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The Scottish Independence Referendum

Scottish Flag photo by flickrtickr2009. CC BY 2.0

Scottish Flag photo by flickrtickr2009. CC BY 2.0

As you may know, on Thursday Scotland will vote on whether or not to remain part of the United Kingdom. Some estimates put the number of voters registered to participate in the referendum at over 4 million, which is more than 95% of Scotland’s adult population. And, campaigning has remained active, and in some cases heated, in the weeks and months leading up to the referendum, with voices as disparate as the Pope and David Beckham supporting unity with Great Britain and everyone from Sir Sean Connery to Vivienne Westwood supporting independence. Even Groundskeeper Willie from the Simpsons (as seen below) and John Oliver (not entirely safe for work) have weighed in. Polls have differed in the exact vote predicted, but everyone seems to agree that the vote is likely to be quite close.

While this may seem largely like a political issue, there are some important laws and legal decisions underlying the vote. The first, and perhaps most important, is the Edinburgh agreement. This agreement, which was signed on October 15, 2012, set forth the agreement between the United Kingdom government and the Scottish government regarding the referendum and specified what would be included in the referendum legislation. The Memorandum of Agreement attached to the Edinburgh agreement further specified that “The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom,” a passage that has led to much speculation about what would occur if the people of Scotland ultimately vote to leave the United Kingdom.

After this agreement was signed, the Scottish Independence Referendum Act of 2013 was passed to set forth the exact procedure for the referendum. This Act includes provisions on who may vote in the referendum and restrictions on legal challenges to the outcome of the referendum among other provisions. You can see the full Act below:

UKSupremeCourtShieldCampaigning has been active on both sides of the vote and many are eager to cast their votes, including at least two prisoners who appealed the ban on inmates voting in the referendum all the way to the UK Supreme Court. The case, entitled Moohan and another (Appellant) v The Lord Advocate (Respondent), was fast-tracked to ensure that it was decided before the referendum and was heard by a panel of 7 Justices on July 24, 2014. On the same day, they issued their, in the words of The Guardian, “unusually quick summary decision less than an hour after hearing final oral submissions on the case,” in which they upheld the lower courts’ rulings that European court rulings which hold that banning prisoners from voting violates their human rights do not apply in the case of a referendum. This decision means that the referendum will go forward without the vote of prisoners, but other than this small group, voter registration has proved to be quite high. According to the BBC, 4,285,323 people registered to vote in the referendum by the September 2nd deadline, “making it the largest electorate ever in Scotland.”

While it is still unclear which side will win, if the majority of voters do cast their ballot in favor of independence, this will only be the start of a long road to complete independence. Some scholars have estimated that the timeframe for negotiated independence would take between 18 and 36 months in total. Moreover, Scotland’s status in the European Union would be uncertain if it became independent, with the two sides of the campaign disagreeing over the process the new country would have to follow to gain re-admittance into the EU and the European Commission declining to comment. No matter what the outcome of the vote, this referendum has presented a number of fascinating legal issues!

Learn about finding legislative intent

Proquest (home of Proquest Congressional) is hosting a webinar open to all, Using Legislative History to Find Legislative Intent. It will take place Thursday, September 25, 2014, 3:00pm – 4:30pm and is open to interested students, faculty and staff.

From Proquest:

This 90-minute session is designed for the associate, judicial, law firm or government agency law clerk, intern, extern or research assistant, law student, and law review notes & comments editor. You will learn how to use ProQuest Congressional Digital Suite & Legislative Insight, the premier legal research tools for federal legislative and government materials to:

1. Develop an understanding of the legislative process both:

a. Procedurally – How did the language read as first proposed, what committees considered the proposal, when were amendments made and where was the proposal when it was amended;

b. As an adversarial process – who was lobbying in support of the proposal and what were they trying to accomplish, who was active in opposition what were their objections, who was responsible for amendments to the proposal;

2. Become familiar with the documents available pertinent to your issue;

3. Identify where in the process the changes you care about occurred – this provides a mechanism to narrow the scope of your search for explanations for why the language was changed;

4. Learn how to identify both direct and circumstantial evidence of intent.

To register, visit Proquest.

Love Your Library Fest 2014: September 19!

Library Fest Heart transHLS students, mark your calendars for Love Your Library Fest Friday, September 19, 2:00-5:00pm!

Library Fest is a fun orientation to the Library’s people, services, and resources. The Fest includes:

  • learning more about library services
  • a peek at an assortment of treasures from HLS and legal history
  • meeting some of our legal information vendors

Every law student who completes 3 stations will receive a movie ticket. For each station completed, HLS students will get an entry for the grand prize raffle, with a bonus raffle entry for completing all five stations. Prizes (one each for a lucky JD and LLM/SJD student) are New England gift baskets with a $100 Grafton Group restaurant gift card–good at Grafton Street, Park, Russell House Tavern, and Temple Bar!

Faculty, staff, and other members of the Harvard community are welcome as well. See you there!

Finding Records That Are No Longer in PACER

As some of you may have already heard, PACER, the online repository for records and filings from U.S. Federal Courts, recently removed documents from five courts in preparation for an update to the system. Though efforts are underway by some private organizations to find a way to make these documents publicly available again, this has left many PACER users concerned about how to find these documents (which included records from some high profile cases) in the meantime. If you find yourself looking for these documents, there are a couple of approaches you can take.

First, all Harvard Law School students have access to Bloomberg Law, which offers a helpful docket search feature. While it does not include records for all cases, its easy search interface and the fact that new records are added all the time makes it a good first source. To search for a docket, login into Bloomberg Law and click Litigation & Dockets in the top menu. Then select Search Dockets from the resulting drop down menu.

If you don’t find the record you need in Bloomberg Law, you can also visit the RECAP Archive. This free database collects federal court documents that are gathered by the RECAP browser extension. (You might also consider installing the extension yourself; it is available for both Chrome and Firefox). While the archive does not include all court records, it is growing all the time, so it is a good starting point for items not on PACER or Bloomberg Law.

If you find that the records aren’t available electronically, we have collected information about how to request materials from each of the courts that had items removed from PACER below:

If you are looking for further information on how to find court records and briefs, you can also refer to our research guide on the topic.

852 RARE: Last Chance to View Summer Exhibits!

If you have not had a chance to view the exhibits in the Library’s Caspersen Room, now is the time! Our special copy of the Declaration of Independence, generously lent by Marc (HLS 1984) and Robin Wolpow and family, is on view through Friday August 15. And the last day of our summer exhibit, Spanning the Centuries: an Exhibit of Recent Acquisitions 1579-1868, is Friday August 22. The Caspersen Room is open weekdays 9 to 5. 

Watch this space for news of our fall exhibits, coming soon!

852 : RARE – After the Bastille was Stormed

On July 14, 1789 French revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, a prison that served as a symbol of the unjust treatment of the French citizenry by the monarchy, thus sparking the French Revolution. King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were dethroned during the revolution, tried and found guilty of treason, and executed by way of the guillotine.

Historical & Special Collections (HSC) holds many volumes relating to Louis XVI’s trial for those researchers interested in the ultimate demise of France’s last monarch.

Le Procès de Louis XVI, ou, Collection complette des opinions, discours et mémoires des membres de la Convention nationale, sur les crimes de Louis XVI, ouvrage enrichi des diverses pìeces justificatives ... (Hollis 004040555)

Le Procès de Louis XVI, ou, Collection complette des opinions, discours et mémoires des membres de la Convention nationale, sur les crimes de Louis XVI, ouvrage enrichi des diverses pìeces justificatives … (Hollis 004040555)

Proces de Louis XVI...

[Procès de Louis XVI, ci-devant roi des francais, imprimé par ordre de la convention nationale.] (Hollis 004390413)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One volume, The Trial at Large of Louis XVI. Late King of France. Containing a Most Complete and Authentic Narrative of every Interesting and Important Circumstance Attending the Accusation — Trial, Defence, Sentence — Execution, &c. of this Unfortunate Monarch. (Hollis 004039665) is available online through Making of Modern Law, Trials 1600-1926. HSC has contributed a number of titles to this online resource, which is available to users with a Harvard ID and PIN. Included in this text is King Louis XVI’s defense of his fleeing Paris with his family – the primary impetus of the treason charge. He writes “….the motives which induced me to quit Paris: – They were, the threats and outrages committed again[s]t my family and my[s]elf, and which have been circulated in different publications; and all the[s]e in[s]ults have remained unpuni[s]hed.  I thence thought it was neither [s]afe nor proper for me to remain any longer in Paris; but, in quitting the capital, I never had an intention of going out of the kingdom (pg. 20).” The account of Marie Antoinette’s trial (Hollis 013967138) is also available through Making of Modern Law.

First page of Opinion de Huet de Guerville sur le procès de Louis XVI. (Hollis 004390530)

First page of Opinion de Huet de Guerville sur le procès de Louis XVI. (Hollis 004390530)

Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, one of King Louis XVI's lawyers in his treason trial. (olvwork_188663)

Guillaume-Chrétien de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, one of King Louis XVI’s lawyers in his treason trial. (olvwork_188663)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers interested in this historical moment can also find two portraits of Chertien Guillaume de Lamoignon de Malesherbes, one of the lawyers to King Louis XVI during his treason trial, in HSC’s visual collections and made available on VIA. Malesherbes came out of retirement in order to defend the King, whom he had served in his younger years. Despite being generally well-liked and respected, Malesherbes also met the same demise as the King and Queen, beheaded at the guillotine in 1794.

852 RARE: Using Google Earth to Map the Collection

We recently experimented with a new way to view our current Harvard Law School Library exhibit, Spanning the Centuries: Recent Acquisitions, 1579-1868. We used Google Earth to create a chronological tour of the exhibit, pinpointing the towns and cities where each item came from. Watch the globe spin as you click from item to item in the exhibit!

Here is a link to the Google Earth version of the exhibit. You will need to install Google Earth to view it.

Besides being cool and fun (if a bit dizzying) to watch, Google Earth provides a graphic look at where items in an exhibit – or an entire collection – came from, in a way that plain text cannot. In our exhibit, most of the earliest material came from Europe, shifting to England and then the U.S. as the centuries passed. Though this exhibit does not delve deeply into the full provenance of the items on view, it would be interesting to use Google Earth to graphically trace every step of a book or manuscript as it changes hands over time.

We hope you enjoy this new and different look at our exhibit. Thanks to Carli Spina, Emerging Technologies and Research Librarian, for thinking of the idea and making it happen!

852 RARE: Guest Blog: Reading the Law

In addition to Historical & Special Collections’ monthly 852 RARE posts on Et Seq., we are proud to present occasional posts from guest bloggers who bring a unique perspective to the collection. Today’s post is written by Dorothy Africa, from the Preservation, Conservation, and Digital Imaging unit of the Harvard Library.

Primum volumen [-volumen XVII] tractatuum ex variis iuris interpretibus collectorum, Lugduni, 1549.  HOLLIS no. 12059849

The History of the Set

In Lyon in the early 1540s three printers, members of a local group of book men, embarked on an ambitious publication venture, a collection of legal treatises by learned jurists on the ius commune (Roman and canon law, and the two combined). For the three, Thomas Bertheau, Pierre Fradin, and Georges Regnault, such a huge printing project, even in a printing center like Lyon, was an enormous financial gamble requiring a large advance of capital in materials and labor before any profits could be realized. The three printers completed their project in 1549, producing seventeen printed folio volumes of treatises, with detailed indices, one of which is often considered volume eighteen. Bertheau and Regnault contributed the largest number of printed volumes; six from Bertheau, five from Regnault, and three from Fradin. Of the three remaining anonymous volumes, one was probably printed by Bertheau, for it has his printer’s device at the end, a lame beggar standing at a mile marker with the motto ‘Know thyself” in Greek and Latin. These are handsome volumes printed in columns with some large decorative capitals, but using no colors. Some of the columns at the end of works are filled in with short aphorisms, verses, and legal precepts. The project received a royal license for publication dated September 10, 1548, and a term of exclusive sale for six years from the French King Henry II (1519-1559) to “Guillaume Regnault merchant Líbraíre de Lyon”, probably a close relative of Georges Regnault.

Detail of roll illustrating the covers of Harvard's copy of the set Below an image of Adam and Eve holding the apple is the word"Peccatum," Latin for sin. HOLLIS no.12059849

Detail of roll decorating the covers of Harvard’s copy of the set.
Below an image of the snake in the tree and Adam and Eve holding the apple is the word “Peccatum,” Latin for sin.
Volume 2, HOLLIS no.12059849

About the Harvard Law School Library Copy

The Harvard Law School Library purchased its copy of the set in 1912 from a Dutch book dealer. The full set is bound in ten handsome volumes in the German style. They have spines of finely blind tooled alum taw, blind stamped “1555” on the exterior tail of the front board, and front bead end bands nicely worked in two colors (now very faded, but dark and light). The volumes have thick cardboard underneath covered with vellum manuscript waste. Among the tools used to decorate the alum taw spines is a most distinctive roll illustrating Salvation history in four panels; first is a portrayal of Adam and Eve holding the apple labeled ‘sin’; then a panel of Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac ‘faith’; then the Crucifixion ‘satisfaction’; and finally the risen Christ ‘justification’. The roll shows Christian Salvation as a legal process in which a crime is followed by due recompense. Such a view was set out in Catholic theology by St. Anselm (1033-1109), but the inclusion of faith as a justification for human salvation was a key tenent for Martin Luther (1483-1546). The manuscript waste on the boards is taken from a variety of late medieval liturgical and religious manuscript books; most are texts for Lent, Easter and Pentecost, but on the back board of volume four is an abbreviated text of a folkloric tale called “Bel and the Dragon”.

 Evidence of Former Use (or Owners)

The set bears the book plate of a former owner, Christoph Wentzel (1643-1712), Graf von Nostitz (near Weissenberg in Saxony). How many of the markings were his or other owners’ cannot be determined, but the volumes have numerous underlining, corrections, and textual insertions throughout. This and the presence of large amounts of debris such as bits of paper, straw, feathers, pen nibs and the like provide ample evidence of long life and heavy use for these volumes. Certainly the concentrated underlining and inserted marks of emphasis in set volume ten to several treatises on the use of torture in the course of judicial proceedings would accord well with the period of the Reformation following the Treaty of Augsburg in 1555, the very year in which the HLSL set was bound. This treaty left the establishment of religion (only Catholicism and Lutheranism were recognized) to the ruler of each individual principality. Those citizens finding themselves living in areas under a church different from their own could relocate, but transferal of property, especially ecclesiastical property, and proving ownership of such property, was a tricky and contested undertaking. In short, it was a great time for lawyers, who must have welcomed the publication of this collection.

Casebooks and the First Sale Doctrine

What’s going on with casebooks and the first sale doctrine? If you’re a law professor or student, you may have heard rumblings last week about a new program from Wolters Kluwer’s AspenLaw called the Connected Casebook. Under the initial proposal, print casebooks would come with long term access to a digital edition with note taking and highlighting tools. In exchange, students would be required to return their print books to Aspen at the end of the term and forbidden from reselling or giving them to other students. Aspen has since backpedalled, but this arrangement is still an option.

You can read more about what happened and why this potential encroachment on the first sale doctrine is problematic in my guest post at the American Association of Law Libraries’ Washington Blawg.

While the suggestions there are intended more for law librarians, another thing you can do to help is to use and request open casebooks. There are a couple open casebook platforms (as well as some individual open casebooks), including HLS’s own H2O. 

852 RARE: Harvard, Al Brown, and the Wickersham Commission

In May 1929, President Herbert Hoover formed the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, more commonly known as the United States Wickersham Commission (after the chairman, George W. Wickersham) and charged its members with studying the problem of the enforcement of laws – with special attention to be given to the problems and abuses stemming from the Prohibition laws. (Prohibition was enacted under the Volstead Act and lasted from 1920 – 1933.)

Detail of Prohibition Map by Stanley Shirk United States Wickersham Commission Records, box 1-3

Detail of Prohibition Map
by Stanley Shirk
United States Wickersham Commission Records, box 1-3

The United States Wickersham Commission Records, 1928-1931, part of Historical & Special Collections at the Harvard Law Library, contains correspondence, reports, and collected research materials. Examples of research material include government circulars with titles like, “How to Take Fingerprints” and the “Effect of Prohibition Law on Workers and Families.”

Of course, when most people think of Prohibition, they think of gangsters and the most famous gangster of the day was Al Capone. He is mentioned (by his alias, Al Brown) in a March 1927 confidential letter written by two Special Agents to the Treasury Department in which they outline possible corruption among Prohibition agents. They noted, “…keeping the place under surveillance… and also the license number of the automobiles used by gangsters associated with Al Brown…”. In May 1932, Al Capone was sent to a federal prison in Georgia to serve 11 years for tax evasion.

Detail from August 12, 1927 report United States Wickersham Commission Records box 1-3

Detail from August 12, 1927 report
United States Wickersham Commission Records
box 1-3

The investigative work of the Commission was both broad and comprehensive. An example of this is a report sent to Wickersham that showed the extent to which Prohibition was affecting drinking among college undergraduates. Harvard was included in this report, which noted that Prohibition had little effect on the drinking habits of undergraduates.

The Law Library also holds the Papers of Miriam Van Waters who was asked by the Commission to make a study of juvenile delinquency. Other collections containing research on this topic include the Papers of Sheldon Glueck and Papers of Eleanor T. and Sheldon Glueck.