Happy 15th Birthday World Wide Web!
To mark the occasion, the BBC talked with web luminaries about their vision for the future.
Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian
The initiative is still very much a pilot project. The site mentions that the launch of the online AV Library will be in October 2008.
"This new on-line version of the Audiovisual Library of International Law is designed as a teaching and research tool in international law and consists of three main components: (i) historic archives containing material relating to select historical developments in the field of international law within the framework or under the auspices of the United Nations; (ii) a permanent collection of scholarly lectures by internationally recognized experts in international law; and (iii) a research library containing links to primary and secondary sources of international law. "
"That's really the 'theme' of this review. I want to bring to your attention some of the labour and employment blawgs and other blawgs that periodically write about labour and employment issues, while, at the same time, offering a somewhat Canadian flavour..."The themes covered include:
" 'In the event of a data breach where an organization determines there is a high risk of significant harm to individuals resulting from the breach, the organization is required to notify affected individuals as soon as is reasonably possible after detection of a breach,' the proposal states."Last May, the Standing Committee of the House of Commons on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics completed the statutory review of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). The Committee did not recommend a mandatory breach notification law. Rather, it supported "requiring organizations to notify the Privacy Commissioner of certain defined security breaches, so that her office has an opportunity to assist in the determination of whether affected individuals should be notified, and if so, in what manner. This second stage of the process would be discretionary, in that the Privacy Commissioner would determine on a case by case basis whether or not to recommend notification." [see Recommendations 23-25]
"The document confirms there will no financial penalties if companies break the rules. Comments from invited participants are due Friday (...)"
"Consumer groups say the behind-the-scenes talks, dominated by representatives from the banking, telecommunications, and retail sectors, 'have gone off the rails'."
" 'You could defend yourself, 'I never disclosed the information because we determined ourselves that there was not a high risk of significant harm. It was just a moderate risk of significant harm,' said John Lawford, staff lawyer at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre."
"The following report describes information security and data breach notification requirements included in the Privacy Act, the Federal Information Security Management Act, Office of Management and Budget Guidance, the Veterans Affairs Information Security Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (...) "Also, at least 39 states and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation requiring notification of security breaches involving personal information.
"During the 110th Congress, three data security bills — S. 239 (Feinstein), S. 495 (Leahy), and S. 1178 (Inouye) — were reported favorably out of Senate committees. Those bills include information security and data breach notification requirements. Other data security bills were also introduced, including S. 806 (Pryor), S. 1202 (Sessions), S. 1260 (Carper), S. 1558 (Coleman), H.R. 516 (Davis), H.R. 836 (Smith), H.R. 958 (Rush), H.R. 1307 (Wilson), H.R. 1685 (Price), and H.R. 2124 (Davis)."
"At the Sydney meeting of the Australasian Law Reform Agencies Conference in April 2006, over 100 institutional law reformers from 32 law reform agencies in 25 Commonwealth countries endeavoured to identify the ‘over the horizon issues’ that would occupy them in the coming decades. These issues included: the environment and sustainability (especially global warming and water resources); the telecommunications revolution and the new media; changing demographics, such as the ageing population base in developed countries, and the worldwide scourge of HIV-AIDS; the challenges of ensuring national and international security without departing from human rights protections; and, finally, animal welfare and animal rights—described by speakers as perhaps 'the next great social justice movement'. "Earlier issues of the journal going back to 1995 are available on the Commission website.
"This issue of Reform is devoted to exploring the parameters of this emerging consciousness about the need to treat non-human animals with dignity and respect. Previous issues of Reform routinely feature a range of distinguished scholars, thinkers and practitioners. However, we are most deeply honoured to be able to open this issue with a piece from John M. Coetzee, Nobel Laureate in Literature and author of Lives of Animals (1999) and Elizabeth Costello (2003)."
"Recent legal scholarship, forensic studies and Frye/Daubert hearings are adding to our understanding of the nature and limits of this commonly used identification method. The new picture that is emerging will impact the administration of justice and sound a tocsin as we move into the era of biometrics.
This article is a collection of select resources published on the web concerning the reliability and admissibility of fingerprint evidence. Links to guides, standards and related materials are listed to provide some background on the processes and application of this identification technique."
[Note: Frye/Daubert refers to U.S. federal court rules for the admissibility of expert scientific evidence ]
While the case law examples are taken from U.S. jurisprudence, the journal articles and forensic science sources cited are of interest to people outside the United States.
The Center conducts education programs for the judicial branch of the American government.
"Cases related to terrorism often pose unusual and challenging case-management issues for the courts. Evidence or arguments may be classified; witnesses or the jury may require special security measures; attorneys contacts with their clients may be diminished; other challenges may present themselves. "
"The purpose of this Federal Judicial Center resource is to assemble methods federal judges have employed to meet these challenges so that judges facing the challenges can learn from their colleagues experiences. "
"This Case Studies document includes background factual information about these high-profile cases as well as descriptions of the judges challenges and solutions. The challenges and solutions are summarized in a separate Problems and Solutions document. The information presented is based on a review of case files and news media accounts and on interviews with the judges."
"There is a counter-reformation movement afoot in the world of copyright. The purpose of the movement is to chill the willingness of countries to enact fair use or liberal fair dealing provisions designed to genuinely further innovation and creativity, rather than, as is currently the case, merely to give lip service to those concepts as the scope of copyright is expanded to were-rabbit size."
"The most contentious issue was the definition of 'public provocation'. The Commission proposes adding three new crimes aimed at covering 'traditional' and modern terrorist methods - recruiting terrorists, training for acts of terrorism and 'public provocation' to commit terrorist offences."At the meeting, held in Brussels, the Director of Europol, Max-Peter Ratzel, said that in 2007 there were 583 failed, foiled or executed terrorist attacks, most connected to separatist groups in Spain and France. 1,044 people were arrested in Europe in connection with terrorism in 2007.
"Europe has the most extensive political architecture of any region in the world. After World War II, several international organizations (IOs) were set up to reduce long-standing tensions among European countries, facilitate economic reconstruction and development, improve cooperation in a broad range of policy areas, and ensure the security of European sub regions. Since the late 1980s, existing organizations have grown substantially in membership and scope, and additional ones have been created, while Soviet Bloc IOs have disappeared. This has occurred in a period of profound change, characterized by the end of the Cold War and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union, economic globalization, growing awareness of the increasingly global nature of environmental, economic, social and cultural issues, and an unprecedented growth in the number of democracies in the world (...) "
"This paper provides an overview of the sometimes confusing political architecture of Europe. To do so, it will briefly describe Europe’s major international organizations, including their parliamentary assemblies, and Canada’s involvement in them. The paper focuses on three types of IOs: organizations of European governance; transatlantic security organizations; and other, primarily European, organizations with non European membership."
"Canada asserts several claims over Arctic lands and waters. By and large, Canada’s claims and assertions are regarded as well-founded by other states. Canada can thus benefit from recognition of title and jurisdiction in relation to those claims. However, for some claims, other states have expressed opposition to Canada’s claims (...)"Other recent Library of Parliament publications on issues of Arctic sovereignty include:
"This paper focuses ... on controversial claims over Arctic waters that affect Canadian interests. Three controversies are examined, two of them ongoing and the last one potential: the status of the Northwest Passage; the maritime delimitation in the Beaufort Sea; and the extent to which claims over an extended continental shelf by the various Arctic states may generate future controversies."
"International environmental law is an ever-changing, constantly expanding, and intriguing topic for international legal research. When decisions and collaborations occur between nations across international boundaries and treaties or agreements are made to cooperate for environmental concerns, disputes inevitably transpire because of trade implications for the respective nations, safety concerns and cleanliness of environmental resources among shared borders, or problems with enforcement mechanisms for liability under agreements or treaty provisions relating to the environment. The vastness of this area of international law includes the environmental sub-issues of population, biodiversity, global climate change, ozone depletion, preserving the Antarctic regions, movement of toxic and hazardous substances, land or vessel-based pollution, dumping, conservation of marine living resources, trans-boundary air and water pollution, desertification, and nuclear damage, among others. To begin research in international environmental law, a researcher should have a basic understanding of international law and authority: for example, knowledge of treaty research and an awareness of the types of international agreements and their effect in nations of the world as result of reservations, understandings, or declarations. As noted in this research guide, the number of international environmental treaties is manageable by sub-topic, so identification of the appropriate sub-topic or category of international environmental law is essential to narrowly tailor research and avoid getting bogged down in the wealth of information. Like many areas of international law, regulation and implementation of the treaty terms are at the national level. Thus, some knowledge and research of foreign laws in the countries of focus for a research problem is necessary for thorough research and analysis. This guide will provide an overview of the key terms, general starting points by sub-topic of international environmental law and correlating treaties and agreements, a summary of the essential websites and secondary sources for international environmental legal research, and an approach for researching the primary law of foreign jurisdictions for this topic. Finally, an overview of the prominent international organizations and correlating documentation produced for international environmental law and blogs for current awareness in this field will be provided for a comprehensive overview."
"The first use of this geospatial tool focuses on refugees and displaced people located in remote areas of Chad, Iraq, Colombia and Sudan's volatile Darfur region. Sit in front of your computer and, with a few clicks, see, hear and develop an emotional understanding of what it is like to be a refugee."
More background is provided in the article UN uses Google to pinpoint refugee crises published April 8, 2008 in the British newspaper The Guardian.
"The general public sees their artwork on the news, online, and in print. These artists see the trials for us, and often their artwork is our only glimpse into the proceedings."[Source: the blog Canuckflack, a site that covers public relations, marketing, and government communications]
"I found myself wondering who these artists are. Is courtroom sketching a full time job? Are these people fine artists or commercial artists? And what kind of artwork do they do outside the courtroom? I decided to contact a range of courtroom sketch artists and see what I could find out."
"Those mentioned most often yesterday to replace Judge Bastarache were New Brunswick Chief Justice Ernest Drapeau, and Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell of the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal (former executive legal officer to then-chief justice Antonio Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada). "
"Based on interviews with eight senior lawyers and academics yesterday, other early favourites include:
- Nova Scotia: Chief Justice Michael MacDonald and Mr. Justice Jamie Saunders.
- New Brunswick: Mr. Justice Joseph Robertson of the Court of Appeal, an expert in administrative law
- Newfoundland: Madam Justice Gale Welsh, of the Court of Appeal, whose appointment would not just give the province its first Supreme Court judge, but would lead to the Supreme Court for the first time having a majority of women; Mr. Justice Leo Barry, of the provincial Supreme Court (trial division), one of the few judges in the province appointed by a Conservative government. "
I picked this item up on the BarclayBlog from the Syracuse University College of Law in upstate New York.
Queen's University of Belfast has an International Law Video Library that offers "video holdings of interviews with leading commentators and practitioners in the field of international human rights."
There are interviews on:
"(...) expanding the power of judges to vigorously manage the seemingly endless pretrial motions; restricting the timing, procedure and form of disclosure; expanding legal aid officials’ ability to oversee and restrain the legal aid budgets of long criminal trials, and restructuring the legal aid tariff to economically reward brevity and efficiency and deter inefficiency; and adding jury alternates to ensure that long, arduous trials don’t end in mistrials because jury members have dropped out."Code, along with Patrick LeSage, the former chief justice of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, has been appointed by the Ontario government to lead a review of large and complex criminal case procedures (see the Library Boy post of February 25, 2008 entitled Ontario Launches Review of Complex Criminal Cases).
"The Bench shares the blame to the extent that judges give up control of their courtrooms to the litigants, fail to bring a quick halt to frivolous motions, or fail to reign in counsel 'who go on endlessly,' said Justice Moldaver."
"He noted criminal trials 'are almost unrecognizable' from when he practiced 30 years ago. Murder cases that would have been tried in five to seven days, now take five to seven weeks, or months. By contrast he pointed to the recent U.S. trial and conviction of former press baron, Conrad Black. 'If this man had been charged in Canada... I guarantee you we would still be at the production stage here,' he observed."
"The ID Trail generated 177 student research assistant contracts including 119 for LL.B. students, 32 for LL.M. students, 17 for doctoral students, and another 9 for post-doctoral students. Five of these research assistants have obtained clerkships at the Supreme Court of Canada (...)"All of the project's research is available online.
"On the Identity Trail has also resulted in two books, three special issues of academic journals, 54 journal articles, 43 book chapters, 9 articles in trade/professional journals, 20 conference proceedings, 217 invited contributions/papers read, and 89 ID Trail blog pieces. Additionally, three major international conferences, 5 international workshops, and 5 pan-Canadian educational forums were organized, including a day-long workshop with researchers from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and other invited European scholars, as well as a second two-day workshop in Italy with researchers from Bologna and the Netherlands."
"Canadiana.org's Executive Director Magdalene Albert says, 'For 30 years, the former CIHM has been one of the leading services of its kind in the world. The expertise of its staff in researching, locating, cataloguing and digitizing Canada’s published heritage for preservation as well as discovery and use by Canadians is widely recognized'. New Co-Director Brian Bell states, 'The merger with AlouetteCanada brings with it the commitment to creating, disseminating, preserving and sustaining the Canadian memory knowledge base in digital form for the benefit of all Canadians'."Earlier Library Boy posts about Canadian digitization projects include:
"Canadiana.org will act in concert with the Canadian Digital Information Strategy presently being developed by Library and Archives Canada."
"It is increasingly clear that much of the current wave of repression is occurring not in spite of the Olympics, but actually because of the Olympics. Peaceful human rights activists, and others who have publicly criticised official government policy, have been targeted in the official pre-Olympics ‘clean up’, in an apparent attempt to portray a ‘stable’ or ‘harmonious’ image to the world by August 2008. Recent official assertions of a terrorist’ plot to attack the Olympic Games have given prominence to potential security threats to the Olympics, but a failure to back up such assertions with concrete evidence increases suspicions that the authorities are overstating such threats in an attempt to justify the current crackdown."
"Several peaceful activists, including those profiled in this series of reports, remain imprisoned or held under tight police surveillance. Despite some high profile releases, many more have been detained over the last six months for doing nothing more than petitioning the authorities to address their grievances or drawing international attention to ongoing human rights violations. Several of those detained have reportedly been subjected to beatings and other forms of torture or other ill-treatment. Those who have linked China’s human rights responsibilities to its hosting of the Olympics have been among the most harshly treated."
"Each month, Ovid provides you with the opportunity to 'test drive' a sampling of our content, tools and services - FREE of charge - through our Resource of the Month program."The Index is a multilingual bibliographic index to articles and book reviews from more than 500 legal journals published worldwide. Material covered is in languages such as English, French, Spanish and many others.
"This current edition lists 488 databases publicly accessible on Government of Canada Web sites. Some of these databases require user registration."The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of book and serial titles which have been released during the previous week by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada.
"This edition contains 334 entries from the previous edition that have been reviewed and verified as well as 154 databases that have appeared since the previous edition."
The Supreme Court of Canada decision mentioned is Tele‑Mobile Co. v. Ontario, 2008 SCC 12 :
"The Harper government's plans to reintroduce legislation that would make it easier for law-enforcement agencies to monitor Internet and wireless communications have been held up by a dispute with industry over who should cover the costs, according to documents obtained by Canwest News Service (...) "
"Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service can already seek the authority to wiretap private communications through the Criminal Code, CSIS Act and other laws. But the laws were written before the emergence of the Internet, mobile phones and handheld computers, and in many cases the industry hasn't developed the technology to intercept such communications. (...)"
"Tensions between industry and law enforcement have become so strained that some municipal police forces have refused to pay claims for compensation submitted by telecom companies, and some of the cases have ended up in court."
"The Supreme Court last week dismissed an appeal by Telus Mobility, which wanted to be compensated for digging up call records as part of two 2004 criminal investigations in Ontario."
The "lawful access" law, as it is better known, would have effectively forced companies to build intercept capabilities into their networks.
"Amendments to the Criminal Code in 2004 introduced a new investigative tool for law enforcement agencies: a production order that would compel third parties to produce documents or data for use in criminal investigations. Two production orders required Telus to produce call data records. Telus applied for exemptions from the orders on the grounds that the burden of compliance would be unreasonable without compensation due to the cost of retrieving the archived data. The Ontario Court of Justice dismissed the application for exemptions. Telus appealed directly to the Supreme Court, pursuant to s. 40(1) of the Supreme Court Act, arguing that the broad wording in s. 487.012(4) of the Criminal Code permitting a judge to add terms and conditions, allowed for the inclusion of a condition of the production order directing payment of reasonable costs of compliance. "The Osgoode Hall Law School blog The Court has 2 posts on the Tele‑Mobile case:
"Held: The appeal should be dismissed."
"23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors such as Maurice Druon, K.Laxness, Vladimir Nabokov, Josep Pla and Manuel Mejía Vallejo."In Canada, Canada Book Day is celebrated on that day.