Saturday, March 30, 2013

English Law Commission Consultation Paper on Conservation Covenants

The English Law Commission has published a consultation paper on whether England and Wales should adopt conservation covenants:
"A conservation covenant is a voluntary agreement between a landowner and responsible body (charity, public body or local/central Government) to do or not do something on their land for a conservation purpose.  This might be, for example, an agreement to maintain a woodland and allow public access to it, or to refrain from using certain pesticides on native vegetation.  These agreements are long lasting and continue after the landowner has parted with the land, ensuring that its conservation value is protected for the public benefit."

"Conservation covenants are used in many other jurisdictions, but do not exist in the law of England and Wales (...)"

"In the paper, we consider the following key issues:
  • Who should be able to create a conservation covenant?
  • What should a conservation covenants be for?
  • Should there be public oversight of a new statutory scheme?
  • How should conservation covenants be created and recorded?
  • How should a conservation covenant be managed?
  • What should happen if there is a breach of a conservation covenant?
  • When and how should a conservation covenant be modified or come to an end?
  • Could any existing statutory covenants be replaced by a system of conservation covenants?
  • What will be the impact of introducing a system of conservation covenants?"
The paper looks at the legal situation in a number of jurisdictions, including Scotland, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:47 pm 0 comments links to this post

Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan Consultation Paper on Foreclosures

The Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan has issued a consultation paper on Reform of The Land Contracts (Actions) Act:
"This consultation paper on The Land Contracts (Actions) Act (the LCAA) is the first part of a larger project to review and update the law of mortgages in Saskatchewan. The project was undertaken by request of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General pursuant to clause 6(c) of The Law Reform Commission Act."

"A mortgage is created when a person borrows money and gives an interest in real property as security. If the borrower (the mortgagor) fails to make the mortgage payments as required, the lender (the mortgagee) may start foreclosure proceedings to recover the money still owing under the mortgage. When a lender successfully completes foreclosure proceedings, the lender becomes the owner of the property. The lender may then sell the property to recoup the money it lent to the borrower."

"Foreclosure involves lengthy legal proceedings taken in the Court of Queen’s Bench and is governed by several statutes, including the LCAA. As the Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan noted recently, 'The Land Contracts (Actions) Act is consumer protection legislation intended to provide mortgagors with a degree of protection by requiring mortgagees to first seek leave of the court before they are permitted to commence foreclosure proceedings.' The LCAA is 70 year old legislation, having been enacted in 1943. This consultation paper considers the steps required by the LCAA for residential mortgages and whether they are still necessary or desirable."
The paper reviews the mortgage remedies available in other Canadian common law provinces; reviews the recommendations respecting mortgage remedies made by other Canadian law reform agencies; presents the need for reform of the Act; and offers possible approaches to reform the Act.

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

Thursday, March 28, 2013

April 2013 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The April 2013 issue of AALL Spectrum, a monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries, is available.

Among this month's selection of articles:
  • Public Relations: Relationship Marketing by Frances M. Brillantine (Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington): "Public interest law auctions, held annually at many law schools, provide an excellent opportunity for librarians to collaborate with students. Individual support of the auction, either by donating, bidding on items, or attending, demonstrates that we support our students and their interests. An even stronger show of support is a donation made by the library or a library department. Donations made by the library also provide an opportunity for staff to build relationships among themselves while working on something enjoyable, which leads to improved service to students. Strong relationships and support among colleagues are essential to good customer service— and good service is the most valuable marketing tool we have."
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Collaboration by Carla Wale (Northern Illinois University College of Law) and Ellen Richardson (Boston University): "(...) cloud-based collaboration services (cloud services) allow librarians to come together to create scholarship, work on projects in the office and across miles more efficiently, share ideas and interests, and inspire each other, ultimately benefiting the larger community. In this article, we examine the basics of cloud services, including security concerns; review some of the major services; and look at some ways fellow librarians are using these services to facilitate collaboration to get their projects off the ground and into the cloud."
  • Law Firm Changes Offer Opportunities for Libraries by Sarah Sutherland (McMillan LLP in Vancouver): "Certain aspects of the practice of law are changing, particularly as they relate to the traditional ways lawyers charge for their work and how completed work is leveraged for future benefit. Some firms, for example, are moving to incorporate knowledge management (KM) practices, alternative billing, and law practice automation (...) These changes have the potential to create both great problems and great opportunities for law libraries and KM departments. The first thing libraries and KM departments can do is integrate into the project teams working on these initiatives. There are enormous informational aspects to all of these projects, and it is the job of the library and KM staff to ensure that they are being considered and addressed in the planning stages."
  • A Pilot Using OverDrive by Nina E. Scholtz (Cornell University Law Library): "E-books are not just for popular reading; legal publishers are entering the e-book market as well. Major publishers are launching e-book platforms and offering law libraries the opportunity to purchase both individual titles and collections of electronic books that they also offer in print. One publisher has announced the availability of a specialized lending platform similar to that offered by OverDrive and other library lending platforms ... With these increasing signs of a strong future for e-books, and possibly for e-lending as well, in spring 2012 Cornell University Law Library decided to pilot OverDrive for the Cornell Law School community. "

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Urges Reconsideration of LAC Code of Conduct

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Library and Archives Canada (LAC) management was proposing a new code of conduct, a move that sparked a lot of controversy and some apprehension that information professionals were perhaps being muzzled at one of Canada's most important national cultural heritage institutions at a time when it is facing cutbacks and a change in its service mix.

In particular, many objections were made to the description of traditional public engagements such as teaching and going to librarian and archivist conferences as potentially "high risk activities" that may pose a problem under the code's provisions.

This week, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) came out against the code:
"As Canada's National Library, LAC and its professionals are expected to provide leadership and vision in information management for our profession. The Code of Conduct diminishes this essential role.  By going above and beyond the normal requirements of the public service code Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, the LAC Code of Conduct restricts the free expression of LAC employees, and their ability to engage as leaders in our profession.  The Code in its current form categorizes teaching and speaking at conferences as 'high risk' and unreasonably restricts such activities. "

"The Code is particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that LAC has been under scrutiny in recent years for a series of decisions which has significantly eroded the services it provides.  Public scrutiny is essential in a democracy; taxpayers demand transparent and accountable decision-making.  If decisions cannot withstand public scrutiny, then they must be re-examined to ensure that they are meeting the expectations of stakeholders and taxpayers. Restricting the free expression of LAC librarians is not an appropriate solution."
This stand comes in the wake of criticism of the code by the Canadian Library Association (CLA), among other organizations.

The Code can be found on the site of the CLA Government Library & IM Professionals Network, a component of the CLA.

Earlier Library Boy posts about recent changes at LAC include: 
  • Canadian Library Association Dismayed by Federal Budget Impact (May 2, 2012): "The Canadian Library Association (CLA) today released a statement criticizing the 2012 federal budget which it believes will hit federal libraries and Libraries and Archives Canada very hard."
  • September 2012 Campaign Update of Save Library and Archives Canada (September 27, 2012): "The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) launched a campaign this year called Save Library and Archives Canada (LAC) because of its fear that recent federal budget cuts would hamper the institution's many collections and activities. The campaign has just published a September 2012 Campaign Update (...)" 
  • Library and Archives Canada Terminates Inter-Library Loan Service (October 31, 2012): "The CLA Govt Library & Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association, has published an announcement from Library and Archives Canada (LAC) that the institution is putting an end to its inter-library loan service in the next few weeks. The LAC's service has been an indispensable tool nationwide for researchers and libraries. "
  • CLA Member Advocacy Survey: The Impact of Federal Budget Cuts on Canada’s Libraries (December 15, 2012): "The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has released the results of its survey on the impact of federal budget cuts (...) More than 400 individuals provided detailed responses to the survey questions. They overwhelmingly agreed that the cuts will impact both local and national library services, with 98% of respondents indicating concern. Areas most likely to be affected were identified, and include: access to material/information, research, interlibrary loans, Community Access Program, preservation, staffing cuts, digital issues."

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

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Zealand Law Commission Report on Regulation of the Media

The New Zealand Law Commission has released a report on the Review of Regulatory Gaps and the New Media.The review was prompted by concern about the disparities in the legal and ethical standards that apply to news as a result of the emergence of new web-based publishers and the convergence of mainstream print and broadcast media online:
"The Report recommends a new complaints body be set up to provide New Zealanders with a consistent set of news media standards and a one-stop-shop for adjudicating complaints across all news producers. Membership of the new body would be voluntary and open to both the traditional mainstream news media and the new media (e.g. news and current affairs bloggers and websites), provided they are willing to be accountable to the new standards body. The new body would draw on and strengthen the best features of the current platform-based complaints bodies (the Press Council, the Broadcasting Standards Authority and the Online Media Standards Authority)."

"The Report recommends two specific statutory amendments once the new complaints body is established:
  • an amendment to the Broadcasting Act 1989, to alter the jurisdiction of the Broadcasting Standards Authority;
  • amendments to the Privacy Act 1993, the Electoral Act 1993, the Human Rights Act 1993 and the Fair Trading Act 1986 (that confer specific privileges on the news media) to align these statutes with media privileges in the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 - making conferral of the privileges conditional on membership of the new complaints body."
"An appendix to the Report contains the Commission’s Ministerial Briefing to the Hon Judith Collins: Harmful Digital Communications: The Adequacy of the Current Sanctions and Remedies (August 2012), containing recommendations and a proposed Bill. This briefing recommended a range of measures to address the problems caused by seriously harmful personal online or digital attacks, including a new criminal offence and the establishment of a Communications Tribunal."

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Library of Parliament Research Publication on Courts and the Protection of Language Rights

The Library of Parliament recently published an updated version of its research publication on The Role of the Courts in the Recognition of Language Rights.

It looks at:
  1. The Adoption of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and its Judicial Implications 
  2. Recognition of Language Rights by the Courts 
  3. Federal Government Support for the Recognition of Language Rights
    3.1 The Court Challenges Program
    3.2 The Language Rights Support Program
    3.3 Overview of the situation 
  4. Political and Judicial Recognition 
  5. How to Interpret Part VII of the Official Languages Act
From the conclusion:
"The courts have contributed much to the recognition of language rights in Canada. A good example of their contribution is the progress made by official-language communities in a minority setting with regard to minority-language education. However, long, complex court cases can be very costly and time-consuming. Moreover, systematic use of the courts can create a culture of confrontation where the parties lock horns more than they communicate and work together."

"Official-language communities in a minority setting cannot make any real headway without a clear commitment from governments to the advancement of their rights. Political action cannot be, and must never be, brushed aside. Further, it is important always to bear in mind the important role communities must play in their own development. The only way communities can ensure their development is to take matters into their own hands and exercise power in practical terms."

"According to Michael Mandel:
The ability to take advantage of some rights, to make use of them, depends on social power. … Certain rights are not only of little use without social power; their very meaning is different."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Library of Parliament on Freedom of Religion and Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere

The Library of Parliament recently updated its research publication dealing with Freedom of Religion and Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere:
"The issue of religious symbols in the public sphere has given rise to widespread debate on the scope of freedom of religion in various countries around the world. In our modern environment of globalization and unprecedented international migration flows, traditionally homogenous nations face the blurring of established spheres of cultural identity, and, in some cases, governments are changing laws, policies, and politics in an effort to manage these shifts. The various political, legislative, and judicial treatments of this issue have given rise to differing interpretations of freedom of religion as defined through domestic and international laws (...)"

"The most prominent disputes over religious symbols in the public sphere have involved religious headcoverings – one of the most immediately obvious demonstrations of one’s faith that automatically distinguishes Muslims, Sikhs, and Jews from the larger, mostly Christian population in the Western world. The recent rise of immigrants in Europe has meant that headcoverings have become significant symbols of difference, provoking debate about their role in the public sphere (...) "

"What becomes clear from this analysis is that while issues of freedom of religion are being debated in courts throughout the world in a variety of different contexts, the Islamic headscarf seems to have provoked cultural tensions in many European countries. One might argue that, backed by the ECHR [European Court of Human Rights], many states are turning to secularism as a protective shield in an attempt to guard society from the complexities of multiculturalism, effectively preventing the broad expression of a right that is guaranteed in international and domestic constitutional laws."
"In countries such as Canada and the United States, the question of religious symbols has been significantly less contentious, perhaps because these two nations were built upon the foundations of immigration and have needed to accept difference in order to survive. As a result, both Canada and the United States have a political and constitutional climate that has allowed their governments and courts to interpret freedom of religion in its broadest form, adopting an approach of neutral accommodation."

"Thus, each country in the Western world essentially provides a very similar guarantee of freedom, using a very similar constitutional proportionality test based on strong principles of freedom of religion. However, that test tends to be applied differently depending on each country’s historical traditions and its social and political culture, which have a profound influence on legal arguments concerning the limiting scope of safety, security, and public order."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:34 pm 0 comments links to this post

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Statistics Canada's Elizabeth Hostetter

The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has launched 13 Questions With..., a new series on its website that profiles a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Elizabeth Hostetter, Metadata Analyst, Statistics Canada in Ottawa.

Excerpt:
"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Read – a lot, whether it’s books, blogs, or journal articles. Read to keep on top of trends and learn the language, so to speak. It keeps you sharp and bolsters your credibility."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, March 22, 2013

Susan Barker Becomes New Editor of Canadian Law Library Review

Susan Barker, Reference and Digital Services Librarian at the Bora Laskin Law Library, University of Toronto, has been appointed to the position of Editor, Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR), effective immediately.

She takes over from Nancy McCormack, Librarian and Associate Professor of Law, Law Library, Lederman Law Library, Faculty of Law, Queen's University. McCormack has been the Editor of CLLR since 2009.

The CLLR is published by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.





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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Full Collection of Digitized Federal Hansards by 2015?

I attended a presentation yesterday organized by the National Capital Association of Law Libraries (NCALL) where a representative from the Library of Parliament (LOP) outlined plans to make all older federal parliamentary debates available for free via PDF within the next few years.

Currently, pre-1900 debates are available in digital format on the Canadiana.org subscription website. Senate debates from 1996 onwards and House of Commons debates from 1994 onwards are available online on the parliamentary website.

LOP has teamed up with Canadiana.org in a five-year collaborative effort to create a free-of-charge portal that will offer searchable access to federal Hansards going back to the years of Confederation.

According to the schedule presented at the NCALL meeting:
  • 2013 will see the release on the new free portal of all pre-1900 Hansards already available via the subscription product known as Early Canadiana Online, as well as the loading of Hansards from 1988 to the mid-1990s
  • in the 2013-14 fiscal year, Hansards from 1940 to 1987 will be processed and loaded
  • in the 2014-15 fiscal year, Hansards from 1900 to 1939 will be processed and loaded
  • in Years 4 and 5 of the project, there will be ongoing maintenance and enhancements as dollars permit
The material will be organized by parliamentary session and PDF pages will be at the level of individual sitting days.

The total budget for the 5-year digitization effort is around $325,000.

Things will never be perfect of course. With older items, there may be problems with the quality of the print originals used for digital scanning. And while the topical Indexes for each of the older parliamentary sessions will be searchable, there won't be links from any particular index item to the corresponding Hansard page(s).

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Library Journal's Movers and Shakers 2013

Library Journal has released its 2013 list of Library Movers and Shakers:
"Awesome: that’s the best way to describe the 2013 class of Movers & Shakers. This particular group may have more librarians working outside traditional libraries than ever before, attesting to the role librarians, and those in the library field, play in the larger world. Yet whatever their title or workplace, these Movers are making outsize contributions.This latest group of 50 (rolling out over the next week) brings the number of Movers to over 600. The Movers are quick to tell us they’re stand-ins for the many creative, diligent librarians, and others, building the library future. We know there are innumerable talented candidates, and we thank all of you who took the time to send in your nominations."
The publication provides a map of all the Movers and Shakers from 2002 to 2013.

Over the years, a number of Canadian librarians have been selected, and this year there was one: Kate Tkacik with the Bank Of Montreal Business Research Group.

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Law and Democracy Week Coming to Université du Québec en Outaouais in May 2013

The Institute of Parliamentary and Political Law / Institut de droit Parlementaire et politique is cooperating with the Université du Québec en Outaouais in Gatineau (right across the Ottawa River from Ottawa), to establish a program of study in parliamentary and political law known as Law and Democracy Week.

This will be an intensive program of courses on institutions and instruments of governing, from a legal point of view and will take place May 13-17, 2013.

Courses will cover the fundamentals of constitutional law, the machinery of government, international relations, electoral law, ethics in public life, the life cycle of legislation and government accountability.

The week also includes a dinner and discussion of the work of the Canadian judiciary with The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.

Registration deadline: April 5, 2013.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:59 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, March 17, 2013

European Court of Human Rights Monthly Information Notes Now Easier to Find

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) based in Strasbourg has made it easier to find and search its Information Notes.

These notes are a monthly round-up, in the form of legal summaries, of the most interesting judgments, decisions and communicated cases. Each summary has a headnote and is classified by the article(s) of the European Convention on Human Rights to which the case relates and by keywords.

It is possible to search for  individual summaries from the Information Notes from 1998 to date by selecting the ‘Legal summaries’ box in the Document collections in the HUDOC database and using all the available search criteria and filters.

The Court has created a mini-tutorial with more information.

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council of Europe is one of the continent's oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It has 47 member countries.

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Janine Miller Fellowship to Attend Law via the Internet Conference

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has established the Janine Miller Fellowship to provide funding annually for one Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) member to attend the Law via the Internet Conference.

The 2013 conference will be held on the island of Jersey, Channel Islands, September 26 and 27. Expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 will be covered.

The conference brings together people from the Legal Information Institutes (LIIs) from different countries and continents that together form the Free Access to Law Movement. The goal of the LIIs is to maximize free access to public legal information such as legislation and case law from as many countries and international institutions as possible. CanLII and Lexum, which publishes the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada online, are prominent members of the movement.

Janine Miller was Executive Director of CanLII until her retirement in 2011 and has played a key role in CALL over the years.

Guidelines for the award include:
  • All members of CALL who have been in good standing for a minimum of twelve months are eligible to apply for the Fellowship.
  • The applicant's résumé, letter of application, and at least two letters of reference will form the basis of selection. In their letter of application, applicants should outline how attendance at the conference will benefit them in their current position and/or in their career as a law librarian.
  • The successful applicant will write a report of the conference for publication in the Canadian Law Library Review.  
Members who wish to apply should do so on or before April 19, 2013.  

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

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 1-15, 2013 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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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nominations for Canadian Bar Association Awards for Excellence in Journalism

Nominations are open until May 1, 2013 for the Stephen Hanson Awards for Excellence in Journalism (formerly the Justicia Awards) that reward "outstanding journalism that fosters public awareness and understanding of any aspect of the Canadian justice system and the roles played by institutions and participants in the legal system".

The Awards are organized by the Canadian Bar Association. There are awards in French or English stories in two categories: print and broadcast media.

The first Justicia Awards were handed out in 2000. The website has a complete list of winners from previous years.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

European Court of Human Rights Guide on Forced Labour Case-law

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) based in Strasbourg has launched a new series of studies on its case-law relating to particular articles of the European Convention Of Human Rights.

The most recent guide in the series deals with art. 4 on the prohibition of slavery and forced labour.

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the Convention. The Council of Europe is one of the continent's oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It has 47 member countries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:19 pm 0 comments links to this post

CLA Government Library Network Interview With Environment Canada's Ross Gordon

The CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), has launched 13 Questions With..., a new series on its website that will profile a member of the Canadian library and IM community every week.

This week's interview is with Ross Gordon, Director, ECollab, Library and Records Management Service, Environment Canada , in Ottawa. He is one of the first librarians I ever met when I started in my new profession.

Excerpt:
"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Take courses outside your school, be very broad, you never know what opportunity will pop up. In my time whole new technologies blew up that took on IM specialists, things we never dreamed of became normal. Google, who knew? Handy to have some business and marketing courses. I sell my library services full time, otherwise they can become roadkill. The way it is. Learn to speak out loud about how valuable you are, don’t for a minute think people will just notice you. Study History and Technology and Business and whatever else looks like fun. May come in handy. I got to work a year in Marketing at CISTI which was a lot of fun, travelled all over the place, who knew it was coming? "

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CALL Mentoring Program Applications Now Open

Applications are now open for the Mentoring Program of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL).

The program is for anyone who is a member of CALL, regardless of years in the profession or type of library. CALL aims to make matches between mentors and mentees based on self-selected mutual interests, whether it be experience and knowledge of courthouse libraries, knowledge management, academic legal librarianship, and many other categories.

More details about the Mentoring Program are available on the CALL website.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Latest Issue of Canadian Law Library Review

The latest issue of Canadian Law Library Review is available in print and online.

The journal is published by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL). The online edition is available to CALL members in the members-only section of the CALL website.

Some of the highlights of this issue include:
  • CALL 50th Anniversary: Reflections - A Parade of Past Presidents: "The Canadian Association of Law Libraries began a year- long celebration of its fiftieth anniversary with a parade of past presidents at the closing banquet of the conference held in Toronto in May 2012. In preparation for the presentation of the past presidents, CALL/ACBD members Janet Moss and Rosalie Fox researched some of their accomplishments"
  • Built to Last - A Year of Celebration at the Ontario Legislative Library (by Erica Anderson):  "CALL Conference 2012 attendees in Toronto may recall the reception held at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, which included a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Legislative Library in the North Wing of Queen’s Park. Library staff had a busy and exciting year marking the centenary with special events, like the one at CALL, and with written works ––most notably a commemorative book–– Built to Last, The Legislative Library: Celebrating 100 Years in the North Wing of the Legislative Building, 1912 - 2012 by Susanne Hynes, Joanne Robertson and Elias Chiddicks. This book is an excellent companion to Susanne’s earlier Ontario Legislative Library book, From Ashes to Steel, about the 1909 fire that destroyed the Legislative Library. The 2012 celebration marks 100 years for the Legislative Library in the same space, but it has been operating in various locations for nearly 200 years (stay tuned for that celebration in 2016!). Since, as far as we can tell, there was very little fanfare when the Library opened the doors to its new facility in the North Wing, the 2012 anniversary is also an opportunity to recognize how our predecessors pulled through that devastating fire of 1909 and built a structure that has lasted a century."
  • Free and Open Access to Legal Resources Through CanLII (by Max David King): "Law librarians, lawyers, and activists often discuss the possibilities for free and open access to legal resources in the digital age and through the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) in particular. However, this potential is not yet fully realized (...) CanLII is often held up as an alternative to the large corporations that dominate the legal publishing industry as CanLII provides free and open access to case law and legislation (despite some noticeable gaps in its resources compared to Westlaw Canada and LexisNexis Quicklaw). In particular, CanLII does not offer secondary materials such as journals, digests or law related articles and does not offer points of access through topical databases, such as criminal or family law. Although CanLII is incorporating more primary legal resources and has expressed its intent to incorporate secondary legal resources into its services, these moves may not fully solve the problems surrounding access to legal information. The question addressed in this paper is what modifications can be made to CanLII to bridge the gap between its current services and its stated intent of free and open access for the Canadian public."
  • Law Library Virtual Tours and Tutorials on YouTube: A Social Media Review (by Channarong Intahchomphoo): "This study investigates how law libraries can use YouTube to provide virtual tours and online tutorials to build relationships between the library and patron. It also looks at how YouTube can help to promote better information- seeking practices including how to search more efficiently and effectively for books and journals, how to search subscribed academic databases, how to evaluate online information sources based on academic criteria, and how to seek expert assistance from librarians. In this study, the University of Ottawa’s Brian Dickson Law Library, and the Harvard Law School Library were selected as examples of how to incorporate YouTube as a part of the library’s services for patrons. " 
  • Research Strategies for Locating Hard-to-Find Legal Materials (by Humayun Rashid): "I have been involved in reference services on a regular basis since 1991 and have occasionally provided interlibrary loan services as part of the overall reference services, but I took on the challenge of assisting with document delivery services without realizing the difficulties in finding some of the more obscure materials requested by faculty. This opportunity provided me with an excellent chance to refine my reference and research skills. It also honed my organizational and analytical skills, and allowed me to draw on my cataloguing experience and many years of reference service. This article provides advice on research strategies for hard-to-find materials requested by patrons."
  • Management 301: Lessons from CALL 2012 (by Wendy Reynolds): "The program for the Canadian Assocation of Law Libraries’ annual conference (“CALL 2012”) had subtle themes running through it. Although not specifically articulated, David Whelan, Program Committee Chair, and his committee looked for topics from potential speakers which fit into three broad categories: personal growth and development, contributing to your organization’s reputation, and looking to the future. For me, as Conference Planning Committee Chair, and perhaps for others on the Conference Planning Committee (CPC), there was yet another area for learning. Planning the Toronto CALL conference was an advanced management seminar. In the spirit of collaboration, I thought I would pass along some of the lessons learned. "

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for March 2013

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for March 2013.

To find out more about any particular case, the Court's website has a section that allows users to find docket information, case summaries as well as factums from the parties. All you need to do is click on a case name.

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Aboriginal Inmates Now Almost One Quarter of Canadian Prison Population

In a special report tabled today in the House of Commons, the Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers found that the aboriginal prison population has jumped in the last decade and that correctional authorities have not been living up to their obligations.

As well, the report, entitled Spirit Matters: Aboriginal People and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, shows that aboriginal inmates are sentenced to longer terms, spend more time in segregation and maximum security and are less likely to be granted parole.

Among the highlights of the report:
  • since 2005-06, there has been a 43% increase in the Aboriginal inmate population
  • 23% of the federal incarcerated population is Aboriginal (they are 4% of the overall population)
  • one in three federally sentenced women offenders are Aboriginal
  • highest concentration in the Prairie Region
  • recent growth in correctional populations is primarily attributable to rising number of Aboriginal admissions and readmissions
The report examined the implementation of Sections 81 and 84 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). It tried to do so in the context of Supreme Court of Canada judgments in R. v. Gladue, [1999] 1 S.C.R. 688 that instructed judges to pay particular attention to the unique circumstances of Aboriginal people and their social histories when determining a suitable sentence for Aboriginal offenders.

Section 81 of the Act allows for agreements to transfer care and custody of an Aboriginal offender who would otherwise be held in a federal penitentiary to an Aboriginal community facility.

Section 84 provides for Aboriginal communities to be involved in the release of an Aboriginal offender returning to their community.

In relation to s. 81, the report found:
  • only four Section 81 agreements have been concluded with Aboriginal communities since 1992
  • there are only 68 Section 81 bed spaces across Canada (capacity for just 2% of some 3,500 Aboriginal inmates)
  • no Section 81 agreements have been signed in BC, ON, Atlantic or in the North
  • no new Section 81 facility has been added since 2001, despite a 40% increase in Aboriginal incarceration
  • three of four Section 81 facilities are on reserve land, yet most Aboriginal offenders are released to an urban setting
In relation to s. 84, the major shortcomings underlined by the report were:
  • under-utilized in federal corrections (of some 19,000 federal correctional services employees, just 12 Aboriginal Community Development Officers)
  • overly complex and bureaucratic exercises
  • not well understood within or outside the federal correctional service
The report came up with a number of recommendations to help correctional services address factors that would help mitigate the chronic over-representation of Aboriginal people in federal penitentiaries. Among those recommendations are:
  • creating the position of Deputy Commissioner for Aboriginal Corrections to coordinate programs
  • developing a long-term strategy for additional Section 81 agreements and significantly increasing the number of bed spaces in areas where the need exists
  • in all these agreements, correctional services should enter into Memoranda of Understanding with the appropriate agency or First Nation leadership to ensure that the leadership and Elders are involved as equal partners
  • expanding staff training curricula to include in-depth training about Aboriginal people, history, culture and spirituality for all staff, including training in the application of Gladue principles to correctional decision-making
  • partnering with Aboriginal organizations to develop protocols for Section 84 releases into their respective communities
The Correctional Investigator acts as an ombudsman for federal offenders, investigating and solving individual offender complaints.

Reports in the news media:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:55 pm 0 comments links to this post

Upcoming Webinar on Resource Description and Access

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) is holding two webinars in the near future on Resource Description and Access, the new cataloguing standard and successor to AACR2.

The two events are:

What is RDA and why do I need to know?
It’s 2013 and RDA is being implemented. What does this mean for the library as a whole? This session will give a quick introduction to RDA and the reasons for switching to a new standard. It will focus on why RDA is an important step forward for libraries and conclude with a brief look at the implementation process.

Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Time: 2pm (ET)

Taking the Leap: Managing a Successful Implementation of RDA
How does one go about implementing RDA? This session will look at several aspects of implementation, beginning with an overview of the transition. Topics include the steps that need to be considered, preparations for staff and systems, and different approaches to training.

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2013
Time: 2pm (ET)

Cost per webinar is:
  • CLA members: $25, groups $125
  • non-members: $40, groups $200
  • Members of Other Associations (AIIM, ARMA, CALL, CHLA, provincial associations, SLA, etc.) : $35, groups $150

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:39 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Canadian Bar Association Access to Justice Project Paper on Underexplored Alternatives for the Middle Class

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) Access to Justice Committee is circulating a discussion paper on Underexplored Alternatives for the Middle Class.

It is part of the CBA's Envisioning Equal Justice initiative announced at the 2012 Canadian Legal Conference in Vancouver.
"This Discussion Paper outlines current challenges to providing access to justice for the middle class and identifies the main approaches being used and proposed to address those challenges. Our particular focus is on new ways for lawyers to provide their services, offering opportunities for the profession to consider a broader range of assistance at various price options for the middle class."

"The Discussion Paper concludes with several questions that we hope will elicit further discussion and debate as to how the CBA can best support the Bar in responding to these new opportunities .This Discussion Paper was prepared for distribution and consultation beginning at the CBA Mid-Winter Meeting of Council, February 15 - 17 2013."
The CBA is asking for responses by March 31, 2013.

There is further information on the CBA Access to Justice page.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:42 pm 0 comments links to this post

Law Day 2013 - Wednesday, April 17

April 17, 2013, is Law Day, an annual event organized by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) to celebrate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Law Day is marked by projects and activities taking place across the country. Activities include lectures and education sessions on the law for high school students and the public, mock trials, courthouse tours, and poster, photography, and essay contests aimed at elementary and high school students.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:37 pm 0 comments links to this post

Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper on Enforcement of Civil Judgments

The Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia has published a discussion paper on Enforcement of Civil Judgments: Exemption of Judgment Debtors’ Income:
"This Discussion Paper considers the extent to which a judgment debtor’s income ought to be exempt from seizure to satisfy a civil money judgment. We have organized the discussion around the following main issues:
  1. what benchmark measure to use for determining a minimum threshold of income which is not subject to seizure;
  2. how to apply the benchmark measure, including: a. whether the minimum income threshold should be differentiated based on community size, or whether instead a single provincial figure is appropriate; b. whether the minimum income threshold should take into account the debtor’s household income; c. how to account for the debtor’s dependants; d. whether to include certain tax benefits as income subject to seizure;
  3. what deductions ought to be permitted in calculating an income exemption amount, in addition to the minimum income threshold (in particular, whether in addition to those legally required to be paid, such as CPP/EI, union dues and professional fees, a debtor ought to be able to deduct child care, child and spousal support, and/or medical expenses);
  4. what proportion of the debtor’s income should be subject to seizure; and,
  5. how to protect exempt income once it is paid to the debtor."
The document includes a section entitled "Comparison of Income Exemption Provisions in Canadian Legislation".

Contributions and submissions in response to the discussion paper will help the Commission in writing its final report.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

March/April Issue of LawNow on Environmental Causes

The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The current issue is devoted to environmental causes and the law:
LawNow provides credible legal information and interpretation to help Canadian citizens understand law and better protect their interests.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, March 04, 2013

2012 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Research Grant

The 2012 Research Grant of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been awarded to University of Victoria law librarian Kim Nayyer for her project on Resource-Sharing Options for Canadian Law Libraries:
"The project will encompass a survey of resource-sharing arrangements in law libraries across Canada, a survey and analysis of the literature and other research, and will propose recommendations to Canadian law libraries about the options, advantages and disadvantages of participation in various resource-sharing arrangements."
The Award provides CALL members with financial assistance to carry out research in areas of interest to members and to the association.

There is a list of previous winners on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:36 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 2002-2012

The Supreme Court of Canada has published statistics on its activities for the period 2002-2012.

The numbers outline the Court's workload during that period, broken down into 5 categories:
  • Cases Filed: the number of complete applications for leave to appeal and notices of appeal as of right filed by litigants with the Court’s Registry each year
  • Applications for Leave Submitted: the number of leave applications submitted to panels of the Court for decision, the number of leave applications granted and the percentage granted of the total submitted each year
  • Appeals Heard: the number of appeals heard each year and the number of hearing days over the year
  • Appeal Judgments: information with respect to the number of judgments rendered each year
  • Average Time Lapses: average time lines in the life of a case at the Court (including  time between the filing of a complete application for leave to appeal and the Court’s decision on whether leave should be granted or denied; how soon appeals were heard after leave was granted or the notice of appeal as of right was filed; how soon judgments were rendered after the appeal hearing)


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Saturday, March 02, 2013

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 February 16-28, 2013 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 7:45 pm 0 comments links to this post