Monday, September 26, 2011

Lawyers Weekly Preview of the Supreme Court of Canada Fall 2011 Session

The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly presents some of the big cases that will be heard this fall at the Supreme Court of Canada:
"Veiled witnesses, copyright wars and hate speech are some of the hot-button issues facing the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in the busy fall session starting next month."
For more information, check the Court's docket. When you click on any case, you can find more detailed summaries as well as copies of facta that were filed by the parties with the Court's Registry.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:36 pm 0 comments links to this post

Departing Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie Talks to the Globe And Mail

Justice Ian Binnie, who is retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada, spoke recently to Kirk Makin of the Globe and Mail newspaper.

There is an article entitled A rare look at the inner-workings of the Supreme Court of Canada as well an "exit interview".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:29 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 23, 2011

Quebec Government Announces New Judicial Selection Rules

Yesterday, the Quebec government announced a new process for the selection of provincial judges in response to recommendations by a commission of inquiry led by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Michel Bastarache.

The commission examined allegations of influence peddling and political favouritism in the naming of Quebec judges.

Under new regulations to be published October, there will be a new judicial selection panel made up of five members: a sitting judge, two people named by the Quebec Bar Association, and two members of the public, named by Quebec's Office of Professions. The panel will submit a restricted list of three names to the justice minister for each judicial opening, and the minister will pick one name to be submitted to the provincial cabinet.

Under the new system, there will no longer be any permanent list of candidates interested in a judgeship. There will be a new competition for each position becoming available.

Reactions and analysis:
Earlier Library Boy posts on the Bastarache Commission include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:22 pm 0 comments links to this post

New Content in FLARE Index to Treaties

According to an article in LLRX.com, the FLARE Index to Treaties has added new content.

The Index is a resource created by UK the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies:

"The FLARE Index to Treaties (FIT) ... which was launched in March 2009 on the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies web server has been extended to cover about a third more treaties and conventions"

"In the two years since it was launched the Index has established itself as a valuable finding tool for the international lawyer. It is a fully searchable database now indexing and listing over 2,000 of the most significant multilateral treaties concluded from 1353 onwards and a number of significant bilateral treaties signed between 1353 and 1815."

"This article describes the background to the extension and technical aspects of the updated implementation employed to deliver new content and finding features."

Many recent multilateral treaties were also added during the update, including International Labour Organization convention, the European Treaty Series of the Council of Europe, treaties concluded by the Organization of American States and every multilateral treaty printed in the Australian Treaty Serie.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:14 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Green Libraries Research Guide

At the most recent annual meeting of the Canadian Association of law Libraries in Calgary back in May, there was a session on Going Green at your Law Library.

So a news item on the Going Green @ Your Library blog caught my attention this morning.

Laura L. Barnes of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has created the Green Libraries research guide.

It includes an RSS feed for news about environmental initiatives by libraries, lists of handouts from green library workshops, and sections on green building/facility management (energy, cleaning, water), purchasing and collection development.

Earlier posts on Library Boy on the same topic include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:14 pm 0 comments links to this post

October 15 Deadline for Canadian Association of Law Libraries Research Grants

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) have until October 15, 2011 to apply for a research grant from the Association.

CALL will provide financial assistance of up to $4,000 to support members who wish to do research on a topic of interest to those working in law libraries.

Proposed research projects need not be large or formal; research could include surveys, bibliographic projects, pilot projects and feasibility studies.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:01 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just a Click Away Conference Report on Public Legal Education

Just A Click Away, a Canada-wide initiative on public legal education and information (PLEI), organized a two-day intensive conference in Vancouver, British Columbia on February 23 & 24, 2011.

The conference was about how to use Internet and social media technologies to better educate the general public about the law and provide resources for individuals to solve legal problems.

The conference report is now available:

"The conference report packs into 55 pages:

  • A description of promising practices in using technology to provide public legal education and information: three must-read pages highlighting nine promising practices in using technology.
  • A recap of the 16 conference sessions: concise three-page summaries of each of the sessions.
  • A discussion of next steps for the PLEI community: how to continue the momentum from the conference to further share and learn around effective use of technology for PLEI."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Gets $1 Million to Study Costs of Justice

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice based at York University in Toronto has been awarded $1 million by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to undertake a study entitled The Cost of Justice: Weighing the Costs of Fair and Effective Resolution to Legal Problems.

The study will tackle the following questions:
  • How can we better calculate, understand and balance the social value to democratic societies of ensuring an accessible, effective civil justice system against the financial costs of doing so, or the socio-economic costs of failing to provide access?
  • What can be done to effectively prevent disputes, and at what costs and benefits?
  • What methods are there for limiting or eliminating the need for legal services, through consumer protection, licensing, standard-setting and pro-active regulation, or other innovations identified by the research?
  • What can be done to prevent recurring problems for low and middle income Canadians, most especially those who are the most vulnerable?
The study will be conducted by a research alliance of "academics, government departments, law commissions, law societies, bar associations, judicial organizations, public legal educators and other individuals and institutes from Canada and around the world."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:53 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 19, 2011

Canadian Library Association Ottawa Event on Proving Value to Management

The Canadian Library Association Ottawa Network is organizing an information session on explaining value to management on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library, at 120 Metcalfe.

The session will be given by Maggie Weaver and will cover:
  • the nature of services
  • how stakeholders perceive value
  • measuring the right things
  • using the right examples
  • talking the talk
Earlier Library Boy posts on how to prove the value of your library services include:
  • Research Library Special Issue on Proving Value in Libraries (September 25, 2010): "Research Library Issues, a publication of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), recently published a Special Issue on Value in Libraries: Assessing Organizational Performance (...) ARL has built a program of assessment over the past 20 years and continuously looks for ways to strengthen this capacity for member libraries. This issue of RLI highlights ways in which assessment tools have helped libraries improve their services and programs. These improvements are the result of library leadership and their staff using data to make decisions that would have the most impact. This issue also captures some of the newer initiatives focused on demonstrating the value of library services."
  • Resources to Prove the Value of Your Library Services (October 14, 2010): "The UK organization Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) has put together resources that demonstrate the value and impact of special library and information services such as law, health and government libraries."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:04 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canada’s Top Legal Social Media Influencers

The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly lists The 24: Canada’s top legal social media influencers:
"With so many participants in this now-emergent field, it’s natural to ask: who are the leaders? Where should we turn to find the most important and influential social media users in the profession, the trailblazers who aren’t just on social media, but who are using it to make an impact on lawyers and the legal profession worldwide? (...)"

"From there, we applied a series of criteria, some based on metrics and others not:
  • Whether the person blogs, and if so, for how long s/he has been blogging, how widely read the blog is and how well it scores on measures such as Google’s PageRank.
  • Whether the person is on Twitter, and if so, how much they’ve tweeted, how often they tweet and what their followers-to-follows ratio is (the higher, the better).
  • What the person’s Klout score is, a measure based on a Twitter account’s frequency, reach and influence.
  • Our own sense of the impact the person has had and continues to have through social media on the Canadian legal profession."
Among the list are a few people from the law library world:
  • David Whelan, Manager, Legal Information, Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto (includes responsibility for the Great Library)
  • Shaunna Mireau, Director of Knowledge Management and Libraries at Field Law, Edmonton
  • Steve Matthews, Stem Legal Web Enterprises, Vancouver

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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

HathiTrust Digital Library Hit By Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Earlier this week, the Australian Society of Authors, the Quebec writers' union UNEQ and the Authors Guild (USA) launched a copyright infringement lawsuit against the HathiTrust digital repository and five major US universities involved in a project to digitize millions of books. Google provided the universities with the digital scans of the works.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants are involved in the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of 7 million copyrighted works. A central element in the controversy is related to "orphan" works. These are works still covered by copyright but that are out of print and whose authors cannot be located.

The Vancouver Sun explained the Canadian angle to the lawsuit in its September 13, 2011 article U.S. colleges hit with copyright infringement complaint from Canadian writers.

The Library Copyright Alliance, a coalition of US library associations, has criticized the lawsuit and the Association of Research Libraries, one of the Alliance members, has prepared a Resource Packet on Orphan Works.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:23 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, September 16, 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 September 1 to 15, 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.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:41 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Canadian Report on Wrongful Convictions

The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee today released its new report on wrongful convictions entitled The Path to Justice: Preventing Wrongful Convictions.

It was written by a committee of senior prosecutors and police officers and is follow-up to a 2005 report entitled "Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice":
"The format of this update mirrors the original report: it provides a summary of developments in the law and reports on efforts to implement the 2005 recommendations. Those recommendations are re-examined in light of events over the past six years and, where appropriate, modifications are suggested. It also highlights international developments since 2005 and summarizes the key findings of Canadian commissions of inquiry held since the 2005 Report."

"The update canvasses the latest information on the most important causes of wrongful convictions, as described in the 2005 Report, including tunnel vision; eyewitness mis-identification; false confessions; use of in-custody informers; and inappropriate use of forensic evidence and expert testimony. Each of these issues is discussed in the context of what has been learned since 2005, through research and commissions of inquiry, for example."

(...)

"As set out in Chapter 10, there has been a phenomenal level of educational activity among police and prosecutors about the causes of wrongful convictions. Today there is a higher level of awareness than ever before among Canadian police and prosecutors about the causes of wrongful convictions and what can be done to prevent them, as the issue of wrongful convictions has achieved an unprecedented prominence in discussions at the highest level of police and prosecution organizations. Education about the phenomenon of miscarriages of justice is now a staple of training for rookie and senior officers and prosecutors alike."

"There is now a wealth of resources available to police and prosecutors on wrongful convictions. For example, a select list of Web sites is attached at Appendix A. Through this Subcommittee and its expert members, it is now clear that Canadian police, prosecutors and even the judiciary know where to turn for information and expertise on wrongful convictions."

"That said, of great concern is that in this era of fiscal restraint and new pressures on the justice system, there is a danger that this promising new level of activity will inevitably diminish. Thus the central message of this report must be the need for continued vigilance."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:32 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Report on Internet Victimization

Statistics Canada has published an article in its Juristat journal on Self-reported Internet victimization in Canada, 2009:
"In 2009, the General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization was conducted on a sample of Canadians aged 15 years and older living in the provinces. For the first time, the GSS collected information from Canadians about their perceptions and experiences of victimization on the Internet, with a particular focus on cyber-bullying, Internet bank fraud and problems encountered with making online purchases ..."
The most common form of cyber-bullying involved receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages, reported by 73% of victims. Slightly more than half (55%) of victims had been the target of hateful comments, while for about 8%, the victim's identity had been assumed by someone sending threatening e-mails.

The survey also showed that among Canadians who had used the Internet in the 12 months prior to the survey, 4% reported being the victim of bank fraud on the Internet.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:21 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Techniques for Electronic Resource Management Project

Jill Emery, Collection Development Librarian at Portland State University, and Graham Stone, Information Resources Manager at the University of Huddersfield, have created a blog called TERMS: Techniques for ER Management that will look at the various stages in the life cycle of electronic resources.

From the initial post:
"Two decades after the advent of electronic journals and databases, librarians are still grappling with ways to best manage these resources in conjunction with their print resources. In addition, economic pressures at most institutions of higher learning are resulting in librarians having to justify each dollar spent on collections and resource management. Furthermore, ebooks are becoming yet another stream of purchasing and management with the added complexity of patron driven acquisitions. All this results in the need to codify the management of electronic resource management more than ever (...)"

"Over the next 3 months TERMS will look at each of the stages in the e-resources cycle ...
  1. Investigating New Content for purchase/addition
  2. Acquire New Content
  3. Implement
  4. Evaluation and Ongoing Access
  5. Annual Review
  6. Cancellation and replacement"
"We will add a new TERM every 2 weeks and invite you to review and comment on each of them. If you have any suggestions and tips from your workplace, please feel free to add your experiences. In this way we hope to crowd source TERMS through open peer commentary with a view to providing a first definitive draft in early 2012. However, we plan to keep the TERMS blog going after this date so that TERMS will become a reference point to those who are new to e-resource management and for those who may want to implement its recommendations of best practice."
[Source: LISNews]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:06 pm 1 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Nominations for Honoured Members

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is inviting people to nominate a CALL member for Honoured Member status.

Honoured Member status is the Association’s highest honour and recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of law librarianship.

Each nomination requires written letters from two (2) nominators.

Nominations must be in writing and must list the service that the nominee has provided to the association. Testimonial letters from other members need not be included as part of the nomination process, although the names of individuals who would be willing to support the nomination with a testimonial letter should be included if available.

Nominations should be sent to Rosalie Fox, Past CALL President (Rosalie.Fox AT scc-csc.gc.ca) by October 31, 2011 at the latest.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:59 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 12, 2011

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Use of Legal Scholarship

The Social Science Research Network has published a draft article entitled An Empirical Assessment of the Supreme Court’s Use of Legal Scholarship.

It was co-written by Lee Petherbridge (Loyola Law School in Los Angeles) and David L. Schwartz (Kent College of Law in Chicago):
"Derogating legal scholarship has become something of a sport for leading figures in the federal judiciary. Perhaps the chief antagonist in recent years has been none other than the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John G. Roberts Jr. His most recent salvo includes the claim that because law review articles are not of interest to the bench, he has trouble remembering the last law review article he read. This claim, and others by the Chief Justice, may represent the end of an uneasy détente concerning the topic of the utility of legal scholarship to the bench and bar. At a minimum, Justice Roberts’s recent comments represent a vigorous invitation to a discussion, which this article accepts. To that discussion we contribute an empirical study that is based on an original and unprecedented body of data derived from every Supreme Court decision over the last sixty-one years. This article presents several surprising results and makes two major novel contributions. The first is evidence describing the amount and patterns of the Supreme Court’s use of legal scholarship over the last sixty-one years. The second, and perhaps most striking contribution of this article, is empirical evidence on the nature and quality of the Court’s use of scholarship. This article provides the first report, as far as we can determine, of evidence that the Supreme Court not only often uses legal scholarship, it also disproportionately uses scholarship when cases are either more important or more difficult to decide. It thus presents results strongly counterintuitive to claims that scholarship is useless or irrelevant to judges and practitioners. The article also discusses areas for future work."
[Source: Stephane Cottin - @cottinstef on Twitter]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:02 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 10, 2011

UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Reports

The United Nations has a number of Special Rapporteurs who are given specific mandates to examine, monitor, advise and publicly report on human rights issues relating to a specific country or to a specific theme (for example: torture, arbitrary detention, sale of children into prostitution, disappearances, etc.).

They are independent of any government and are appointed by the UN Secretary General. They report to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

A number of recent Special Rapporteur Reports have been published in anticipation of the upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York.

They include the reports on torture, access to water, internally displaced persons, indigenous people, freedom of expression and the independence of the judiciary and lawyers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:37 pm 0 comments links to this post

Some Reflections on the 9/11 Decade

There are simply too many think pieces about the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but I have come across a few that made me stop:
  • A decade on (Canadian Lawyer Sept 2011 cover story): "Kent Roach [University of Toronto law professor and author of the newly published The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism] thinks of it as the age of innocence, those emotional early months following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., when Canadians were vigorously debating new anti-terrorism laws. Parliament, the legal community, and other stakeholders were consumed with how to craft legislation that would properly balance national security, privacy, and human rights. That was long before most Canadians had ever heard of Maher Arar or Omar Khadr. No-fly lists, security certificates, and electronic surveillance were barely on the national radar. The federal public safety department, now one of the most high-profile federal ministries, didn’t exist. Canada had not yet deployed the 37,000 soldiers who would serve in Afghanistan over the following decade, 157 of whom lost their lives."
  • 9/11, ten years on: reflections (UK website openDemocracy, September 7, 2011): "A terror-filled day of mass murder in the eastern United States imprinted itself on the world's consciousness - and became the prelude to a decade of further violence. openDemocracy writers reflect on the impact and legacy of the events of 11 September 2011.
  • Canadian Reflections on A Decade of Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism (Prism Magazine article by Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English branch, September 8, 2011): "It has been, to say the least, a difficult decade for human rights. Human rights were put on the defensive; forced to prove their relevance in a time of insecurity. The tragic irony of course being that one of the surest guarantors of meaningful, lasting security is effective, robust human rights protection. But instead we entered a time of what seemed to have become a zero sum game when it came to human rights and security. Add on one side – more security; take away on the other side – less rights."
  • The Encyclopedia of 9/11 (New York Magazine): "As this anniversary loomed, we found ourselves asking: With all we now know, how to begin to address the enormity of the event? Our solution was not to shrink from its scale but to embrace it. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:22 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 08, 2011

eBook Inventor Michael S. Hart Passes Away

Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg and inventor of the idea for the eBook way way way back in 1971, died earlier this week. He was 64. Librarians (and computer geeks) thought the world of him.

The Project Gutenberg website has published an obituary:
"Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects. He often told this story of how he had the idea for eBooks. He had been granted access to significant computing power at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4 1971, after being inspired by a free printed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he decided to type the text into a computer, and to transmit it to other users on the computer network. From this beginning, the digitization and distribution of literature was to be Hart's life's work, spanning over 40 years"
More on his passing:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Law Commission of Ontario Disabilities Consultation Paper

The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has released a consultation paper on disability issues.

From the press release:
"The LCO is looking for feedback from the public, including persons with disabilities, service providers, policy-makers, lawyers and advocates, regarding its Consultation Paper about laws and policies affecting persons with disabilities. Responses to the Consultation Paper will be accepted until Friday, November 25, 2011, and will provide input into an Interim Report with a draft framework, that will be circulated. This will be followed by a Final Report in mid-2012."

"The project will result in a Framework for the Law as it Affects Persons with Disabilities, which will assist in evaluating new or existing laws, policies and practices to ensure that they take into account the circumstances and experiences of persons with disabilities, and that they promote positive outcomes for these members of society within the context of society as a whole. The LCO anticipates that the final Framework will be of benefit to legislators, policy-makers, advocacy organizations, community groups and service providers that deal with issues affecting persons with disabilities."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:20 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2012 Conference Call for Papers

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries is asking members to submit program proposals for the 2012 annual conference.

The conference takes place in Toronto, May 6-9, 2012.

Conference organizers are focusing on three broad themes for the event:
  • Practical Steps to Personal Professional Development
    What are those things you wish you knew how to do? Share those discrete skills you have that conference attendees will immediately be able to use when they head home after the session
  • Alignment to Your Organization
    Help your colleagues focus their libraries and themselves on aligning the value they provide to the needs of their organizations
  • Plan for Your Future
    There are many trends impacting the law library world. Show us a glimpse at what's coming down the pike from a perspective that will inform us about how we can prepare for the future

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:05 pm 0 comments links to this post

Quebec Bar Association TV Series 2nd Season Begins Next Week

The second season of the television series "Le Droit de Savoir" (The right to know) will begin September 12, 2011on the Canal savoir channel in Quebec, and then on the Télé-Québec public educational network in the summer of 2012. The series is a production of the Quebec Bar Association.

The first episode will cover the liability of parents for the actions of their children. After broadcast, each episode will be archived on the show's website.

Each episode will also offer a new feature called "Les Chroniques de la Justice", that will introduce the audience to places to which the public usually has no access, like the morgue and the evidence room of a courthouse.

If you want to have an idea of what the series looks like, all the episodes of Season One can be watched for free on the Tou.tv website launched by CBC/Radio-Canada and other broadcasting partners.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:57 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 05, 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:
  • Portugal's drug decriminalization policies
  • drug treatment in the UK
  • the war between drug cartels and the Mexican government
  • incarceration patterns in the USA
  • and lots more

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:09 pm 0 comments links to this post

More on IT Security in Your Library

This is an update to the Library Boy post of August 30, 2011 entitled Integrating IT Security In Your Library.

The LISNews site has been running a series on IT security.

The most recent articles are:
  • Practical IT Security In Libraries (September 1, 2011): "Threats come from within the libraries (patrons), and from external sites anywhere in the world. Our patrons are bringing in all sorts of Wi-Fi enabled things. And any new security stuff we want to add will get push back from our coworkers, and cost money that's not in the budget. In this post I've created a bunch of random, though related, lists that can be used to help get started with security in your library."
  • Social Media Security In Libraries (September 2, 2011): "Libraries and librarians are fully embracing social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIN and Facebook. Our libraries use them to connect with and engage our patrons, increase library visibility and communicate information. We each use them to connect with old friends, sell ourselves, stay up to date with the world around us, and keep in touch with family. There are serious security risks involved with most social sites that can be avoided by following some very simple rules. The bad guys are finding it very easy to use these sites to cause trouble. Scammers, stalkers, phishers, spammers, hackers and every other kind of evil doer on the internet are finding new ways to get into our social networks every day. They are using links to spread malware and spam, and they're always one step ahead. They're using it to fill social media sites with evil, e.g. chat bots, captcha crackers, malware, spam, control botnets, blackhat SEO, etc…"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:02 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 03, 2011

New Anti-Corruption Legal Library

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has launched a new Legal Library related to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The Library lists "laws, jurisprudence and information on anti-corruption authorities from over 175 States worldwide, indexed and searchable according to each provision of the Convention."

[Source: INFOdocket]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:54 pm 0 comments links to this post

CanLII User Survey

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute that makes Canadian jurisprudence and statutes available for free via the Internet, is surveying users:
"Later this year CanLII will undertake a wide ranging and comprehensive survey of users. As a first step, we have prepared this mini-survey to gather quick feedback on CanLII usage and help us formulate the scope of the larger survey. Our overall goal is to ensure that future enhancements of the service meet the needs of our user."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:49 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 01, 2011

US Behind Canada When It Comes to Neutral Citation

Courtney Minick has written a post on Universal Citation for State Codes over at VoxPopuLII, a blog published at the Cornell University Law School.

She discusses the spread of universal, or vendor-neutral, citation in the United States.

Neutral citation is an industry-independent identifier assigned by courts to their decisions. In other words, the way of identifying a case no longer needs to be tied to the citation practices of a specific publisher or law reporter. It has been widely adopted by Canadian courts and has had a significant impact on the development of case citators such as the freely available RefLex tool developed by CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute.

The bulk of the Minick article is devoted to developing neutral citation for state laws, but one detail attracted my attention. In contrast to Canada, the practice is still not very widespread South of the border:
"To date, 16 states assign universal citations to their highest court opinions. (To date, Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have adopted universal citation for caselaw.) Illinois is the most recent state to adopt the measure (in June 2011)..."
In March 2010, Ivan Mokanov of the Université de Montréal, wrote on VoxPopuLII about neutral citation practices in Canada. He pointed out that "nearly three quarters of citations to recent case law [in Canada] use the neutral citation".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:53 pm 0 comments links to this post