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When the Shaking Stops

Residents of Christchurch, the second largest city in New Zealand, continue to have sleepless nights and worry-filled, emotional days as the aftershocks keep coming – nearly a week after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck at 4:35am on Saturday, September 4, 2010.  Apart from all the shaking, there’s also the worry about the amount of time […]

Lockerbie Bomber – The Legal Issues Behind Recalling a Prisoner Released on Compassionate Grounds.

The recent one year anniversary of the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi, the man convicted in 1999 of the Lockerbie bombings, prompted me to to delve a little further behind the headlines.   Al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds after doctors diagnosed him with terminal prostate cancer.   I thought […]

Legal Harmony: Oz and N.Z. Share the Love

Australia and New Zealand are like a couple of squabbling siblings most of the time.  We make jokes at each others’ expense, including our different accents (they really are different!), and we love to beat each other at sports.  You would have seen plenty of references to this rivalry if you ever watched the Flight […]

Votes for Women

August 26, 2010, was the 90th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote in the United States. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, by a vote of 304 to 89. The Senate passed the amendment on June 4, by a vote of […]

THOMAS: The Revamp during the Recess

Over the past couple months I, along with the great THOMAS team here at the Library of Congress, have been working hard on the latest set of enhancements. Thankfully, we’ve been able to finish them before Congress returns from August recess.  User feedback is continuing to drive our newest update.  We collect feedback through OpinionLab […]

Shanghaied!

As you can see from my previous post on researching Al Capone’s jury, some of the questions that come through “Ask A Librarian” can be quite fascinating. Some on their face appear simple, but upon further research, reveal hidden depths. A recent question involved a private law from the 71st Congress (1929-1931).*  Private laws affect […]

Ease Up on the Drink, New Zealand

The title of this post comes from the New Zealand Alcohol Advisory Council’s (ALAC) latest ad campaign targeting the drinking culture.  One of ALAC’s previous campaigns had the punch line “it’s not the drinking – it’s how we’re drinking.”  Anyway, you get the idea – if you need to have ad campaigns telling the country […]

A Pirate’s Life for Me

Last week we posted a collection of pre-1923 piracy trials.  The immediate response was fun to follow on Twitter.  Georgetown Law Library tweeted: Avast me hearties! Read all about pre-1923 pirate trials from @LawLibCongress http://go.usa.gov/cQk A recent post on Slaw, a Canadian law blog, by Simon Fodden (the founder of the blog) discussed the collection.  […]

The Case of the Barking Dog

In the course of monitoring significant legal developments in the jurisdictions that I cover, I often come across amusing or quirky stories that make me smile, but also make me think (possibly because I’m a total geek…).  I mean, when you analyze or discuss these stories you realize that there might be deeper underlying societal […]