Friday, August 29, 2008

Annual Reports of the UN Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia

The United Nations has released the most recent annual reports for:

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Scientific American September 2008 Issue on Future of Privacy

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Criminal Intelligence Service Canada 2008 Annual Report

Late last week, the Criminal Intelligence Service released its 2008 annual report on organized crime in Canada.

The report explains the common techniques and methods used by criminal groups.

It also highlights global trends that may impact Canada, including illicit disposal of electronic waste, organ trafficking, and the use of electronic money to facilitate crime.

There is also a feature focus section on identity theft and identity fraud.

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Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Annual Report 2007

The August 15, 2008 edition of the Weekly Checklist of Government of Canada publications lists the 2007 annual report of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

The Tribunal is a quasi-judicial body that adjudicates complaints of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act referred to it by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

The Act applies to all undertakings within federal jurisdiction, such as federal government departments and agencies, Crown corporations, chartered banks, airlines, telecommunications and broadcasting organizations, and shipping and inter-provincial trucking companies. Complaints may relate to discrimination in employment or in the provision of goods, services, facilities or accommodation that are customarily available to the general public.

The report deals with the Tribunal's case management system, summarizes last year's cases as well as appeals of Tribunal cases to federal courts of appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada, and explains the organization of the Tribunal and of its hearing process.

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.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Canada Ranks Fifth in Brookings E-Government Report

According to a recent study by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, Canada came in fifth in terms of overall e-government performance. The study looked at 198 countries of the world.

South Korea came in first.

The study conducted this summer examined 18 different features of 1,667 national government websites.

Points were awarded to each website for the presence of the following features: publications, databases, audio clips, video clips, foreign language access, not having ads, not having premium fees, not having user fees, disability access, having privacy policies, security policies, allowing digital signatures on transactions, an option to pay via credit cards, email contact information, areas to post comments, option for email updates, option for website personalization and PDA accessibility.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:49 pm 0 comments links to this post

Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence

This electronic encyclopedia is a project of the Centre for International Studies and Research in Paris, part of France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).

It contains "chronological indexes, case studies, analytical contributions on socio-political violence in a given country, a glossary of the terms most often used in genocide studies as well as theoretical papers written by the most representative authors in the field. "

[Source: Intute Social Sciences]

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Ten Tips On How To Make A Convincing Case In Front Of The Supreme Court of Canada

The August 29, 2008 issue of The Lawyers Weekly features an article that outlines ten tips for making winning presentations to the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The tips come from Eugene Meehan, chair of Lang Michener's Supreme Court of Canada advocacy group.

Earlier Library Boy posts on ways to improve lawyers' oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court of Canada include:
  • Training Program To Prep Lawyers For Supreme Court (February 6, 2007): "The executive director of [Supreme Court Advocacy] Institute explained that 'subjecting novice counsel to the exhilarating, intimidating reality of a top-court hearing will have significant benefits for both novice lawyers and Supreme Court judges who are frequently frustrated by naive or unfocused advocacy'. The Institute will be funded entirely by law firms and law societies. It will have no official ties to the real Supreme Court of Canada."
  • More on Supreme Court Advocacy Training Program (February 11, 2007): "...the program is open to all counsel, not only first-timers; it is available both to the private Bar and government counsel; (...); the program helps counsel prepare for an actual appeal; it is free; the Institute is independent of any private or government organization, and non-partisan; (...); the program is national and bilingual..."
  • Supreme Court Advocacy Institute Launches Website (February 28, 2007)
  • Supreme Court Advocacy Institute Helps Lawyers Prepare For Their Big Day In Court (June 10, 2008): "The Globe and Mail features an article in today's paper about the Supreme Court Advocacy Institute (...) The best part of the article is the list of 'rules of engagement', or recommendations for how to behave in front of the Justices of the Supreme Court: First impressions are important; Avoid talking over the heads of judges who lack background in a particular field; All questions from the bench must be answered; Not responding at all is better than obfuscating; Steer clear of eliciting sympathy for a client or arguing the facts of a case; Don't become bogged down in a debate with a single, feisty judge; Maintain eye contact with all nine judges, and always try to locate the one who has posed a question; The Supreme Court can and will refashion existing law, but it does it in modest, incremental moves; Judges do not like being talked down to."

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Canadian Association of Law Libraries Award Deadlines

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) offers a number of awards to qualified members and deadlines are fast approaching for a number of them:
  • September 15 is the deadline for applications for funding through the James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is designed to support attendance at a continuing education program, be it a workshop, certificate program or other similar activity deemed appropriate by the CALL/ACBD Scholarships and Awards Committee.
  • October 15 is the deadline for nominations for the Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship. This award is an honour bestowed upon a current member of CALL/ACBD who has provided outstanding service to the Association AND/OR enhanced the profession of law librarianship in the recent past.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:34 am 0 comments links to this post

Monday, August 25, 2008

Government 2.0 Conference in Ottawa in October

The next annual Government Technology Exhibition and Conference (GTEC) is taking place at the Ottawa Westin Hotel, October 27-30, 2008.

GTEC is an annual meeting place for IT/IM decision-makers from the federal, provincial, municipal, and regional levels of government.

This year's theme will be "Make the Shift to Government 2.0":
"This theme continues our exploration of innovation, collaboration and transformation in the delivery of 'citizen-centered' services. Equally, we will explore the 'people challenge' (human resources) of equipping IT managers and service delivery channels 'back office' solutions for 'front office' service delivery. This discussion will also involve exploring how to align the program side of government with the traditionally innovation-focused IT/IM community. While government is certainly not a business, departments and service areas are large, complex organizations requiring agile and effective (results-oriented) operations. How is information and communications technology enabling government operations? What are the challenges and priorities of governments in the web 2.0 driven business world? Where does the citizen stand as we move to Government 2.0, as an active participant or a recipient of what departments can manage to accomplish?"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:51 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada Library: New Titles

Hello. I am back from my vacation in the beautiful state of Maine.

In my last post before leaving, I had half-joked that I would publish something about Maine lobster conservation laws.

Well, Mrs. Library Boy and I did go on a boat tour off of Mount Desert Island last week. It was on a real lobster boat with a real lobsterman who pulled up lobster traps to allow us to get up close and personal with the squirming, snapping salt water critters.

He explained everything we could possibly want to know about lobster anatomy, lobster migratory habits, lobster feeding, fighting and mating behaviour and the state's apparently tough marine conservation laws. So I refer interested readers to the Maine Lobster section of the website of the Department of Marine Resources of the State of Maine.

Promise made, promise kept.

Now, back to business.

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of August 1st to 15th, 2008 is available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library does not lend materials from this list, which is provided for information only."

But, once the material goes into the general collection, after about a month, the works do become available for inter-library loan to authorized libraries.

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

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

On Vacation - Back August 25

I'm off to Quebec City, and then the state of Maine (Mount Desert Island) for 2 weeks or so.

I am sure I will come back with lots of ideas for posts about the law of lobster fisheries!

Cheers.
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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:56 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Paper on Fear of Crime

Statistics Canada released a research paper in July entitled Fear of Crime and the Neighbourhood Context in Canadian Cities:

"Much of the current Canadian research has been aimed at understanding the characteristics of individuals who are at greatest risk of experiencing fear of crime. A consistent finding in this work is that, on average, women and older Canadians report higher levels of fear in local communities ... Other research suggests that women and older people experience higher levels of fear of crime regardless of income, education, or personal experiences of victimization ... "

"More recently, research on American cities suggests that it may also be important to consider the neighbourhood context in attempting to understand patterns of fear of crime in Canada for two reasons. First, some aspects of the social and economic conditions of neighbourhoods may be directly related to individuals’ behaviours and perceptions, regardless of their own personal characteristics ... Second, individuals’ perceptions of the level of crime and 'social disorder' in the neighbourhood, (i.e., perceived signs of 'incivilities' such as prostitution, drug addicts, loitering, vandalism, etc.), may explain variations in levels of fear even after accounting for neighbourhood and individual characteristics ..."

"The aim of this study is to present information about the extent to which fear of crime differs across neighbourhoods in Canadian urban areas, and to assess whether the characteristics of individuals and/or neighbourhoods explain this variation."
The study is part of the Crime and justice research paper series.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:18 pm 0 comments links to this post

Employment Equity Act Annual Report 2007

The 2007 Annual Report on the federal Employment Equity Act has been posted on the Weekly Checklist of Canadian government publications.

"The main objective of the Employment Equity Act is to eliminate barriers in the workplace so that no person is denied employment opportunities for reasons unrelated to ability. Its focus is the hiring and promotion of members of the four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. The Annual Report describes the progress towards a more representative workforce achieved by federally regulated private sector employers, Crown corporations, the federal Public Service, separate employers (e.g., Canada Revenue Agency and Parks Canada), and other public sector employers (Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Forces)."

"This report analyzes 2006 data, which indicate that the representation of members of visible minorities has risen noticeably, especially in the private sector, and that improvements have been made regarding the hiring of Aboriginal peoples, particularly in the public sector."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:12 pm 0 comments links to this post

Foreign Credentials Referral Office - Progress Report, 2007-2008

This is first Progress Report of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office.

The Office is part of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Its role is to assist prospective immigrants in having their foreign diplomas and professional certificates assessed and recognized in the Canadian labour market.

"About one in five jobs is regulated, including teachers, nurses, physicians, engineers and electricians. Some provinces and territories have delegated the regulation of certain occupations to the more than 400 regulatory bodies across Canada. These bodies administer the provincial or territorial laws that apply to their occupation. People who want to work in regulated jobs must get a license from the responsible body in the province or territory where they wish to work. Recognition processes vary from province to province and from occupation to occupation. Each regulated occupation sets its own requirements. Job seekers may have to undergo professional and language exams, have qualifications reviewed or go through a period of supervised work experience."

"Most occupations in Canada are non-regulated. For these jobs, employers are responsible for assessing and recognizing the credentials, work experience and skills of prospective workers.
Employers decide if overseas credentials are equivalent to Canadian credentials required for that job, and employers often have different standards (...)"

"In addition to employers and the over 400 regulatory bodies, there are several other organizations that may play a role in foreign credentials recognition: 16 federal departments and agencies, 55 provincial and territorial departments and ministries, five provincial assessment agencies, post-secondary institutions, non-governmental agencies and labour
organizations."

Welcome to Canada! Hope you don't mind the paperwork.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:55 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Transportation Agency - 2007-2008 Annual Report

The most recent annual report of the Canadian Transportation Agency has been released in the Weekly Checklist of Canadian government publications.

The Agency administers various Acts of Parliament affecting all modes of transport under federal jurisdiction.

It licenses rail and air carriers, is the aeronautical authority for Canada on matters related to the economic regulation of air carriers, and acts as quasi-judicial tribunal.

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.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:48 pm 0 comments links to this post

SirsiDynix Institute Web Seminar: Taming Technolust

The next SirsiDynix Institute webinar is being held on August 26, 2008 and features Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor, Library and Information Science at Dominican University in Illinois.

He will be speaking on Taming Technolust: Planning in a Hyperlinked World:

"Michael Stephens offers ten steps for technology planning in our fast changing, ever-evolving information world. From 'Letting Go of Control' to evaluation, this institute will offer ten practical tips for taming your organization's techno-problems."
Stephens maintains the popular blog Tame the Web.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Blog Profiles of New York City Criminal Defendants

Fascinating real-life stuff.

New York Post photojournalist Steven Hirsch writes a blog called Courthouse Confessions.

It is all based on his encounters in front of the Manhattan Criminal Court with criminal defendants leaving the building.

He snaps their pictures and asks them a few questions.

[Source: New York Times, August 3rd, 2008]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:30 am 1 comments links to this post

Inventory of UN Rule of Law Initiatives

A new report of the UN Secretary-General provides an inventory of the current rule of law activities undertaken by some 40 agencies or entities of the United Nations:

"There is a separate entry for each rule of law activity (or series of related activities) performed by a United Nations entity. Under each entry, the inventory provides the title and a brief description of the activity or activities concerned, as well as an indication of the subject matter in which the activity is carried out (the field of law concerned, such as administration of justice, crime prevention and criminal justice, human rights law, international terrorism), the beneficiaries of the activity (for example, government officials, judges, parliamentarians, non-governmental institutions, the general public) and, if appropriate, the specific circumstances under which the activity is performed (in particular, whether it is conducted in a conflict or post-conflict situation). Each entry also includes, when available, information on the mandate providing the legal basis for, or authorization to carry out, the activity concerned, the person or entity authorized to initiate or request performance of the activity, the entities involved in the implementation and/or monitoring of the activity and those with which the entity performing the activity cooperate for this purpose, and the method of financing the activity."
It is dated from March 2008, but it was released only yesterday on UN Pulse, the news blog of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Reading the Oxford English Dictionary From Cover To Cover

The latest New York Times book section features a review of Reading the OED: One Man, One Year, 21,730 Pages by dictionary collector Ammon Shea. The review is by Nicholson Baker.

Shea decided to read the entire Oxford English Dictionary, all 20 thick volumes, some 59 million words in all. And document the experience.

Baker concludes his review:

"The effect of this book on me was to make me like Ammon Shea and, briefly, to hate English. What a choking, God-awful mash it is! Surely French is better. Then I recovered and saw its greatness afresh. The O.E.D., Shea notes, is 'a catalog of the foibles of the human condition.' Shea has walked the wildwood of our gnarled, ancient speech and returned singing incomprehensible sounds in a language that turns out to be our own."
A bit more than 3 years ago, I published a post on Library Boy entitled Confessions of an Encyclopedia-Lover in which I mentioned The Know-It-All : One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs:

"It is a memoir of Jacobs' project to spend a year reading every volume in the Encyclopedia Britannica to fill in the gaps of his education and become the 'smartest person in the world.' Or at least accumulate huge quantities of oddball trivia to insert into conversations. Like who knew Descartes had a thing for cross-eyed women? Of course, everyone around him starts thinking he's either weird and neurotic, a bore, or losing his mind."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:21 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Del.icio.us Social Bookmarking Site Overhaul

Del.icio.us, the popular social bookmarking service that allows users to store, annotate and share bookmarks, has gone through a major overhaul and been renamed Delicious (without the dots).

The What's New page on the Delicious website describes the changes. There is more on the Delicious blog.

Many libraries have been turning to web 2.0 tools such as Delicious, as I noted in earlier Library Boy posts such as:
  • MIT Updates Virtual Reference Pages Using Social Bookmarking (July 9, 2007): "The library at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is using the social bookmarking site del.icio.us to keep its virtual reference web pages up to date (...) What is interesting is that MIT uses an RSS feed to send the links from the del.icio.us account to its virtual reference collection, making maintenance a much easier task."
  • Use of Social Tagging in Libraries Spreading (September 17, 2007): "The article Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us in the online version of Library Journal describes how more and more libraries are turning to social bookmarking tools such as del.icio.us to organize information about recommended resources and replace the traditional subject guide."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 10:29 am 1 comments links to this post