Festive Footstools and Best Wishes from the Osgoode Library

Library-Footstools

It’s the last week of exams before the New Year holiday break at Osgoode. The students are stressed. We have seen them doing jumping jacks in the group study rooms. So we weren’t so surprised when we discovered this expression of student anxiety while closing the library last night. What can it mean? I put the question to some of my colleagues and John Eaton, Head Librarian of the EK Williams Law Library at the University of Manitoba, offered the following possibility:

You may be aware (or maybe not?) of the 1984 musical Footloose!, wherein a group of exuberant youth, led by the actor Kevin Bacon, break free of the strictures of their sleepy Texas town and express themselves through dance. These are just the props for the exciting new library musical Footstool! in which stressed out law students break free of the monotony of cramming for torts and contracts by devising more inventive uses of standard library furniture.

They also look a bit like a library Yuletide tree. Other interpretations are welcome.

And a quick reminder that the Library closes for the holiday this Friday, December 19, at 5:00 pm. We look forward to seeing everyone when the library reopens on Monday, January 5, at 8:00 am. Until then, have a Happy Holiday and all the best for the New Year 2015.

BC Gazette Part II Now Available Online and Free of Charge

The British Columbia Gazette Part II is now available online and free of charge on the BC Laws website. The electronic version of the Gazette Part II has the complete text of all new, repealed and amended regulations deposited under the Regulations Act, RSBC 1996, c 402, in a fully-searchable format. It includes all issues from October 2001 to present. The Gazette Part II joins these other British Columbia statutory, regulatory and legislative resources on the BC Laws website , all free of charge. It’s a very impressive collection, especially for the historical range of the collections.

BC Laws is published by the Queen’s Printer for British Columbia in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the Legislative Assembly.

World Treaty Library: Now Available on HeinOnline

Various efforts have been put forth over the past decades to create a universal collection of all the treaties of the world. Now for the first time, through the cooperation of Tufts University, Brill Publishing, the United Nations and various others, you will be able to search across all the major treaties in the world in one database: the new World Treaty Library on HeinOnline. We have a campus-wide licence for this new database and it can be accessed by everyone in the York University community.

This monumental collection brings together works from Rohn, Dumont, Wiktor, and Martens to create the richest collection of world treaties ever available, covering the time period from 1648 to the present. Altogether, more than 160,000 treaty records have been identified. Through in-depth indexing of all the treaties and cross citation linking, Hein has created a powerhouse search tool. Use it to locate treaties using such fields as keyword, country, treaty number, treaty type, party, subject, and many more!

Among the indexes included in this collection are:

  • Hein’s U.S. Treaty Index (1776-present): This comprehensive collection from Kavass covers U.S. Treaties from 1776 to the present, whether ratified or not.
  • United Nations Treaty Series (1948-present): Publication of treaties and international agreements registered or filed with the Secretariat of the United Nations.
  • League of Nations Treaty Series (1920-1946): Contains all treaties registered with the Secretariat between members of the League or between members and non-members, with English and French translations accompanying reprints of the official texts.
  • Rohn’s World Treaty Index (1900-2000): Indexes all of the worldwide treaties from 1900-2000. HeinOnline takes this index and provides linking to the indexed treaties for the first time ever.
  • Historical Treaty Index (1648-1919): Contains all early treaties included in Clive Parry’s Consolidated Treaty Series. The index from the series was used to identify the full text and CTS original cite for each bilateral and multilateral treaty.
  • Wiktor’s Multilateral Treaty Calendar (1648-1995): Lists all multilateral treaties concluded during the 350 year period and provides information on the location of their printed text in various collections (with parallel citations), adds data on duration, depository arrangements, and status, and provides extensive notes on their amendment, modification, extension, termination, and other details (with related references).
  • Martens’ Treaties (1761-1944): For the first time, the metadata for this massive 126 volume set has been indexed to search more than eight different works from Martens, including Recueil des traités.

The collection also includes hundreds of other books about treaties and their importance.
Titles such as Pan American Union Treaty Series, 9 v. (1956-1993), European
Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies, 4 v. (1917-
1937), Kavass’s Guide to the United States Treaties in Force (1982-2013), and many
more. A complete listing of included titles is available here:

A useful Quick Reference Guide is available here.

Libraries Celebrate Open Access Week with screening of “The Internet’s Own Boy”

York University Libraries will celebrate International Open Access Week from Oct. 20 to 26. Open Access Week is a global campaign that promotes open access as an ideal for the dissemination of scholarship and research. On Oct. 24, to reflect this year’s theme “Generation Open,” the libraries will host a movie screening and talk by Carys Craig, renowned copyright scholar and associate dean research and institutional relations at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Osgoode Prof Carys Craig

Osgoode Prof Carys Craiig

Professor Craig shares the enthusiasm of the global campaign. “I’m delighted that York University Libraries is celebrating Open Access Week. This is truly one of the most important social movements of the digital age, and one in which universities like ours have a vital role to play.” Open Access Week serves to highlight the successful realization of viable and sustainable business models for open access scholarship, particularly in the science, technology and medicine disciplines, and also provides an opportunity to identify, discuss and address barriers to adoption. The ultimate goal is to ensure that publicly funded research is available to the public, and that all global citizens have equal and barrier-free access to the wealth of the educational commons, regardless of their economic means.

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz

The Internet’s Own Boy is a documentary highlighting the extraordinary life of Aaron Swartz. A key author of the RSS standard at the age of 14, Swartz was also a tireless advocate against censorship, co-founding the Demand Progress organization, which successfully halted SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation from coming into force. In the course of his pursuit of public access to academic research, Swartz was apprehended for a mass downloading attempt of JSTOR holdings. Facing excessive punitive charges from a regime determined to make an example of him, he took his own life.

The screening will be introduced by Prof Craig. “This powerful documentary is not just a tribute to Swartz’s life and legacy, but is also a call to action for all of us.”  As author of Copyright, Communication & Culture: Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Press, 2011), Craig asks people to broaden their view of copyright beyond its tradition of possessive authorship to allow space for collective communication with the broader community with an eye for the greater public good. In her work, she calls on people to reimagine copyright and to correct the imbalance that Swartz fought to bring to the attention of the public sphere. Her insights will foster a nuanced and deeper appreciation for the causes Swartz so bravely hoped to further, highlighting the tragedy of his loss.

‘Road to Justice’ Exhibit in Osgoode Library Examines Historical Discriminatory Treatment of Immigrants in Canada

Road to Justice, a new exhibit which opens today in the Osgoode Library, documents the historical discriminatory treatment of Chinese Canadians and other immigrants of colour in Canada, the communities’ triumph over racism and the lessons Canadians can learn from history. The exhibit will be on display in the library until Friday, October 3, during regular library hours.

The travelling exhibit and its companion websites, Road to Justice/Chermin vers la Justice, were developed by the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic with the support of the federal Department of Immigration & Citizenship’s Community Historical Recognition Program and the Unifor (formerly CAW) Social Justice and Humanity Funds.

This legal history project is in part an investigation of the social values and politics that led to such shameful laws as the Chinese Exclusion Act (Immigration Act, 1923) and the various head taxes on Chinese, which – along with other federal, provincial and municipal statutes – created a body of law that was aimed at restricting the lives and activities of a single race of people.

Selected decisions in key court cases are also summarized. The second part of Road to Justice covers interviews and biographical sketches of some of the first Chinese Canadian lawyers, as well as key activists in the Redress Campaign who lobbied the Government of Canada for an apology for more than 60 years of legislated discrimination against them and their community.

These early laws were clearly discriminatory and they provide a stark contrast to the multiracial, multicultural Canada we share today with others from all parts of the world who have chosen this country as their home.

After the exhibit closes at Osgoode, it will move to Ryerson University in downtown Toronto, opening there on October 13.

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals – Now Online!

The Osgoode Library now has access to the online version of this important series of international criminal law reports. Access is available to all members of the York University community via Passport York and no username/password is required.

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals provides you with the full text of the most important decisions, including concurring, separate and dissenting opinions. Distinguished experts in the field of international criminal law have commented the most important decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), The Special Court for Sierra Leone, The International Criminal Tribunal for Timor-Leste and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals is useful for students, scholars, legal practitioners, judges, prosecutors and defence counsel who are interested in the various legal aspects of the law of the ICTY, ICTR and other forms of international criminal adjudication.

The establishment of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda raised many new legal issues, such as the competence of the Security Council of the United Nations to establish a criminal tribunal, the relationship between the Tribunal and national authorities and the protection of vulnerable witnesses without violating the rights of the defence at the same time.

In dealing with these and other issues, one has to bear in mind that there was no useful precedent to guide the International Tribunals in their work. The Intergovernmental Conference for the creation of the statute of the International Criminal Court met with these very same challenges. Therefore, it was and is a major challenge for the Tribunals and the International Criminal Court to come up with creative solutions to legal problems in a manner that enables them to function effectively and fully respects the rights of the accused. The Tribunal’s and Court’s case law provides some of these solutions.

For more information about individual volumes in the series, click here.

Bust of Justice George E. Carter Unveiled in Osgoode Library

Justice George Carter, left, with York Chancellor Roy McMurtry

Family and friends of Justice George E. Carter, a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Class of 1948 who became this country’s first Canadian-born black judge, watched with pride April 27 as a bronze bust was unveiled in the Osgoode Hall Law School Library commemorating his leadership and contributions to Canadian society.

Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin (LLB ’92); former Attorney General and Chief Justice of Ontario, and Chancellor of York University R. Roy McMurtry, (LLB ’58, LLD ’91); and Linda Carter, the eldest of Justice Carter’s four children, all paid tribute to Carter at the unveiling.
Sossin said distinguished alumni such as Carter and the late Lincoln Alexander (LLB ’53) “have made amazing things possible.” The bust “will be a lasting legacy to George Carter and all those he has inspired.”

McMurtry told the invited guests that as chancellor he was pleased and privileged to be at this “very important and historic event.”
“Even if I wasn’t chancellor, I’d be here,” McMurtry said. “I’ve only known George for about 60 years.”
As Attorney General, McMurtry appointed Carter as an Ontario provincial court judge in 1979. Carter was later appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice, where he served for 16 years. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Carter had his own firm and practised in the areas of real estate, criminal and family law for 31 years.

Carter, who served in the Canadian Army from 1944 to 1945, is a founding member of the Toronto Negro Veterans. He was a member of the Committee for the Adoption of Coloured Youngsters, a founding member of the National Black Coalition of Canada, a founding member and past president of the Toronto Negro Business and Professional Association, and a board member of the Ontario Black History Society. He also played an instrumental role in the establishment of Legal Aid Ontario.

Linda Carter, who documented her father’s life in her 2010 film, The Making of a Judge, said the idea of the bust came about “by happenstance.” She was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for her appointment when she struck up a conversation with another woman who turned out to be world-renowned sculptor Maryon Kanteroff. Their discussion encouraged Carter a few years later to seek out sculptor Gerard Godin to create a bust of her father.

“It’s been such an experience getting this done. I’m just very proud,” said Linda Carter, who acknowledged McMurtry’s help in bringing the commemorative sculpture to fruition.

George Carter, 92, echoed his daughter’s sentiments. “We owe so much to the Chancellor … a decent, wonderful human being.”

Looking at the bust and at the audience, a smiling Carter said, “It’s really something, you know.”