Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Qatari Practice Materials

Developing the law collection works best when driven by patron suggestions. For example, yesterday I gave a library tour and info session on law resources to a law school class taught by Dr. Melissa Deehring Montouché, director of the new Externship Program . Melissa asked the students to submit lists of resources their employers used or wanted them to know about for legal practice in Qatar. The list turned out to be a composite picture of what resources lawyers think are important here. The offices QU law students are externs in include firms, courts, and government departments such as The State of Qatar Attorney General,  Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority,  Sultan Al Abdulla & partners,  Patton Boggs LLP, Al Tamimi LLP, Clyde & Co. LLP, and Qatari Diar among others.  The list is a great resource for me as most of the ideas for collection development I have gathered so far are distinctly academic and offered by College of Law professors.
The top four resources listed by the QU externs turn out to be a rich combination of primary & secondary sources with an emphasis on practice materials:
·         ‘IBA Newsletters.’ Publications from the International Bar Association got several, independent mentions as sources of value. Interesting to me as I had never thought of them previously as essential and we do not provide access currently. This is a secondary source I will attempt to add to the collection.
·         ‘The Qatari Commercial, Criminal Law Codes, Qatari Labor laws.’ Multiple requests for reliable access to the primary Codes of the country. I recommended the Gazette as the official source, and databases like Egyptian-based  Eastlaws for quality electronic scans of the originals. Also, parts of Qatari codes are offered in translation, such as labor laws at natlex. ICT Qatar is planning a full legal portal to primary laws to be introduced later this year, but as of now the most effective reference tool to obtain these materials may still be the telephone to call the local authority or the Gazette /Department of Opinion & Contracts for copies.
·         ‘Westlaw, Westlaw Gulf, LexisNexis.’ Westlaw got more requests than Lexis on the extern resource list. Westlaw International is a leading database and recently was joined by Westlaw Gulf to focus on the GCC region. I ran a trial subscription to WG and the College of Law faculty reported little depth beyond the UAE legal resources so we declined a subscription. The Westlaw rep from Dubai assured me they are adding more content to other GCC countries so this is changing. I was surprise that no students listed LexisNexis Middle East database, which we did purchase, so it seems that the marketing is not as successful for Lexis as Westlaw.
·         ‘The Brief.’ Two students listed this new source to me. The website describes the focus: “The Brief is the first magazine covering Middle East law as it applies to business.”  This the Gulf edition of the ALB series owned by Thompson Reuters.
The Library will be adding resources and titles offered according to the Collection Development policies. I look forward to any additional titles!

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