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Thursday, August 15, 2019

by Barbara Szalkowski, Core Operations Librarian

Now Appearing in the Library!
We have pulled a collection of books for
our new students and placed them
on TOP of the low Reference shelves
nearest the elevators on the main 2nd floor.
Topics include study skills, outlining, legal writing, 
exam preparation, and coping with stress.
The collection is designated with a sign,
"How to Succeed in Law School".

Don't Miss Our
New Student "Open House"
Monday, August 19th
Drop in anytime between
11:30am-1:30pm OR 4:45pm-5:45pm
2nd floor Lobby

The Librarians and Library Staff are here to help
-- if you have any questions about resources,
services, the Law School, the downtown area, 
or anything else, just ask us!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Space (Law): The Final Frontier

by Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist
    
     Space law is the body of law that governs all space-related activities, agreements, rules, and principles. Obviously, it includes space exploration, but it also covers a wide variety of other fields of law including international law, administrative law, criminal law, commercial law, insurance law, environmental law, intellectual property law, and arms control law.
     Space law originated in the early 20th century when international law recognized each country’s sovereignty over it’s airspace. It kicked into gear during the space race of the 1950s with the launch of Sputnik and the creation of NASA. It was at this time that space law became a separate area of the law.  The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) was created in 1958. It is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space. The 1963 Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space dictates that all space exploration is to be done with good intentions and is open to all States that comply with international law. It also states that no nation can claim ownership of celestial bodies. This means that while the American flag is on the moon, we don’t own it. The 1963 Declaration goes on to state that all objects launched into space are subject to the nation that owns them, and those nations  are responsible for any damages those objects cause.
     Other treaties, agreements, and resolutions regarding Space include:
  • The 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapons Testing in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water;
  • The 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial bodies (the Outer Space Treaty);
  • The 1968 Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space;
  • The 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects;
  • The 1975 Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space;
  • The 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial bodies (dormant)
  • The 1982 Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting;
  • The 1986 Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space
  • The 1992 Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources In Outer Space
  • The 1996 Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of Developing Countries

     The works on display here are a part of our space law collection located in the Library’s main collection. To learn more, go to:






Monday, January 14, 2019

Rare books on display in the Library


By Heather Kushnerick, Special Collections Librarian & College Archivist


     The Library’s Special Collections, tucked in an out-of-the-way room in the Cullen building, houses the College Archives, Manuscript Collections, and an impressive Rare Books Collection (if we do say so ourselves). The Rare Books Collection focuses on seminal works in legal history, English common law, Spanish and Mexican law, Texas legal history, and maritime law. The oldest item in our collection was printed in 1481, but the content of the collection, which includes the Rolls of Oleron, the Institutes of Justinian, and the Will of Aethelgifu, covers close to two thousand years of legal history.
     The Library actively seeks out rare books to add to our collection, but finding items that fit within our collection is challenging for many reasons. First, of course, is the limited scope of subjects we collect. We only collect books on or about the law and, within that, we only collect in small, defined areas. Second, and most importantly, is that we call it the “Rare Books Collection” for a reason: the items we collect are hard to find. Books today are mass-produced and, usually, easy to obtain. This is not the case with books printed prior to the 19th century. Printing houses typically only produced what they thought they could sell. Finally, books have to be taken care of in order to last. War, politics, acts of nature, and simple use all factor in to whether or not a book will survive the passage of time. When all these conditions, and the stars, align, we find an item to add to our collection.
     Several of our recent acquisitions are on display now in the Library lobby. This includes the first English law dictionary, a study on the impact of smuggling in Spain’s’ American colonies, and a manuscript legal opinion from the Court of Admiralty on salvage during the English Civil War.