New Report on Children and Data Protection Laws in Ireland

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Clare Feikert-Ahalt, a senior foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress covering the United Kingdom and several other jurisdictions. Clare has written numerous posts for In Custodia Legis, including 100 Years of “Poppy Day” in the United Kingdom; Weird Laws, or Urban Legends?FALQs: Brexit Referendum; and The UK’s Legal Response to the London Bombings of 7/7.

The Law Library recently published a report titled Children’s Online Privacy and Data Protection for Ireland. This adds Ireland to the Law Library’s report on this subject that cover 10 jurisdictions: the European Union (EU) and its member states of DenmarkFranceGermanyGreecePortugalSpainSweden, and Romania, and the non-EU member of the United Kingdom (UK).

Title page of the Law Library’s report “Ireland: Data Protection and Children.”

As Ireland is a member of the European Union, it must follow the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect in all EU member states, plus the UK, on May 25, 2018. Ireland implemented the Data Protection Act in 2018 to give effect to certain aspects of the GDPR in its domestic laws. This Act also established the Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is the national independent authority in Ireland that supervises the GDPR and ensures it is implemented.

Children’s personal data is provided with special protection under both the 2018 Act and the GDPR. In December 2020, the DPC published a draft code, titled Fundamentals for a Child-Oriented Approach to Data Processing (known as “the Fundamentals”), under the Data Protection Act. The Fundamentals aim to clarify the principles in the obligations under the GDPR and set “high-level obligations” that organizations must take before processing children’s data, and highlight that the best interests of the child take precedence over any legitimate business interests.

Since the Law Library’s report was published, on November 19, 2021, the DPC published a report into the findings of the public consultation on the Fundamentals. In this report, the DPC concluded “[t]he best interests of the child must ground the actions of all data controllers, and there must be a floor of protection below which no user, and in particular no child user, drops” and that it is satisfied that the broad approach of applying the Fundamentals to services that are likely to be accessed by children is the correct one to take, but stated that it will add text to help clarify this, and some of the other Fundamentals, further.

The DPC stated that it will work to finalize the Fundamentals and publish them. It notes that once the Fundamentals are published in their final form they “will have immediate effect and there will be no lead-in period for compliance.” The DPC has stated that this is because the Fundamentals are not a statutory code, nor are they, in essence, new obligations for organizations, noting:

the GDPR is now more than 3 years into its application. Organisations which process children’s personal data – particularly in the digital sectors where business models are predicated upon the processing of personal data for the provision of services – should throughout that period, in line with their accountability obligations under GDPR, have been constantly keeping their child protective measures under review and revision in order to achieve the higher standards of protection which the GDPR requires in relation to the processing of children’s data.

Thus, once the DPC publishes the Fundamentals in their final form they will enter into effect and the DPC will consider an organization’s compliance with the Fundamentals when assessing whether it has met the obligations of the GDPR.

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Cambodia’s Legal Professions

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Pichrotanak Bunthan, a legal research fellow with the Law Library of Congress who is working under the supervision of Sayuri Umeda, a foreign law specialist covering Japan and other jurisdictions in East and Southeast Asia.

In my previous blog post, I described what legal education in Cambodia looks like. As a sequel to that post, the following will explore some common legal professions for LL.B. graduates in Cambodia. In general, they sit for an entrance exam to become either lawyers, magistrates (including both judges and prosecutors), court clerks, or notaries public. Entrance exams for each legal profession are conducted separately and one graduate may sit for more than one legal profession exam.

ECCC Court Room 20 July 2009. Photo by Flickr user Khmer Rouge Tribunal (ECCC), courtesy of Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. July 20, 2009. Used under creative commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Lawyers

As a general rule, to be admitted to the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) as a qualified lawyer, an applicant must be a Khmer citizen holding (1) an LL.B. degree issued by an accredited law school, and (2) a Certificate of Lawyer’s Professional Skill, issued by the Center for Lawyers Training and Legal Professional Improvement, also known as the Legal Training Center (LTC). In addition, the applicant must not have been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony, or received any disciplinary sanction, administrative penalty, or dismissal for any act of moral turpitude or act contrary to honor. (Law on the Statutes of Lawyers of 1995 (English translation) art. 31.)

There are two main routes for a law graduate to be admitted to the BAKC: taking the bar exam or direct admission without taking the bar exam.

Bar Exam

An entrance exam to the LTC is referred to as the bar exam in Cambodia. An applicant must have completed an LL.B. before sitting for the exam. There is no fixed cycle for the bar exam schedule. The exam date will be publically announced on a case-by-case basis. Based on the February 2013 exam, it had two components: the essay test and the oral test. The essay component took one full day with three hours in the morning, with a few questions on civil law (both substantive and procedural), and another three hours in the afternoon, with a few questions on criminal law (both substantive and procedural). Those who passed the written test would be shortlisted for an oral test on a later date. During the oral test, an applicant randomly drew one of these topics: constitutional law, commercial law, and labor law, and would have to answer the examiners’ questions on the randomly selected topic.

There is no preparation course provided in Cambodia either by a private company or a law school and thus applicants generally self-study or organize their own study groups to prepare for the bar exam. The bar exam in Cambodia is highly competitive since a quota is set for each exam cycle. For example, the BAKC selected only 50 people out of 720 applicants in the February 2013 exam.

If an applicant passes the bar exam, they must go through academic training for about one year at the LTC and then practical training for another year. (Art. 35.) After completing the training, the applicant may receive the LTC certificate and request the BAKC for admission based on the general requirements above. Admitted lawyers must comply with the Codes of Ethics for Lawyers adopted in 2012, while the BAKC also has its own internal rules.

Direct Admission

There are a few exceptions that allow people to be admitted to the BAKC without taking the bar exam and the LTC training. First, the certificate from the LTC, and thus sitting for the bar exam, is not necessary for Khmer nationals who (1) have received an LL.B. and have been working in the legal or judiciary field (e.g. legal assistant to a lawyer, employee of the legal department of the government) for more than two years; (2) have received an LL.D.; or (3) are registered in another country’s bar. Furthermore, neither the LTC certificate nor the LL.B. is required if the applicant has served as a judge for two years with a law certificate or has served as a judge for five years without any legal education. (Art. 32.) An applicant who is qualified under these exceptions may submit a request to the BAKC for admission. This route, however, is less commonly availed.

Specialized Legal Practice

The admission to the BAKC through either route permits lawyers to practice throughout the country. However, additional certifications are required for acting as agents for their clients before a number of governmental bodies on specialized areas of law, such as trademark law (Prakas No. 045) and corporate law (Prakas No. 258) at the Ministry of Commerce, and tax law at the General Department of Taxation (Prakas No. 455). In contrast, one does not need to be a licensed attorney to get one of these specialized licenses.

Law Firms

As of August 22, 2017, the total number of law firms and offices in Cambodia was 485, with about 80% of them located in Phnom Penh. As of August 2, 2021, Cambodia (about 17 million people) has 1,855 active lawyers registered at the BAKC. Most lawyers remain in the cities, which is one of the reasons that people in rural areas have difficult access to legal services.

Law firms in Cambodia are exempted from the tax registration requirement for commercial firms, and instead must register with the BAKC. Without any tax registration, law firms are not required to report any income or expenses to the tax authorities. A few years ago, there was an attempt to subject law firms to tax registration and obligations like other commercial firms, but such legal requirement has been delayed indefinitely due to controversy.

Magistrates and Other Professions

The requirements to sit for the exams of other legal professions slightly vary from one to another, but they generally have Cambodian nationality, maximum age, noncriminal records, and some legal education (e.g., LL.B.) requirements. (See previous entrance exam announcements for magistracy, notary, and clerkship.) The Royal Academy for Judicial Professions (RAJP) announces the exam dates on a need-based basis. If an applicant passes any of the exams, they need to undertake training at one of the schools under RAJP in the respective profession for about two years. These schools include the Royal School for Magistracy, Royal School for Court Clerks, Royal School for Notary.

Particularly for the magistracy exam, the maximum age requirement is 35 years old (40 if the applicant is a public official), and the minimum education is an LL.B. Like other exams, the applicant must be Cambodian by birth without any criminal record. (Law on the Statutes of Judges and Prosecutors (English translation), art. 19). Generally, the magistracy entrance exam also has essay and oral test components, and only 50 candidates in total are selected annually for both judges and prosecutors. By way of example, the October 2017 exam’s essay component took two full days. Each day had a three-hour essay test in the morning and another in the afternoon, with testing on civil and criminal law (both substantive and procedural). About 620 candidates registered for the exam and only 55 were selected.

All selected candidates have to attend a training course together for about one year, after which they will be randomly appointed as either a judge or a prosecutor in training at a particular court for another year. (Law on the Statues of Judges and Prosecutors, arts. 24 & 83.) In rare cases, the practical training may be extended for one more year based on the candidate’s performance. (Arts. 25 & 84.) After successfully completing the practical training, the candidate will become a fully-appointed junior judge or junior prosecutor, respectively. (Arts. 25 & 84.)

Buddhist Monk with Yellow Umbrella Walking to Cambodian Supreme Court. Photo by Flickr user Amaury Laporte. January 18, 2016. Used under creative commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Women in Law

Female representation in the legal profession remains relatively low. Among all registered lawyers, only 437 are female, making up about 24 percent, while the female population is more than half of the country’s total population. The female representation in the judicial system is lower, with only about 14 percent of all judges being female, according to a 2018 report. The ratio is even smaller in higher courts. There are currently only two female judges in the Supreme Court out of 16 judges and two female judges in the appellate court out of 18 judges.

There are, however, programs intended to improve the number of female legal practitioners in Cambodia. For example, for about 10 years the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) has been sponsoring female students to enroll in the English Language Based Bachelor of Law program at Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) with full tuition-fee scholarships. Similarly, Cambodian Legal Education For Women (CLEW) has been supporting young women from rural Cambodia with tuition, dorms, and allowances to study law in English and Khmer at RULE every year since 2010. Some CLEW-sponsored graduates now hold government positions. The Cambodian government also has the National Education for All program, leading to “a decrease in the gender disparity in primary school admission rates.”

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100 Years of “Poppy Day” in the United Kingdom

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Clare Feikert-Ahalt, a senior foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress covering the United Kingdom and several other jurisdictions. Clare has written numerous posts for In Custodia Legis, including Weird Laws, or Urban Legends?FALQs: Brexit Referendum; and The UK’s Legal Response to the London Bombings of 7/7.

Poppies. Photo by flickruser hannasabel. (July 3, 2010), used under creative commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0), https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

At the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month – we will remember them.”

One hundred years ago tomorrow, on November 11, 1921, the first poppy day occurred in Britain. At that time, First World War had been over for three years and the United Kingdom (UK) was in the middle of an economic recession that saw two million people unemployed. Over six million British men served in the First World War; 700,000 died while serving, and of those who returned 1.75 million had sustained a disability, with over half of these men being permanently disabled. A large number of unemployed people during the recession were ex-servicemen and a significant number of them, and their families or the widows of servicemen, ended up in workhouses, which were renowned for the poor treatment of their residents.

The Royal British Legion (RBL) had been formed earlier in the year, on May 15, 1921, and combined four organizations that had been established to support servicemen. The early work of the RBL focused on those in urgent need and, in 1921, it started a “Poppy Appeal” to collect money for its cause.

The tradition originated in America after Moina Michael was inspired by a poem written by John McCrae titled “In Flanders Fields” to buy artificial poppies to sell to raise money for servicemen in need. This practice was adopted by both the American Legion Auxiliary and the RBL in 1921, although the dates that poppies are worn varies in both countries. In the United States, the traditional date to wear these poppies is the Friday before Memorial Day. In the UK, they are worn to mark Armistice Day on November 11, which is the day the Armistice agreement was signed, marking the end of fighting and the start of peace negotiations when it entered into force at 11 a.m. that day.

In 1921, the RBL ordered one million poppies from France and commissioned the manufacture of an additional eight million in Britain in order to sell the poppies as a symbol of “remembrance and hope for a peaceful future” and support for the service and sacrifice of members of the Armed Forces and their families. The funds raised from the sale of poppies are used in support of servicemen and their widows and families. In 1921, despite the recession, the RBL sold out of poppies and raised £106,000 (approximately US$146,000), which, when adjusting for inflation, is roughly equivalent to £5.4 million (approximately US$7.3 million) today. The success of the Poppy Appeal has continued over the past 100 years and raised £46.5 million (approximately US$64 million) in 2019.

Poppies in the EU

The online sale of poppies to the European Union (EU) through the RBL’s “Poppy Shop” was halted in 2021 as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU (commonly known as Brexit). As a result of Brexit, the RBL stated “regrettably we will need to cease sales to customers in countries in the EU until such times that legislation is reviewed.” This year, the RBL determined that the sale of poppies to EU member states through its “Poppy Shop” would not be commercially viable due to the increased expenses, such as customs charges and the additional paperwork of having to register for value added tax (VAT) in an EU member state, which would increase the price of the product by an unreasonable amount.

Poppies in Soccer

The use of poppies as a symbol of remembrance has not been without issue. In 2016, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the body responsible for governing soccer around the world, was embroiled in controversy after it declined a request for soccer players for the four teams from the UK (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, which are known as the Home nations) to wear the poppy symbol on armbands during a world cup qualifier between England and Scotland that was scheduled to be held on Remembrance Day. While FIFA had permitted this in 2011, it noted in 2016, that the recently amended Laws of the Game provide that players’ equipment must not carry commercial, political or religious messages, and considered the poppy to be a political symbol. The general secretary of FIFA stated “Britain is not [the] only country that has been suffering from the result of war.” The UK Parliament held a debate on this issue and member’s of parliament (MPs) were not receptive to FIFA’s approach, with the prime minister calling it “utterly outrageous” and wrapping up her statement by advising FIFA to “jolly well … sort their own house out.” The minister for sport, heritage and tourism stated “[p]oppies are a poignant tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of our servicemen and women, and footballers and fans alike should be able to wear them with pride.”

Despite the outcry from the general public, MPs, the Cabinet and the prime minister, FIFA upheld the ban. In defiance of this decision, the English and Scottish teams not only both wore black armbands with a poppy during their match on November 11, 2016, but also displayed pictures of poppies on the big screen, distributed t-shirts featuring poppies to the fans in the stands, played the last post and held a one minute silence. As a result, England, as the home team, was fined £35,000 (approximately US$50,000) and Scotland was fined £15,600 (approximately US$21,500) by FIFA. The FIFA disciplinary committee chairman stated “[i]n the stadium and on the pitch, there is only room for sport, nothing else.” The Welsh and Northern Irish teams also featured displays of the poppy in the stands or on the pitch and were also fined approximately US$21,600 and US$16,200, respectively. England announced its intention to contest the fine at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ban stood for almost a year, until the end of 2017, when FIFA revised the Laws of the Game to permit symbols and slogans that can be interpreted as political, provided they do not relate to political parties, individuals, governments, or political events. The Laws of the Game provide that “[w]hen commemorating a significant national or international event, the sensibilities of the opposing team (including its supporters) and the general public should be carefully considered,” and it recommended that any disputes involving these issues be resolved prior to the game. It thus appears that, within the Laws of the Game, the poppy marking Armistice Day is now considered to commemorate a significant national event rather than as a political symbol and that, provided the support of the opposing team and organizing body has been obtained prior to the match, the home national teams can display the poppy. The four soccer teams reportedly never paid the fines that were levied against them.

Poppies and the Environment

Red poppies, which were originally made of silk, are now comprised of paper and plastic. With the UK seeking to improve the environment through policies and laws, the RBL has stated that the paper and plastic components of the poppy can be separated and recycled by some local authorities and it has also set up places where people can return poppies for recycling at a national chain of grocery stores. The RBL also sells enamel poppy pins that can be worn each year. The RBL further states that it has removed over eight million items of single use plastic from its 2021 products and is continuing “to look at ways to further reduce the environmental impacts of […] Poppy Appeal products.”

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The Congressional Cemetery: Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

This is a guest post by Ann Hemmens, a senior legal reference librarian with the Law Library of Congress. Ann has contributed a number of posts to this blog, including posts on Congressional Cemetery – The Boggs Family, Free Public Access to Federal Materials on Guide to Law OnlineU.S. Supreme Court: Original Jurisdiction and Oral Arguments, and Domestic Violence: Resources in the United States

As we have discussed in prior posts about the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C., there are many interesting individuals associated with the cemetery who are buried within, whose remains temporarily rested in the Public Vault, or for whom there are markers, such as cenotaphs. In honor of the celebration in November of National Native American Heritage Month, also known as National American Indian Heritage Month, this post describes just a few items related to Native Americans found within the cemetery. For a more thorough self-guided walking tour, see the American Indians Walking Tour pamphlet produced by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery.

Liberty and Freedom Totem Poles (Lummi)

These Lummi totem poles, also known as the September 11 Healing Poles, honor those who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. They were created by the Lummi Nation’s House of Tears Carvers, including master carver Jewell Praying Wolf James. The totem poles, which traveled from Washington State to Washington D.C., visiting 40 tribal nations on the journey, were initially located at the U.S. Pentagon and then dedicated in the 9/11 Memorial Grove of the Congressional Cemetery on September 23, 2004. The two base poles were carved from a single red cedar tree.

Congressional Cemetery, Washington, D.C. (Carol M. Highsmith, photographer, 2010), Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.10302.

September 11 Healing Poles Information Board in Congressional Cemetery. Photo by Ann Hemmens.

William Shorey Coodey (1806-1849)

William Shorey Coodey was the nephew of Cherokee Chief John Ross. He walked on the Cherokee Trail of Tears from the Southeastern U.S. to Oklahoma. He wrote the draft of and signed the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation passed at Tah-Le-Quah, Cherokee Nation in 1839.  He was known to be friends with Daniel Webster and visited Washington, D.C., as a member of delegations from the Cherokee Nation.

According to articles in the D.C. newspaper the Daily Union from February 1849 and March 1849, William Coodey and other Cherokee delegates, John Drew and William Ross, had submitted memorials to the U.S. Congress, on behalf of the Cherokee, seeking fulfillment of treaty stipulations. William Coodey subsequently died on April 16, 1849.

Gravesite of William Shorey Coodey, 1806-1849. Photo by Ann Hemmens.

O COM O COST or Yellow Wolf (1804-1863)

A member of the Kiowa Nation, O Com O Cost or Yellow Wolf, is seen in this photo of an Indian delegation in the White House Conservatory during the Civil War, taken on March 27, 1863. He is in the first row, far right. He was wearing a Thomas Jefferson peace medal. Yellow Wolf died a few days after this photo was taken.

Indian delegation in the White House Conservatory during the Civil War, with J.G. Nicolay, President Abraham Lincoln’s secretary, standing in center back row and interpreter John Simpson Smith at back left, [Matthew B. Brady, March 27, 1863]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.19914.

Gravesite of O-Com-O-Cost (1804-1863). Photo by Ann Hemmens.

Many of these Native Americans were in Washington, D.C., on behalf of their tribe to negotiate terms of a treaty or to seek redress or assistance from the U.S. government. To learn more about various print and online sources which include treaties between the United States and American Indian tribes, see the Library’s U.S. Treaties: A Beginner’s Guide, in the “Primary Sources for U.S. Treaties” section. Visit the Library’s Native American Constitutions and Legal Materials digital collection to locate select materials from the 19th century and constitutions and charters of Indian Tribes drafted after the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act.

For additional information on the history of this commemorative observance, see the Library’s National American Indian Heritage Month guide. A listing of current events and exhibits is available on the Native American Heritage Month website jointly maintained by the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Source:

Lester Hargrett, A Bibliography of the Constitutions and Laws of the American Indians 3 (1947), //lccn.loc.gov/76054348.

The Police and the Paranormal in England

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Clare Feikert-Ahalt, a senior foreign law specialist at the Law Library of Congress covering the United Kingdom and several other jurisdictions. Clare has written numerous posts for In Custodia Legis, including Revealing the Presences of Ghosts; Weird Laws, or Urban Legends?FALQs: Brexit Referendum; and The UK’s Legal Response to the London Bombings of 7/7.

Scary for Show. Photo by Flickruser Emily Reid. (January 29, 2013.) Used under the creative commons Generic 2.0 license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/. 

As the days get shorter and darkness falls earlier, there is nothing like curling up inside with a lovely cup of tea and a good scary movie. The Conjuring 2 movie depicts the police being dispatched to a call describing supernatural activity. This happened in the case that the movie was based upon but, as shown in the movie, the police did not investigate further as the supernatural activity was deemed to not be a police matter. This is in contrast to the police depicted in the TV show Wellington Paranormal, where they do actually “investigate” the many strange happenings in Wellington, New Zealand.

In England, the police have a duty, established by the common law, to protect the public by detecting and preventing crime. For the London Metropolitan police, their decision to investigate a case depends upon four criteria: how vulnerable the victim is; the severity of the offense; the likelihood the crime can be solved; and how effective the use of resources is to investigate the crime.

For the police to investigate a case, a crime must have been committed, which can pose a problem for cases where the person calling the police believes the supernatural is the sole cause of their distress. In these cases, unless there is a human element, for example, if an intruder is causing the noises, or a person is acting in a manner the caller believes is due to a supernatural cause, there is little the police can do as there do not appear to be any crimes that can be committed through purely supernatural causes and thus there is no way for the police to investigate and solve them.

In some cases, the person reporting a crime they believe involves supernatural activity may be in need of assistance with their mental health. As a result, the police may conduct a check on the person’s welfare and, if deemed necessary, refer them to the appropriate government agencies for help and support.

Police investigations of the paranormal are not just limited to reports of people who believe they have seen a ghost or a witch. The government has noted that the police are at the forefront for determining statistics to what is referred to as a “hidden crime,” that of faith or belief-based child abuse. The government acknowledged that, while instances of these crimes are few, the government believes they are underreported and, in 2012, introduced a national action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief to raise awareness to help people who come into contact with children to recognize such abuse and build upon research conducted in 2006.

This type of child abuse occurs where children can be harmed due to supernatural beliefs, such as through ritual murders, using the belief in witchcraft to help ensure compliance to facilitate human trafficking, sexual exploitation, or domestic slavery; or in cases where parents believe the child is possessed by supernatural forces and harm the child while attempting to save them. Offenses for these acts of child abuse are primarily contained in the Children Act 1989, the Sexual Offences Act 2005, and the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Freedom of Information Requests

There have been a number of requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA request) to determine how many calls the police receive about the supernatural. The definition of supernatural activity varies in the responses, but typically includes “ghosts, UFOs, paranormal activity, witches or witchcraft or supernatural activity.” A number of these requests have been published and show a variety of responses from the different police forces.

From 2010-2015, Manchester was reportedly a hotbed of paranormal activity, with a wide range of emergency calls placed for assistance with supernatural issues, ranging from reports of alleged alien abductions to requests for ghostbusters. North Yorkshire police disclosed no reports relating to a variety of terms relating to the supernatural for the period 2019-2020. In the same area, for the period from July 2016 to July 2019, a UFO was reported hovering over a village that was later determined to be a false claim. The police were sent to investigate this case under the description of “Public, Safety and Welfare – Suspicious Circumstances/Insecure Premises/Vehicle.”

A FOIA request in Northern Ireland seeking “details of extra-terrestrial and supernatural sightings” in the area for the past five years was deemed to exceed the “appropriate costs limit,” which at the time was £450 (approximately US$625), equating to 18 hours of work. A similar FOIA request to Northumbria police was rejected on the same grounds. A similar issue was noted by the West Midlands police in response to a FOIA request that asked for information about the number of reports received for the years 2016 and 2017 that contain the words zombie, werewolf, ghost, and alien. The response provided statistics to the requester, which stated there were 54 reports that included the terms for the relevant time period, with the caveat that

it is important to note that these data have been extracted from a number of data sources used by forces for police purposes. The detail collected to respond specifically to your request is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when interpreting those data. The figures provided therefore are our best interpretation of relevance of data to your request, but you should be aware that the collation of figures for ad hoc requests may have limitations and this should be taken into account when those data are used.

A FOIA request to Nottinghamshire police revealed a total of 22 recorded incidents involving supernatural activity from October 2014-2015, with 12 of these incidents being attended to by police officers. The FOIA request further sought to ascertain the cost of these calls to the police, but this was unable to be determined. The FOIA response did state that one incident resulted in a crime being recorded, but that this was “not in relation to any supernatural activity.”

An owner of a company that investigates paranormal activity was reported as stating that individuals who suspect they are experiencing paranormal activity should always first call the police, who can check for intruders and other causes, prior to calling a private company to investigate the paranormal. However, the owner of a different company was reported as stating that individuals who experience supernatural activity are frequently reluctant to report it to the police or anyone else over concerns about the consequences of making a report.

 

Herencia: 18th Century Marriage Orders and their Consequences

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Naomi Welikala, who served as a summer 2021 remote intern transcribing and researching documents in the Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents crowdsourcing campaign at the Law Library of Congress.

Royal Order of March 23, 1776 issued by King Carlos III providing that minors who wish to contract marriage must obtain parental authorization to these effects.

Throughout my time as one of the Herencia crowdsourcing interns, I have come across a wide variety of themes in the documents. From inheritance disputes to criminal charges between strangers, the collection offers small glimpses into the lives of everyday people in Spanish history, lives that are sometimes not that different from the ones we live today. In the Royal Order of March 23, 1776, King Carlos III of Spain issued an order stating that couples needed parental consent to enter into betrothal arrangements. Though the order and its focus on marriage rights may seem mundane at first, looking further into the document reveals complex political plotting and unintended societal repercussions rivalling those seen in modern society.

The idea that all couples needed parental consent to marry seems stifling in the modern age. One small caveat on this order was that couples who were above the age of 25 could still enter into valid marriages without their parents’ blessing. However, the parents of such a couple would then be entitled to disinherit their children (Saether, 477). With these seemingly arbitrary rules in place, it can feel confusing to try and understand the law’s purpose at all. Nonetheless, it seems that this law was not put in place primarily to inhibit personal choice, but due to the complex goals of King Carlos III. To understand the reasoning behind this order, Spanish laws of succession for this period have to be addressed. Although the king’s children would be first in line to the throne after him, the impending marriage of Prince Luis Antonio de Borbón, the king’s younger brother, threatened that succession. Any male children born from Prince Luis’ marriage would be able to challenge King Carlos III’s children for the right to the throne (Tomlinson, 73). This is where the king’s meddling comes into play (Royal Order, p. 3):

“se eviten los esponsales entre personas notablemente desiguales, y se restablezca el respeto debido à los padres, y mayores, á fin de que en punto de tanta importancia los hijos de familias obren con su precisa direccion, y consentimiento.”

“…that betrothals between significantly unequal people would be avoided, and that the respect due to parents, and elders, would be re-established, so that at such an important point, children of the family would act (according to) their precise direction, and consent.”

By noting that couples needed the consent of parents or elder members of the family to marry, King Carlos III found a way to protect the hereditary line of the Bourbon dynasty and the honor and status of the royal family (Tomlinson, 73; Saether, 477-478). Without approval, his younger brother would not be able to follow through with his proposed marriage. Furthermore, the woman he was set to wed was not a royal, but María Teresa de Vallabriga y Rozas, the daughter of a member of the lower nobility. By mentioning status as a reason for parents to withhold approval, the king “made an unequal marriage possible without threatening the honor, status, and heritage of the royal family.” (Saether, 478.) Eventually, King Carlos III did give his consent for his brother to marry, but with certain stipulations. He ensured that any children born of his brother’s union would take their mother’s name, as well as her status. In the end, the order the king put into place benefited his family, but also impacted his subjects’ freedoms.

This sanction’s legacy also extended to those living under Spanish colonial rule in Latin America. The overseas implementation of the order took place during the period from 1778-1803. One of the biggest changes made to the original order pertained to African people in Latin America being exempted from following the law (Saether, 490-492). Illegitimacy rates were elevated across Latin American society in this time, and the pervasiveness of slavery led to rates that were slightly higher for African populations than other groups. Even with similar rates that were only slightly higher than other racial groups, it was just African people who were exempted from the order by the Council of Indies, under the stereotypical reasoning they could not obtain parental consent without knowing their fathers. This adaptation to the law is an unintended yet prejudiced consequence of this order.

Sources

Royal Order of March 23, 1776 issued by King Carlos III providing that minors who wish to contract marriage must obtain parental authorization to these effects.

Saether, Steinar A. Bourbon Absolutism and Marriage Reform in Late Colonial Spanish America. The Americas, Vol. 59, No. 4, Cambridge University Press, April 2003.

Tomlinson, Janis. Goya: A Portrait of the Artist. Princeton University Press, 2020.

Cambodia’s Legal Education

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Pichrotanak Bunthan, a legal research fellow with the Law Library of Congress, who is working under the supervision of Sayuri Umeda, a foreign law specialist covering Japan and other jurisdictions in East and Southeast Asia.

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Photo by Flickr user Daniel Mennerich. Oct. 20, 2016. Used under creative commons license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.

History and Background of Higher Education in Cambodia

Cambodia’s education system, including legal education, had to be reinvented after 1979 as it was completely destroyed, along with the legal system, as part of the Cambodian genocide period (1975–1979) under the Khmer Rouge regime. After that period, several pre-genocide institutions have reopened and new institutions have been established. All higher education institutions were public and without tuition fees until 1997, when the government permitted private investment in the education industry, giving rise to a proliferation of private universities. At the same time, tuition fees were introduced at public universities. (William et al., pp. 169 & 175.)

To safeguard the quality of education, in 2002, the Cambodian government issued a sub-decree that introduced requirements to incorporate a new university. This was later supplemented by a Prakas issued in 2007 by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), a primary regulating body for education in Cambodia. In addition, the Accreditation Committee of Cambodia, established by a royal decree in 2003, operates and manages the accreditation system for all higher education institutions in Cambodia to ensure that they conform with international standards. As a result of a reform in 2005, which was intended to provide students with general knowledge in different areas, all universities must adopt a year-long foundational program. In this program, students take similar courses in their first year of all four-year bachelor programs regardless of their majors. (William et al., p. 171.)

With these development efforts, Cambodia currently has 128 higher educational institutions (48 public and 80 private), according to a 2021 report by the MoEYS. About 80% of these institutions are concentrated in Phnom Penh as it is the nation’s capital and the most populous city, also the country’s economic, industrial, and cultural center. The oldest and most well-established universities are public institutions, which tend to focus on, and thus are strongly recognized for, a specific sector. (William et al., p. 169.) For example, Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE), a public university established in 1949 and the first law school in Cambodia, is widely recognized as the country’s leading law school. Other public institutions, such as Royal University of Fine Arts, Royal University of Agriculture, Royal University of Phnom Penh, University of Health Sciences, and Institute of Technology of Cambodia, are also reputable in their respective fields.

Enrollment requirements depend on each university and each program. In most cases, high school graduates can enroll in any program at any university of their choice. However, due to the high demand, a few distinguished programs require applicants to sit for an entrance exam before being selected for admission. For example, the Institute of Technology of Cambodia, Institute of Foreign Languages, and University of Health Sciences have very competitive entrance exams. Applicants also need to take a foreign language test if classes are taught in a foreign language.

It is quite common for some students to undertake more than one program simultaneously at the same or different universities. (William et al., p. 174.) This is possible because of the way Cambodian universities structure their class schedules. Generally, when a student enrolls in a program, the student can choose to take the morning session or the afternoon session. Some programs are also offered in the evenings to accommodate people who work full-time.

Legal Education

Currently, legal education in Cambodia starts at the undergraduate level, where more than 20 law schools provide four-year Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree programs. Almost all of them are private schools with only a few public universities. In the 2019-2020 academic year, there were around 18,400 enrolled undergraduate law students, accounting for approximately 7% of all undergraduate students in the same academic year. (MoEYS, pp. 102 & 104.) Among all law schools, only about eight universities offer Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees, and about four universities offer Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degrees. Class sizes vary from school to school and program to program, but lectures are the adopted teaching method in most programs.

Law Programs in Foreign Languages and Dual Degrees

While most programs are conducted in the local Khmer language, several institutions offer law degrees with foreign languages, such as English, French, and Japanese, as the languages of instruction. Some law programs also award students with dual degrees, allowing students to receive an additional degree from a university abroad. The partnership universities may dispatch visiting professors to teach students in person in Cambodia for a full semester or more. Alternatively, a visiting professor may stay in Cambodia for a few weeks and complete an intensive course schedule. A professor in Cambodia and another professor from the partnership university may jointly teach a class in person and online, respectively.

For example, RULE has a variety of foreign-language law programs, such as the prestigious English Language Based Bachelor of Law (ELBBL) program. RULE also offers various dual LL.B. and LL.M. degrees in French and English with many European universities, including France’s University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas and University of Lyon 3 Jean Moulin. The National University of Management (NUM), Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), and University of Cambodia (UC) also have English-language law programs. The American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP) has an English-language dual-degree Bachelor of Arts in Law with the University of Arizona.

Active Participation in International Moot Court Competitions

A few universities have international moot court programs in which students may participate. For instance, Cambodian teams have competed in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (Jessup) since 2009. I participated in the Jessup competition when I was attending the ELBBL program at RULE, and the ELBBL program has achieved numerous awards, including awards for an octo-finalist (top-16 team) and the second best-combined memorials. Cambodian law schools, including RULE-ELBBL and NUM, also participate in other major international moot court competitions, such as the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration moot, Willem C. Vis (East) moot, ICRC International Humanitarian Law moot, IBA International Criminal Court moot, Jean-Pictet, Nelson Mandela World Human Rights moot, Nuremberg moot, and Oxford International Intellectual Property moot.

Clinics and Centers

Some universities, including RULE, NUM, PUC, and UC, have legal clinic programs for students to practice their lawyering skills. Further, a few universities also have research centers, such as RULE-ELBBL’s Center for the Study of Humanitarian Law.

Tuition

Tuition fees in Cambodian law schools are much lower than those in other countries, especially the United States. For example, the tuition fee for ELBBL, the most expensive undergraduate law program at RULE, is only about USD 800 each year. Private school AUPP’s dual degree in law is probably the most expensive undergraduate law degree program in the country, costing about USD 9,000 a year. On top of having low tuition costs, most universities offer scholarships for students, with some variations in form, such as needs-based or merit-based scholarships and full or partial ones.

Teachers Training College, Royal University of Phnom Penh. Photo by Flickr user antjeverena. Jan. 12, 2011. Used under creative commons license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.

Congressional Cemetery – The Boggs Family

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

This is a guest post by Ann Hemmens, a senior legal reference librarian with the Law Library of Congress. Ann has contributed a number of posts to this blog, including posts on Free Public Access to Federal Materials on Guide to Law OnlineU.S. Supreme Court: Original Jurisdiction and Oral Arguments, and Domestic Violence: Resources in the United States

Three members of the politically active Boggs family have markers in the Congressional Cemetery: Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. (Hale Boggs), his son Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., and his daughter Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs Roberts (Cokie Roberts).

Thomas Hale Boggs Sr. was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Louisiana’s 2nd District, including New Orleans, during 14 congresses, spanning three decades between 1941 and 1972. His leadership roles included serving as Democratic Whip in five congresses and as Majority Leader in one congress.

In a 2009 interview with the Office of the Historian in the U.S. House of Representatives, Representative Bogg’s daughter, Cokie Roberts, discussed his decision to speak on behalf of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 during congressional debates on the bill (e.g., 111  Cong. Rec. 16,221- 22 (1965)). He also served on the Warren Commission.

Representative Boggs was presumed dead following the disappearance of a campaign flight from Anchorage to Juneau, Alaska, on October 16, 1972, that also included Representative Nicholas J. Begich from Alaska. A compilation of the memorial addresses and tributes for Representative Boggs that were delivered in Congress was published by the Government Publishing Office.

Representative Hale Boggs’s marker in the Congressional Cemetery is one of the 169 cenotaphs, which are geometrically shaped monuments, with a marble panel for inscription, erected to honor members of Congress who died while in office. The inscription for Representative Nicholas J. Begich is also on this cenotaph.

Honorable Thomas Hale Boggs Cenotaph. Photo courtesy of Ann Hemmens.

Cokie Roberts was a journalist, congressional correspondent, and author. As one of the first female correspondents on National Public Radio, she covered politics and the U.S. Congress. She wrote several books, including Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848-1868 (2015) and Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation (2008). Oral history interviews with Cokie Roberts are included in the Century of Women in Congress project, which includes interviews with family members of women who served in Congress.

Headstone of Cokie Roberts. Photo courtesy of Ann Hemmens.

Back of Cokie Roberts’ headstone. Photo courtesy of Ann Hemmens.

Representative Hale Boggs’s son, Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., was a lawyer and lobbyist in Washington, D.C., working for the firm now known as Squire Patton Boggs. He reportedly gave his sister the nickname Cokie. He served as an economist on the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress (1961-1965) and ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 8th District in Maryland in 1970. At the Library, you can find this title he authored, Corporate Political Activity.

Gravestone of Thomas Hale Boggs Jr. Photo courtesy of Ann Hemmens.

These three markers are near each other in the Congressional Cemetery.

All three Boggs family members’ grave markers. Photo courtesy of Ann Hemmens.

The Boggs family includes other members that were active in politics. Corinne Claiborne (Lindy) Boggs won a special election following the death of her husband Hale Boggs, and she served 18 years (1973-1991) in the U.S. House of Representatives. She published her memoir, Washington Through a Purple Veil: Memoirs of a Southern Woman (1994) and in 2002 she was honored by the U.S. Congress for her role in founding the Congressional Women’s Caucus, as described by members of the House and Senate. Barbara Boggs Sigmund, daughter of Hale and Lindy Boggs, served as mayor of Princeton, New Jersey, and ran for governor of New Jersey.

An Interview with Julie Schwarz, Foreign Law Intern

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

Today’s interview is with Julie Schwarz, a foreign law intern working in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress under the supervision of Nicolas Boring, the foreign law specialist covering French-speaking jurisdictions.

Julie Schwarz, a foreign law intern at the Law Library of Congress. Photo courtesy of Julie Schwarz.

Describe your background.

I was born in Paris, France. When I was eight years old, we moved to New York City for four years. Living abroad was an amazing experience and contributed to my desire to learn more about the world and culture surrounding me.

What is your academic/professional history?

Throughout high school, I knew I wanted to pursue law, but I was disappointed by how national it seemed, as I yearned for more international experiences. I discovered the dual LL.B. and Master 1 degrees between King’s College London and Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne University, and immediately knew this was what I wanted to do. During these degrees, I discovered my passion for comparative law, private international law, and arbitration, which led me to the Master 2 degree in European and International Business Law at Paris Dauphine PSL University.

Following my Master 2 degree, I chose to pursue an LL.M. at Georgetown University, from which I graduated this summer. My LL.M. focused on international arbitration and dispute resolution, and I interned part-time in Paul Hastings’ arbitration department. At Georgetown, I was a board member of both the International Arbitration Society and the International Law Society.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am interning in the Global Legal Research Directorate and assisting Nicolas Boring with requests on foreign law issues in French-speaking European and African jurisdictions. I conduct legal research and draft reports in response to requests the Library receives from numerous sources, including the U.S. Congress and federal agencies, as well as from the public. I also draft articles on recent legal developments in these jurisdictions for the Global Legal Monitor.

Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?

I was fascinated with the idea that the Library of Congress not only had a legal department which answered questions for Congress, the government, and the public, but also this department answered questions of international law! Working at the Law Library of Congress thus seemed like an exciting opportunity to both continue improving my research and drafting skills and further my passion for comparative law! Working here for the past few weeks, I’ve really enjoyed researching the laws of French-speaking jurisdictions that I’m less familiar with and giving reports on French law to Congress.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?

That the Library has items in many different formats! It doesn’t just house books and journals, but also items like drawings, photographs, films, and sound and video recordings.

What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?

I have been working as a sailing instructor since I was 16 and am currently in training to become a sailing judge!

From the Serial Set: False Advertising

Source: US Global Legal Monitor

The following is a guest post by Elina Lee, a library technician (metadata) formally in the Law Library of Congress Digital Resources Division. Elina has previously written for In Custodia Legis on other items in the Serial Set such as NASA’s Project Mercury – A Significant Milestone and The History of the Minimum Wage

Advertising is marketing. One of the earliest forms of advertising was shouting in the market or word-of-mouth. Signs, flags, and business cards are also efficient methods for advertising products and services. A fundamental focus in regulating advertising is ensuring “truth in advertising.” This refers to prohibiting advertisements that use data or information that is not based on facts, or that induce or mislead consumers to make false judgments, whether based on facts or not.

To this end, in 1935, the Committee on Commerce considered a bill, S.5, to prevent false advertising regarding food, drink, drugs, and cosmetics (S. Rpt. 361, 74th Cong., 1st Sess., at 1 (1935) reprinted in Serial Set Vol. 9878). This bill was intended to extend the Federal Food and Drugs Act of June 30, 1906, (ch. 3915, 34 Stat. 768), known as the “Pure Food Law,” for which Dr. Harvey W. Wiley labored so long and valiantly.

According to section 601 of Senate report 361, this bill defined “the advertisement of a food, drug, device, or cosmetic as false if it is false or misleading in any particular relevant to the purposes of the bill regarding such food, drug, or cosmetic.” However, this bill did not become law.

Foods, Drugs, and Cosmetics. S. Rpt. No. 361, at 21-22 (1935), reprinted in Serial Set Vol. 9878.

A similar bill was reintroduced in the 75th Congress with the same number, S.5., in January 1937, which did become law. The issue of false advertising was given additional impetus when over 100 people died due to a new, untested sulfa drug that contained a highly toxic chemical analog of antifreeze. President Roosevelt signed the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act on June 25, 1938, to prevent the reoccurrence of such an event. The law brought cosmetics and medical devices under the control of the government and required drugs to be labeled with adequate directions for safe use.

On August 6, 1958, in the second of a series of hearings on the extent and effectiveness of enforcement actions by federal agencies in the field of false and misleading advertising, the subcommittee concentrated its attention on claims in advertisements for weight-reducing remedies. The Committee on Government Operations had before it for consideration a subcommittee report entitled “False and Misleading Advertising (Weight Reducing Remedies).” After consideration of the report and upon motion made and seconded, the report was approved and adopted as the report of the full committee (H. Rpt. 2553, 85th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 1 (1957) reprinted in Serial Set Vol. 12081). This report was not on a bill but rather a report to the Committee of the Whole House on this issue.

False and Misleading Advertising (Weight Reducing Remedies). H. Rpt. 2553, 85th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 1 (1957) reprinted in Serial Set Vol. 12081. Photo by Elina Lee.

The report quoted veteran enforcement official, William C. O’Brien of the Post Office Department, as saying:

“Fat people want magic, simple, easy, comfortable means to lose weight and who can blame them? Every generation in my experience feels the same way. Each generation finds swindlers operating schemes to deceive and defraud them.” (H. Rpt. 2553)

H. Rpt. 2553, 85th Cong., 2nd Sess., at 2 (1957) reprinted in Serial Set Vol. 12081. Photo by Elina Lee.

Advertising is deeply embedded in our culture. As advertising and marketing grow rapidly on the internet, consumers are potentially exposed to more misleading advertisements online. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the United States’ consumer protection and competition agency, enforces a variety of consumer protection laws and closely examines advertising claims that can affect consumers’ health or money. On tackling the issue of truth in advertising, they expound:

When consumers see or hear an advertisement, whether it’s on the Internet, radio or television, or anywhere else, federal law says that ad must be truthful, not misleading, and, when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence.

The FTC leverages its resources and targets its enforcement efforts at practices that cause the greatest harm to consumers.