Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Foreign Involvement in Elections

The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently published a comparative law report on the Regulation of Foreign Involvement in Elections (written in August 2019):
"This report by the foreign law research staff of the Law Library of Congress’s Global Legal Research Directorate includes surveys of thirteen major democratic foreign jurisdictions on laws and policies addressing foreign involvement in elections. "

"Reports of foreign interference in recent elections in the United States and elsewhere have prompted responses in several countries. For example, Australia enacted a new law in 2018 imposing limits on foreign donations to parties and candidates, and also prohibited other political actors from using foreign donations to fund political expenditures. Australia also adopted a Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme, which requires persons undertaking political activities for foreign principals to meet registration and disclosure requirements. Australia also legislated new criminal offenses involving foreign interference, including the offense of 'intentional foreign interference,' which provides for imprisonment for up to 20 years for covert or deceptive conduct on behalf of a foreign principal intended to influence a political or governmental process."   

"Canada also enacted a new law in 2018. The Elections Modernization Act provides that only Canadian citizens or permanent residents can contribute to parties or candidates, and that third parties may not use funds for a partisan purpose during a pre-election period if the source of the funds is a foreign entity. The new law creates offenses prohibiting foreign actors from unduly influencing an election and Canadians from colluding with foreign actors for this purpose."

(...)

"Most of the other countries surveyed in this report similarly have laws prohibiting foreign donations. Donations typically are defined broadly to include all forms of support having monetary value, including provision of services." 
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:19 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

CanLII: 2019 in Review

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has published a blog post reviewing the very busy year it had in 2019.

The CanLII website makes Canadian legal information (caselaw, legislation and commentary) available free of charge via the Internet and is a founding member of the Free Access to Law Movement.

In 2019, CanLII:
  • partnered with many journals, law firms, law centres and other organizations to expand its offerings of legal commentary
  • launched the CanLII  Authors Program
  • continued its historical scanning projects of older cases
  • added many tribunal decision collections
  • and much more

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:53 pm 0 comments

Monday, December 16, 2019

Library Association Election Priorities and the 2019 Ministerial Mandate Letters

In last fall's federal election campaign, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations outlined objectives in four areas it wanted to see addressed:
  • Advancing Social Infrastructure
  • Copyright
  • Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Language Preservation
  • Support for Accessible Formats
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently released the mandate letters for ministers of his new cabinet and the website librarianship.ca has summarized the "policy objectives for several ministers which touch on and support the recommendations from the library community".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:54 pm 0 comments

Statistics Canada Article on Family Violence in Canada

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat recently published an article entitled Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2018 that uses police-reported data to explore the following topics: family violence against children and youth, intimate partner violence and family violence against seniors.

Among the highlights:
  • family violence against seniors increased from 2009 to 2018, while intimate partner violence declined and family violence against children and youth remained relatively stable
  • family violence against seniors increased by 11% from 2009 to 2018, while intimate partner violence declined by 12% and family violence against children and youth remained relatively stable (-1%). Meanwhile, overall police-reported violence declined by 17%.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:48 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 1-15, 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 6:34 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Annotated US Constitution - Impeachment Clauses

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of September 25, 2019 entitled Resources on How to Impeach a US President.

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., recently published a new post on The Constitution Annotated—Impeachment Clauses:
"The Library of Congress has updated the Constitution Annotated essays pertaining to impeachment and incorporated them in the annotations to Article I, Article II, and Article III of the Constitution (...)"

"The Library of Congress launched the Constitution Annotated on Constitution Day, September 17, 2019. The website provides online access to the 'Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation,' which has served as Congress’s official record of the Constitution for over a century and explains in layman’s terms the Constitution’s origins, how the nation’s most important law was crafted and ratified, and how every provision in the Constitution has been interpreted."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:01 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

US Supreme Court Hears Case on Copyright Status of Georgia's Official Legal Code

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard the case Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. [oral transcript / docket information with documents filed by parties and interveners].

The case involves the copyright status of the official legal code of the American state of Georgia which is published with annotations written by LexisNexis.

A non-profit called Public.Resource.Org published that state code on its website. Georgia sued arguing that the annotations are copyrighted.

The catch: only the commercially available annotated version is official. Free versions without the annotations are not official.

The websites Ars Technica and infoDOCKET have more background on the case.

And the most recent episode of the law librarian podcast The Geek in Review also dives into the matter.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:59 pm 0 comments

Monday, December 09, 2019

Presentations Available from Government Information Day East 2019

The SLA Toronto chapter and the Toronto Reference Library hosted the Government Information Day (East) 2019 on Thursday, November 28, 2019.

The event was devoted to the use, production, preservation, and access of government information.

The presentations are now online.

Topics covered included:
  • Library of Parliament’s digitization and preservation projects
  • Canadian Municipal Collection: A digitization project
  • Scholars Portal Government Documents Projects
  • Post-depository: Project Update
  • The Legislative Library of Ontario's digital repository: Overview, challenges, future initiatives
  • The Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s website – The recent redesign of ola.org and upcoming enhancements
  • ISBNs: Us and You and the Future
  • Communicating Value Through Strategic Alignment
  • Serving Ontario’s New Parliament: Outreach Strategies
  • Copyright and Public Sector Information: A Comparative Study
  • Canadian Collective Print Preservation Strategy (CCPPS) Working Group: Overview of Activities
  • Making Government Data Accessible: Discoverability, Availability and Usability

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:54 pm 0 comments

Friday, December 06, 2019

Juristat Article on Gender-Based Violence and Unwanted Sexual Behaviour in Canada

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published an article entitled Gender-based violence and unwanted sexual behaviour in Canada, 2018: Initial findings from the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces:
"Gender-based violence comprises a wide range of behaviours, some of which are not defined as criminal under Canadian law ... In addition to overt acts of violence, gender-based violence also includes behaviours that can be more subtle, yet may cause victims to feel unsafe, uncomfortable or threatened because they were victimized because of their gender."

"Unwelcome comments, actions, or advances while in public—despite not meeting a criminal threshold—may cause individuals to withdraw or to not otherwise fully engage in their daily activities or access spaces in which they have the right to freely use and enjoy ... These behaviours can also serve to normalize, create, or support a culture where certain individuals feel targeted and discriminated against. Indeed, while some research suggests that unwelcome gendered behaviours may be considered minor or trivial, especially in comparison to other types of sexual violence, they nevertheless come with their own set of consequences and negative impacts on daily life ... When these behaviours are sexualized and/or gender-based, they can serve to create or reinforce sexist or discriminatory stereotypes or norms that can be harmful to everyone."

"In 2018, Statistics Canada conducted the Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS) with the goal of advancing knowledge of gender-based violence in Canada by collecting information on experiences and characteristics of violent victimization as well as the continuum of other unwanted experiences while in public, online, or at work."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:07 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Fraudsters Pretending To Be From the Supreme Court of Canada

Recently, many people have been receiving phone calls asking for personal information. The calls are being made from numbers that appear to be from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Among other details, the callers ask for the recipient's Social Insurance Number as well as payment for various things.

These calls are part of a scam.

As the Supreme Court of Canada website explains:
"As a result, we are experiencing a higher call volume and delays may be experienced when calling the Registry."

"Please note that these calls did not originate from this organization and are not legitimate."

"If you have been a victim, we encourage you to report these calls to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll-free at 1-888-495-8501."
If the Court needs anything from you, you will be served with formal paperwork.

The Court never needs people's Social Insurance Number. And it doesn't ask for money by telephone.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:30 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

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

The December 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 4:42 pm 0 comments

Monday, December 02, 2019

Nominations Open for 2019 Canadian Law Blog Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2019 Canadian Law Blog Awards known as the Clawbies.

As the organizers explain:
"Before getting too far into this, we want to acknowledge a small truth: the gradual morphing of these Awards beyond blogs. We’re not looking to change too much. We won’t stop celebrating quality writing or the strong online legal voices that Canada has to offer. But we feel the need to expand the spectrum of Canadian commentary and authors that we shine a light on (...)"
"It’s all going to be fair game: blogs, podcasts, videos, social accounts, legal newsletters, platform commentary, CanLII Connects, whitepapers, a stellar SSRN account or a serial magazine column. We’re basically looking at everything that’s online and free, short of books."
The deadline for nominations is end of day on Thursday, December 20th and the winners of the 2019 Clawbies will be announced on New Year’s Eve.

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

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Statistics Canada Report on Homicide in Canada

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat last week published an article on Homicide in Canada, 2018.

Nationally, police reported 651 homicides in 2018, 15 fewer victims than the previous year. Although the homicide rate fell 4% in 2018 to 1.76 per 100,000 population, it remains higher than the national average for the previous decade.

While homicide continues to be a relatively rare occurrence, representing less than 0.2% of all violent crimes in Canada in 2018, homicide rates are considered benchmarks for levels of violent activity both in Canada and internationally.

Among the highlights of the report:
  • The decrease in the national number of homicides was a result of notably fewer victims in Alberta (-38 homicides), British Columbia (-30), Quebec (-10) and Nova Scotia (-10), but was offset by a record increase in Ontario due to homicides in the Toronto census metropolitan area.
  • There were 266 homicides reported in Ontario in 2018, an increase of 69 from 2017. This is the highest number of homicides and the largest year over year increase reported in a single province since Statistics Canada began collecting this data in 1961. With a rate of 1.86 per 100,000 population, it is also the highest rate in Ontario since 1991 (2.36).
  • With 142 victims in 2018, Toronto, Canada’s most populated census metropolitan area (CMA), had the most homicides of all CMAs as well as the most homicides ever reported in Toronto since collection at the CMA level began in 1981. This is a 53% increase in the number of victims (93 victims in 2017) and a 50% increase in the rate of homicide from 2017 (1.51 victims per 100,000 population in 2017 to 2.26 victims per 100,000 population in homicides 2018).
  • The national rates for both firearm-related (-8%) and gang-related (-5%) homicides declined in 2018. This marks the first decrease in firearm-related homicides since 2013 and the first decrease in gang-related homicides since 2014.
  • The national year over year decline in the number of firearm-related homicides (-18) is a result of fewer firearm-related homicides in areas outside of census metropolitan areas (-20).
  • In 2018, there were 140 Indigenous victims of homicide, a decrease from 157 in 2017. Although the rate of homicide for Indigenous peoples in 2018 decreased from 2017 (7.31 per 100,000 Indigenous people in 2018 compared to 8.45 in 2017), it was still approximately five times higher than the rate for non-Indigenous people (1.44 per 100,000 non-Indigenous people in 2018). The highest rates of homicide were among Indigenous male victims, followed by Indigenous females and non-Indigenous males.
  • Spousal homicide was the only category of homicide to increase in 2018 (+9 victims). In contrast, there were 31 fewer homicides committed by someone with whom the victim had a criminal relationship (e.g., drug dealers and their clients).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:04 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 November 16-30, 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