Thursday, January 31, 2019

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from January 16 to 31, 2019 is now available on the Court website.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

New Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute in Nova Scotia

The Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia has recently changed into the Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute
The Institute continues to be independent of government but is no longer a statutory commission. The Institute will continue the mandate of the Commission by making recommendations for the improvement, modernization and reform of the law. The Institute will continue to make recommendations for the development of new approaches to, and concepts of law that serve the changing needs of Nova Scotian society. It will also make recommendations for the improvement and administration of justice and it will review judicial and quasi-judicial procedures.

The Institute will also be taking on access to justice projects such as #TalkJustice, formerly a project of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Access to Justice Coordinating Committee. The #TalkJustice project seeks to bring the voices of Nova Scotians to the center of justice reform through community engagement and the collection of first-hand experiences of those who have navigated the system. With this unique new project we hope to make the work of the Institute even more responsive to the lives and experiences of all persons in Nova Scotian.
All of the Commission's reports remain available online on the site of the new organization.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Australian Law Reform Commission Report on Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) recently published its report Integrity, Fairness and Efficiency—An Inquiry into Class Action Proceedings and Third-Party Litigation Funders.

Among other things, the report examines to what extent class action proceedings and third-party litigation funders should be subject to national regulation, and whether there is adequate regulation of conflicts of interest between third-party litigation funders, lawyers and class members.

According to the Commission's media release of January 25, 2019:
"The ALRC conducted over 60 consultations with stakeholders and received over 75 submissions to advance Report 134 and its 24 recommendations for reform. The recommendations aim to promote fairness and efficiency in class action proceedings; protect litigants from disproportionate costs; and assure the integrity of the civil justice system, and include recommendations to:
  • provide mechanisms in statute and legal frameworks for the Federal Court to deal effectively with competing class actions;
  • provide mechanisms by which the Federal Court can appoint an independent costs referee to establish the reasonableness of legal costs in class action matters, and by which the Court can tender for settlement administration services;
  • increase transparency and open justice for class action settlements;
  • decrease the risk of ligation funders’ failing to meet their obligations or exercising improper influence through a statutory presumption in favour of securities for cost, and greater Court oversight of funding agreements which must indemnify the lead plaintiff against an adverse costs order;
  • enhance access to justice and decrease costs to litigants through the introduction of a limited percentage-based fee model for solicitors; and
  • introduce a voluntary accreditation scheme for solicitors acting in class action proceedings."
Related Library Boy posts include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:53 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 28, 2019

Globe and Mail Series on Canada's Data Deficit

On the weekend, the Globe and Mail newspaper published a series of articles on what it calls Canada's data deficit, or the often large gaps in the data available in Canada to inform decision-making.

I am copying the links and summaries from the website Librarianship.ca:
Articles added on January 27:
  • Experts urge Ottawa to fix Canada’s data deficit
    Canada could fix gaps in public data by improving co-ordination between provinces, copying ideas from other countries and reforming key pieces of legislation that stifle access to information, according to academics, former Statistics Canada workers and international experts. 
  • Data is knowledge, and Canadians deserve to know themselves
    In Statistics Canada today, the cart is leading the horse with new funding going toward the implementation and administration of policy decisions already taken, whether or not they are supported by the evidence.
The paper's reporters identified 28 data deficits, areas where it is difficult to get a clear picture, based of dozens of interviews, research reports, government documents, international searches and feedback from its own newsroom. Examples include:
  •  What are the wait times for mental-health services?
  •  Which cities have the lowest vaccination rates?
  •  At what rate are workers being killed on the job?
  •  How often are tenants being evicted?
  •  Do children with disabilities have the services they need?
  •  How many Indigenous women are missing?
  •  Which fish species are in danger?
  •  Do our judges reflect the Canadian population?

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:48 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Report on Ratification of Marrakesh Treaty for People With Print Disabilities

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has published an update to its Marrakesh Monitoring Report:
"The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled marks a major victory in efforts to provide equitable access to information for all. For the 300 million people with print disabilities around the world, it promsies to be a life-changer."

"By removing the obligation to seek permission to make or share copies of books in accessible formats, it takes away an important barrier to providing books to people with print disabilities."

"Nonetheless, there are possibilities for Member States to (re)introduce obligations to pay rightholders or undertake other bureaucratic burdens. Governments can also do more or less to favour access to people with other disabilities (such as people experiencing deafness)."

"IFLA is therefore periodically reviewing whether governments have passed the necessary national laws to make a reality of Marrakesh, and if so, whether they are maximising the potential for access,"
Canada has ratified the treaty.

In 2018, IFLA prepared a guide for librarians on Getting Started with the Marrakesh Treaty with the support of the World Blind Union, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, and the University of Toronto.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:03 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Needs Volunteers to Create Content for CanLII

The Legal Research and Writing Special Interest Group of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is creating a working group to create content for the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII).

CanLII would like CALL members to produce a minimum of eight instructional materials per year, particularly visual aids to assist users in understanding how to use CanLII (e.g., videos, infographics, etc.).

In exchange, CanLII will pay CALL $1000 per year for the non-exclusive right to publish the content on CanLII’s websites and social media accounts. Content creators would retain copyright or their work and receive proper attribution.

Interested CALL members can fill out this Google form and the people who run the Legal Research and Writing group will get in touch.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:50 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 21, 2019

Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan Report on Assisted Reproduction & Parentage

The Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan recently published its Final Report on Assisted Reproduction & Parentage:
"The use of assisted reproduction to conceive children is increasing in Canada, however, Saskatchewan’s parentage legislation does not provide clear rules on who the parents of a child born through assisted reproduction should be. The Commission’s recommendations are based on the need to ensure certainty and clarity at the earliest possible time for intended parents and their children, the need for all individuals to receive equal treatment before the law, the best interests of children, and a desire for Saskatchewan’s parentage legislation to be as harmonious as possible with other Canadian jurisdictions."
The report looks at reform attempts in other Canadian provinces and in foreign jurisdictions such as New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:23 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Law Library of Congress Interview With Abigail Grotke, Web Archiving Team Lead

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted an interview this week with Abigail Grotke, Web Archiving Team Lead at the library:
"How would you describe your job to other people?
'I archive the internet' usually gets attention at parties. The longer answer is that I am the Web Archiving Team Lead for the Library’s web archiving program. Web archiving is the process by which we use special tools to make copies of web content for preservation and access by future researchers. We preserve a variety of content published to the web — not just websites, but also individual documents, video, audio, images, social media, etc. The Library of Congress web archives are organized in thematic and event-based collections, and contain websites documenting a variety of U.S. and international organizations representing a broad range of subjects and topic areas, such as the Law Library’s ongoing Legal Blawgs Web Archive, United States Congressional Web Archive, and Federal Courts Web Archive."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.   

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:41 pm 0 comments

New Zealand Law Commission Consultation on Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations

The Law Commission of New Zealand is conducting a comprehensive review of the Criminal Investigations (Bodily Samples) Act 1995. The Act provides the New Zealand Police with powers to collect, retain, and use DNA in criminal investigations.

The purpose of this review is to determine whether the current legislation is fit for purpose and whether it is keeping pace with developments in forensic science, international best practice and public attitudes, in relation to the collection, retention and use of DNA in criminal investigations. The review will also examine whether the Act gives appropriate recognition to both law enforcement values and human rights, including the right to privacy.

The Commission released an Issues Paper on December 18, 2018 that will serve as the basis for a consultation ending March 31, 2019. Pages 80 to 82 of the paper contain a cross-jurisdictional comparison of DNA practices in Scotland, the UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia and the United States.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:27 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

New International Law Research Guide on Right to Water

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, has published a new research guide on the Human Right to Water:
" 'The human right to water' is the right of natural persons either individual or collective against international entities—including states, international organizations, and multi-national corporations—to the civil and political, economic, social, or cultural aspects of water in terms of quality, quantity, or access (...)"

"In order for governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals to effectively advocate and claim the human right to water, they need access to research that provides all the applicable legally binding instruments and persuasive sources of law, including decisions from international and national courts and opinions of highly qualified publicists. The human right to water research presented herein will contribute to advocacy and litigation efforts at local, city, county, state, national, and international levels. Researching the human right to water requires use of a wide variety of legal instruments and documents produced by inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and states. This research is made more difficult by the complex interplay of interests behind the recognition of the human right to water, the difficulty of defining water and the human right to water, the diversity of stakeholders involved (including indigenous people and minority groups), as well as the complicated and interdisciplinary nature of research (including data, statistics, strategies, implementation plans, and training materials). It is further convoluted by the many different types of relevant legal sources, including international treaties, international custom, general legal principles, jurisprudence, soft law, and domestic laws."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:08 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from January 1 to 15, 2019 is now available on the Court website.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:00 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

January 2019 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sectors around the world.

The January 2019 issue has just been published.

It includes:
  • news items from Canada and around the world
  • announcements of upcoming Canadian and international events (meetings, conferences, seminars)
  • project and product news in areas such as digitization, archives, open source, e-government, access to information and Web 2.0
  • listings of papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:51 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 14, 2019

Impact on Legal Information of Partial US Government Shutdown

This is a follow-up to the January 10, 2019 Library Boy post on Disappearing Data Caused by US Federal Government Shutdown.

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) issued an eBriefing today on the Impact of the Partial Federal Government Shutdown:
"Impact of the shutdown to selected agencies:
  • The Library of Congress/Law Library of Congress and the Government Publishing Office remain open. The shutdown has not closed the Library of Congress/Law Library of Congress or the Government Publishing Office. Both remain open because they are funded through the Legislative Branch appropriations bill, one of the five appropriations bills completed prior to the October 1 start of Fiscal Year 2019. Government websites operated by these agencies—including Congress.gov and govinfo—remain available.
  • The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Legal Services Corporation are open.
  • The National Archives and Records Administration is closed.
  • The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is operating the Judiciary on limited funds through January 18, 2019 (...)"
"In general, federal departments and agencies that face a lapse in appropriations are required by law to shut down operations, with only 'excepted activities' relating to the 'safety of human life or protection of property'. Agencies develop contingency plans outlining actions to be taken when Congress fails to enact appropriations, under guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)..."
According to AALL, many government websites in the US are not being updated during the shutdown, including those of the Department of Justice and the federal Courts of Appeal.

There is also more information on the Free Government Information blog (Government shutdown causing information access problems) and the legal research website beSpacific (Shutdown: Dot-gov websites vulnerable to cyberattacks, certificates expiring amid funding pause).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:08 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Article on Fair Dealing Guidelines in Higher Educational Institutions in Canada

Partnership, the journal of Canada's national network of provincial and territorial library associations, recently published an article entitled Access Copyright and Fair Dealing Guidelines in Higher Educational Institutions in Canada: A Survey:
"Information about the acceptance by Canadian Higher Education Institutions (HEI) of the Access Copyright (AC) tariff is important for educators even though only a minority of HEIs in Canada have committed to the AC tariff. In addition, the copyright 'pentalogy,' the five major decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), and its interpretation of fair dealing has become relevant for the institutions, faculty and students. Many universities and community colleges in Canada have adopted the Universities Canada (UC) guidelines on fair dealing, while some have adopted the 'six-point test' as their guideline. In some cases, institutions have not adopted any policy or guidelines on any aspect of copyright. This paper will investigate these issues to provide one view of the behaviour Canadian HEIs exhibit in their adherence to AC and their use of policy and guidelines at their institutions."
Access Copyright is the organization that supports authors and publishers across the country (with the exception of Quebec) by granting copying licenses for a large catalogue print materials.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:26 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Disappearing Data Caused by US Federal Government Shutdown

The Pew Research Center's Fact Tank website has documented a perhaps unforeseen consequence of the ongoing shutdown of major parts of the US federal government: the drying up of the important streams of data government that institutions provide citizens, investors, planners and the government itself:
"Figuring out which of the government’s data streams will continue to flow and which have been stoppered is complicated, not least because some agencies were fully funded before last month’s budget negotiations reached a stalemate, and thus have been able to keep operating. Here’s a look at what data are and are not available during the shutdown, from what we’ve been able to find out via agency release schedules and planning documents, third-party calendars, and our own reporting. Bear in mind that, based on past experience, scheduled data releases may be delayed because of information-gathering backlogs even after the budget impasse is resolved and agencies fully reopen."



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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:16 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Amendments to Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada Coming Into Force Next Week

Rules Amending the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, SOR/2019-1, were published  today in Part II of the Canada Gazette. The amendments, which come into force on January 15, 2019, apply to all cases.

The amendments deal with the scheduling of hearings and the publication of reasons in appeals involving sealing orders, confidentiality orders and publication bans. They will also allow parties to serve originating documents electronically and to include hyperlinks in leave materials.

The Court's website has published a guide explaining the amendments.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:45 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Education Scholarships

The deadline for applying for two scholarships offered by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is coming up soon.

The two scholarships are:
  • The James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship: it is open to members of CALL and is intended to support attendance at a continuing education program (workshop, certificate program or other similar activity) although not typically an annual conference.
  • the Diana M Priestly Memorial Scholarship: it is awarded to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant with law library experience who will be attending an accredited Canadian Library School; or who has a degree from an accredited Canadian Library School who will be attending a Canadian Law School; or who has a degree from an approved Canadian Law School who will be attending an accredited Canadian Library School; or to someone who will be attending both an approved Canadian Law School and an accredited Canadian Library School, all in the next academic term/year.
The deadline for both is February 1, 2019.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:49 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 07, 2019

13 Questions With Gillian Whichelo Data Governance Analyst

The librarianship.ca website has been running a series of librarian profiles called 13 Questions With ...

Here is the most recent one with Gillian Whichelo, Data Governance Analyst, Government of Canada:
"Why a career in librarianship?
I decided to become an archivist when I was 14 years old. I had a meeting with the school career’s advisor and I asked if she could suggest something to do with history. She replied that I could become an archivist but that ‘it was very difficult to get into’. So as a stroppy teenager, I decided that I would do my utmost to prove her wrong! 
Over the years, my career has evolved. I currently work as an information management consultant for Government departments and I find that I am always learning, always challenging my thinking and I would say the information management profession is a vocation, rather than a career."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:31 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of January 2019 Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeals that will be heard from January 14 to January 25, 2019.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:26 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 06, 2019

January 2019 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The January 2019 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:55 pm 0 comments

Primary Research Group Survey of Law Librarians

New York-based Primary Research Group is surveying law librarians at North American law firms, universities, courthouses, government agencies and private companies and other venues – about their attitudes towards artificial intelligence, docket searching and other issues.

As the organizers explain in an e-mail:
"Participants in this 5-7 minute survey can choose and will receive a pdf copy of one of the reports generated from the survey. Answers are aggregated or otherwise presented without attribution. Institutional names are reproduced in an appendix but personal names of respondents are not included."
Earlier Library Boy posts about Primary Research Group Reports include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:38 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Winners of 2018 Canadian Law Blog Awards

The winners of the 2018 Canadian Law Blog Awards (known as the Clawbies) were announced a few days ago.

The prize for Best Canadian Legal Blog went to The Docket by Michael Spratt and Emilie Taman. This is how the organizers describe it: "The Docket has the honour of being the first podcast to take home the big prize, thanks to the duo’s inimitable blend of whip-smart analysis, conviction and humour. Alongside an impressive roster of guests, the Docket team dissected the year’s many constitutional and criminal justice developments and the cases and issues that had everyone talking".

The Best Law Library Blog award went to O’Faolain by David Whelan.

There were awards in many other categories.

The Clawbies are organized by Stem Legal, a B.C.-based strategy firm.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:00 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from December 16 to 31, 2018 is now available on the Court website.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:53 pm 0 comments