Forced Migration Online
Forced Migration Online is an engrossing and comprehensive resource coordinated by the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford with the help of international advisors. The group includes under the rubric of "forced migrations" displacement due to war, economic need, natural disaster, political oppression, trafficking and human smuggling. Individual guides have been prepared on topics such as the Roma (Gypsies), gender issues, trafficking, psychosocial issues, and children in conflict situations (youth in war). Each guide presents an historical/ social overview, links to pertinent organizations and more general ones such as Amnesty International, as well as a bibliography of books, articles, and web publications. Regional resources are currently limited to Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Georgia, the Central African Great Lakes region, and the Western Sahara; research guides are provided for Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, and Thailand. There is also a discussion list, which contains many notices of and hyperlinks to other documents, new books, human rights activities, etc., archived to September 1998. The website as a whole comprises a digital library of full-text documents from several academic centers, articles from scholarly journals in the field, news articles from the U.S., Europe, and other regions, in addition to the research guides. The site is usable with Explorer 4.0 or Netscape 4.0, deliberately of simple design to accommodate users with low bandwidth and limited Internet capabilities--a consideration seldom seen in the Internet world. The target audience includes students, practitioners, librarians, policy makers, journalists, and forced migrants themselves. A very good resource.
This website is an online library based at the University of Missouri School of Journalism's Freedom of Information Center, focusing on access to government documents and information for the benefit of the public and members of the media. Established in 1958, the Center was instrumental in the creation of the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Much of the content is concerned with government secrecy, particularly in the war against terrorism. On the home page, flashing fireworks highlight victories in cases involving press rights and access to information; near the bottom of the page are topical areas (e.g., secret courts, prisoners' rights) taken from the major print news media and news wires. The website also contains several publications, among them "Access to Public Information: a resource guide" (focusing on the City of Columbia and Boone County, Mo.), with reference to federal and state legislation and pending bills. The FOI Advocate is an online newsletter-digest, with links to full-text news stories, federal reports, and web publications. There is a chapter of the final report of the independent counsel for Iran/Contra Matters, dealing with the federal case against John Poindexter, recently named to head the Total Information Awareness program. Of further interest to researchers is the section entitled "Quick 'n' Easy Media Law Research": guides to laws on open records, taping phone calls, shield laws and confidentiality, links to resources such as the Freedom Forum and the Libel Defense Resource Center. Other guides pertain to the mechanics of doing legal research; using the Freedom of Information Act; the Missouri Sunshine Law; annual FOIA reports from federal departments and agencies (for FY2000). Be sure to scroll all the way down the home page for features such as a lengthy essay on how reporters can gain access to public records and meetings withot having to invoke the FOIA. The tone of the website is occasionally smart-alecky ("We neither recommend nor disapprove of these fee [based] sites--we just wish we had the idea first"), but it can be helpful for students, journalists, and others unfamiliar with legal research.
The International Digest of Health Legislation, formerly published in print by the World Health Organization (WHO), is an online database of selected national and international health legislation. Full text is accessed via hyperlinks to websites, either in translation or in the original language; if there is no online source available, the legislation is cited by title and often summarized in English (or French for the French version of the website). The citation is to the official journal or code. The chief sources for the database are the official publications of WHO member states. The database is searchable by country, subject, keyword, or volume/issue of the print digest for 1998-2001. The country menu includes international bodies such as the Council of Europe, the European Community, and the International Labour Organisation; conventions between nations and international bodies are listed as well. Subjects are in a classified list; see "subject notes" for scope and cross references. Keyword searching may be performed in combination with all countries or a selection; choices here are more specific (e.g. radiation protection, sports, oral health, traditional medicines). Despite the lack of real search help and the limited graphics, this is a good resource for comparative law in areas like AIDS, reproductive health, and education.
Officially launched in November 2002, the World Legal Information Institute (WorldLII) is a "free, independent and non-profit global legal research facility" affiliated with several academic legal information institutes, among them Cornell's Legal Information Institute and others from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Britain and Ireland, and the University of the South Pacific School of Law. WorldLII provides a single search facility for over 270 databases from 48 jurisdictions in 20 countries. The user may select a resource area, among which are: legislation, case law, superior or high court decisions, journals, treaties, law reform, domain name decisions, and secondary materials. Alternatively, a jurisdiction or geographic region may be selected, with an emphasis on Pacific and Commonwealth countries (for the United States only Supreme Court decisions are included). The site can be translated into Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. Among recent additions to the website are World Trade Organization panel decisions, Tuvalu domain name decisions, and materials from the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. For searching advice, click on the Help link at the bottom of the home page; this produces a Quick (but superbly thorough) Guide in RTF, PDF or HTML versions which provides all the assistance the user will need. While the content of the WorldLII is fairly limited at this time, its ease of use is admirable.
InSITE contributors: A. Carson, J. Pajerek (editor)
©2003 Cornell Law Library
The contents of this publication and any recommendations therein are the opinions of the authors and do not reflect the views of Cornell University.