Serbian Rule of Law Project – Day 4

The Nis Law Faculty reading room.Today we woke up to a cloudy rainy day. We ate breakfast together at the hotel, and then drove to the Nis Law Faculty building in the down town area of Nis. The Faculty of Law and Faculty of Economics share the same building that was built in the 1950’s. We went directly to the Vice Dean’s office and after greeting him, he took us on a tour of the Faculty. One interesting feature of the administrative area of the Faculty, is that all the doors had a padded leather covering. Vlad told me that in communist times, having a padded leather door was a sign of status. I’ll have to see what I can do about getting a padded leather door for my office when I get back to Uvic. First we went to the library area and was shown the single student workstation for accessing on-line legal resources. The computer was ancient (it was running windows 3.1), and the librarian told me that it works “sometimes”. There were three or four other computers for on-line research, but they were reserved for faculty use only. Next we walked to the reading room, where they are proposing to put the desktop computers we are purchasing for them. You can see what the room looks like in the picture above. The computers would be place along the back wall on the main level, as well as along the same wall on the mezzanine above. They have recently installed electrical outlets along those walls, and are planning on installing Network jacks as soon as they know how many computers they will be receiving. While looking at the reading room, we were joined by the faculty systems administrator. His background is primarily Linux and Unix based, although they have one windows server. He told us that they would need an additional switch to accommoVlad, Rich, the Vice Dean, Inas, the Dean, and Mija posing for a group any computers we would give them. As for printing, they thought that a vend card based system would best fit their needs, as giving network accounts to all their students would be difficult given the number of students in their faculty. Currently printing is free on their one student accessible computer, but students must bring their own paper to print on. From the reading room we went to the Dean’s office, and were introduced to him there. He is a confidant man who is very proud of his Law School. He presented us with two DVD’s that were made to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Nis Law Faculty.

We arrived back in Belgrade around 2pm, and went back to the office to get caught up on e-mail and so I could finish summarizing my notes from the meeting. Neil Campbell (the UVic Law Librarian) was able to put me in touch with our Westlaw and Lexus/Nexus representatives, so hopefully we will be able to work something out to give Serbian law students similar access to the on-line databases as Canadian students have.

My luggage finally arrived! Three days late, but it caught up with me at last. I arrived back at my hotel (the Moscow Hotel) at about 5:30 and they said my luggage beat me there by thirty minutes. It would be interesting to know if it travelled the same route to get here as I did. I suspect it arrived in Belgrade via Singapore, or Dubai. It’s nice to have a selection of cloths to change into. I bought some pants, a shirt and some socks so that I’d be able to rotate through two sets of cloths until either my suitcases arrived, or they were pronounced lost and I could buy a bunch of new cloths.

I celebrated the arrival of my luggage by putting on my sneakers, some shorts and a t-shirt and walking down to the Fortress and talking my way into a pickup basketball game. The guys at the basketball court were very friendly. I talked with one guy in particular, whose English was quite good. He found someone who was a bit tired, and I took his place in a couple of 3 on 3 games. I played OK, but not spectacular. I was a little afraid of re-spraining the ankle I rolled a week and a half ago. A couple of the players where excellent passers. They seemed to be able to find their team mates and pass to them at will. One other thing that was interesting, is that when they play half court basketball, if you are defending and you rebound, you don’t have to take the ball to the top of the key, you can immediately shoot. I’m sure on a couple of occasion my team mates were wondering what I was doing when I had a clear shot after rebounding and I ran away from the hoop. I hope that I’ll be able to get back there a couple more times and play again; I need to do something to help me stay in shape.


  1. It is good to hear from you Rich. I appears that your trip is being successful. I think that I have the cause of my computer problems identified: leaving the name extraction program running all of the time. Russ suggested to me that a program not completely shutting down when turned off could be using up memory all of the time. UDE has been turned off for about five days now, and there has been no recurrence of the problem.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Hi Rich,
    I just wanted to say thanks for keeping us all up to date while you are in Serbia. You must keep great notes. It all sounds so interesting. You are indeed a lucky man to be there. Have fun and work hard (as I know you always do) Paul

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