The Florida International University College of Law Library is a research center designed to support the curriculum, teaching and scholarly work of the College’s faculty, students and staff. Use of the Law Library is reserved for members of the College of Law community and persons using Law Library resources to conduct legal research.
During regularly scheduled reference hours, law librarians are available to help library users identify resources that are useful in the legal research process. Librarians may not give legal advice, perform legal research for others, interpret the meaning of legal materials, nor suggest what legal principles might apply in any given situation or set of facts.
The primary responsibilities of the law librarians are to support the teaching and scholarship activities of the College of Law and to help library users access Law Library resources. The Law Library staff of seventeen includes six full-time, professional librarians and two part-time librarians. All staff members work to enhance the collection and to make library materials both discoverable and accessible.
With over 245,000 volumes and volume equivalents, the core print collection is comprised of U.S. federal and state legal materials, publications related to foreign and international law, and a rapidly growing collection of Latin American legal materials. The Library’s resources also include a wide variety of specialized legal databases, including access to thousands of e-books and digitized legal treatises.
The Library offers study rooms, computer workstations, a computer lab, study carrels and wireless internet access to students of the College of Law. All Library users have access to the Library’s electronic resources, including the web-based library catalog, subscription databases, and selected Web resources.
Florida International University (FIU) College of Law Library acquired the library of the well-known Cuban lawyer Mario Diaz Cruz, who practiced law in Havana from 1915 to 1958.
When Mario Diaz Cruz, Sr. died in 1958, the collection had approximately 6,000 volumes and was transferred to Mario Diaz Cruz, Jr., who brought it to Miami in 1959. Once in Miami, the collection was acquired by the Rainforth Foundation of Coral Gables, and later on, in January 2007, the collection was donated by the Rainforth Foundation to the College of Law Library.
The collection represents what a good law firm library in Cuba must have contained during that era. It covers many primary and secondary Cuban legal materials such as La Jurisprudencia al Dia (the Supreme Court decisions since 1913) and Colección Legislativa, plus several primary and secondary sources from important civil law countries with significant historic ties to Cuba (mainly France, Spain, and Italy) and to a lesser extent, materials from other European countries. There are also legal materials from Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico, as well as from the United States. It contains complete collections of the most important journals on private law such as Revista de Derecho Privado (Spain), Revista de Legislación y Jurisprudencia (Spain), Rivista di Diritto Privato (Italy), Revue Trimestrelle de Droit Civil (France) and foreign law: Nouvelle Revue Historique de Droit Francais et Etranger (France). From Cuba some of the titles are Revista Cubana de Derecho, Revista del Colegio de Abogados, and Oriente Revista General de Derecho.
Among the rare books, the Collection includes a 1757 edition of the Corpus Juris Civilis Justiniane, the Coleccion de Circulares Expedidas por la Real Audiencia Pretorial de La Habana (1865-1871), and Ordenes Civiles from the United States Military Government (1900).
The main emphasis of the collection is private law, covering the areas of commercial law, property, wills and trusts, banks and banking, contracts and constitutional law. There are a few treatises on the Cuban sugar industry. Additionally, the collection includes several manuscripts, most notably notebooks, with handwritten annotations for every article of the civil code with references to journal articles and treatises, court decisions and related legislation, as well as handwritten commentaries on many other topics.
This collection is of particular value for historians and legal scholars focusing on Cuba, pre-Castro and post-Castro. The commentary on the Civil Code and Cuban Constitution may be of special significance. Beyond the wealth of historic Cuban legal materials, the collection is of value to legal historians who focus on Spanish, French and Latin American materials.
Mario Diaz Cruz, Jr., was the editor of the journal Comparative Juridical Review, which started publication in 1964 and ceased publication, at volume thirty one, in 1994. As a result, the library collection continued increasing the number of journal titles from Latin America.
The collection is IN PROCESS; only partial access to the collection is provided.
National Security and Human Rights
In 2006, Florida International University (FIU) College of Law Library and the FIU Green Library received a grant to develop the library collection on national security and human rights issues. This grant, sponsored by the United States Intelligence Community, was received through the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship Studies as part of a main grant to create a Program in National Security Studies at FIU.
Over one hundred and forty new titles were added to the College of Law Library on national security and human rights issues, along with a multivolume set, an electronic database of collected documents on terrorism, and three new journal titles. The journal titles, The Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, The Palestine Yearbook of International Law, and the Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, complement the already rich journal collection in the Library.
Different subtopics were covered under the general topic of national security and human rights: homeland security, international and public security, terrorism and counterterrorism, bioterrorism, war on terror, peace and conflict resolution, border control, emigration and immigration, citizenship, ethnic conflicts and genocide, transnational crime, and asylum. Materials purchased were mainly in the English language and dealt with the United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.
The valuable resources of this special collection can be accessed through the Library Catalog, which will indicate the location within the FIU Library System. Journal articles can be found using LexisNexis, Westlaw, FLID, HeinOnline, and the Terrorism Database.