The following is a guest post by Peter Roudik, Director of Global Legal Research at the Law Library of Congress. Peter has previously contributed various posts to In Custodia Legis, including on the Pittsburgh Agreement, the ASIL Annual Meeting, Russia’s immigration policies and the U.S. Trade Act, and the Treaty on the Creation of the Soviet Union.
Last month my colleague Laney Zhang wrote about new English-language books on the rule of law in China that had recently been acquired by the Law Library. Following that post, we decided we would regularly publish information on new publications about the laws of other countries which would be of interest to people who conduct foreign law research, such as students, academics, lawyers, and librarians. So we have created a new blog series entitled Global Legal Collection Highlights.
Every second Tuesday, one of our researchers will review our Online Catalog records and let you know what English-language materials can be retrieved from the Law Library’s collection and consulted when questions on a foreign country’s legal system arise. We will focus mainly on recently published books, highlighting the Library’s new acquisitions, but interesting “older” materials will not be forgotten. Our mentioning of these books does not constitute any endorsement of the books by our staff and is intended to serve one purpose – informing readers about the materials available in the Law Library’s collection.
When possible, we will try to cover a particular topic, such as an area of law that is frequently discussed with regard to the specific legal system. However, this is difficult to do in the case of Russia, which is one of the main jurisdictions that I cover at the Law Library. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, most of the books on Russian law contained a general overview of this nation’s legal system. More recently, I have found that such books are rarely published. For example, a third edition of a book by William E. Butler titled Russian Law was published in 2009, but no new edition has been published at this stage. Since then, general descriptions of Russia’s legal system have mainly been published as a part of comparative surveys. For example:
- Legal Systems in Transition: A Comparison of Seven Post-Soviet Countries (Hans-Georg Heinrich & Ludmilla Lobova eds., 2012). In addition to Russia, this book covers Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
- Russia, the European Union and the CIS (Eric Engle ed., 2012).
Other recently published books are introductory studies that address a particular field of law. Many of these publications relate to business law:
- Vladimir Orlov, Introduction to Business Law in Russia (2011).
- Kirill Trofimov, Civil Procedure in Russia (2012).
- Olga Vorobieva, Private International Law in Russia (2012).
- Zhanna Gorbacheva, Labour Law in Russia (2011).
A few recent publications analyze Russian constitutional doctrine:
- Irina Bogdanovskaia & Tatiana Vassilieva, Constitutional Law in Russia (2012).
- Jane E. Henderson, The Constitution of the Russian Federation: A Contextual Analysis (2011).
Legal tradition remains strong in modern Russia, and the following book republishes the personal papers of Professor Grigorii Tunkin, the founder of the Soviet international law doctrine:
- The Tunkin Diary and Lectures: The Diary and Collected Lectures of G. I. Tunkin at the Hague Academy of International Law (William E. Butler & Vladimir G. Tunkin eds., 2012).
New books on the laws of Russia will be published in 2013 and I will let you know about their availability at the Law Library of Congress in future blog posts. Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below what parts of our global legal collection you would be interested in learning about as part of our new series.