Monday, July 15, 2019

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Summer 2019 Newsletter

The non-profit Canadian Forum on Access to Justice (CFCJ) publishes a regular newsletter about Access to Justice.

The latest issue of the newsletter includes news on:

  • a longitudinal study on “Measuring the Impact of Legal Service Interventions”
  • the launch of the “Justice for All” report that highlights the extent of everyday legal problems worldwide, persistent conditions of injustice and ongoing problems that people face when trying to resolve their legal problems
  • the Codify Project to compile a free database of global legislation
  • and more

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Sunday, July 14, 2019

CALL Conference Podcast Series Now Available on YouTube

Colin Lachance, interim General Manager of North America for legal information vendor vLex, conducted a series of podcast interviews at the recent annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries in Edmonton in late May 2019.

The interviews were conducted with conference speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and organizers, and dealt with "their experience at the May 2019 conference, what’s hot in their world, and their thoughts on the future".


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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently published a report on the Regulation of Artificial Intelligence that looks at AI regulation and policy in jurisdictions around the world:

"This report examines the emerging regulatory and policy landscape surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in jurisdictions around the world and in the European Union (EU). In addition, a survey of international organizations describes the approach that United Nations (UN) agencies and regional organizations have taken towards AI. As the regulation of AI is still in its infancy, guidelines, ethics codes, and actions by and statements from governments and their agencies on AI are also addressed. While the country surveys look at various legal issues, including data protection and privacy, transparency, human oversight, surveillance, public administration and services, autonomous vehicles, and lethal autonomous weapons systems, the most advanced regulations were found in the area of autonomous vehicles, in particular for the testing of such vehicles."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2019

Fastcase, an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), has unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2019:
"Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions."

" 'Every part of the legal market is changing right now – from law school through every part of the practice,' said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. 'That change can be daunting or discouraging to many people. And that’s one reason that our team enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of the Fastcase 50. These are people who inspire us by their intelligence, creativity, and leadership. We hope they will inspire others as well, especially during a time of great change for the profession'. "
There are a number of law librarians in the list:
  • Marlene Gebauer Global Director of Strategic Legal Insights, Greenberg Traurig LLP
  • Darla Jackson Research and Electronic Resources Librarian, The University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Jim Shelar Former Chief Law Librarian, Arnold & Porter (In Memoriam)
Simon Fodden, the founder of, Canada's preeminent online legal magazine, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in 2014.

Michael Mills, one of the Fastcase 50 in 2012, wrote in 2015 on LinkedIn about how the winners of the previous 5 years had begun to form an ecosystem of innovation:

“They champion transparency—in lawyer/client relations, in government data, policy, and practice, in judicial proceedings, and in legal education. They advocate for access—to the law itself, and to justice. They build structures, systems, and tools for access, quality, economy, and efficiency.”

They also collaborate. A tour of the five classes found time and again 50’s who are working together across organizations and projects, who influence and inspire one another.” [my emphasis]
Using his company as an example, Mills writes that “from any one person among the Fastcase 250, there are lines linking in many directions to many others.”

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Sunday, July 07, 2019

Most Recent Issue of LawNow: Health Law

The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.
The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The issue features a series of articles on the health law:
There is also a special report on freedom of expression in Canada.

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Statistics Canada Report on Violent Crimes Against Young Women and Girls in the North

Statistics Canada reported last week that young women and girls in northern Canada were disproportionately victims of violent crimes in 2017.

The agency defines the North as comprising the territories and the northern parts of most provinces.

While young women and girls in the North accounted for less than 7% of Canada's female population aged 24 and younger, they represented 17% of young female victims of police-reported violent crime. As a result, the rate of violent crime against young women and girls living in the North was nearly three times higher than it was in the South.

Violence against young women and girls is an ongoing human rights issue and a significant barrier to gender equality. In addition to gender, where people live can also influence the risk of violent victimization. Crime rates are higher in northern Canada and its geographic remoteness can be a barrier to accessing victim services and escaping violence. These factors are especially critical for young women and girls at risk of violence in the North.

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Thursday, July 04, 2019

Five Questions with Louise Hamel, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been running a series of member profiles called Five Questions With...

The most recent interview is with Louise Hamel, Manager of Judicial Library Services with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General:
"What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone looking to break into the legal information industry?
Continue with the learning – take a coding course, business writing, budgeting and website development course during the first few years of your career. These added skills, if you do not already have them, will round out your skill set that is a passport to all types of jobs. Stay open to new experiences and opportunities."

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Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Joint 2018 Salary Survey Report by CALL and Toronto Association of Law Libraries

The Canadian and the Toronto Associations of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD and TALL) have released the results of their 2018 joint salary survey:

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Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from June 16-30, 2019 is now available on the Court website.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.


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Tuesday, July 02, 2019

July 2019 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The July 2019 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

There is news about:
  • the recent conference of the British and Irish Association of Law Libraries
  • the Salary Survey conducted by CALL and TALL (Toronto Association of Law Libraries)
  • the CALL Copyright Committee; the Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization Committee; the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Group; the Professional Development Committee (continuing education); and the Scholarships and Awards Committee

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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Nova Scotia Law Reform Institute Discussion Paper on Intestate Succession Act

The Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia has published a discussion paper on the province's Intestate Succession Act:
"This Discussion Paper considers how a deceased person’s real and personal property should be disposed of if they die without a will (otherwise known as intestacy). The Intestate Succession Act RSNS 1989, c 236 governs the disposition of these estates in Nova Scotia. While it’s underlying function remains valid, the Act no longer reflects the legal, social, and economic landscape faced by Nova Scotians today. Reforms are needed to align the law with the modern Canadian family, harmonize it with other relevant statutes, and enhance the ability of Nova Scotians to access justice (...) "

"The Discussion Paper seeks input on the following proposals to enhance individual autonomy and address the root causes of intestacy:
  • The public should be given easily accessible information on intestacy. Public legal education on the reformed Intestate Succession Act should be available to ensure Nova Scotians understand how intestate property is distributed. Updated, easy-to-understand manuals should be available to persons who are administering an intestate estate without legal representation.
  • The public should have greater access to will drafting services for persons who wish to create a will but cannot afford to hire a lawyer.
  • Lawyers should be provided with information and materials on how to support capacity when providing wills services for persons who may face challenges in their mental capacity.
  • A simplified procedure for estates valued at $50,000 or less should be available to administer modest intestate estates."
The Institute is funded by the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada, and by the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia with in kind support from the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and Dalhousie University.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Law Society of Ontario Makes CPD Materials Available for Free

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has made its continuing professional development materials freely available on its AccessCLE website.

As explained on the blog of the Great Library (the LSO's library):
"Continuing professional development (CPD) program materials are an invaluable source of current legal information. Papers typically cover the practical implications of recent case law and legislative developments, and often include useful precedents, procedure and checklists."

"You’ll find Law Society CPD papers from 2004 to the current month on AccessCLE. This free resource lets you browse for programs and papers by area of law and year, or search the full-text of these materials by keyword."

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Profile of British Columbia's Civil Resolution Tribunal

Legal Evolution, a publication founded in 2017 by Bill Henderson, Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, recently published an article entitled Is access to justice a design problem?

It profiles British Columbia's Civil Resolution Tribunal, Canada’s first online dispute resolution:
"Several years ago, if someone asked me how to solve the U.S. access to justice problem, I would have replied, 'more government funding, more generous philanthropy, and more pro bono hours from lawyers.' With these greater inputs, a lawyer would be available to every citizen needing to access the legal system. Almost as a reflex, I suspect a large number of my lawyer peers would have given the same answer."

"But what’s the likelihood of a 5x or 6x increase in resources? Cf. Legal Services Corporation, '2017 Justice Gap' at 6 (June 2017) (reporting that 86% of the civil legal problems reported by low-income Americans in the past year received inadequate or no legal help.). I’d put it at close to zero."

"Today, I am much more hopeful about our ability to substantially solve access to justice. But it’s likely going to involve a massive redesign of how many types of disputes get resolved, including the possibility of lawyers and courtrooms being engineered out the process. I say this based upon what I have learned about the Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT), Canada’s first online dispute resolution (ODR) system."
The article features comments made by Shannon Salter, the Chair of the CRT.

Salter was a keynote speaker at the recent annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) in Edmonton. Her May 29, 2019 presentation to CALL is available online.

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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2019 Confeence Presentations Now Online

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

World Refugee Day Resources from Oxford Public International Law

Oxford Public International Law has compiled a list of resources for World Refugee Day, which is today. They are free until August 31, 2019:
"To mark the importance of this day we have made more than 30 book chapters, journal articles, and pieces of content from our online resources freely accessible to assist those working with refugees on the ground, as well as those who want to know more about the framework of rights and obligations concerning refugees."

"The materials are structured around four key questions: who is a refugee, what rights do they have, what are transit states’ obligations, and what are the duties of the state where a refugee applies for asylum."


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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

May 2019 Update from the Canadian Federation of Library Associations

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) has provided an overview of activities since February 2019. I found it on the website.

There is information on:
  • advocacy on telecommunications policy, disability issues, and access to information
  • surveys in relation to Voilà, the new national union catalogue, and to challenged books
  • updates from the CFLA's committees on cataloguing and metadata, copyright, indigenous matters, and intellectual freedom
  • outreach activities


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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

English Law Commission Report on Money Laundering

The Law Commission in England has released a report on anti-money laundering measures.

It is estimated that between 0.7 and 1.28% of annual European Union GDP is connected to suspect financial activity.

In 2017 the UK government asked the Law Commission to review limited aspects of the anti-money laundering regime in Part 7 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the counter-terrorism financing regime in Part 3 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The Commission was specifically asked to examine ideas for reform of the system of voluntary disclosures known as the 'consent regime'.

The final report makes 19 legislative and non-legislative recommendations to improve the consent regime, including:
  • An advisory board with oversight for the regime, with a remit to oversee the drafting of guidance, to measure the effectiveness of the regime and advise the government on ways to improve it.
  • Retaining the consent regime, subject to amendments to improve effectiveness.
  • Statutory guidance on a number of key legislative concepts underpinning the reporting regime, to assist the regulated sector in complying with their legal obligations. This includes guidance on: suspicion, appropriate consent and arrangements with prior consent and what may amount to a reasonable excuse.
  • Prescribing the form in which suspicious activity is reported, making use of technology to devise an online interactive form.
  • An exemption to allow ringfencing of suspected criminal property by a credit of financial institution. This provides for a more proportionate response to the reporting of (suspected) criminal property.
  • Extending the circumstances in which a reporter may have a reasonable excuse not to make a voluntary disclosure.
  • Further research into the utility of thematic reporting or geographical targeting orders, which remove the reporter’s discretion to assess suspicion.

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