Books to Help with LLM Student Training

A couple of recent book releases that may be helpful for LLM students:

International Legal English: a practical course book for speakers of English as a second language
Angela Williams
Torino: G. Giappichelli, 2012
ISBN: 9788834898024
http://www.giappichelli.it/Home/978-88-348-9802-4,3489802.asp1

An American Constitutional History Course for Non-American Students
Luis Grau
Madrid: Dykinson, 2012
ISBN:9788490312902
http://www.amazon.com/American-Constitutional-History-Non-American-Students/dp/849031277X

California’s Prop. 8 in Federal Court: Key Timeline, Briefs, and Opinions Leading to Hollingsworth Cert Petition

On July 30, 2012, California Proposition 8 proponents petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.  In Hollingsworth v. Perry, petitioners (the original “Defendant-Intervenors”) ask the Court to review the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ opinion in Perry v. Brown, (671 F.3d 1052), which affirmed the district court’s determination that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional (Perry v. Schwarzenegger, 704 F. Supp. 2d 921).

We have prepared a timeline of key events, and gathered the main briefs and opinions, for the Prop. 8 federal cases leading up to the Hollingsworth petition.  These are intended as highlight compilations only.  Both are linked below.

Prop 8 in Federal Court_Key Timeline

Prop 8 in Federal Court_Main Briefs and Opinions

Cross-posted on the SLS Law Library Blog.

Expert Commentaries Posted on the China Guiding Cases Project

Stanford’s China Guiding Cases Project has recently posted two expert commentaries on the first batch of guiding cases released by the Supreme People’s Court. Both commentaries are available in English and Chinese.

Prof. Wang Chenguang of Tsinghua University School of Law comments on the differences between Chinese Guiding Cases and stare decisis in common law countries. Prof. Wang’s commentary also addresses some of the still unresolved issues of how courts will apply the Guiding Cases in practice.
https://cgc.law.stanford.edu/expert-commentary/2-professor-wang/

Chief Judge Jiang Heping of the First Civil Division of the Dongguan Municipality No. 2 People’s Court in Guangdong Province discusses the second Guiding Case, Wu Mei v. Meishan Xicheng Paper Co., Ltd. of Sichuan Province involving the role of settlements in the Chinese legal system. The case clarifies the distinctions among settlement, mediation, and adjudication in Chinese courts. Chief Judge Jiang’s court has been designated a “Court for National ADR Initiative” by the Supreme People’s Court.
https://cgc.law.stanford.edu/expert-commentary/1-judge-jiang/

The CGCP team is busy working on China law summaries on specific areas of law. Look for these to be posted soon on the Web site. The first law summaries will probably cover contract law, criminal law, environmental law, and alternative dispute resolution.

China Guiding Cases Project
https://cgc.law.stanford.edu/

Stanford’s China Guiding Cases Project

On December 20, 2011, the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China released its first batch of guiding cases (指导性案例).  This happened slightly more than a year after the Court issued the Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court Concerning Work on Guiding Cases (最高人民法院关于案例指导工作的规定) in November 2010.

The first batch of guiding cases consists of two civil cases and two criminal cases.  The China Guiding Cases Project (CGCP), an initiative of Stanford Law School founded by Dr. Mei Gechlik in early 2011 and advised by leading experts including justices from the U.S. Supreme Court and China’s Supreme People’s Court, is pleased to release its translation of 王志才故意杀人案 (WANG Zhicai, an intentional homicide case) (Guiding Case No. 4) (attached).

About the CGCP

The CGCP aims to advance knowledge and understanding of Chinese law and to enable judges and legal experts both inside and outside of China to contribute to the evolution of Chinese case law through ongoing dialogue on the guiding cases. The CGCP intends to make these cases quickly and easily accessible to English-speaking audiences outside China on its searchable website http://cgc.law.stanford.edu.  Visitors to the website will be able to post their thoughts about the cases and commentaries in Chinese and English, while “Question and Answer” sessions will permit readers and commentators to have more in-depth dialogues, again in Chinese and English.

To mark this historical moment in the development of the Chinese legal system, the CGCP will take the following steps this month:

Launch the CGCP website (http://cgc.law.stanford.edu) on Monday, January 9, 2012.  Translations of the other three guiding cases will be available then.  In addition, Judge JIANG (Michael) Heping, Chief Judge of the First Civil Division of the Dongguan Municipality No. 2 People’s Court in Guangdong Province, has contributed to the CGCP a commentary on Guiding Case No. 2.  Judge JIANG’s court has been identified as a Court for National ADR Initiatives by the Supreme People’s Court.  The Chinese and English versions of Judge JIANG’s commentary will also be posted on the CGCP website.
Hold a public event on Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 12:45 – 2 p.m., at Stanford Law School.  Dean Larry Kramer will commemorate the official launch of the CGCP and the public release of our official products.

To keep abreast of CGCP announcements and updates, please subscribe to the China Guiding Cases Project mailing list by visiting https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/chinaguidingcasesproject.  Just enter your email address in the space provided and then click “Subscribe”.

The CGCP Team
Stanford Law School

Constitution Explorer Project

Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) and Program on Liberation Technology are creating a database of constitutions searchable by subject. They are working on building a taxonomy and tagging individual articles and sections from foreign constitutions. When the database is finished, it should nicely complement  Hein’s Constitutions of the World Illustrated and Richmond’s Constitution Finder.

If you are in the bay area this weekend and wish to support this project, CDDRL is organizing an International Constitution Day volunteer session on Saturday, November 12th at Stanford.

See the following link for additional information:
http://cddrl.stanford.edu/events/6902

Citations to Foreign Law in the Supreme Court of Canada

Waiting for Globalization: an Empirical Study of the McLachlin Court’s Foreign Judicial Citations

Peter McCormick

41 Ottawa Law Review 209

From the abstract:

…This paper explores the Supreme Court of Canada’s citations to judicial authority since 2000. The paper argues that the notion of non-Canadian citation must be disaggregated into three component parts – English, American and everything else. – before it can usefully be examined, these three exhibiting quite different patterns; an d its concludes that in none of them can the “expanding globalization” thesis be sustained. … Finally, it looks at the kinds of cases that tend to include non-Canadian citations, and suggests that not only are we still waiting for globalization, but to the extent that we are focusing primarily on rights-based jurisprudence, we may also be looking in the wrong place.

UK Judicial Views on Human Rights and Judicial Accountability

The UK Human Rights Blog wrote about two recent speeches by British senior judges, the President of the UK Supreme Court and Master of the Rolls, reflecting on judicial review and the role of the Human Rights Act.  Egypt’s new rulers and opposition leaders may wish to consult these documents as they create new mechanisms for Egyptian courts to check executive and legislative power and protect human rights.

Judicial Independence & Accountability: A View from the Supreme Court

Lord Phillips, President of the UK Supreme Court

8 Feb. 2011

http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/docs/speech_110208.pdf

 

Protecting Human Rights in an Age of Insecurity

Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Master of the Rolls

7 Feb. 2011

http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resources/JCO/Documents/Speeches/mr-speech-cla-07022011.pdf

Description of the speeches from the blog posting

http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/02/09/justice-in-the-age-of-insecurity/#more-6838

Two of the UK’s top judges have given fascinating speeches this week on justice in the age of insecurity. One by the head of the supreme court warns that budget cuts will imperil the independence of the judiciary. The other by the head of the court of appeal, argues that despite not being able to tell the government what to do, UK courts can provide effective protection of fundamental rights.

The speeches offer fascinating and sometimes controversial perspectives on our odd but in many ways admirable constitutional system, as well as warnings that strained budgets and political meddling could do it damage.

Hat tip to Adam Wagner of UK Human Rights Blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Links from the Constitutional Court of South Korea

The English language site of the Constitutional Court of South Korea provides links to supreme and constitutional courts of individual countries arranged by continent.

There are also links to a few selected international tribunals and five Korean government Web sites that provide resources in English, including the Ministry of Government Legislation (Korea Law in English)

http://english.ccourt.go.kr/

Click on “Legal Links” from the homepage.

Afghanistan Law Bibliography

Afghan Law Bibliography posted on the Afghan Analyst Web Site.

Afghanistan Law Bibliography

January 2011

Tim Mathews (University of Maine Law School)

http://afghanistan-analyst.org/Documents/AfghanistanLegalBibliography.pdf

“This bibliography is divided into eight sections.

1.References. Guides other than academic or research articles that provide broad background information

2.Afghan Law, In General. Broad topics related to Afghan legal systems and legal history

3.Customary Law. Afghan customary law and history

4.Islamic Law, In General. Articles focusing upon Sunni jurisprudence in both international and domestic areas of law

5.Islamic Law in Afghanistan. Articles focusing on Islamic law as applied in Afghanistan, to include functioning of courts of Sharia

6.State Codes and State Legal System. Functioning of state courts, administrative processes, and discussion of state codes

7.Constitution: Drafting and Law. Articles discussing Afghan constitutional law, constitutional drafting, and related issues

8.Rule of Law and Policy Issues. Post-conflict reconstruction, transitional justice, human rights, and security issues relevant to the legal system.”

 

Article: The Use of Foreign Decision by Constitutional Courts – A Comparative Analysis

SSRN has posted an article on the use of foreign law by constitutional and supreme courts. The author looks at the use of foreign law in constitutional law cases by courts in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, South Africa,  and Switzerland. The article is only available in Spanish.

The Use of Foreign Decision by Constitutional Courts – A Comparative Analysis

Rodrigo Brito Melgarejo

In Dret, Volume 2 (2010)

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1639031

http://www.indret.com/pdf/720_es.pdf

Abstract:

Despite the relevance of comparative law in constitutional adjudication has repeatedly been at the center of heated debates, in recent years, an increasingly transnational constitutional dialogue between justices has developed in many countries. Some members of a large number of constitutional courts have embraced the possibility of considering the constitutional decisions of other nation’s courts because the potential benefits of comparative constitutional learning are many. Considering other national court decisions or explaining disagreements with them, for example, may stimulate judges to rethink principles or priorities in ways that alter their own constitutional perspective and to find new valuable arguments that renew its own stock of constitutional ideas.

This paper aims at analyzing the way some constitutional courts are using foreign decisions in constitutional interpretation and tries to demonstrate that comparative constitutional reasoning tends every day more vigorously to universality.