Yale Law Library - Foreign and International Blog
April 2008 - Posts
The Old Bailey Proceedings, 1674-1913, Go Online
London's Old Bailey Criminal Court cases 1674-1913 are now searchable online. The Proceedings of the Old Bailey,1674-1913 include transcripts of 197,745 criminal trials held at London's Central Criminal Court between the years 1674-1913. Other than chronicling a string of sensational trials in London in the period, the free website was also billed as "the largest single source of searchable historical information about British lives that has ever been published". See full story here.
The Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal
NPR reported this morning that Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi Foreign Minister under Saddam Hussein, begins trial today for the execution of forty-two food merchants in 1992. Aziz, 72, has been in prison for over 5 years and is challenging the charges. In the Anfal Campaign Trial, Gen. Ali Hassan Majeed, aka Chemical Ali for his use of poisonous gas against villagers, has already been sentenced to death by hanging for the mass killings of Kurds during the Sadaam era. Here you can find an English translation of the Anfal Campaign Judgment. Of course, Saddam Hussein was convicted, sentenced to death, and executed by the Iraqi Special Tribunal on December 30, 2006.
The Iraqi Special Tribunal, also known as the Iraqi High Tribunal or the Special Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT), was initially created in 2003 by the Statute of the Iraqi Special Tribunal (also found here), issued by the now-dissolved Coalition Provisional Authority and enacted by the Iraqi Governing Council. Due to legitimacy questions raised as a result of the Tribunal being established by an occupying force, the Iraqi Interim Government passed a new statute (pdf) in 2005 creating the current Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT). The SICT, like its predecessor, is an independent tribunal located in Baghdad devoted to the prosecution of Saddam Hussein and the leaders of his regime for war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, and other crimes committed between 1968 and 2003.
The Law Library of Congress has an excellent website on the trial of Saddam Hussein. The site includes primary documents and secondary resources pertaining to Saddam Hussein's trial, the creation of the Special Tribunal and appeal, and the laws, treaties, and resolutions related to the Tribunal and relevant trials.
The Yale Law Library has many books written on the Hussein trial, the Tribunal, and Iraq generally. See, for example, Saddam on Trial: Understanding and Debating the Iraqi High Tribunal. Also try a Subject Heading serach: Hussein, Saddam. All Iraqi foreign law is classified under KMJ and can be found on the Lower East Side. For electronic resources pertaining to Iraqi law, see our Country-by-Country guide to legal research. Finally, for research assistance, don't hesitate to contact the reference team.
Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal
The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, established on January 19, 1981 and located in the Hague, was created in an effort to resolve the crisis between the
Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States of America arising from the detention of 52 United States nationals at the United States
Embassy in Tehran which commenced in November 1979, and the subsequent
freeze of Iranian assets by the United States of America.
The Tribunal has jurisdiction to decide claims of United States
nationals against Iran and of Iranian nationals against the United
States which arise out of:
- debts, contracts, expropriations or other
measures affecting property rights;
- certain "official claims" between
the two Governments relating to the purchase and sale of goods and
- disputes between the two Governments concerning the
interpretation or performance of the Algiers Declarations; and,
claims between United States and Iranian banking institutions.
The Official website of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal is in both English and Persian. It contains background information, governing documents, and a searchable database of tribunal decisions, awards, and other documents. You must register for the database; it is free and login information will be emailed to you within a week or so.
Yale Law Library also has the complete collection of decisions and awards in the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal Reports - KZ238.I7 I73 on L1. We also have monographs on L1 analyzing the tribunal and the decisions of the tribunal. See, for example:
- The Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal at 25: the cases everyone needs to know for investor-state & international arbitration - KZ238.I7 D72 2007
- The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal and the process of international claims resolution: a study by the Panel on State Responsibility of the American Society of International Law - KZ 238.I7 I733 2000
- UNCITRAL arbitration rules as interpreted and applied: selected
problems in light of the practice of the Iran-United States Claims
Tribunal - KZ238.I7 P45 1994
Spain's New Cabinet
Spain's re-elected Prime Minister José Luís Zapatero recently named his new 17-member cabinet, of whom 9 are female. The cabinet member getting the most attention and causing the most controversy, both domestic and international, is 37-year old Defense Minister Carme Chacón, who is 7 months pregnant. Hailing from Catalunya, Ms. Chacón, who was head of the Housing Ministry during P.M. Zapatero's first term, is credited with garnering support from her powerful region during last month's election.
P.M. Zapatero also created two new ministries: the Equality Ministry, headed by 31-year old Andalusian
Bibiana Aido, Spain's youngest Cabinet member ever; and the Science and Innovation Ministry, headed by
Basque molecular biologist Cristina Garmendia. Is Spain closing the gender gap?
Yale Law Library has an impressive collection of Spanish legal materials: historical and current, monographs and serials, print and electronic. The Spanish collection of monographs resides with the rest of our foreign law on the Lower East Side, LC Call No. KKT, and in the Rare Book Room, where you can examine Las Siete Partidas from 1550, for example. In addition to monographs, you will also find legislation and jurisprudence, such as Repertorio de Jurisprudencia. There are also several serial publications on the Upper East Side, such as Revista Española de Derecho Constitucional and Revista Española de Derecho Internacional. The library also subscribes to vLex, a Spanish database of laws, jurisprudence, and legal literature (IP access). For more electronic resources related to Spanish law, see Spain in our Country-by-Country Guide to foreign legal research, part of our larger Foreign and International Law Resources webpage. You'll find links to other sources, as well, such as La Constitución Española de 1812.
Photo and caption from The Independent article:
JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images
The Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero poses on the
steps of the Moncloa palace in Madrid with his female cabinet ministers
(left to right) Science and Innovation minister Cristina Garmendia,
Transport and Development minister Magdalena Alvarez, Education, Social
Affairs and Sports minister Mercedes Cabrera Calvo, Defence minister
Carme Chacon, deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega,
Public Administration minister Elena Salgado, Equality minister Bibiana
Aido, Housing minister Beatriz Corredor and Agriculture and Environment
minister Elena Espinosa
Special Tribunal for Lebanon
On February 14, 2005, Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri and 22 other were killed in a bomb attack in Beirut. The act was immediately condemned as a "terrorist bombing" in a formal statement by the President of the United Nations Security Council. Shortly thereafter, the U.N. appointed an international independent investigation Commission. About one year later, on May 29, 2006, pursuant to Security Council resolution 1664, the United Nations
and the Lebanese Republic negotiated an agreement on the establishment
of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Further, pursuant to Security Council
resolution 1757 (Annex and Statute included) of May 30, 2007, the U.N. Security Council held, inter alia, that the Statute of the Special Tribunal,
would enter into force on June 10, 2007.
The U.N. Special Tribunal website has a complete list of documents relating to the creation of the Special Tribunal. There is also a timeline of events and a factsheet explaining the procedures and applicable law of the Special Tribunal.
Lebanese criminal law relating to the prosecution and punishment for acts of terrorism and crimes and offenses against life and personal integrity will apply to the Special Tribunal; the death penalty and forced labor have been excluded as possible punishments for those found guilty.
The Law Library of Congress has created a report, the Hariri Assassination Legal Commentary, also available in pdf, that "explains some of the legal issues relevant to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon by discussing:
- the jurisdictional basis for international judicial bodies;
- examining the jurisdictional reach of mixed tribunals;
- exploring the legal nature of the February 14, 2005 bombing; and
a number of legal questions for which the final answers may shape
radically the jurisdictional reach of international criminal law."
Ulrich Mans and Lisette Sinkeler of the Hague Center for Strategic Studies express their opinion on the Special Tribunal (also in pdf). The report notes that eight anti-Syrian politicians have been killed since 2004, and acknowledges that the Hague will become, for Lebanese and Syrians, a place of "public accusation of the most influential elites in Syria."
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeatedly denies that his country had anything to do with the murder of Prime Minister Hariri. (See, CNN interview, among many other news reports in the BBC, NYT, and others).
Security Council Report, a non-profit working with Columbia University's Center on International Organization, has monthly reports on Lebanon as well as key U.N. documents referenced in their reports.
New Chinese Acquisitions
For those interested in the recent legal developments in China, here's a list of new Chinese library acquisitions. They include commentaries on the new Property Law and Labor Contract Law. Two titles may be of interest to those doing empirical research: Zhu Jingwen's work with statistical data on the Chinese court system (in Chinese) and China Development Review, a publication by the Development Research Council, the policy research arm of the PRC State Council (in English and Chinese).
Children’s Rights: International and National Laws and Practices
The Library of Congress has launched a series of multinational, comparative legal studies on the rights of children.
"Children’s Rights examines sixteen nations, across five continents: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Greece, Iran,
Israel, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, and the United
Kingdom (England and Wales). For each nation, the study focuses on the
domestic laws and policies that affect child health and social welfare,
education and special needs, child labor and exploitation, sale and
trafficking of children, and juvenile justice. Children’s Rights also lists which pertinent international treaties the nation has ratified and implemented."
The reports, as well as an overview (providing a summary of relevant global and regional legal instruments, including
human-rights related instruments and international agreements on
child protection and placement), are available in both html and pdf format, with footnotes and hyperlinks. The overview and the country reports, as they become available, can be accessed from the project's main page.
Recueil des Cours - online!
Finally! It's online and searchable! The Hague Academy of International Law's Recueil des Cours de l'Academie de la Haye. One can search
this entire collection of international law articles by volume, year,
author, or keyword. Although we do not subscribe to full-text access to the articles, once you have found a relevant article, you can locate it in our complete print collection in the Yale Law Library on L1, Call No. KZ 3092 .R43.