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Current Issue: Vol. 20, no. 1  (August 25, 2014)
A Current Awareness Service of Cornell Law Library
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Digital Dictionaries: 1481-1916

    This site hosted by Georgetown Law Library provides digitized facsimiles of legal dictionaries dating (as of this writing) from 1575 to the early years of the 20th century. The home page has a short introductory essay on the nature of the collection and a citation to a Washington Post article on the Supreme Court’s use of dictionaries in recent decisions. A link leads to the list of the dictionaries most recently added to the still-growing collection. While the bulk of the dictionaries are from the nineteenth century, the 18th century is well represented in the collection as well. As expected, Law French and Latin are prominent in the earliest dictionaries. The dictionaries can be opened and read or downloaded as PDFs. Bibliographic information is provided for each title. The website is intended for those performing research; the full text of the dictionaries may be searched or the dictionaries may be browsed title by title. One may find out what the legal definition of “hue and crie” originally was, or see the change in legal definition of terms (such as habeas corpus). This is a straightforward, easily used website.
    [Author: J. Luke]
    URL: is a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks. It conducts research on the public safety issue of severe and fatal dog attacks inflicted by dangerous dog breeds. The website provides information including the foremost studies and statistics regarding dog bite injuries, pit bull injuries, dog bite fatalities, dangerous dog breed ownership and more. The site includes a section titled “Legislating Dogs.” In this section you can find comprehensive information on laws regulating dangerous dogs (especially pit bulls) with state-by-state information, a model pit bull ordinance, and links to laws that have been adopted by cities to regulate dangerous dog breeds which include breed bans, prima facially labeling breeds and regulating the spay/neuter status of breeds. The U.S. military branches (Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marines) also have breed-specific dog policies that are provided. Case law is also provided: the site states that “[b]oth state and federal courts consistently uphold the constitutionally of breed-specific pit bull laws. The United States Supreme Court has weighed in favorably as well,” and there are links to federal, state and international court decisions. There are also sobering stories, including pictures and videos, of dog bite injuries and fatalities. A section titled “Staying Safe” provides information for dog owners and the general public about dog safety, including printable brochures, flyers and infographics. There are social media links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and an RSS feed.
    [Author: S. Leers]
    The World Intellectual Property Organization's WIPO Lex is a compendium of nearly all intellectual property (IP) laws currently in force throughout the world, including treaties. WIPO Lex comprises a database of laws for all WIPO, World Trade Organization (WTO), and United Nations (UN) member countries organized by country. Pulling up a country in the database brings up the country's constitution, laws enacted by the legislature, rules and regulations, official publications, and treaties. Full text of these documents is available in PDF, usually in English and sometimes in multiple languages. Occasionally superseded laws are also available. Documents can be winnowed by subject matter (e.g. Transfer of Technology, Trade Names, etc.) for an individual nation or across all of the nations. Full-text keyword searching is available; note the search operators + (mandatory) and – (prohibited). Treaties are also searchable by treaty type (e.g. Declarations), organization (e.g. Benelux) and subject matter. A news blog describing changes to IP laws throughout the world is available at the bottom of the webpage. WIPO Lex also has a glossary of treaty-related terms. This site is easy to use and highly recommended for primary international IP research.
    [Author: I. Haight]

InSITE contributors: I. Haight, S. Leers. J. Luke, J. Pajerek (editor)


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