Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Library Association Submissions to 2018 Federal Budget Consultations

The federal government is holding consultations in advance of the 2018 budget and many library associations have made presentations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations made four recommendations “to improve Canadians’ ability to access and use important cultural products and historical records and up-to-date knowledge from the world’s leading researchers.”

The Assocation wants the government to:
  1. Invest $50 million over 5 years in a targeted Library Upgrade Investment Fund, which will allow libraries of all formats in all communities to improve their facilities and services, and be welcoming places where all Canadians can find the resources they need to contribute to our society and to the economy.
  2. Fund the Library Materials Service to ensure Canada Post can maintain existing services without further increases and that restrictions on library’s ability to create automatic accounts in the Electronic Shipping Tool be eliminated.
  3. Invest $30M over the next five years (2018-2022) to support a coordinated national initiative to digitize content and to build the digital infrastructure required to make Canada’s rich documentary heritage available to all Canadians.
  4. Invest $250,000 in 2018 to support the creation and establishment of a National Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) Association of Archives, Libraries and Cultural Memory.
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries is calling on Ottawa to boost support for reseafch and digitization projects.

Its main recommendations are:
1. In accordance with recommendations from the Leadership Council on Digital
Research Infrastructure, invest for the next five years (2018-2022) in building national
research data management (RDM) infrastructure. This advances innovation in Canada
and strengthens Canada’s contribution to the global advancement of science and
knowledge. The required annual investment for RDM is $5M growing to $10M per
year over the five years. 

2. Invest $30M over the next five years (2018-2022) to support a coordinated national
initiative to digitize Canada’s rich documentary heritage, and to build the digital
infrastructure required to make this material available to all Canadians.

3. Invest $2M annually for the next five years (2018-2022) to support and extend the
Federal Science Library as part of Canada’s open science commitment. This will
enable federal researchers to gain access to the latest global information resources
and research developments and will showcase Canadian science to the world. It will
also help to build the framework for a national collaborative data sharing network
that will benefit all of Canada. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:50 pm 0 comments links to this post

September/October 2017 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The September/October 2017 issue of AALL Spectrum is now available online.

It is the monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the feature articles are:
  • Transforming Customer Service in the Post-Digital Law Library
  • Read/Write: Artificial Intelligence Libraries
  • New Attitude: Adapting to the Changing Legal Landscape
  • Legal Workplaces of the Future

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Monday, August 21, 2017

How Libraries Are Helping to Spot Fake News

There are two very important stories today in my news feed about how to spot fake news.

One is on the site LLRX.com (reprinted from the July/August 2017 issue of AALL Spectrum): Spotting Fake – Best Practices for Authenticating Trustworthy News Sources. It has links to library guides and other resources:
"In a keynote speech by Librarian of Congress, Carla D. Hayden, she said, 'In this time of wondering who can we trust, we are the most trusted source you can get …That very trustworthiness is our strength. That’s what we should revel in and be confident in'."

"This may be why librarians are enthusiastically creating fake news detection resources and why those resources are multiplying on websites. According to an article in American Libraries magazine (published by the American Library Association) 'Librarians can play a vital role in helping everyone, of any age, become critical and reflective news consumers. One positive outcome of the current furor about fake news may be that information literacy—for media and other types of content—will finally be recognized as a central skill of the digital age'."

"Fact-checking skills alone may not be enough to stop the spread, but librarians do have a lot to offer. Our weapon of choice for teaching others how to spot fake news is library research guides. These guides are multiplying across the country (...) Each guide provides solid advice on detecting fake news."
And IFLA, the International Federation of Library Associations, has published a report on Real Solutions to Fake News: How Libraries Help.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:15 pm 0 comments links to this post

Favourite TV and Movie Judges

The ABA Journal asked a group of real judges and a law professor to choose their favourite fictitious judges from TV or cinema and to explain their choices:
"In the movies and on television, judges have played key roles in dramas, comedies and legal thrillers. Everyone seems to have a favorite—from the eccentric Judge Harry T. Stone (Harry Anderson) in TV’s Night Court to the serious and strict Judge John Taylor (Paul Fix) presiding over the trial in To Kill A Mockingbird. And just as lawyers are sometimes portrayed with dramatic license, cliché and exaggeration, so too are judges. Yet at the same time, we’ve seen judges who reflect the realities of what it’s like to wear the robe and weight important decisions every day. So we thought: who better to tell us about their favorite television and movie judges than real jurists?"
Of course, there are no Canadian judges since the ABA is American (so no mention of actress Julie Khaner as Justice Alana Newman Robinovitch in the CBC series Street Legal). But one of my personal favourites is there: Judge Chamberlain Haller from My Cousin Vinny.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:04 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 17, 2017

2017 Annotated Quebec Civil Code Available for Free on CAIJ Quebec Legal Info Portal

The 20th edition (2017) of the Code civil du Québec annoté by Jean-Louis Baudouin & Yvon Renaud is now available on the website of the CAIJ.

CAIJ is the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique, the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association.

The annotated Civil Code includes:
  • links to caselaw and commentary on each section 
  • links to section-by-section explanations produced in 1993 by the Quebec Ministry of Justice as the new Code was making its way through the National Assembly
  • links to parliamentary debates
  • concordances for the Civil Code of Lower Canada (1866) and the Quebec Civil Code (1980)
  • links to research questions about the Code answered by CAIJ library professionals
This material will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including:

  • the Développements récents (annual reviews of areas of law)
  • the Collection de droit (Bar School materials)
  • proceedings of the annual Quebec Bar Association congresses
  • a growing number of other treatises from publisher Wilson & Lafleur
  • legal analysis and commentary from dozens of major law firms
  • numerous annotated acts, both federal and Quebec
  • case law
  • and a list of thousands of legal questions with their corresponding answers classified by legal topic.
All for free!

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Association of Research Libraries Condemns Inflammatory Speech and Violence after Charlottesville Tragedy

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post entitled Library Association Statements About Racist Violence in Charlottesville.

The Association of Research Libraries has also come out with a statement concerning the Neo-Nazi and white supremacist marches last week in Charlottesville, Virginia:
"Following the white supremacist and neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend, and the tragic death of anti-hate demonstrator Heather Heyer, killed by a car driven into the crowd, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) reaffirms its longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. The Association condemns xenophobic speech and actions and mourns Heyer’s grievous death. Hate speech and hate crimes such as these not only harm individuals, they terrorize entire communities and divide nations."

"Research libraries and archives are bastions of free expression and inquiry. However, hate speech and other inflammatory rhetoric that incites violence or any actions that threaten our community members cannot be tolerated."

"Racism, anti-Semitism, and bias in any form—whether based on ethnicity, nationality, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or other qualities—are antithetical to the mission of libraries to advance society by facilitating discovery, education, and innovation. The Association of Research Libraries and its members will do everything in their power to safeguard the dignity and safety of library patrons, in part by making it clear in words and deeds that we stand for diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice (...)"
The ARL is a nonprofit organization of 123 research libraries in the US and Canada.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:25 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Library Association Statements About Racist Violence in Charlottesville

In the wake of the racist marches by Neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, American library associations have issued important anti-racist statements.

American Library Association
"The ALA expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those lost and injured during this weekend’s protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will not forget their efforts to enlighten and safeguard their communities from bigotry while opposing racist, anti-immigrant, anti-GLBTQ, and anti-Semitic violence. We stand in solidarity with the people of Virginia as well as anyone who protests hate and fights for equity, diversity and inclusion."

"The vile and racist actions and messages of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are in stark opposition to the ALA’s core values. No matter the venue or the circumstance, we condemn any form of intimidation or discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our differences should be celebrated, and mutual respect and understanding should serve as the norms within our society."

"The ALA supports voices of hope as such actions mirror the library community’s efforts to abolish bigotry and cultural invisibility. As we recently stated, ‘we must continue to support the creation of a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society,’ and we will do this through the work of our members and through resources such as Libraries Respond."

"The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."
 American Association of Law Libraries:
"The events of this weekend in Charlottesville called to mind our keynote speaker Bryan Stevenson's remarks at the 2017 AALL Annual Meeting in Austin, which called on all of us to change the narrative. As librarians and legal information professionals, we are in a unique position to help change the destructive narrative of bigotry and racial superiority that is currently taking shape in America. As an association, we stand by our core values and affirm our commitment to diversity and inclusion."

"We must keep doing what we have always done--provide information and knowledge in support of our constitutional democracy. No matter the setting in which we work, our efforts support the U.S. justice system and our democracy each and every day. There is no room for racial, or any other form of, discrimination. I take pride in knowing I am a part of a profession that brings knowledge to action. I hope all of you do as well."

"Sincerely, Greg Lambert
President"


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:01 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from August 1st to 15th, 2017 is now available on the Court website. 
It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:52 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from July 16-31, 2017 is now available on the Court website.
It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:19 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

British Columbia Law Institute Blog Series on Wills

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has started a blog series on wills.

The texts will be written by Allison Curley.
The first post was published yesterday and is entitled Making Wills Half a World Over: Part One of the Wills Series.

The series will compare proposals for reform of the law of wills made last month by the Law Commission of England and Wales with the work done on the same topic by the BCLI over the past decade.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:31 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

August 2017 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The August 2017 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.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Supreme Court of the United States Redesigns Its Website

The Supreme Court of the United States has launched a redesigned website.

According to SCOTUSblog:
"The court’s Public Information Office boasts that the site update includes 'a more consistent menu structure, a more interactive calendar, faster access through Quick Links, improved page load times, and reduced page scrolling.' (...) "
"The homepage also provides access to transcripts, audio and other case information ... a new case-citation system, which lists internet sources cited in opinions, represents 'a good effort to fight linkrot'."

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Law Commission of Ontario Releases Papers on Defamation

The Law Commission of Ontario has released four (4) background papers as part of its "Defamation Law in the Internet Age" project.

They are:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

Little Overlap in Legal Research Database Results

Robert Ambrogi wrote an article earlier this week on the Above the Law blog entitled Legal Research Services Vary Widely in Results, Study Finds.




It is a useful reminder that no one database covers everything the legal researcher needs:
"Different legal research platforms deliver surprisingly different results. In fact, in a comparison of six leading research providers, there was hardly any overlap in the cases that appeared in the top-10 results returned by each database."
"This startling finding is the result of research performed by Susan Nevelow Mart, director of the law library and associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School, where she teaches advanced legal research and analysis and environmental legal research. Mart has published a draft of her research paper, The Algorithm as a Human Artifact: Implications for Legal {Re} Search, and she presented some of her findings in a program I attended at the recent annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:32 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Updated Research Guide on Drafting History of International Agreements

GlobaLex, the online legal research collection at the New York University School of Law, has just published an update to its research guide À la Recherche des Travaux Préparatoires: An Approach to Researching the Drafting History of International Agreements:
"There are two good reasons why one would go in search of the travaux préparatoires to an international agreement (and/or ask for the assistance of a law librarian in doing so). Before we go into those reasons, what exactly are travaux préparatoires?"

"The phrase is of course French and translates literally as 'preparatory works.' Synonymous phrases in English are 'negotiating history' or 'drafting history.' (...)  "

"The first reason for seeking out travaux préparatoires can be called the interpretive reason. There is doubt or disagreement about the meaning of an international agreement. Those charged with interpreting the agreement - it could be a court, or an arbitral tribunal, or anybody who is interested in the meaning of the agreement, including scholars -- will want to consult the travaux préparatoires for insight into the 'common intentions and agreed definitions' of the negotiators (...)"

"There is another reason for consulting travaux préparatoires that has little to do with interpretation as a matter of law. We can call this other reason the genetic reason. There may be absolutely no doubt about the meaning of the treaty text; it is clear to every reader, even to a lawyer. Yet, we may take great interest in how the text of the agreement evolved into its final form. In other words, the evolution of the text has intrinsic historical interest."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Statistics Canada Article on Police-Reported Crime Numbers

Statistics Canada has published a new article on Police-reported crime statistics, 2016.

It examines trends in the volume and seriousness of police-reported crime for both violent and non-violent offences at the national, provincial/territorial and census metropolitan area levels. Specific violations, such as homicide, sexual assault, and breaking and entering are examined, as well as trends in youth accused of crime.


"The police-reported Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and severity of crime, increased 1% in 2016 over the previous year. This marked the second consecutive rise in the index following 11 years of declines. Even with this increase, the index is still 29% lower than it was in 2006."

"The CSI is a measure of police-reported crime that reflects the relative seriousness of individual offences and tracks changes in crime severity. It indicates whether police-reported crime was relatively more or less serious than in previous years. For ease of interpretation, the index is converted to 100 for the base year of 2006."

"The rise in Canada's CSI in 2016 was primarily driven by a continued increase in the rate of fraud. In addition, increases were reported in rates of administration of justice offences (such as breach of probation), sexual violations against children, and child pornography. At the same time, fewer police-reported incidents of breaking and entering, mischief and robbery were reported. Together, these changes contributed to a slight increase in Canada's CSI compared with 2015."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 24, 2017

Truth and Reconciliation Web Archive Launched at University of Winnipeg

Last week, the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) launched the Truth and Reconciliation Web Archive that will document the work of and responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC):
"For six years the TRC documented one of the most vicious components of settler society’s colonial legacy of Indigenous erasure: the residential school programme. To trace the popular response to the TRC investigations, the University of Winnipeg, in collaboration with the University of Manitoba, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, and Library and Archives Canada has initiated a project to capture and record websites relating to the work of the TRC and responses to its Calls to Action. (...) Staff at LAC similarly archived websites of a national scope. These sites have been captured, described, and curated using the Internet Archive’s Archive-It service. This is a pilot project that envisions national participation. The NCTR will provide a hub to facilitate access to all current and future jurisdictions of the web archive."
Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:
  • National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation Opens at University of Manitoba (November 5, 2015): "The Centre hosts a massive database of its collections including: the materials from the TRC / testimonials from survivors of the schools / millions of records from federal departments and from Library and Archives Canada (records detailing how the schools were created and run; school admissions; school histories; administration records; photographs; maps, plans and drawings) / records from churches that ran the schools (student records; photographs; school newsletters; cemetery records; religious records; administrative records)"
  • Agreement of Library and Archives Canada and National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation to Safeguard Residential School Records (June 5, 2016): "Library and Archives Canada (LAC) and the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) announced last week that they have signed an agreement to ensure the preservation of, and public access to, the records of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) on residential schools..."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:11 pm 0 comments links to this post

Remarks and Highlights from the 2017 Conference by New AALL President

Greg Lambert of 3 Geeks and a Law Blog fame is the new president of the American Association of Law Libraries which held its most recent annual conference in Austin, Texas.

Lambert blogged about some of the conference highlights and his inaugural speech as new leader of the association.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:57 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reaction to Federal Court Decision on York University Fair Dealing

Earlier this month, York University in Toronto lost a case in Federal Court of Canada in its legal dispute with the collective licensing agency Access Copyright.

Access Copyright had sued the school, alleging it had been improperly reproducing and authorizing the copying of protected works.

The university argued that any portion of protected materials copied for course packs was covered by the “fair dealing” provisions of Canadian copyright legislation as interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada and thus exempt from copyright fees.

York has not yet said if it intends to appeal.

Reaction to the decision includes:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Australian Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper on Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

The Australian Law Reform Commission has published a discussion paper on Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.


From the Terms of Reference:
"It is acknowledged that while laws and legal frameworks are an important factor contributing to over‑representation, there are many other social, economic, and historic factors that also contribute. It is also acknowledged that while the rate of imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their contact with the criminal justice system - both as offenders and as victims - significantly exceeds that of non‑Indigenous Australians, the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people never commit criminal offences.

Scope of the reference

  1. In developing its law reform recommendations, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) should have regard to:
    1. Laws and legal frameworks including legal institutions and law enforcement (police, courts, legal assistance services and prisons), that contribute to the incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and inform decisions to hold or keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in custody, specifically in relation to:
      1. the nature of offences resulting in incarceration,
      2. cautioning,
      3. protective custody,
      4. arrest,
      5. remand and bail,
      6. diversion,
      7. sentencing, including mandatory sentencing, and
      8. parole, parole conditions and community reintegration.
    2. Factors that decision-makers take into account when considering (1)(a)(i-viii), including:
      1. community safety,
      2. availability of alternatives to incarceration,
      3. the degree of discretion available to decision-makers,
      4. incarceration as a last resort, and
      5. incarceration as a deterrent and as a punishment.
    3. Laws that may contribute to the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples offending and including, for example, laws that regulate the availability of alcohol, driving offences and unpaid fines.
    4. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their rate of incarceration.
    5. Differences in the application of laws across states and territories.
    6. Other access to justice issues including the remoteness of communities, the availability of and access to legal assistance and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language and sign interpreters."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:03 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Closer Look at the British Columbia Law Institute Report on Complex Stratas

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) released a Report on Complex Stratas in June 2017.

In British Columbia, a strata corporation is a legal entity with all of the powers of a natural person who has full capacity. This means that it can sue or be sued, enter into contracts and hire employees. There are residential strata corporations, commercial strata corporations.snd other categories.


"This report is the second published in BCLI’s Strata Property Law Project—Phase Two. BCLI’s work on strata-property law reaches back to phase one of this project, which concluded in 2012 with recommendations to examine the following seven areas: (1) fundamental changes to a strata; (2) complex stratas; (3) selected governance issues; (4) common property; (5) selected land-title issues; (6) selected insurance issues; (7) leasehold stratas."

"Complex stratas is not a term found in the Strata Property Act. It’s an expression used to describe trends in the real-estate sector. Strata-property legislation was developed in the 1960s as a means to promote high-density residential housing. But the legislation has never restricted strata properties to just this form. Architecturally varied and mixed-use stratas began to spring up in the 1970s. At that time, the legislation gained three tools to manage the legal issues that arose in the wake of increasingly complex stratas: sections, types, and phases. This report marks the first comprehensive review of these three tools in a generation."

"The report contains 68 recommendations for reform. The recommendations propose clarifying the procedures for creating and cancelling sections, spelling out section powers and duties, strengthening section governance, budgets, and finances, clarifying the procedures for creating and cancelling types and fine-tuning the operation of types, enhancing the oversight of the phasing process."
In a series of posts, the BCLI blog has been "taking a closer look at three key recommendations in the report":

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:12 pm 0 comments links to this post