The IALS Blog | News, views and info from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies


Have your say – IALS Library Reader Satisfaction Survey – March 2017


Please help us improve our library and information services by answering a few questions.

IALS Library serves the national academic research community and other significant and diverse communities including IALS researchers, the University of London Colleges’ LLM programmes, visiting scholars from overseas, and subscribing practising lawyers.

You can reply online via the form below or if you prefer to fill in the form by hand or wish to remain anonymous, please, please pick up a form from the Library Issue & Enquiry desk or download Reader Satisfaction Survey and drop completed form into the survey box at the library exit. Forms can also be emailed to

Online Reader Satisfaction Survey form

If you would like your name to be included in the prize draw (the prize is £50 worth of cinema or theatre vouchers) please include your name, college and contact details.

Many thanks for your help with this survey.

Job opportunity – Senior Library Assistant (Cataloguing and Acquisitions)


Senior Library Assistant (Cataloguing and Acquisitions)

Job Reference : 00928
Closing Date : 17/11/2017
Salary : £24,812 per annum
Employment Type : Open ended
Department : School of Advanced Study
Division : Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) – non academic
Hours Per week : 35

The Senior Library Assistant is required to work as part of the Information Resources team which is responsible for the management of serials and e resources and the acquisition and cataloguing of books. The post is one of two that are responsible for cataloguing print and eresources in both English and foreign languages; the post holder will also be working on the busy issue/enquiry desk. The post offers an excellent opportunity for a graduate with a library qualification or substantial background in libraries and some experience with cataloguing and classification to develop these skills.

To succeed in this role you will need to have strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well independently as well as part of a team. You will also be able to adapt in a rapidly changing environment and demonstrate high attention to detail. Previous experience of providing customer service would be desirable, along with a competent level of IT skills in Microsoft word and excel.

More information:



IALS Library: New Ebook Collections


The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library has recently added some great new ebook collections to its offering of eresources:

Oxford Scholarship Online – this collection contains scholarly legal works and is regularly update. You can find it accessible onsite and off. We have also added individual titles, so look out for the ebook symbol.

Cambridge law ebooks – for one year only, we have access to the full range of nearly 2000 Cambridge law ebooks. We will be keeping the most heavily used titles.

Edward Elgar ebook collections for law –we have added three mini collections to our ebook offering, including Public International Law, Corporate & Financial Law and International Economic Law. We have also added individual book records and they should all be fully available off site, so please try them out.

Find out more about our other recent additions.

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies Library is in its entirety a research collection in law. It is one of the world’s leading comparative research libraries, holding significant material not otherwise available in the United Kingdom. We welcome applications from scholars, legal professionals and researchers worldwide.

Postgraduate researchers (PhD and MPhil students) and academic staff from any university in the UK or around the world are welcome to join the Library and admission is completely free.

OBserving Law – the IALS Open Book Service for Law


Picture of  IALS Open Book Service on PC

OBserving Law

OBserving Law – the IALS Open Book Service for Law ( is being developed as part of the School of Advanced Study’s Humanities Digital Library ( open access book publishing initiative.

The School launched the Humanities Digital Library in January 2017 with monographs in history, law and classics. Over the coming months it will grow to include books from other disciplines researched in institutes across the School, implementing plans to take a flexible approach to scholarly writing, publishing monographs and edited collections as well as innovative research in longer and shorter formats. Each title is published as an open access PDF, with copies also available to purchase in print and EPUB formats.

We were delighted to launch the new service with the fourth edition of Electronic Signatures in Law. It is written by IALS Associate Research Fellow Stephen Mason, who is a barrister and leading authority on electronic signatures and electronic evidence.

Stephen Mason’s enthusiasm and commitment to open access in the current project builds on a successful earlier collaboration with the Institute to provide an open access online version of the innovative Digital Evidence and Electronic Signature Law Review published by the IALS on the School of Advanced Study’s Open Journals System His manifesto for future updates ( illustrates the ambitions and opportunities for engagement and collaboration provided by the new service.

To further develop the IALS Open Book Service for Law and provide editorial oversight the Institute is establishing an Editorial Board and Advisory Board with representatives drawn from the UK legal research communities and scholarly professional associations for law such as the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS). The aim is to develop a broad team of consultant editors with particular subject expertise in law to help provide a new UK service with international reach.

Launch of the Humanities Digital Library album on IALS Facebook:


Library Survey and Statement of Standards


The most recent report on the annual SLS / BIALL academic law library survey has just been published in Legal Information Management and is also available on the IALS website at:

The comprehensive report, which I wrote on behalf of the UK’s Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) and British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL), provides a useful snapshot of the staffing, funding, collections and range of services provided in 2013/2014 by university and college law libraries in the UK and Ireland.

Comparative year-on-year data and analysis is provided on student numbers, provision of seating and workstations, law library usage, opening times, support services for distance learning courses, acquisitions expenditure, sources of income, contributions from law schools, staffing levels, qualifications of library staff, the location of the law library within the university library and subscriptions to legal databases, e-journals and e-books. In addition the most popular law databases, e-book publishers, suppliers of library management systems and free websites with legal content and are also identified.

The SLS / BIALL academic law library survey has been running since 1996 and has established itself as the leading survey of its kind for the UK and Irish academic legal communities. It provides authoritative and trusted data which academic law library managers use to benchmark their own services, collections and funding requirements, and law course validation bodies note when appraising the provision of institutions seeking to run law courses. The report also greatly assists the UK’s Society of Legal Scholars in monitoring the continuing influence of its 2009 Statement of standards for university law library provision in the United Kingdom:


David Gee
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies


A Berlin Diary


In early February I was lucky enough to visit the exciting and vibrant city of Berlin in my role as the IALL Board Liaison Officer for the forthcoming Berlin Conference from Sunday 20th September to Thursday 24th September 2015. I have only visited Berlin briefly once before on a wonderful day trip from Hamburg. However my appetite was whetted by this whirlwind trip and I was very much looking forward to a chance to see more of the city as part of the process of finding out more from the local organisers about their detailed plans for the conference.

I arrived on a direct flight from London to the modern medium-sized Berlin Tegel Airport and very quickly passed through the efficient passport control and baggage claim. I had various cheap options to travel into central Berlin including using either the TXL Express Bus  (for the Zoo station in the west of the city) or the Express Bus X9 (for Alexanderplatz in the east of the city), but instead decided to treat myself and pay for one of the many taxis waiting at the airport to take me directly to my hotel. Door to door the cost was 23 Euros, an option to think about if you arrive with heavy suitcases.

For the purposes of the IALL BLO visit, I had booked myself into the modern and comfortable Maritim Hotel Berlin. This will be the official IALL Conference hotel and has the distinct advantage (particularly if you are running late over breakfast) of being just a ten minute walk from the Berlin State Library which will be our main venue throughout the conference. As usual, hotel rooms have been reserved for IALL Conference attendees at a special lower rate including breakfast.

On the main day of my review it was my great pleasure to meet with Jeroen Vervliet (IALL President) and Ivo Vogel (IALL Local Conference Organiser) and his enthusiastic local team at the Berlin State Library. This enormous and rather beautiful 1970’s building is the largest academic library in Germany and has a spectacular reading room which I liked very much. Jeroen, Ivo and I then spent a busy day from 9.00am to 8.30pm running through the preliminary conference academic programme, visiting the proposed venues around central Berlin and clarifying the interim conference budget. Here’s a few highlights which have been arranged by the Local Organising Committee so far:

  • The thought-provoking extensive academic programme will be focused primarily on the German legal tradition in a challenging international context. The transnationalisation of law, the role of Germany in EU decision-making, reassessing the Nuremberg trials, human rights, constitutional law, real property law, legal blogs and access to libraries for researchers with special needs will all be themes.

  • The venue for the Opening Session on Sunday 20th September is already booked and will be held at the stylish Microsoft Atrium in central Berlin.

  • The Otto-Braun Hall will be the main lecture venue and is also booked. This impressive conference facility is conveniently attached to the Berlin State Library and has a capacity of 400. There is deliberately plenty of space outside of the hall entrance for our usual interesting trade exhibition and for refreshment and lunch breaks.

  • Afternoon cultural visits are also being planned to the German Bundesrat and the Sanssouci Palace and Gardens, as well as an evening Berlin City Tour.

  • The IALL Annual Dinner will be held at The Auster in central Berlin on the evening of Wednesday 23rd

  • The Berlin-(+)-Tour is the name for the Optional Day in Berlin on Thursday 24th The educational focus of the day will be on the Research Services of the German Parliament and the Library of the German Bundestag. After the lectures you will receive a special guided tour of the Library which is situated within the magnificent modern architecture of the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus. The German Parliament and library are not normally open to the public, so this is a rare chance to see inside and learn about their activities first hand. Additionally, the day will provide a scenic boating tour on the River Spree to discover the City of Berlin by river and to enjoy a buffet lunch and coffee break in beautiful surroundings.

Both Jeroen and I were very impressed with the progress of the Local Organising Committee so far and assured that everything is being done to deliver a wonderful conference in September.

Please do join us! Full details available on the conference website.

David Gee, IALS Deputy Librarian and Academic Services Librarian