Mary Robinson to speak tonight on human rights in the 21st century

Mary Robinson Irish President Mary Robinson will speak tonight (monday April 12) at 7PM at Cubberley Auditorium (map). Her talk, entitled "Human Rights Strategies in the 21st Century," is this year's Stanford Presidential Lecture in the Humanities and Arts. Yours truly wrote the essay "Free and Equal in Dignity and Rights: The Life and Work of Mary Robinson" outlining Robinson's long involvement with human rights issues around the world. I hope you can make it this evening.

Help improve PACER court reporting system

The PACER service provides on-line access to U.S. Appellate, District, and Bankruptcy court records and documents nationwide. It's extremely important to lawyers, researchers and students. However, in the minds of many law librarians and govt transparency activists, the system is in need of improvement.

So, our friends at the Stanford Law Library have put together a petition to improve PACER. The petition will be directed at the Administrative Office of the US Courts to improve PACER.

We encourage readers to sign the petition, comment on the ideas and share the petition with your friends and colleagues!

It reads:

We ask the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve PACER by enhancing the authenticity, usability and availability of the system.

We the undersigned, urge the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) to make the following changes to the PACER system:

For verification and reliability, the AO should digitally sign every document put into PACER using readily available technology.

PACER needs to be much more readily accessible if it is to be usable for research, education, and the practice of law. Improved accessibility includes both lowering the costs for using PACER and enhancing the web interfaces.

Depository libraries should also have free access to PACER.

The petition is online at:

Fair Use Evaluator

Technology may help you make a determination of fair use under the U.S. Copyright Code. Called the Fair Use Evaluator, the tool will guide you through 5 steps to help you create an analysis. Just click on Make a Fair Use Evaluation and then use the Next arrow.

The tool does not provide legal advice.

For more information on copyright and fair use, especially Stanford's policy, see our Q&A: Copyright and Fair Use.

Proposition 8: Oral arguments at CA Supreme Court on March 5

Oral arguments on the Proposition 8 cases will be heard by the California Supreme Court on Thursday, March 5, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The court will issue a written opinion in the cases within 90 days of oral argument.

Live video of the arguments will be offered on the California Channel, both on television and online.

At Stanford, OutLaw will be hosting a live screening of the oral arguments in the Proposition 8 cases being argued this Thursday from 9 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. in the Law Lounge. The screening is open to Stanford community members only.

For background information, check out Stanford Libraries' collection of books, E-books, and videos on the topic of same-sex marriage.

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