Author Archives: lawbod

Salam, nowruz mubarak!

<<!سلام ,نوروز مبارک>>

By Ben Politowski

Today, 20th March, is the Hormoz (the first day of a Persian month) of Farvardin, and marks the first day of the Iranian new year or ‘nowruz’. Said to have been founded by the prophet Zoroaster himself, this celebration of the ‘new day’ is one of the holiest days in the Zoroastrian calendar, and is still celebrated worldwide today.

This year the LawBod Blog seeks to mark Nowruz in its own particular way – by examining some of our resources available on the legal jurisdiction of Iran (and using this as a handy excuse to remind you that we collect material for a wide range of subjects!).Iranian law books on shelf.

Nestled amongst our ‘rest of the world’ collection on Floor 1 of the law library, you could be forgiven for overlooking the fairly small number of books which deal specifically with Iranian law as this is not an area which has received a lot of serious academic attention in the legal sphere. Whilst simple guides to the Iranian legal system, the constitutional structure of the executive, and the varying role of the judiciary can be found online, the researching scholar could do far worse than to consult two detailed books by Mohammadi: Judicial Reform and Reorganization in 20th Century Iran (2008) [Iran 510 M697a] and Constitutional Law in Iran (2012) [Iran 510 M697b].

Searching for primary sources on the law of Iran, it helps to have some background knowledge to the country’s constitutional history. The Constitutional Revolution of 1906-7 paved the way for the creation of a new Iranian constitution and formation of the Majlis (parliament). With the rise of the Pahlavi kings, Iran became a constitutional monarchy de jure, but with a powerful head of state who controlled the executive. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 led to the writing of a new constitution; one which would transform the judiciary, government and executive with the hope of creating a new culturally, economically and politically independent Iran.

The Bodleian Libraries do hold copies of this constitution – both in farsi and english – but sadly none are held within the law library. Translated versions are also available online, for example from the Iran Chamber Society.

The attempt since the revolution of 1979 to amalgamate shari’a law – a law which is predominantly a jurist’s law rather than a judge’s law – has led to the creation of law codes. Both a Civil Code (translated edition available within the law library) and a Penal Code (available online from here, or here) form the legislative basis for many judicial proceedings in Iran.

This blog post ends with a word of warning: Iran has undergone a lot of political change in the past fifty years, and much of what is written – especially on the internet – cannot be considered without betraying a form of political bias. For the legal scholar researching on Iran, a familiarity with the political history is still a necessity.

Some other resources:

Nowruz entry in Encyclopaedia Iranica

Islamic Republic’s Penal Code from 1982 (revised in 1989)

Iran Heritage Foundation

Haleem, M., A. Sherif & K. Daniels (eds), Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, (London, 2003)

Jany, J., Judging in the Islamic, Jewish and Zoroastrian Legal Traditions, (Farnham, 2012)

Mallat, C., Introduction to Middle Eastern Law, (Oxford, 2007)

Peters, R., Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law, (Cambridge, 2005)

Happy vacation! and how to take the Law Bod on holiday with you

coloured eggs

Enjoy…
Image via Pixabay

By Katie Carter

Happy holidays! If you’ve left Oxford for the vacation, you can still access many of our resources, including databases, e-journals, e-books and past exam papers through SOLO and/or Oxlip+.  If you get stuck during the day you can ask SOLO Live Help for, well, help.  Otherwise, email us at any time on law.library@bodleian.ox.ac.uk (though if you email at 3am we may not get back to you for several hours…).


Databases

All our databases – Westlaw, LexisLibrary, HeinOnline, Justcite, [your favourite database here] – are accessible wherever you have an internet connection.  To access them, log in to Oxlip+ or SOLO, and search for the database of your choice.  A few databases do have slightly different requirements; if you’re not sure what they are take a look at our Legal databases page.

Login to SOLO

Login to SOLO

Login to OxLIP+

Login to OxLIP+

e-Journals
A number of databases have really good journal collections, including HeinOnline, Westlaw and LexisLibrary.  It’s easier to search in OU e-journals for your articles than try to remember which journal is where though!  Just remember to search for the journal title, rather than the article title.  If your preferred search method is Google, you may find that there are some things you can’t access outside Oxford which you could while you were here.  To fix this in your settings, check our handy guide to Google Scholar, here.  And finally, don’t forget LawBod4Students, for articles not online anywhere else.

e-books on SOLO

e-books on SOLO

e-books
“Articles are all very well but I need more!”  And handily, we have a growing collection of books online for you. Sadly, not all of these are visible on SOLO, and you really need to know that Benjamin’s Sale of Goods, Chitty on Contract, Dicey & Morris Conflict of Laws, Goff & Jones Unjust Enrichment, the White Book and many more are on Westlaw under the Books tab.  You’ll also find some titles in HeinOnline and LexisLibrary, but anywhere you see ‘Find Online’ in SOLO you should be able to access the e-book.  As above, you’ll need to log in to SOLO with your Single Sign On details if you’re not in Oxford.

Exam papers
Okay, so exam papers are actually a bit of an exception, since you’ll find these through Weblearn at https://weblearn.ox.ac.uk/portal/hierarchy/oxam, but you’ll still need your SSO.

Anything else?
Lots!  Take a look at our libguides to find details of more specific resources.
Finally, if you are in Oxford over the vacation, we’re still here!  Vacation opening hours start from Monday 17th March: Mon-Fri 9.00-19.00, Sat 10.00-16.00, Sun closed.  See you soon!

The changing world of copyright

By Katie Carter

It became apparent some years ago that in the brave new world of digital media, existing intellectual property rules weren’t quite keeping up.  A plethora of new case law, legislation and regulation (both UK and EU) continues to emerge to address this situation, but how on earth are you supposed to know what’s going on?

In the UK, the Hargreaves Review published in 2011 included a number of recommendations on What Should Be Done, most of which the UK government accepted.  A handy page of the Intellectual Property Office website provides a timeline of actions taken in response to the Hargreaves Review, and provides an excellent starting point for your awareness of ‘what’s going on’.  The IPO also provides news, which you can follow for further updates on official developments, but I have to admit it’s not my preferred reading.  There are a number of excellent blogs covering wide-ranging IP issues – you’ll find some of them listed by the IPO itself at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/news-net.htm.  A couple of personal favourites, frequently updated, with alerts, wide-ranging comment, and numerous links to supporting documents are The IPKat blog and The 1709 Copyright Blog.  For those wanting to follow the legal journals, subscription services such as Lawtel can provide a subject-based alerting service, emailing you on a daily or weekly basis with a list of new IP articles published, as well as new cases and legislation if you wish.  Oxford students and academics wanting to make use of this option should contact the Legal Research Librarian (katie.carter@bodleian.ox.ac.uk) for a username and password.

Returning to our Hargreaves review timeline, a quick glance reveals the range of material with which we might want to keep up.  First on the list is Bills, specifically the Intellectual Property Bill currently making its way through Parliament.  The best way to follow the progress of a bill is in fact through the Parliament website, where each Bill before either house has its own page.  You can find the IP Bill at http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/intellectualproperty.html with links to related documents such as explanatory notes and research papers, clear indication of which stage the bill has reached, and an option on the right to set up an alert for its progress.

IP Bill alerts

Alerts available from the Parliament website

But what about once the Bill has received Royal Assent?  Our observant law students will know that Royal Assent is not necessarily the same as commencement, but how can you check whether the legislation sections in which you are interested have come into force?

Is it in force feature from Westlaw

Is it in Force? (Westlaw)

Lexis and Westlaw can both provide a handy visual check for this in their Status Snapshot and Arrangement of Act respectively.  If we take a quick look at the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, for example, we can see that most sections relating to copyright are in force, except s.74 which has a little way to go.  A subject-based alert including legislation from a service such as Lawtel, LexisLibrary or Westlaw should also alert you to changes in the status of the law.  These services should alert you not only to new Acts, but also to new Statutory Instruments.  A quick glance at the Hargreaves Review timeline from the IPO should tell you how important SIs are to the changing landscape of IP law!

A closer look will show that the government is also consulting on numerous changes.  You can see government consultations through the gov.uk portal, but bear in mind that consultations are hosted by individual departments, so you may find them more accessible via the department.  In this instance we might want to look at the consultations page on the IPO website – the closing date for consultation on Copyright works: seeking the lost, about the licensing of orphan works, is today (details at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/pro-policy/consult/consult-live/consult-2014-lost.htm).

And then are we up-to-date with it all?  Well, not quite…  the EU has also been active in this area, and on the subject of orphan works, the UK government is implementing EU Directive 2012/28 ‘on certain permitted uses of orphan works’.  Last week the Council of Europe formally adopted a new directive ‘on collective management of copyright related rights and multi-territorial licensing of rights in musical works for online users in the internal market’, which will have to be incorporated into domestic law within the next two years.  Cases and consultations feature here too, with a decision in Case C-466/12 Svensson two weeks ago which clarified the law on hyperlinks (essentially, linking to a work already publicly available online is not an infringement of copyright as there is no ‘new public’… *author looks at the number of links in this post and gives a sigh of relief*).  And for those interested in changes to EU copyright rules, the public consultation on the review of EU copyright rules has been extended to 5th March (it was due to close on 5th February), with details available at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/consultations/2013/copyright-rules/index_en.htm.  If all this EU legal information leaves you a little confused,  the Law Bod offers a ‘Book a Librarian’ service.

And finally: for general notes on keeping up and current awareness don’t forget you can find information and ‘how to’ notes in our Research Skills libguide under ‘Keeping up to date’.

And a little something extra from Justcite!

Justcite logo

By Katie Carter

Oxford readers are no doubt familiar with subscription database Justcite, sister site to Justis, as a citator tool – ie. it tells you where a case was reported; whether it has been subsequently applied, followed, distinguished or overruled; what cases and legislation were cited by your original case; and links through to the full text.  Particularly for those of you who enjoy thinking about these things graphically, the Justcite precedent map also allows you to see all these case connections at a glance, and to link through to related cases quickly and easily.

Justcite precedent map

Justcite precedent map

And now we have another new feature to focus our analysis: Citations in Context.  When you click on the menu option for subsequent cases you will see your usual list of cases organised by treatment – but the eagle-eyed among you will notice some small speech bubbles.

Citations in context

Citations in Context

You’ll notice they also mark the number of paragraphs which refer to your original case, so you can get some idea of whether it was relatively unimportant or the main topic of discussion.  When you click on one of these speech bubbles it will expand the view to show the relevant excerpt from the citing case.

Expanded view of citations in context

Citations in Context expanded

You can read the paragraph(s) that actually refers to your case, see whether it discusses the point of law in which you are interested, and form your own opinion of the judgment if necessary.   No more wondering whether the case is on topic, and ploughing your way through an entire transcript to find what the judge actually said!

Zero Hours Contracts; A Developing Story

By Penny Schenk

Zero hours  employment contracts (or ZHC’s) have been widely discussed recently. This post seeks to (very briefly) define a “zero hours contract” and highlight the current Government consultation on the subject which ends on March 13.

 Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Kevan Davis https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg/


Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Kevan Davis https://www.flickr.com/photos/kevandotorg/

First of all, what constitutes a ‘zero hours contract’? I was rather surprised to learn from the consultation that there is no legal definition of a zero hours contract in domestic law. Rather, it’s a term that encompasses a variety of different employment contracts. Data from the Office of National Statistics shows that the use of such contracts has increased in the past 5 years, and that there are currently about 250,000 such contracts in effect in the UK at present.

The Department of Business and Industry consultation defines a zero hours contract this way:

In general terms a zero hours contract is an employment contract in which the employer does not guarantee the individual any work, and the individual is not obliged to accept any work offered.

The consultation also contains a useful chart outlining the employment rights one has, depending on whether one is considered an employee, employee shareholder, worker, or is self-employed. Some have incorrrectly assumed that a zero hours contract neccessarily means sacrificing these rights; this is not the case.

The consultation ocncentrates on two controversial aspects of zero hours contracts:

1. Exclusivity

Specifically, employer exclusivity clauses that can prevent workers from seeking additional employment even when the employer with which they have a zero hours contract has no work to offer them.

2. Transparency

Or, how to address a widespread lack of understanding about the nature of zero hours contracts.

The Government is seeking input on various options it is proposing in relation to zero hours contracts, and those who wish to participate can do so here.

Still more from HeinOnline

By Katie Carter

We have just added the History of International LawHeinOnline collections list collection in HeinOnline to our subscription, offering over 1,000 titles, covering subjects from the Law of the Sea to the Nuremberg trials.  You’ll find it in the list of collections on the right of the screen as you open HeinOnline; click on the + sign to see the sub-collections.  The collection is divided into War & Peace, Law of the Sea, Hague Conference & Conventions, International Arbitration, Serials, a Bibliography of Other Works, and Scholarly Articles.  Sadly the titles cannot be found online by searching SOLO at the moment, which means you’ll need to take a look at HeinOnline to see whether a title is included, but I’ll do my best to give you a flavour of them…

The majority of titles were published in the first half of the twentieth century, but there are also older and more recent works – the earliest publication date I have spotted so far is 1613, William Welwod’s Abridgement of All Sea-Lawes; Gathered Forth of All Writings and Monuments, Which Are to Be Found among Any People or Nation, upon the Coasts of the Great Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, found in the Law of the Sea collection.  If Welwod is a name whose significance escapes you then take advantage of the richness of resources in HeinOnline and try J. W. Cairns, ‘Academic feud, blood feud, and William Welwood: legal education in St Andrews, 1560–1611’, Edinburgh Law Review, 2 (1998), 158–79, 255–87.  (For other resources on International Sea Law, see our recent post http://wp.me/pcP3p-1tv.)

There are a number of titles likely to be of interest to historians or students of International Relations, as well as lawyers.  As a quick sample of the historical interest, the War & Peace collection contains (among others!) Gooch & Temperly, British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914 (London, 1927-1938); Correspondence with the German Government regarding the Alleged Misuse of British Hospital Ships (London, 1917); and Thodore Roosevelt, Naval War of 1812, or the History of the United States Navy during the Last War with Great Britain (New York, 1883).

Sample titles

A sample of titles

Works such as Schuman,  American Policy toward Russia since 1917: A Study of Diplomatic History International Law & Public Opinion (New York, 1923) or Moore, Principles of American Diplomacy (1918) may also be of interest to users of the Vere Harmsworth Library, which holds the hard copies of these titles.  More recent discussions of the development of international law can be found under the scholarly articles tab, which lists items from the Harvard Law Review, the American Journal of International Law, the Yale Journal of International Law and a number of others.

HeinOnline search box
Once you’ve gone into a collection you’re interested in (either the top level ‘History of International Law’ or a sub-collection) click on the Search tab to bring up a small search box on the right to check whether your title is here.  Advanced search options and search tips are, as usual, available below the quick search box.

National Libraries Day 2014 – Behind the Scenes at the Law Library

As it’s National Libraries Day on 8th February, I’m taking you for a quick tour behind the scenes at the Bodleian Law Library so that you can see some of the work we do when we’re not helping out in the reading rooms.

This is the Information Resources office. When new books and journals arrive, this is where they go first. There are around 500,000 books in the collection and we receive hundreds of new items every month, so there’s always plenty of work to do! We have six members of staff working in the main office, two of whom are from Official Papers, and three more in the corner office (they’re a little camera-shy though, so they’ve asked not to be in the pictures) :

We use library management software called Aleph to manage the records for all of these items. All of the Bodleian Libraries and a lot of the college libraries use it too. It’s like a giant database that contains all the important information about everything in the collection, from title and author to the size of the book, what it’s about and where it’s shelved.

Aleph is linked to SOLO, so that when we add a record for a new book it will show up on SOLO when you search for it, but in a much more user-friendly format. This is what the records look like when we’re working on them. We have to be careful when working on the coding of records, as one typo could stop it from showing up properly on SOLO :

ir office 009

When new books arrive, they go to our Graduate Trainee to be stamped, security tagged  and given an initial record check. Books that we’ve bought will have short ‘order level’ records, while books we receive through legal deposit should be given a basic record by the Legal Deposit Agency up in Edinburgh before they get to us. The coloured slips in the books tell us how detailed the Agency’s record is, so we know how much work we’ll need to put in before it’s up to standard.

ir office 003

The record for each book has to be checked carefully in order to make sure it meets the correct standard and contains all the right information to make it easy to find on the system. Some are quite straightforward, but others can take a long time to sort out! We receive quite a lot of non-English language material, which can be particularly tricky to catalogue.

ir office 004

Once the records are finished, the books can be labelled with the appropriate shelfmark and sent up to Academic Services for a final label check before going out onto the shelves for you to use. This whole process can take a few days, depending on the volume of material we’ve received, but we make sure that books in high demand (e.g.  Law Reserve books) get high priority.

The serials team in the corner office deal with journals and looseleafs. Each one has to be registered on Aleph, stamped, tagged and given a shelfmark before it’s ready to go out on the shelves for you to read. They also make sure that complete runs of journal issues get sent away to the bindery on a regular basis so that individual parts don’t get lost.

ir office 006

This is just a small snapshot of what librarians get up to behind the scenes. If you’d like to find out more, please leave your questions in the comments box below, or get in touch via facebook or twitter.

Welcome back

By Katie Carter

Welcome back to all those who went away for the vacation and Happy New Year to everyone.  

I will be covering the Legal Research Librarian role for Kate Jackson over the next six months, so if you have any questions about the databases or want any training, please do contact me at katie.carter@bodleian.ox.ac.uk.  And now, just get you in the mood, a few new things for the new year:

Last autumn Lexis had a bit of a facelift, and now that I’ve learnt to like the new look, I thought I’d share just a few hints and tips.
Lexis annotations
1.  A small yellow speech bubble.  This appears on the legislation screen, and may be easily missed, but if you click on it a handy side-by-side view of Halsbury’s Annotations will present itself on screen.

 

 

 

Lexis contents

 

2.  Where’s my contents list?  If your research looks like mine, you’ll dive into a book chapter or legislation section… only to realise that you need a previous/subsequent/nearby section.  While the browsable contents list seems to have vanished in order to give more screen space to the text it is still available: click on the little gray tab on the left of your screen and the table of contents will slide back out.

 

Lexis view

3.  But I want more screen space!  In that case, the ‘change view’ buttons on the right are for you: click on the box with a diamond shape to make the headings, margins, further information boxes and all other clutter disappear (only on the screen, I’m afraid, any clutter on your desk you’ll need to clear yourself).

 

 

 

Another (relatively) recent tweak comes from Westlaw, which has introduced filters for your results list, including topic, date and jurisdiction:

Wlaw filtersYou may find the date filter particularly useful for any journal searches, as it allows you to collect results from a much wider range of dates (such as ‘last 12 months’, or even ‘betweeen date x and date y’) than the advanced search screen (which only offers ‘Year of Publication’).

The Little Drummer Boy

By Gill Hicks

Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A new born King to see
Pa rum pum pum pum

Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
On my drum

Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum

Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

The Little Drummer Boy was originally called the ‘Carol of the Drum’ and was based on a Czech carol. It was adapted in 1941 by Katherine Kennicott Davis although the popular version today is based on the recording by the Harry Simeone Chorale.

In the first verse ‘Come they told me’ refers to the Wise men or Kings. I’m not going to write a lot about these as they have been covered already. For more legal information about wise men and kings see ‘We three kings’ and ‘Good King Wenceslas’ both earlier blogs. But there is an interesting historic Scottish Act that mentions the need for ‘wise men’

College of Justice Act 1532 asp 2 (Historical Scottish Act)

[1532cc. 36–41]

Concerning the ordour of Justice and the institutioun of ane college of cunning and wise men for the administracioun of Justice    (westlaw)

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA it is against the law to play a flute or drums on the street to attract attention.

I’m not going to go into noise abatement which drummer boys will certainly attract as this has been covered in ‘Silent Night’ in this blog.

mrwriteon.wordpress.com

One last historical fact that although drummer boys were used in the army as an important means of communication as the 19th century progressed the drummer boy was in decline and the bugle was used more often.

In America on the plantations drums were allowed for the slaves to make music. This led the slave owners to become anxious that the drums would not prevent an uprising but may well prevoke it as they led to uniting the community. In 1739 in South Carolina drums were used to signal the start of a violent slave rebellion and led to the prohibiton of drums by law and for them to be classified as weapons. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/about/transcripts/episode86/

Silent Night

Parrot in cage

By Penny Schenk

A silent night is sometimes the exception rather than the rule, and aggreived parties will, on occasion, turn to the law.

In a 2012 Jersey case,  Fernando v Minister for Health and Social Services, the owner of a property containing nearly 200 parrots won his appeal against a noise abatement order. The case makes interesting reading, addressing as it does the nature of a “statutory nuisance.”

The appellant and parrot-owner, Mr. Fernando, asked the Jersey Royal Court to overturn the noise abatement order that had been served on him by the Health Minister, Anne Pryke. In the course of proceedings, questions were raised about the relevant Jersey statute, and also about the way the matter had been handled.

In our judgment there are other reasons to look urgently at an amendment of this legislation.  We cannot help noticing that the property from which the alleged statutory nuisance has been emanating and the property of the complainants are very valuable properties.  Article 5 appears to impose a statutory duty on the minister to serve an abatement notice if satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists.  We are told that in this case the complainants threatened the minister with judicial review if she did not issue an abatement notice.  A review of the evidence put before us, to which we will return later in this judgment, shows that officials from the Environmental Health Department attended on site on numerous occasions over a period of about two years.  Considerable public expense has been occurred both in those visits and in these proceedings.  All of that could and should have been avoided with a consequence saving for the public purse if the complainants had brought an action in voisinage.  We can see no reason why the minister should not have a discretion as to whether or not to issue an abatement notice.  We do not see why it should be mandatory that the public bear this cost, and this is another reason why we think the minister might want to review this particular piece of legislation.

At one point, the Court went so far as to pay a visit to the premises in question.

The Court was invited by the appellant to attend on site to examine the premises where the parrots are kept.  We did so, noting the objections made by the Solicitor General. We make it plain that the purpose of so doing was not to listen to the noise levels as they were on that particular day, because those levels might have been affected by factors which were not previously present.  The purpose of the visit as far as we were concerned was to enable us to be familiar with the premises and its environs, and to enable us to assess what could be done to ameliorate the noise if, when we had examined the other evidence, we were satisfied that that course of action was necessary.  Our site visit did reveal that there were certainly a very large number of parrots and other birds on the premises.  We are told by Advocate Benest that there are some 196 parrots which the appellant keeps there.

Later, they considered the concept of what constitutes a ‘nuisance’:

The dictionary definition appears to indicate that a person or thing is a nuisance if he, she or it causes inconvenience or annoyance, and that indeed is the general meaning of the word.  There is no objectivity about the approach.  Using the word entirely properly, a person could describe the noise emitted from neighbouring premises as a nuisance in circumstances where no one else so regarded it.  To the person making the statement, the noise emitted was causing annoyance and was therefore a nuisance.  Given that Article 5 appears to require the minister to issue a notice if satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, it does not seem to us that the word “nuisance” in Article 2 can possibly be given its ordinary meaning.

The Court heard evidence of past visits by officials to the complainants’ residence.

We have noted that officials visited either the appellant’s residence or the complainants’ residence approximately 19 times in 2009, 20 times in 2010 and 30 times in 2011.  On the overwhelming majority of those visits, officials considered that the noise emanating from the appellant’s property did not amount to a nuisance.  There were occasions when the officials noted that the birds made a noise intermittently, or could be heard, sometimes squawking, sometimes only faintly.

In making his case, the appellant cited World Health Organisation guidelines, which list a number of factors that determine whether a noise is likely induce annoyance.

“The capacity of a noise to induce annoyance depends upon its physical characteristics, including the sound pressure level, spectral characteristics and variations of these properties with time.  During day time, few people are highly annoyed at LAeq levels below 55dB(A), and few are moderately annoyed at LAeq levels below 50dB(A).  Sound levels during the evening and night should be 5 to 10 dB lower than during the day.  Noise with low frequency components require lower guideline values.  For intermittent noise, it is emphasised that it is necessary to take into account both the maximum sound pressure level and the number of noise events.  Guidelines or noise abatement measures should also take into account residential outdoor activities.”

The Court heard about other factors in this case, as well as the issue of indigenous versus non-indigenous noise:

[The Solicitor General] accepted there was room for a social conscience in deciding whether a nuisance took place – this was a reference to the fact that the appellant was seeking to breed parrots of a species which were globally threatened – and he further submitted that one had to look at the whole context including the fact that the noise from crows, horses and other birds might be described as indigenous noise, to be expected in the countryside, but there was nothing indigenous in Jersey about parrots.

In the end, the Court decided for the appellant, deciding that the minister should not have served the abatement notice:

This is a straightforward judgment call for the Court.  Taking all this evidence into account, we are satisfied that the minister was not justified in serving an abatement notice pursuant to Article 5.  This is one of those occasions where reasonable persons might equally reasonably arrive at different views.  We have the duty of making our assessment on the evidence and we do not find that the statutory nuisance is proved.  Accordingly the appeal succeeds.

You can see (and hear) Mr. Fernando and his parrots in this news report of the time, before the outcome of the appeal was known.