IALS Library launches Law PORT

We are pleased to announce the launch of Law PORT, a collection of online interactive training resources designed to improve the information literacy skills of law PhD students in a number of key areas. The tutorials were created by Librarians at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies to support postgraduate researchers across with UK with public international law research and the use of OSCOLA when citing references.

The Law PORT project was funded by the School of Advanced Study and the resources are hosted on the School’s platform for postgraduate online research training (PORT). The tutorials available in Law PORT are free-to-use, can be accessed anywhere, at any time and be undertaken at your own pace. They will be maintained and updated by IALS Library staff to ensure they remain a useful national resource for legal researchers. Tutorials have been created on the following topics:

  • Citing references using OSCOLA
  • Researching customary international law
  • Treaties and international conventions

A summary of each tutorial, along with some of the feedback we have received is provided below.

An introduction to citing references using OSCOLA

This tutorial offers an introduction to the rules for the citation of legal and other authorities according to OSCOLA (Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities). It covers primary sources of law for the UK and EU, as well as secondary sources including books, journals and websites. The general principles are also covered, allowing students to apply these with confidence to sources not explicitly covered in the guide, along with information about various other sources of help and information. This tutorial was created by Laura Griffiths, Academic Services Librarian at IALS.

It will be greatly appreciated by postgraduate researchers and taught-course students alike. I will certainly be an early adopter for the overseas users who email me asking for training. ~ Dr Elizabeth Wells, Foreign, Comparative, & International Law Librarian, Bodleian Law Library. 

A really good piece of work. It is way more comprehensive than anything else available and I can see it becoming used a huge amount by law students at all levels for many years to come. ~ Bob Burns, Subject Librarian for Law, SOAS

This will be useful for all levels of student that I support from LLB to PhD ~ Rob Hodgson, Subject Librarian for Law, City, University of London

Researching customary international law

This tutorial gives an overview of the key sources, print and online, for researching customary international law. It covers finding evidence of state practice in the records of states' foreign relations and diplomatic practice, and in legislation concerning international obligations. It also looks at researching the practice of the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly and UN human rights committees. The learning outcomes are based on the International Association of Law Libraries’ Guidelines for Public International Law Research Instruction. This tutorial was created by Hester Swift, Foreign and International Law Librarian at IALS.

 A succinct but scholarly introduction to PIL materials. ~ Diamond Ashiagbor, Professor of Law and Director of Research, IALS

A good general survey of the field of information available. ~ Ronan Cormacain, PhD student, IALS

Treaties and international conventions

This tutorial covers the fundamentals of treaty research; finding treaties, checking status and party information, understanding treaty citations and tracing travaux preparatoires. It focuses on authoritative sources of treaties in print and online. The learning outcomes are based on the International Association of Law Libraries’ Guidelines for Public International Law Research Instruction. This tutorial was created by Lisa Davies, Access Librarian at IALS.

Fantastically accessible tutorial to treaties and international conventions. Whether you're a total beginner or just need to clear up a few minor confusions, the Law PORT tutorial is comprehensive and engaging. ~ Emily Allbon, Senior Lecturer and Director of Mooting, City, University of London

 Immensely useful for doctoral research. ~ Dr Maria Xiouri, LLM (Cantab, Athens), PhD (QMUL)

To access the training resources visit http://port.sas.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=120.

Law PORT screen shot

For more information about the Law PORT project visit http://ials.sas.ac.uk/digital/ials-digital-resources/law-port/background-law-port-project.