Author Archives: elizabethw

Shakespeare and love of law

“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers” Henry VI Part 2 Act 4 Scene 2

Can the Law Bod  join in the Bodleian’s celebrations of the birthday of the author of such a phrase? Perhaps we should rather be gleefully chuckling over a possible interpretation of the title of the accompanying  exhibition Shakespeare’s Dead!ShxDead

Shakespeare was constrained by his historical sources to include some outrageous anti-lawyer sentiment to let the audience imagine the fury of the mob: Holinshed’s Chronicle records as a feature of Jack Cade’s 1450 uprising  the beheading of “all such men of law, justices, and jurors as they might catch … without respect of pity or remorse of conscience.”

Power dressing

Fortescue – CJKB in 1450, & forced into hiding from popular discontent which continued in Kent in 1451 – thought that the membership of the legal inns was nearly 2000 in the 1460s. Not all inn members were practising lawyers – but conversely membership did not include the lowest rank of practitioners, attorneys – so it seems that there had been men willing to take up any empty places. (This estimate is included in Fortescue’s De laudibus legum anglie  c1469. If like the blogger (and – allegedly – Shakespeare) your Latin is but small, see the 1942 translation/edition by Chrimes) Research into legal practitioners of this age has been greatly enhanced by the two volume The men of court 1440-1550 edited by Sir John Baker (SS Sup Ser 18) There are also some visual records: such as the monumental brass of Serjeant at law Thomas Rolf  (d 1440)  and to John Edward (d 1462) , a succesful practitioner of lesser rank.

And of course the proposer of this lawyercide is only a very minor character – an illiterate Dick, whose livelihood is through killing (a butcher), and a rebel to boot.

Surviving archives do show, however, that Shakespeare himself became embroiled in long-running lawsuits – see the Legal & Financial Records section of a new website Shakespeare Documented (curated by Dr Heather Wolfe of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington, D.C.). So Shakespeare may have had a bit of a wry smile over Cade’s response to Dick’s suggestion:
“Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should
be made parchment? that parchment, being scribbled
o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings:
but I say, ’tis the bee’s wax; for I did but seal
once to a thing, and I was never mine own man
since.” (italics are mine)
There is no hint as to what type of deed Shakespeare had in mind for Cade – but he does make sure that he is revealed as a convicted criminal: “burned i’th’ hand for stealing of sheep.”  This detail means that Cade had already successfully pleaded “benefit of clergy” his one time only get out of death card. After Tudor legislation, brands had increased variety: “T” for theft, “F” for felon, or “M” for murder, and “V” for vagrant/gypsy or “B” for brawler. Being able to read was considered proof of clergy status. Remember this was before education was compulsory – and for Cade’s time – when Latin was the only authorized version. However courts always used the same test – the first verse of Psalm 51. Short – and clearly within most people’s ability to memorize from someone else’s recital. (In the King James Version “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.”)

So our inner legal historian/detective finds much to celebrate in Shakespeare…

While many of the problems and situations posed in the plays are still useful calls to action for our inner law reformer!

“Through tattered clothes great vices do appear;
Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.” King Lear Act 4 scene 6

Copy at Legal Hist R137.5a

Copy at Legal Hist R137.5a

And lawyers also live by words and meanings … and their clever manipulation

“Why, may not that be the skull of a lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillities, his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? Why does he suffer this mad knave now to knock him about the sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be in’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes, his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers, his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? Will his vouchers vouch him no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The very conveyances of his lands will scarcely lie in this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?” Hamlet  Act 5 scene 1

How far the groundlings would have understood the legal jargon used with such relish by Hamlet is debatable, but the message is strengthened & they could all nod their heads wisely: common mortality is everyone’s lot.

The consensus seems to be that a man with Shakespeare’s genius for language need not have had any formal legal training to write what he did. He lived in a very litigious age when the worlds of the law (courts, public punishments and even the inns) were more mixed in with the life of the ordinary citizen than they are today. The halls of the inns of court could be used as temporary theatres too. (Middle Temple was the site of one of the first staging of Twelfth Night (1602) – Shakespeare may even have been one of the actors that night.) John Manningham (a diary keeping lawyer in the audience) enjoyed the joke against Malvolio – but we don’t know whether he was horrified by Andrew Aguecheek’s proposal to abuse legal process “I’ll have an action of battery against him if there be any law in Illyria. Though I struck him first, yet it’s no matter for that.”  (Twelfth Night Act 4 scene 1).

Shakespeare’s extensive drawing on the drama & jargon of law and justice means that you can search SOLO (OU union catalogue) with a very specific subject search  Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 — Knowledge — Law and get 31 matches, just from the book collection! (This narrow subject search would not be enough to find everything relevant – as the topic may be dealt with by chapters within books, which are not all found by SOLO.)

Studies on aspects of Law in literature tend to be shared out among Bodleian Libraries – so pay attention to the shelf marks, and be prepared for short walks between Reading Rooms…

Legal Hist R137.5a

Copy at Legal Hist R137.5b

The Law Bod has for example Shakespeare and the law (2008),  selected conference papers on “… eclectic themes … from analyses of the juristic content of specific plays, as in ‘Consideration, Contract and the End of The Comedy of Errors’, ‘Judging Isabella: Justice, Care and Relationships in Measure for Measure’, ‘Law and its Subversion in Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Inheritance in the Legal and Ideological Debate of Shakespeare’s King Lear’ and  ‘The Law of Dramatic Properties in The Merchant of Venice’, to more general explorations of Shakespearean jurisprudence, including ‘Shakespeare and Specific Performance’, ‘Shakespeare and the Marriage Contract’, ‘The Tragedy of Law in Shakespearean Romance’ and ‘Punishment Theory in the Renaissance: the Law and the Drama.’  As well as the more focussed: Shakespeare’s imaginary constitution : late Elizabethan politics and the theatre of law (2010)


Shakespeare’s will is on display until 29 May 2016 in the Inigo Rooms of Somerset House (London) as a key document in the By me, William Shakespeare: a life in writing exhibition. Thanks to digital reproduction we can all examine each of the three pages in stunning detail on the free web. This is also a tribute to the best treatment modern conservation can offer.  Amanda Bevan, head of legal records at The National Archives, has recently blogged about some new interpretations she has been able to draw from its close examination. Amanda and Hannah Lee Crumme have also looked at what this will can tell us about female inheritance in early modern England.


One final point: As Henry VI Part 2 makes “Good Duke Humfrey” out to be a very honorable character – albeit with the human failing of a very quick temper – Bodleian librarians should all champion this play – Humf was certainly good to the Oxford University.More shots on our Tumblr account!

The Said Business School has also posted short video on YouTube to give you more of a flavour of this venerable reading room – but if you have seen a certain Harry Potter film the room may already be familiar.

(The play was included in the 1592 Quarto: the British Library website means we can all turn the virtual pages of the best quarto version.)


Something new for EU law research


The Law Bod has now got a subscription to a new (for us!) database: EuroCases. Please note that it requires a special username and password (not the usual Oxford SSO). To find out what the magic sesame is just log in (with your aforementioned Oxford SSO) to the special Weblearn site Please remember your basic netiquette and log out properly (not just close your browser) when you have finished your session, there are limit to the number of concurrent users who can access this site under our subscription.


We can note that there is a free – to – everyone interested dimension to EuroCases – a blog commenting on interesting cases from the all the sources, shortly after they are decided.



Back to the password protected database. Once you have used the special username and password to log in (if the first one is already “taken”, remember there were alternatives) click on the orange Enter the site button, just to the left of the log in link. Enter
EuroCases offers:

  • Easy-to-use online service offering user-friendly interface with an English interface (others are German, French, Italian, and Bulgarian.)
  • Editorial annotations with keywords and summaries of most important cases
  • Complete document collection of EU treaties (primary law), legislation (secondary law: regulations, directives, etc), & international agreements both EU + 3rd countries, & between EU members. These in English version as well as French, German, and Bulgarian.
  • Case law of the Court of Justice interlinked with the referring national cases
  • A growing collection of judgments of Member States’ supreme courts (and the occasional lower court) based on EU rules (currently the claim is more than 150,000 – we didn’t count!) However, the full text of the judgment is still in the national language. And some cases dating from 2000, are not full-text at all but only have “bibliographic annotation” one assumes a citation/case number which you can take to another source of the judgement.  Approximately 15,000 decisions are in this form.

The home page, after a second or two to take it all in, looks as though the “easy-to-use” and  “user-friendly” claims are reasonable!

EuroCaseshome Some things to note.
In the extreme right hand corner, right of the little person icon is the drop down where you will find the Log Out route.

The Log In has taken me to the English language interface. You can change to one of the others – Bulgarian, French, German, Italian  – by using the drop down options to the right of the flag option. If you wanted to know quickly whether (for example) there had been any Décisions récentes in a French court (and had at least a reading knowledge) just change the flag!

Via options in the left hand column, it is possible to browse by one of the following topics:
• Freedom of Movement  • Company Law • IP Law • Private International Law  • Tax Law • Labour Law • Social Security Law • Competition Law • Consumer & Health Protection Law • Environmental Law • Public Procurement Law • EU Constitutional Law • Fundamental Rights Law • ICT & Media Law • Migration, criminal law & criminal justice • Common Agricultural Policy • Transport Law • Energy Law • Regional Policy & Structural Instruments

Below is a the result of clicking on the Competition law option. The first page of results is of EU case law (most recent first)
CompetitionOnce again, note how the left hand column, means you can go quickly to say, relevant Austrian case law with just a click – then drill down further. On the screen shot below I have drilled down to case level – if I want to see the full text (if it is available) I could either click the Document Text link in the left hand column or just scroll down. Note at the top of the central column, options to export or print. The last of the icons on the left is where to find links to other documents within the database (none in this instance)
Penultimately, there is of course an Advanced Search Screen. Below is the default – for case law searches – note the option in the left hand column to switch to an EU legislation search.

AdvancedSearchAnd finally, clicking on the ? Help (top of each page near left hand corner of central column) produces a neat little 34 page pdf guide to all aspects of EuroCases, with screen shots!

Enhancements to Kluwer International Law Journals

The home page for the journal section of the platform offers a “new prominent search tool that is easy to use.” (At the far right hand end of this search box there is a link to the Advanced Search Screen should you prefer.)

New style basic search on home page

New style basic search on home page

The results for a basic search using just “antitrust” are – as one would expect from such an ill thought-out “strategy” – too many (1,000 hits on 34 pages) to be anything other than daunting. (“The relevancy [of the result list] is based on author’s name and the title.” Being a simple soul, I would have preferred by date latest or grouped by authors (arranged alphabetically) or by journal title or …)

Too many good things

Too many good things

But part of the improvements of this upgrade is a new “Edit” tool link which helps you do a search within refining exercise. If, that is, you spot the link in the first place – for my less than 20/20 vision I don’t think it is as prominent as it could be – but it is near the top right of the result screen.

Top right corner of result screen

Top right corner of result screen.

Clicking ‘Edit’ basically takes you to the Advanced Search – but helpfully retaining whatever term you had initially used. (If you mistakenly click on  the more prominent – at least to my eyes – Advanced Search link you have to start from scratch – nothing is retained from your initial attempt.)

Edit link helps you to Search within

Edit link helps you to Search within by retaining details of your initial search term

The other feature of this update is the announcement that Kluwer International Law Journals are now discoverable via Google Scholar searches.

Members of OU Law Faculty are reminded that, should they wish to make the most of Google Scholar when not on the OU network/domain,  they should use the Google Scholar Settings, then the Library Links options to establish their connection to Oxford University, and the all important ability (while holding a current OSS) to read articles in journals to which the Law Bod has a current subscription.

Scholar Settings - then Library Links - University of Oxford

Scholar Settings – then Library Links – University of Oxford

This will ensure that the results have the comforting Find it @ Oxford icons – should the link to the actual article not work, Find it @ Oxford will help you track your way to it via the journal in OU e-journals.

Improved results

Improved results

International sea law in the news

In the closing months of 2013,  all varieties of media – old-style (tv, radio and newspapers) and new/social (campaigners’ website etc) – ensured that the  voyage of Greenpeace’s icebreaker Arctic Sunrise  and the subsequent plight of her crew, the Arctic 30, was well and truly in the public eye. Now that the drama is out of the headlines, it is perhaps a good time to look at a couple of tools and e resources which might be useful  for reflective studies and/or considering the wider implications.
When it comes to (re)discovering what the world’s newspapers said, OU lawyers – as holders of an Oxford Single Sign On – should remember Nexis UK  .  Not least because a search there may serve as a reminder that this is the database via which they can access  OU’s subscription to the International Enforcement Law Reporter!

Nexis UK search screen

Nexis UK search screen

A well-established but freely accessible online site to look for considered responses to international law in the news is the Insight service from the American Society of International Law.  When the screen shot below was taken (on 22 January 2014) an article called The Arctic Sunrise and NGOs in International Judicial Proceedings by Anna Dolidze was top of the bill. (The archive of previous issues is also kept available.)

Latest issues feature on home page

Latest issues feature on home page: click on Expand Search Filters to search archive

By November 2013, the  International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea had to consider its 22nd case – the Kingdom of the Netherlands (because the Arctic Sunrise sailed under the Dutch flag) v Russian Federation, (Provisional Measures). The ITLOS website is an excellent example of the power of the internet to enhance transparency during court proceedings, to keep any interested person informed and updated regardless of their physical location, and to collect & present material in a variety of formats.

Case page on ITLOS website

Case page on ITLOS website

The President of the Tribunal, Shunji Yanai, has already predicted that 2014 will be a heavy year for the court:  “It was deliberating on the merits of the M/V “Virginia G” case between Panama and Guinea-Bissau and intended to deliver its judgement next year.  It had received a new case early this year from the Sub-Regional Fisheries Commission, comprising seven West African States, and asked to render an advisory opinion under article 138 of its Rules.  He had made appointments to the arbitral tribunal concerning arbitral proceedings instituted by Argentina against Ghana, the Philippines against China, and for arbitral proceedings for the settlement of the maritime delimitation dispute between Bangladesh and India in the Bay of Bengal.  He also drew attention to the Tribunal’s capacity-building programmes on the peaceful settlement of disputes, among them, a workshop in Mexico City in June on dispute settlement, the Tribunal’s internship programme, and a capacity-building and training programme for young Government officials and researchers.” (see  Sixty-eighth General Assembly Plenary 62nd & 63rd Meetings (AM & PM) UN GA/11466) If you are interested in any of the above – perhaps now would be a good time to subscribe to the ITLOS Press Release service! The International Journal of Marine & Coastal Law  (one of the Brill international law journals for which the Law Bod has a subscription) includes an annual survey of Dispute settlement in ILOS.

Anyone with an Oxford Single Sign On who needs an introduction to the law of the sea, ITLOS and its case law should first turn to MPEPIL Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law. As of January 2014 the e-version has 35 articles on the general subject matter of the law of the sea –  and thanks to its stable partner ORIL Oxford Reports on International Law, it is linked to the full-text of  15 ITLOS judgments (Case numbers 1-3,5-15.)  Among the 75 articles revised in the e-encyclopedia’s rolling updating programme (unspecified how often – but perhaps on average twice a year) are some ILOS issues – including  some Greenpeace issues such as the Environmental Protection of Regional Seas (in this instance Antarctica), and Whaling. (The print copy of course lacks the whizzy features, but is available on open shelf on Floor 3 of the Law Bod at Internat 500 E56c.)

Finally, don’t forget that the free web is being increasingly used to make academic lectures available to anyone, not just those enrolled at a particular university. One multi-topic platform that anyone interested in  international law should keep an eye on is the United Nations AudioVisual Lecture Series. Below is a screen shot of the library of ILOS topics – and future additions are promised.

Navigate to topics via the links in left hand column

Navigate to other areas of pil via the links in left hand column

Having rambled away from the specific to the general, at least this post can finish back on point – as there is a Youtube video from Maastricht University of the lecture by Liesbeth Lijnzaad,  Professor of the Practice of International Law there, who acted as legal adviser to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Arctic Sunrise Case!

Added extra on HeinOnline


A route to even more US federal and state law. Thanks to an agreement between HeinOnline and Fastcase, Logo2

incidentally a US law database for which the Law Bod has an existing, separate subscription.

Notice FastCase tab above search box

Evidence of something new: FastCase tab above search box

“The federal case coverage includes the judicial opinions of the Supreme Court (1754-present), Federal Circuits (1924-present), Board of Tax Appeals (vols. 1-47), Tax Court Memorandum Decisions (vols. 1-59), U.S. Customs Court (vols. 1-70), Board of Immigration Appeals (1996-present), Federal District Courts (1924-present), and Federal Bankruptcy Courts (1 B.R. 1-present). The state case law covers all fifty states, with nearly half of the states dating back to the 1800s. Coverage for the remaining states dates back to approximately 1950.”

Now, when reading an article which cites US case law, look out for citations marked with a light blue highlight. Below is an example from the footnotes of a Harvard Law Review case comment on National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Footnotes to 126 Harv. L. Rev. 72 (2012-2013)

Footnotes to 126 Harv. L. Rev. 72 (2012-2013)

A click on the citation in Footnote 3  takes one seamlessly if slowly – though this may be the fault of my equipment rather than a system fault – to the judgment (with option to download pdf now top left) powered by Fastcase

Fastcase result in HeinOnline

Fastcase result in HeinOnline

Incidentally, going back to HeinOnline’s homepage –  if you click on the Fastcase tab the search box sharpens up to be a case citation tool – so you could use HeinOnline as a tool for finding US cases, not just those cited in articles you are reading

Click on FastCase tab and search changes to a citation search box

Click on Fastcase tab and search changes to a citation search box


A pukeko in a ponga tree

So starts a distinctively New Zealand adaptation of a true love’s Christmas gifts. The link will take you through to the words – the tune will be easy to work out. (This version was first published by Kingi M. Ihaka in a book of the same name in 1981.)

Pukeko in normal surroundings

Pukeko in more normal surroundings cc Sid Mosell

(Image thanks to Sid Mosell who made this photo available via Creative Commons

One cannot ignore the persistent injustices and outrages of the colonial period. There is  one relatively recent work – reflecting on the international legal principle behind this historic land grab – which may not have come to the attention of Law Bod readers as the  Bodleian’s physical copies are in Rhodes House and the Bodleian History Faculty Library   However it is available electronically to all holders of an Oxford Single Sign On: Discovering indigenous lands: the doctrine of discovery in the English colonies(OUP, 2010). If you are interested in the struggle of the native peoples to redress the wrongs they have suffered, the Law Bod’s guide Indigenous Peoples: legal resources   is  a good starting point as it points out both physical items in the Law Bod and Oxford,  and electronic resources, not just subscription but also open access. The Law Bod extended its coverage in this topic extensively in 2013, by taking out a subscription to the database Indigenous Collection from Informit. (The full text Collection contains journals, books, conference proceedings and reports. The primary geographic focus is the Asia-Pacific region. Subjects include not just law and land rights but also  anthropology, cultural studies, history, human geography, and  race studies.)

Punga cc Hella Delicious

“Ponga” cc Hella Delicious

(Image thanks to Hella Delicious who made this photo available via

However, the putting of new words to an old English tune in truth first made our minds jump to the phenomenon of the spread of the English legal tradition across the globe, and the subsequent development of national manifestations. This less  malign (?? perhaps this could be a moot point!) result of English colonialism is put vividly by Sir John Baker:  “By a breath-taking twist of fate, the insular and arcane learning of the small band of lawyers who argued cases in a corner of Westminster Hall became the law by which a third of the people on the earth were governed …” (An introduction to English Legal History (4th ed, 2002) at pp.28-9 Legal Hist B167a4).

If you are interested in the reception of the common law around the globe, the  Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal History (OSS required for e-access, hard copy is at Ref 103.) is a useful starting point containing (for example) articles on the common law’s reception and development in the US (by Kinvin Wroth) , the Australian experience (an article by Bruce Kercher), and two articles by Peter Spiller,   one on  Canada  the other  New Zealand (Each has a starter bibliography to help you on your way to deeper studies.)

Incidentally this aspect of legal history will introduce even a regular the Law Bod user to the “game” affectionately known as  “Hunting the obscure shelf mark/call number.” For to read our copy of  B.H. McPherson’s  The reception of English law abroad (2007) you need to find the whereabouts of the bijou collection of Cw Gen. This year the Law Bod has had some much more detailed floor plans -with a supporting key – professionally produced to make this less of a puzzle. These floor plans are available as posters at strategic places on all four floors of the library, in booklets to pick up in the Library, and as pdf files to download & consult in advance   A clue to locate Cw Gen is that Cw stands for Commonwealth.   ( Final Tip: as with most library-based puzzles, the skilful deployment of the strategy commonly referred to as “asking a librarian” is as good as a get out of jail free card!)

The website which supplied the text of the Twelve days of Christmas NZ-style, describes this carol as great  “for singing in the car while you are all travelling back home to the coast for Christmas.” – another reminder of how old world traditions have adapted to life south of the equator!

Pohutakawa NZ's Christmas Tree

Pohutakawa blossom (NZ’s Christmas Tree) watching over surfer’s progress to beach

(Image thanks to Bill Harrison who made this photo available via

And yes all three – pukekos (swamp hen or rail, Porphyrio melanotus), pongas (for the Maori, this si specifically the silver fern – Cyathea dealbata – but it is now commonly applied to many types of tree fern, both Dicksoniaceae and Cyatheaceae), and pohutukawas (Metrosideros excelsa) – feature in New Zealand case law.  The best subscription database for OU students interested in this jurisdiction is LexisLibrary which, in its library of International Cases,  includes NZLR: New Zealand Law Reports, DCR:  District Court Reports, NZAR: NZ Administrative Law Reports, NZFLR: NZ Family Law Reports and NZRMA: NZ Resource Management Appeals.

A persistent legacy of this export of the common law is that it still feels more normal to look within the tradition for helpful comparison, not just in academic studies but in the court room too. To try to help with the need quickly to get to the reports and judgments from another Anglo-American legal tradition jurisdiction we have set up another libguide called Case law: e-resources for common law countries 

Heading towards Christmas

Last year, Law Bod staff discovered, uncovered -and invented- all manner of legal connections to the verses of a single carol. This year we have decided to open up the entire canon of traditional Christmas hymns & songs, looking at individual carols through our special legal spectacles …

Visual clue to this post's carol

A clue to this post’s carol!

This post is taking us back to the sixteenth century, to share a curious link between a pioneer of  legal publishing in England and  Christmas carols.

The pioneer was the memorably named Wynkyn de Worde, who took over the Caxton’s printing workshop (including its contents eg fonts, woodcuts etc) when Caxton died in 1492.

Wynkyn is now best remembered as having had a shrewd nose for potential customers  – producing products which would appeal to a wider market than just readers of courtly literature. Among his new ventures was the printing of  law books.  These would attract not only the student or practising lawyer (for whom such books would be working tools), but also the members of the establishment & ruling classes, for whom a display of legal tomes could be a powerful evocation of authority  – even if actually unopened!  Wynkyn’s 1496 volume of  statutes of Henry VII included a decorative flourish of an heraldic woodcut – showing  the Tudor regime continuing the English claim to the throne of France.

But Wynkyn is doubly the hero in this post because he also thought to supply the wants of another mass of potential purchasers –  the ranks of carol singers of England!

The evidence for this bit of enterprise is a chance survival –   a lesser known treasure in the Law Bod’s “mother ship” the old Bod.

It is no more than a single leaf – the verso of which fortuitously preserved the all important colophon: “Thus endeth the Christmass carolles newely enprinted at Londo in the fletestrete at the sygne of the sonne by Wynkyn de Worde. The yere of our lorde. M.D. xxi.” (1521)



Such are the wonders of modern electronic databases that subscribers to  Early English Books Online  can see this chance survival wherever they have access to the internet. (Holders of an Oxford Single Sign On username and password even have the choice of the OCR-ed and  TCP-ed version)

As it is but a single leaf, it only records the text of two carols. That on the recto  “A caroll of huntynge” has, I think, fallen out of favour – but a version of the second “A caroll bringyng in the bores heed” on the verso  – is still regularly sung, at least in Oxford.

The Boar’s Head ceremony – where the entry of the procession carrying the symbolic dish into the Dining Hall includes the singing of the carol – has been a feature of Queen’s College life for hundreds of years. (We are grateful to the Provost and Fellows for their website, the  source of the opening picture.)  The observant will have noticed that at some stage a carved version replaced flesh and bone. If you are unfamiliar with this carol,  there is a version on Youtube by the Oxfordshire folk group Magpie Lane.

When Wynkyn printed his book of carols the students and members of the Tudor “university” of the common law, the  inns of chancery (Thavies’, Furnival’s, Barnard’s, Staple, Clifford’s, Clement’s, New and Lyon’s) and of court (Middle & Inner Temples, Lincoln’s and Gray’s) , may well have been just as eager to have a copy of this Christmas sideline as the latest collection of statutes –  they may even have thought a carol for a boar’s head particularly useful!

Turning to the archives of the Inner Temple  (as edited and printed in The Inner Temple: its early history, as illustrated by its records 1505-1603 (1896) which can be ordered to the Law Bod from the Closed Stacks via the Hold & Request option), we find pre-Christmas Parliaments (meetings) nominating not just a “Steward for Christmas,” but also a Marshall,  a Butler, a Clerk of the Kitchen and (typically) 4 Masters of the Revels to cater for those “who have their vacations to keep and want to be in commons” over the holy days. Such a sub-committee would ensure that all could celebrate “according to ancient custom.” (If any of them felt a little socially insecure – Wynkyn had a book for that too! The boke of kervyng was a bible for correct table manners, vocabulary and dinner service.)

Other roughly contemporary entries in the Inner Temple  records reveal elements of what this custom involved in practice – food, entertainment (plays and music) and warmth. For example:

21 Dec 15 Henry 1523 “It is agreed that the society shall have for Christmas one boar besides “a sheld” and two “roundes” [perhaps joints of beef] …  And that those who are commoners shall be charged all expenses for the players (istuon’) who shall have 20s, and except the boar abovesaid.”

24 November 19 H VIII Ad 1527 “Order that those who shall keep commons at Christmas next be allowed one “le bore,” and for the stipend of the minstrels at Christmas, 30s., and a cartload of coals for fuel; …..”

Surely no Tudor chef worth his fee – and given the carcase of a boar (whether wild or farm-fattened) – would have missed the opportunity of turning the head into a show stopper dish? The technical challenge was to bone the head, and then carefully stuff it with a forcemeat (in which you could show off your skill with handling spices such as ginger and pepper). It was cooked when a hay straw would pierce the flesh … without a hint of sogginess of course. Once cold you had the challenge of the decoration. The carol mentions bay and rosemary – but what about sprinkling flour over the rosemary to look like snow? Doing a bit of fruit carving? and dicing rich red jelly cubes around the base?
 In the 1849 case Regina v Rowland Gallears (initial proceedings of 1 January 1849 reported in 2 Car & K 981; 175 E.R. 412  ; subsequent decision, reported in 1 Denison 501 169 E.R. 346  ) the court considered whether the charge of stealing “one ham of the value of ten shillings”  (the goods and chattels of another) was a proper and sufficient indictment. Counsel for the prisoner thought he had good authority on his side. In 1844 Tindal LCJ had been reported as holding that an indictment for larceny – the stealing of “three eggs, of the value of twopence” – was bad as it did not state the species of eggs: “It should have stated what sort of eggs were stolen. For aught that appears on this indictment, the eggs stolen might have been adder’s eggs, or some other species of eggs which cannot be the subject of larceny.”  R. v. Thomas Cox , 174 E.R. 908 1 Car. & K. 494 In fact, the report tells us, they had been guinea fowl eggs – without making clear whether from domesticated or wild birds. But 5 years later a different court was not impressed. “Patteson J.—I don’t understand the objection. Supposing it turned out on proof to be the ham of a wild boar, why should the prisoner be at liberty to take it from the prosecutor without becoming criminally liable? The doctrine respecting the description of animals in an indictment, applies only to live animals, not to parts of the carcasses of animals when dead, such as a boar’s head. Do you find in works on natural history that there is any living animal called a ham?” Pollock CB went so far as “intimate a doubt” as to the correctness of the earlier case, before adding that the whole Court held the prisoner guilty. This final resolution of the Gallears case was handed down on 20 November 1849, perhaps everyone’s minds were turning towards what they’d have for Christmas ……….

New library of ebooks for public international law

The Law Bod has an active subscription to OSAIL: Oxford Scholarly Authorities for International Law – although this is not yet obvious if you are searching SOLO by the book or author details.

The authorities which are online via OSAIL are a formidable collection:

MCNAIR    The Law of Treaties
HIGGINS    Problems and Process
CASSESE    The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
UK MOD    The Manual of the Law Armed Conflict
VERMULST    The WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement
SYKES    The WTO Agreement on Safeguards
MCMAHON    The WTO Agreement on Agriculture
BODANSKY ET AL    The Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law
CRAWFORD    The Creation of States in International Law
MCLEAN    Transnational Organized Crime
CORREA    Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
MUCHLINSKI    Multinational Enterprises & the Law
DENZA    Diplomatic Law
FRANCIONI ED    The 1972 World Heritage Convention
NOWAK    The United Nations Convention Against Torture
GARDINER    Treaty Interpretation
JENNINGS,WATTS    Oppenheim’s International Law
BETHLEHEM ET AL    The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law
BINDER ET AL    International Investment Law for the 21st Century
ROBERTS    Satow’s Diplomatic Practice
FREESTONE,STRECK    Legal Aspects of Carbon Trading
SALACUSE    The Law of Investment Treaties
SCHABAS    The International Criminal Court
CRAWFORD ET AL    The Law of International Responsibility
ZIMMERMANN    The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol
CORTEN,KLEIN    The Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties
LAUTERPACHT,HERSCH    The Function of Law in the International Community
DOSWALD-BECK    Human Rights in Times of Conflict and Terrorism
WHITE ET AL    Counter-Terrorism
FREEMAN ET AL    The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

Following this link to OSAIL should work  – if you are not on the OU network/domain, and don’t have a VPN on your own computer, you will be asked for your Oxford Single Sign On username and password.
Note. You can move between the various sections of the platform Oxford Public International Law – namely OSAIL,  MPEPIL (Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law) and ORIL (Oxford Reports on International Law) – via the Product Selector panel on the homepage of each, and the Oxford Citator related items panel links.

Route to OSAIL from MPEPIL

Route to OSAIL from MPEPIL

– or indeed the Oxford Citator links from both MPEPIL and ORIL.

A couple of routes to see these books presented from cover to cover (so to speak) are suggested below.

Both start with clicking on the Advanced Search option in OSAIL and using the drop down menu to find Author/contributor option and putting in  the surname.

Then, on the results screen – you can EITHER resort by Table of Contents Order

Route 1 presents the chapters of the book as a segmented list

Route 1 presents the chapters of the book as a segmented list

OR Click on the hyperlinked name of the work.

Following second way you get to this

Following second way you get to this

Bodleian Law Library New Books Bulletin

It is the Law Bod’s usual practice to make these weekly Bulletins available via a  web page in the Finding Resources section of our main website.  (This page also allows you to catch up with any Bulletins you may have missed in the previous 6 months.) This ideal is, of course, modified by the realities of technological hitches, staff workflow etc !

New books

This time it is the CMS which is being updated during 19 – 24 August 2013. This means we cannot update our webpages. So, rather than frustrate our audience, we list below all the books which were catalogued in the week 12-18 August 2013. They are arranged by shelf mark order – the hyperlinks should take you through to the Details page on SOLO for each title, which will give you a fuller idea of the contents, size etc of the titles.  All these titles are now available to readers in the Law Bod – if they have not reached their designated shelf, please just ask a member of staff and we will be able to fetch them for you!

New Books 12 -18 August 2013

Ancient Greek C221.8a
Canevaro, Mirko, author.
The documents in the attic orators : laws and decrees in the public speeches of the Demosthenic corpus  9780199668908 Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2013.

China 510 M130b
McConville, Michael ; Pils, Eva (eds)
Comparative perspectives on criminal justice in China 9781781955857 Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar, [2013]

Crim 570 K61.5a
Kirwan, Grainne, 1978- author.
Cybercrime : the psychology of online offenders   9781107004443 New York : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Euro Comm 510 A141b
Abell, Mark.
The law and regulation of franchising in the EU  9781781952207 Cheltenham : Edward Elgar, c2013.

General 510 B548.4a4
Bertrams, R. I. V. F. (Roeland I. V. F.), author.
Bank guarantees in international trade : the law and practice of independent (first demand) guarantee  Fourth revised edition. 9789041122575 The Hague : Kluwer Law International, [2013?]

General 510 B724.3a3
Boone, J. William (ed)
International insolvency : jurisdictional comparisons Third edition. 9780414026940 London : Thomson Reuters, 2012.

General 510 C177.8a (v.3)
Brazier, Margaret, author.
Bioethics, medicine, and the criminal law. Volume 3, Medicine and bioethics in the theatre of the criminal process 9781107018259 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

General 510 N973.5a
Nunziante, Gianmatteo ; Magrone, Nunziante (eds)
Joint ventures : jurisdictional comparisons  9780414026773 London : Sweet & Maxwell, 2012.

General 510 S387.9a
Schultz, Ulrike ; Shaw, Gisela (eds)
Gender and judging  9781841136400 Oxford : Hart, 2013.

General 510 S934.8a
Stupp, Eric ; Schott, Markus ; Dennis, Alison (eds)
Distribution and promotion of drugs : jurisdictional comparisons 9780414026841 London : Sweet & Maxwell/Thomson Reuters, 2013.

Internat 555 C899c
Crawford, James, 1948- author.
State responsibility : the general part   9780521822664 New York : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Internat 555 D229.5a
Dasgupta, Riddhi, author
International interplay : the future of expropriation across international dispute settlement  9781443845977Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013.

Internat 570 F855.4a
Freeman, Marsha A ; Chinkin, C. M ; Rudolf, Beate (eds)
The UN convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women : a commentary 9780199565061 Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2012.

Internat 570 H477.5a
Hellum, Anne ; Aasen, Henriette Sinding (eds)
Women’s human rights : CEDAW in international, regional, and national law 9781107034624 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Internat 580 H546.5a
Herik, L. J. van den (Larissa J.) ; Schrijver, Nico, 1954- (eds)
Counter-terrorism strategies in a fragmented international legal order : meeting the challenges 9781107025387 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Internat 580 M956.5a
Mulgrew, Roisin, 1980- author.Towards the development of the international penal system  9781107027411 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Internat 590 D143a5
Dalhuisen, J. H. (Jan Hendrik), author.
Dalhuisen on transnational comparative, commercial, financial and trade law Fifth edition. 9781849464512 (v.1) Oxford : Hart, 2013.

Internat 590 F593.3a
Fleckner, Andreas M ; Hopt, Klaus J., 1940- (eds)
Comparative corporate governance : a functional and international analysis 9781107025110 Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Internat 610 S491b
Servais, Jean-Michel, author.
International social security  9789041148674 Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands : Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Kluwer Law International, 2013.

Internat 630 S129.5a
Sage-Fuller, Bénédicte, author.
The precautionary principle in marine environmental law : with special reference to high risk vessel 9780415671910 Abingdon, Oxon : Routledge, 2013.

Internat 700 G826.3a
Grenfell, Laura, 1974- author.
Promoting the rule of law in post-conflict states 9781107026193Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Internat 710 I83.3a
Ismail, Mohamed A.M., author.
International investment arbitration : lessons from developments in the MENA region  9781409463634 Farnham, Surrey : Ashgate Publishing, [2013?]

Jurisp 510 F621.5aE
Kollektiver Rechtsbruch – Gefahr für unsere Freiheit. English.
Collective law-breaking – a threat to liberty  9780957295858Munich : Convoco Foundation, [2013]

Jurisp 510 P451.4a
Perlin, Michael L., 1946- author.
A prescription for dignity : rethinking criminal justice and mental disability law 9780754677246 Farnham, Surrey, England : Ashgate Publishing, [2013?]

KL11.ELL 2013
Elliott, Catherine, 1966- author.
English legal system Fourteenth edition. 9780273784388 Harlow, England : Pearson, 2013.

KL30.J6.QUI 2013
Quinn, Frances author.
Law for journalists  Fourth edition. 9781447923060 Harlow, England : Pearson, 2013.

KL96.1.ROC 2013
Roche, Helen (ed)
The definitive law firm management guide 2nd edition. 9781908640734 (hard copy) 9781908640741 (pdf) London : Ark Group in association with Managing Partner, 2012.

KM31.CAR 2013
Carroll, Alex, 1947- author.
Constitutional and administrative law Seventh edition. 9781447923619Harlow, England : Pearson Education, 2013.

KM500.JEF 2013
Jefferson, Michael (Law teacher), author.
Criminal law Eleventh edition. 9781447923329 Harlow, England : Pearson Education, 2013.

KN10.RIC 2013
Richards, Paul, 1951- author.
Law of contract  Eleventh edition. 9781447923152 Harlow, England : Pearson Education, 2013.

KN30.COO 2013
Cooke, Philip, author.
Law of tort  Eleventh edition. 9781447923404 Harlow, England : Pearson Education, 2013.

KN33.33.JAC 2012
Powell, John L., LL.B.
Jackson & Powell on professional liability  7th ed. 9780414047808 London : Sweet & Maxwell, 2012.

KN38.1.CRO 2013
APIL guide to accidents abroad 9781846613326 Bristol : Jordans, c2013.

KN60.HAL 2013
Haley, Michael A., author.
Land law  Ninth edition. 9780414025738 London : Sweet & Maxwell/Thomas Reuters, 2013.

KN114.1.CHA 2011
CIPA guide to the patents acts.7th ed.  9780414018631London : Sweet & Maxwell/Thomson Reuters, 2011.

KN200.EDW 2013
Edwards, Richard, 1945- author.
Trusts and equity  Eleventh edition. 9781447923237 Harlow, England : Pearson Education, 2013.

KN250.MAC 2013
MacIntyre, Ewan, author.
Essentials of business law  Fourth edition. 9781447923626Harlow, England : Pearson Education, 2013.

KN261.ARM 2013
Armour, Douglas, author.
The ICSA company secretary’s checklists  Eighth edition. 9781860725791London : ICSA Publishing Ltd., 2013

KN261.I5.MAC 2013
MacCann, Lyndon (et al eds)
Companies Acts, 1963-2012 9781780431345 Haywards Heath : Bloomsbury Professional, [2012?]

KN303.I5.BRE 2013
Breslin, John, author.
Banking law  Third edition. 9781858006840 Dublin : Round Hall, Thomson Reuters, 2013.

Netherlands 510 S385c3
Muller, Maarten H. (ed)
Corporate law in the Netherlands Third edition. 9789041128645 The Hague, The Netherlands : Kluwer Law International, [2013?]

Private Int 510 L988.3a
Lynden, Carel J. H., baron van (ed)
Enforcements of judgments, awards & deeds in commercial matters : jurisdictional comparisons 9780414027053 London : Thomson Reuters, 2013.

S Africa 510 S426.5a
Scott, Helen, 1975- author.Unjust enrichment in South African law : rethinking enrichment by transfer  9781849462235 Oxford : Hart, 2013.

USA 510 A161.3a
Abrams, Floyd, author.Friend of the court : on the front lines with the First Amendment 9780300190878 New Haven : Yale University Press, [2013?]

USA 510 B924.3a
Buckley, F. H. (Francis H.), 1948- (eds)
The American illness : essays on the rule of law 9780300175219New Haven, Connecticut : Yale University Press, [2013?]

USA 510 C294a9
Carp, Robert A., 1943- author.
Judicial process in America  Ninth edition. 9781452226323 London : Sage Publications ; Thousand Oaks, CA : CQ Press, [2013?]

USA 510 C515b7
Cheeseman, Henry R., author.
Contemporary business and online commerce law   Seventh edition ; Pearson new international edition. 9781292023519 Harlow : Pearson Education, [2013?]

USA 510 H551.2a
Herman, Bill D., 1977- author.
The fight over digital rights : the politics of copyright and technology   9781107015975 New York : Cambridge University Press, 2013.

USA 510 O59.8a
Onwuachi-Willig, Angela, author.
According to our hearts : Rhinelander v. Rhinelander and the law of the multiracial family  9780300166828 (cloth : alk. paper) New Haven, Connecticut : Yale University Press, [2013?]

USA 510 W130.2a
Wagenaar, Alexander C. ; Burris, Scott (eds)
Public health law research : theory and methods 9781118137628 San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Imprint, [2013?]

The Law Bod also has an account with LibraryThing which has the merit of introducing colour and images!


Covers from Law Bod's feed in LibraryThing

Covers from Law Bod’s feed in LibraryThing

Law in England before 1066

We hope that the summer 2013 BBC4 series, King Alfred and the Anglo-Saxons, (presented by Michael Wood) will encourage interest in a deeper understanding of  the laws and legal system of the kingdoms in England before the Normans. For in this aspect, at least, the invaded and the vanquished could feel (justifiably) superior and more advanced than their conquerors.

Holders of an Oxford Single Sign On are well supplied with sources and commentary both online as well as in print.  For example, they can read The Oxford history of the laws of England. Volume II, 817-1216 by John Hudson or read the print copy, which can be found in both the Law Bod and the History Faculty Library as well as many College libraries (The Law Bod Legal History Libguide suggests more resources available for the committed OU student!)

However, there is an (increasingly) important website for this area of research which is freely accessible to all with internet access: the Early English Laws project.

Early English laws

Banner to project website

Its aim is “to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215.” It is a collaboration between the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London and the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. (Its website says that the AHRC provided initial funding for the first three years of the project (viz 2009–2011) – we trust that it will not founder through lack of support!) The details of the laws which are included in the project, and the editors undertaking the work are in a regularly updated table Reading the website in August 2013, new good news is that sixteen new editions (17 texts) have already been published online, with a further 23 already in progress.

The Search screen offers both an alphabetically arranged browse option (which clearly states when the text is not yet online), a search box (in the left hand column), and, also in the left hand column, a variety of filters including reigning monarch

King & counsellors

King & counsellors & result of their decision?

and (at least to one with my depth of ignorance of the period) an intriguingly complex variety of categories of document (Agreements, Charter, Epistle, Imposture, Inquest, Local custom, Ordeal manual, Penalty, Pontifical, Procedure, Promise, Royaltext, Town custom, Translation, Treatise, Treaty, Writ)

As a librarian with little Latin and absolutely no old English, it is a delight to see that an online translation is a mere manipulation of the drop down menu  away from the text – along with much more scholarly tools such as commentary, H & Liebermann Facsimiles.

Translations available via drop down menu!

Translations available via drop down menu!

The Reference section of website links to new commentary, Contextual Essays, while the Blog also allows editors to share their thoughts and discoveries as the project progresses.

If you have missed episodes of the BBC programme they are, for a limited period, available via BBC iPlayer