Europe • Et. Seq: The Harvard Law School Library Blog

Welcome LL.M. Students!

Welcome to the nearly 200 LL.M. students who will be attending Harvard Law School this academic year!

Please visit the law library’s research services homepage to learn about all of the services the library’s research services team offers to the Harvard Law School community.

We are providing special library tours for LL.M. students over the next two weeks, and you can sign up for a tour on this page as well (under Upcoming Events).

Highlighting New Comparative Law Books in the Law Library’s Collection

Research librarians here in the law library spend a lot of time talking to LL.M. students about their paper topics every year.  Because so many students decide to write their LL.M. papers on comparative law topics, I like to write posts for our library blog about comparative law titles that I find in our collection that might be of interest to them.

In this post, I am highlighting one of our newest books on comparative company law.

International Handbook on Shareholders’ Agreements: Regulation, Practice, and Comparative Analysis
Editors: Sebastian Mock, Kristian Csach, and Bohnmil Havel
Published by DeGruyter, 2018
ISBN 9783110501568
View this book’s record in Harvard’s HOLLIS library catalog

According to the editors of this volume, shareholder agreements are “an integral part of company law and especially its legal practice.”  They are “traditionally dominated by contract law and not by company law”; however, it is sometimes the case that contract law lacks the depth to provide sufficient legal regulation of what can be complex legal situations and relationships, especially “in the case of cross-border shareholders’ agreements including shareholders from several jurisdictions.”

This volume attempts to fill that gap.  It begins with introductory chapters covering the differences between contract law and corporate law when it comes to shareholders’ agreements, the impact of shareholders’ agreements on how a company is managed, and as issues related to conflict of laws (private international law), corporate insolvency, and competition law.

The bulk of the book, however, is dedicated to reports on the relevant legal framework for shareholders’ agreements in the following jurisdictions: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, England/Wales, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States.  Some of these country reports include English-language excerpts of applicable statutory provisions.

Harvard Library Collection

This book is part of the DeGruyter Handbook series.  Almost all of the other titles in this series that are in the Harvard Library collection are in German (DeGruyter is a German publishing company), and cover legal topics.

However, Harvard does have one other English-language title from this series.  It is held by the Widener Library, Harvard’s flagship library.  All LL.M. students have access and borrowing privileges at Widener, along with the other libraries at Harvard.

This other book actually has nothing to do with law at all:

Sign Languages of the World: A Comparative Handbook
Edited by Julie Bakken Jepsen, Goedele De Clerck, Sam Lutalo-Kiingi, William B. McGregor
Published by De Gruyter, 2015
ISBN 9781614517962
View this book’s record in Harvard’s HOLLIS library catalog

I am a member of the law library’s Accessibility Design team, so one of my interests is learning more about how we can make the library accessible and accommodating to people with all kinds of disabilities.  So I am actually really interested in having a look at this book sometime!

Using HeinOnline for Accessing Legal Journals

I am curious to learn more about how the various sign languages around the world have developed their legal terminology throughout history.  In fact, just thinking about that led me to wonder about how issues related to deafness have been explored in the legal literature.

One of the best options for this kind of research is our  HeinOnline subscription legal database.  HeinOnline contains a very comprehensive collections of U.S. and foreign legal journals.  I find this database to be an invaluable part of any legal research project that I am working on.

So I decided to try a proximity search in HeinOnline for articles about sign language and legal terms.  Here is the search query I used:

“sign language legal terms”~50

This search query uses HeinOnline’s unique syntax for finding those four words within 50 words of each other.

When I did that search and limited the search results to articles from HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library, I got 77 results, covering various topics such as professional challenges faced by deaf lawyers, the representation of deaf clients in legal matters, the fitness of deaf defendants for trial, accommodating law faculty with disabilities, and more.

Perhaps one day an LL.M. student will write on deafness and law as well.  Whatever our newest LL.M.s decide to write about this year, the law library’s research services team is eager to help them navigate our resources and research their papers.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in the law library!

New Title Spotlight: The Liechtenstein Rules of Arbitration

One of the more recent European jurisdictions to make itself available as an arbitration venue is the Principality of Liechtenstein. In 2010, Liechtenstein amended its Civil Procedure Code (Zivilprozessordnung) to include a number of provisions related to arbitration.

The Liechtenstein Arbitration Association was formed in 2011. Since its formation, this organization has worked to establish Liechtenstein as a desirable forum for resolving disputes through arbitration. One of the means by which the organization’s membership has done this is to create the Liechtenstein Rules of Arbitration.

An English-language commentary on these rules, which includes the text of the rules in both English and French, was recently added to the law library’s collection:

The Liechtenstein Rules of Arbitration (Liechtenstein Rules): A Commentary Including the French Version and Model Clauses
Authors: Felix Dasser and Nicolas W. Reithner
Call Number: KKJ 182.9 .D37 2015
Location: Lewis (ILS) building, first floor

Co-author Felix Dasser is the head of the Ligitation/Arbitration practice team at the Homburger Law Firm in Zürich, Switzerland. He earned his LL.M. from Harvard Law School in 1990.

New Title Spotlight: Restorative Justice and Mediation in Penal Matters

It’s been a great month for discovering new titles in our collection that will appeal to comparative law researchers! The latest title that caught my eye provides a survey of criminal justice ADR practice in 36 (36!) European countries:

Restorative Justice and Mediation in Penal Matters: A Stock-Taking of Legal Issues, Implementation Strategies and Outcomes in 36 European Countries
Frieder Dünkel, Joanna Grzywa-Holten, Philip Horsfield (eds.)
Forum Verlag Godesberg, 2015
(2 volumes)

The editors’ goal in compiling this collection was to “know what there is in Europe today in terms of [Restorative Justice] RJ in penal matters, what the driving forces have been for introducing RJ, how it has been implemented in legislation and on the ground, and what role it plays (central or peripheral) in criminal justice practice.” (p. 3)

Each country report includes an in-depth discussion of active and proposed Victim Offender Mediation (VOM) programs for both adult and juvenile offenders.

Highlights include:

Austria’s NEUSTART program includes three options: “VOM, community service, and probation assistance.”  The use of VOM has been studied there for several years and has shown interesting results, including the public prosecutor dismissing criminal charges in 78% of cases in which VOM was used. (pp. 34-35)

The laws of the Czech Republic provide several RJ-oriented options to “the full range of criminal justice stakeholders: the police, public prosecutors, Probation and Mediation Service, offenders, and victims[.]” These include VOM, conciliation (narovnání) hearings, and both “conditional discontinuance” and abandonment of criminal prosecution. (pp. 171-74)

In Finland, “[f]our structures serve the interests of the victim’ restorative needs[,]”:

  • Insurance and civil law compensation schemes
  • The state compensation system
  • Diversion in the form of non-prosecution
  • Mediation

The Finnish government has an extensive network of agencies to oversee and facilitate mediation in criminal cases, including “the Ministry of Social and Welfare Affairs…, the Advisory Board on Mediation in Criminal Cases, the mediation office, and the mediation officer in charge.” The use of mediation in Finnish criminal cases has been extensively researched, and data about mediation participants and their relative satisfaction with the mediation process is included in the report. (pp. 243-62)

Romania’s Law on Mediation and the Mediator Profession (Law No. 192/2006, published in the Official Gazette No. 441 on May 22, 2006) “regulates…the procedure and characteristics of mediation in penal matters.”  This law was amended in 2009 (Law 370/2009), “introduc[ing] the duty of justice officials to inform the parties about the availability of mediation.” The report provides an extensive explanation of the statutory requirements for the mediation process required under this law, and it also discusses the results of 2010 survey of public prosecutors and judges regarding the use and acceptance of VOM in criminal proceedings. (pp. 697-719)

The report from Ukraine features a discussion of the work done to advocate for the use of RJ in criminal proceedings by “civil society organizations,” including the Ukrainian Centre for Common Ground (UCCG). This organization first introduced a pilot program of VOM in criminal cases in Ukraine in 2003. Currently, the UCCG’s work includes providing training for mediators who offer mediation services in the 14 Community Restorative Justice Centres (CRJCs) across the country. (pp. 989-1005)

This resource provides a wealth of information for comparative research of criminal justice, ADR, and European legislation. Each report is highly readable and helpfully annotated with primary and secondary source references.  The national experts who wrote these reports have done us a real service in contributing their knowledge to these volumes. It is definitely worth a look if your interests lie in any of these areas.

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