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Friday, December 7, 2012

Who Would Have Thought It? NYT Op-Ed Article Highlights Texas' Progressive Open Beach Law

By Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

Questions about public beaches, Super Storm Sandy, and the Texas Open Beach Act were brought into focus in the December 4,  New York Times Op-Ed Page article by Andrew W. Kharl entitled, "The People's Beach."  He compared the lack of laws promoting public beach access along the eastern seaboard and other areas with Texas' more progressive policy. The policy is embodied in Texas property law, specifically the Texas Open Beaches Act. (TOBA)

Kharl quotes Ralph Yarborough, a famous Senator from Texas who said in 1957, "In recent years, fences and barricades have blocked the public right to have access to our seas. We are becoming a landlocked people, fenced away from our own beautiful shores, unable to exercise the ancient right to enjoy our precious beaches." He argues that neither the federal government or other states have been as progressive as Texas regarding public access to beaches. Developers and wealthy individual landowners have blocked access to the public and have also lead to environmental degradation.

 The most important Texas Supreme Court case to date interpreting the TOBA is Severance v. Patterson, 370 S.W.3d 705 (Tex. 2012).The interplay of  the awesome power of coastal storms like Hurricane Rita with Texas legal history (the Republic and the state) makes this complicated case rather compelling. The opinion goes into detail on events such as avulsive movement of the shoreline, mean low tide, rolling easements and the public rights to land under the sea.  South Texas College of Law Associate Professor, Matthew Festa is an expert on the Texas Open Beaches Act (OBA). He filed an amicus brief in which his position prevailed in the Court. Professor Festa argued,
"An easement is an interest in land for which the elements must be established with respect to particular properties. Under the plain language of the statute, and notwithstanding the merits of any argument about rolling easements, the TOBA cannot impose public access without first proving the elements of an easement by dedication, prescription, or customary rights for each property. Asserting such property rights without establishing an easement would require compensation under U.S. and Texas constitutional law."

Agreeing with Professor Festa, the Court decided that: "...Texas does not recognize a “rolling” easement. Easements for public use of private dry beach property change size and shape along with the gradual and imperceptible erosion or accretion  in the coastal landscape. But, avulsive events such as storms and hurricanes that drastically alter pre-existing littoral boundaries do not have the effect of allowing a public use easement to migrate onto previously unencumbered property. This holding shall not be applied to use the avulsion doctrine to upset the long-standing boundary between public and private ownership at the mean high tide line. The division between public and private ownership remains at the mean high tide line in the wake of naturally occurring changes, and even when boundaries seem to change suddenly."

More writings on this subject by Professor Festa can be found at the Land Use Prof Blog. Search the blog for his postings on Severance.

Here are links to the relevant constitutional (Texas), statutory and legislative history materials related to the issues:

Texas Constitution Art. 1, Section 33 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CN/htm/CN.1.htm#1.33

Texas Natural Resources Code Chapter 61 http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/NR/htm/NR.61.htm

Tex. Legis. Beach Study Comm., 57th Leg., R.S., The Beaches and Islands of Texas (1961), available at
http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/interim/56/56_B352.pdf

Tex. Leg. Interim Beach Study Comm., 65th Leg., R. S., Footprints on the Sands of Time (1969), available at
http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/scanned/interim/60/B352.pdf










Friday, November 9, 2012

Illustrating the Law

by Heather Kushnerick, M.A., M.L.S., C.A., Special Collections Librarian

       Tolstoy described art as “a means of union among men, joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity.”1 Accordingly, he felt that artistic merit derived largely from morality, the same bond of ethical obligation that has been the foundation many legal codes throughout history. Based on this concept, is there any wonder that artists have found the law to be such a rich source of inspiration?
       The very nature of law involves conflict; it calls up ethical and moral questions as well as situations of peril, guilt, innocence and retribution2, all of which have been depicted through art in various ways, and for various purposes. Visual art records our history in ways that words alone cannot express.
       Just as one can study social change through art, so too can one study legal history. The stele of the Code of Hammurabi depict the ruler receiving the law from the Babylonian Sun God. The Nauri Decree of Seti I shows Pharaoh presenting an offering to the Gods. The Law of Moses can be seen in multiple interpretations of The Judgment of Solomon and Susanna and the Elders. As law went from being inspired by the Divine to being created by men, we see the use of art as a warning against the corruption of justice in Gerard David’s Judgment of Cambyses.
       A different sort of illustration can be seen in the use of maps. In Mare Clausum, Selden asserts that according to the law of nations, it is possible to have private dominion over the sea as well as land and that “the dominion of the British sea was always a part or appendant of the empire of that island.”3 To that end, the map of England in the Mare Clausum shows a very large island surrounded by a tiny sea, demonstrating that very dominance in a subtle way.
       The inherent drama of the law is most evident (no pun intended) when it is on display in the courtroom. Trials are a contest between opposing forces. Over most of the last two centuries courtroom combatants had been captured by courtroom artists. As technology has advanced, so has our inside knowledge of trial proceedings, first with still photography and then in some cases, as famously demonstrated by the OJ Simpson trial, television cameras. For now, cameras are not allowed in federal court and artists use their skills to bring trials to life for the public. These artists masterfully capture the drama of the trial as they interpret the events before them, telling the story in a series of hand-drawn images.
       Today the most well-known form of illustration dealing with the law may be the editorial cartoon. These run the gambit of political and social issues, and thus frequently involve the court system. Political cartoonists combine criticism and satire and display them using the obvious and ridiculous. In ruling on Hustler Magazine, Inc. vs. Jerry Falwell (485 U.S. 46), Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote that, “Despite their sometimes caustic nature… graphic depictions and satirical cartoons have played a prominent role in public and political debate.” He concludes that, from the viewpoint of history, our political discourse would have been poorer without them. Indeed, a quick Internet search demonstrates that there are plenty of resources available for one to “write” the history (legal and otherwise) of Britain and the United States from at least 1800 to the present using nothing but cartoons.
       Legal Illuminations: The Art of Law, a new exhibit on display from November 9, 2012, to January 31, 2013, in the library lobby, contains a selection of materials from the library that shows how illustrations and art have brought the law to the public from the thirteenth century to the present.

1. Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art? (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., 1899), 43.
2. Robbins, Sara, ed. Law: a treasury of art and literature (New York: Macmillan Pub. Co., 1990), 12.
3. Library of Congress Law Library: An illustrated Guide (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 2005), 170.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

TexasLawHelp.org - Website Revamped

 By Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

TexasLawHelp.org, is a website designed to provide legal information to low-income Texas residents. The major subjects are family law, consumer, civil rights, crime victims, employment and disability.  It is sponsored by the, Texas Access to Justice Foundation, Texas Access to Justice Commission, Legal Services Corporation, Texas Legal Services Center,Travis County Law Library, and legal aid organizations in Texas.

For librarians who serve pro se (self- represented) patrons, the site has been invaluable in providing information to our patrons. Traditional published legal forms are geared to lawyers and must be completed by word processing programs. The information and forms provided by TexasLawHelp.org are delivered with legal information and instructions in lay terms and can be completed by hand, if necessary.  It seems that Texas courts, especially the family courts, readily accept these forms. I started working on an interactive form and found it to work smoothly. The useris asked a series of questions before the completed document is generated.

I referred a patron to the site yesterday, and found a substantially revamped and expanded presence. I easily found the desired form, an "application for appointment of counsel" in a family law parental termination case.  New features include self-help videos, interactive forms for protective orders and divorces, court information and news, and expanded information in Vietnamese. The site connects users to a site called weownthedream.org which helps determine if one is eligible for deferred action for childhood arrivals.

Example of interactive form builder: Affidavit of Inability to Pay Court Costs










Thursday, September 13, 2012

Texas Speeding Laws featured in New York Times Article

The New York Times, Tuesday September 11, 2012,  has an interesting article on the change upward in speeding limits on some Texas highways. Its title is "Reclaiming the Title of Fastest in the Land."  In sum, these changes have resulted in some very fast speed limits. One example is on a soon-to-be opened toll road, State Highway 130 between Austin and San Antonio. The speed limit will be 85 miles per hour.

Jerry Patterson, the State Land Commissioner, shares his attitude toward speed limits in a comical fashion:
Mr. Patterson’s comments were transcribed with difficulty, because he and his turbocharged, six-cylinder Ford pickup were speeding on I-10 west of Houston as he spoke on his cellphone. “I’m right now doing 79, and I’m going with the traffic,” he said. “The speed limit here I think is 70. If I was doing 70, I’d have cars backed up behind me, I’d have folks that are trying to jump in and out to change lanes to get around me. The majority of the citizenry do not drive 70 miles an hour in a 70-miles-an-hour zone.”
Mr. Patterson's comments actually reflect Texas Transportation Code Sections 545.351-353 and  545.3531. These laws establish that an operator may not drive at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under circumstances then existing. Those provisions also authorize the Texas Transportation Commission to alter speed limits. For more information see the website of the Texas Department of Transportation http://www.txdot.gov/safety/speed_limit/setting.htm.

Friday, August 31, 2012

West's Law School Study Aids - Now Available!!!!!


Access your study aids today!!!

1.       Login to http://lawschool.westlaw.com

2.       Click on the My eProducts tab on the top of the screen


3.       Click on the West Study Aids Subscription tab


4.      You will then see the orange box on the left hand side that says the school has purchased the study aids subscription.

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5.       You can search for anything, click a link (see below) and the very 1st time you access you will receive the Pre-Eula:

cid:image003.png@01CD876A.425DF770

6.       By clicking on PROCEED you are agreeing to this Pre-Eula and will never see the screen again.

7.       From then on, you can simply search to their hearts content.

Try it and let us know if you like it (or not). Our subscription will expire on May 15, 2013.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Electronic Study Aids from West

Coming August 31st!!!

Here you will find Black Letter Outlines, Nutshells, Concise Hornbooks, Gilbert Law Summaries and all sorts of review questions, all part of a library of more than 350 titles. Type in the title you would like to see, or search via the subject.

You can highlight, cut and paste text and include comments. You can even search the text for particular words or phrases.

Try it and let us know if you like it (or not). Our trial subscription will expire on May 15, 2013.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Published in the 16th Century, but new to us: recent acquisitions on display now

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian

      An Elizabethan work of political theory, a volume of public contracts used throughout the Spanish Empire, and a main source for Bracton’s treatise on English Law are but a few of the primary legal sources the Special Collections Department has acquired over the past year. On display now in the library lobby are some of our most recent acquisitions. You can see Pedro Melgarejo’s Compendio de contratos publicos, autos de particiones, egecutivos, y de residencies, first published in 1652. A collection of public contracts used in the Spanish Empire, it includes forms on the sale of slaves, the manumission of slaves, contracts specifically for married women, dowries, forms for nuns, emancipation of minors, and maritime contracts.

      Also on display is Richard Compton’s L'authoritie et iurisdiction des courts de la maiestie de la roygne, published in 1594, in which he offers legal reasoning to justify an uncompromising hierarchical society governed by a powerful monarch. View the Summa Azonis, Portuis Azo’s carefully organized commentaries on the Code, Digest and Institutes of the Corpus Juris Civilis. Written in the 13th century, it was circulated widely in manuscript form. Thirty-five editions were printed between 1481 and 1610. Our copy is from 1532.

     These works plus several more will be on exhibit in the library lobby until October 26, 2012. For more information about the items on display or the Special Collections Department, please contact Heather Kushnerick.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The President's Immigration Policy Change

By Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

In a Rose Garden speech last week, President Obama announced an immigration policy change. At the President's direction,the Department of Homeland Security is setting up a process to begin in sixty (60) days in which certain young immigrants can be assured that the possibility of deportation will be deferred.  The process is called Deferred Action Process for Young People Who are Low Enforcement Priorities.  Despite news reports to the contrary, the policy change is not styled an Executive Order, but is called a Directive. However, the Office of legal Counsel of the Department of Justice wrote an opinion which says there is no difference in substance between an Executive Order and a Directive.

The qualifications for deferral are:
  1. Came to the United States under the age of sixteen;
  2. Have continuously resided in the United States for a least five years preceding the date of this memorandum and are present in the United States on the date of this memorandum;
  3. Are currently in school, have graduated from high school, have obtained a general education development certificate, or are honorably discharged veterans of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States;
  4. Have not been convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, multiple misdemeanor offenses, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety;
  5. Are not above the age of thirty.
Deferral will be decided on a case by case basis. There is a blog post at the whitehouse.gov site which provides questions and answers on the directive.

For the ability to contrast this Directive with the proposed legislation known as the Dream Act of 2011 refer to H. R. 1842, Introduced in the House of Representatives May 11, 2011 and S. 952 introduced in the Senate on the same date.  These full-text PDFs were retrieved using the FDsys system provided by the Government Printing Office.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Changes to the First Floor of the Fred Parks Law Library

The first floor of the Fred Parks Law Library has long been established as the "Ultra Quiet Floor." Upcoming changes will allow the floor to hold true to its description, even when patrons are using the microfiche machines on that floor. 
 
Construction has begun to turn part of the staff office area into a soundproof room for the microfiche readers and printers. We have been informed that the noisiest days will be Monday June 18-Wednesday June 20. The project is estimated to be complete on Monday July 9th, 2012. 

If you have any questions or problems concerning this new library project, please don't hesitate to ask a librarian. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Texas Forensic Science Commission - Forensic Science Seminar

Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

The Texas Forensic Science Commission  was created by HB 1068 in the 2005 Texas Legislative Session. This Forensic Science Seminar,  June 4 - 5, 2012, unlike most continuing legal education events, brings together DNA and arson experts, arson investigators, medical examiners, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, medical doctors and civil rights activists, to make scientific evidence used in the legal system more reliable.

The two big areas of forensics that are familiar to most are arson investigation and DNA analysis. In Texas, the Todd Willingham case is an example; he was executed for the deaths of two children, when it now appears that the suspect fire was accidental.  Faulty arson investigation is blamed.  It is also now apparent that post-conviction DNA analysis reveals that a significant number of people have been wrongfully convicted due to faulty forensic testimony to juries.

But forensics includes more than just arson and DNA analysis.  The federal government has sponsored a report called Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. The report's author is Committee on Identifying the Needs of the Forensic Sciences Community, National Research Council. It is commonly referred to as the NAS Report.

A paragraph from the report tells us forensic science encompasses:

...a broad range of forensic disciplines, each with its own set of technologies and practices. In other words, there is wide variability across forensic science disciplines with regard to techniques, methodologies, reliability, types and numbers of potential errors,research, general acceptability, and published material. Some of the forensic science disciplines are laboratory based (e.g., nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis, toxicology and drug analysis); others are based on expert interpretation of observed patterns (e.g., fingerprints, writing samples, toolmarks, bite marks, and specimens such as hair). The “forensic science community,” in turn, consists of a host of practitioners, including scientists (some with advanced degrees) in the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and medicine; laboratory technicians; crime scene investigators; and law enforcement officers. There are very important differences, however, between forensic laboratory work and crime scene investigations. There are also sharp distinctions between forensic practitioners who have been trained in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and medicine (and who bring these disciplines to bear in their work) and technicians who lend support to forensic science enterprises. Many of these differences are discussed in the body of this report.




Thursday, May 31, 2012

Library Closing Early on Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Fred Parks Law Library will be closing at 5:00pm on Saturday June 2, 2012, as the air conditioner to the South Texas College of Law will be turned off for maintenance.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reference Tidbit - A Trip to the Library - Citing Vernon's Texas Statutes and Codes in Briefs


By Jessica R. Alexander, Reference Librarian

Like it or not, it is sometimes necessary to visit the library even though you have a sophisticated electronic database to access Texas statutes and codes. In these instances only paper and microform resources can solve the research issue.

I provided reference assistance to an attorney today who is writing an appellate brief on Texas law. The patron called the reference desk initially to determine how to obtain an "official copy" of a Texas session law.  I easily solved that problem by directing her to the Texas Legislative Reference Library Legislative Archive System. That site allows the user to enter the date of the session, i.e. 78th Regular, 78 1st called, etc. or the chapter number of the law. 78th Regular, Chapter ###.  After entering the required information, an image of the law in the General and Special Laws of Texas is available. (See the image below. The General and Special Laws of Texas of the State of Texas are available in print in our library at KFT1225.T45.)

The patron was not as fortunate in her other research need. In order to cite Texas statutes and codes according to the Bluebook, 19th Edition, Rule 12.3.1, it is necessary to list the copyright date of the bound volume and/or the paperback supplement in Vernon's Texas Statutes and Codes. ( West.) The writer must determine if parts of the statute or code appears in both the bound volume and the supplement or in just one of them. When a law is amended, all of its existing provisions may or may not change.  Unchanged provisions may be in the bound volume, while changes appear in the pocket part.  Unfortunately, it is not possible to readily access this information in Westlaw or other electronic statute databases.

Both the patron and I contacted Westlaw reference attorneys for help.  The person I talked to could only suggest that the Filing and Shelving Instructions found online at the Westlaw store might solve the problem. I carefully examined the Filing and Shelving Instructions and the Summary of Contents information and determined that while it is possible to determine the bound volume copyright date (see Summary of Contents information), it is not possible to determine the pocket part date. 

Another instance when a trip is necessary is that superseded pocket parts are not available on Westlaw or any other electronic database. If a law is changed or amended between publication of the bound volumes, the changes appear only in the pocket parts. These pocket parts are usually discarded by small libraries.  We now keep the superseded pocket parts in paper, but our fail safe materials are microform images of both the bound volumes and the pocket parts.The images date to the inception of Vernons.

As an academic library, we strive to bridge the gaps left by electronic legal resources.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Effective June 2013, Westlaw will no longer provide free printing to law students. Students may download or print to their attached printers, but the printers/toner/paper Westlaw provided will go away.

The budgetary impact on a law library will be huge. We're not just talking paper, but toner and the printers capable of handling the demand, and the maintenance contracts that go along with them.

What is a law library to do?

Do we provide the same level of unlimited printing as Westlaw, even if it means implementing a library fee?

Do we just say, go green, save a tree and download?

Weigh in, what do you think should happen?  Creative, off the wall, and just plain crazy ideas welcome!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage: Congressional Documents

From the Government Documents department...

With President Obama's recent announcement of his support for same-sex marriage, we're providing links to two good resources that will further your research or help satisfy your interest in this topic.

CRS Report: Same-Sex Marriages: Legal Issues

Proquest LibGuide: Same-Sex Marriage: A Selected Bibliography: This research guide will point you to legislative documents, reports, hearings, and committee prints that address the issue.  The links provided will point you to our Proquest Congressional and Legislative Insight databases.  You must be on campus or logged in to Stanley to access this content

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Texas Forensic Science Commission 2012 Seminar - Opportunity for Free CLE Hours

The Texas Forensic Science Commission in cooperation with the Texas Criminal Justice Integrity Unit will host the 2012 Texas Forensic Science Seminar on June 4th and 5th. Conference topics include arson investigation, forensics of drug testing, DNA evidence, crime lab accreditation and fingerprint forensics to name a few.

The conference is FREE.  The registration form states that potential participants must contact Commission Coordinator, Leigh Tomlin, for details on continuing legal education credits.
 


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sunlight Foundation Launches SCOUT to track State & Federal Government Information

From the Government Documents Department...

First of all, if you're not familiar with the Sunlight Foundation, you should definitely check it out.  The Sunlight Foundation is "a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike." Their dedication to open government and unrestricted free public access to government information at the state and federal levels is astounding. Through their many projects, the Sunlight Foundation provides resources for tracking activities on Capital Hill and in the White House, as well as government spending and the influence of lobbyists.  They also offer a bunch of apps so you can use all of this important information on the go. 

The Sunlight Foundation's latest project is called SCOUT.  It's still in beta, but it promises to be a powerful tool.  Using SCOUT, you can create alerts to be notified of updates from Congress.  You can track every bill and regulation in the federal government as well as the bills being debated in all 50 states.  This is an indispensable tool for keeping up with all that's happening in government.  Give it a try!

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Texas "Castle" Doctrine

Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian
No topic is more timely these days than the debate on state laws justifying lethal force in defense of one's person or property. In some states these are called, "stand your ground" laws, while in Texas, it is known as the "castle doctrine." (Penal Code Sections 9.01et. seq.)

The "castle doctrine" in Texas assumed its most controversial form in S.B. 378 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2007 in its 80th Regular Session. Click on the link to the bill where the Texas Legislative Reference Library has information on the bill's history, sponsors and reports from the Senate Research Center. The bill changed Texas Penal Code Sections 9.01, Definitions, and 9.31 and 9.32 Deadly Force in Defense of Person. Note that the LRL also has news and scholarly articles on the law.

The committee reports show that two important changes were made to existing law. The bill extended the right to use such force outside of one's the habitation to "...vehicle, place of business, or place of employment" and changed the burden of proof on the duty to retreat to the prosecution from the defense. Also, if the person on whom lethal force is used or his/her family brings a civil suit, the plaintiff must show that the person using deadly force had a duty to retreat before prevailing in the lawsuit.

The Fred Parks Library offers a research guide, Texas Legislative History Research, if you are interested in researching this or any other Texas law.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Symposium: The Largest Murder Trial in History

Do you have an interest in Houston Legal History?
Do you have an interest in Military Justice?
Are you an attorney looking for CLE credits?

On March 23, 2012 the Fred Parks Law Library at the South Texas College of law will be hosting a Symposium on the Houston Riot of 1917. Topics in the symposium will include:
  • "The Largest Murder Trial in the History of the United States": The Houston Riots Courts-Martial of 1917
  • The Houston Mutiny and Riots Courts-Martial: Military Justice in its Aftermath
  • The Buffalo Soldiers: Their History, the Houston Mutiny, and its Legacy, A Descendant Speaks: Academic and Personal Observations on the Houston Mutiny and its Aftermath
  • Military Justice Going Forward
  • Contemporary Practice of Military Law

The cost is $20 (check or cash only, collected at the door) and lunch will be provided.
6.5 hours of CLE credit

For more information, visit the symposium web page.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Race & Miltary Justice

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian

To complement our upcoming seminar, “The Largest Murder Trial in American History: Exploring the Houston Riot of 1917 and it’s Impact on Military Justice Today,” there is an exhibit of selected materials from the library on race and military justice in the library lobby. Included in the display are works on the Buffalo soliders, the Brownsville Raid, and Henry O. Flipper, the first African-American graduate of West Point. This exhibit will be up until April 15, 2012.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Free Class on Digital Law Practice


Starting February 10, CALI (The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction) is offering a FREE course on Digital Law Practice. The course will provide an overview of the changes in law practice brought about by the ever changing use of technology, using real life practice situations to demonstrate how to best use the tools at the disposal of the modern attorney.

The course is an hour per week, with a different guest speaker each week, and will be delivered via webcast. If you miss a class, that's fine. The courses will be recorded and posted to the site, but you need to register to participate!

For more information, see the course site here: http://tdlp.classcaster.net/

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hugo Grotius, Desecretation of Bodies of the Enemy, and International Law

By Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S., Reference Librarian

Hugo Grotius,' the father of international law's, writings on international norms and the burial of the dead inform our understanding of the revulsion we feel when bodies are desecrated, no matter that they are those of our enemy combatants. His works were published in the seventeenth century. One English translation is, "In The Rights of War and Peace: Including the Law of Nature and Nations, (A. C. Campbell, trans.) 213 (1901), Book II, Chapter XIX, On the Right of Burial, in which he quotes sources of myth and reality:

"...Upon the principles advanced above, it is agreed by all that public enemies are entitled to burial. Appian calls it the common right of war, with which, Tacitus says, no enemy will refuse to comply. And the rules, respecting this, are, according to Dio Chrysostom, observed, even while the utmost rage of war still continues. (For the hand of death, as the writer just quoted observes, has destroyed all enmity towards the fallen, and protected their bodies from all insult.)"(my emphasis).

This book (and chapter) can be found in full-text on Google and on HeinOnline, which you can access through our Stanley portal or in the library. Link to the text on HeinOnline here (Faculty, staff, students, and in-house users only).

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Follow Up On Deferred Adjudication Pardons

By Jessica R. Alexander, J.D., M.L.S.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has now issued the forms and some vague guidelines on how to apply for a pardon of deferred adjudication cases. Information on the law of pardons in Texas can be found in the Texas Criminal Practice Guide, Volume 5, editors, Marvin O. Teague and Barry T. Heft, published by Matthew-Bender. It can be accessed through our Stanley Portal electronically in the Lexis-Nexis Matthew Bender Online database: http://bender.lexisnexis.com/bender/us/catalog?action=home. It is in paper on the 5th floor and on reserve at KFT1775 .T4 1979.

It remains to be seen how the process for deferred adjudication pardons plays out in the board, before the Governor and maybe ultimately in a judicial review scenario. This new area of Texas law is ripe as a subject of a scholarly article. For example, former Govenor Haley Barbour of Mississippi, finds some of his controversial pardons enjoined by a court.http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2104269,00.html?xid=gonewsedit