Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Opening Ceremony, new QU Library

The Library was opened in January of 2012 but today we held an opening ceremony. The library looked good with the new art, exhibition miscelleny, and furniture finally installed. The Qatari corner looked especially exceptional. A few pictures:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Collection Development Adventures in Islamic law sources

Our Qatar University Comparative Law Conference concluded and was a success. The Conference was the first of a kind in the Gulf region and many scholars, especially Canadian scholars, participated. See the review of the conference

I attended one day of the conference, and from the discussions and papers presented generated many new acquisition titles for the QU law collection. Great efforts are being undertaken to make Islamic law sources more accessible in translation. I particularly want to recommend the Islamic law bibliography developed by the UK Centre for Legal Education and the Hadith bibliography at the University of Michigan. The mixture of primary and secondary sources in the area is rich.

Mosque at QU

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IALL 2012: Toronto, Canada

I completed a week in Toronto at the International Association of Law Libraries Annual Course. I enjoyed rediscovering Canadian legal sources and traditions  My first job as a law librarian assistant was at UBC in Vancouver, Canada, many years ago.

Here are some pictures from IALL 2012:

Town Crier opens IALL 2012

Koreatown Foodies
Yonge Street

The Cup 
Eaton Centre

Fall in Toronto

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Professional Development events at QU Law

Two legal education activities at QU Law present new opportunities for professional development. For the first time, at no charge, advanced skills classes are offered to local lawyers. Similar to CLEs in the US, these are mini-sessions in advanced contract drafting, advocacy, and in-house counsel skills offered by QU and the ABA. See the announcement to register.

Secondly, QU Law is hosting a Comparative Law conference. From the Conference announcement: 

The College of Law invites you to a conference on Comparative Law scheduled for the 6th and 7th October, 2012 at 9:00 am till 5:00 pm . The conference, to be held in the new library auditorium (117), brings together accomplished scholars in comparative law from countries and universities where the Civil Law, Islamic Law and the Common Law are taught and practiced. 

Dean Daniel Jutras of McGill Law School, Professor Bruce Archibald of Dalhousie Law School, Professor Catherine Valcke of Toronto Law School, join Professor Hassan  Al Sayed, Professor Hassan Elbarrawy and Dean Hassan Okour of QU Law College and The Attorney General of Qatar will deliver the keynote address.

The aim is to explore the influence of Islamic Law, Common Law and Civil Law on each other. This will be done by taking a critical look at Business Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Obligations from a comparative perspective. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New library exhibit hall

The last phase of the new Qatar University Libraries is the opening of the exhibit hall. Please come and see the first exhibit!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Law School Partnerships

Interest in legal education in the Gulf has attracted two prominent US law schools to form partnerships to develop legal education centers. In Dubai, Penn State Law announced an agreement with Dubai Judicial Institute, and in Qatar the Harvard Law School is working to develop a graduate law program to be located in Education City. The announcements indicate the clear need and good timing for enhanced legal education to serve the growing opportunities here in the GCC. Welcome! See the National Law Journal for more.

Monday, September 3, 2012

World Intellectual Property Organization depository libraries program at QU

I spent my first day back in the office hanging my degrees and opening mail. Two months of business is pending but manageable. One large box greeted me and I opened it to see seven books on intellectual property from WIPO. One of the things I want to do this month back as the QU law librarian is organize our WIPO depository material. Qatar University Libraries are part of the World Intellectual Property Organization depository libraries program. Materials include many monographs, reports, periodicals, electronic documents on CD/DVD delivered up on regular basis (essentially every new WIPO publication).
This is a task I discovered late last year but was unable to find time to understand the requirements of the depository program or propose a process. Luckily, I have some experience in UN materials as I was part of a depository UN library at NSU law library for some years in Florida. I also know it is time consuming.
I discovered in my first searches that 31 WIPO depository libraries have been created in 20 countries. I started searching for examples of WIPO organization at other libraries. For example, the National Library of Belarus is another WIPO library and is storing documents in a reading room dedicated to international organizations. In another example, Azerbaijan State Economic University joined WIPO’s depository libraries in 2012 and created a WIPO Reference Center. Both are good models.
Loving FCIL.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Back Home from Summer Vacation

My family and I are back in Qatar from the summer break and recovering from jetlag. We spent some weeks in Spain and a month in California. The kids will have some adventures to remember this summer. Here are a few pictures. Happy travels.

In Madrid
Gold Coast of Spain

Running in Barcelona

Walk of Fame, Hollywood

Law Librarian summer look


Candles in Barcelona

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Qatar Mall Fire

Qatar's posh Villagio Mall experienced a devastating fire this week claiming many dead and injured. This is a story that touches me deeply as my kids occasionally attended the nursery that burned. The fire claimed many toddlers and fine teachers. Two firefighters died trying to save the kids and many more were injured. My family participated in a remembrance vigil last night with about 100 others at the Pearl. Cherish your kids. Peace.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The First Issue of International Review of Law

At a press conference today Dr. Jon Truby, editor-in-chief of the new International Review of Law (IRL) based at QU College of Law, announced the availability of the IRL's first issue. The IRL is open access, bilingual in both English and Arabic, available electronically and soon in print. The focus of the IRL is international law topics not limited to a Qatari focus; for example one of the articles is on Hong Kong. All articles are published under a Creative Commons licence. QScience is the publisher and supported by the Qatar Foundation with the aim of bringing open access scholarship to the region. Many new Journals are being inaugurated at the QScience website developed with Bloomsbury.

The IRL Editorial Board is distinguished with The Right Honourable Lord Woolf of Barnes, PC (UK), Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court (Netherlands), and H.E. Dr. Ali Bin Fetais Al Marri, Attorney General of the State of Qatar (Qatar) included.

I am glad to be part of this effort as the Citation Editor.

Here are some pictures from the press conference today:


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Future Energy Summit

Congratulations to Dr. Rudiger Tscherning, Director Extraordinaire of the Energy and Environmental Law Forum on the upcoming Future Energy Summit that will take place next week.  
From the announcement: 

"The summit is dedicated to the question of renewable and nuclear energy as future energy mix options for the Middle East.  The conference will involve presentations by our invited experts and we have also scheduled a number of panel discussions on the following topics:

  • Is Nuclear Energy the right fuel choice for the Middle-East?
  • National and regional institutions on nuclear regulation and renewable energy promotion and regulation.
  • The role of regional cooperation on future energy projects.
  • Incentives and mechanisms to promote renewable energy in the Middle East.   
The Forum has secured the participation of a distinguished set of local and international legal, policy and financing experts from KACARE, the World Nuclear Association, IRENA, Qatar Petroleum, Kingdom University in Bahrain, Pinsent Masons LLP and Herbert Smith LLP.  Our regional experts will join us from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain and we also have representatives from the Forum’s academic partners at the Energy Center in Austin/Texas and Southern Methodist University/Dallas joining us."   

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Subject Focus: Comparative Legal Ethics research and resources

One fascinating component of working in legal education in Qatar for me is to observe a country with blended legal systems. Qatar has civil, common, and sharia law depending on the subject and parties involved in a transaction or dispute. For example, a common law based court was created in Qatar for commercial litigation with authority to decide and enforce judgments. New tribunals like the Qatar International Court are bringing lawyers and major law firm offices to the region that collaborate with local bar members, so these ethics issues are becoming more important.  Law schools do not commonly have professional ethics courses in the region and bar associations are not engaged to encode or enforce. Accreditation practice visits identified this need and it is being responded to at QU.
At the recent Qatar Law Forum I met an international lawyer from the UK now based in Doha who described to me the practice of law here and really emphasized the difficulty of collaboration across jurisdictions and legal systems without a common code of legal ethics. For example, is it ok to coach a witness or how do you define a conflict of interest? The answers depend on the origins and professional ethics of the lawyers and any disagreement will probably result in a costly withdrawal from representation and impede successful collaboration.
Library resources at QU in this area are slim. There are two books on UK ethics in the library and no other local resources are collected. Westlaw International and LexisNexis Academic provide common law based material. Identifying this gap in our collection is an opportunity to add to the library’s ability to support interest in comparative legal ethics instruction and research. I am developing resources in this area based on resources at the International Association of Legal Ethics at Stanford,  the International Forum on Teaching Legal Ethics and Professionalism,  and conference materials from the International Legal Ethics Conferences.  Journals such as Legal Ethics will be added to the QU law collection over the next year. Fortunately, the International Bar Association has developed many ethical codes that are available in multiple languages.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ending Ceremony spectacular - World Book Day

The ending ceremony for QU led World Book Day was today and over 300 young people participated and some got awards. The US and Japanese Ambassadors attended to present book prizes and donate to the Japanese and American Corners in the QU Library. A book swap and reception followed with the Qatari Minister of Culture, President and Vice President of QU.

April 23rd is World Book Day because many famous authors died on that day, including in the year 1616 Cervantes, Vega and Shakespeare. Many other authors were born on April 23rd, for example Nabokov.

Read books! This month I am reading The Arabian Frontier of the British Raj by James Onley, from our new books collection.

Here are some pictures from the World Book Day event:

Dr. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad presenting a book prize

Qatari Minister of Culture (in white),
US Ambassador (in blue) and Japanese Ambassador (middle)

Katia Medawar, Head of Public Services