Tag Archives: international law

New database trial: Oxford International Organizations (OXIO)

We have received trial access to the following database:

Oxford International Organizations (OXIO)

This resource has been created with “the aim of providing practitioners, scholars, legal advisers, policy-makers, and observers of international relations with the most precise, holistic and up-to-date picture of the acts of international organizations possible, and with an increased understanding of the contribution of these organizations.” OXIO is available via the Oxford Public International Law platform.

Access this resource via the Database Trials page.

This trial is available through July 31, 2018.

Please direct your feedback to Lyonette Louis-Jacques.

TRIAL (ends on September 13!): Cambridge Law Reports online

world-peace-090420jWe have a month-long trial (Aug 13-Sep 13, 2015) to a new online resource comprising the International Law Reports (ILR) and the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Reports  – the Cambridge Law Reports. The ILR has decisions of the International Court of Justice, other international tribunals, and decisions in national courts related to international law.  We also have e-access to the ILR via Justis’ International Law Reports.  And we have the ICSID Reports in print. Let us know what you think of the CLR versus Justis International Law Reports online. To access the trial please go to the following URL: http://ebooks.cambridge.org/clr/



U.S. v. Said: Who Is a Pirate?


Pirate waiting for the CTA bus (photo by Lyonette Louis-Jacques)

U.S. v. Said (E.D. Va., Aug. 17, 2010) has sparked interest in the law of piracy. Alleged Somali pirates in a small skiff fired on the USS Ashland in the Gulf of Aden.  The U.S. Navy ship returned fire, burning the skiff, and killing one of its passengers.  The U.S. crew took into custody the remaining Somali nationals aboard the skiff.  Prosecutors charged the Somalis with piracy under 18 U.S.C. § 1651.  The judge dismissed the piracy charges, citing U.S. v. Smith, 18 U.S. (5 Wheat.) 153 (1820)[Google Scholar] [HeinOnline].  As the Somalis did not rob the USS Ashland or its crew, the government failed to establish that their acts constituted piracy on the high seas as defined under the law of nations as of 1819, when Congress enacted the statute outlawing piracy (ch. 77, 3 Stat. 511)[HeinOnline].  The court reasoned that persons affected by the law could not know of any new definition of piracy, and therefore due process disallowed reference to the current law of nations as the standard for defining piracy. Several charges other than piracy remained viable against the Somalis.

Selected blog posts and news stories that address the Said case and the issue of Who is a pirate?:  

Several commentators cite Article 15 of the 1958 Geneva Convention on the High Seas as the source for the authoritative definition of "who is a pirate" under the law of nations.  Article 15 states that "any illegal acts of violence, detention or any act of depredation" committed by a crew on ship directed at another ship on the high seas constitutes piracy.  Thus, the Geneva Convention does not require robbery for acts to count as piracy.

For additional information on the law of piracy, check Yvonne M. Dutton's Bringing Pirates to Justice (CJIL, Summer 2010), Eugene Kontorovich's "A Guantanamo on the Sea":  The Difficulty of Prosecuting Pirates and Terrorists,  International Legal Responses to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (ASIL Insights),  Piracy and International Law and  recent articles, Peter T. Leeson's Rationality, Pirates, and the Law, Alfred P. Rubin's The Law of Piracy (2d ed., 1998), and Ivan Shearer's Piracy article in the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law Online.  See also the Law Library of Congress' collection of digitized books on pre-1923 piracy trials from various nations.

Foreign and International Law on DVD and on the Web

Interested in foreign, comparative, and international law (FCIL)?  Looking for movies to watch this summer?

The Law Library DVD Collection includes over 30 movies, documentaries, and TV shows that involve foreign law, international law, or human rights issues.  We have Rashomon (Japan), The Story of Qiu Ju (China), Judgment at Nuremberg (Nazi war crimes trials), M (Germany), Veer-Zaara (a top Bollywood law movie), and the Australian comedy, The Castle.

The Castle is about a family living near the runway at Melbourne Airport who are threatened with “compulsory acquisition” of their house.  The father refuses to sell his castle at any price.  The Castle presents an entertaining look at the Australian legal system in action.

We also carry TV series, such as Rumpole of the Bailey (criminal law barrister) and Rome (Roman and civil law), and law-related documentaries such as People’s Court (China) and Paper Dolls.  Our library catalog provides the following description for Paper Dolls:

After closing the border to Palestinian workers, Israeli authorities enticed foreigners to fill gaps in the job market.  Filipinos in various stages of gender transition came as caregivers to elderly, orthodox Jewish men, but are still outsiders.

You can browse the online list of movies that we own, DVD Movies at D’Angelo Law Library, or search Lens and the Library Catalog for a particular movie.

You can also check the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law and Justice on Film and TV videography, A to Z and by Country/General.  The videography includes descriptions and links to more detailed information about each movie.  The videography also provides links to some videos available on the web.  An asterisk (*) next to a title on the A to Z list indicates that the D’Angelo Law Library owns the movie.

We welcome recommendations for movie purchases.  Many of our DVDs are purchased with The Muriel and Maurice Fulton Law Library Fund.  Let us know what movies you’d like us to add by filling out the D’Angelo Law Library DVD Suggestion Form or indicating them in the Comments section below.

Enjoy the movies!