IALS From Russell Square

IALS Leadership, Partnerships and Collaboration

As part of its role in supporting and promoting national and international legal research in the UK and overseas, IALS is active in a number of partnerships with other libraries and organisations, both specialist and multi-disciplinary. These take the form of collaborative acquisitions of print and electronic resources and also taking the lead in various web-based initiatives such as the Eagle-i Internet Portal for Law, the Current legal research topics database and hosting the British and Irish Legal Information Institute.

Picture of IALS
IALS Banner -National resource for legal research
British Council

BAILII and WorldLII - British & Irish Legal Information Institute and World Legal Information Institute
IALS is playing a major part in the development of both these web sites. It is hosting BAILII, providing free access to full text British and Irish primary materials and it is providing the British content for WorldLII. WorldLII provides a single search facility for databases created by 7 Legal Information Institute around the world, including BAILII, as well as various of its own databases which include international court and tribunal decisions and links to a large number of law-related web-sites around the world. In addition IALS is facilitating further developments of CommonLII (Commonwealth Legal Information Institute) through a fellowship at the Institute and collaborative digitisation initiatives. IALS is also involved in formative discussions on the creation of a potential EuroLII service (IALS outline). More on BAILII collaboration ...

Beijing Arbitration Commission
The Beijing Arbitration Commission (http://www.bjac.org.cn/en/index.asp) and the Institute are discussing various means of co-operation including an annual report on arbitration in China and an annual conference at the Institute. The Commission has presented the Institute with several works on Chinese and international arbitration and a series containing arbitration decisions over the past several year.

In June 2013 experts gathered at IALS to discuss Commercial Dispute Resolution in China. The Conference was opened by Madame Wang Hongsong, Vice-Chairperson, Beijing Arbitration Commission and IALS Director, Jules Winterton. Members of the Beijing Arbitration Commission presented the BAC annual reports on: arbitration, mediation, construction, intellectual property, and finance. Rt Hon Jack Straw MP delivered concluding Remarks.

BIALL - British and Irish Association of Law Librarians
IALS Library staff often contribute to the Associations journal "Legal Information Management" and compile a monthly current awareness column of recently published books and articles on topics of interest to legal information professionals. The library developed and hosts the Current Awareness for Legal Information Managers web database. The annual SLS/BIALL Academic Law Library Survey is conducted at IALS on behalf of the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) and British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), providing a snapshot of the staffing, expenditure on acquisitions, subscriptions to databases and range of services provided in the academic year by university and college libraries in the UK and Ireland

British Council
Professor Sherr was invited by the British Council to assist in advising them, the British Embassy and Judicial Authorities in Bulgaria in relation to issues of training regarding judicial decision-making on a prosecutorial and judicatory basis. Principal among the objectives was the avoidance of corruption within a system under close scrutiny from the European Union in relation to the possible accession of Bulgaria in the next few years.

British Library
The Institute library has been co-operating with the British Library for a number of years in the collaborative acquisitions of foreign legal materials. This has led to a concordat being signed. Initially the 2 libraries have concentrated on European official gazettes and have mapped their respective holdings in some detail and made the information available on the FLARE website enabling researchers easily to identify holdings and locations. Ultimately the intention is to create a national collection of foreign official gazettes by amalgamating incomplete holdings. The two libraries are also co-operating in the acquisitions of legal journals, initially by comparing holdings and again, with the intention of providing access to journal articles for their respective readers.

British Library and Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Concordat

FLAG - Foreign law research guide
With RSLP funding the library developed, along with four library partners, and continues to update a web database called FLAG , providing a gateway to foreign, international and comparative law collections within about 50 academic, national and specialist law libraries in the UK. The aim is to improve access to the material and to assist in the creation of a national collection development policy.

A project is commencing at IALS in 2013 to undertake a major update of the FLAG database. The project will involve re-assessing the collections of foreign primary law print materials in UK libraries and rebuilding the FLAG database, which is freely available as a national resource for law

FLARE - Foreign law research
The relationship with the British Library and the development of the FLAG database have led to continued co-operation among the libraries concerned (IALS, The British Library, the Bodleian Law Library, the Squire Law Library and the School of Oriental and African Studies) and to the formation of FLARE - Foreign Law Research group. The aim of FLARE is to continue the aims of the earlier projects to develop collaborative collection policies, improve access to foreign, comparative and international law and to increase the expertise of library staff by providing information and training courses in the collection, management and exploitation of these materials. The website includes the union list of European official gazettes, course materials and documents produced by both FLAG and FLARE in furthering their aims. FLARE has been particularly helpful in advising the IALS development of the Flare Index to Treaties.

More about Great Law Libraries of the World ...

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
The FCO deposited a large collection of Commonwealth legislation with the Institute Library under a trust deed in 1992. It contained much historic material and also current legislation for many countries. The FCO continues to assist the library in keeping the collection up to date using its contacts with governments throughout the Commonwealth. A JISC grant was awarded in recognition of the importance of the collection to enable the library to catalogue and integrate the material with its existing Commonwealth collections.

Free Access to Law Movement
In June 2011 the Institute - through "IALS Information Projects" and IALS Digital Collections http://ials.sas.ac.uk/library/digital/digital.htm became a member of the worldwide Free Access to Law Movement (FALM). FALM is a loose alliance of over 40 institutes and organisations which subscribe to the Declaration on Free Access to Law and collaborate in the free provision of legal information and on global policy issues. The Declaration appears at http://www.worldlii.org/worldlii/declaration/ which also lists the member organisations based in countries and regions such as Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Pacific Islands, Philippines, Southern Africa, Uganda, and the USA. The Journal of Open Access to Law is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal for the promotion of the international research on the topic of open access to law. JOAL provides an international forum for academic researchers as well as for practitioners of open legal publishing. 

High Impact Research at IALS
Within its agenda of promoting research facilitation, advancing innovation, and bridging research between the academy, the profession, judiciary, civil service and industry the Institute produces its own high impact research, and contributes to the generation and development of high impact research of others. High impact research at the IALS has addressed niche areas of human rights in HIV and AIDS, international financial regulation, international and European interdisciplinary taxation law and practice, on-line dispute resolution, legislative drafting and law reform, European criminal law, professional competence in the legal profession and the delivery of legal services, the future of law in an age of austerity, and change in Professional Legal Education and Training.

Intute: Social Sciences information gateway
For more than 10 years IALS collaborated with the University of Bristol to create the law section of Intute - identifying, describing and evaluating free legal resources on the web. Such resources include primary and secondary materials, professional organisations, regulatory bodies, current legal news and teaching resources. JISC funding cuts mean that the Intute service is closing in July 2011 and no new resources are being added to the Intute Internet catalogue since July 2010.

Under our agreement with Intute, as section editors for law, IALS has harvested and enhanced the records we created for Intute: Law - effectively rescuing them for further academic and legal research purposes - making them available through our Eagle-i Internet Portal for Law www.ials.sas.ac.uk/eagle-i.htm. The Eagle-i Internet Portal for Law features a freely available web database which will help ensure that evaluative records of quality web resources (including important new additions) continue to be available to support legal studies and research for the UK.

Legal Education Research Network
LERN is a network of researchers interested in legal education. One of its core aims is to support like minded researchers through informal activities such as offering advice on methodology and research design, helping with piloting materials and facilitating collaborations. More formally LERN runs a series of workshops focusing on aspects of research into legal education which allows participants to develop their skills and share best practice. LERN is being run by Professor Pat Leighton and Professor Fiona Cownie  who together with Dr Jessica Guth make up the steering group. LERN receives support from both the Association of Law Teachers and the Society of Legal Scholars. LERN organises a number of joint events with the IALS each year. IALS is currently working with LERN on an upgrade of the LERN web pages: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/lern/lern.htm

Legal Services Complaints Commissioner
Professor Sherr was invited to join the Legal Services Complaints Commissioner's Consumer Advisory Board in 2012. This is a highly important period for the future of regulation of lawyers and legal services as the Legal Services Bill begins to proceed through Parliament. It has therefore been an important time to be involved in understanding, consulting on, and advising in relation to issues of discipline and conduct of lawyers.

LLMC-Digital
The library is a charter member of LLMC-Digital , a US-based cooperative of libraries formed with the aim of preserving legal titles and government documents in microform and digital formats and making these available to legal research libraries at cost, and the Librarian has served on the Board of Directors and is currently a Councilor. More on LLMC-Digital collaboration ...

London Institute of Space Policy and Law (ISPL)
IALS collaborates with the London Institute of Space Policy and Law (ISPL) to offer opportunities for research in space law. Both institutes recognise the growing relevance of the space sector to the worldwide economy, security and social development. With the increased focus at the national and international level on space, its regulation and orderly development have and will continue to gain in importance.

NELLCO New England Law Library Consortium
IALS library is one of the first international affiliates of the New England Law Library Consortium based in the US.

UK Centre for Legal Education (UKCLE)
IALS collaborated with UKCLE at the University of Warwick on a number of initatives over several years. In particular Professor Sherr worked with UKCLE in further professionalising the approach and status of law teachers in the UK which has been important in an era of change in benchmarking standards and training frameworks for qualified lawyers.