Author Archives: elizabethw

Foreign and International Content on LexisLibrary

Over the vacation, LexisLibrary introduced a new platform for its foreign and international materials. As holders of an Oxford SSO this means access to a variety of both primary and secondary sources from Australia, Canada, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia , New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States. Lexis is not the only database for foreign jurisdictions – for more information see our Libguides for Jurisdictions and Areas.
It has not been without its teething problems. (Please do report any problems to us at )

The first change to note is that when you have clicked on the Sources link, the page that opens now offers a link to International Content

Click on International Content – by which Lexis really means foreign and international


As well as deciding on Cookies, you will be asked to accept Terms and Conditions – there is a link so that you can read the Online License Agreement in full.




UPDATE 23 April 2019 – we have been assured by Lexis that the issue requiring the following workaround has been fixed. But I will leave this paragraph with it in here but within [ ] … just in case!
[If you are off-campus/not on VPN and you don’t seem to be able to access the International Content at all, please open an incognito or private window (chrome – ctrl+shift+n; on firefox/IE ctrl+shift+p) and use this link]

You should now see a page which has a top like this. (Although the view from space is centred on the Mediterranean this is not a clue to the subscribed sources.) The first think to note is that search box on the top of the photograph works independently from the Browse Source options below it.

When you click on the drop down arrow to the right of Australia Cases you get options to specify the type of Australian source you want to search (to move away from a case search click on one of the other options)  – or to initiate a search in one of the other jurisdictions. In the top half of the page Secondary Materials describes commentary (law journals & books) – but for the USA these have become Analytical Materials.
The most opaque/bizarre feature of the current iteration – surely this will change – is that the ICJ material International Court of Justice Filings,  International Court of Justice Advisory Opinions, International Court of Justice Judgments are within the section called
US Administrative Materials.








The lower half of the page Analytical Materials ( as a description for secondary materials) has become widespread!

To use this Browse function – first click on whichever jurisdiction you are interested in. Below I have clicked India. If you know the title of the Indian source you want you can use the Search for a Source box – or you can click on the individual letters of the alphabet. However just because these letters are all hyperlinked doesn’t mean that there is a work beginning with that letter. (Continuing with India as example, there are no resources under X, Y, Z or # – but V has Venkateswaran on Trade Marks And Passing-Off & Vithalbhai B Patel : Law on Industrial Disputes)
When you have a source that you wish to read highlighted in the left hand column – then the right hand column offers a search within the source or a hyperlinked table of contents for books or lists of years for other sources meaning you can drill down to particular content.






Bodleian Libraries Reader Survey 2019

Between 21 January – 18 February 2019 we invite all Bodleian Libraries readers (both holders of an Oxford University cards and holders of a  Bodleian Reader card) to complete a short online reader survey.

The survey seeks feedback on a number of areas including the provision of information resources, the libraries as a space for study, how staff interact with readers, information skills and support, and overall satisfaction with library support for research, teaching and learning.

We are using a standardised survey tool (LibQual+) for our Reader Surveys, although it has been customised to make it relevant for Oxford. LibQual+ is used by over 1,200 academic libraries worldwide and therefore enables us to benchmark our performance against comparative institutions. Find out more about LibQUAL+.

If you have any questions about the Reader Survey 2019, please look at our FAQs or email

Starting at the Top

It is hard now to imagine quite how special it was for those sitting close to their family wireless back in 1932 when they heard a voice from over 10,000 miles saying

“I speak now from my home [Sandringham] and from my heart to you all; to men and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them.”

That was of course King George V speaking to the British Empire, an innovation which has since become a traditional feature of Christmas Day TV schedules. (The 3 pm can be traced back to the fact that it was in 1932 “the best time for reaching most of the countries … by short waves from the transmitters in Britain.”)

His granddaughter, Elizabeth II, talks to the Commonwealth – which now includes nations with a different history such as Mozambique (which joined in 1995) and Rwanda (in 2009).  I cannot imagine mine is the only household where Christmas “games” include a “guess HM’s first word” competition! 

Should Her Majesty ever come to visit the Bodleian Law Library, it is certain that her guide would not have to embark on a long explanation as to why our 1960s predecessors put Cw as the first element to many jurisdictional shelf marks!

A common theme over the years has been the desirability for inter-faith harmony and tolerance. As we believe that knowledge can bring understanding – so are hopeful that our latest subscription – to the online Encyclopedia of law and religion “a comprehensive, succinct account of the state-religion legal systems in virtually all countries of the world and also include accounts of major international organizations that deal with religion-related issues, most notably freedom of religion or belief” – would get a royal seal of approval! (Remote access requires a username and password – for current OU members, Oxford SSO.)

Christmas Balls by  made available on OpenClipArt

Major purchase of Hart ebooks

The Law Bod is delighted to be able to announce that the Bodleian Libraries have negotiated the purchase of all the e-books included in the package Hart Publishing Law Collections 2014 – 2017 in perpetuity from Bloomsbury Professional 

This purchase means that 380 Hart books which previously the Law Bod held in print are now also available online. (An Oxford SSO is required for remote access.)

The longer serving of the Law Library staff remember when Hart Publishing set up business in Oxford in 1996, nestled into the Salter’s Boatyard area of Folly Bridge. Indeed, as someone who had done a bit of research in the history of legal publishing in England the news brought a genuine, if rather nerdy, frisson of excitement! Hart is still “here” – though its registered office is now at Cumnor Hill.

Naturally, the new firm quickly fostered, and has maintained, very good links with the OU Law Faculty Many current and former teachers and students having their works published by them.
In retirement, the founders Richard and Jane Hart continue to support legal studies, by hosting an Annual Conference on Judicial Review – this year it is being held on Friday 7th December 2018, Cavendish Conference Centre, London – and lending support to a biennial Public Law Conference , 1 to 13 July 2018  this year, in Melbourne Australia.


In 2013 Hart became an imprint of Bloomsbury. An immediate improvement, from a reader’s point of view, was that the e-versions of Hart titles were made available on a much better platform. Bloomsbury had already become  prominent in tax law publisher having absorbed Tottel in 2009. Now there is a name to stir the hearts of historians of the early English law book … thanks to this purchase any Oxford SSO holder interested in this fascinating area can now read The Law Emprynted and Englysshed: The Printing Press as an Agent of Change  online. (The Bodleian’s print copy is in Bodleian Library Weston RBMSS Open Shelves R.Bibl. 282.1/HAR not in the Law Bod.)

Currently, over 1500 books carry the Hart logo – textbooks and scholarly monographs for academic lawyers, and also works for legal practitioners. Its writers have picked up a number of prizes too


All the new e-books in this package have been loaded into SOLO

  – so the results of searches are already revealing  green View Online links were there had been none before!



Unfortunately, what the publishers make available to libraries by these collections is not necessarily as straightforward as one might think. And they don’t necessarily allow for the lawyer’s zeal for the most recent edition! For example: Ezrachi’s work EU Competition Law: An Analytical Guide to the Leading Cases. This e-book collection does include an edition – but is the third edition, published in print in 2012. The most recent edition is (as I type) the fifth, published in 2016. We have a print copy at the Law Reserve – and it may be that your College has purchased one too! – but it is not included in the package. The fifth edition is only available electronically as an electronic legal deposit copy – so you would need to be logged on to a library computer in a Bodleian Reading Room. (The third & fourth editions are also available via electronic legal deposit.) There is a Bodleian Libguide explaining more about eLD.

We like to think the Law Library may also have played a small part in the physical look of Hart books. A few years ago we invited a group from Hart’s editorial and publicity team for a tour of the Law Library, to let them see the wider context of the world of legal publishing. One of the team noticed that a consequence of library shelf mark labels being placed near the bottom of spine meant that they effectively obscured the firm’s logo – when looking at row of spines on a shelf there was seldom anything visible indicating the publisher. …. and now the Hart stag increasingly appears on the top of the spine … (All the examples below are now available online thanks to this purchase)

Health to the world

Pandemic is  a whole series  of board games where players work as a team to save the world In later editions new characters have been included  – such as The Contingency Planner and The Quarantine Specialist. What worries us is that none of them yet seem to include a character called The Legislator or The Norm Maker … Could this

In Law Bod at KL34.1.XAN 2014

possibly imply that the drafting of statutes is not seen as either heroic or glamorous??? Perhaps board game developers need to wake up their ideas: in a book published by Hart,  Helen Xanthaki used the “paradigm of Flyvberg’s phronetic social sciences, [to offer] a novel approach which breaks the tradition of unimaginative past descriptive reiterations of drafting conventions.”

Certainly historians of medicine would seem to agree with us that The Legislator would be a useful addition:|”Legislation, in the form of direct prescriptions or proscriptions on behaviour, is perhaps the most powerful tool available to the public health policymaker” (Abstract to R Pawson, L Owen, & G Wong, ‘Legislating for health: Locating the evidence’ (2010) 31 J Public Health Pol  164.

The connection between the epidemics of cholera – a lot of lobbying from heroes such as Edwin Chadwick – and the ancestor of “modern” health legislation, the 1848 Public Health Act (11 & 12 Vict c 63), possibly qualifies as common knowledge. The free online Hansard lets you follow the passage of the Bill.

But there had been two Baths and Washhouse Acts passed in Westminster prior to 1848 – crucial steps in the battle against transmission of diseases. The first of 1846 (9 & 10 Vict c 74) thought in terms of local authorities provision of basic public facilities for the poor as a whole. The House of Lords cannot but have been impressed by the fact that “9,000 [users of a privately funded pay as you enter establishment bath in London] had walked from three to five miles to obtain that advantage .” In their Lordships’ lives the wherewithal for bathing for basic cleanliness usually came to them! The second of 1847 (10 & 11 Vict c 61) recognised that the lower classes were not without pride … or class consciousness of their own: it allowed local authorities to extra facilities at a slightly higher rate so that the tradesman was not having did have to use the exactly the same facilities as his servant … or the labouring poor. HL Deb 29 June 1847, vol  93, cols  1052-7 (It is a shock to read that the East Oxford public slipper baths did not close until as recently as 1978 – well within the lifetime of the Law Bod.)

The heraldic achievement on Welsh National authority legislation: anaw

Currently, England is considering changing of the existing law on consent to organ donation ( Human Tissue Act 2004  ) Indeed Department of Health launched their public consultation on 11 December 2017. It will close on 18 March 2018. Read about it & have your say here!

In this England may be following the lead of Wales, where the statute introducing presumed (or the opting in of) consent was the Human Transplantation (Wales) Act 2013

You win or you die. There is no middle ground.

George R.R. Martin  neatly encapsulates the precariousness of being a character in  A Game of Thrones, the televised version & extension to his books. A game  built on such an ethos is clearly what anyone’s Christmas needs!
Games producers have been quick to translate the, err, cut and thrust of the TV series into coloured cardboard and plastic tokens, so please be specific in your letter to Santa.There is a Cluedo version (was it Sansa Stark in Qyburn’s Laboratory with a Catspaw Blade?), a monopoly version ( Free Parking in Westeros!? Just imagine the local traffic wardens …),  a Risk version (“escalates … the classic game of strategic conquest, to an epic level of chaos and war”), a Trivia Game (“your mind is your weapon”), more than one Card Game (with POD extensions) as well as simply A Game of Thrones: the board game (2nd edition). Anything with an edition statement has to win the votes of  librarians.

But librarians do find it hard to put books down … . If you have developed the law student’s basic skill of speed reading, you still have time to gird up your loins by getting through some background reading, starting with the published novels in the series A Song of Ice and Fire. The length of Reading Lists in law are the stuff of fable – but Martin admits in his Preface to Inside HBO’s Game of thrones “Just one of my volumes was as long as all three of Professor Tolkien’s” – so don’t delay!

Holders of Oxford SSO can read this online

Indeed, the opportunities to learn before getting down to playing keep on coming! How about Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords? (Online for holders of Oxford SSO)  Not entirely convinced by the validity of the subtitle, but we happily note that Chapter 4 is The War in Westeros and Just War Theory – great stuff to entice more people into the study of a vital topic of public international law! Useful background reading for this chapter could start with the Just War Theory article in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (IEP) (ISSN 2161-0002). This online resource has been live since 1995 “to provide open access to detailed, scholarly information on key topics and philosophers in all areas of philosophy…. The IEP articles are written by experts … The submission and review process of articles is the same as that with printed philosophy journals, books and reference works.’

But don’t limit your  Flipped Learning  experience to just reading – there are online tutorials on the board game, starting with this introduction of 20 mins The leaders of the rival houses won’t stand a chance!

But please excuse me from the players’ table! The correct assembly of an educational jigsaw (such as the one below) is about the limit of my intellectual capacity during holidays … Once that is I have remembered that old mnemonic verse Willy, Willy, Harry, Ste, Harry, Dick, John, Harry 3, ..

Victorian Kings & Queens of England Jigsaw in Bodleian collection












Don’t break the ice

Let’s start with a game for 3 to 4 year olds – and doting older relatives, happy for an excuse to sit comfortably and engage in minimal mental activity for the writer knows into which category she falls!

The object of  this Don’t break the ice is to help Phillip the Penguin chop out blocks of ice so that he can build himself a new igloo.

Christmas Penguin By LiesdeR

(How Philip’s relatives had managed to hide this remarkable activity from the BBC Frozen Planet team was initially confounding,  but having done a mental review of all that Happy Feet & Madagascar franchises had taught me, I know there is a lot more to penguins than they ever let on to documentary makers.)
The problem is that your effort to chop a new block of ice may cause poor Phillip to fall … in which case you lose.

Adelie penguin chick, Cape Bird Northern rookery by Wei-Hang Chua. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works Antarctica NZ Digital Asset Manager

Penguins certainly have a good PR team working for them – and it is probably just as well for the polar regions seem to be particularly under stress. 2017 was a terrible breeding season for the Adelie penguin – as reported in an article in The Telegraph of 27 October 2017 the 18,000 strong colony in one part of the Antarctic had only managed to raise 2 chicks.

The impact of the breaking up & melting of the ice sheets may have been a contributory factor in this population crash. NASA’s operation IceBridge  & its 9th Antarctic mapping project should provide solid data. The CCAMLR or Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (established under Convention) is charged with looking after “all Antarctic populations of finfish, molluscs, crustacean and sea birds” – “to  protect  core  foraging  areas  for  land-based top  predators  or  those  that  may  experience direct trophic competition from fisheries” (If concerned, remember whales and seals are the subject of distinct conventions.) Under the CCAMLR some international  agreements have already been reached giving some areas special protection, such as the Ross Sea Region Marine Protection Area let us hope more will follow.


But the breaking news about ice – or the lack of it – relates to the North Pole, thousands of miles from any penguin’s igloo, but closer to Father Christmas’s!

Polar Bear’s Accident  Tolkein imagined Father Christmas having to move house, thanks to this overly helpful, clumsy bear! A Christmas Card on sale to support Bodleian Libraries…

Changes in the quality & permanence of the ice sheets in the Arctic has meant the opening of an enticing “donut hole”- over a million square-miles of “new” water outside any national jurisdiction, so potentially open to a free-for-all exploitation. However a draft Agreement to Prevent Unregulated High Seas Fisheries in the Central Arctic Ocean has just been concluded by Canada, Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands),Norway, Russia, USA & the Inuit Circumpolar Council together with the major arctic fishing entities – Iceland, Japan, South Korea, China and the EU. It could usher in a 16 year moratorium on fishing. But lawyers know that this is but the first step – “Before the Agreement will be open for signature, the delegations must first undertake a legal and technical review of its provisions, which will occur in the near future, and prepare the texts in the other languages in which it will be signed. During that time, delegations will also seek final approval within their respective governments to sign the Agreement.” The Chairman’s statement dated 30 November 2017 is rather an ice-bucket of legal realism. But we can all hope that there will be no slip ups in the progress towards this agreement entering into force…



International Women’s Day

“On International Women’s Day, let us all pledge to do everything we can to overcome entrenched prejudice, support engagement and activism, and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.” UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

This year, the UN’s chosen theme is  “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030” and women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work will be the focus of the CSW’s 61st session (CSW 61) from 13-24 March in NY. (Here is a library of the UN Documents already drawn up in preparation.) CSW is the abbreviation for Commission on the Status of Women which has been working since 1946 as “the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.”
Progress of the World’s Women is the related occasional series, also available free online.

Click on image & do a simple quiz on women & the economy!


Looking at women in the legal profession and starting on our own doorstep (so to speak), there is Oxford Women in Law (OWL), a “network established by the Law Faculty to provide women working in the legal profession with a neutral environment where they can meet with like-minded people and share their experiences.” OWL is having its next  meeting in London in April 2017.

Staying with women in law but widening the focus to the UK, we trust many of the members of OWL have been or will be contributing to
First 100 Years :celebrating the past to shape the future for women in law

“… a ground-breaking history project, supported by the Law Society and the Bar Council, charting the journey of women in law since 1919. The project is powered by Spark21, a charity founded to celebrate, inform and inspire future generation of women in the profession. … Work is now under way to produce a new digital museum made up of 100 video stories that tell the story of women in law. The digital museum will be donated to the British Library in 2019. The project’s legacy will be the creation for the first time of positive role models for women in law, a deep understanding of the past combined with a celebration of today, a cross-sector platform for intelligent debate and change and a valuable archive accessible to everyone from law students to High Court Judges. Our aim is to ensure a strong and equal future for all women in the legal profession.”

Dr Ivy Williams

Certainly there is already one face which those of us who have waited outside The Cube in the St Cross Building                                                                                 will recognize – but had to wait for the passing of the  Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 – and Oxford’s gracious decision to play by its rules!

See Lady Justice Hallett’s reasoning why Dr Williams deserves to be considered a Legal Hero.





Thoughts of Wales

St David’s day!  Perhaps it is because we are nearing the end of term, but memories of happy childhood holidays in Wales are bubbling to the surface …

The good news is that for the would-be legal historian there is a professional requirement for us to schedule a return visit to the principality soon!

For holders of an Oxford Single Sign interested in a good refresher & overview on this topic, we recommend the entry for Welsh law by Thomas Glyn Watkin in the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History  If you can visit the Law Bod Our print copy is on Floor 2 at Ref 103.

KL401.5.HYW 1986

If you hadn’t already made his acquaintance, you will encounter the important 10th century King, Hywel Dda & the Cyfraith Hywel.

The Law Bod can then provide you with modern translations in The law of Hywel Dda : law texts from medieval Wales at KL401.5.HYW 1986

So clearly, we all really do need to go to the Heritage Centre (Whitland, Carmarthenshire) celebrating his life and works. One of its intriguing features is that claims to have “the only garden in Europe dedicated to law.” Not one garden in fact, but a series “Each is themed to reflect a separate division of the Law – Society, Kindred and Status; Crime and Tort; Women; Contract; Property; King and Court. Each garden has its own distinct character, and features enamel slate plaques that depict the laws in action.” So the Willow Garden (dealing with Women and the law) has a plaque listing the three reasons a woman could leave her husband according to the Cyfraith Hywel:
“1. If he was a leper
2. For not being able to fulfil his duties as a husband
3. For having bad breath.”

The National Library of Wales has digitized one of the earliest (mid-thirteenth century) surviving manuscript compilations of Welsh laws, Peniarth 28 – as it has some appealing pen & ink illustrations. Folio 4r (which we reproduce below) has an illustration of a judge in his chair, a law book in his hand. Finger pointing was obviously a gesture associated with people of power and authority!
Peniarth 28 f. 4r.








LGBT History Month

For an academic law library – below is what passes as a veritable rainbow of colourful book covers in celebration!  There is a specific LawBod Libguide on LGBT law resources at Oxford. The focus is on the development & experience in the UK – but both the Libguide and the LawBod’s collections do have works looking at both the ongoing international human rights dimension, as well as the civil law developments within other jurisdictions. The works in Jurisp (Jurisprudence) consider the relationship of law & sexuality from a philosophical/theoretical standpoint.

Law Bod Legal Hist G624a

Law Bod KM208.23.BAM 1997

Law Bod Jurisp 510 S531a

LawBod Reserve KB181.BAM 2014









Many of our readers are active in the examination, criticism, and improvement of the current state of LGBTQI rights & legal status. Look out for their Blog posts under such categories as Relationship Rights, Gender Based Violence, and Children’s Rights