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An Interview with Felicia Stephan, Foreign Law Intern

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

Today’s interview is with Felicia Stephan, a foreign law intern working with Jenny Gesley on research related to the laws of Germany and other German-speaking jurisdictions at the Global Legal Research Directorate, Law Library of Congress.  Describe your background. I am originally from Tübingen, a small town in the south of Germany, where I grew up with …

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Standardization and the Law

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

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 …

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

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

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, …

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German Family (Heritage) Books

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

Lately, I have become very interested in genealogy research as have many other people judging from the numerous websites, databases, guides, and other resources dedicated to that topic. To get my family history research started, I interviewed my parents who directed me to our family (heritage) book. What are Family Books? In Germany, events like births, marriages, …

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The Peace of Westphalia

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

On October 24, 1648, the Peace of Westphalia formally ended the Thirty Years’ War in Europe. The Peace of Westphalia consists of two different documents, the Peace Treaty of Osnabrück (Instrumentum pacis Osnabrugensis)  between the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (HRE) and Sweden, and the Peace Treaty of Münster (Instrumentum Pacis Monasteriensis)  between …

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A Guide to Researching EU Law

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

The following is a guest post by Micaela DelMonte, a lawyer from the European Parliamentary Research Service who volunteered at the Law Library of Congress during May 2017. News about Brexit and the so-called Article 50 procedure have dominated the news about the European Union (EU) lately. If you are interested in researching these or …

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Anniversary of the German Basic Law

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

Every year on May 23, Germany celebrates the “Day of the Basic Law.” The Basic Law, Germany’s constitution, lays down fundamental rights, establishes the structure and administration of the Federal Republic of Germany, and sets out the legal framework of the three branches of government. Furthermore, it establishes the Federal Republic of Germany as a democratic, federal, …

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New Law Library Report on Lobbying Disclosure Laws

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

Working and living in Washington, DC, lobbyists are no uncommon sight. K Street, where numerous lobbying firms are traditionally located, has become a metonym for the lobbying industry in general. A “lobbyist” is defined under federal law as any individual who is employed or retained by a client for financial or other compensation for services that include more …

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FALQs: Demonetization in India

Posted by: Jenny Gesley

The following is a guest post by Supreetha Sampath Kumar, a foreign law intern at the Law Library of Congress. This blog post is part of our Frequently Asked Legal Questions series. On November 8, 2016, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, announced the “notebandi” initiative, declaring that the use of all Rupees (Rs.) 500 and …