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Funding Public Broadcasting: Should Households Pay a Fee for Owning a Television?

While a foreign concept here in the United States, a requirement that anyone who owns a television (or even just a radio) pay a “license fee” to help fund public broadcasting exists in a number of countries around the world. Such fees can be controversial and a number of countries have repealed them over the past few decades, […]

Finland: 100 Years of Independence – Global Legal Collection Highlights

The following is a guest post by Elin Hofverberg, who covers Scandinavian jurisdictions at the Law Library of Congress. Elin’s previous posts include Alfred Nobel’s Will: A Legal Document that Might Have Changed the World and a Man’s Legacy, Swedish Detention Order Regarding Julian Assange, The Masquerade King and the Regulation of Dancing in Sweden, The Trade Embargo Behind the […]

American Society of Comparative Law: Annual Meeting Recap

At the end of October 2017, I had the pleasure of participating in the annual meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL) both as a panelist as well as an attendee. Rebecca French, a professor at SUNY, Buffalo School of Law and panelist in one of the three plenary panel discussions, described the meeting as “amazing”- I agree with […]

Murder in the Cathedral – Legal Dispute Turned Deadly

We have written several “today in history posts” recently and this is another.  Today, December 29, is the 847th anniversary of the murder of Thomas Becket in his cathedral in Canterbury, England.  This date is also his feast day in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints. I previously wrote about Thomas Becket and the origins […]

Standardization and the Law

On December 22, 1917—100 years ago today—the German Institute for Standardization (Deutsches Institut für Normung, DIN) was founded. DIN develops the content of standards and coordinates the work of other bodies involved in the process. It is organized as a private non-profit organization and has entered into an agreement with the German government to be recognized […]

Disappearance of a Prime Minister

On this day fifty years ago, December 19, 1967, it was announced that the then-Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, was officially presumed dead. Mr. Holt, who had been Prime Minister for 22 months, from January 1966, had disappeared two days earlier while swimming in the ocean at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, in the state of […]

Two Koreas Separated by Demilitarized Zone

This following is a guest post by Sayuri Umeda, a foreign law specialist who covers Japan and various other countries in East and Southeast Asia. She has previously written posts for In Custodia Legis on various topics, including English translations of post-World War II South Korean laws, laws and regulations passed in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and […]

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how much tax do I owe for thee?

It is generally believed that the modern Christmas tree tradition originated in Germany in the 16th century. (William D. Crump, The Christmas Encyclopedia (2001)). Thus, it makes sense that Christmas trees first started appearing in the United States in the 1830s when German settlers in Pennsylvania put them on display. (Id.) As we enter the holiday season, […]

The Relationship Between Church and State in Germany

With the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in full bloom, I thought it would be a good opportunity to write about the relationship between church and state in Germany. Unlike in the U.S. where the Establishment Clause of the Constitution “was intended to erect a wall of separation between Church and State,” […]