Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sausages and the Judicial Process: the Limits of Transparency

Lord Neuberger spoke recently at the Annual Conference of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
His talk is only a little bit about sausages, and a lot about transparency in law - the need to see that justice is seen to be done.
He also walks us through court procedure before and after a hearing (in the UK), which was rather interesting.
It must have been great to listen to, and is a fun read.
Excerpt para 18
It is essential that our judgments are as intelligible as possible. A common law system requires a certain consideration of previous authorities. However, as Sir Anthony Mason has said: “[s]ometimes one feels when reading an English, Canadian or Australian judgment that it is written with the object of convincing the reader that the author has read and considered all that could conceivably be relevant to the issue in hand.” Or as I put it in a lecture last year: “Reading some judgments one rather loses the will to live – and I can say from experience that it is particularly disconcerting when it’s your own judgment that you are reading.” 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

In memory of Carolyn

You may have noticed some sad faces and a preponderance of flowers in the law library this week.
It’s because we are mourning the loss of our dear friend and colleague Carolyn Upton, who passed away on Sunday night.

Carolyn was the quintessential librarian, who did everything she could to provide a simple, sensible research experience to every user of the library. Her philosophy followed Ranganathan’s  Five laws of library science:
  1. Books are for use 
  2.  Every reader his [or her] book
  3. Every books its reader.
  4. Save time of the reader
  5. The library is a growing organism
She thought about everything in relation to how it applied to legal research. For example, Carolyn constantly questioned how general library search tools could be made useful for legal researchers. She was adamant about saving time for the ‘reader’, thoroughly testing online legal resources for the benefit of staff and students. In classes, she sought to demystify the research process. “Think like a lawyer” was her mantra.

Carolyn was fiercely intelligent, didn’t suffer fools, and treated everyone with due respect. Her sense of humour was dry,dry,dry: often coming out in witty word plays and astute observations.

Although we will miss her as a colleague and friend, she has set a high standard of librarianship for us to remember her by.