Thursday, July 09, 2020

LawBytes Podcast on Supreme Court of Canada Uber Ruling

In his most recent LawBytes podcast, University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist looks at the Supreme Court of Canada's recent decision in Uber Technologies v. Heller:
"The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its much anticipated Uber Technologies v. Heller decision, a landmark ruling with significant implications for the validity of online contracts and for employment relations in the gig economy. The court rejected an arbitration clause in an Uber contract with its drivers, finding the clause unconscionable."

"The decision unsurprisingly quickly caught the attention of many in the legal, technology, business, and consumer advocacy communities. Professor Marina Pavlovic is a friend and colleague at the University of Ottawa, who appeared before the Supreme Court representing the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic as an intervener in the case. She joined me on the podcast to discuss the decision and to explain why she believes it is an earth shattering ruling for online contracts in Canada."

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Law Library of Congress Report on Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19

The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently published a report on Regulating Electronic Means to Fight the Spread of COVID-19:
"This report surveys the regulation of electronic means to fight the spread of COVID-19 in 23 selected jurisdictions around the globe, namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the European Union (EU) (...)"

"Many governments have turned to electronic measures to provide information to individuals about the COVID-19 pandemic, check symptoms, trace contacts and alert persons who have been in proximity to an infected person, identify 'hot spots,' and track compliance with confinement measures and stay-at-home orders. Dedicated coronavirus apps that are downloaded to an individual’s mobile phone, the use of anonymized mobility data, and creating electronic databases are the most common measures. However, it is unclear whether such digital solutions by themselves are sufficient to contain the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends using digital proximity tracking only as a supplement to other measures such as increased testing and manual contact tracing."

"Most of the surveyed jurisdictions have developed one or several dedicated coronavirus apps with different functionalities, such as general information and advice about COVID-19, symptom checkers, and contact tracing and warning. In order to be effective and provide accurate information, the applications need enough data, meaning enough people need to download the app. Some countries had low download rates, or, as in the case of Norway, only initial high enthusiasm. Other problems observed were technical glitches in computer systems that led to false information being reported, which happened in Russia, where people were erroneously fined or fined several times. In the UK, there were reports that the app was unable to work properly if another app was being actively used."
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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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

July/August 2020 Issue of AALL Spectrum

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Monday, July 06, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic and Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The Library of Parliament has published an analysis of The COVID-19 Pandemic and Rights of Persons with Disabilities:
"The COVID-19 pandemic presents multiple risks to the rights and wellbeing of persons with disabilities."
"Approximately 6.2 million Canadians over the age of 15 live with one or more disabilities. Although definitions vary, the Accessible Canada Act indicates that a disability exists when a person’s impairments interact with barriers in a way that hinders full and equal participation in society."
"Persons with disabilities are a diverse group with a wide range of abilities and needs. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) – which Canada ratified in 2010 – guarantees their enjoyment of such rights as those to 'full and effective participation and inclusion in society' and to 'the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination.' In situations of risk, member states also have an obligation under Article 11 of the Convention to take 'all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities'."
"These and other rights found in the Convention and in domestic human rights laws are threatened by the pandemic in several ways. This HillNote outlines some of the challenges facing persons with disabilities in Canada during the pandemic, and the potential impact on the health-related and inclusion-related rights of such persons. It will also highlight some positive measures that have been identified both in Canada and internationally to help fulfill state obligations, including Canada’s COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group."

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Thursday, July 02, 2020

July 2020 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The July 2020 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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Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Journal Special Issue on History of Canadian Library Associations

The features section of the most recent issue of Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research is devoted to the history of many of Canada's major library associations.

Articles include:
  • Shift Happens: The Recent Evolution of Canadian Library Associations, Susan Cleyle, Suzanne van den Hoogen
  • From the Canadian Library Association to the Canadian Federation of Library Associations: A Confluence of Evolution and Circumstance, Marie DeYoung
  • Leading Change and Restructuring the Manitoba Library Association, Alix-Rae Stefanko
  • The Fédération des milieux documentaires (FMD): a federation of associations and institutions, Lionel Villalonga, Réjean Savard
  • The CARL Portage Partnership Story, Charles Humphrey
  • “Spinning In”: The Merger of Canadiana.org with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network / Réseau canadien de documentation pour la recherche, Jonathan Bengtson, Carol Shepstone

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

SLA Roundtable on Reopening Concerns

The international information professional association Special Libraries Association (SLA) recently organized a virtual roundtable What Will Reopening Look Like? Planning, Procedures, and Solutions for Reopening Libraries.

Professionals from government, law, manufacturing, construction, academia, and a variety of other work environments took part.

There was also a chat discussion:
"Chat comments included the following:

  • Library management has created shared documents for each of us to contribute our concerns we have about reopening—everything from hours of operation to what should we do if someone asks to borrow a pen.
  • We’re discussing letting visitors handle materials but going to set those materials aside for 3 days, which means we’re going to need to limit how much we can pull off the shelves for them.
  • Is anyone else considering moving to closed stacks? We are strongly leaning to doing that.
  • We have a new cohort of researchers arriving in September, and I’m thinking of at least starting off with 'curbside' pickup and then slowly allowing browsing (by appointment?).
  • I like the idea of delivery but may pose increased risk to exposure while delivering items to patrons in the building."

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Draft Text of International Cataloguing Code of Ethics

The Cataloging Ethics Steering Committee, established by the cataloguing communities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, recently released a draft Cataloguing Code of Ethics for comment. The document is open for comments until August 1, 2020:

The draft code states:
"We recognize that metadata creation is not a neutral act, and endorse critical cataloguing as an approach to our shared work."
"We also accept that every workplace is different, and responses to ethical situations are necessarily framed by that context."
"The subsequent 10 principles are intended to inform our professional practice and provide ethical guidance when situations arise. The principles are based upon fundamental values in cataloguing work: preservation and access; recognizing our fallibility; acknowledging bias; accessibility, transparency, and responsibility; collaboration, education, training, and advocacy; user needs and inclusivity."
"We will keep the following principles in mind as a cataloguing community. In the process, we acknowledge systemic barriers to inclusiveness and recognize that while individual ethical practices are essential, they are not sufficient."
"Following the principles are case studies that illustrate how colleagues have negotiated ethical issues and demonstrate their potential application." 

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Sunday, June 28, 2020

University of Melbourne Global Bibliography of COVID-19 Legal Literature

The University of Melbourne Law School in Australia has created a regularly updated bibliography of COVID-19 legal literature from around the world.
"The literature in Part A primarily includes scholarship and professional literature and is divided into broad topics, beginning with general literature followed by specific topics. We have only included each article under one topic heading, even if it is appropriate to be listed in two or more topics. A note on the jurisdiction is included if this is not immediately obvious from the title. We have only included literature written in English."

"Part B lists selected organisations with dedicated COVID-19 legal publications pages."

"Part C lists blogs or other online fora (...)"

"This bibliography was compiled by the Melbourne Law School Academic Research Service, using the following journal article databases: Index to Legal Periodicals (EBSCO), AGIS (INFORMIT), Westlaw UK Journals, Westlaw Canada Journals, HEIN, SSRN and Google Scholar. Few scholarly journals have yet published COVID-19 articles - although many journals have ‘relaxed’ the usually stringent peer review process in order to get articles published quickly, the process is still quite lengthy, so most scholarship listed is in its pre-publication form on eg: SSRN. Many of the SSRN articles have been uploaded independently by SSRN scholars, rather than as part of, for example, a research paper series."

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Thursday, June 25, 2020

Five Questions with Alan Kilpatrick, Law Society of Saskatchewan

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 Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian, Law Society of Saskatchewan:
What are three skills/attributes you think legal information professionals need to have?
Act Boldly: Boldly market yourself and boldly reimagine what a library can be. 
Embrace Change: Embrace change in the legal information field.    
Learn Continuously:  Commit yourself to lifelong learning.  Integrate what you learn into your professional practice.  

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

REALM Project: COVID Virus Undetectable on Five Highly Circulated Library Materials After Three Days

Research conducted as part of the  REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project shows that the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 is not detectable on five common library materials after three days:
"Over the past few weeks, scientists at Battelle tested the virus on a variety of surfaces, in environments with standard temperature and relative humidity conditions typically found in air-conditioned office space. Materials tested in phase one included the cover of hardcover books (buckram cloth), the cover of softback books, plain paper pages inside a closed book, mylar protective book cover jackets, and plastic DVD cases. Battelle tests found the virus undetectable after one day on the covers of hardback and softback books as well as the DVD case. The virus was undetectable on the paper inside of a book and mylar book jackets after three days."
REALM is a collaboration between OCLC, an international library services cooperative, the US government agency Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle, an R&D organization.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:34 pm 0 comments

Statistics Canada Report on Trafficking in Persons

Statistics Canada has published a article on Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2018.

Human trafficking involves recruiting, transporting, transferring, holding, concealing, or exercising control over a person, for the purposes of exploitation. It is done without the consent of the individuals, and often involves forced labour or sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is different from human smuggling, which involves the illegal migration of individuals, for profit and with the individuals' consent, across international borders.

Both the Criminal Code and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act have specific sections which address human trafficking.

Among the highlights of the article:

  • Police services in Canada have reported 1,708 incidents of human trafficking since 2009.
  • The vast majority of victims of police-reported human trafficking were women and girls (97%).
  • About half (45%) of all victims of police-reported human trafficking were between the ages of 18 and 24. Nearly three in ten victims (28%) were under the age of 18, and the remainder (26%) were 25 years of age or older.
  • In about half (47%) of incidents, an accused person was not identified in connection with the incident.
  • Four in five (81%) persons accused of human trafficking since 2009 have been men.
  • Just over half (51%) of all accused persons were 25 years of age or older, and a further 43% were between the ages of 18 and 24. The remainder (6%) were youth, between the ages of 12 and 17.
  • Just over four in ten (44%) incidents of human trafficking involved other offences, most commonly related to sexual services, physical assault, or sexual assault or other sexual offences.
  • Between 2008/2009 and 2017/2018, there were 582 completed cases in adult criminal courts that involved at least one charge of human trafficking.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:25 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Webinar Tomorrow About Digital Lending in Canada During COVID-19

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries, the Council of Atlantic University Libraries and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations are presenting a panel discussion on Zoom tomorrow on Emergency Access and the Prospect of Controlled Digital Lending in Canada:
"[the webinar] will explore the concept of controlled digital lending (CDL) as well as the current context of providing limited access to digitized print collections during the COVID-19 pandemic."
The speakers are:

  • Chris Freeland, Director of Open Libraries, Internet Archive 
  • Amanda Wakaruk, Copyright Librarian, University of Alberta 
  • Christina de Castell, Chief Librarian, Vancouver Public Library

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:27 pm 0 comments

Monday, June 22, 2020

US Police Reform Bill Tracking Database

The American National Conference of State Legislatures has launched a Legislative Responses for Policing-State Bill Tracking Database to help people follow the dozens of bills or executive orders addressing law enforcement issues in various US states:
"The National Conference of State Legislatures provides you with up-to-date, real-time information on law enforcement legislation that has been introduced in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The database contains policing bills and executive orders introduced as of May 25, 2020, that are in response to recent events."

"You can search legislation for by state, topic, keyword, year, status or primary sponsor. Policing topics include oversight and data, training, standards and certification, use of force, technology, policing alternatives and collaboration, executive orders and other timely issues."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:59 pm 0 comments

Statistics Canada Civil Court Survey 2018/2019

Statistics Canada recently published a Civil Court Survey, 2018/2019 that looks at non-criminal disputes in Canadian courts:
"The total number of cases handled by the civil courts in Canada rose 1.1% in 2018/2019—from 914,194 cases to 924,316 cases—mainly because of heavier caseloads in Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut."

"... Distinct from criminal cases, civil cases are typically private disputes between people or organizations."

"The civil court caseload is divided into two categories: family cases—which generally deal with divorce and separation, parenting arrangements, support, child protection and various other non-criminal family matters—and non-family cases, such as contract disputes, lawsuits for damages, employment actions, probate proceedings and other claims involving money."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:55 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Upcoming Theme Issue of Voices - On Hold: LIS People and Places During a Pandemic

The website Librarianship.ca invites articles for an upcoming theme issue of the journal Voices to be titled On Hold: LIS People and Places During a Pandemic:
"COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work and enjoy our time; for some it has even changed the way we think of the world. The pandemic has pulled us apart and brought us together in ways we couldn’t have predicted. As we navigate the 'new normal' and the 'next normal' of living and working through a pandemic, stories of inspiration, sorrow, perseverance, and togetherness are being found, created, and shared."

"As the library and information world continues to shift and transform, we want to hear from you: how your work was impacted, your community and the community you serve affected, and what day to day life looks like for you with life on hold."
The submission deadline is August 4, 2020. Publication date is September 2020.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:19 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Upcoming Webinar on National Overlap Study on Government Publications

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries and Library and Archives Canada are hosting a webinar on June 25, 2020 on the National Overlap Study on Government Publications:
"The Canadian Collective Print Strategies Working Group (CCPSWG), co-chaired by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC), was created in 2018 in response to interest expressed during the November 2017 @Risk North open forum for national coordinated shared print collections. One of this working group’s primary activities has been to undertake, along with 26 participating libraries from across Canada, a National Overlap Study on Government Publications."

"This webinar will discuss the overlap study project and its outcomes, as well as findings and recommendations of the working group regarding future national shared print activities."
The organizers of the @Risk North forum published a summary report a little over 2 years ago:
"As libraries witness increasing demand for online resources and dwindling circulation of print holdings, while simultaneously confronting budget and space pressures, it can be challenging to remain committed to sustaining academic libraries’ print collections. Cooperative approaches to acquiring, storing, preserving, and managing the reduction of print collections are gaining traction, employing a variety of models that seek to distribute the expense and responsibility while creating value for all parties."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:46 pm 0 comments

Monday, June 15, 2020

Privacy Issues to Consider as Workplaces Reopen

Justin Ling recently published an article in CBA National on Getting Back to Work: Sorting through the many privacy issues as businesses get their workplaces ready.

In it, Éloise Gratton, national co-leader on privacy and data protection at BLG, and David Fraser, partner at McInnes Cooper in Halifax, explain the minefield that employers will be facing as workplaces gradually reopen.  A minefield "where employment, labour, health, and privacy law all meet".

Some of the issues employers will be juggling:
  • How much health-related information can employers ask from their staff?
  • What kinds of technologies can they employ to keep people safe? Contact tracing keycards? Location tracking?
  • Where does the data get kept? For how long? When does it get destroyed?
  • Can much screening can employers impose or recommend? Body temperature checks? Swabs? Serological tests (i.e. blood work)?
  • Can people be told to return to work? What if they are immuno-compromised?
  • If an office does not reopen, does that change the conditions of employment under the employment contract?
The article concludes:
"Labour and privacy lawyers will no doubt have their hands full. Fortunately, Gratton notes, the federal Privacy Commissioner is offering consultations with lawyers and businesses who need guidance on this new normal."



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