Law Library Opening Hours, Fall 2017

From September 5th to October 14th, the Law Library is open for study:

  • Monday–Friday 9:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 10:00 am – 11:00 pm

Please note that our service desk hours have changed. They are now: Monday – Friday 09:00 am – 6:00 pm and no service on weekends. This means that the books borrowed from the Law Library’s course reserve on Friday after 3:00 pm have to be returned only on Monday before 10:00 am.

Remember that a valid McGill ID card is required for access to the Library after service hours. The full opening and service hours for the Fall term are posted at the Law Library’s webpage:

http://www.mcgill.ca/library/branches/law

Building Canada: One Law at a Time. New Exhibition at the Law Library

2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian confederation, when the British North America Act of 1867 created the Dominion of Canada by unifying the colonies of Province of Canada (Upper and Lower Canada that will later become Ontario and Quebec), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. 

Commemorating the jubilee, the Law Library offers to its visitors a new exhibition, Building Canada: One Law at a Time. The blended-media exhibition highlights statutes and other legislative acts and agreements marking important dates and watershed moments in the process of building the country: creation of the Confederation, process of joining the Confederation by provinces and territories, the relationship with Canadian First Nations, the Constitution, and an official adoption of Canadian national symbols.

The material part of the exhibition features primary documents, books, reproductions of archival documents, and memorabilia.

The exhibition expands into a digital realm paying specific attention to the history of First Nations in Canada and showcasing reproductions of archival documents, photographs, testimonies of the survivors of residential schools, and video materials presented on the digital touch table.


The use of touch-table for this Law Library exhibition is a part of the McGill Library Innovation in Service project. The exhibition was curated by Svetlana Kochkina and Sonia Smith.

New HeinOnline Collections

As of now, the library offers McGill community the access to five new HeinOnline collections:

  • Immigration Law & Policy in the U.S., a monumental collection, a compilation of the most important historical documents and legislation related to immigration in the United States as well as current hearings, debates and recent developments in immigration law. This first comprehensive database includes BIA Precedent Decisions, legislative histories, law and policy titles, extradition titles, scholarly articles, an extensive bibliography, and other related works.
  • Animal Studies: Law, Welfare and Rights includes titles from the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Animal Welfare Institute and aims to establish the foundational laws pertaining to animals and follow the evolution of these rights throughout the years. It includes philosophical books dating back to the 1800s, videos, periodicals, brochures, and more.
  • Law in Eastern Europe, a collection of books, published by Brill, of more than 60 titles that showcases the development, enactment, and impact of the rule of law in Eastern Europe.
  • Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law Publications: more than 60 publications from this prestigious school, such as the 22-volume set, A Bibliography on Foreign and Comparative Law. Book and Articles in English by Charles Szladits, along with An Introduction to the Legal System of the United States by E. Allan Farnsworth, among various others.
  • Religion and the Law, hundreds of unique titles and nearly one million pages, including books, periodicals, and bibliographies. This collection provides a research platform for the development, history, organization, and fundamental principles of various world religions. The collection also includes the Christian Legal Society publications, an assortment of Canon Law, and rare historical bibles.

We hope you will find them relevant and useful for your teaching, research, and writing.

 

Five Puzzles and Counting

Having attended some presentations at conferences about the stress and mental health of university students, we decided on a new initiative at the Law Library. This fall semester we created a de-stress corner.

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Our first puzzle of 500 pieces was done in a week! We are posting the finished puzzle images on the Law Library FaceBook page, where it has created a lot of interest.

We are already on our fifth puzzle and students are loving it! Some students shared with us their questions and comments:

  • Where do you get this puzzles from?
  • The nice staff at the Gelber Law Library brings these from home or go to a thrift shop to buy these.
  • What do you do with them after these are done? Do you frame these?
  • We don’t frame the puzzles. We put them back in their boxes. We are also sharing the puzzles with an older man in his 80’s that lives in an Old Age Home Residence who loves to do puzzles and exercise his brain.

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Comments:

  • “I’m a puzzle person and it is such a good idea to have this at the Library. This last puzzle is difficult and fun!”
  • I spent an hour doing the sky and I enjoyed it very much!
  • This is becoming a social activity and bringing us to the Library. Thank you for doing this!

Our new puzzle has 1000 pieces. We all enjoyed seeing students working at it, and taking a well-deserved few minutes break from their studies.

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Nuremberg Trials Exhibition Goes Digital

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New digital materials have been added to the Law Library exhibition commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the International Military Tribunal, the most known and the most important of the Nuremberg Trials. The exhibition includes now digital materials presented on an interactive touch-table.

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It features archival footage, photo documents, testimonies of the survivors of concentration camps, reproductions of archival documents, and visual materials illustrating Nazi crimes during the Second World War in Europe and the International Military Tribunal itself. You can browse through scanned documents, watch footage taken at the trials, and search through the collections of documents from the Harvard Law School Nuremberg Trials project, United States Holocaust Museum, and many others.

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The use of touch-table for this Law Library exhibition is a part of the McGill Library Innovation in Service project. The exhibition was curated by Svetlana Kochkina and Sonia Smith.

Provincial Statutes of Canada in HeinOnline

The Provincial Statutes of Canada are now available in HeinOnline. The Provincial Statutes of Canada contain public and private acts passed by Canadian provincial governments for all ten Canadian provinces:

  • Nearly 100 titles
  • Nearly 1,500 volumes
  • More than 850,000 pages

Within the collection there is a map of Canada. Select a province using the map view or the browse options to see the available content for each province: Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

The content coverage varies by province as follows:

Current, Revised and Historical Coverage:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario

Revised and Historical Statutes only (published outside of Crown Copyright):

  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

 

Legal Citations Clinic: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Red Book

Are you sill mystified and baffled by the mysteries of the Red Book? By popular demand, we are bring back the Legal Citations Clinic.

coverWhen: Wednesday, November 9th, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Law Library Classroom

How: Two law librarians will be answering your questions for 1h and 20 min after a 10-minute introduction. First come first served. All law students welcome. Come and bring your citations questions!

 

 

 

De-stress Corner at the Law Library

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If you already feel stressed about all the amount of reading that you have to do or anticipate with trepidation getting your assignments graded on a curve, the law library now offers you some options that could help you relax and take your thought away from your troubles (at least for a little while). Come to our “De-stress Station” on the ground floor, right next to the Reference Collection, play a game of chess, colour some books, or make a puzzle, and feel better!

 

New Exhibition: Remembering the Nuremberg Trials: 70 Years Later

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New exhibition at the Law Library is commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the International Military Tribunal, the most known and the most important of the Nuremberg Trials. The exhibition, curated by Sonia Smith and Svetlana Kochkina, features print materials, books, reproductions of archival documents, and visual materials illustrating Nazi crimes during the Second World War in Europe and the International Military Tribunal itself. We also have a selection of books on the subject that can be borrowed by our users (on the book truck next to the exhibition cases).

About the Nuremberg Trials:

The Nuremberg Trials were a series of 13 trials of accused World War II German war criminals held from 1945 to 1949 in Nuremberg, Germany. The first trial, the International Military Tribunal (IMT), held at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, was prosecuted by the four Allied powers (Great Britain, France, United States, and USSR) against the top leadership of the Nazi regime in 1945-1946.

The defendants, among them Hermann Göring, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Julius Streicher and Fritz Sauckel, were charged under three categories of crimes:

  • Crimes against Peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression, or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurance.
  • War Crimes: namely, violations of the laws or customs of war.
  • Crimes against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhuman acts committed against any civil population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds.

In the other twelve trials held by the United States in the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT) from 1946 to 1949, a variety of Nazi governmental, military, industrial, and professional leaders were prosecuted.

NYT page 1 Evening TelegraphThe post-World War II trials of German and Japanese war criminals were established to create a standard of conduct acceptable in time of war, to try cases of atrocities against humanity, and, most importantly, to document those atrocities so that a permanent historical record would be created. The American legal presence compiled a formal record of the trials consisting of captured German government records, evidentiary material, interrogations, correspondence, memoranda, briefs, and transcripts of the trials. Those involved considered it of paramount importance to preserve this documentation of the trials and of the purposes for which they were held.

The Nuremberg Trial was an early experiment in simultaneous translation. The Charter of the International Military Tribunal stated that the defendants had the right to a fair trial, and that all proceedings be translated into a language that the defendants understood. Because of the trial’s complexities, the subject matter, and the different languages spoken by the defense, prosecution, and the judges, it was decided that using a simultaneous translation system would work best.

The Second World War in Numbers:

The Second World War was the deadliest conflict in human history marked not only by the number of combat only but also by mass deaths of civilians, systematic extermination of people deemed “racially inferior”, death camps, killing of prisoners of war (POWs) on a massive scale, and use slave labor perpetrated by Nazi Germany and its allies and collaborators.

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of 6 million Jews. Nazi authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”: Roma, the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others), or on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. By 1945, the Nazi and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” totaling the number of death to more than 6 million men, women and children. Other victims of Nazi racial policy include some 200,000 Roma. At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the Euthanasia Program. Close to 3 million Soviet POWs targeted as Slavic “sub-humans” were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Nazi forced into slave labor more than 7 million people from almost twenty European countries. Many workers died as a result of their living conditions with mistreatment, malnutrition, and torture being the main causes of death.

Even though an exact number of casualties and victims is still unknown, the total is assessed between 40 and 50 million deaths with almost half of them civilians.  The European countries that suffered the biggest losses were: Poland that lost close to 15% of its population (about 5.8 million deaths (including 300 000 military only), the USSR with about 20 – 18 million deaths (including 7 million civilians) that makes 10% of its population, and Yugoslavia, with 1.5 million deaths (75% of them civilian) or close to 8% of the population.

Germany and Austria combined lost 4.4 million soldiers (with 3.5 million on the Eastern front) and close to 500 000 civilians.

From: Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopédie Larouss, Harvard Law School Library. Nuremberg Trials Project: A Digital Document Collection, and Holocaust Encyclopedia of the USHMM

 

Do not forget to note up your cases!

This admonition has been heard by countless law-students while they were initiated into the intricacies of legal research. But what is “to note up”? – a bewildered first-year law student may ask.

To note up is to look up the case’s history and to find if it was judicially considered in other cases. In the pre-internet time, law clerks and law librarians used to write the subsequent history of the cases on the margins of case reporters; thus, “noting up” the pages with references to the subsequent decisions. This is an example of an old noted up reporter from the Sir James Dunn Law Library (Halifax, NS). note up

We can trace back references to the practice of “noting up” to at least the 19th century, when The Law Times provided practitioners with “Notes for Noting Up,” and when proposals for legal textbooks included binding in a number of blank leaves specifically for noting up so that the textbooks could contain the latest law: “A member has suggested that the first text-book of the Society should be one which shall comprise the entire Practice of Law [….] It is further proposed that the volumes should be bound with blank leaves for noting up, and that in any digest of the Society a figure should refer to the page in the text-book in which the case or statute digested ought to be noted, so that the volumes should always keep pace with the existing law until a new edition is rendered necessary by the number of references” (Verulam Society, (1844) 3 The Law Times 275).

This post is derived from a discussion at the Canadian Association of Law Libraries listserv. Many thanks in particular to Lynne McNeill, Nikki Tanner, and Katie Albright for sharing their knowledge and to Natalie Wing to summarising the information for the benefit of CALL memebrs and for her kind permission to use it.