Friday, July 31, 2009

Supreme Court of Canada Library: New Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of July 1st to July 15th, 2009 is now 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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Day in the Life of a Librarian Project

Here is my small contribution to the A Day in the Life of a Librarian blog project that I mentioned earlier this week.

As part of the project, librarians share stories about what a "typical" day at work looks like.

Of course, no day is typical. Here is what a day in the middle of the week looked like:

8:35 AM:left home and cycled to work along the historic Rideau Canal in Ottawa. Saw a wild rabbit and a pair of cardinals in some bushes near the Somerset St. footbridge

8:50: grabbed a coffee at the Supreme Court of Canada cafeteria, elevator up to 3rd floor where Library is located

8:55: opened e-mail in my office to see if there were any emergencies

9:00: opened the reference desk and started a 2-hour reference shift:
  • entered overnight returns in the circulation system
  • started processing our new library titles list
  • walked over to our ILL person because someone returned a book from another library: was it an ILL, or did someone make a mistake and drop off a public library book?
  • sent out an e-mail about addition of Oxford Reference Online to our collection of e-resources
  • took a phone call from external client who explained that she was missing a few pages from a document we faxed her - tracked down colleague who sent the fax
  • someone showed up at the desk for help in tracking down very recent periodicals: went to technical services to find out if we had received issues in question, went down to the judges' library (people do misplace things), checked in various offices
  • took a call from external client who wanted to know about the Canadian Judicial Council
  • took call from someone interested in finding speeches by one of our former judges about the role of the Court
  • through all this, tried to find time to flip through my backlog of issues of the periodical European Current Law - ended up having no time to even start looking through the first issue of many in the pile

11:00 AM: went back to my office

  • tuned into RTBF.be (Belgian public radio) - they have the best jazz and classical programs, trust me
  • worked on the next issue of our internal bulletin on interesting law-related web resources. Found potentially interesting material on dead links in judicial opinions, proposed Google Book Search settlement, new research guides on religious law and international family law, and various reports from law commissions from around the world

12:00: break for lunch

afternoon (1:00PM onward):

  • continued working on internal bulletin on important judgments from foreign courts for July 2009 - added material from Australian High Court, House of Lords (including a judgment about who owns the copyright to Procol Harum's 1967 song Whiter Shade of Pale - very cool!), European Court of Human Rights
  • added new articles to our internal database on commentary relating to Supreme Court of Canada decisions
  • visited cataloguers' offices to see what new material is coming into the library
  • scanned listserv items from Canadian Association of Law Libraries - item about disappearance of Irwin Law books from Quicklaw caught my eye - arggghhh! This means I will have to correct something like 20 of our legal research guides because they all mention Irwin Law material that used to be available via Quicklaw
  • had a conversation with one of my higher-ups about ongoing Canadian government copyright reform hearings and impact on libraries
  • called away from my office to help someone search in the American Law Reports. I explained that one should always start in the ALRs' very good index for subject searching. Then I realized we are in the middle of a major collection move and that most of our US material (including the ALR index volumes) are in boxes for a few more days. Oops, we will have to spend some $$$ searching e-versions of ALRs

5:15PM: left the building, cycled to Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library to pick up item on reserve, then headed home via Laurier St. Bridge to Rideau Canal. Lots of dogs near the canal, no bunny rabbits this time.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:09 pm 2 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2008 Annual Report of the Manitoba Law Reform Commission

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission recently published its annual report for the year 2008-2009. It covers activities between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009.

It lists reports that have been issued during that time period (consumer class proceedings, franchise law, powers of attorney, intestate succession and dependent relief, and private international law) as well as current research projects (waivers of liability in sporting injuries, limitations, improving administrative justice, pension benefits and marital breakdown, and defamation law respecting journalism).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Research Guide on Religious Legal Systems in Comparative Law

The GlobaLex portal at New York University has just published an updated version of Religious Legal Systems in Comparative Law: A Guide to Introductory Research written by Marylin Johnson Raisch.

Raisch is the Librarian for International and Foreign Law at the John Wolff International and Comparative Law Library of the Georgetown Law Center.

The Guide offers an introduction to religious law with sections covering Islamic law, Jewish law, Christian Canon law, Hindu law, Buddhist Law and Confucian Law. Each section provides essential facts as well as details of Web, book and article sources available.

There is also a list giving details of how religious law is implemented in a number of jurisdictions.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:34 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Librarian...

American librarian Bobbi L. Newman started the idea of blogging about A Day in the life of a Librarian and the idea then morphed into the Library Day in the Life project wiki.

There are more than 100 contributions so far in which librarians share stories about what a "typical" day encompasses.

[Source: LISNews]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

Victorian Law Reform Commission Report on Jury Directions

The Victorian Law Reform Commission, based in Melbourne, Australia, has released its final report on jury directions.

The report makes 52 recommendations aimed at reducing the complexity of judges' directions to juries in criminal trials.

Related material, such as the Commission's consultation paper as well as submissions, are available on the Jury Directions project home page.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Annual Report of the Canadian Judicial Council

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Government of Canada publications includes the 2008-2009 annual report of the Canadian Judicial Council.

The Canadian Judicial Council is made up of 39 members and is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

Council membership consists of the chief justices, associate chief justices, and some senior judges from provincial and federal superior courts across the country.

The federal Parliament created the Council in 1971 to promote efficiency, uniformity, and accountability, and to improve the quality of judicial service in all superior courts of Canada.

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 12:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 27, 2009

How To Read A Privacy Policy

A New York-based non-profit known as the Common Data Project has published a report about the privacy policies of major Internet sites such as Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia, Microsoft, Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist:
"We realize that most users of online services have not and never will read the privacy policies so carefully crafted by teams of lawyers at Google and Microsoft."

"And having read all of these documents (many times over), we're not convinced that anyone should read them, other than to confirm what you probably already know: A lot of data is being collected about you, and it's not really clear who gets to use that data, for what purpose, for how long, or whether any or all of it can eventually be connected back to you."

"Yet people continue to use Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and more without giving much thought to the privacy implications of giving up their data to these companies."
[Source: Special Info & Musings for Ottawa Information Professionals]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:25 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Social Software Showcase 2009

The Library and Information Technology Association (LITA, part of the American Library Association) recently presented its Social Software Showcase 2009.

It was part of the recent annual conference of the American Library Association (July 9- July 15, 2009 in Chicago).

Topics covered in the Showcase included:
  • Mobile Websites and Applications
  • Information mashups with government information
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Wave
  • and more!

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

Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World July 2009 Issue

The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada, "highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sector".

The July 2009 issue has just been published.

It includes news items from Canada and abroad, announcements of upcoming events (meetings, workshops), project and product news in areas such as content management, archives, and databases, surveys etc.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

American Association of Law Libraries Conference

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Annual Conference begins this weekend in Washington.

The conference program as well as many of the workshop handouts are available on the AALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:09 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Incarceration of Aboriginal People in Adult Correctional Services

Yesterday, Statistics Canada released an article entitled The incarceration of Aboriginal people in adult correctional services.

The article looks at data on the representation of Aboriginal people in adult correctional services over time and across jurisdictions. It then provides analysis of factors that could be contributing to the over-representation of Aboriginal adults in custody.

Highlights:
  • in 2007/2008, Aboriginal adults accounted for 22% of admissions to sentenced custody, while representing 3% of the Canadian population
  • data for Saskatchewan and Alberta showed that young adults without a high school diploma and without a job had the highest rates of incarceration
  • for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people aged 20 to 34, incarceration rates declined as the education and employment situation improved. However, the decreases were greater for non-Aboriginal young adults
  • the gap in the incarceration rates for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal adults narrowed when age was considered, but Aboriginal adults continued to have consistently higher rates across all age groupings
  • analysis suggests that other factors, such as income, housing and rehabilitative needs, may explain much of the gap

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:25 pm 0 comments links to this post

Parliamentary Committee Report on DNA Identification Act

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Government Publications includes the June 2009 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security entitled Statutory Review of the DNA Identification Act:
"The National DNA Data Bank (hereinafter the NDDB) is an extremely effective investigation tool upon which police can rely to further their investigations or exonerate a suspect. The information contained in the NDDB has also prompted the exoneration of persons who have been wrongfully convicted of a crime. The NDDB not only cuts down the length of police investigations, it also makes it possible to resolve more efficiently the many cases that come before the courts. Certainly, the evidence provided by DNA samples encourages 'guilty' pleas. It cannot therefore be too strongly stated that evidence of this kind simplifies the administration of justice and allows for significant cost savings."

"This report reviews the provisions in the DNA Identification Act that establish the NDDB. It highlights the significant contributions made by the NDDB and the relevant forensic laboratories to the efficient administration of justice. It also stresses how crucial it is that additional resources be allocated to the NDDB and forensic laboratories to ensure that the justice system functions as it should (...)"

"This report sets out the Committee’s findings in terms of the strengths and weaknesses of the Act and the administrative framework surrounding the NDDB. It also highlights the exceptional work done by the scientists at the NDDB and in the forensic laboratories. It underscores the urgency of investing additional funds in the forensic laboratories and the NDDB without delay to ensure the proper functioning of the justice in this regard. It proposes recommendations designed to maximize the benefits that forensic science derives from DNA analysis. The report also expresses the Committee’s faith in DNA science, and its considered opinion that the NDDB is an extremely useful and important tool for the criminal justice system."
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 7:15 pm 0 comments links to this post

Parliamentary Committee Report on Alcohol-Impaired Driving

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Government Publications includes the June 2009 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights entitled Ending Alcohol-Impaired Driving: A Common Approach.

According to the Committee:
"Witnesses who appeared before the Committee made it clear that impaired driving remains the number one criminal cause of death in Canada. The Canadian Police Association indicated that, despite our collective best efforts and intentions, it is apparent that the problem of impaired driving is worsening in Canada and we are losing ground in our efforts to eliminate the problem. Mothers Against Drunk Driving stated that, since 1999, the progress in Canada on impaired driving has stalled."
In the report, the Committee tackled the following questions:
  • the advisability of lowering the criminal Blood Alcohol Concentration limits;
  • innovative approaches in use in other countries, such as Randomised BreathTesting;
  • the implications of advances in technology to enforce the laws; and
  • the Criminal Code sanctions for impaired driving and how they interrelate with provincial licensing measures.
Recommendations include:
  • the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level in the Criminal Code of eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood should be maintained;
  • provinces and territories should be encouraged to enhance their efforts in intervening at BACs lower than the Criminal Code level;
  • tougher sanctions should be introduced for repeat impaired drivers;
  • random roadside breath testing should be put in place;
  • the use of alcohol ignition interlock devices should be encouraged and the Alcohol Test Committee of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science should be authorised to approve
    alcohol ignition interlock systems for use in provincial and territorial programs;
  • provinces should be encouraged to coordinate provincial legal drinking ages to reduce the practice of crossborder drinking and driving
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 6:57 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report on Challenge For Cause in Criminal Jury Trials

The Alberta Law Reform Institute has published Criminal Jury Trials: Challenge for Cause Procedures:

"This final report is a precursor to what is hoped will be new criminal rules dealing with challenge for cause procedures in the context of criminal jury trials. The report represents the final policy positions of the criminal rules working committee following consideration of comments on the published report titled Criminal Jury Trials: Challenge for Cause Procedures, Consultation Memorandum No. 12.20."

"The criminal rules working committee will proceed with the final subject areas in accordance with its mandate under the Rules of Court Project, but we thought it important to make the legal community aware of the settled policy positions in connection with challenge for cause proceedings even though it may take some time for the positions to be implemented in rule form."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:45 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Copyright Reform Consultations Begin

The Canadian government has launched consultations on updating Canada's copyright legislation.

There are a number of ways Canadians can participate:

The consultation asks 5 questions:

  1. How do Canada’s copyright laws affect you? How should existing laws be modernized?
  2. Based on Canadian values and interests, how should copyright changes be made in order to withstand the test of time?
  3. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster innovation and creativity in Canada?
  4. What sorts of copyright changes do you believe would best foster competition and investment in Canada?
  5. What kinds of changes would best position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy?

The consultations will run until September 13, 2009.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:25 pm 0 comments links to this post

Police-Reported Crime Continues To Decline in Canada

Statistics Canada reports today that police-reported crime continued to decline in Canada for the 5th straight year:

"Both the traditional crime rate and the new Crime Severity Index fell 5%, meaning that both the volume of police-reported crime and its severity decreased. Violent crime also dropped, but to a lesser extent."

"This was the fifth consecutive annual decline in police-reported crime. There were about 77,000 fewer reported crimes in 2008, including 28,000 fewer thefts of $5,000 and under, 22,000 fewer break-ins and 20,000 fewer motor vehicle thefts."
The Crime Severity Index was introduced in the spring of 2009. The Index assigns weight to different crimes. The more serious the crime, the greater the assigned value.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:18 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ontario Reports Parody Video

Facebook friend Omar Ha-Redeye sent me this YouTube parody video about the Ontario Reports.

It could apply to many other case law reporters.

I am sure we have all felt at one time or another that they seem to reproduce like rabbits and take up all available space.

But deep down, I confess: I still love print.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:50 pm 0 comments links to this post

Launch of Libraries of the Future Documentary

The Libraries of the Future campaign, a project of the UK-based higher education organization JISC, has launched a documentary that showcases interviews with university leaders, academics and students who discuss what the library of the future will look like:

"The Libraries of the Future campaign stimulated debate among librarians, information professionals and academics on the issues surrounding technology's impact on the emerging role of the academic library in the 21st century through a series of events, printed resources and podcast interviews."

More about the Libraries of the Future campaign:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Death of Ex-Supreme Court of Canada Justice Charles Gonthier

The Honourable Mr. Justice Charles Doherty Gonthier, who sat on the Supreme Court of Canada from 1989 to 2003, passed away on July 16th.

He was 80.

Justice Gonthier was called to the Quebec Bar in 1952 after graduating from McGill Law.

He was named a judge of the Quebec Superior Court in 1974. During his tenure, he became president of the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice.

He was appointed to the Quebec Court of Appeal in 1988, and joined the Supreme Court of Canada the following year.

After retiring from the country's highest court, he became:
Personal note: I met Justice Gonthier in February 2003 when he was on the panel judging the Gale Cup Moot national competition at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. My little sister was a member of the Université de Montréal team that won first prize, ahead of 15 other Canadian law school teams.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:06 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, July 17, 2009

Law Commission of New Zealand Issues Paper on Privacy

The Law Commission of New Zealand has released an issues paper on the protection of privacy.

It is part of a public consultation process the government has asked the Commission to undertake.

The main focus is the adequacy of both New Zealand’s civil law and criminal law to deal with invasions of privacy.

The paper also examines:
  • the state of privacy protection in other countries such as the US, the UK, and Australia
  • the impact on privacy of the emergence of technologies such as closed circuit TV, GPS, RFID and spyware

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

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Video Introduction to Global Legal Information Network

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has produced an 8-minute video introducing the work of the Global Legal Information Network:
"The Global Legal Information Network is a database of the official texts of laws and other complementary legal materials from a growing number of jurisdictions throughout the world. From their offices at The Law Library of Congress, GLIN Director Janice Hyde and Comparative Law Specialist Hanibal Goitom explain the principals and practices of this network that shares its laws in order to promote global legal understanding."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:04 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Finds Flaws with Facebook

The Privacy Commissioner of Canada today released a report that found that the popular social networking site Facebook needs to improve many of its privacy practices to comply more fully with Canadian law.

The report concludes an investigation by the Commissioner that was prompted by a complaint from the Ottawa-based Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

Close to 12 million Canadians have accounts with the site.

The report found that:
  • Facebook information about privacy settings was often confusing or incomplete
  • there were many concerns around the sharing of users’ personal information with third-party developers creating Facebook applications such as games and quizzes
  • the site indefinitely keeps the personal information of people who have deactivated their accounts – a violation of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Canada’s private-sector privacy law
According to the report, Facebook has agreed to adopt many of the Commissioner's recommendations or has proposed reasonable alternatives to the measures recommended. However, it has not yet agreed to implement all of the recommendations.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:51 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Supreme Court of Canada Live Webcasts: Preliminary Comments

The Osgoode Hall Law School blog The Court today published a commentary on live webcasts by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Since February 2009, the Supreme Court has provided live streaming of oral arguments and judges' questions in authorized cases. The webcasts are archived.

On The Court, Daniel Del Gobbo writes favourably of the experience:

"Observers may be emboldened by the transparency of the Supreme Court’s new initiative, the comprehensibility of oral arguments, or the sensitivity of justices in asking questions. Further, observers may better understand that the process by which the court’s decisions are made involves an intricate weighing of opposing arguments and mitigating social, operational, and policy factors. This understanding may engender an appreciation for the process which runs deeper than that which they could feel reading case commentary, whether it be in one of Kirk Makin’s columns, the Canadian Abridgment Digest, or even – dare I say it – on TheCourt.ca. For these reasons, transmitting oral arguments via webcast cannot help but instill greater public confidence in the judiciary."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:45 pm 0 comments links to this post

CIPO Intellectual Property Teaching Kit

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has created a series of six intellectual property case studies for post-secondary institutions. The series was produced in collaboration with McMaster University in Hamilton:

"These teaching tools are designed to reflect realistic career situations for students, particularly those studying engineering, science and business. Using a 50 to 90 minute in-class discussion format, each case study can be easily integrated into an existing course. "

"CIPO is offering these teaching tools to post-secondary institutions across Canada as of the 2009 fall semester, in collaboration with the Alliance for the Commercialization of Canadian Technologies (ACCT Canada)."

Case study summaries can be found on the CIPO website.

For information about the package, e-mail casestudies@ic.gc.ca

[Source: CultureLibre.ca]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:15 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sweeping New Study of U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor's Record

The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law has released a new comparative study of 1,194 constitutional cases decided by the Second Circuit (federal appeals court) during the decade that Judge Sonia Sotomayor served on it.

Sotomayor, U.S. President Obama's nominee for a vacant Supreme Court seat, faced her first day of confirmation hearings in the American Senate today.

The Brennan Center study concludes that Sotomayor, far from being a "judicial activist", is squarely within the mainstream of the Second Circuit:
"Using measures for testing judicial activism and deference developed by academics in recent years, the Center analyzed Judge Sotomayor's decisionmaking and compared her record to that of her colleagues on the Second Circuit. We looked at various measures of the relative deference or "activism" of a judge's action in a particular case:
  1. Whether the judge's vote was in accord with his or her colleagues on the bench;
  2. How often the judge upheld the action of another branch of government, such as a statute or other governmental action;
  3. How often the judge deferred to the lower court or agency decision under review."
"We also looked at whether Judge Sotomayor's decisionmaking and that of her colleagues varied according to the substantive area at issue in a particular case, specifically cases involving civil rights, criminal law, due process, or the First Amendment (...) "

"Based on this exhaustive review, the conclusion is unmistakable: in constitutional cases, Judge Sotomayor is solidly in the mainstream of the Second Circuit. After we analyzed every constitutional case in the Second Circuit over the past decade, what was striking was the degree of unanimity and consensus on a court roughly evenly split between Democratic appointees and Republican appointees."
Earlier Library Boy posts about the Sotomayor nomination:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:44 pm 2 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Law Library of Congress Comparative Study of Habeas Corpus

The Law Library of Congress has published a study of the right of habeas corpus in 13 countries:
"Under the concept of habeas corpus as developed in Anglo-American jurisprudence, persons who are deprived of their liberty have the right to challenge through judicial inquiry the legality of their arrest or detention."

"The right to challenge one’s arrest or detention is now incorporated in international human rights standards. This right may be exercised through the extraordinary process of habeas corpus in the countries which belong to the Common Law system, or through the normal procedural process, including appeals and motions for retrial in the civil law countries."

"This report analyzes the right available to persons in Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Kingdom, and Yemen to challenge the legality of their arrest or detention."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:23 pm 0 comments links to this post

U.S. National Archives Release Material on Supreme Court Nominee Sonia Sotomayor

Anyone following the confirmation process for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor will be interested in heading over to the website of the U.S. National Archives which recently made available thousands of pages of Presidential records about her.

The material dates back to the terms of former American Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush Sr.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the Sotomayor nomination:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:15 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Day in the Life of Cardiff University Library

The Information Services at Cardiff University (capital city of Wales) have created a series of day in the life vignettes that illustrate the "range and depth of modern library work, from archives to databases, and from training students to managing £1m budgets for information resources".

An interesting marketing tool.

The site reminds me of the Day in the Life photo contest organized by the American Association of Law Libraries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:56 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada Library: New Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of June 16th to 30th, 2009 is now 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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:53 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

2008-2009 Annual Report of the Law Commission (England and Wales)

The Law Commission (England and Wales) has released its latest annual report.

In the last year, the Commission:
  • published reports on housing, bribery and intoxication
  • published consultation papers on administrative redress, consumer remedies for faulty goods, and the admissibility of expert evidence in criminal proceedings
  • published papers on insurance law and adult social care

The Law Commission was created in 1965 for the purpose of reforming the law. This includes making recommendations to modernize and simplify it, remove anomalies in legislation, consolidate related legislative items, and repeal obsolete and unnecessary enactments.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

Law Commission of Ontario Consultation Paper on Disabilities

The Law Commission of Ontario has released a consultation paper on the law as it affects persons with disabilities:

"The intent of this Project is to develop a coherent approach to this area of the law. It will not focus on reform of any one specific issue; rather, its purpose is to develop a principled analytical framework for this area of the law that can be used as a tool for shaping legislative initiatives that affect persons with disabilities or reforming current law." [from the backgrounder]
Comments and submissions will be accepted until Friday, August 28, 2009.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:36 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

New British Columbia Civil and Family Court Rules

The British Columbia government introduced new civil and family court rules today in an effort to lower costs and increase access to the court system.

The new rules were developed after a broad consultation carried out by the Justice Review Task Force. The Task Force, created in 2002, included senior representatives from the BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, Law Society of BC, Canadian Bar Association, and the government.

As part of that initiative, the Task Force formed the Civil Justice Reform Working Group which issued its report, Effective and Affordable Civil Justice, in November 2006, and the Family Justice Reform Working Group which issued its report, A New Justice System for Families and Children, in May 2005.

Among today's changes to the rules:
  • the Province will provide up to three days of trial time before litigants are required to pay court fees
  • oral examinations for discovery will be limited
  • exchange of documents that are not directly relevant to a case will be limited
  • parties will have the option of having a judge set time limits on litigation events
  • there will be a new fast track process when the amount in dispute is $100,000 or less
More details can be found on the site of the British Columbia Justice Review Forum.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:54 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, July 06, 2009

Report on Digitization of Parliament of Canada Publications

A working paper on the digitization of Canadian parliamentary publications was produced in the spring and posted recently to the Parliamentary Internet site:

"The original aim of this Working Paper was to provide information for the development of a Digital Strategy for the Library of Parliament. However so much interesting and little-known material emerged in the course of discussion and research that the authors felt that the findings would be of general interest and could serve as a basis for corrections and further information. "

"The aim of the Working Paper (begun in September 2008) is to provide an overview of:

  • which published papers relating to the operations of Parliament have been digitized;
  • by which organization;
  • where the digitized works are housed;
  • who is permitted access &
  • plans for future digitization. "

"(...) The goal is to help inform the development of a coherent strategy amongst the various stakeholders to digitize, make available and preserve over the long term, the corpus of Canadian publications relating to the operations of Parliament since 1867."

The paper looks at the digitization of bills, committee reports, Hansard debates, journals of the House and Senate, Order and Notice Papers, Orders of Business, progress of legislation, statutes and regulations and orders-in-council, the Canada Gazette, commissions of inquiry and sessional papers.

[Source: Access to Government Information Interest Group]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:32 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, July 05, 2009

IFLA 2008 Country Reports on Copyright Reform

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) recently published a series of short country reports on changes in national copyright legislation.

Countries covered for 2008 include Australia, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Compilation of News and Analysis on Sotomayor US Supreme Court Nomination

The National Law Journal has put together a collection of new items and analysis pieces about the confirmation process of Sonia Sotomayor as U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

As well, the Congressional Research Service published a report in mid-June entitled Judge Sonia Sotomayor: Analysis of Selected Opinions. It finds that "the most consistent characteristic of Judge Sotomayor’s approach as an appellate judge has been an adherence to the doctrine of stare decisis, i.e., the upholding of past judicial precedents."

[Source: Law Librarian Blog]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:35 pm 0 comments links to this post

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Report on Limitations of Actions

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission recently published a Draft Report for Consultation on the province's Limitations of Actions Act.

In Canadian provinces, limitations statutes prevent a litigant from pursuing a claim in the courts after a certain period of time has passed.

From the Executive Summary:
"Canada inherited the English statutes of limitations, but different provinces have adapted them in different ways over the years – and typically at a glacial pace. There have been efforts over the years to modernize and to impose some uniformity on these various regimes, but none have been conspicuously successful."

"In recent years, however, limitations legislation based on some radically different principles has been adopted by the Legislatures of Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan, and introduced into the Legislature of New Brunswick. This legislation, based ultimately on work done by the Alberta Law Reform Institute in the late 1980s, has the potential to bring a great deal more clarity and fairness to an area of the law that has too often been characterized by obscurity and irrationality. It is time for Manitoba to consider adopting limitations legislation based on similar principles."

"The Limitation of Actions Act was originally enacted in 1931. Although amended three times since then (in 1967, 1980, and 2002) it is fundamentally based on an amalgam of limitations provisions that originated in England centuries ago. In other words, it is highly dated, and it is showing its age. The Act badly requires modernization, and in this report the Commission has identified what it sees as the primary areas requiring modernization, as well as the best ways of accomplishing that goal."

"In light of the work that has been done in recent years in other Canadian jurisdictions, the Commission sees no need to reinvent this wheel. For the most part, in this report we have described the structure of the 'modern' limitations regimes found in other jurisdictions, and analyzed whether they are suitable for Manitoba and how, if at all, they ought to be adapted for Manitoba’s conditions."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:28 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, July 02, 2009

British and Irish Association of Law Librarians Q&A Wiki

The British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) recently announced the launch of its new How Do I? wiki.

The content is made up of "a collection of answers to common or unusual questions as asked by law librarians. Mostly from the Lis-Law jiscmail list".

There are questions and answers about legislation, courts and judgments, treaties, books and journals, library management, reference sources, and more.

[Source: BIALL Blog]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:33 pm 1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor Adds Topical and Country RSS Feeds

The Global Legal Monitor, published by the Law Library of Congress in Washington, is a publication that provides regular updates on legal developments from around the world on a vast array of topics.

Content comes from official sources, judicial decisions, and other legal news sources.

As of last September, it has offered an RSS feed for updates for all news stories.

It now also offers dozens and dozens of free RSS feeds broken down by topic and/or jurisdiction.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:16 pm 0 comments links to this post

LexisNexis Report on Best Practices in U.S. Government Libraries

LexisNexis has published a report on Best Practices for Government Libraries - 2009.

It gathers together contributions from dozens of librarians in U.S. government agencies, courts, and the military, as well as from professional library association leaders.

Among the articles are:
  • Electronic Legislative Histories at the Department of Justice Libraries
  • Reports, Hearings and Debates, oh my! The Electronic Future of Legislative History at the Department of the Interior Library
  • The Library’s Training Committee Takes the Lead on Training Activity at the Department of Justice
  • Virtual Reference: Embracing the Possibilities
  • Justice Libraries See Opportunities for the Future of Reference
  • Law Librarian 2.0: Building the Law Librarian of the Future
  • Multitasking as a DOJ Law Librarian

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:34 pm 0 comments links to this post

Common Vendor Mistakes in Library Contract Talks

Elaine Billingslea Dockens Dockens, Director of Library Services, Tressler Soderstrom Maloney & Priess, LLP in Chicago, has published an article on LLRX.com entitled Vendor Pitfalls in Negotiating Large Multi-Year Contracts - or How to Lose a Million Dollar Contract.

It analyses the kinds of negative database and product vendor behaviours that discourage libraries from doing business with their firms:
"This article is dedicated to the many professional vendor representatives (VRs) that I've worked with over the years. These are the reps who showed up prepared to do business each time they visited. During contract negotiations they honored themselves, the companies they represented and me by "bringing their A game" and being totally prepared to fully negotiate."

"Many of the products they represent are sold by multi-year contracts and are negotiated at annual intervals. During negotiations my goal is to control expenses and look for discounts (and still keep a quality product). The goal of the VRs include obtaining or retaining our business and making a reasonable profit. When we both - firm and vendor - come to the table prepared to get the very best deal for our side, then everybody wins. However, if one of the parties arrives at the table ill prepared - we both lose. The vendor will probably lose the business they could have obtained or retained and the firm loses the chance to seriously consider the vendor in comparison to other vendors."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:25 pm 0 comments links to this post