Saturday, March 31, 2012

Law Library of Congress Translation of National Legislation into English

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a number of research guides providing translations into English of the laws of Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, and Russia.

The Library also has prepared guides on International Organizations and International Courts.

Another good source of research guides on international and comparative law is GlobaLex, an electronic collection from the New York University School of Law.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:39 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Canadian Human Rights Commission 2011 Annual Report

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has released its annual report for 2011.

The highlight of last year was the change to the Canadian Human Rights Act that took effect concerning Native Canadians. Since June 18, 2011, the Commission has been able to receive discrimination complaints against First Nations governments on matters under the Indian Act. Since that time, First Nations people have had access to the same level of human rights protection in law as everyone else in Canada.

When the Canadian Human Rights Act first became law in 1977, matters under the Indian Act were specifically excluded. This meant that the Canadian Human Rights Commission could not accept complaints from hundreds of thousands of Canadians covered by the Indian Act. That has now been fixed.

The report also discusses a number of important issues in which the Commission was involved that were related to pay discrimination, hate speech, disabilities, and seniors.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:47 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Joint English and Scottish Law Commission Report on Consumer Redress for Misleading and Aggressive Practices

The Law Commission in England and the Scottish law Commission have released a joint report on the protection of consumers against misleading practices.

From the summary:
"We recommend new legislation to provide redress to consumers who experience
misleading and aggressive practices in their dealings with traders. Our aim is to
clarify and simplify the current law on misleading practices, and to improve the
law on aggressive practices by filling the gaps in the current law. We recommend targeted reform (...)"

"In particular, we recommend that :
  • (1) There must be a contract between the parties or a payment made by the consumer. Thus consumers would not, for example, be entitled to compensation if they visited a shop in response to a misleading advertisement but did not buy anything. Nor would consumers have a separate right to compensation for being misled about their rights.
  • (2) The consumer would only have a right against the other party to the contract, usually the retailer or service provider. The legislation would not provide additional rights against others in the supply chain, such as producers or against individual directors.
  • (3) The list of banned practices under the Regulations would not give rise to automatic redress; they would only be covered by the new right if they would affect an 'average consumer'.
  • (4) The general prohibition against commercial practices which are 'contrary to the requirements of professional diligence' should not give rise to redress. It is too uncertain.
  • (5) Land transactions and financial services should not be covered. Instead the existing law should remain."
The report also recommends two tiers of remedies for consumers under a new law:
"Tier 1remedies would be the standard remedies and would apply on a strict liability basis. The amount would be based on the price paid and would not require evidence of loss. This means they could be used in both the civil courts and alongside enforcement action, for example in criminal compensation orders. By contrast, Tier 2 remedies would apply only if the consumer proved additional loss;they would also be subject to the trader’s due diligence defence."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:30 pm 0 comments

Statistics Canada Article on Divorce Cases

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published a new article on Divorce cases in civil court, 2010/2011.

It examines divorce cases within the civil court system in seven reporting provinces and territories (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut):
"Information is provided to address the following key questions: How many divorce cases are handled in civil court? How many new divorce cases are filed each year? What are the trends in the divorce caseload in civil court? How long does it take before a divorce is made final? What are the key characteristics of divorce cases that remain in the civil court system over a long period of time?"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:23 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Computers in Libraries 2012 Conference Presentations Online

Many of the presentations from the Computers in Libraries conference earlier this month in Washington are now online.

The conference presentations are divided into a number of broad subject areas or "tracks" such as:

  • Mobile trends

  • Content management

  • e-books

  • user experience

  • enterprise solutions

  • search

  • IT trends

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:59 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 22, 2012

JURIST Legal News Site Calling for Donations

JURIST, the legal news and commentary website based out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, needs money. Your money.

The well-known, pioneering news site explains that it is "anticipating a significant reduction in funding (meaning several tens of thousands of dollars) from our primary benefactors".

It needs funds to:
  • Redesign the website
  • Fully develop a mobile version of, as well as iPhone and Android apps
  • Increase outreach efforts to JURIST's audience
  • Develop new programming, including audio and video coverage, seminars and conferences that will directly benefit our community
  • Cover costs associated with managing our law student staff, such as development of staff manuals, training materials, and even the occassional pizza
  • Establish an emergency reserve to cope with technical crises in a timely fashion
  • Add professional staff support for JURIST's Commentary
  • Add professional technical support
  • Ensure continued funding for JURIST's existing professional staff
JURIST's Publisher and Editor-in-Chief is a Canadian, the Halifax-born Bernard Hibbitts.

Hibbitts is a Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. A Rhodes Scholar, he studied law at Oxford, Dalhousie Law School, the University of Toronto, and finally Harvard Law School (LLM 1988), where he was Associate Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. He is a former law clerk to Justice Gerald LeDain of the Supreme Court of Canada. He created the site that became JURIST in 1996. Quite the CV.

Earlier Library Boy posts on JURIST include:
  • JURIST 10th Anniversary Conference (March 6, 2007): "JURIST, the legal news and commentary website based out of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by holding a conference called Law as a Seamless WebSite on March 29th. It is attracting some very high profile panelists, including terrorism suspect defence lawyers, UN war crimes prosecutors, top legal affairs correspondents and many prominent law profs (...)"
  • CALL 2009 Conference Plenary With JURIST's Bernard Hibbitts (May 27, 2009): "The 2009 conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries welcomed University of Pittsburgh law professor Bernard Hibbitts as its plenary guest speaker yesterday. The conference, which ended earlier today, took place in Halifax (...) He provided a fascinating overview of JURIST's evolution since 1996 from a simple webpage to a fully staffed, student volunteer-run web news service, with expert editors and outside commentators. But his main focus was about how the legal field is falling short of taking advantage of the promise of new information technologies."
  • JURIST Editor-in-Chief Bernard Hibbitts on the Technology of Law (February 11, 2011): "The most recent issue of Law Library Journal has an article by Bernard J. Hibbitts on The Technology of Law (...) The essay is adapted from his plenary address at the 2009 annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, May 26, 2009, in Halifax, Nova Scotia."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:50 pm 0 comments

International Association of Law Libraries 31st Annual Course on International Legal Information and Law

Registration is now open for the International Association of Law Libraries 31st Annual Course on International Legal Information and Law.

The event is jointly hosted by the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, in Toronto, 30 September - 4 October, 2012.

The Preliminary Programme, together with hotel information and the Registration Form, are available on the conference website.

The theme of the conference is "Canada: The Cultural Mosaic and International Law". Topics will reflect Canada’s unique perspectives on international and domestic issues. Speakers at the sessions include top Canadian legal academics, scholars, legal practitioners and law librarians.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:44 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another Copyright Infringement Case Over Unauthorized Database Distribution of Court Filings

This is a follow up to the Library Boy post of February 27, 2012 entitled Thomson Reuters Sued Over Use of Facta in Litigator.

That post described a class action lawsuit that was recently certified by an Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge and that alleges that the database company Thomson Reuters breached copyright by copying original documents created by lawyers without their permission and making them available for a fee through its commercial Litigator service. This includes pleadings, court motions, affidavits and facta.

The final paragraph in the post refers to a similar class action suit in the United States against West and Lexis for the use of "briefs" (facta) in commercial databases.

Yesterday, the Law Librarian Blog reported on Another Copyright Infringement Class Action Suit Filed Claiming Unauthorized Commercial Database Distribution of Court Filings. The new case was filed against West in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

More on the U.S. situation from the Legal Research Plus blog (Stanford Law School).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:58 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Preliminary Results of Canadian Association of Law Libraries Survey on Publication Formats

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of December 5, 2011 entitled Canadian Association of Law Libraries Survey on Publication Formats.

The Vendor Liaison Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has made available some preliminary results of its survey of publication formats for law-related materials.

There were 127 respondents from all sizes and types of libraries.

Some of the highlights:
  • An overwhelming majority finds that the most valuable content is commentary.
  • Many commented that bound is the preferred format for commentary (with a new edition offered every two or three years).
  • Looseleaf format is seen as no longer delivering value for money in terms of frequency, cost and content.
  • Main issues raised about online publications are related to ownership, preservation and accessibility. Licensing models are also a concern for a majority.
Full results will be presented at the upcoming CALL annual conference in Toronto in early May.

You can find publications of the Vendor Liaison Committee on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:45 pm 0 comments

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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:00 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of March 1-15, 2012 is now available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library does not lend materials from this list, which is provided for information only."

But, once the material goes into the general collection, after about a month, the works do become available for inter-library loan to authorized libraries.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:46 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 15, 2012

U.S. Government Information Site GPO Access Shuts Down March 16

GPO Access, the online disseminator of official U.S. government publications, is shutting down permanently tomorrow, March 16th. It has gradually been replaced over the past two years by the new FDsys or Federal Digital System.

FDsys offers authentic, digitally signed PDF documents from dozens of different collections of U.S. Federal Government information (Congressional, Presidential, judicial and federal agency materials)

Some of the new system's highlights:
  • Information is preserved for permanent public access
  • Search multiple publications at once
  • Conduct complex searches
  • Narrow, sort, and filter search results
  • Access documents in multiple file formats
  • Access metadata in standard XML formats
  • Browse by collection, Congressional committee, date, and Government author
GPO Access was launched in June 1994 by the Government Printing Office in Washington as the official source for American government information online. In 2009, the Office announced that it was moving to the next generation platform, FDsys. According to the FAQ, as of tomorrow:
"URL redirects will redirect users from content on GPO Access to content on FDsys. One-to-one redirect connections are in place for select GPO Access pages. Files in legacy databases on GPO Access will be automatically redirected to files in FDsys. In other cases, where one-to-one redirects are not possible, users will be redirected to the FDsys home page. FDsys will remain GPO’s only site for official Government information."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:57 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Library Journal's Movers and Shakers 2012

Library Journal has released its 2012 list of Library Movers and Shakers:
"For 11 years now, LJ’s Movers & Shakers has been spotlighting librarians and others in the library field who are doing extraordinary work to serve their users and to move libraries of all types and library services forward. They hail from all corners of the library world.They’ve been nominated by their colleagues, friends, bosses, and just plain admirers. We know there are many more Movers out there, making libraries better and taking them into the future."
The publication provides a map of all the Movers and Shakers from 2002 to 2012.

Over the years, a number of Canadian librarians have been selected, though no Canadians were chosen this year.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm 0 comments

Statistics Canada Legal Aid Report 2010-2011

Statistics Canada has published a new report on Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics 2010/2011.

It presents information on the operation of Canada's 13 legal aid plans. The report includes information on the legal aid plans, personnel resources, revenues and expenditures, as well as information concerning applications for legal aid.

Among the highlights:
  • In 2010/2011, the federal government reported providing a total of $112 million to the thirteen provincial/territorial legal aid plans. The thirteen provincial/territorial governments reported contributing $563 million
  • In 2010/2011, legal aid plans spent $752 million providing legal aid services in eleven provinces and territories (excludes Northwest Territories and Nunavut), which amounts to about $22 per resident. In the nine provinces and territories that provided data for both 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 (also excludes Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick), legal aid spending was down about 3% from the previous year after adjusting for inflation
  • Eight of eleven legal aid plans spent more on criminal matters than civil matters in 2010/2011 (excludes Northwest Territories and Nunavut). The three legal aid plans that spent less on criminal matters were in Quebec, Ontario and Prince Edward Island
  • About 670,000 applications for legal aid were submitted to legal aid plans in ten reporting provinces and territories in 2010/2011 (excludes Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut). Civil matters accounted for over half (56%) of applications
  • Legal aid plans in ten reporting jurisdictions (excludes Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut) approved approximately 449,000 applications for full legal aid services in 2010/2011. Criminal matters accounted for over half (55%) of approved applications

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:55 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hiring Librarians Blog

Emily Weak, a graduate of San Jose State University's MLIS program, has created the Hiring Librarians blog, which describes itself as "a venue which allowed people who make hiring decisions to explain their enigmatic thinking".

Ms. Weak created an online survey to solicit information from library managers. As well, she has directly interviewed hiring managers and shared some of their ideas.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:09 pm 0 comments

Monday, March 12, 2012

CALL 2012 Online Registration Now Available

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) now has online registration available for its 2012 annual conference taking place in Toronto May 6-9.

The Early Bird Registration Deadline is Friday, March 16.

You can read the conference program on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:42 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Statistics Canada Report on Victimization of Older Canadians

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat today released an article on Victimization of older Canadians, 2009.

Among the highlights:
  • In 2009, more than 154,000 or 2% of people aged 55 or older living in the 10 provinces reported that they had been the victim of a violent crime in the previous 12 months
  • Older Canadians reported the lowest rates of violent victimization. For example, the rate of violent victimization among people aged 55 and older was about one-tenth the rate for the youngest group, aged 15 to 24
  • The types of violence experienced by older individuals were similar to those reported by Canadians under the age of 55. Both groups cited physical assault as the most common type of violent victimization
  • Older people who experienced a violent incident were more likely than younger people to report it to police
  • The rate of household victimization for older households was less than one-half the rate reported by younger households. Theft of household property was the most common form of non-violent crime reported by both groups
  • Overall, the rate of household victimization among older households has remained stable since 2004

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:14 pm 0 comments Federal Government Social Media Aggregator

A group of Ottawa area students and young professionals has launched, which describes itself as a "content aggregator designed to provide the public, the media and public-service employees with a continuous flow of information generated by government institutions through social media." offers a single gateway to content from federal government Twitter and Facebook channels and official blogs.

According to the creators, there are 222 government Twitter accounts, 95 Facebook pages and 11 official blogs right now. soon plans to add content from official federal YouTube, Flickr and LinkedIn accounts.

On the site, you can find an index or list of the government organizations covered as well as profiles of the people behind the project.

Twitter : @ZegovCanada
Facebook :

More background:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:07 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

First Ever E-Only Issue of Information Technology and Libraries

This is a follow-up of the Library Boy post of January 12, 2012 entitled Information Technology and Libraries Changes to Open Access Format.

As announced earlier this year, the journal Information Technology and Libraries has published its first issue in its new incarnation as an open-access, e-only publication.

Of particular interest to me are the following articles:
  • Library Use of Web-based Research Guides (Jimmy Ghaphery, Erin White): "This paper describes the ways in which libraries are currently implementing and managing web-based research guides (a.k.a. Pathfinders, LibGuides, Subject Guides, etc.) by examining two sets of data from the spring of 2011. One set of data was compiled by visiting the websites of ninety-nine American university ARL libraries and recording the characteristics of each site’s research guides. The other set of data is based on an online survey of librarians about the ways in which their libraries implement and maintain research guides. In conclusion, a discussion follows that includes implications for the library technology community."
  • Investigations into Library Web-Scale Discovery Services (Jason Vaughan): "Web-scale discovery services for libraries provide deep discovery to a library’s local and licensed content, and represent an evolution, perhaps a revolution, for end user information discovery as pertains to library collections. This article frames the topic of web-scale discovery, and begins by illuminating web-scale discovery from an academic library’s perspective – that is, the internal perspective seeking widespread staff participation in the discovery conversation. This included the creation of a discovery task force, a group which educated library staff, conducted internal staff surveys, and gathered observations from early adopters. The article next addresses the substantial research conducted with library vendors which have developed these services. Such work included drafting of multiple comprehensive question lists distributed to the vendors, onsite vendor visits, and continual tracking of service enhancements. Together, feedback gained from library staff, insights arrived at by the Discovery Task Force, and information gathered from vendors collectively informed the recommendation of a service for the UNLV Libraries."
  • Usability Test Results for a Discovery Tool in an Academic Library (Jody Condit Fagan, Meris A. Mandernach, Carl S. Nelson, Jonathan R. Paulo, Grover Saunders): "Discovery tools are emerging in libraries. These tools offer library patrons the ability to concurrently search the library catalog and journal articles. While vendors rush to provide feature-rich interfaces and access to as much content as possible, librarians wonder about the usefulness of these tools to library patrons. In order to learn about both the utility and usability of EBSCO Discovery Service, James Madison University conducted a usability test with eight students and two faculty members. The test consisted of nine tasks focused on common patron requests or related to the utility of specific discovery tool features. Software recorded participants’ actions and time on task, human observers judged the success of each task, and a post-survey questionnaire gathered qualitative feedback and comments from the participants. Overall, participants were successful at most tasks, but specific usability problems suggested some interface changes for both EBSCO Discovery Service and JMU’s customizations of the tool. The study also raised several questions for libraries above and beyond any specific discovery tool interface, including the scope and purpose of a discovery tool versus other library systems, working with the large result sets made possible by discovery tools, and navigation between the tool and other library services and resources. "
Information Technology and Libraries is published by LITA, the Library and Information Technology Association, a division of the American Library Association.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:05 pm 0 comments

Deadline Extension for Canadian Association of Law Libraries Research Grant

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) now have until March 3oth, 2012 to apply for a research grant from the Association.

The grant provides financial assistance of up to $3,000 in 2012 to support CALL members who wish to do research on a topic of interest to those working in law libraries.

Proposed research projects need not be large or formal; research could include surveys, bibliographic projects, pilot projects and feasibility studies. Grants have been previously awarded for a survey of the education of law librarians in Canada, a comparison of electronic citators, and a bibliography of common law materials written in French.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:54 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Top Technology Trends 2012 From ALA Midwinter Conference

The American Library Association (ALA) held its annual Midwinter meeting in Dallas in January.

At each ALA gathering, its LITA division (Library and Information Technology Association) holds a Top Tech Trends panel discussion. This year's session took place on Sunday, January 22, 2012.

The January panel members were: Stephen Abram, Gale Cengage Learning; Marshall Breeding, Vanderbilt University Library; Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC; Nina McHale, Arapahoe Library District, Colorado and Sue Polanka, Wright State University Libraries.

Here are some of the trends they discussed:

  • frictionless access – smartphone technology that provides unfettered access to services without user interaction (Stephen Abram)

  • advent of “enterprise IT staff” for libraries – bringing in professional programmers rather than librarians who like programming (Nina McHale)

  • impending demise of the ILS (Marshall Breeding)

  • trend toward self-service (Sue Polanka)

  • rise of personal institutional curation services (Lorcan Demsey)

  • on-demand tipping point– libraries offering a hybrid model to provide the physical experience for users (Stephen Abrams)

  • web analytics (Nina McHale)

  • reintegration of discovery with the backend systems (Marshall Breeding)

  • technologies that take instruction in a different direction, e.g. touch screens (Sue Polanka)

  • platform wars in consumer space and the implication for libraries (Lorcan Demsey)

The session has been archived on LITA’s USTREAM channel.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:19 pm 0 comments

Monday, March 05, 2012

Canadian Association of Law Libraries in Front of Parliamentary Committee on Copyright Reform

Mary Hemmings, Chair of the Copyright Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), will be appearing as a witness before the Legislative Committee on Bill C-11 tomorrow morning, March 6, at 10:30 am EST.

The Association presented a brief to the previous parliament on Bill C-32, An Act to Amend the Copyright Act. More CALL materials on copyright reform can be found on the CALL website.

The hearings of the committee are webcast live and also available on the parliamentary website after the hearing. You can access the committee hearings on the website of the Parliament of Canada.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:33 pm 0 comments

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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:53 pm 0 comments

Library Terms That Users Understand

It's always good to be reminded that library jargon is Gobbledygook to many users.

John Kupersmith, a California-based librarian, has created a webpage called Library Terms That Users Understand:
"This site is intended to help library web developers decide how to label key resources and services in such a way that most users can understand them well enough to make productive choices. It compiles data from usability studies evaluating terminology on library websites, and suggests test methods and best practices for reducing cognitive barriers caused by terminology"
According to Kupersmith, usability studies indicate that oft misunderstood terms include database, interlibrary loan, index, periodical.

[Source: Peter Scott's Library Blog]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:34 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Connected Bulletin on Impact of New Media on Courts

I just learned of the existence of a bulletin called Connected, which is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

According to the inaugural April 2011 issue:
"This newsletter will provide news, information and resources on topics such as how courts are using new media, the impact of new media on court proceedings, ethical implications of judges and court staff using new media, and court policy issues relating to new media."
The focus is American but there is occasionally material about non-US matters, as in the current issue (February 2012) which contains a story about a defendant in a UK commercial dispute being served via Facebook.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm 0 comments