Saturday, April 30, 2011

Canadian Association of Law Teachers Launches GradLawLounge

The website of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers has launched GradLawLounge, a new section on issues of interest to Canadian graduate students in law:
"It’s a space for us to ask questions about legal academia, chat about important issues, get information on upcoming conferences and research symposia, keep abreast of job postings and post-doctoral opportunities, and even gossip a bit about life in our programs. As we all know, graduate students often live solitary lives and the whole experience of legal academia can be bewildering. Our hope is that this online forum will start to let us pool our knowledge, bounce ideas off each other, and generally get to know each other."
There is also a Twitter feed at @GradLawLounge .

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:48 am 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Legal Aspects of the English Royal Wedding

The Harvard Law School Library has published a post on Royal Wedding: Pomp, Circumstance, and Law to explain all the legalities about how people in the British royal family get hitched.

Apparently, it is a lot more complicated than simply showing up at city hall, calling a florist and worrying about the caterer:

"The carriages are polished, the cakes baked, and the trees are in the Abbey (really!)…if you plan to celebrate your Anglo-American legal heritage by putting on your tiara at 4am tomorrow morning, it may be of interest that Prince William and Catherine Middleton have more legal requirements involved in their getting hitched than the average British couple."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

Newsletter on Law and Religion - Crucifixes Stay in Italian Classrooms

For the past few years, Sébastien Lherbier-Levy has been publishing a very detailed French-language newsletter on religion and law called La lettre du droit des religions.

Each issue includes an editorial comment, feature articles, news items from different countries, case law from the European Court of Human Rights (and domestic case law from French tribunals) and often a bibliography.

The most recent issue (March 2011) has a number of items of interest to Canadian readers, including an examination of the recent European Court of Human Rights decision in the Lautsi v. Italy case that found that having crucifixes in Italian classrooms did not violate the separation of Church and state.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:31 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Reports for 2011 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference

The agenda and reports for the upcoming annual general meeting of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) have been posted online on the CALL website.

The 2011 CALL conference takes place in Calgary, May 15-18.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:51 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Parliament Website Redesigned

The Parliament of Canada has redesigned its website:
"The changes provide users with easier access to content about Parliament, its institutions and processes, as well as enhanced access to legislation."
As part of the redesign, there is a new look to LEGISinfo, the legislation tracking portal maintained by the Library of Parliament.

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fourth Annual Link Rot Report of the Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive

The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive has just published its 4th annual study of link rot among the original URLs for online law-related materials it has been archiving since 2007.


The Project has built a digital archive collection comprising more than 7,400 digital items. Most of the material archived is American. The Project is an initiative of the Georgetown Law School and Harvard Law School Libraries, and of the State Law Libraries of Maryland and Virginia.


Link rot describes “a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL and currently preserved in the Chesapeake Group's digital archive. In some instances, a 404 or ‘not found’ message indicates link rot at a URL. In other cases, the URL may direct to a site hosted by the original publishing organization or entity, but the specific resource has been removed or relocated from the original or previous URL.”


The Project reports that nearly one-third of the archived titles have disappeared from their original URLs since the beginning of the program in 2007. However, the rate of link rot has been decreasing. Only 2.5 percent of URLs were lost to link rot within the past year.


Overall, the report points out the vulnerability of digital collections that draw upon web resources, even when they apparently originate from “serious” sites such as law-related or government sources.


This issue is also of major concern to Canadian legal researchers, as illustrated by the following posts on the collaborative Canadian law blog Slaw.ca:


Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 25, 2011

Canadian Law Firms Adopting Cloud Computing

The most recent issue of the Lawyers Weekly features an article on the spread of cloud computing in Canadian law firms.

Cloud computing refers to 3rd party Web-based services that remotely host all the programs a user would need for his or her job.

According to Lawyers Weekly:
"Concerns surrounding confidentiality, privacy, security, business continuity, disaster recovery and jurisdictional issues continue to be hurdles that make law firms pause before taking the plunge. For many lawyers, an overriding concern is control over the data. Some legal observers contend that when data is placed in the cloud, law practitioners lose — or at the very least appear to lose — control over client and firm data as it is ensconced in the hands of a third party technology services vendor."
Few Canadian professional associations have developed rules or positions on the subject, but the article provides a list of questions cloud providers should be asked about service levels and data protection before law firms take the leap.

A companion article describes various cloud services that may be of interest to legal practitioners.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:59 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 24, 2011

openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum

The British website openDemocracy publishes a regular feature called the Drug Policy Forum that takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

The most recent issue includes stories about:
  • World Health Organization publications on injecting drug use and prisons
  • Drug laws and prisons in Latin America
  • How the war on drugs penalises povert
  • Mexican drug cartels
  • Launch of the International Journal on Human Rights and Drug Policy
  • and much more

Labels: , , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Free Daily and Weekly Summaries of US Court Decisions

The Justia website has started offering free summaries of the opinions of all Federal Courts, including the US Supreme Court, and selected State Supreme Courts.

Registration is free.

Justia also offers free weekly opinion summaries by practice area.

[Source: beSpacific.com]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:34 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, April 22, 2011

New Canadian Legal History Blog

The very cool and wonderful Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History has a new blog, Canadian Legal History.

As stated in the opening post (March 12, 2011):
"We hope the blog will prove a useful place for the wonderful community of legal historians we have in Canada. It won't be the place to go to discuss the meaning of the second amendment of the US constitution, or medieval pleading and practice, but we want it to be where we discuss aspects of the unique and exciting legal history of our country."
[Source: Slaw.ca]

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

Alan Borovoy Receives Canadian Library Association Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom

Alan Borovoy, General Counsel Emeritus of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, is the recipient of the 2011 Award for the Advancement of Intellectual Freedom in Canada. The Award is given by the Canadian Library Association:
"Throughout a remarkable career as one of the undisputed leaders in the civil rights movement in Canada, Mr Borovoy has been a tireless advocate for freedom of expression, along with its corollaries freedom of the press and freedom of association; and equally activist for equality and procedural fairness. June Callwood, a recipient in 2006 of the same Award, dubbed him 'Mr. Civil Liberties'. "

"Mr Borovoy has been at one with the Canadian library community, whose core values include a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, a freedom under continual challenge and frequently unpopular to defend Mr Borovoy's voice has always been there with the Canadian library community's to combat both censorship and episodic public apathy enabling it, and he has referred to Canada's librarians as 'the Clark Kents of political action'. "

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:36 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 21, 2011

New Research Guides on Australian and New Zealand Law

At my place of work, I often am asked to look at how an issue has been treated in Australian or New Zealand law.

Here are two new research guides on these countries:

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:27 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Statistics Canada Report on Legal Aid 2009-2010

Earlier this week, Statistics Canada released a report entitled Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics 2009/2010.

The report presents information on the operation of Canada's 13 legal aid plans. The report includes information on the legal aid plans, personnel resources, revenues and expenditures, as well as information concerning applications for legal aid. It presents a broad analytical overview of legal aid in Canada and provides data tables and figures at both the provincial/territorial and national levels. Most of the information for the report is based on data collected from the Legal Aid Survey, conducted annually by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

Among the highlights:
  • With the exception of Quebec and Ontario, legal aid plans spent more on criminal matters than civil matters in 2009/2010
  • In 2009/2010, legal aid plans spent $762 million on providing legal aid services in 11 provinces and territories. After adjusting for inflation, legal aid spending was up about 4% from the previous year
  • inal matters, while in Ontario the figure was 47%. In the other jurisdictions the proportion of direct expenditures on criminal matters ranged from 56% for Alberta to 74% for Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories
  • Legal aid in Canada is funded primarily by provincial/territorial and federal governments. In 2009/2010, legal aid plans reported receiving funding totalling over $721 million with 93% of this amount coming from government sources. Other funding is received by way of client contributions, cost recovery monies and contributions from the legal profession
  • Provincial and territorial governments directly fund both criminal and civil legal aid. The $547 million contribution in 2009/2010 represented a 6% increase from the previous year (after inflation) and marked the fifth consecutive annual increase. In 2009/2010, funding was up in 9 of the 13 jurisdictions (after inflation), led by Manitoba at 31%
  • The federal government contributes directly to the cost of criminal legal aid only. In 2009/2010, funding for all 13 jurisdictions totalled $112 million. After adjusting for inflation, this figure was down slightly from the year before
  • About 745,000 applications for legal assistance were received by legal aid plans in the 11 reporting provinces and territories in 2009/2010, a decline of 5% from the previous year. The decline was driven by fewer civil legal aid applications as the number of criminal legal aid applications remained unchanged
  • In 2009/2010, the reporting legal aid plans approved almost 500,000 applications for full legal aid services (including providing information, advice and representation in court), a decrease of 1% from the previous year. Criminal matters accounted for over half (56%) of approved applications

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:31 pm 0 comments links to this post

Survey: Federal Library Use of Web 2.0 Tools

The Canadian Federal Libraries Strategic Network (CFLSN) has created a 10-question survey (using SurveyMonkey) to get a broad understanding of how federal government librarians view the use of Web 2.0 in their libraries and in their departments.

For the purposes of the survey, Web 2.0 technologies are meant to encompass blogs, wikis and social networking websites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn.

The CFLSN provides a forum for Canadian government library professionals and managers.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:10 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of April 1st to 15th, 2011 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.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:08 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Securities Regulation Reference Case Materials Available on Supreme Court of Canada Website

The Supreme Court has wrapped up its two-day hearing into the federal government's request that the Court rule on the constitutionality of proposed legislation to create a national securities regulator.

Appeal courts in Alberta and Quebec have ruled that the proposal would violate the Constitution because it would intrude on provincial powers.

The facta of all the parties and intervenors of the case are available on the Court's website. As well, the hearings were broadcast via webcast and the webcasts are archived.

The Department of Finance has posted background material on the issue, as well as links to the proposed legislation.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the subject include:
  • Webcast of University of Toronto Roundtable on Creation of a National Securities Authority (February 14, 2009): "At the end of January, the University of Toronto law faculty organized a panel discussion on the creation of a national securities regulator and the report of the federally-appointed Expert Panel on Securities Regulation (...) Citing the fact that Canada is the only developed country in the world that does not have an overarching regulatory body responsible for overseeing capital markets, the Report recommended the implementation of a single, national securities regulator (...) While Ontario and British Columbia support the creation of a single regulator, Alberta and Quebec remain opposed to the Report, arguing that the current passport system is sufficient and that a single body will intrude on the constitutional right and ability of individual jurisdictions to regulate their distinct capital markets."
  • Constitutional Reference to Supreme Court of Canada on Proposed Canadian Securities Act (May 27, 2010): "The Canadian government has referred its bill to create a national securities regulator to the Supreme Court of Canada for a determination as to its constitutionality (...) The Government believes that the proposed Canadian Securities Act is a valid exercise of Parliament’s jurisdiction, and will argue that position before the SCC. The Government’s position is supported by a large number of existing legal opinions by experts and constitutional scholars (...) The governments of Quebec and Alberta are furious, as they see the creation of a national securities regulator as an intrusion into the area of provincial powers."
  • University of Toronto Launches Securities Law Portal (January 26, 2011): "The University of Toronto has launched a Canadian Securities Law Portal (...) These constitutional references are extremely important to the future of capital markets in Canada. Does the Parliament of Canada have legislative authority to enact the proposed Act? Why is a Canadian Securities Regulator necessary? What legal structure will ultimately govern issuers, intermediaries, self-regulatory organizations, investors and other capital market stakeholders? Would the structure proposed under the Act be effective if implemented? What are its strengths and weaknesses?"

Labels: , , ,

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

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

15th Annual Webby Awards

The nominees for the 15th annual Webby Awards for outstanding achievement in Websites, online film and video, mobile and apps, and interactive advertising and media were announced today.

There are dozens of categories, including law.

In addition to prominent judges such as Martha Stewart, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and US political columnist Arianna Huffington selecting Webby Awards winners, the general public can vote for The Webby People's Voice Awards. The public has until April 28th to vote.

Winners will be announced on May 3rd and honored at a star-studded ceremony in New York City on June 13th, where they have to deliver five-word acceptance speeches.

The Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, an international organization of leading Web experts, business figures, and cultural celebrities. Members include musicians Beck and David Bowie, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, "The Simpsons" creator Matt Groening, and Virgin Atlantic Chairman and Founder Richard Branson.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:11 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 11, 2011

New Amended Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada Come Into Force Today

The Supreme Court of Canada has amended its rules of practice.

The Rules Amending the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, which come into force today, April 11, 2011, were registered as SOR/2011-74 and were published in Part II of the Canada Gazette on March 30, 2011.

The Act and Rules section on the Court’s website has links to the new Rules, the Guidelines for Preparing Documents to be Filed with the Supreme Court of Canada (Print and Electronic), the Notice to the Profession and a guide to the 2011 amendments.

Labels:

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:58 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Stop the Madness: The Insanity of ROI

James G. Neal, University Librarian at Columbia University, has just written a critical analysis of the current trend to adopt quantitative return-on-investment (ROI) measurements to determine the value of libraries.

His paper, entitled Stop the Madness: The Insanity of ROI and the Need for New Qualitative Measures of Academic Library Success, appears in the proceedings of the most recent conference of the Association of College & Research Libraries (March 30 - April 2, 2011 in Philadelphia). It discusses ROI in the context of academic libraries, but government and corporate libraries, including law libraries, all also trying to discover how to best measure service value:
"Return on Investment (ROI) has become the new mantra of academic libraries, a relentless and in many ways foolish effort to quantify impact in the face of budget challenges and the questioning of our continuing relevance to the academy in an all-digital information world. ROI instruments and calculations fundamentally do not work for academic libraries, and present naïve and misinterpreted assessments of our roles and impacts at our institutions and across higher education. New and rigorous qualitative measures of success are needed (...)"

"This paper is not a scientific study or a literature review or a reasoned analysis of the assessment literature on academic libraries. It is a polemic and a call to action. It is an appeal for the academic library to step away from inappropriate, unsophisticated and exploitable ROI research as a miscalculated, defensive and risky strategy. Certainly, academic libraries must embrace and advance rigorous assessment programs. We need effective and honest ways to explore issues like user satisfaction, the usability of systems and services, market penetration, cost-effectiveness, productivity, impact, and success in advancing institutional priorities. A focus on outcomes can link the academic library to more effective qualitative measures which help us to understand library contribution to successful graduates, productive faculty, and institutional advancement."
The full list of conference papers is available on the website of the American Library Association.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm 1 comments links to this post

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Canadian Human Rights Commission 2010 Annual Report

The Canadian Human Rights Commission released its 2010 annual report this week.

The Commission screens discrimination complaints from anyone who works for, or receives services from, the federal government or federally regulated organizations such as banks, transportation and telecommunications companies.

The Commission's 2 priorities last year were:
  • working with First Nations to develop and increase their capacity to address human rights issues within their own communities. In June 2011, full human rights protection will become available to all First Nations people living on reserves. In its original form, the Canadian Human Rights Act excluded these individuals for matters flowing from the Indian Act, under section 67. This section was repealed by Parliament in 2008. However, First Nations communities were given a three-year transition period to prepare for this change
  • providing organizations with the tools and information necessary to create a self-sustaining human rights culture in the workplace
In 2010, the Commission:
  • received 1,435 potential complaints;
  • accepted 853 complaints;
  • referred 166 complaints to alternate redress;
  • approved 177 settlements;
  • dismissed 139 complaints; and
  • referred 191 complaints to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for further examination.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

April 2011 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The April 2011 issue of the AALL Spectrum has been published. It is a monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

It includes articles on public relations, negotiating contracts with vendors, incorporating video into legal research classes and improving customer service in law libraries.

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Supreme Court of Canada New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of March 16-31, 2011 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.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:11 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, April 04, 2011

Canadian Library Association 2011 Salary Survey - Deadline Extended

The CLA-CASLIS Government Section is extending the deadline for its 2011 Salary Survey to April 16th. The original deadline was April 4th.

The CLA is the Canadian Library Association. CASLIS, one of its divisions, stands for Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services.
"The higher the response rate, the better the final product will be in accurately portraying the benefits and remuneration of the members of the Canadian library and information management community."

"All information provided will be held in confidence and reported in such a way that no individual can be identified. The survey tool being used, FluidSurveys, is a Canadian company with all data servers hosted in Canada."

"The results of the Survey will be available in May 2011."

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:51 pm 1 comments links to this post

Sunday, April 03, 2011

openDemocracy Drug Policy Forum

The British website openDemocracy publishes a regular feature called the Drug Policy Forum that takes a critical reformist look at stories about the "war on drugs" and criminal justice issues.

The most recent issue offers information about the 50th anniversary of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, one of the keystones of the international drug control system.

Other items in the issue include:
  • The Official Declaration of the 2011 International Harm Reduction Conference
  • Dispatch from El Salvador: Obama’s Drug War Feels Eerily Familiar
  • Drug Courts: Martin Sheen Defends Them in Congress. But Do They Work?
  • US National Cancer Institute acknowledges potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for people living with cancer
  • International Drug Policy Consortium Report - First IDPC seminar on drug policy in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Rule by the right-wing press dooms any sensible debate on drugs
  • More Black Men Now in Prison System than Were Enslaved
  • Drug crime and criminalisation threaten progress on Millennium Development Goals

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:09 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Statistics Canada Report on Women and the Criminal Justice System

Statistics Canada has released a report on Women in Canada: The criminal justice system.

According to the report, the involvement of women and female youth in the criminal justice system has largely been as victims of crime rather than as offenders. While females accounted for about one-half of all victims of violent crime reported to police authorities in 2009, they represented a minority of offenders.

The report is part of the 6th edition of Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report

Among the highlights:
  • In 2009, females reported about 1.6 million incidents of violent crime (that is, physical assault, sexual assault or robbery)
  • The most common offence perpetrated against women was common assault, which accounted for nearly half of all police-reported incidents
  • Rates of homicide have declined substantially over the past 30 years, particularly for females. Much of this decrease can be attributed to a drop in homicides committed by spouses. In 2009, rates of spousal homicide against women were one-third of the levels in 1979. Even so, women were more than twice as likely as men to be killed by a spouse in 2009
  • In 2009, females accounted for approximately one-quarter of youth accused and slightly more than one-fifth of adults accused by police of having committed a Criminal Code offence
  • Females are most likely to commit acts of violence against their spouses or other intimate partners, followed by an acquaintance, a stranger or other family member
  • While charging for property crime has seen a steady decline, the rate at which women have been charged with violent offences has increased over the past 30 years
  • In 2008/2009, adult females represented 6% of admissions to federal custody and 12% of admissions to provincial and territorial custody. This was up slightly from 5% and 10% of admissions, respectively, in 1999/2000

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share Subscribe
posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:42 pm 0 comments links to this post