A plea to scholars

Dear scholars,

Please pay attention to where you place your scholarship.   Are you aware of the cost of some journal subscriptions?  One example, of many, is the Journal of Law & Society.  The Stanford Law Library used to get this print subscription with discounted rate and paid $161 for the current 2013 print subscription. We just received word from Hein (who handles the subscription for us) that the publisher will begin to charge us the full price with an additional payment of $851.00.

What made me think of this was the receipt yesterday of a new publication from my hero Carl Malamud.  Carl has become quite the pamphleteer and his most recent is On Crime and Access to Knowledge.    I urge you all to read it.

In the pamphlet, Carl tells the story of the late Aaron Swartz and discusses JSTOR, PACER, and broader information access issues such as Carl’s heroic efforts to make public safety documents, such as building codes, available to the public.

But on the issue of what Aaron did with JSTOR, Carl makes this important point:

. . . One must remember that JSTOR is a messenger, an intermediary, and if there is fault here, that fault is ultimately the fault of the scholars who wrote those articles and allowed them to be locked up.  It was a corruption of scholarship when the academy handed over copyright to knowledge so that it could be rationed in order to extract rents.

Please think twice before you place a piece of your scholarship with a particular journal.  Find out what it costs to subscribe to the journal; find out what databases include its text (your librarian can help with this); ask the journal if you can retain ownership and publication rights.  And ask yourself:  Do you really want your scholarship tightly locked up behind expensive pay walls?

 

Publishing cases the New York Law Journal way

I start my day reading newspapers, and I especially enjoy the obituaries.   Today’s New York Times includes an obituary for Jerry Finkelstein, publisher of the New York Law Journal, and the obit includes this observation:

In 1963, Mr. Finkelstein bought The Law Journal, the official paper of the city’s legal profession, for $1 million. Its circulation was small, and it was an ocean of tiny print: legal notices, case calendars, texts of decisions. But he turned it into a leading journal, and he wielded enormous power by deciding which cases to publish, in effect determining what the bar read — a leverage not lost on judges, lawyers and politicians.

Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law

The University of Zurich’s Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Legal Studies has announced the launch of an open access, peer-reviewed  journal titled “Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law”

Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL)
http://www.ejimel.uzh.ch/index.html

From the journal’s Mission Statement

The Electronic Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law (EJIMEL) is a publication by the Center for Islamic and Middle Eastern Legal Studies (CIMELS) at the Faculty of Law, University of Zurich, Switzerland, founded in summer 2012. EJIMEL strives to contribute to the understanding of the large geographical area composing the Middle East guided by the awareness that this region has obtained a key position on the world stage over the last decades and keeps evolving fast. Covering a region which is rich in diversity and heritage, EJIMEL individuates itself by laying a special focus on the multifaceted relations between Islam and national and international law orders over the course of time and from different points of view. Furthermore, EJIMEL aims to contribute to the on-going highly topical debates of regional and global interest in the field of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, such as, e.g., Democratization, Gender and Human Rights, and to highlight interdependencies of Middle Eastern law orders with other jurisdictions worldwide. The editors aim is to foster a vivid debate focusing on the correlation between Islam as a religion with a distinct body of legal norms and the paramount principles and guarantees of current international law, as well as to inquire into key phenomena in Middle Eastern law orders such as, e.g., “Re-Islamisation”, which have influenced both codifications and scholarly discourse in a significant way.

From the journal’s Open Access Philosophy

In line with this objective, EJIMEL follows the Open Access standard and published articles are freely available online and for download. Whereas authors retain the copyright, they grant EJIMEL the right of publication and archiving with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Eunomía: Revista en Cultura de la Legaildad

Spanish publisher Tirant lo Blanch has released volume 1 of the peer-reviewed journal “Eunomía Revista en Cultura de la Legaildad.”
ISSN: 2253-6655.

The journal will publish interdisciplinary articles on philosophical, theoretical and scientific approaches to law and legal culture. Contributions from legal scholars, sociologists, philosophers, and political scientists around the world are welcome.

According to the editors’ open letter to readers and authors, Eunomia was the Greek goddess of “good order” or “good laws.” Eunomia  was often depicted as one of the three Horae, which included Dike (goddess of justice) and Eirene (goddess of peace).

Each journal issue consists of five parts:
1. Estudios – in-depth articles on specific topics.
2. Foro y Agora (forum and agora) – shorter, more topical pieces.
3. Voces de Cultura de la Legalidad  (voices of the culture of law) – explorations of legal concepts.
4. Releyendo (re-reading) – commentary on a classic legal text.
5. Rincón de lecturas (reading corner) – book reviews.

Full-text of journal content is freely available at

http://eunomia.tirant.com/

Table of contents of selected articles from volume 1:
Twelve Questions on Principia iuris
Multicultural Jurisdiction in the Liberal State: A Critical Assessment
In Defense of the Dignity of Law
2010 Amendment to the Spanish PenaI Code
Political Immunities in Italy: Between Protection Measures and Privilege
The Eradication of the Torture as a Legal Objective: the Highs and the Lows of the Contribution of  International Law

All articles are in Spanish, but abstracts and keywords are available in English.

Top Employers for Energy Law in Germany

Azur magazine’s latest issue profiles the top law firms, corporations, and government agencies in Germany working on energy law. This issue also includes an article on energy project planning in Germany and the EU. All materials are in German.

Azur JUVE Karrieremagazin für junge Juristen
01/2011
Top-Arbeitgeber im Energiewirtschaftsrecht (Best Employers in Energy Law)
Parissa Kerkhoff
pages 57-61.

The article is not online, but Azur’s homepage is available at:

http://www.azur-online.de/nachrichten/

 

 

Open Access Law Journals – “One Journal at a Time”

Judy Janes and Marissa Andrea just published a good article on open access law journals.  Their article, “One Journal at a Time,” includes a few paragraphs providing “a brief history of open access.”  In addition, they comment upon how “the success of RSS feeds, SSRN alerts and SMARTCILP/CLJC email updates has further accelerated the transition to Open Access journals.”

In their “Learn More” section of the article they link to a video presentation where Dick “Danner discusses Open Access and the Durham Statement and also his paper entitled “The Durham Statement on Open Access One Year Later: Preservation and Access to Legal Scholarship” available at SSRN.”

Other resources linked in the Janes and Andrea article include:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Science Commons Open Access Law Project

and

New York Law School list of law reviews with online content

This movement will benefit us all, as Janes and Andrea state it:

. . . As more journals become available on the Internet through an initiative called Open Access, published legal scholarship — once only available in print form from law libraries, or online through proprietary databases ­— will reach a wider audience. This is a movement not only benefiting practicing attorneys, but historians, scholars and members of the public with legal research interests, who will be able to access legal scholarship by simply googling a topic.

The Journal of Law – “Like Water for Law Reviews”

Another Volume #1, Issue #1, just came across my desk:  The Journal of Law.

The Journal of Law looks like a conventional law review, but it is really a bundle of small, unconventional law journals, all published together in one volume.  This approach saves money over separate publications.  It also frees editors of the individual journals to spend more time finding and refining good material . . .  The idea is that the Journal of Law will be an incubator of sorts, providing for legal intellectuals something akin to what business schools’ incubators offer commercial entrepreneurs: friendly, small-scale, in-kind support for promising, unconventional ideas for which (a) there might be a market, but (b) there is not yet backing among established, deep-pocketed powers-that-be.

This first issue contains three journals:

Pub. L. Misc. is a project of James C. Ho of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Trevor W. Morrison of the Columbia University School of Law.  Their plan is to provide a forum for the publication of a relatively neglected body of legal material: constitutional documents, recent and ancient, that originate outside of Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

Law & Commentary is an experiment in non-blind peer review in which signed reviews (by senior, influential scholars) are published side-by-side with the reviewed work.  The first issue features an article by Stuart Chinn of the University of Oregon School of Law, with commentary by Bruce Ackerman of the Yale Law School and Sanford Levinson of the University of Texas School of Law.

The Congressional Record, FantasyLaw Edition, is a student-edited journal . . . focusing on empirical analysis of the activities of federal legislators.

More about the journal, including its full text and an explanation of why it is “like water for law reviews” here:  www.journaloflaw.us

It’s in print too and will be “as long as the most prestigious law reviews appear in print, . . . ”  As for when it will “abandon ink and paper” it cites, among other things, the Durham Statement.

Italian Journal of Public Law

Italian Journal of Public Law

http://www.ijpl.eu/

Current issue and archives are available free of charge.

From the journal description:

The Italian Journal of Public Law IJPL was established in 2009 by a small group of scholars based in several Italian universities, with the encouragement and support of scholars from other countries.

IJPL has the ambition to serve as a bridge between the Italian and other legal cultures and therefore encourages the submission of studies, comments and review articles from lawyers and social scientists from all over the world.

IJPL is interested in publishing pieces in all areas of public law, especially with regard to administrative and constitutional law. Both comparative and theoretical approaches are particularly welcomed.

 

The latest issue of the “German Law Journal” has an article about this journal , which includes links to other online Italian legal journals.

Giancinto della Cananea. On Bridging Legal cultures: The Italian  Journal of Public Law.

11 German Law Journal 1281 (November 2010).

http://www.germanlawjournal.com/

 

 

 

 

 

South Caucasus Law Journal

The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has published the inaugural issue of the South Caucasus Law Journal. It appears that the journal will be free and available online. Articles are published in Russian and English.

Information about the South Caucasus Law Journal:

http://www.gtz.de/en/weltweit/europa-kaukasus-zentralasien/30344.htm

Editorial Board of the South Caucasus Law Journal
Email: lawjournal_caucasus@gtz.de
Full-text of Volume 1, Issue 1:  http://www.gtz.de/en/dokumente/gtz2010-ru-en-south-caucasus-law-journal.pdf

Table of Contents for Volume 1, Issue 1(2010)

Paata Turava

Right to Property According to the Georgian Constitution 96

• Tamar Zarandia / Tea Jugheli

Abuse of Property Rights and Terms of Non-alienation According to Georgian and French Laws 104

• Vafaddin Ibaev

Protection of rights to property in practice of the European Court of Humen Rights 112

• Norbert Bernsdorff

Protection of Possessions according to ECHR between effet utile on the one hand and Margin of Appreciation or Judicial Self-restraint on the other hand 120

• Mekhman Sultanov

Property and ownership – Azerbaijan practice 129

• Araik Tunyan

Problems of the Legal Status of Apartments as Real Estate Property 135

• Anar Bagirov

Concept and legal civil meaning of the possession as an element of the right to ownership 141

• Karen Sardaryan

Problems of Regulating Institutionof Development of Land Plotsunder the Legislationof the Republic of Armenia 152

Case law review

• Norbert Bernsdorff

Report on Judicial Practice of the European Court for Human Rights with regard to individual applications v. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in 2009 155

• Felix Tokhyan

Constitutionally permitted restrictionsof the right to ownership in practiceof the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia 159

Comments on court decisions

• Elena Fileeva

Case Kvitsiani v. Georgia 163

• Mary Japaridze

Case Nikolaishvili v. Georgia 165

• Ara Ghazaryan

Problems of Execution by Armenia of Meltex judgment of ECHR 168

• David Khachatryan

The Legal Resolution of the ECHR on Case of Nikoghosyan and Melkonyan v. Armenia: The Questions of Proof in the ECHR and the Legal Consequences for the Judicial Practice of the Republic of Armenia 171

Book review

Contemporary State, contemporary administration – Levan Izoria 175

Bottomheavy: Legal Footnotes

As someone who has mined footnotes for years, all I can say is:  Please, sir, I’d like some more.

“Bottomheavy: Legal Footnotes”

JOAN A. MAGAT, Duke University – School of Law

For decades, legal footnotes have been the deserving target of both ample criticism and self-mockery. Apart from their complaints as to footnotes’ mere existence, most critics draw a bead on the ballooning of footnote content. Some journal editors, aspiring to respond to this sound theme, hopefully inform their authors of a preference for “light footnoting.” But where does an author begin to trim, and what editor has the audacity to slash what the author (or her research assistant) has so laboriously compiled below the line? Changing our footnote habits is about benefits and costs. To gain the former, we must ante up. If criticism began the round of bidding, this article modestly raises the stakes, suggesting a rule of reason that might govern the author’s, the editor’s, and the reader’s expectations for footnotes. A gamble, perhaps, but one that might be worth taking.

 

Source:  LSN Law & Rhetoric Vol. 2 No. 90,  12/18/2009