Thursday, April 24, 2014

CanLII Invites Members of Legal Community to Provide Case Commentaries

As many readers know, CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, recently launched a new platform called CanLII Connects that allows publishers, law firms and academics to share commentary on cases and legislation. CanLII Connects already contains 27,000 case summaries and commentaries.

Earlier this week, CanLII published an invitation to potential contributors to share their case summaries or commentaries:
"If you have previously written case summaries or commentaries for client bulletins or blog posts, give them new life by making them available to people reading the case!"

"We all have an interest in uncovering which of the tens of thousands of new and recent rulings added to CanLII each year add to our understanding the law."

"We created CanLII Connects to deliver big insights through organizing small contributions."
In one of here regular research tips on, Shaunna Mireau explains how CanLII results now include links to commentary from CanLII Connects:
"This innovation with add more ‘social’ to legal commentary. The legal community speaking to each other through published case commentary has been wonderful. The legal community offering select commentary to our own clients and through our own websites has also been very useful. It will be interesting to see how socializing legal commentary with this offer of case comments easily available to all impacts the legal information space."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:22 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Statistics Canada Article on Firearms and Violent Crime

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published a new article on Firearms and violent crime in Canada, 2012:
"There were approximately 5,600 victims of firearm-related violent crime in 2012, accounting for 2% of all victims of violent crime. The rate of firearm-related violent crime has decreased 27% since 2009, reaching 21 per 100,000 population in 2012. In 2012, most (57%) victims of firearm-related violent crime were involved in an incident that was handgun-related. "

"Rates of firearm-related violent crime differ across the provinces and territories, with Saskatchewan and Manitoba having the highest rates among the provinces, similar to violent crime in general. Rates of handgun violence are highest in CMAs [census metropolitan areas], while rates of rifle or shotgun violent crime are higher in non-CMA areas. "

"There were 172 victims of firearm-related homicide in 2012, 14 more than the previous year. When compared to non-firearm homicide, firearm-related homicide is more likely to be related to gang or organized crime activity and less likely to be cleared by police." [from the summary]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:55 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report on Beneficiary Designation by Substitute Decision Makers

The Alberta Law Reform Institute has released a report on Beneficiary Designation by Substitute Decision Makers that deals with the issue of who gets to designate beneficiaries of pension plans and insurance policies when the owner has lost legal capacity, especially due to age.

It is legally unclear if a substitute decision maker has the legal authority to make, change or revoke beneficiary designations on behalf of the represented adult.

The report proposes changes to a number of provincial Acts:
"This report recommends legislative changes to ensure that testamentary wishes are respected. The most common situation is when an attorney or trustee needs to transfer a plan or policy from one institution or company to another, or to convert an RSP to an RIF when the owner attains age 71. The first recommendation would clarify the law by expressly allowing an attorney or a trustee to make an administrative change on behalf of the donor or represented adult by designating any beneficiary named under a plan or policy when renewing, replacing or converting that plan or policy."

"Another situation where the inability to update beneficiary designations may produce unexpected and unfair results is the beneficiary designation in favour of a former spouse or adult interdependent partner. There is a common misconception that such a designation is revoked at the end of a marriage or an adult interdependent partnership. But this is not the case. While a gift in a will to a spouse or adult interdependent partner is revoked as though the former spouse or adult interdependent partner had predeceased the testator, a beneficiary designation remains in effect unless the plan or policy owner takes some positive action to change that designation. If the owner has lost the capacity to designate a new beneficiary – and the attorney or trustee does not have the authority to make, change or revoke the designation – the former spouse or adult interdependent partner will continue to benefit. The same will happen if the plan or policy owner forgets to revoke the unwanted beneficiary designation. The second aspect of our recommendations would clarify the law by making it consistent with the approach taken with respect to gifts in a will."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:52 pm 0 comments links to this post

New Zealand Law Commission Issues Paper on Legal Proceedings Against the Crown

The Law Commission of New Zealand released an Issues Paper last week entitled A New Crown Civil Procedure Act for New Zealand which proposes a new law governing the ability of citizens to bring civil legal proceedings against the Crown and its servant.

From the press release:
"The Crown Proceedings Act is the statute through which New Zealanders can sue the Crown. In the Commission’s view, and in the view of many who work with it, the current Act is convoluted and difficult to follow. The Act has not been updated since it was passed in 1950. It is in need of modernisation to reflect the realities of government in the twenty-first century."

"The proposed statute is not designed to increase the scope of Crown liability, but would better enable the Courts to focus on the allegations made against the Crown (...)"

"The President of the Commission, Sir Grant Hammond, describes the Crown Proceedings Act as 'a statute of considerable constitutional significance'."

" 'Although the Crown Proceedings Act sounds as if it is simply dry ‘lawyer’s law’, it has the important purpose of reflecting New Zealand’s commitment to ensuring that people are able to seek appropriate legal redress against their government. It forms an important pillar of the rule of law,' says Sir Grant."

"An important topic covered in the Issues Paper is the Crown’s ability to refuse to disclose certain information during litigation because of reasons of national security. The Commission is raising a number of options, including the possibility of court hearings in which material might be relied on by the Crown but not fully disclosed to the other side."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:37 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 21, 2014

Canadian Legal Publisher Price Trends 2014

Every year, the Vendor Liaison Committee of the Canadian Association of Law Librarians (CALL) compiles information about price trends for print and electronic Canadian law publications in the upcoming year.

This totally passed me by during the winter but the Committee has come out with findings for 2014.

The document covers Carswell, LexisNexis, CCH, Irwin Law, Emond Montgomery, SOQUIJ and Yvon Blais.

More information on library-vendor relations can be found on the Committee's section of the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:53 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of April 1-15, 2014 is now available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library lends materials from all but the most recent New Library Titles list in accordance with its Interlibrary Loan Policy."

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:07 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Australian Study Highlights 5-to-1 ROI of Special Libraries

A number of Australian library associations including the Australian Law Library Association published a study earlier this month that highlights the big 5-to-1 bang for the buck of government, law firm and organizational libraries.

In fact, every one dollar investment in special libraries brings 5.43 dollars in return to their organization, according to the study commissioned by our library friends way down there in Oz.

From the press release:
"ALIA [Australian Library and Information Association] Executive Director Sue McKerracher said, ‘Working in the library and information sector, we all recognise the value of special libraries. What is exciting about this report is that an independent firm of economists has been able to put a figure on the value—and that figure is five times the original investment’. "
"The indicative finding of $5.43 for every $1 invested is likely to be even higher. SGS [the firm commissioned to write the study] assessed the benefits provided directly to special library users, including time saved and value of ‘out-of-pocket’ expenses such as journal subscriptions. However, the user focus of the study omitted the return on investment in terms of client outcomes, and SGS said ‘it is highly likely that the benefits of industry libraries outweigh their costs considerably’."
[Source: CLA Government Library and IM Professionals Network]


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:17 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guy Berthiaume Appointed New Librarian and Archivist of Canada

The Canadian government announced today that it has appointed Guy Berthiaume as Librarian and Archivist of Canada for a term of five years. He will take over at Library and Archives Canada effective June 23, 2014.

He had been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec since 2009.

The CLA Government Library and Information Professionals Network has posted a biography of Dr. Berthiaume.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:00 pm 0 comments links to this post