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

LawPORT online resources survey


The Academic Services team at IALS are developing some free online courses with the School of Advanced Study. The first phase will cover the following topics:

1. Citing references with OSCOLA

2. Public International Law

3. Database Searching

If you are a PhD or MPhil student, we would like to hear from you to find out what online resources are available, what kind of courses you feel you would benefit from, your level of experience of each of these topics and how you keep up-to-date with changes in the law. You will also have the opportunity to put forward your own suggestions. Please follow the link below to access the survey:

LawPORT is for you! The more information you give us, the more valuable the resources will be. We want it to offer short courses for essential skills and support for your PhD research. The content will be engaging and varied, by offering different methods of delivery (e.g. video, interactive content) and support (e.g. discussion forums, social media). The hope is that LawPORT becomes your first port of call to pick up new skills or refresh your existing knowledge.

Please contact me at if you have any problems with the survey or any questions about this project. Follow us on Twitter @LawPortTeam and keep up-to-date with the development process. Get involved in Twitter discussions about LawPORT by using the hashtags #LawPORT and #PhDStudents. Thank you for your help in creating what will be a very useful resource both for IALS PhD students and PhD students in other institutions.

Paid student placements over the summer – come and find out more!


The National Archives (who are responsible for are offering paid student placements over the summer. The hours are flexible, and the pay will be the equivalent of £18,000 per annum, pro rata.

You will help The National Archives to update primary legislation. Full training and support will be provided, and once you’ve been trained you can either work from Kew or from home. The editorial tools you’ll be using are online and they’re easy to use. And don’t worry – all of your work will be checked before it goes live! It’s a great opportunity for you to get some paid work experience.

What you need is excellent attention to detail, a passion for getting things right, and a real interest in helping citizens to access up-to-date law. You’ll be able to point to the legislation on you’ve helped to update and you’ll receive a certificate after you’ve completed your training.

If you’d like to find out more, come to the drop in session at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies next week, on Thursday 9 July. The session will be held in room L102 between 11.30am and 12.30pm.

To help manage numbers it would be great if you could let us know if you’re planning to attend. Just email to let her know.

Getting to the IALS

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

IALS website and databases Redevelopment Survey 2015


Since the advent of the web, the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London has been actively involved in innovative legal information delivery – developing and promoting public access to materials capable of supporting legal research on the Internet. IALS is committed to extending the reach of digital provision of legal information by delivering specialist legal research tools and niche web services – maximising access to key or hard to find information to facilitate legal research, public understanding, and promote justice and the rule of law. The IALS website includes a portfolio of award-winning national online services for law and research tools that have resulted from IALS projects and are made freely available to all.

 The Institute is now working on a redevelopment of the IALS website and web databases

We would like to understand what you think about the current design, content, and functionality of our website and databases. This will help us to ensure that we deliver the best possible experience for visitors in the future.

The survey includes 11 questions and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Please do share your feedback and help us improve our website and databases.

Narayana Harave
Computing Services Librarian

Stolen vehicles


If you’ve read recent stories highlighting the role of handheld electronic devices and EU laws in vulnerability to car theft:

The Times and The Telegraph and would like more background, see Stephen Mason’s article predicting the issue:

‘Vehicle remote keyless entry systems and engine immobilisers: do not believe the insurer that they are perfect’, Computer Law and Security Review, Volume 28 Issue 2 (April 2012), 195 – 200



Stephen Mason (Barrister, author and IALS Associate Research Fellow)



Welcome to the official blog of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, to be launched in 2015. In the meantime please visit our website for information about the Institute, the library, events and training.

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