New Exhibition: The Unfinished Path to Reconciliation

“Reconciliation is not an Indigenous problem – it is a Canadian problem. It involves all of us,” said Justice Murray Sinclair, chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which was tasked with investigating and commemorating the residential school system.

As Justice Sinclair and many others have said, education is key to reconciliation. As institutions that are both repositories for knowledge and natural gathering places, libraries can play an important role in reconciliation. With this goal, the Nahum Gelber Law Library offers to its visitors a new exhibition: The Unfinished Path to Reconciliation.

 

The blended-media exhibition features primary documents, books, reproductions of archival documents and memorabilia and highlight important cases on native’s rights. The exhibition includes digital materials presented on an interactive 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 Sonia Smith.

Four new study carrels available in the library

Thanks to the generous support of the Law Students Association (LSA), we now have 4 brand new carrels available for library patrons. The carrels are located on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Nahum Gelber Law Library, facing the south windows that overlook Old Chancellor Day Hall and the front lawn of the Law Faculty. Each carrel features a regular power outlet as well as two USB charging ports. Privacy dividers separate two adjacent seats.

The library would particularly like to thank Marie Pilote, the 2018-2019 VP External of the LSA, and Diane Koen, Senior Director, Planning and Resources at the McGill Library, for their efforts in bringing this project to fruition!

new study spaces on 3rd floor

outlets available in each study space new study spaces on 3rd floor

New Exhibition: Nahum Gelber Law Library: 20 Years

2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the current home of the McGill Law Library. This spectacular building named after one of our alumni and generous donor, Nahum Gelber, opened its doors for students 20 years ago, in September 1998.

To celebrate this occasion, we offer to our visitors a new exhibition featuring original plans, documents, students’ survey from 1997 on what they wanted to see in the new library, and a maquette of our famous staircase.

The exhibition was curated by Svetlana Kochkina and Sonia Smith.

 

Do Not Fall into a Trap: Predatory Publishing 101

The expression “predatory academic publishing” may sound as an oxymoron to a person unaware of the phenomenon. However, it is real, it is here, and it is hurting the most innocent and vulnerable members of academia: postdocs, doctoral students, and young pre-tenured faculty.

Dealing with predatory publishers can at the best lead to monetary losses, long-lasting embarrassment because of being fooled, and the forever exclusion of item from the list of publications (If all of this can be called “the best.” As a doctoral candidate myself, I can vividly imagine the frustration of somebody who would publish a book reporting five or six years of research only not to mention it on the CV). At the worst, especially if the unlucky author signs away the moral rights to the work, it can irremediably tarnish an academic reputation, undermine credibility of the research, and affect the decisions of hiring and tenure committees and granting agencies.The reality of the current highly competitive and overcrowded scholarly marketplace is such that this worst-case scenario is getting frighteningly possible, and Mary Bennet’s well-known moralising about female virtue could be easily applied to an academic reputation. Paraphrasing Jane Austen, the loss of reputation in an academic is irretrievable; one false step involves him/her in endless ruin; his/her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and he/she cannot be too much guarded in the behaviour towards the undeserving representatives of the publishing industry.

The ink has been flowing for a while with hundreds of pieces already penned on the subject, so why would I need to write another one? What I would like to accomplish with this blog post is to offer some simple and practical advice, some sort of “Predatory Publishing 101,” that should help to instantly weed out most of potentially harmful offers and to provide resources to learn more on the subject. A recent conversation with one of McGill graduate students prompted me to write this post. He /she came to talk to me all elated and excited to share great news. The student got an email from a publisher who offered to publish a book based on a yet unfinished and undefended thesis. To me, acquainted with the practices of predatory academic publishers, this sounded only all too familiar. The ubiquitous name of the publisher confirmed my worst suspicions. It was a well known vanity press, publishing with which would leave a stain on an academic reputation. My immediate advice to the student was to never answer that email, to never publish anything with them, and the most important to always be on guard and seek more information if he/she gets a publishing offer from an unfamiliar source. I felt sorry to break it to the student, but (to say it without a false modesty) this student got lucky. Before subscribing to a publishing deal that could in a long-term harm the academic career, the person benefited from an advice from an information professional who knows what kind of jungle is the modern academic publishing, and where most of its pitfalls and traps are.

To avoid falling into a predatory publishing trap, if you get a publishing/conference presentation offer from an unfamiliar source, get a second opinion, talk to an information professional/librarian, check resources available for you (see below), Google the publisher’s name, and do a search on Twitter to find information about them. If after a bit of research, you can say “yes” to most of the following, you need to be extra careful and seriously consider rejecting or, even better, not replying to the offer:

  1. It is not specified in their email where they got the information about your research: your recent conference presentation, your thesis supervisor, your colleague, etc.
  2. You are not a member of their “scholarly” society and never subscribed to their listserv.
  3. They mention on the website that they may charge their authors some “modest” editing/printing/book production fees.
  4. They do not mention or are vague about peer or editorial review process on their website.
  5. There is information raising suspicions on the web (lawsuits aiming to take them off the lists of vanity/predatory presses, disclaimers that they are not a vanity or predatory publisher/journal, tweets and blog posts from frustrated scholars describing dishonest dealings and swindling of the money).
  6. Their name looks very similar but is not exactly the same as a name of a respectable publishing house, a well-known academic institution, or a reputable journal.
  7. The contract they ask you to sign stipulates that you will relinquish not only the copyright to your work but also the moral rights.

This list is far from being complete, but it should give you a good start. To know more on the subject and to protect yourself from the mistakes with the long-lasting consequences, you can check the following sources:

Good luck with your research and publications!

 

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!

 

 

 

New Exhibition: “Justice, justice shall you pursue”: Jewish Law from Biblical Times to the Present”

Arthur Szyk PosterJewish Law has a history of more than three thousand years. This extended time, can be divided in two main periods: The first broad period begins with the written Torah and ends with the completion of the Talmud. The second broad period is the post-Talmudic period, from the completion of the Talmud until our own day (Elon, Menachem. Jewish law: history, sources, principles).

The Hebrew word “halakhah” is usually translated as “Jewish Law”, although a more literal translation might be “the path that one walks”. The word is derived from the Hebrew root Heh-Lamed-Kaf, meaning to go, to walk, or to travel (Encyclopaedia Judaica).

The principles and rules of Jewish Law are based on the Bible. While some rules are mentioned quite explicitly, others are only implied. All are elucidated in the teachings of the Tanna’im and Amora’im – the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud – and presented systematically in the codes. Thus, over the generations, a comprehensive legal system has developed.

Jewish tradition compares Jewish law to a living tree. As the Torah, the sacred scroll of the Five Books of Moses, is returned to the ark after being read in synagogue services, the liturgy quotes from the biblical book of Proverbs (4:2, 3: 18, 17): I give you good instruction; never forsake My Torah. It is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it, and those who uphold it are happy. Its ways are pleasant, and all its paths are peace. (A Living Tree. Roots and Growth of Jewish Law)

JEWISH LAW EXHIBITION title2The books for this exhibition come from the holdings of the Rare Books and Special Collections, the Nahum Gelber Law Library Special Collections, and the Humanities and Social Science Library.

Among the books presented we find a volume of the Ḥamishah ḥumshe Torah: ketav yad Temani. This is a facsimile edition of 390 copies of a manuscript of the Pentateuch, in accordance with the Yemenite tradition, with the Targum, Tafsir of Saʼadya Gaon and the Collecteana of R. Yaḥya Siani.

A miniature Shulchan Aruch, printed in Venice, in 1574. The Shulchan Aruch, or “Set Table” is a codification of Jewish law composed by Rabbi Joseph Karo in the 16th century. Together with its commentaries, it is considered the most authoritative compilation of halakha since the Talmud.

The book Sefer ha-hinukh: yavo’u vo ha-613 mitsvot, yesod Torat Moshe u-nevuato, was also printed in Venice in the Jewish year 361 [1600 or 1601]. This is an anonymous work on the 613 precepts in the order of their appearance in Scripture, giving their reasons and their laws in detail. The book is mainly based on the Sefer ha-Mitzvot and the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides.

IMG_4131One of the centerpieces is The Codex Maimuni: Moses Maimonides’ Code of law: the illuminated pages of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah. This book, published in 1984 reprints sixty-eight of the most beautiful pages from the illuminated codex of the Kaufmann Mishneh Torah, one of the most outstanding surviving exemplars of mediaeval Hebrew book production.

A surviving example of Das talmudische Recht : auf den verschiedenen Stufen seiner Entwicklung mit dem römischen verglichen und systematisch dargestellt. Sachenrecht by S. Rubin (Wien: Druckerei-und Verlags-A.-G. Ig. Steinmann. 1938). This copy was printed in Viena, in 1938. According to a review written by W. R. Taylor, the author has planned a study of Talmudic law to be embraced in three volumes. The purpose of the project, according to Taylor, was to bring the Talmudic legislation into a scientific arrangement in harmony with modern methods and to institute a comparison of the Talmudic material with the relative parts of Roman law. At the end of each chapter there are extensive notes inclusive of references, citations, and expositions of maxims from the Talmud and the later codes of Maimonides, Asher, and Karo, and from Roman law.

Ioannis Seldeni, De synedriis & praefecturis juridicis veterum Ebraeorum. Londini: Typis Jacobi Flesher: Prostant apud Cornelium Bee …, 1650-1655. John Selden, 1584-1654, was an English jurist and a scholar of England’s ancient laws and constitution and a scholar of Jewish law. In 1650 Selden began to print the trilogy he planned on the Sanhedrin, the assembly of sages that constituted the highest political magistracy of the country.

IMG_4154 IMG_4157This exhibition was planned and organized by Sonia Smith and Svetlana Kochkina, librarians at the Nahum Gelber law Library.

Exhibition: In Loving Memory of Hugh Patrick Glenn (1940 – 2014)

To honour the memory of H. Patrick Glenn, Peter M. Laing Professor of Law, who passed away on October 1, 2014, the Law Library opens an exhibition “In Loving Memory of Hugh Patrick Glenn (1940 – 2014)” featuring memorabilia, tributes from the Guest book and a selection of his works, including all the editions of Legal Traditions of the World. Legal Traditions of the World, now in its fifth edition, has been a global success that was awarded the Grand Prize by the International Academy of Comparative Law in 1998.

hpgProfessor Patrick Glenn taught and had research interests in the areas of comparative law, private international law, civil procedure and the legal professions. He was a former Director of the Institute of Comparative Law and in that capacity worked on projects on the reform of the Russian Civil Code and judicial education in China. He was a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the International Academy of Comparative Law and had been a Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights Law, a Killam Research Fellow, and a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

In 2006, H. Patrick Glenn received the Prix Léon-Gérin, a prestigious award attributed by the Government of Québec, in recognition of his contribution in comparative law over his career.

In 2010-2011, he held the Henry G. Schermers Fellowship of the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law. In 2012, he was elected president of the American Society of Comparative Law.

In November 2014, the Canadian Bar Association (Quebec Division) posthumously awarded him the Paul-André Crépeau Medal  for his contributions to the advancement of international private and commercial law. Read more about Professor H. Patrick Glenn here.

The exhibit was prepared by Svetlana Kochkina, Librarian at the Nahum Gelber Law Library.

New Edition of the Red Book is Here!!!

New, 8th, edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, a.k.a. McGill Cite Guide or Red Book is published.

What’s new for the 8th edition:

  • A new section in the General Rules giving guidance for citing to online sources
  • A new section providing a rule for “point in time” citations for legislation
  • A the section on the Government Documents rules was reorganised to provide clarity, especially for Non-Parliamentary Documents
  • A greatly expanded section on online sources, including forms for blogs, twitter, and online video (including a pinpoint form)

At present, we have 3 copies of the new Red Book available: two on Law Library reserve and one in the Reference collection. More copies are expected to arrive by the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 school year.

Survival Guide to the Cite Guide :)

Last two or three weeks (as usual on this time of year), there was number of students looking for help on how to cite the sources for their first memo. For their benefit, I decided to reiterate my last year’s not-totally-unsolicited advice on the matter.

  1. Ask a librarian for a help. We will not do or check your footnotes, but we will walk you through the maze of the Red Book (no offence meant) to make sure that the next time you will be comfortable to use it by yourself.  Do not be shy to come several times if you need more help, and please, please do not come 5 minutes before your paper is due – in this case, we can only commiserate with you.
  2. When your TL gives you a piece of paper, a pdf, or a photocopy of something, ask what this is, and from where it is coming from (book, website, encyclopaedia, etc.). You will save some precious minutes (or hours) later when you are pressed for time and have to finish your work by a deadline. It is quite unpleasant to discover suddenly that the TL’s piece of paper is a book chapter, and you have no slightest idea about the book title and/ or author.
  3. Do not wait until the last minute to make your footnotes. If you ‘cite while you write’, you will have your paper AND your footnotes ready, except for the final proofing, when you finish writing the last paragraph. If you leave all your footnotes to be done after you finish the paper, you will end up frantically trying to figure out where this or that quotation is coming from, or what all the supra(s) and idem(s) mean. Everybody works differently, but try at least once…
  4. Add some common sense and reasoning to the Red Book. Do not expect it to contain a correct form of footnote for every possible source. Red Book will not necessarily have an answer to your particular question. When you have something to cite, think about what rule fits the best the type of source that you have in hand.
    Read carefully the section to apply the rule, do not scan and skim the text.
  5. In short, to cite a source, proceed as follows:
  • READ General Rules section (optional after you know it by heart)
  • determine what it is that you have to cite
  • find the chapter corresponding to the type of your source (Jurisprudence for cases, Secondary Sources for books and journal articles, etc.)
  • find the section corresponding to the particular source that you have
  • READ this section
  • apply the rule to cite the source making analogies if necessary
  • repeat as needed:)

Centraide Campaign in the Library

centraideFinal_lowres_email_internet

The McGill Library is holding a Book/DVD Sales on November the 26th at the McLennan Library and November the 27th at the Schulich Library! All proceeds will go to Centraide. Everything will be priced to sell at $1, $2 and $5.

Donate your used Books and DVDs to our sale for Centraide! FUN fiction, history, biography, autobiography, travel and children’s books and DVDs are accepted. Drop your donations in the grey bin at the entrance of the Law Library.

P.S.: Casebooks are not considered fun by most of the population, so please do not donate them 🙂