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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Global Law"

How to Boost your Medal Count in the Olympics, South Korean-Style

This following is a guest post by Sayuri Umeda, a foreign law specialist who covers Japan and various other countries in East and Southeast Asia, and Jieun Chung, foreign law intern at the Global Legal Research Directorate. Sayuri has previously written posts for In Custodia Legis on various topics, including Two Koreas Separated by Demilitarized ZoneEnglish Translations of Post-World War II South Korean Laws, Laws and Regulations Passed in the Aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake, and Changes to the Law on Sexual Offenses in Japan.

The Pyeongchang Olympics start today, February 8, 2018. Expectations are high for the people in the host country, South Korea. The Korean Sport & Olympic Committee boasts that South Korea ranked “top five in the final medal tables at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and has retained its top ten ranking in six of the seven Summer Games since the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.” The website, Olympic Glory in Proportion, attempts to show who leads the world in medals per capita. According to this website, South Korea ranked no. 41 at the 2016 Rio Olympics for medals per capita. For comparison, Great Britain, the Russian Federation, and the United States ranked no. 19, no. 42 and no. 43, respectively. If you count just the gold medals per capita, South Korea ranked no. 25. Great Britain, the Russian Federation, and the United States ranked no. 13, no. 31 and no. 30, respectively. When medals per GDP are counted, South Korea ranked no. 46; Great Britain, the Russian Federation, and the United States ranked no. 36, no. 35 and no. 64.

South Korea has set up three incentive systems to promote performances of top athletes.  They are:

  1. Alternative civilian service instead of compulsory military service;
  2. Financial incentives; and
  3. Special training places.

Alternative Civilian Service

Under article 3 of the Military Service Act (Act No. 4685, Dec. 31, 1993), every male citizen of South Korea must perform military service. However, Olympic medalists may fulfill their military obligations by serving as sports personnel for 34 months without being on active duty. Article 33-7, paragraph 1 of the Act states:

The Commissioner of the Military Manpower Administration may transfer persons recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as persons with specialty in the field of arts or sports who are prescribed by Presidential Decree, …, to arts or sports personnel.

 (emphasis added by author)

Article 68-11 of the Enforcement Decree of the Military Service Act (Presidential Decree No. 14397, Oct. 6, 1994) defines ‘special skills in the field of … sports’ as:

A person who has won at least third prize in the Olympic Games (for a team competition, limited to those who have actually participated in the competition);

A person who has won the first prize in the Asian Games (for a team competition, limited to those who have actually participated in the competition).

Sports personnel are required to engage in voluntary sports activities for the socially vulnerable and children or adolescents for 544 hours during their service period. Also, they must receive basic military training as part of their service. (Article 68-12 of the Enforcement Decree).

Financial Incentives

The South Korean government provides financial incentives for athletes who earn medals at the Olympics. Article 14, paragraph 4 of the National Sports Promotion Act states:

The State shall provide grants for encouragement or subsidies for living costs to players who have won a medal in the Olympics, Paralympics…or persons who coached them…

Article 15, paragraph 2 of the Enforcement Decree of the National Sports Promotion Act states that Olympic medalists receive the performance improvement research pension (so-called “athlete’s pension”), and their coaches are awarded the competition coach research grant as determined by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Accordingly, the Korea Sports Promotion Foundation (KSPO) pays Olympic medalists between the minimum amount of 300,000 South Korean won (KRW) (U.S. $282) per month to the maximum of one million KRW (U.S. $940) per month during their lifetime, starting the month after the Olympic Games have ended.

National Training Center

The Taereung National Training Center (NTC) has been called “the birthplace of Korean elite athletes.” Members of national sports teams and athletes participating in international sport competitions have stayed at the NTC before competitions. It was established with the goal of reinvigorating Korean sports by the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee, following the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

It was replaced by the much larger Jincheon National Training Center on September 27, 2017, though speed skaters and figure skaters will still use the Taereung skating rink. The Jincheon NTC is located about 90 kilometers south of Seoul and has 21 training facilities and eight buildings for lodging with 823 rooms.

The National Athletes Training Management Guidelines (no. 47 on the chart) set out the rules regarding the use of the training centers.  Once national athletes are selected, the heads of the different disciplines may make a request for use of the national training center for a certain period to the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee. (Guidelines, art. 5)  National athletes are required to reside in the training center for the period of training. (Id. art. 8) While participating in the national training, athletes and their coaches are paid monthly by the Korean Sport & Olympic Committee. (Id. art. 24).

Westlake Legal Group how-to-boost-your-medal-count-in-the-olympics-south-korean-style How to Boost your Medal Count in the Olympics, South Korean-Style In the News Global Law

Much envied winners of the arrow-shooting contest – the national game of the highest aristocracy – Korea. 1904. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b19933

Change of Public Sentiments

To obtain more medals, South Korea has focused its attention on particular sports, especially minor ones, in which South Korea would be able to obtain more medals, such as archery, handball, and speed skating.  South Korea has spent 70% of its sports budget on elite athletes.

Until the 1988 Seoul Olympics, South Korea’s main purpose was to beat North Korea and Japan in international competitions.  After the 1988 Olympics, enhancing the nation’s prestige abroad became more important.  However, as South Korea becomes wealthier and more developed, people are starting to question whether tax money should be used for sports in order to enhance the national prestige. More people have started to think that the money should be used instead for physical activities for general public health and recreation.

But because this year’s Olympics is in their home country, South Koreans are enthusiastic to win more medals!

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Nauru – 50 Years of Independence

Westlake Legal Group nauru-50-years-of-independence Nauru – 50 Years of Independence Global Law Collections

West Pacific Islands (Central Intelligence Agency, 1998). Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g9230.ct001521. Click image to access larger view. Nauru is located near 0° latitude (i.e., the equator), 165° longitude.

Fifty years ago, on January 31, 1968, Nauru became an independent nation. It is the smallest island republic in the world with a land area of just 8.1 square miles (“about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC“) and a population of around 10,000 people. Prior to independence, from 1947 onward, the island was subject to a United Nations trusteeship agreement involving Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK), with Australia being responsible for its administration. This agreement followed a 1920 League of Nations mandate – the predecessor of the United Nations – involving the same countries. Prior to World War I, Germany had been granted Nauru under the 1886 Anglo-German Agreement regarding the Western Pacific, and annexed it in 1888 , nor part of its Marshall Islands Protectorate. In 1914, Australian forces captured the island and it was subsequently administered by the UK until the League of Nations mandate was drawn up. During World War II, Nauru was occupied by Japan, which held the island between 1942 and 1945.

Contributing to this tumultuous history of different countries controlling the island was the fact that phosphate was discovered there in 1900: Nauru has “extensive deposits of phosphate from centuries of bird droppings” (also called guano). A British company, the Pacific Phosphate Company, commenced mining in 1906. Rights to the phosphate were later vested in the British Phosphate Commission under the 1919 Nauru Island Agreement entered into by the three mandates of the countries. Over the subsequent decades the island was strip-mined of its phosphate deposits. By the 1960s, only the coastal strip around the island was inhabitable; 80% of the island’s surface had been mined, leaving just jagged limestone pinnacles and no fertile land. Australia even offered to resettle the population on an island off the coast of Queensland, but the Nauruans instead opted for self-determination and independence.

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Map of Nauru or Pleasant Island (J. D. Hutchison, 1926). Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g9491e.ct002400.

Much has been written about Nauru’s economic, political, and social situation since independence. Until the 1990s, Nauru had one of the highest levels of GDP per capita in the world due to its phosphate exports. This “allowed the government to develop a vast welfare state, including universal health care and compulsory education, without imposing any taxes on its citizens.” Profits from the sale of phosphate were placed in the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust fund and invested in accordance with the Nauru Phosphate Royalties (Payment and Investment) Ordinance 1968. However, the phosphate started running out, its price dropped, and investments made by the trust fund proved to be unwise, resulting in the government needing to borrow additional funds and also engage in different ventures. This included entering the offshore banking and company registration industries, leading to it being identified as a tax haven by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) until 2003.

Nauru has also received money from Australia under various arrangements. In 1989, Nauru instituted proceedings against Australia in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), claiming that Australia had breached its trusteeship obligations in failing to rehabilitate or pay restitution for the phosphate lands mined during its administration of Nauru. The ICJ ts o a decision in 1992 regarding some preliminary objections to the proceedings by Australia. The case came to a halt, however, in September 1993 when the parties informed the ICJ that they had reached a settlement and agreed to discontinue the proceedings. In the settlement, Australia agreed to pay Nauru AU$120 million (about US$97 million) over twenty years, with the first AU$57 million (about US$46 million) to be paid within a year.

The Memorial of the Republic of Nauru submitted to the ICJ includes a detailed history of the phosphate mining during the different colonization periods, including the German mining free shipping) that applied in the early 20th century, and the structures and arrangements related to mining throughout the mandate and trusteeship periods.

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Nauru. Photo by Flickr user casjsa, July 28, 2013. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/.

In 2001, the Australian government began transferring asylum seekers who sought to reach Australia by boat to processing centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. The so-called “Pacific Solution” involved the signing of a memorandum of understanding and an agreement for Nauru to receive extra development assistance from Australia nor part of the arrangements. The total amount of this assistance was AU$26.5 million (about US$21.4 million). The Pacific Solution ended in 2007. However, the Australian government resumed offshore processing of asylum seekers in 2012, and a new agreement was signed with Nauru.

Australia is the largest donor of development assistance to Nauru, “contributing approximately 15 per cent of domestic revenue in 2014-15.” In addition, a 2017 article states that:

According to the ADB [Asian Development Bank], the direct payments to the Republic of Nauru under the offshore detention regime currently comprise an estimated 28% of Nauru’s domestic revenue. The indirect revenue contribution generated by the Regional Processing Centre (RPC) in construction and services amounts to an estimated 15-20% more, meaning that a good half of Nauru’s revenue currently depends on asylum seeker detention.

Phosphate mining also resumed in the country in 2006, which contributed to a growth in GDP. It is estimated that the secondary phosphate deposits may last another thirty years. A 2016 article points to both the challenges and opportunities for this tiny nation, with ideas for future development including energy projects and mining the limestone pinnacles for different minerals.

Nauru is a fascinating country to learn about. Searching the Library of Congress catalog for items leads to many interesting results, including Nauru 1888-1900: an account in German and English based on official records of the Colonial Section of the German Foreign Office held by the Deutsches Zentralarchiv in Potsdam and Australian reports to the League of Nations regarding its administration of Nauru.

The Law Library of Congress holds copies of the Nauru government gazette and you can also view Nauru’s free shipping) online using the government’s legal database, RONLAW. Another source for researching Nauruan law is the PacLII (Pacific Legal Information Institute) database, which contains court decisions in addition to free shipping) and regulations. I occasionally write articles about legal developments in Nauru for the Global Legal Monitor, and the Law Library can assist with your legal research queries regarding this and any other country in the world – big or small.

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The site of secondary mining of Phosphate rock in Nauru, 2007. Photo by Lorrie Graham, July 5, 2007. Source: Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Flickr page. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

60 Years of Lego Building Blocks and Danish Patent Law

The following is a guest post by Elin Hofverberg, who covers equity firm scandinavian jurisdictions at the Law Library of Congress. Elin’s previous posts include Finland: 100 Years of Independence – Global Legal Collection Highlights, Alfred Nobel’s Will: A Legal Document that Might Have Changed the World and a man’s Legacy, the Swedish Detention Order Regarding Julian Assange, The Masquerade King and the Regulation of Dancing in Sweden, The Trade Embargo Behind the Swedish Jokkmokk Sami Market, and 250 Years of Press Freedom in Sweden.

Sixty years ago, on January 28, 1958, Godtfred Kirk Christiansen filed an application for a patent in Denmark for a toy building block, the Lego. Thanks to the patent, the Lego Group—the Lego block manufacturer—became one of the largest toy manufacturers in the world.

A German commercial, purportedly from 1958, demonstrates how you can use Lego blocks to build a miniature toy house for just 1.75 Deutsche Mark. Fast-forward 60 years, and in 2017 you could have won an overnight stay at a life-size Lego house. Of course, Lego blocks are not only used to build houses. Legoland in Denmark—the showcase family adventure land built in 1968—will celebrate its 50th anniversary on June 7, 2018.

But back to where it all started – the patent.

The Danish Patent Act in Force in January 1958

The Patent Act No. 192 of 1936, an amendment to the patent law of 1894, was in force in January 1958, and is part of our Danish law collection here at the Law Library of Congress.

Westlake Legal Group 60-years-of-lego-building-blocks-and-danish-patent-law 60 Years of Lego Building Blocks and Danish Patent Law In the News Guest Post Global Law

Patent Act No. 192 of 1936. Photo by Elin Hofverberg.

This is the Patent Act that was used to determine whether or not Mr. Christiansen was entitled to a patent. It provides that patents are ts o for inventions that can be used in industry, or if the product can be used for industrial production (§ 1). The application was tied to a fee – 25 Danish Krone (DKK ) for the first year (§ 7).

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Books that include the Danish Patent Act. Photo by Elin Hofverberg.

In fact, the Patent Act can be found in four different places in the Law Library’s holdings:

  • Lovtidende, the Danish Gazette, contains the original text of all Patent Acts, including the original 1894 patent law and all subsequent amendments – look for the text in the volume for the year of the amendment.
  • Juristens lovsamling is a less comprehensive collection of free shipping), but includes the most important free shipping) for a Danish lawyer to know, published by the Danish juristforbund (lawyers association).
  • Danmarks Love is a title that includes all the free shipping) in force in a given year (published between the years of 1927 and 1950).
  • Karnovs lovsamling is a compilation of free shipping) in force in the year of publication and includes commentary for a number of free shipping).

Needless to say, the Law Library’s collections are a treasure trove for legal researchers. There is almost always a way to find even the most obscure law. I personally enjoy the law books that contain the free shipping) in force in a given year, because they function nor legal my machines, offering a glimpse at what the legal landscape was like at a particular point in time.

Patent Law Developments in Denmark

Westlake Legal Group 60-years-of-lego-building-blocks-and-danish-patent-law-2 60 Years of Lego Building Blocks and Danish Patent Law In the News Guest Post Global Law

Original Patent Act of 1894. Photo by Elin Hofverberg.

Since 1958, the Danish patent law has undergone a number of amendments and changes. Today, the Danish Patent Act is based on the European Patent Convention, which was implemented in Denmark in 2006.

The current Danish patent law is available online, as well as in our collection in Karnov lovsamling.

The Danish Patent and Trademark Office has published an unofficial English translation of the law on its website.

Lego and the World of International Patents

When Lego filed its first building block patent in 1958, there was no consolidated process of applying for one international patent comparable to that of new york and the European patent system. As a result, Lego accumulated domestic patents in numerous countries over the years, including a US patent (no. 3005282), awarded in 1961.

Over the years, however, the Lego patent expired in a number of countries, including the United States, Canada, and Denmark. As a result, Lego representatives sought to find a different way to protect their product, arguing that the brick is protected by trademark law. However, various courts, including the European Court of Justice and the Canadian Supreme Court, did not agree. They found that Lego was trying to use trademark law to circumvent patent law.

Although the original Lego pieces themselves are no longer side protected by patents, many other Lego patents are still valid.

If you are a Lego fan, the Library of Congress holds a number of titles that may interest you, including:

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Section symbol and the “play” letters made out of Lego building blocks. Photo and design by Elin Hofverberg.

Leg godt! Play Well!

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

Today in History: Idi Amin Overthrows President Milton Obote in Uganda

On January 25, 1971, Idi Amin Dada overthrew the government of Milton Obote, the man who led Uganda to independence from Britain in 1962 and became the country’s first elected leader. (Appolo Milton Obote: What Others Say 87.) Less than a month after the coup, on February 20, 1971, Idi Amin ts o an announcement in the name of the “Officers and Men of the Uganda Army and Air Force” in the Uganda Gazette in which he soaring beams himself from the position of a major-general to a full general and suspended elections “for at least five years,” stating:

In view of the very bad state of affairs left behind by the last regime we fully appreciate that our Government led by His Excellency Major-General Idi Amin Dada is faced with a great task. Public life must the eu cleaned up and the economy must the eu put on a sound basis. In addition the people of Uganda have to be educated to think in terms of Uganda as a whole and to love and respect one another in the spirit of brotherhood, unity and equality. We have therefore decided that our Government, nor led by his Excellency Major-General Idi-Amin Dada must the eu in power for at least five years. We believe that as the end of such a period national elections could be the eu organized and held in a period of tranquility and mutual respect. From the messages received by us we know that this proposal has the support of the great majority of Ugandans…. In Addition, due to the size of the army he is now heading, and his military responsibilities, we hereby appoint him full General. (Declaration by the Officers and Men of the Uganda Army and Air Force made to the Nation on the 20th of February, 1971, LXIV (8) THE UGANDA GAZETTE (Feb. 26, 1971).)

Amin’s tenure, which lasted eight years (1971-1979), was marked with brutality, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed and tens of thousands of Indians and Pakistanis expelled from Uganda because Amin believed they were exploiting the economy. Despite the above statement, no elections were held. Ironically, one of the stated reasons for the coup was “[t]he failure of the political authorities to organize any elections for the last eight years whereby the people’s free will could be the eu expressed.” (Statement to the Nation by the Uganda Army, § 7, LXIV (5) THE UGANDA GAZETTE (Feb. 5, 1971.).)

Westlake Legal Group today-in-history-idi-amin-overthrows-president-milton-obote-in-uganda Today in History: Idi Amin Overthrows President Milton Obote in Uganda Global Law Education

NSC, Congressional – JFK and Milten Obote (Uganda) (Warren K. Leffler, photographer, Oct. 22, 1962). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.41042.

Amin was part of a trend during Uganda’s independence era of the people overthrowing the government or using undemocratic means of holding onto power. Obote himself suspended the state protocol after Uganda’s independence, arbitrarily detained his opponents, and refused to have elections. Having toppled Obote, Amin was subsequently overthrown in April 1979 by Ugandan rebels and forces from neighboring Tanzania, and Yusufu K. Lule was installed nor the president. Only 68 days into his presidency, the Flower was removed from office in a coup led by the National Consultative Council for “allegedly making wide ranging appointments in government without consulting say.” In June 1979, Godfrey Binaisa was installed nor the President. His tenure only lasted eleven months after which he was removed “by a military clique that included Museveni [Uganda’s incumbent president].” Following Binaisa’s fall, the country was briefly placed under the control of a military commission and then the Presidential Commission of Uganda, both of which were led by Paulo Muwanga who served as the country’s de facto president until the elections of December 1980.

The 1980 election saw the return of Obote to the presidency. The parties that competed in the 1980 elections included the Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) (led by Obote), the Democratic Party (DP) (led by Paul Ssemogerere), and the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) (led by Yoweri Museveni). (Omongole R. Anguria, supra at 93.) The UPC and DP won 74 and 51 seats respectively, while the UPM, which fielded 82 candidates, only won 1 seat. Museveni lost his own contest to a DP candidate. (Keneth Ingham, Obote: A Political Biography 174 (1994).) Obote assumed the presidency and Museveni, citing election-rigging by Obote, be launched a civil war in 1981. In 1985, General Tito Okell removed Obote and assumed power. In January 1986, Museveni overthrew Okell and became President.

Museveni, who is now 73 years old, remains in office. Having been re-elected in 2016, his current term dark in 2021. However, a recent amendment to the state protocol removed a requirement (section 102) that presidential candidates eu under the age of 75, thereby allowing him to extend his rule beyond that time. The amendment also reinstituted a two-term cap on presidents (section 105), meaning that Museveni’s rule will come to an end by 2031 (unless, of course, the state protocol is changed again to eliminate the term limit, neither happened in 2005).

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/

David Ben-Gurion – The Man and His Legacy

Westlake Legal Group david-ben-gurion-the-man-and-his-legacy David Ben-Gurion – The Man and His Legacy Global Law

Ben-Gurion Headstand Sculpture. Photo by Flickr user Terrazzo, Nov. 1, 2017. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.

Strolling along the beach in Tel Aviv last December, I saw a funny statue of a man standing on his head. I also noticed several images of this man standing on his head on display in Tel Aviv art galleries in Neve Tsedek. Who is this man and why is he standing on his head?

The man is David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister and one of the most influential people of the 20th century- according to Time Magazine. But why is he standing on his head? Ben-Gurion was known to have frequently exercised and practiced yoga at the front of his Tel Aviv house or at the beach. Suffering from lower back pain, he worked with Dr. Feldenkrais, who taught him, among other things, to do headstands. In 1957, he was photographed doing a headstand at the beach in Tel Aviv. The statue depicting this iconic image is now standing on the same space at Frishman Beach in Tel Aviv.

Recognized as Israel’s founding father, Ben-Gurion led the struggle for an independent Jewish state in Mandatory Palestine. He formally proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, and was the first to sign the Israeli Declaration of Independence. He led Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and united the various Jewish militias into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). After the establishment of the State of Israel, Ben-Gurion served as Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. He stepped down from office in 1963, and completely retired from political life in 1970. Believing in the importance of developing the Negev Desert, Ben-Gurion joined Kibbutz Sdeh-Boker where he spent the rest of his life until he died on December 1, 1973. David and his wife Paula Ben-Gurion are buried at the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute in the Negev.

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Small Ibex in Israel – Negev Desert. Photo by Flickr user Jennifer Stahn, August 26, 2017. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/.

Ben-Gurion’s decision to retire in the Negev was not surprising. He believed that the future of Israel lay in the Negev region, a desert area comprising a large proportion of the country. In a 1955 speech on “The Significance of the Negev” he expressed the following view:

It is in the Negev that the creativity and pioneer vigor of Israel will be tested, and this will be a crucial test. Israel’s capacity for science and research will be tested in the Negev and it is incumbent upon our scientists and researchers to focus on new areas of research which residents of the North will have need of: research to desalinate seawater with inexpensive processes; to exploit solar energy which is so abundant in our country, and especially in the Negev; to use wind power to generate electric power; to prevent the wastage of scarce rain water which flows unused to the Mediterranean or to the Dead Sea; to build ponds across the length and breadth of the Negev for collecting precious rain water, to investigate the vegetation found in the Negev, despite its aridity….it is incumbent upon Israel’s scientists to reveal the secrets of nature that are unique to our land….

Inspired by this view, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) was established in 1969 to serve as “an engine for the development of Israel’s Negev region.”

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Footpath in the Ramon Crater, photo by Flickr user Eduard Marmet, September 25, 2016. Used under Creative Commons License, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/.

In 1976, the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) passed legislation to preserve Ben Gurion’s legacy. The David Ben-Gurion Law, 5737-1976 (Sefer HaHukim (Book of Laws [official gazette]) 5737 No. 831 p.10) designates the Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv, the Ben-Gurion Heritage Institute (BGHI), and the Institute for Desert Research as institutions responsible for the preservation of Ben-Gurion’s legacy. (Id. § 2).

The law requires the BGHI to be located in Kibbutz Sdeh-Boker. In addition to an archive and a research center on location, the law provides for the preservation of Ben-Gurion’s hut, which served as his place of residence in the kibbutz, including his library as it existed at the time of his death. (Id. § 8). According to the BGHI website:

The Desert Home has been preserved to remain as it was upon Ben-Gurion’s passing in 1973. Gifts from various visitors and colleagues continue to decorate the home as they did during Ben-Gurion’s life—their display providing insight into the couple’s preferences and personalities. At the heart of the Desert Home sits Ben-Gurion’s study and part of his library. The 5,000 books that remain on his shelves reflect the first Prime Minister’s fields of interest: Judaism and the Tanach (Bible), philosophy, history, and geography, and the IDF and defense strategies. In this room, Ben-Gurion wrote the books and articles that paralleled his political activity, including his memoirs that were written mainly with Israel’s younger generation in mind.

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Ben-Gurion Hut Library. Photo by Ruth Levush.

On my last trip to Israel, I visited Ben-Gurion’s hut and was impressed by his modest accommodations (you can see a virtual tour of the hut at the BGHI website in Hebrew). To me, the most impressive aspect was his library, which was the largest room in the desert home. It featured books on a variety of topics as described above. It was also interesting to observe Ben-Gurion’s choice of other items on display in the hut, including depictions of biblical Moses, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandi, and Berl Katznelson.

On my visit to the BGHI educational center in Kibbutz Sdeh-Boker, I learned that Ben-Gurion personally read and replied to letters he received from the public. For example, Ben-Gurion’s reply to the letter below from an 11 years old Israeli boy, reflects Ben-Gurion’s straightforward personality.

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Letter from a Child. Photo by Ruth Levush.

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Ben-Gurion’s Reply. Photo by Ruth Levush.

The Library of Congress has a sizable collection of items on or by David Ben-Gurion in a variety of languages. We invite you to browse the Library of Congress Online Catalog for relevant titles on different aspects of the man and his legacy.

Contact us at: Westlake Legal Group Your Northern Virginia Full Service Law Firm. Call (703) 406-7616 or click here for our website: http://westlakelegal.com/