Libraries are great places to learn about love. There are books about love and romance, of course, but you might also have or discover a lifelong love of books, or even meet the love of your life! You might not associate law libraries with love, but if you think about it, where else can you find so much written about the various practical implications of falling in (and out of) love? There are laws on cohabitation and marriage, property law, laws related to children, succession law, of course separation and divorce as well, and even immigration law.
It is therefore not surprising that over the years In Custodia Legis has developed a nice collection of posts related to love and the law. As our small contribution to Valentine’s Day celebrations, here’s what I found:
- Chocolate, Candy and the Law (2011): while not directly about love, this post on laws in England and the U.S. that regulate what can be labelled as ”chocolate” provides good information for those who might be deciding what chocolates to buy for Valentine’s Day.
- In Love and War: The King of Chocolate and St. Valentine’s Day (2014): this post goes back further into the history of chocolate, including its use in love and war. It also provides information about St. Valentine himself.
- Love and the Law (2014): part of a fun series on movies and the law, this post surveys several movies that have themes of love and the law, including Green Card, Shakespeare in Love, and The Proposal.
- Love, Adultery, and Madness (2015): this post tells the story of a court case that resulted from an affair between the wife of a member of Congress and one of Francis Scott Key’s sons, which had led to the latter being shot dead by the aggrieved husband. The case may have introduced the defense of temporary insanity in American jurisprudence.
- Law and Mrs. de Winter (2016): another tragic love story, this post looks at the legal topics contained in the novel Rebecca, including divorce, inheritance, blackmail, and murder.
- My Beloved Eliza: The Final Letters from Alexander Hamilton to His Wife (2016): in this hugely popular post, you can learn about and view the the letters that Alexander Hamilton wrote to his wife, Eliza, during the week prior to his being killed in a duel with Aaron Burr.
- Magna Carta: A Love Story (2015): this post tells of a more modern-day love story, involving a couple who had originally met while conducting research at the Library of Congress. They came back to the Library as part of the celebrations for their fiftieth wedding anniversary and were given a tour of the Law Library’s wonderful Magna Carta exhibit.
- On the Shelf: LGBT Pride Month (2016): this post highlights some of the more unique items in our collection that relate to laws on same-sex marriage in different jurisdictions or that focus on family law in relation to LGBT individuals and families.
- Family Law: A Beginner’s Guide – Part 1: Formation and Dissolution of Marriage (2014): this post provides information on some of the resources available at the Law Library and online that relate to marriage and divorce (maybe not the best topic for Valentine’s Day, but the law doesn’t tend to be overly sentimental).
- DOMA and LGBT Commemorative Month (2013): this post provides information on the Defense of Marriage Act and some of the earlier cases that challenged it, prior to the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges. We also have a post showing scenes outside the Supreme Court in 2013 during oral arguments in two high-profile same-sex marriage cases.
- Mazel Tov! I Now Pronounce You Husband and Wife (Under Israeli Law) (2015): Israeli law requires couples to marry in accordance with their religion. This post discusses how this works and some developments in the area of providing a civil marriage option, with more information available in a report on spousal agreements.
- Do You Have to Actually be Present on Your Wedding Day in The Gambia? (2014): in another post on marriage laws in different countries, we learn about proxy marriage and divorce under the laws of The Gambia.
- Laws on Homosexuality in African Nations (2014): this post provides information on a Law Library survey of the laws of African countries that relate to the treatment of the LGBT community.
- “My Devise for the Succession” (2014): the tale of Henry VIII and his many wives is not very romantic, but it does include various legal issues, including the development and application of laws related to succession to the crown.
- Will and Kate Plus a Pre-nup? (2011): still on the royal theme, but this time much more modern, this post looks at English laws related to prenuptial agreements, with reference to the union between Prince William and Kate Middleton.
- Finally, in the area of laws related to children, we have had posts on China’s “one-child” policy and its replacement with a new family planning policy in 2015, as well as a post contrasting the policy with the approach in Israel. There is also a beginner’s guide on child custody and adoption law and posts about restrictions on baby names, or on changing names, in New Zealand, Iceland, and Taiwan.