Photo of the Iceland Flag by biologyfishman
Social media has been taking the world by storm for a number of years, but not all governments have been quick to embrace it. Iceland, however, has been responsive to the opportunities that social media can offer, particularly as they write a new constitution. To foster public engagement as the new constitution is drafted, Iceland’s government has already taken steps to include the citizenry in the process by hosting a forum of 1,000 randomly chosen Icelanders, who offered their views on the new constitution. But, in an effort to be even more inclusive, the government has decided to make use of all the openness that social media and the internet can offer. To facilitate the process of crowdsourcing the new constitution, the government has created a website, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a Flickr photostream and a YouTube channel to allow open communication between the government and the citizenry. The public is encouraged to participate in each step of the process. And, as a bonus, those of us outside Iceland can also follow the process online!
A draft of the constitution is expected to be available in July and will then be presented to the citizens through a referendum. Check out Iceland’s web presence and the media attention they have been getting during this process, including coverage in The Guardian, The Washington Post and USA Today.
Interested in finding out the latest news in Lithuania? Or are you more interested in seeing a selection of online newspapers from Iceland? Either way, Newspaper Map can help.
Newspaper Map is a website that offers access to over 10,000 online newspapers from around the world. Newspapers are shown as pins on a map of the world representing where they are published. Users can click on any pin to get information on a newspaper, including title, publication location, language, and thumbnail of the website. The service also translates each newspaper into a host of languages with a single click using Google Translate and makes it easy to share newspapers using Facebook or another social media applications. The website is always being updated and users can even contribute corrections or information about additional newspapers on the organization’s website.
In case all of this isn’t impressive enough, the website also offers search functionality and access to a selection of historical newspapers as well. And, they are currently rolling out a Beta version of their mobile application.
Judgmental is a new website that aims to make UK case law more accessible by offering it free online and in a format that can be indexed by search engines, including Google. Currently, the website includes cases from a number of UK courts and from two European courts, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Communities, and coverage varies depending on the court. But, the number of cases available and the periods of coverage will likely increase in the future. For more information, you can also follow the creators on Twitter: @Judgmentals.
A recent press release announced:
“Proceedings of the Supreme Court . . . can now be watched live over the internet, in a significant development for the transparency and accessibility of the highest court in the land.”
“[Now] legal professionals, students and members of the public interested in the work of the Supreme Court do not have to travel . . . to see proceedings.”
Amazed? Okay, the ellipses replace “of the United Kingdom” and “to London,” but still, especially to an American, it is pretty big news. Live streaming of the UK Supreme Court’s hearings and judgments began on May 16, via Sky News.
According to the press notice, the Sky News site provides links to the Supreme Court’s case summaries for those being webcast. Check the Court’s Sittings Page to plan your UKSC viewing, being mindful of the 5 hour time difference.
UK colleagues recommend the UKSC Blog for excellent coverage of the Court and upcoming cases.
For commentary on this development, read Max Atkinson’s Blog (“The case for banning television from courts fell apart years ago”).
On March 16, 2011, Lord Neuberger presented the Judicial Studies Board Annual Lecture, entitled “Open Justice Unbound? It makes provocative reading for citizens of this New World nation.
A tip of the tricorne to The BIALL Blog.
Last November, the Prime Minister of the UK commissioned a review of the country’s intellectual property laws with a particular eye towards modernizing them in ways that would encourage growth and innovation in the internet age. This week, Professor Ian Hargreaves released his 123 page report detailing both the current issues with intellectual property law in the UK and his recommendations for change. (The full text of the report is available on the Independent Review of IP and Growth website.) Of note, the Report recommends creating a Digital Copyright Exchange to make it easier to clear copyrighted works and updating existing laws and “format shifting,” but does not advocate the adoption of the concept of “fair use” of copyrighted materials as is found in the US. The Labour Party has already voiced its support for implementing the Report’s recommendations.
Amrit Dhir, a 1L at Harvard Law School, has been working with the library on open access activities. He recently had an opportunity to interview Subbiah Arunachalam of the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in India. Check out the interview on the Berkman website.
Researching recent events in the Middle East? There are two new archives to consult. Blogs, news sites, and social media including videos, tweets, etc. have been selected by the Library of Congress, the Biliotheque Nationale de France, Stanford University, and the British Library, and crawled by Archive-It.
Jasmine Revolution – Tunisia 2011
This collection consists of websites documenting the revolution in Tunisia in 2011. The sites are primarily in French and Arabic with some in English.
North Africa & the Middle East 2011
This collection documents the events in Northern Africa and the Middle East in 2011 after the Tunisian uprising. Content includes blogs, social media and news sites about Egypt, Yemen, Sudan and other African countries. These sites contain content in Arabic, English, and French.
The Genocide Archive of Rwanda opened last week. Below is an excerpt from a press release about the project:
Established by the Aegis Trust in association with Rwanda’s National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG), the Genocide Archive of Rwanda will become the unified repository where all information relating to the genocide can be found. Its physical archive will preserve original audiovisual, documentary and photographic materials in a secure, controlled environment managed to international standards. Its research programmes will continue to trace materials from the genocide period, to map and gather information at sites of the genocide, and to record fresh survivor testimony. And its digital archive, created in collaboration with the University of Texas Libraries, will make all of this material fully accessible to researchers through a cross-referenced system that allows key word searches, first on site and ultimately online.
The full press release is available on the AEGIS website.
The Harvard Law School Library is pleased to announce that Notes of cases adjudged in Jamaica, May 1774 to Dec. 1787 (Edinburgh : Printed by Adam Neill and company, 1794) [HOLLIS 4417047] has been digitized and is now available through HOLLIS. The Harvard Law School Library purchased this folio volume of 18th century law reports in 1903; it is one of only a few known copies.
Advertisement, p. iii, seq. no. 7
As the volume’s prefatory â€˜Advertisment’ on pages iii-iv explains, these reports of high court cases are based on “the very full notes of every case that came before” John Grant, a native of Inverness-shire (Scotland), and chief justice of Jamaica’s Supreme Court from 1783-1790. Colleagues had encouraged Grant to publish his notes for their use at court, and after retiring to Edinburgh, Grant began to revise his notebook with that goal in mind. Grant died on March 29, 1793, leaving three quarters of his notes unprinted. The task was picked up and continued by friends and colleagues who saw the work through the press; the volume was published in 1794.
May Grand Court, 1774., p. 1, seq. no. 13
Following the table of cases, Notes of cases adjudged in Jamaica begins with the May Grand Court of 1774— when Grant was a newly minted assistant judge under chief justice Edward Webley—and continues through the November Grand Court of 1787, by which time Grant had become chief justice. The folio volume is rich in bibliographical references and footnotes and in this copy, an early (and unknown) reader has made occasional marginal annotations.
Annotations, p. 17, seq. no. 29
Post contributed by Mary Person,
Rare Books Cataloger
The Guardian has launched the Guardian Legal Network, which “brings together the best blogs and sites that cover legal affairs and developments from around the world.”
Hat tip, UK Human Rights Blog , a member of the network.