ju, China: From the Inside, The People’s Court, and other movies made in China and about China.

The University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) has a film library comprising over 5,000 titles from China, Japan, and Korea. You can browse their  online film catalog. The Film Library is at Judd Hall, Room 302. It’s open Mon-Fri. 11:30am-4:30pm. Current University of Chicago students, faculty, and staff members can borrow films. 

If you don’t have a movie in mind and like romantic comedies, I’m told by Jiaxun Wu, Chinese Studies Librarian, that If You Are the One = 非誠勿擾 (2008) is great. Check it out!

You can also visit the “Chinese New Year Paintings Held in the Shanghai Library” exhibit located on the 5th floor of Regenstein Library.  Hurry!  It closes on February 28, 2015.

If you want to celebrate by going to China, we also have travel guides located in the Reserve Room – China (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide, 2012), Fodor’s China (2011), and Fodor’s Beijing (2011). Thanks to Lorna Tang, our Associate Law Librarian for Technical Services, for these guides!

And this Sunday at 1pm, there’s a Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown!

“Batman Returns” and other unexpected Christmas movies

If you’re marathoning Christmas movies during the holidays, check out some films with unexpected Christmas scenes and songs. Gizmodo’s Darren Orf has a great list of atypical Christmas movies including Batman Returns, Rare Exports, and Die Hard 2 (the original film starring Bruce Willis, Die Hard, tops our D’Angelo Law Library staff list of favorite Christmas movies).

Other movies that have surprise Christmas scenes in them: Lethal Weapon, The Apartment, Auntie Mame (and Mame, the musical), Gremlins, Edward Scissorhands, Trading Places, Look Who’s Talking Now, Rocky IV, Brazil (?!), Meet Me in St. Louis (Judy Garland sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas“), and About a Boy. Some of them are listed in Empire magazine’s The 30 Best Christmas Movies Ever. And for a festive change of pace, have a very Bollywood Christmas!

Start your international law research with the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline

Are you researching an international law topic for your substantial research paper? For a journal comment or article? For a clinic or center research project? For your B.A. paper? Make sure you look for a related treaty or international agreement on the topic. The D’Angelo Law Library has subscribed to a new database that you can use. It’s available via HeinOnline and called the World Treaty Library (WTL).

World Treaty Library via HeinOnline (screencap)

Covering 1648 to the present, the WTL provides searching across major treaty sources (indexes and full-text compilations in PDF), including:

  • de Clercq’s Recueil des traités de la France (1864-1917)
  • Dumont’s Corps universel diplomatique du droit des gens (1726-1739)
  • Hein’s U.S. Treaty Index (1776-current)
  • League of Nations Treaty Series (L.N.T.S., 1920-1946)
  • Martens’ Treaties (Nouveau recueil général de traités, etc., 1817-1944)
  • Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General (United Nations’ MTDSG, 1981-2009)
  • Multilateral Treaty Calendar, 1648-1995 (Christian L. Wiktor)
  • United Nations Treaty Series (U.N.T.S., 1946-current)
  • United States Treaties and Other International Agreements (U.S.T.)
  • Peter Rohn’s World Treaty Index (WTI, 1900-1980)

The World Treaty Library includes other treaty publications and related works, a Bibliography, and scholarly articles.

Check it out!

We have a 10-day trial to the new World Treaties Library via HeinOnline

Test Hein’s new database, the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline,  and let us know what you think.  The WTL includes the digitized version of Peter H. Rohn’s 5-volume World Treaty Index covering 1900-1980, and collects treaties dating back to 1648, so great for historical treaty research.  It also comprises major treaty series, collections, and indexes such as Marten’s and Wiktor’s Multilateral Treaty Calendar. More information re WTL contents is available via Hein’s brochure.

You can view a YouTube video on how to use and search the World Treaty Library via HeinOnline. 

World Treaty Library (screen capture)

The D’Angelo Law Library is also considering subscribing to the new Oxford Historical Treaties database which includes the Consolidated Treaties Series (C.T.S.) in PDF.

Two Keystone sessions on international human rights research, Wed., Nov. 5, 12:15 & 3pm, Room D

Lyonette Louis-Jacques (photo)The D’Angelo Law Library’s Foreign and International Law Librarian & Lecturer in Law, Lyonette Louis-Jacques, is offering two 45-minute Keystone Professionalism and Leadership Program sessions focusing on effective international human rights research.  Students interested in human rights work and practice are welcome to attend!

Researching International Human Rights Law & Policy

Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Times12:15pm – 1:00pm; 3:00pm – 3:45pm

Location: Law School, Classroom D

Lyonette Louis-Jacques will provide a quick overview of the United Nations human rights system, as well as the European, Inter-American, African, and other regional systems for the protection of human rights.  She will highlight major sources for locating treaties, jurisprudence, and other human rights-related documents, as well as important IGOs, NGOs, and social media sources.  She will especially emphasize tools for international human rights lawyering, advocacy, and litigation.

This event is being offered twice: at 12:15 pm & 3:00 pm. Point value: 10 Keystone points

Is it a crime for you to turn someone into a zombie?

Bela Lugosi, from White ZombieYes, if you’re in Haiti.  For Halloween, I was researching modern-day criminalization of witchcraft and sorcery around the world, but ran into this fascinating blog post about the “undead” in Haiti.  The Law Library of Congress’ Anne Guha, with the help of foreign law specialist, Nicolas Boring, wrote in the October 31, 2014 In Custodia Legis, about Haitian law related to making zombies.  Guha writes that, while looking for scary movies for Halloween:

“…I stumbled onto… “Doc of the Dead” (2014), a film about modern zombie culture and the zombie genre.  The film brings up the 1883 Haitian Criminal Code, and claims that people being turned into zombies was a real problem in Haiti, as evidenced by a statute which outlaws making zombies…”

To verify this claim, Guha turned to Boring, as an expert in the law of French-speaking jurisdictions.  Nicolas’ answer indicates the importance of knowing a country’s culture and language to interpreting its law. 

One must look at the original meaning of the term “zombie,” which is actually slightly different from the flesh-eating reanimated corpses that we see in modern horror fiction.  The word is derived from the Haitian creole “zonbi.”  According to Dr. Yves Saint-Gérard, author of Le Phénomène Zombi (The Zombie Phenomenon), this term designates a “living-dead,” or, figuratively, a person devoid of any will or character.  According to traditional Haitian beliefs, a person might be “zombified” by a bokor (the Voodoo equivalent of a sorcerer).  Through the use of dark magic, the bokor brings the victim into a state of near-death or deep coma.  The victim’s family and community bury him/her, thinking that he/she is dead.  But the bokor subsequently digs up and revives the victim as a zombie:  a state under which he/she is devoid of free will and does whatever the bokor tells him/her to do.

It is unclear how a bokor induces his victim’s near-death state, but it appears to be through the use of potions.  One theory is that zombification results from the ingestion of tetradotoxin, a chemical extracted from puffer fish (Dr. Saint- Gérard attributes this theory to American botanist Wade Davis).  In any case, it seems that zombification comes from ingesting, as stated by article 246 of the Haitian Criminal Code, “substances which, without giving death, will cause a more-or-less prolonged state of lethargy.”

The full post, “Does the Haitian Criminal Code Outlaw Making Zombies?, “is great Halloween weekend reading, and references Kate Ramsey’s The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti (2011 – PRINT; EBOOK) and White Zombie (a 1932 classic American horror movie directed by Victor Halperin and starring Bela Lugosi; PUBLIC DOMAIN via the INTERNET ARCHIVE). White Zombie, animated gifThe movie promos included the actual text in English translation of the  Haitian penal code’s zombie provision, Article 246 [mis-cited as Article “249”].  Suggestion for y’all this weekend – read the post; see this movie!

Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales), domestic violence, and the Inter-American system of human rights: online resources

This Wednesday, October 22, at lunchtime in Room IV, four Law School student organizations – the Human Rights Law Society, the Immigration Law Society, the Law Women’s Caucus, and the Domestic Violence Project – present the International Human Rights Clinic’s Caroline Bettinger-Lopez speaking on “Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States: Reframing Domestic Violence as a Human Rights Violation”.  Ms. Bettinger-Lopez was one of the ACLU attorneys who presented a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) against the U.S. government on behalf of Jessica and her deceased daughters on December 27, 2005 (see Merits Report 80/11, Case 12.626, July 21, 2011).

According to an IACHR press release:

“Jessica Lenahan, a victim of domestic violence along with her daughters Leslie, Katheryn and Rebecca Gonzales, ages 7, 8 and 10, obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband from the Colorado Courts in May 21, 1999. Not knowing the whereabouts of her daughters, Jessica Lenahan had eight contacts with the Castle Rock Police Department during the evening of June 22, 1999 and the morning of June 23, 1999. In each of her telephone calls and discussions with the police agents, she requested efforts to locate her daughters and she informed them that she possessed a protection order against Simon Gonzales. Her contacts were met with a police response that was fragmented, uncoordinated and unprepared, and it did not respect the terms of the restraining order. That morning, Simon Gonzales drove his pick-up truck to the Castle Rock Police Department and fired shots through the window. There was an exchange of gunfire with officers from the station in the course of which he was fatally wounded and killed. The deceased bodies of the three girls were found in his truck.”

Ms. Bettinger-Lopez/IHR Clinic will also be attending the IACHR hearing (follow-up on recommendations) on the Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales) case this Monday, October 27, 2014. [UPDATE: Hearing at 10:15 a.m. EDT;  International Human Rights Clinic to Appear Before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Law School, October 23, 2014)]

OAS flag

The Jessica Lenahan (Gonzales)  et. al. v. United States of America case is an example of using the Inter-American human rights system to advocate for U.S. citizens.  Researchers looking for the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights use a variety of sources to access these cases.  Locating IACHR & IACtHR decisions by a topic or specific right can be difficult.  In that regard, the recent launch by Loyola of Los Angeles Law School of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Database is a welcome addition to available online resources.  The IACHR Project describes its database as follows:

“This freely-available database produced by the editors and staff of the IACHR Project under the supervision of Professor Cesare Romano allows users to search Inter-American Court decisions by case name, country, and topic. Advanced search features include the ability to search by specific violation of various Inter-American Conventions.

Search results include a brief description of the case, information on judges, and violations found by the Inter-American Court. When available, the database includes a link to a detailed case summary which includes case facts, procedural history, merits, and state compliance with the Inter-American Court’s judgment. To date, 74 detailed case summaries are available.”

Existing resources before this IACHR database including browsing the Commission and Court’s own websites, searching the IACHR-OAS database in WestlawNext (has Basic Documents Pertaining to Human Rights in the Inter-American System and the Commission’s annual reports), checking the print volumes of the Inter-American Yearbook on Human Rights = Anuario interamericano de derechos humanos, and the following online resources: