Wednesday, April 10, 2013

New United Nations Research Guides

The United Nation's Headquarter Library in New York has launched several new research guides to honour the 60th anniversary of the appointment of Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General.

He took the oath of office on April 7 1953 and served as Secretary-General until the 18th of September 1961, when he died in a plane crash while on a peace mission in the Congo.

The guides include:


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Monday, November 12, 2012

Updated Research Guides From GlobaLex

GlobaLex, the electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, recently updated a number of its excellent research guides.

Here are some of them:
  • A Guide on the Harmonization of International Commercial Law (by Duncan E. Alford is Associate Dean, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Law at the University Of South Carolina School Of Law): "Since World War II, international trade has grown exponentially and with it the importance of international law. With the increased business between companies in different nations, the need for increased harmonization of commercial laws has become apparent. Knowledge of international commercial law has become important for the transactional lawyer, even those outside major metropolitan areas. Several years ago, LexisNexis and the International Bar Association jointly sponsored a survey of attorneys in eight countries, including the United States. The results of the survey reveal that while the practice of law is still largely domestic, the convergence of laws in certain areas, particularly trade and investment, is occurring. The vast majority of the attorneys surveyed then believed that the international standardization of trade and investment law would be beneficial. This guide collects sources for these harmonized commercial laws and leads the legal researcher to Internet sources on this complicated area of international law. The guide begins with a discussion of the intergovernmental organizations (in some cases supranational) whose purpose is to harmonize commercial laws. The guide then identifies the important treaties that have harmonized commercial law, particularly the law of the sale of goods, and finally identifies research institutes that support the harmonization of commercial law. I have purposefully excluded conventions dealing with the transport of goods, the taking of evidence, insolvency, arbitration and procedural matters from this article." 
  • Basic Primary and Secondary Information Online Sources for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United States Central American Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic (CAFTA-DR) Research (by Francisco A. Avalos, retired Foreign and International Law Librarian at James E. Rogers College of Law and Maureen Garmon, Faculty Services Librarian at the Law Library, Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona): "The objective of this article is to serve as a one-stop research guide to the North American Free Trade Agreement and the United States Central American Free Trade Agreement-Dominican Republic. The major documents and institutions directly related to NAFTA and CAFTA-DR are identified and a citation to the particular item is given. The websites cited were chosen for the authority and reputation of the sponsor of the website and the completeness of information provided. The updating policy and the ease of navigation of the websites were also taken into account for inclusion into this article. Also, free websites were favored over pay websites. Websites with little information on the website itself and consisting mainly of links to other websites for the actual desired information were avoided. The vast majority of the citations found in this article are annotated as to content and research value of the website. The citations that are not annotated are the ones where the title of the website made the content obvious. " 
  • Researching the United Nations: Finding the Organization's Internal Resource Trails (by Linda Tashbook, Foreign International Comparative Law Librarian at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Law's Barco Law Library): "The United Nations is such a massive organization that its wide array of processes and products require enough reference sources to warrant a map and compass for navigation. As a map, here are suggested search techniques for several standard types of queries and, as a compass, here are the U.N.'s many diverse search tools organized into resource types."

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lawyers Weekly Profile of Canadian on Court of Arbitration for Sport

This week's issue of The Lawyers Weekly features the article Quick, high-stakes decisions can make for Olympian task.

It profiles Toronto lawyer Graeme Mew, an Olympic Games arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport: (CAS)
"As one of only 12 people chosen from around the world as arbitrators for the Olympics, Mew was on standby in London to deal with disputes that arose between nations. He was required to report for duty 10 days before the Games even began."

"Mew, of Clyde & Co. in Toronto, has spent his career as a lawyer and a dispute resolution professional in England and Canada. Of the 11 disputes that took place during the Games, Mew heard four appeals — ​in equestrian, canoeing, sailing and modern pentathlon"
The  CAS was created in the 1980s by the International Olympic Committee

In addition to explaining how the arbitration of disputes happens at the Olympic Games, the article also provides information about sports law arbitration in Canada.

Earlier Library Boy posts about law and the Olympics include:
  • New Law Library Journal Articles (September 6, 2006): "We have just received Law Library Journal vol. 98, no. 3 (Summer 2006) at the Supreme Court of Canada library. Among the articles that caught my attention: (...) Exploring the Court of Arbitration for Sport: 'The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), recognized as an emerging leader in international sports dispute resolution, was created specifically to address sports-related matters. Since its formation, the CAS has addressed a wide range of sports-related issues, including matters pertaining to the positive drug tests of athletes, the challenges to technical decisions of officials made during competition, and the eligibility of athletes to compete in the Olympic Games. Of significance, CAS awards have been recognized as developing a lex sportiva, that is, a set of guiding principles and rules in international sports law'. " 
  • New Internet Research Guide for Olympic Studies (April 2, 2008): "Intute, a British university consortium that offers free online service access to evaluated web resources for education and research, has just published a new subject booklet entitled 'Internet resources for Olympic studies'. The booklet describes resources relating to associations, the history of the Olympic Games, past and future Games, athletes, sports research, event management, and legal issues (arbitration of sports disputes, disability sports, gender equity and doping)." 
  • Law and the Olympics (January 6, 2010): "Blogosaurus Lex, the blog from the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta, had a post in December on Law and the Olympics."
  • Updated Research Guide on International Sports Law (August 31, 2011): "The GlobaLex collection at the New York University School of Law has just updated its International Sports Law research guide. It looks at the key institutions governing international sports (...) There are sections on doping, women and sports, violence as well as suggested sports law bibliographies, databases and periodicals."
  • June 2012 Issue of Legal Information Management on Sports Law (July 3, 2012): "The most recent issue of Legal Information Management, a journal of the British and Irish Association of Law Libraries, is devoted to the Olympics and sports law."

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

International Federation of Library Associations Endorses Code of Ethics

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) recently endorsed and adopted a Code of Ethics for Librarians and Other Information Workers.

The final text is the result of extensive consultations in 2011 and 2012 with hundreds of IFLA members and non-members.

The Code emphasizes access to information, anti-discrimination principles, the protection of personal data, a balance between users' and creators' rights in copyright matters, as well as neutrality and an unbiased stance regarding collection, access and service.

The IFLA website features many national library association codes of ethics.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Global Commission on HIV and the Law Report on Risks, Rights & Health

The Global Commission on HIV and the Law, an independent body established by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, has published its final report HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights & Health.

The Commission undertook 18 months of extensive research, consultation, analysis and deliberation and heard from individuals and experts in 140 countries. The Commission had 14 members from around the globe, including Canadian Stephen Lewis. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil, was its chair.

Among the Commission's recommendations:
  • Repeal punitive laws and enact laws that facilitate and enable effective responses to HIV prevention, care and treatment services for all who need them. Enact no laws that explicitly criminalise HIV transmission, exposure or non-disclosure of HIV status
  • Work with the guardians of customary and religious law to promote traditions and religious practice that promote rights and acceptance of diversity
  • Decriminalise private and consensual adult sexual behaviours, including same-sex sexual acts and voluntary sex work
  • Prosecute the perpetrators of sexual violence, including marital rape and rape related to conflict, whether perpetrated against females, males, or transgender people
  • Abolish all mandatory HIV-related registration, testing, and forced treatment regimens. Facilitate access to sexual and reproductive health services and stop forced abortion and coerced sterilisation of HIV-positive women and girls
  • Rather than punishing people who use drugs but do no harm to others, governments must offer them access to effective HIV and health services, including harm reduction programmes and voluntary, evidence-based treatment for drug dependence
  • In matters relating to HIV and the law, offer the same standard of protection to migrants, visitors and residents who are not citizens as is extended to citizens. Restrictions that prohibit people living with HIV from entering a country and/or regulations that mandate HIV tests for foreigners within a country should be repealed
  • Develop an effective IP regime for pharmaceutical products. Such a regime must be consistent with international human rights law and public health needs, while safeguarding the justifiable rights of inventors

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:56 pm 1 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

June 2012 Issue of Legal Information Management on Sports Law

The most recent issue of Legal Information Management, a journal of the British and Irish Association of Law Libraries, is devoted to the Olympics and sports law.

From the editorial:
"The opening article, by Jack Anderson of Queens' University Belfast, defines the subject of sports law and argues that, in the truest sense, it has ‘arrived’ as a legal entity and an academic discipline. Mark James and Guy Osburn jointly discuss the legal status of the Olympic Charter and its interpretation by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. They also look at the impact of UK legislation in the context of the London Olympics. Simon Boyes reviews the literature in the field of sports law and traces its development to the current day. Esther Cho, of the John Wolff Comparative & International Law Library at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington DC, offers an essential, and detailed, research guide to the legal resources relating Olympic and international sports law."
"Meanwhile, Peter Charlish, of Sheffield Hallam University, tackles that most controversial, and often high profile, issue that affects sport, including the Olympics; the use of drugs. Away from the Olympics, Jonathan Morgan writes an insightful piece on The Jockey Club and judicial review and John Eaton, Librarian and Associate Professor of Law at the University of Manitoba, takes a look at gender equality in that most traditionally masculine of sports – Canadian ice hockey."
Earlier Library Boy posts that discuss sports and the law include:
  • New Law Library Journal Articles (September 6, 2006): "We have just received Law Library Journal vol. 98, no. 3 (Summer 2006) at the Supreme Court of Canada library. Among the articles that caught my attention: (...) Exploring the Court of Arbitration for Sport: 'The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), recognized as an emerging leader in international sports dispute resolution, was created specifically to address sports-related matters. Since its formation, the CAS has addressed a wide range of sports-related issues, including matters pertaining to the positive drug tests of athletes, the challenges to technical decisions of officials made during competition, and the eligibility of athletes to compete in the Olympic Games. Of significance, CAS awards have been recognized as developing a lex sportiva, that is, a set of guiding principles and rules in international sports law'. " 
  • New Internet Research Guide for Olympic Studies (April 2, 2008): "Intute, a British university consortium that offers free online service access to evaluated web resources for education and research, has just published a new subject booklet entitled 'Internet resources for Olympic studies'. The booklet describes resources relating to associations, the history of the Olympic Games, past and future Games, athletes, sports research, event management, and legal issues (arbitration of sports disputes, disability sports, gender equity and doping)." 
  • Law and the Olympics (January 6, 2010): "Blogosaurus Lex, the blog from the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta, had a post in December on Law and the Olympics."
  • Updated Research Guide on International Sports Law (August 31, 2011): "The GlobaLex collection at the New York University School of Law has just updated its International Sports Law research guide. It looks at the key institutions governing international sports (...) There are sections on doping, women and sports, violence as well as suggested sports law bibliographies, databases and periodicals."

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

YouTube Tutorials for United Nations Legal Materials

Debbie Rabina, who teaches International Information Sources at the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science in New York City, has created three YouTube tutorials for learning how to use the following United Nations materials:
[Source: beSpacific]

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Monday, March 19, 2012

WTO Database of Preferential Trade Agreements

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has created a database of Preferential Trade Agreements.

Preferential trade agreements are non-reciprocal preferential schemes. They are distinct from regional trade agreements.

The database supplies information about the history of each agreement, with details about the products covered and the list of countries eligible for special treatment

[Source: beSpacific]

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Sunday, March 04, 2012

Universal Human Rights Index

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations has created a database called the Universal Human Rights Index.

The database provides country reports emanating from the United nations system:
  • Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Human Rights Committee
  • Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
  • Committee against Torture
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child
  • Committee on Migrant Workers
  • Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Committee on Enforced Disappearance
  • Country visits reports of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture – when made public
  • Country visits reports of Special Procedures mandate-holders assessing the general human rights situation in a given country (indexed since 2006). Mandate holders are called on to report to the Human Rights Council:
    • On human rights situations in specific countries or territories ( country mandates);
    • On major phenomena of human rights violations worldwide ( thematic mandates)
  • Recommendations made under the Universal Periodic Review (indexed since the first session in 2008), which is a State-driven process under the auspices of the Human Rights Council involving a periodic review of the human rights records of all 193 UN Member States once every four years

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

United Nations Oral History Collection

The United Nations Oral History Collection has made available select transcripts and audio files of interviews with prominent players in the organization's often turbulent history.

Interviews were conducted by United Nations staff and Yale University researchers on events surrounding the founding of the Organization, the writing of the UN Charter, and various international crises.

One of the interviewees is Canada's former UN Ambassador Paul Heinbecker. He discusses his experiences on the Security Council.

There is an earlier Library Boy post related to the history of the UN from October 30, 2008 entitled United Nations Launches Online Audiovisual Library of International Law: "(...) the Historic Archives contain documents and audiovisual materials relating to the negotiation and adoption of significant legal instruments under the auspices of the United Nations and related agencies since 1945".

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Friday, December 09, 2011

openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum: Medical Pot and Mushroom-Munching Xmas Reindeer

The British website openDemocracy publishes a regular feature called the Drug Policy Forum that takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

The most recent issue includes stories about:
  • US state medical marijuana laws
  • Latin American drug cartels
  • Copenhagen's moves to legalize pot
  • drug abuse in Iran
  • the shamanic origins of many Christmas traditions (what are those "magical" reindeer eating before they fly through the air?)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Library-Related International Copyright Developments

The World Intellectual Property Organizations’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (WIPO SCCR) is meeting in Geneva from 21 November to 2 December.

Member states will, among other things, consider a draft treaty on copyright limitations and exceptions for libraries and archives. The draft treaty was prepared by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) in collaboration with others.

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has observer status at the WIPO SCCR.

IFLA and CLA have both made statements in support of the draft treaty.

A background document on why this treaty is necessary was prepared by IFLA and its partners, and presented at the meeting.




[Source: Canadian Library Association]

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Launch of Juricaf International Francophone Supreme Court Caselaw Database

The Association des cours judiciaires francophones (AHJUCAF = Association of Francophone Courts) recently launched Juricaf, an international database containing more than 760,000 court rulings from dozens of French-speaking jurisdictions and from 9 international courts.

Updated daily, Juricaf includes the decisions from the Cour de cassation of Belgium, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Cour de cassation of France, the Swiss Federal Tribunal, African courts, as well as French translations of rulings from a number of other countries such as the Czech Republic, Romania and Vietnam.

Juricaf was designed in partnership with the Université Paris I and with the support of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, the international organization of French-speaking countries.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

First Global Database of Human Trafficking Cases

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a database of human trafficking case law with details on victims' and perpetrators' nationalities, trafficking routes, verdicts and other information related to prosecuted cases from across the world.

At the time of the launch of the database, more than 150 selected cases from over 30 countries and two regional courts had been uploaded, with an additional 100 cases from over a dozen states to be added in the coming months.

Earlier Library Boy posts on human trafficking include:
  • New Library of Parliament Publications (October 6, 2006): "Trafficking in Persons: 'The United Nations estimates that 700,000 people are trafficked annually worldwide – this is a fluid figure that is difficult to pin down (...) This paper will discuss the concept of trafficking in general terms and provide an overview of the legislative framework surrounding the issue at the international level and within the Canadian context. It will conclude with a discussion of potential gaps in Canadian legislation and policy with respect to trafficking in persons'."
  • New Library of Parliament Research Publications (February 18, 2007): "Human Trafficking: 'Trafficking in persons is not the same as migrant smuggling. The key distinction is that smuggled migrants are usually free once they arrive at their intended destination, whereas trafficking victims may be held against their will and subject to forced labour or prostitution (...) The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report [U.S. State Department] also indicates that 'Canada is a source, transit, and destination country …' Some 800 people are trafficked into this country each year, while an additional 1,500 to 2,200 are trafficked through Canada to the United States'."
  • Annual U.S. State Department Report on Human Trafficking (June 27, 2007): "The State Department of the United States has been producing an annual report since the year 2000 called the Trafficking in Persons Report. It reports on foreign governments' efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons (...) According to the country section on Canada: 'Canada is principally a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked mostly from Asia and Eastern Europe for sexual exploitation, but victims from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East also have been identified in Canada'."
  • New U.S. Reports on Human Trafficking (August 1, 2007): "The Government Accountability Office in the United States recently published 2 reports on human trafficking"
  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (December 2, 2007): "Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and the Dag Hammarskjöld Library of the United Nations has put together a web page with resources on contemporary forms of human trafficking."
  • Wiki on Forced Migration Issues (September 17, 2008): "Librarian Elisa Mason, who has worked at the UN High Commission for Refugees and the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, has created the Forced Migration Guide using wiki software. The guide offers descriptions of resources for the study of refugees, internal displacement and human trafficking."
  • Library of Parliament Publication on Trafficking of Humans (October 21, 2008): "This paper will discuss the concept of trafficking in general terms and provide an overview of the legislative framework surrounding the issue at the international level and within the Canadian context. It will conclude with a discussion of potential gaps in Canadian legislation and policy with respect to trafficking in persons."
  • United Nations Report on Globalization of Crime (September 5, 2010): "The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently published a report on The Globalization of Crime A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment. The report examines a range of transnational criminal activities, including human trafficking, the heroin and cocaine trades, cybercrime, maritime piracy and trafficking in environmental resources, firearms and counterfeit goods."

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Reports

The United Nations has a number of Special Rapporteurs who are given specific mandates to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on human rights issues relating to a specific country or to a specific theme (for example: torture, arbitrary detention, sale of children into prostitution, disappearances, etc.).

They are independent of any government and are appointed by the UN Secretary General. They report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

A number of recent Special Rapporteur Reports have been published in anticipation of the upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.

They include the reports on torture, access to water, internally displaced persons, indigenous people, freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary and lawyers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:37 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 05, 2011

openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum

The British website openDemocracy publishes a regular feature called the Drug Policy Forum that takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

The most recent issue includes stories about:
  • Portugal's drug decriminalization policies
  • drug treatment in the UK
  • the war between drug cartels and the Mexican government
  • incarceration patterns in the USA
  • and lots more

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:09 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

UK Liberal Democrats To Call for Decriminalization of Drug Possession

The British website openDemocracy publishes a regular feature called the Drug Policy Forum that takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

The most recent issue leads with news that that United Kingdom's Liberal Democrats, members of the governing coalition, are expected to call for an independent inquiry into the decriminalization of possession of all drugs.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

World Drug Report 2011

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) recently released its 2011 annual report [from the Executive Summary]:
"Cannabis is by far the most widely used illicit drug type, consumed by between 125 and 203 million people worldwide in 2009. This corresponds to an annual prevalence rate of 2.8%-4.5%. In terms of annual prevalence, cannabis is followed by ATS (amphetamine-type stimulants; mainly methamphetamine, amphetamine and ecstasy), opioids (including opium, heroin and prescription opioids) and cocaine. Lack of information regarding use of illicit drugs – particularly ATS - in populous countries such as China and India, as well as in emerging regions of consumption such as Africa, generate uncertainty when estimating the global number of users. This is reflected in the wide ranges of the estimates."

"While there are stable or downward trends for heroin and cocaine use in major regions of consumption, this is being offset by increases in the use of synthetic and prescription drugs. Non-medical use of prescription drugs is reportedly a growing health problem in a number of developed and developing countries. Moreover, in recent years, several new synthetic compounds have emerged in established illicit drug markets. Many of these substances are marketed as ‘legal highs’ and substitutes for illicit stimulant drugs such as cocaine or ‘ecstasy.’ "
The Office produces many other publications in areas such as alternate development, corruption, human trafficking by organized crime, demand reduction strategies, drug testing, etc.

It also offers an online Legislation/Legal Library with the full text of laws and regulations promulgated by many States.

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Sunday, June 05, 2011

International Commission Recommends Legalizing Drugs

Last week, the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a report recommending international legalization of cannabis, marijuana and other drugs.

The report concludes that the punitive law enforcement model of the global "wars on drugs" has been a failure. Rather, it recommends expanding the availability of treatments available to drug users, as well as making them more available.

Members of the Commission include Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Colombian president César Gaviria, former US Secretary of State George Shultz, former UN Secterary General Kofi Annan, and Louise Arbour, former Supreme Court of Canada justice, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and currently president of the International Crisis Group.

On Library Boy, I have written in the past about the British website openDemocracy whose Drug Policy Forum takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Draft Treaty on Copyright Exceptions for Libraries

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has proposed a Draft Treaty on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Archives :
"Particularly relevant to the work of IFLA was the study commissioned by WIPO [World Intellectual Property Organisation] from Professor Kenneth Crews, 'Study on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives,' which WIPO published in 2008. The results of this study revealed that numerous Member States had either no exceptions or limitations for libraries and archives in their national copyright legislation, or had only minimal, general provisions."

"To examine the issues and what should be done for the benefit of libraries and archives worldwide, in April 2009 IFLA and EIFL convened a workshop at the British Library comprising librarians, intellectual property specialists, the World Blind Union, and representatives of other NGO's to develop a set of principles that should drive creation of an appropriate instrument to facilitate the mission of libraries throughout the world (...)"

"After wide consultation with librarians, representatives of Member States and other knowledgeable individuals, IFLA's working group has developed a 'Treaty on Copyright Exceptions and Limitations for Libraries and Archives'. In preparation for the work on exceptions and limitations for libraries and archives scheduled for November 2011, we offer this proposal to further informed discussion of the issues."
[Source: Culturelibre.ca]

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