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Research & Litigation

New Research Report: Bond Requirements in Procurement Protest Procedure in Selected Countries

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 8:03pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to present a new report, Bond Requirements in Procurement Protest Procedure in Selected Countries.

This report contains information on twenty-one countries on the question of whether a bond is required for a protest procedure in government procurement. In some countries the term "deposit" or "fee" is used instead of "bond." The majority of countries included in this report require the payment of fees for an administrative review. These fees can be forfeited if the claim is found to be frivolous. In Israel, there were proposals to adopt a bond requirement, most recently in 2007, but they were not enacted.

Thirty-seven additional jurisdictions were reviewed and not found to have provisions requiring a bond: Angola, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Sweden, and Vietnam.

Visit to read the entire report.

This report is one of many prepared by the Law Library of Congress available at
Categories: Research & Litigation

Check Out Some New MCLE Titles

Massachsuetts Trial Court Law Library - Tue, 06/17/2014 - 8:00am
Recently three new books were published by the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.  The Bankruptcy Practice in Massachusetts is a one volume loose-leaf publication which covers the distinction between a chapter 7, 11, and 13 case, automatic stay, claims and priority of distribution, means test, discharge, exemptions, and Chapter 11 and 13 plans.  Sample forms are contained on an accompanying CD.
Two new sourcebooks were released in paperback form.  Massachusetts Elder Law Sourcebook and Citator and Massachusetts School Law Sourcebook and Citator follow the format of earlier sourcebooks as they contain relevant statutes, case citations and digests, and regulations.  The elder law volume also has a listing of agencies and organizations that provide support services for senior citizens as well as several sections from the POMS Manual (SSI program manual).   The sourcebooks provide a comprehensive source for the primary federal and Massachusetts law on these topics.

All of these books may be "checked out" (borrowed) from any Massachusetts Trial Court law library.
Categories: Research & Litigation

A Tour of Runnymede

In Custodia Legis - Mon, 06/16/2014 - 1:14pm

The following is a guest post by Geri Silverstone,  project director for the Magna Carta 800th Surrey Partnership at the National Trust.

As the phrase clearly states, time marches on and waits for no man, so perhaps it should not come as a surprise to think that we have just a year to go before the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. This world famous document which has had a direct impact on the legal systems of countries as diverse as the United States and India is surely one of the best exports ever to come out of England. For millions of people around the globe this is where their democratic freedoms lie. And given the tension of today’s geo-politics, the significance of this document is as relevant today as it was when King John was forced to seal it in 1215.

View across the meadow to the Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede, Surrey. The memorial marks the spot where the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Photo Credit: National Trust Images/John Millar [image: 1033071].


The meeting of the King and the Barons back in the thirteenth century took place on the grassy meadows of Runnymede. The word Runnymede derives from the Anglo-Saxon work for meeting place on the meadows. Nowadays Runnymede is a 300 acre open space adjacent to the River Thames and just a stone’s throw away from Heathrow, the world’s busiest airport. It is a unique site and one full of symbols.

The American Bar Association Magna Carta Memorial, Runnymede, Surrey. The memorial marks the spot where the Magna Carta was sealed in 1215. Photo Credit: National Trust Images/John Millar [image: 1033088].

At the top of the hill at Runnymede is the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial building for Air Force personnel who died in combat during World War II but whose bodies have never been found. From here you can look out at what must be one of the most extraordinary landscapes in Britain.  To your left in the distance you can see Windsor Castle.  This is the castle first built by William the Conqueror. It serves as a reminder of the last invasion by a foreign power, and is also a symbol of our constitutional monarchy as her Majesty the Queen still uses it as one of her official residencies.  The castle reminds us of our odd power sharing agreement between the monarchy and the people. And of course the Magna Carta serves as a reminder of the origins of this arrangement.

In the very far distance and on a good day you can catch glimpses of modern London, but slightly closer you can see across the river to Ankerwycke, and the 2,500-year old yew tree.  Starting life well before the Romans arrived it was already ancient when the Magna Carta was sealed. It has been part of the landscape of the productive garden of Ankerwycke priory; and it was witness to the priory’s destruction as part of the English Reformation (and possibly where Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn, his second wife). That such an ancient tree should have survived in this landscape seems only right.

The ancient Ankerwycke Yew, Ankerwycke, Surrey. Believed to be the National Trust’s oldest tree at 2000 or more years old, the Ankerwycke Yew may mark the possible location of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. It was also beneath this tree that Henry VIII had liaisons with Anne Boleyn. Photo Credit: National Trust Images/John Millar [image: 1033177].

On the meadows there are more modern memorials. Standing boldly on a slight incline is the American Bar Association’s memorial to Magna Carta and then adjacent to that is the UK’s only official memorial to President Kennedy. Designed by one of the 20th century’s leading landscape architects Geoffrey Jellicoe (who also designed the Moody Gardens in Texas) he drew on John Bunyan’s  Pilgrim’s Progress, and is an  allegory of life as a journey, and is a fitting memorial in honour of the late President.  When the Queen gifted the land to the American people back in 1965 it technically became a piece of American soil – another first in the UK for this site.   There are also two 1930s lodges on the edges of the meadows designed by Lutyens and commissioned by Lord Fairhaven (whose family home is Fairhaven Massachusetts). For a place so significant to British history it is interesting how many connections there are to America.

The Kennedy Memorial, Runnymede, Surrey. This memorial to assassinated US President John F Kennedy (1917-1963) was designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe. The words inscribed on the seven ton block of Portland stone are taken from President Kennedy’s inaugural address in 1961. Photo Credit: National Trust Images/John Millar. [image: 1033149].

For many decades Runnymede has been in the ownership of the National Trust, a very unique British charity which is dedicated to looking after special places forever for everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. And with the 800th anniversary looming the National Trust with the two local councils nearby, and other key partners have submitted an ambitious application to the British Heritage Lottery Fund to try and secure over $6.7m worth of funding to upscale what is currently on offer to the visitor and the local community. These plans are truly ambitious in their scale and will be able to show off Runnymede as the jewel in the crown of the Magna Carta story.

View from an elevated viewpoint of the meadows and Fairhaven Lodges at Runnymede, Surrey. Photo Credit: National Trust Images/John Millar [Image: 1032947].

On a recent trip to the United States I was completely overwhelmed by how much the 800thanniversary is exciting the American people. This passion is also being shared on this side of the pond too.  Though being typically British we are slightly more reserved. The Charter Towns are busy making their preparations for the anniversary. Indeed the Dean of Hereford Cathedral has already allowed their version of the Magna Carta to travel to Texas; and the Lincoln version will be making its way in the fall to Washington DC. It seems like not a day goes by without some reference or other being made to the Magna Carta. In the recent elections held here in the UK to the European Parliament, Magna Carta was often cited by British politicians reminding us that our constitutional democracy dates back to the thirteenth century; and on the other end of spectrum just recently the British version of the popular Law and Order TV show featured at the heart of one of their storylines the right of trial by jury, another right afforded to us by the Magna Carta.

So with a year to go until the 800thanniversary, what will be happening in the UK?  There will of course be the traditional lectures, and the BBC is making a series of impressive programmes around the Magna Carta.  We shall be marking one year to go on the 15th June this year, on the meadows themselves with a  family fun day, to remind old and young alike of the Charter’s  importance.  Eight giant puppets created by local school children will parade along the meadows with around 250 supporters. When the puppets have all assembled there will then be a chance for everyone to come together and have tea (this is England after all) and debate the values of the Magna Carta and what it means today. Each of the puppets represents historic individuals associated with Magna Carta values. For example, from the last Century the famous suffragette Emily Pankhurst is depicted as a puppet and Malala Yousafzai the Pakistani teenager who stood up to the Taliban  for the right for girls to go school represents this current century.

It is all go for Magna Carta and Runnymede in particular. Later in the summer we will be announcing which artist has been shortlisted to commission a significant piece of artwork that will be set in the landscape at Runnymede. The artwork chosen will represent the values and spirit of the Magna Carta. This in itself will represent a truly interesting visitor experience to the site. This is indeed a really exciting announcement and will be the first major piece of work to be erected on the meadows for nearly half a century.

Our preparations for June 2015 are also well and truly gearing up. Runnymede for a while will be the focus of the world. An event of such international attention will certainly be remarkable and spellbinding. The guest list for this event will truly be international and will no doubt feature heavily in the US media. It would be great to involve as many people from outside the UK as possible and we are working on ways to make this possible. It would be great to hear what you think?

If you would like to know more about our plans please join our mailing list by emailing

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 800th anniversary of the first issue of Magna Carta with a 10-week exhibition “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor,” opening November 6, 2014 and running through Monday, January 19, 2015. The Lincoln Cathedral Magna Carta, one of four remaining originals from 1215, will be on display along with other rare materials from the Library’s rich collections to tell the story of Magna Carta’s influence on the history of political liberty. 

Categories: Research & Litigation

New Pro Bono "Marketplace"

Massachsuetts Trial Court Law Library - Sat, 06/14/2014 - 8:00am
The Massachusetts Bar Association has announced a new website - - a "marketplace" for volunteer lawyers.  "The centerpiece of the site is a Pro Bono Opportunities Guide, developed in partnership with the MBA, which has built an extensive statewide listing of pro bono opportunities."  This resource will streamline the delivery of pro bono legal services to people of limited means across Massachusetts.
Categories: Research & Litigation

Former U.S. Representative Pat Schroeder Discusses Her Tenure on the Hill

In Custodia Legis - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 1:45pm

The Law Library of Congress hosted an engaging discussion with former U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder on Wednesday, June 4.  She spoke about her illustrious career as the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado.  Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert Dizard Jr. interviewed Schroeder before a full house in LJ-119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

The exchange between Dizard and Schroeder was lively, bringing forth Schroeder’s famous wit and leaving the audience with an abundance of great quotes and insights into her life.  The exchange also provided a window into the changes that have transpired in Congress over the years.

Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert Dizard Jr. interviews former U.S. Rep. Patricia Schroeder in the Members Room on June 4, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Reynolds.

Schroeder reflected on her storied career in a disarming way, recounting her days at Harvard Law School when she was one of only 15 women in a class of more than 500 men and continuing through her 24 years in Congress.  Schroeder became a national figure for her work as a champion of women’s and family issues.

She recalled that upon her arrival in Washington, D.C., one of just 14 women in the House of Representatives at the time,  “Members of Congress would say to me, are you a fluke?  They couldn’t quite believe that I had gotten elected and the Speaker kept trying to swear in Jim [her husband] and everyone keep saying it’s her.”

Once everyone realized that it was she who was actually the Member, Schroeder’s main priority shifted to effectiveness.  She shared an anecdotal recollection of the times,  “There were no welcoming committees for me and really no mentors.  At that time about half of the women who were in Congress had taken their husbands’ seats after they passed away.  They were carrying on their husbands’ agenda.” The Women’s Movement was gaining momentum and Schroeder had strong feelings of support for these issues, so “what are you supposed to do? Stay quiet, stay in your seat, keep coming back and eventually you will have power? And, I thought, by then I will have forgotten why I came.”

Schroeder remembered her efforts to push through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which saw two presidential vetoes before its enactment in 1993.  After an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1987, she went on a “Great American Family Tour” to visit primary states and urge prospective political donors to make sure that their checks clearly stated, “do not sign unless you are for family leave.”

In retrospect, Schroeder is disappointed that legislators did not expand the FMLA, “It is still so watered down I’m almost embarrassed to say that’s my bill. [ . . . ] I do not think there is a capital in the world that talks more about family values and does less.”

Currently, Schroeder lives in Florida and co-teaches an equity issues in U.S. legislation course at Rollins College.  She is an active member on the National Governing Board of Common Cause, an advocacy organization that aims to empower citizenry “to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.”

The Law Library gratefully acknowledges Bill Burton, founder of the  Burton Foundation, for his generous support of this program.

Categories: Research & Litigation

Election Reform Law Passed to Allow Early Voting and Online Voter Registration

Massachsuetts Trial Court Law Library - Fri, 06/13/2014 - 12:31pm
Governor Patrick signed House Bill 3788, An Act Relative to Election Laws, Acts of 2014, Chapter 111 into law on May 22, 2014. Some of the features to be introduced over several years are: online registration of voters; preregistering at age 16 and 17 for voting upon reaching age 18; and an online portal to check your voter status, polling location and the state and federal elected official who represent you.

Starting in 2016, it will permit an early voting period for biennial state elections in November and other elections held in conjunction with those state elections - up to 11 business days before an election and until the close of business on the business day preceding the business day before the election. Early voting by mail will be an option.

Among other features, it also provides for post-election audits and an Elections Task Force to study additional election issues.

For a report of the bill's provisions and passage, see Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signs early voting into law at

For further information on elections, visit

Secretary of State's Elections Division

Massachusetts Law about Voting and Elections

For Law Review articles on elections and election reform, Trial Court Law Library card holders can search HeinOnline.

Good Reading!

Categories: Research & Litigation

What Countries Criminalize Religious Conversion? Our New Report Examines this Question

In Custodia Legis - Thu, 06/12/2014 - 11:12am

A recent case in Sudan in which Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a citizen who was at the time expecting her second child, was convicted of apostasy (renunciation of a religious faith) and adultery and sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging has led to condemnation around the world.  Her conviction was due to her leaving Islam, marrying a Christian man, and refusing to recant.  Amnesty International, which called Ibrahim’s sentence abhorrent, together with over 600,000 of its supporters, called for her immediate release.  A group of United Nations human rights experts condemned the sentence, noting that the trial violated due process principles.  The U.S. State Department called the death sentence deeply disturbing.  A resolution condemning the sentence was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and a similar resolution was adopted in the U.S. Senate.  Although, in what appears to be a response to the mounting pressure from the international community, the Sudanese government initially said that Ibrahim would be released, it quickly retracted the statement and Ibrahim’s case continues to unfold before an appeals court.

Sudan, which officially announced the introduction of an Islamic legal system in 1983, has executed at least one (access by subscription) person for apostasy since that time.  Of course, Sudan is not the only country to criminalize apostasy.  We recently completed a survey of twenty-three countries in Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia that looked at the prevalence of apostasy being a capital offense (or as a lesser offense) and the frequency of its application.

(photo by Chris Carlson)

We found that, in addition to Sudan, apostasy is a capital offense in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.  However, our research indicated that, by and large, an apostasy charge or conviction can be vacated if the person denounces his or her new faith and returns to Islam.

Our research also found that, in some of the countries surveyed, there is less clarity as to the definition and status of apostasy as an offense.  For example, although the formal laws in Morocco and Pakistan do not criminalize apostasy, the application of religious laws and related powers of religious institutions is somewhat unclear.  In some jurisdictions where apostasy is not criminalized, other broadly-defined laws (particularly laws relating to blasphemy) could possibly be used to prosecute a person for renouncing his or her faith; Egypt is a good example of this approach to criminalizing apostasy.  Furthermore, some countries, including Mauritania and Saudi Arabia, have used apostasy laws to prosecute acts other than conversion, such as scholarly writings and comments made on social media.

In addition, we found that in many of the jurisdictions surveyed, including those that do not actually criminalize apostasy, there may be various non-criminal consequences, including loss of property rights and parental rights, as well as extrajudicial actions that sometimes result in death.

The Law Library has a diverse staff of attorneys with training in jurisdictions around the globe and we frequently publish reports on foreign, comparative, and international law topics on our website.  Our recent reports cover issues relating to the regulation of bitcoin, wildlife trafficking and poaching, and restrictions on genetically modified organisms.  If you are interested in reading other Law Library of Congress reports, you can subscribe to email alerts for reports.  Another good way to keep up to date with our newly published reports is by reading this blog, particularly the Global Law category.  You can also subscribe to an RSS feed for the specific category, or for email updates on the whole blog.

Categories: Research & Litigation

New Research Report: Slaughter of Domestic Animals in Sweden

Law Library of Congress: Research Reports - Wed, 06/11/2014 - 8:00pm
The Law Library of Congress is proud to make available a new report, Sweden: Slaughter of Domestic Animals.

In Sweden the slaughter of domestic animals must be done following sedation of the animal. This requirement was first adopted in 1937 by the Act on the Slaughter of Domestic Animals and entered into force in 1938. The suffering of the animal was referenced as the main concern and remains so today. Critics of the current law argue that it infringes on the religious freedoms of Swedish citizens, most notably Jews and Muslims.

Visit to read the entire report.

This report is one of many prepared by the Law Library of Congress available at
Categories: Research & Litigation

An Interview with Mohamed Oweis Taha, Foreign Law Intern

In Custodia Legis - Wed, 06/11/2014 - 2:06pm

The following interview is with Mohamed Oweis Taha. Mohamed is currently working as an intern in the Law Library’s Global Legal Research Center.

Describe your background.

I was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. Influenced by my judicial family, I decided to join the English Department of Cairo University Law School, where I obtained my Bachelor of Laws in 2011. I also obtained a Public Law Diploma Degree from Cairo University in 2012. In summer 2013, I attended a summer school at Bilgi University in Istanbul before moving to Washington, D.C. to complete a Master of Laws program at Georgetown University Law Center, with my main focus on energy law, project finance and corporate law.

I have been working as a Junior Faculty Member at Cairo University Law School since February 2012, where I have taught constitutional law and administrative law to third-year law students. I also worked with the corporate practice of DLA Matouk Bassiouny (a member of the DLA Piper Group) for two years, where I took part in many international and high-profile merger and acquisition transactions in addition to representing clients in many arbitrations and court proceedings.

How would you describe your job to other people?

I am a summer research intern at the Global Legal Research Center of the Law Library of Congress. While my internship runs for a relatively short term and on a part-time basis, I feel extremely excited about conducting legal research related to Arab-speaking countries, with a main focus on Egypt. I am currently preparing a report analyzing the charges against Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak in the post-revolution era. I am also working on a paper that outlines the various legal frameworks that govern arbitration in Egypt.

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

Interning with the Law Library of Congress exposes me to a new level of experience. Conducting research and publishing papers and articles with the Library is, of course, a milestone in my academic career. Similarly, networking with terrific colleagues and others in Washington, D.C. will unlock professional opportunities for me.

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

The level of diversity at the Law Library of Congress is impressive. In less than two days after starting here I had met fantastic people from almost every continent in the world and from various ethnicities. This diversity enriches the experience. 

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

As a newcomer, I don’t expect my colleagues to know much about me, but probably the first surprising thing people get to know about me is that I am only 23. Well, I hope I do not look much older!

Categories: Research & Litigation


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