Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend Desert Retreat

I took time off this weekend for some overnight camping in the Dunes. Seven white Land Cruisers took a group of 60 of us south to the Inland Sea, and then to a camp by the beach. That night we spent in the tents with sleeping bags and the wind blowing all night. We lit a bonfire but it lasted less than one hour. The following night was a Qatari wedding. Just an incredible weekend and thanks to my wife Irma for staying home with the kids! I owe you one.


Dinner table

Bon Fire

Sword dance at Wedding

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Legal Citations Adventure

In addition to duties as law librarian/lecturer I am also citation editor for the new QU International Review of Law (IRL) to be published online with Bloomsbury. It is brand new and so no editions exist yet but we are successfully working here to find authors and create a process of review.  For example, I just completed a citation Style Guide for authors.  Dr. Jon M. Truby, Assistant Professor of Law, is Editor-in-Chief of the IRL.
The IRL Style Guide is based heavily on the Style Guide of the Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute by Brooke Bowman, Assistant Editor-in-Chief. It was the best style guide model for a legal journal I could find using ALWD as the citation standard. The College of Law at QU adopted ALWD as a whole for instruction and research as much as possible, though Bluebook and OSCOLA are used also.
Here is the problem: I want to have a ready IRL style guide section for national and regional legal citations.
I searched for a local guide to citation for GCC and Qatari Courts, including the QFC, but found nothing useful.  Also searched the Cardiff Index and the Globalex Qatar guide with the same results. My copy of Bieber’s has not arrived yet! I also spoke to Rami Tawfiq, Westlaw representative extraordinaire, and part of the development team for the new Westlaw Gulf . He visited QU College of Law from Dubai today. I asked how this development team is managing legal citations for all the scanned documents from the region so that they are standard enough for the database to be able to identify them? Much of the citation here is being developed ad hoc apparently.
As the laws of the region are scanned or imported into regional databases like Lexis Middle East, Westlaw Gulf, and the forthcoming ICT Qatar legal portal, agreement on standardized legal citation will become important, especially to a law citation editor like myself!   

Monday, February 20, 2012

Collection Development

Our library move is complete and it is time to buy law books. The new library can accommodate a million volumes and we have a tenth of that currently. I worked all morning on a listing of books from Cornell University Law Library that I will be placing a QU purchase request for through Dawson, UK.  The slow mail from London means they will arrive in six weeks if I am lucky.
The list of books comes directly from Cornell and is part of a much larger book list. I am in the process of benchmarking our QU law collection against Cornell’s law collection with the help of Thomas Mills, Head of Collections at the Cornell Law Library.  Thomas and I have been working together and his team was kind enough to supply their collection list to us. The focus is on international law secondary sources for the last five years.
After speaking with Amrita, QU Head of Collections,  I am staggering the order process so that books can be acquired in manageable chunks rather than all at once. This assists in the cataloging, shipping, stacking of the books. I have approximately 35 titles in today’s ‘basket’ and  will place the request for approval later today or tomorrow in Dawson.
I think I will have almost two hundred titles, four hundred volumes,  based on the Cornell list in total divided into three or four baskets over the next two months. The QU library has a Men’s and Women’s collection so I buy two of everything in most cases.
I need more!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Moot Court

We are hosting an International Moot Court competition here at QU this week:

You are cordially invited to Price Media Law Moot Court Competition that will take place next week at Al Jazeera, preliminary rounds on 21st and 22nd February, where the final round will be on Thursday 23rd February.

The competition includes the following participating teams: Qatar University, Jordan University, University of Sharjah, Arab Emirates University, Yarmouk University. Comepetition at Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center.

Sponsors of this event are: Qatar University, Annenberg School for Communication and AlJazeera Media Training & Development Center.


'I wanted to let you know that our QU College of Law team has advanced to the final round of the Oxford University Monroe E. Price International Media Law Moot Court Competition – Middle Eastern Round.

Our team performed exceptionally well in the two days of preliminary rounds, defeating three out of the four opponents we faced.  We defeated the teams from UAE University, Jordan University, and Yarmouk University.  (And not only did we defeat them – in each of those three rounds the panel of three judges unanimously agreed that QU was the victor!)

In tomorrow’s final round, we will again face the team from the University of Sharjah, to whom we suffered our only loss of the competition.  I believe it will be a very hard-fought and impressive final round, and I encourage you all to attend if possible.' Dr. Henry Webb, coach.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

New QU Library Pictures

The Library is almost opened and we are getting ready for students to return to campus next week. The old Men's and Women's Library are closed. Here are some preview pictures from February 15th, 2012. Cheers.

This view makes it all come together!