Monday, October 20, 2014

Former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Louise Arbour Inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame

The Honourable Louise Arbour, who was a Supreme Court of Canada justice from 1999 to 2004, was recently inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

Madam Justice Arbour has also worked as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and as President of the International Crisis Group.
Chief Prosecutor for The International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia - See more at:

Inductees are Canadians recognized for their extraordinary accomplishments. They each receive a star displayed along King St. West or Simcoe Street in downtown Toronto.

GlobalTV will host a televised gala tribute on December 19th at 8PM for Madam Justice Arbour and this year's other inductees.

 The Walk of Fame was founded in 1998. Their website has a timeline which lists the inductees year by year.

displayed along King Street West (between John Street and Simcoe Street) and Simcoe Street (between King Street West and Wellington Street) in downtown Toronto.  - See more at:
Stars are displayed along King Street West (between John Street and Simcoe Street) and Simcoe Street (between King Street West and Wellington Street) in downtown Toronto.  - See more at:

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Friday, October 17, 2014

September/October 2014 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The September/October 2014 issue of AALL Spectrum, a monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries, is available.

Among this month's selection of articles:
  • Public Relations: Outstanding Achievements: "The marketing strategy or public relations initiatives that work well for one library might not necessarily work well for another. One of the most impressive qualities shared among the 2014 Excellence in Marketing Award winners is that they each evaluated their patrons and their unique communities and creatively produced marketing materials that were able to speak to their audiences and stakeholders. AALL’s Excellence in Marketing Award honors outstanding achievement in public relations activities by an individual, group of individuals, library, chapter, special interest section, consortium, caucus, or any other group affiliated with the Association. This year’s winners include a law firm library, a federal court library, a chapter, a public academic/county law library, and a private academic law library."
  • Networking, Mutual Assistance, and a Whole Lot More: "A small group of Attorneys General Office (AGO) librarians gathered informally at AALL’s 2009 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The talk turned to explaining what we do and how it differs from what other law librarians do... "
  • Mentorship: The AALL Push: "AALL believes in mentoring. Exploring the various aspects of the AALL website confirms that it is currently one of the major tenets of the organization and with good reason. Law librarianship is sometimes a misunderstood and underappreciated profession. Many people do not really know what we do, so it’s important to show them. Every day is game day for us, and we should remember that. A lot of things are happening, both in law firms and in academia. We can’t control these changes, but we can make sure that our profession is ready to respond to and manage these changes."
  • Out With the Old, In With the New: "LibGuides can be a great tool, as many librarians in various types of institutions will testify. But there are some considerations for their use. Following, Danielle A. Becker, electronic services librarian at Minnesota State Law Library, and Shamika D. Dalton, assistant university librarian at University of Florida Levin College of Law, provide their insights on working with the tool in their respective institutions."
  • Changing Spaces: "As print collections shrink in favor of the electronic delivery of information, library space—once needed to hold the volumes we counted on to justify our existence—is no longer necessary for that purpose. Those of us who manage law libraries with large footprints are regularly asked to justify the continued maintenance of space that houses much smaller collections. Even those with smaller library spaces find themselves, at the very least, with more space than they had before and facing decisions about its use."

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Updated Library of Parliament Publication on Bulk Water Removals

The Library of Parliament recently updated its background paper on Bulk Water Removals: Canadian Legislation :
"For decades, Canadians have been raising concerns about the possibility of fresh water being removed from Canadian lakes and waterways in bulk, including for export to the United States and beyond. The federal government has consistently opposed bulk removal of Canadian water, but it does not have exclusive jurisdiction over water issues in Canada; substantial jurisdiction resides with the provinces." 
"After outlining the legislative powers relevant to bulk water removals that the Constitution has assigned to Parliament and to the provincial legislatures, this paper briefly discusses legislative developments since a failed Canada-wide accord in 2000, which would have prohibited bulk water removals from Canada’s major watersheds. This paper then outlines, in a table, current federal, provincial and territorial legislation relating to bulk water removals."

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Canadian Library Association Feliciter Issues for August and September 2014

The August and September issues of Feliciter, the journal of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), are available on line:

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Interview With Law Library of Congress Lead Information Technology Specialist

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has been running an interview series featuring members of the library staff. The series started in late October 2010.

There are more than 140 posts in the series.

The most recent interview is with Glenn Ricci, Lead Information Technology Specialist:
"How would you describe your job to other people?
My official title 'Lead Information Technology Specialist' doesn’t tell people much, so I say that I’m basically a video producer at the Library. We have events happening all week that our team covers, and we fulfill a variety of other video needs for our clients all over the Library. Nearly all of it ends up on the Web. Demand has grown greatly over the years. It keeps us pretty busy processing hundreds of hours of video content every year (...)"

"What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Library of Congress?
When the statues were commissioned for the Main Reading Room, the sculptors were all told to make their figures the same size. Paul Wayland Bartlett, who created the statue of Michelangelo, felt that Michelangelo was too important to be the same size as the others (who include Beethoven, Shakespeare, and Moses) so he made him just a bit bigger. I imagine Barlett was a very strong-willed artist."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world. 

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CLA Government Library Network Interviews With Government Info Librarians

For the past few months, the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has been publishing 13 Questions With..., a series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

In celebration of Government Information Day taking place today at the University of Ottawa, the Network has presented three profiles this week:
The Wakaruk profile also includes an answer to the question "What should every information professional know about gov docs?":
  1. Access to government information is the foundation of a functioning democracy and underpins informed citizen engagement.
  2. Government information has enduring value. Don’t waste precious time re-questioning this fact and do your librarianly duties.
  3. Government information is precarious and requires stewardship.
  4. Government publications and documents are different than most books, journals, and content born on the Internet.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Library of Parliament Publication on Officers of Parliament

The Library of Parliament has updated a research publication that describes the Appointment of Officers of Parliament
"Officers of Parliament are responsible directly to Parliament rather than to the government or a federal minister. This emphasizes their independence from the government of the day. They carry out duties assigned by statute and report to one or both chambers of Parliament."

"There are eight officers of Parliament: 1) the Auditor General; 2) the Chief Electoral Officer; 3) the Commissioner of Official Languages; 4) the Information Commissioner; 5) the Privacy Commissioner; 6) the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner; 7) the Commissioner of Lobbying; and 8) the Public Sector Integrity Commissioner.."

"Federally, there is no statutory definition of what constitutes a parliamentary officer; however, the role and function of these officers should not be confused with those of other positions such as the Clerk of either house, the Sergeant-at-Arms, the Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel or the Parliamentary Librarian. The latter officials assist Parliament in procedural and administrative matters, whereas officers of Parliament support Parliament in its accountability and scrutiny functions and in carrying out other tasks (...)"

"This document looks at the eight parliamentary officer positions listed above."

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Federal Annual Report on Reviews of Possible Miscarriages of Justice

In the most recent Weekly Checklist of federal government publications, the latest annual report by Justice Canada on applications for ministerial review in cases of possible miscarriages of justice is listed:
"Since 1892, the Minister of Justice has had the power, in one form or another, to review a criminal conviction under federal law to determine whether there may have been a miscarriage of justice. The current regime is set out in sections 696.1 – 696.6 of the Criminal Code."

"The conviction review process begins when a person submits an 'application for ministerial review (miscarriages of justice),' also known as a conviction review application. The application for ministerial review must be supported by new matters of significance — usually important new information or evidence that was not previously considered by the courts. If the Minister is satisfied that those matters provide a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred, the Minister may grant the convicted person a remedy and return the case to the courts — either referring the case to a court of appeal to be heard as a new appeal or directing that a new trial be held. The Minister may also refer a question to the court of appeal in the appropriate province."

"Under section 696.5 of the Criminal Code, the Minister of Justice is required to submit an annual report to Parliament regarding applications for ministerial review (miscarriages of justice) within six months of the end of the fiscal year. This is the 12th annual report, and it covers the period from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. Under the Regulations Respecting Applications for Ministerial Review — Miscarriages of Justice (the Regulations),the report must address the following matters:
  • the number of applications for ministerial review made to the Minister;
  • the number of applications that have been abandoned or that are incomplete;
  • the number of applications that are at the preliminary assessment stage;
  • the number of applications that are at the investigation stage;
  • the number of decisions that the Minister has made; and
  • any other information that the Minister considers appropriate."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Updated Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Cyberbullying Bill

The Library of Parliament recently updated its legislative summary of Bill C-13 known as the "cyberbullying bill":
"Bill C-13 deals with:
  • the offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images;
  • offences committed by means of telecommunication; (...)"
"One aspect of the bill addresses cyberbullying, which has been in the news, particularly in relation to the high-profile cases of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd. Rehtaeh Parsons attempted suicide in April 2013 (and was later taken off life support) after pictures of an alleged sexual assault were distributed which led to various types of bullying. Amanda Todd committed suicide in October 2012 after experiencing blackmail online and facing threats that topless pictures of her would be distributed on the Internet, a practice known as 'sextortion'."

"Also in October 2012, the federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice and public safety asked officials to look into potential gaps in the Code in relation to cyberbullying and the non-consensual distribution of intimate images. The resulting Report to the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Justice and Public Safety: Cyberbullying and the Non-consensual Distribution of Intimate Images was published in June 2013 and included recommendations that are integrated into Bill C-13."
It is possible to follow the progress of the bill on the LEGISinfo website. LEGISinfo also includes links to background material and to parliamentary debates and committee reports on the proposed legislation.

The bill is set to pass third reading in the House of Commons after this Thanksgiving weekend before heading to the Senate.

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Thursday, October 09, 2014

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice September 2014 Access to Justice Newsletter

The non-profit Canadian Forum on Access to Justice (CFCJ) has been publishing a monthly newsletter about Access to Justice since early 2013.

The latest issue of the newsletter includes:
  • an article about an Ottawa organization trying to reduce linguistic barriers to justice
  • a profile of Dr. Patricia Hughes, Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario
  • and a number of "stories from the road" (participation of CFCJ members in events and activities in different parts of Canada)

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Law Library of Congress Report on Approval of Medical Devices

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative law report on the Approval of Medical Devices:
"This report describes the approval process for medical devices in the European Union and fifteen countries, and also indicates whether or not an expedited approval procedure is available. Many of the countries reference EU law, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Israel more readily approves devices with a CE mark (indicating approval in the EU) or an indication that they are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In many nations, particularly those influenced by the EU, part of the review process is conducted not by the government but by private, independent organizations called 'notified bodies.' These organizations are designated by EU Member States."

"In most of the countries in the survey, medical devices are categorized based on the risks associated with their use, and the approval process varies by category. For example, in the United Kingdom, manufacturers of low-risk devices may register with the government agency and simply declare that the devices meet the requirements to be approved. Devices classed as higher risk must undergo more detailed review, by a notified body."

"On the question of an expedited approval process, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Spain, and Switzerland permit some sort of rapid review in particular cases, often when a device is required for an individual patient and no substitute is available. Mexico has provided for more rapid approval of devices if they have already been approved in either Canada or the United States. No such procedure exists at present in Brazil, France, Israel, the Russian Federation, or the United Kingdom. The Russian Federation did have a rapid approval system in place prior to August 2014. Germany provides for temporary approval of devices in limited circumstances. South Africa is now considering draft legislation that would include expedited procedures in specified situations. The map included at the end of this report provides a visual overview of the status of expedited approval in the countries surveyed. "

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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