Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Quebec Bar Association Federal Election Debate Live Webcast Tomorrow
Tomorrow starting at noon, the Quebec Bar Association is organizing a debate in Montreal about what the major federal parties running in the October 19 elections are proposing in terms of justice policies.
The debate will be webcast live on the Association's website Votrejustice.ca.
The main topics to be covered in the debate are:
- access to justice
- criminal law and sentencing policies
- administration of justice
- social issues (right to die, murdered and missing aboriginal women, refugees etc.)
Friday, October 02, 2015
American Museum of Tort Law (the "Ralph Nader" Museum) Opens in Connecticut
Last month, the American Museum of Tort Law opened in Winsted, Connecticut.
The museum is the idea of the famous American consumer advocate and lawyer Ralph Nader who comes from Winsted:
"Nader’s consumer-protection advocacy is the lifeblood of the museum. In the center of the museum sits a cherry-red Chevrolet Corvair, the car Nader disgraced in his 1965 book 'Unsafe at Any Speed'."(...)
"In an unfortunate irony for the museum, its building is located directly across the street from the local ambulance service and its fleet of ambulances. But during the opening, a group of E.M.T.s walked across the street with a copy of their training textbook for Mr. Nader to sign. 'Why does a car door not fly open in a crash?' one paragraph begins. 'The answer is the Nader pin (named for Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who lobbied for the device), a case-hardened pin in an automobile door. In a collision, the cams in the door locks grasp the pin to keep the door from flying open, preventing occupants from being thrown from the vehicle. All cars sold in the United States since 1966 have the Nader pin.' He signed his name next to this paragraph and requested a copy for the museum."
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice September 2015 Access to Justice Newsletter
The latest issue of the newsletter includes:
- an article on the Final Report of the CFCJ’s Cost of Civil Justice Attrition in BC's Courts
- news about the United Nations Global Study on Legal Aid
- news about conferences
Thursday, October 01, 2015
October 2015 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Canadian Library Association Launches Federal Election Website
The site outlines the Canadian library community's main priorities concerning the future of libraries in the country in the context of the upcoming October 19 federal elections.
- unstable funding for Library and Archives Canada and cuts to federal government libraries
- the long form census
Law Library of Congress Launches Revamped Global Legal Monitor
The online publication covers legal news and developments from around the world.
The new search form allows readers to find items by keyword, topic, jurisdiction, author, and date. It is also possible to browse by jurisdiction, topic, and author.
More details about the changes can be found on the Library's In Custodia Legis blog.
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.
Upcoming Copyright Courses
- Creative Commons Crash Course (October 7). This webinar is being offered by the American Library Association. The speaker will be Carli Spina, Emerging Technologies and Research Librarian at the Harvard Law School Library
- Developing a Copyright Policy or Guidelines (October 14-30). This online series of tutorials is offered by copyrightlaws.com, a website run by copyright expert Leslie Ellen Harris.
- Copyright - An Overview (October 16). This one-day class is being held at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Education. The speaker is Jean Bryden, Chair of the Copyright Committee of the Bureau of Canadian Archivists
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Statistics Canada Article on Youth Court Statistics
"It highlights youth court key indicators, including the number of completed charges and cases, characteristics of youth who appear in court, case decisions, sentencing outcomes, and the length of time it takes to complete youth court cases. In addition, trends over time in completed youth court cases will also be presented."Among the highlights:
- Canadian youth courts (involving 12- to 17-year-old accused) completed almost 40,000 cases, representing a 12% decline from the previous year. The number of completed cases in youth courts was the lowest number of completed youth court cases since these data were first collected more than two decades ago.
- Most provinces and territories reported a decline in the number of completed cases, with the exception of Yukon (+17%) and the Northwest Territories (+2%), which reported increases. Prince Edward Island recorded the largest decrease (-25%) in youth court cases.
- The majority of completed youth court cases in 2013/2014 involved non-violent crime (71%).
- The most common Criminal Code youth court cases were theft (12%), common assault (9%), and break and enter (8%).
- Almost all types of completed youth court cases decreased between 2012/2013 and 2013/2014. Some of the largest declines were for cases involving disturbing the peace (-35%), impaired driving (-25%) and robbery (-18%).
- Males represented 78% of all accused persons appearing in youth court in 2013/2014. In addition, regardless of gender, most (62%) youth court cases involved those aged 16 or 17 years at the time of the alleged offence.
- In 2013/2014, 56% of all cases completed in youth court resulted in a finding of guilt.
- Custody sentences were imposed in 15% of guilty youth court cases in 2013/2014, which is down from 22% in 2003/2004. The imposition of custodial sentences has been offset somewhat by sentences to deferred custody and supervision (imposed in 5% of cases in 2013/2014), since the latter was introduced as a sentencing option in 2003 with the introduction of the Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA).
- The median length of custodial sentences was 80 days for violent offence cases, 45 days for property offences, and 18 days for administration of justice offences. Only 2% of cases received a custody sentence of one year or more.
- Probation continued to be the most common type of youth court sentence (58%) in 2013/2014. The median length of probation sentences was about 1 year (360 days).
Statistics Canada Article on Adult Criminal Court Statistics
"It presents several key indicators of the adult criminal court process, and focuses on the number of completed cases (including the most common types of offences), the decisions made in cases, as well as the types of sentences that are imposed on accused persons who are found guilty. In addition, this article briefly presents results by age and sex of the accused, median sentence lengths, as well as the amount of time it takes to process completed adult criminal court cases and the factors which may influence court timeliness."Among the highlights:
- In 2013/2014, there were more than 360,000 cases completed in adult criminal court, which represented a 7% decrease in the number of cases from the previous year.
- The number of completed cases declined in most provinces/territories in 2013/2014. Quebec (-15%), British Columbia (-9%) and Prince Edward Island (-8%) reported the largest year-over-year decreases in the number of completed cases. In contrast, Yukon experienced an increase (+6%) in the number of completed cases, while completed cases in Manitoba and Alberta remained relatively stable.
- Most adult criminal court cases in 2013/2014 involved non-violent crime, representing 76% of all completed cases. Impaired driving continued to represent the largest proportion of all completed cases, at 11%. This was closely followed by cases involving theft (10%) and failure to comply with a court order (10%).
- Property crime court cases decreased by 7%, with the largest declines occurring within break and enter (-12%) and other property offences (-11%) cases. Cases involving administration of justice offences decreased by 4% in 2013/2014.
- There were 7% fewer violent crime cases in 2013/2014. Cases involving robbery (-15%), uttering threats (-10%), and other violent offences (-10%) had the largest year-over-year declines.
- Persons under the age of 35 represented almost 60% of all accused persons appearing in adult criminal court in 2013/2014.
- Similar to previous years, 63% of all cases completed in adult criminal court resulted in a finding of guilt.
- Probation was the most common type of sentence imposed in adult criminal court in 2013/2014, at 43% of all guilty cases. The median length of probation was 365 days.
- Custody was the second most frequently imposed sentence in 2013/2014. Slightly more than one third (36%) of all guilty cases received a custodial sentence.
- Most custodial sentences had a length of less than six months in 2013/2014. The median length of custody was 30 days. Only 3% of custody cases received a sentence of two years or more.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for October 2015
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.
Labels: Supreme Court of Canada
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Profile Article About Inventor of Anti-Link Rot Perma.cc Web Tool
The Law School invented the tool Perma.cc that helps organizations create an archive of permanent links for web citations. It acts as a tool to deal with the growing menace of link rot.
Link rot refers to broken URLs or to URLs that direct to the original site but whose corresponding document has been removed or relocated without any information about where to find it.
Zittrain was the co-author of a paper on link rot in legal publishing a few years ago that found that 50% of the links cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions no longer worked properly.
Earlier Library Boy posts about link rot include:
- Recent Law Librarianship Literature (November 6, 2005): "From Law Library Journal, v. 97, no. 4, Fall 2005: Persistent Identification of Electronic Documents and the Future of Footnotes: 'Over the past decade, the use of Internet citations in the footnotes of law review articles has grown from a trickle to a flood. But it is well documented that Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) experience link rot, that is, over time the URL is more and more likely to become a dead link, making the footnote citation worthless or nearly so'."
- Most Recent Issue of Law Library Journal (November 5, 2010): "Among the articles that attracted my attention: ... Breaking Down Link Rot: The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archives Examination of URL Stability: 'Ms. Rhodes explores URL stability, measured by the prevalence of link rot over a three-year period, among the original URLs for law- and policy-related materials published to the web and archived though the Chesapeake Project, a collaborative digital preservation initiative under way in the law library community. The results demonstrate a significant increase in link rot over time in materials originally published to seemingly stable organization, government, and state web sites'."
- Fifth Annual Link Rot Report of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group (May 3, 2012): "The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group has just published its 5th annual study of link rot among the original URLs for online law- and policy-related materials it has been archiving since 2007 (...) In 2012, 218 out of 579 URLs in the sample no longer provide access to the content that was originally selected, captured, and archived by the Chesapeake Group. In other words, link rot has increased to 37.7 percent within five years."
- CBC Radio Interview about Link Rot in Court Decisions (October 28, 2013): "The most recent episode of the CBC Radio show Spark includes an interview with Harvard Law School researcher Kendra Albert who co-authored an article about link rot in US Supreme Court decisions (...) In the case of the URLs in US Supreme Court decisions, the authors found a link rot rate of 50%. The Spark researchers checked URLs in Supreme Court of Canada decisions and found many broken links to texts from the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Law Society of Alberta and the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, among others."
- Georgetown University Symposium Searches for Solutions for Link Rot (March 16, 2015): "Retired Supreme Court of the United States librarian Judith Gaskell published an article today on Slaw.ca called Link Rot: the Problem Is Getting Bigger, but Solutions Are Being Developed. The article describes a symposium in the fall of 2014 at Georgetown University that examined emerging solutions to the problem of link rot.."
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Elections 2015: Parties Respond to CBA Questions on Access to Justice
During the current federal election campaign, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) asked the main political parties (Greens, Bloc, Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats) to answer questions about their vision for equal justice.
The parties' responses have now been made available.
They were asked three questions:
- What would your government do to bolster federal leadership on ensuring that Canada’s civil legal aid system serves the essential legal needs of all people who need help?
- What would your government do to ensure people have the legal help they need when they face criminal charges or are incarcerated?
- What would your government do to save taxpayers’ money by providing adequate legal aid to help meet people’s legal needs at an early, preventive stage
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
US Supreme Court Justices Prefer Shakespeare
This was followed by:
- George Orwell
- Charles Dickens
- Aldous Huxley
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, William Faulkner, Herman Melville and J.D. Salinger (equal number of references)
In descending list of "popularity" among legal scholars:
- Bruce Springsteen
- Paul Simon
- Woody Guthrie
- The Stones
- Grateful Dead
- Simon & Garfunkel
- Joni Mitchell
"According to Long, R.E.M. is the only alternative or post-punk artist represented in the Top Ten, 'and even their popularity can be explained in large measure by the fact that lawyers just seem to get a kick out of the title of their song, It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)'."What might the situation be in Canada?
Referring to another study on the topic of cultural/musical references, the Globe and Mail in 2011 wrote:
"A quick search of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) database of judgments suggests that Canadian judges, who tend to have a drier, more no-nonsense style, are not likely to quote Mr. Dylan."Pity.
Roundup of SLA Twitter Chat on Career Development
The leaders of the event shared advice they would give to someone who is new to a management rol.
The SLA has now published the contents of the event on the Storify website.
September 2015 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World
The September 2015 issue has just been published.
- 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)
Monday, September 21, 2015
Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles
It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.
New International Media Law Database
"IPI Director of Press Freedom Programmes Scott Griffen said the database aimed in part to expose the failure of states, including a majority in Europe, to incorporate international standards on freedom of expression in law."The IPI will eventually expand the geographic and thematic coverage of the database. Right now, the database includes information about national laws dealing with topics ranging from blasphemy to insults to the head of state and defamation of the deceased.
" 'The past years and decades have seen the development, on the part of international human rights bodies and courts, of clear and important standards when it comes to respecting freedom of expression. But our research shows that governments, including in Europe, which is generally considered to be a safe haven for free expression, have largely failed to adopt these standards in legislation,' Griffen said."
"He continued: 'In practice, this means that laws that disproportionately restrict freedom of expression, such as criminal defamation laws, not only still exist, but are also still applied against journalists and others. In the case of Europe, it also makes pushing for change in countries elsewhere more challenging. This database, in offering a clear and consolidated source on legislation in effect on a country-by-country basis, seeks to raise awareness about the gap between international standards and the reality on the ground and thereby energise the advocacy needed to close that gap'."
[Source: Library Journal's INFOdocket]
Friday, September 18, 2015
Upcoming Web Courses on Collection Assessment and Electronic Resources Acquisitions
- Fundamentals of Collection Assessment: "This six-week online course introduces the fundamental aspects of collection assessment in libraries. The course is designed for those who are responsible for or interested in collection assessment in all types and sizes of libraries. The course will introduce key concepts in collection assessment including: The definition of collection assessment; Techniques and tools;Assessment of print and electronic collections;Project design and management." (September 28 - November 6, 2015)
- Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions: "This four-week online course provides an overview of acquiring, providing access to, administering, supporting, and monitoring access to electronic resources. The course offers a basic background in electronic resource acquisitions including: Product trials; Licensing; Purchasing methods; Pricing models. An overview of the sometimes complex relationships between vendors, publishers, platform providers, and libraries is also provided." (September 28 - October 23, 2015)
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Job Search Skills
"Develop your job search skills and join us for this webinar to hear from an expert panel of legal information professional employers. Learn about resumes, interviewing and networking to stand out from the crowd in your job hunt. Hiring professionals with experience in academic, government and private law libraries will address questions put together by the CALL Student Special Interest Group and discuss what they look for when hiring new employees."Speakers will be:
- Joan Rataic-Lang, Executive Director/Library Director of the Toronto Lawyers Association
- Fiona McPherson, Director, Information Services at Justice Canada in Ottawa
- Kristin Hodgins, Director, Library and Research Services for the British Columbia Ministry of Justice
- Kim Nayyer, Associate University Librarian, Law at University of Victoria Libraries
Non-member: $60 + $7.80 HST = $67.80/webinar
This webinar is free to CALL Student Members and CALL Unwaged Members.
It is possible to register online.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
More Sources for International Law Scholarship
Lyonette Louis-Jacques wrote a piece in Slaw.ca today entitled Are There Still Gaps in International Law Scholarship? that describes the many sources for finding topics in international law.
Her article is intended to help authors find alternative sources and approaches to international law topics to they might want to write about, but her list will be helpful to anyone researching international law.
- conferences, symposia, and workshops
- legal and regular news sources
- intergovernmental, international and non-governmental organizations
- new scholarship
Monday, September 14, 2015
Updated International Law Research Guides From GlobaLex
It recently updated a number of its excellent research guides:
- An Approach to Researching the Drafting History of International Agreements
- United Nations Documentation
- The European Human Rights System
- Research Guide on Indigenous Peoples International Law
- Introduction to the Norms and Institutions of the African Union
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Law Library of Congress Staff List of Favourite Works of Legal Fiction
Lots of Grisham, but also mentions of Kafka, Dickens, Marquez, Gaddis, Connelly among other authors.
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.
Alberta Law Reform Institute Discussion Report on Witness Competency
"On occasion, a court must determine whether a proposed witness is competent to give evidence. The question arises with child witnesses and may also arise for adults with cognitive impairment. Alberta legislation about competence has not kept pace with modern knowledge about children’s abilities, and fails to address adults with cognitive impairment. It also has a gap affecting witnesses who use alternative means of communication. This Report for Discussion contains preliminary recommendations for updating Alberta legislation to address these issues (...)"
"Significant reform surrounding the admissibility of children’s evidence has occurred both federally and in other provinces. Multiple law reform agencies (including ALRI) have recommended changes to the approach to children’s evidence, and substantial reform has also taken place in other common law jurisdictions. Despite this, the AEA provisions governing children’s evidence have remained essentially unchanged since 1910."
"The AEA approach to children’s evidence is based on the notion that children are inherently unreliable witnesses. However, modern psychological research has undermined these traditional assumptions. It is now widely accepted that many children are capable of providing appropriate and helpful information to a court, particularly if the court and counsel are aware of children’s linguistic and cognitive development and treat them appropriately."
"In contrast, and despite the express regulation of children’s competence, the AEA does not contain provisions regarding competence of adult witnesses. Adult witnesses are presumed competent unless their competence is challenged. If a competency inquiry is required with respect to an adult witness, the common law applies. If an adult is shown to be incapable of understanding the nature of an oath, the adult will be barred from giving evidence. It would be preferable to have a comprehensive set of rules regarding competence of all witnesses in order to promote consistency and avoid arbitrary distinctions between children and adults."
Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2016 Conference Call for Proposals
Proposals have to be submitted by October 31, 2015.
Conference proposals need to reflect CALL's Professional Development Pathways approved by the Association's Board in August 2015.