Merci Toulouse

A picture of Toulouse, in France, by night. You can see the Gate St Pierre. The river is la Garonne
Gremi357, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

By Kurt Carroll, IALL President

Our association’s long planned 39th annual course was presented earlier this month. A first for IALL, the course was presented virtually from Toulouse, France with the theme The Triptych: National, European, and International Law, the French Way. Originally planned for 2020, heartfelt thanks go to the Toulouse Capitole University and the local planning committee (LPC). The LPC was made up of Michel Fraysse (IALL board member and committee chair), Véronique Bolze, Morgan Proust, Caroline Hourdry, Marie-Françoise Bremond, and Virgine Daney. And thank you to our generous sponsors who make our annual courses possible.

Preserving our traditional, multi-day format, the LPC presented the course over several days using a combination of pre-recorded and live sessions. On day one, participants could view a recorded welcome by Professor Hugues Kenfack, President of Toulouse Capitole University and heard live opening comments from Professor Philippe Nélidoff, Dean of Toulouse Law School, Bruno Van Dooren, Director of Toulouse Capitole University Libraries and myself as President of IALL.

The pre-recorded sessions were made available to course participants in advance of the opening allowing one to hear keynote speaker Emmanuelle Auriol present Cannabis: Ending the War on Drugs in France? Professor Auriol was followed by Florent Garnier with A Documentary Landscape in Perspective (12th to 20th century); Aurore Gaillet and Nicolas Séébold discussing The Main Principles of French Public Law: a Comparative Reflection; Jérôme Julien’s introduction to French Private Law; Hiam Mouannes on The Principle of “Laïcité” which we learn is an asset to the French republic and a foundation of citizenship; and Joël Andriantsimbazovina’s Law of Freedoms.

With this grounding in French law, registrants were ready for the main topic of the day, legal translation. Live lectures were given by Laura Hartwell, Law, Language, and On-line Translation Tools; François-Olivier Manson, Translating American Law and English Law in French: the Badger and the Crested Grebe; Alexandre Bernier, PhD student, on Trying Not to Get Lost in Translation: Testimony of a Junior Researcher. The theme was capped with a recorded lecture from Simone Glanert on Translation & Truth: Challenging Orthodox Legal Thought.

Legal translation was followed by a presentation from a course Gold sponsor given by Jérémie Roche and Thomas Parisot.

The pre-recorded sessions for Day Two began with Xavier Bioy’s Artistic Censorship and Freedoms in French Public Law followed by Laurent Grosclaude presenting Will Civil Aviation Survive Covid-19?, a chilling question from Toulouse, the home of Airbus; and Lucien Rapp following with Servicing On-Orbit: the Next Frontier in Space Commercialization.

The lectures led to the day’s live session on Intellectual Property and Information Technology. Alexandra Mendoza Caminade spurred lively discussion with Cultural Creation and Artificial Intelligence followed by Jessica Eynard on Towards a Confinement of Personal Data in the European Union?; and Marie Bernard with Building Community Wealth and a Greater Efficiency of the Justice System Through Legal Open Data.

Day Two’s academic sessions were followed by a live presentation from Gold sponsor Lefebvre Dalloz with Richard Salandre, Rokhaya Pondi, and Stéphane Prévost. A cultural offering was provided to the course participants in the form of a recorded concert of the Orchestre Symphonique Étudiant de Toulouse (Toulouse Student Symphony Orchestra).

Day three opened live with a session on International and Comparative Law. Lukas Rass-Masson kicked off the day with Ascertainment and Accessibility of Foreign Laws and Documents Under French Private International Law. He was followed by Valère Ndior’s Public Law and International Law in the Digital Age; and Cécile Le Gallou comparing Contract Law in France and the United Kingdom.

There were two Gold sponsor presentations this afternoon as Brill’s Marie-Hélène Ludwig gave a live session highlighting their Jus Mundi database and vLex’s Joseph Salami provided a recorded presentation of the company’s latest developments.

Two evenings this week IALL Education Committee members Kristina Alayan and Heather Casey offered  registrants opportunities to socialize online with IALL Cafés. The first café took the form of a book discussion in which attendees presented their noteworthy reads of the past year. Might this spur an IALL book club? On our third evening, the IALL Café was more of a salon discussing Marcel Proust’s famous questionnaire. To add a note of fun (or terror?) to event, participants were randomly asked to respond questions from Proust’s list.

What would have been an in-person, pre-conference workshop on Access to French Law became a Day Four program. Registrants were able to pre-screen two lectures: Marielle Mouranche’s Law and Legal Science in Toulouse (1500-1850) on Tolosana which is the platform for digitized rare books from academic libraries of Toulouse; and Marie-Anne Sire’s The War of the “Mirandes” discussing French urban heritage and the restoration of the Basilica of Saint Sernin. The images from these sessions alone would make anyone wish to visit the Toulouse region. Two speakers, Stéphane Cottin and Emmanuel Barthe, gave live presentations on accessing French law and engaged participants in real time Q&A.

If you were a participant in this year’s course, I hope you enjoyed the sessions and learned more about French law. If you were unable to attend this year, the association will work to provide access to this content via posted recordings online and through published papers in IALL’s International Journal of Legal Information.

This Blog contains entries by members of the International Association of Law Libraries on issues germane to the Association’s areas of focus. Views expressed in an individual entry only represent the views of the author.