Thursday, December 18, 2014

Canadian Library Association Feliciter Issue for December 2014

The December 2014 issue of Feliciter, the journal of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), are is available online. The issue's theme is "Transforming Library Space and Service Delivery". From the editorial:
"Nowhere is the transformative nature of libraries more evident than in conversations concerning the design and role of library environments. The articles in this edition of Feliciter confirm that new building projects are exciting opportunities to reimagine library space. When blended with a new vision of library service, these projects are opportunities to prototype, pilot, and integrate active research into space design. The final outcomes are dynamic community gathering spaces that serve to enrich traditional library experiences while attracting new use."

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Roundup of Nominations for 2014 Canadian Law Blog Awards

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of December 3, 2014 entitled Nominations Open for 2014 Canadian Law Blog Awards .

The Vancouver Law Librarian Blog has posted a roundup of nominees for this year's Canadian Law Blog Awards, also known as the Clawbies.

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, December 23, and the winners of the 2014 Clawbies will be announced on New Year’s Eve.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Communicating and Proving Your Expertise

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a webinar on January 27, 2015 on Defining, Communicating and Proving Your Expertise:
"This session describes the processes and requirements for professional services providers such as law librarians to position themselves as valuable experts and avoid being cast as commodity 'helpers'. Cal Harrison will explain the concept of 'market position' in a way that is free from 'branding jargon' and that is immediately actionable by any individual in the professional services sector."

"Attendees will leave understanding how they can define, communicate and prove their intangible (but real) value to their firm and clients in a very tangible manner."
The speaker is Cal Harrison, President of Beyond Referrals, a consulting firm that advises on the selling, and the buying, of professional services such as architecture, engineering, law, and management consulting.

The webinar will take place at 1:00pm-2:30pm Eastern time.

ALL/ACBD Member: $40 + $5.20 HST    = $45.20/webinar
Non-member: $60 + $7.80 HST    = $67.80/webinar
Student Rate: $25 + $3.25 HST    = $28.25/webinar

It is possible to register online.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Interview With Manager of Law Library of Congress Blog

I have often blogged about In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

The DigitalGov site has an interview with Andrew Weber, Legislative Information Systems Manager for the Library. Weber manages the In Custodia Legis blog: 
"What advice would you give to other government employees in the blogging and social media spheres?
It can be a lot of time and effort, and it can also be a lot of reward. One key [to success] is adding new people. Bringing a fresh perspective is good. We have a lot of content to write about, and it is a fun challenge to come up with a schedule each month. I think one of the nice things about what we do is that we have people from different parts of the Law Library. It is a very rich diversity: not just social media and communications, but from across the Law Library."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes spanning the ages and covering virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Canadian Library Association 2014 Advocacy Review

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has published a short review of its advocacy initiatives for 2014.

These included:
  • the promotion of Canadian Library Month
  • statements on the funding of prison libraries, budgets cuts to Statistics Canada, the federal cybercrime bill, rural broadband access and on the Royal Society of Canada report on libraries
  • continuing concerns relating to budget cuts at Library and Archives Canada
  • the federal government's Open Government initiative
  • copyright
  • federal pre-budget consultations

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the month of November 2014 is now available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library lends materials from all but the most recent New Library Titles list in accordance with its Interlibrary Loan Policy."

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

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Australian Law Reform Commission Paper on Traditional Rights and Freedoms—Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws

The Australian Law Reform Commission has published an issues paper entitled Traditional Rights and Freedoms—Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws as part of a consultation process to identify national legislation that encroaches on traditional rights, freedoms and privileges.  These include fundamental freedoms such as freedom of speech, of religion, of movement and association; and rights or privileges such as client legal privilege, the right to a fair trial, and access to the courts, to name a few.

The Commission will then examine those laws to determine whether the encroachment upon those traditional rights, freedoms and privileges is appropriately justified:
"For the purpose of the inquiry ‘laws that encroach upon traditional rights, freedoms and privileges’ are to be understood as laws that:
  • reverse or shift the burden of proof;
  • deny procedural fairness to persons affected by the exercise of public power;
  • exclude the right to claim the privilege against self - incrimination;
  • abrogate client legal privilege;
  • apply strict or absolute liability to all physical elements of a criminal offence;
  • interfere with freedom of speech;
  • interfere with freedom of religion;
  • interfere with vested property rights;
  • interfere with freedom of association;
  • interfere with freedom of movement;
  • disregard common law protection of personal reputation;
  • authorise the commission of a tort;
  • inappropriately delegate legislative power to the Executive;
  • give executive immunities a wide application;
  • retrospectively change legal rights and obligations;
  • create offences with retrospective application;
  • alter criminal law practices based on the principle of a fair trial;
  • permit an appeal from an acquittal;
  • restrict access to the courts; and
  • interfere with any other similar legal right, freedom or privilege."
The Issues Paper provides a brief explanation of each of the rights, freedoms and privileges listed in the Terms of Reference, their origin and rationale, and how they are protected from statutory encroachment. For each one the Commission asks the question: What criteria or principles should be used for determining when encroachment is justified? The Issues Paper also invites people to identify Commonwealth laws that unjustifiably encroach on traditional rights and freedoms, and to explain why the laws are not justified.

The Commission is accepting public submissions until the end of February 2015. It plans to release a Discussion Paper in July 2015 and provide its final report to the Australian Attorney-General in December 2015.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Public Safety Canada Outcomes Report on National Policing Research Symposium

In the most recent Weekly Checklist of federal government publications,  there is a link to a report by Public Safety Canada and Simon Fraser University on the outcomes of the Economics of Policing: National Policing Research Symposium held last March in Vancouver:
"The Symposium, the first of its kind in Canada, brought together 98 representatives from the three national police associations, frontline officers, Canadian and international academics, federal, provincial and territorial government representatives, and other policing partners together to 1) discuss the governance, structure and mandate required for a Canadian policing research network , 2) identify research priorities for the policing community in Canada , and 3) comment on a prototype of a web portal for policing research."

"This report provides a summary of the discussions and findings , as well as the key ideas, innovations, opportunities, themes, questions, challenges and conclusions that came out of the two-and-a-half-day discussion. A further goal of the report is to articulate the participants’ deliberations, considerations and decisions related to the development of a national policing research network or centre and policing research priorities for Canada ."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad. 

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Justice Canada Report on Violence Perpetrated by Ex-Spouses

In the most recent Weekly Checklist of federal government publications,  there is a link to a recent report written for Justice Canada on Violence perpetrated by ex-spouses in Canada:
"Intimate partner violence affects the lives of many Canadians. In 2011, there were 97,451 victims of police-reported intimate partner violence ... with women representing 80% of the victims of police-reported intimate partner violence in 2011."

"While these numbers provide some insight into the prevalence of spousal violence in Canada, it only reflects a small portion of the actual violence that occurs. Data from the 2009 General Social Survey – Victimization (GSS) found that only 22% of victims of self-reported spousal violence reported the incident to the police ... These numbers also do not provide information on the prevalence of violence perpetrated by ex-spouses, nor the experiences of victims of ex-spousal violence."

"While data exist on violence perpetrated by current spouses, very little information is available on the experiences of ex-spousal violence in Canada. In 2001, Hotton published the report, Spousal Violence after Marital Separation,which was based on data from the 1999 GSS. This report provided great insight into the prevalence of ex-spousal violence in Canada, as well as on experiences of victims of ex-spousal violence. With data from the 2009 GSS, it is possible to look at these same issues using the most current data available."

"The purpose of this report is to provide an update on the 2001 Spousal Violence after Marital Separation report using data from the 2009 GSS. This report explores Canadians’ experiences with violence committed by ex - spouses,  including the prevalence of ex-spousal violence, violence experienced after separation and the emotional consequences of ex-spousal violence. The prevalence of child witnesses to ex-spousal violence is discussed, as is information on the issues surrounding child residence and contact in situations of ex-spousal violence. Finally, the issue of reporting ex-spousal violence to police is explored."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad. 

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Correctional Investigator Report on Overcoming Barriers to Offender Reintegration

In the most recent Weekly Checklist of federal government publications,  there is a link to a recent report by the Office of the Correctional Investigator on Overcoming Barriers to Reintegration: An Investigation of Federal Community Correctional Centres:
"The 2013-14 Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI) features a special focus on the safe and timely reintegration of offenders into the community. The Office has become concerned that indicators of effective community corrections have been trending in the wrong direction in recent years. Parole grant rates are declining (20% in the last 5 years), offenders are serving longer portions of their sentence behind bars before first release, the majority of releases from a federal penitentiary are now by statutory release rather than day or full parole and the number of waived or postponed parole hearings has been increasing . The Office continues to receive complaints regarding the quality of case management practices in which some inmates claim to have little or no contact with their assigned Institutional Parole Officer (...)"

"These trends suggest there are systemic barriers to how and when offende rs are returned to the community und r supervision . Although the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is not the paroling authority, declining grant rates and the high number of waived/postponed parole hearings in particular speak to its capacity to adequately and efficiently prepare offenders for community release. Given these concerns, the Office undertook to investigate one important aspect of CSC’s community operations – the role and function of Community Correctional Centres (CCCs ). These facilities are operated by CSC and only accept federally sentenced offenders."

"An investigation was completed over a 3-month period (January 2014 - March 2014) with the following objectives:
  • Provide an overall profile of the offender population residing in CCCs.
  • Gather information about the experi nces and challenges faced by offenders residing in CCCs .
  • Review and assess CSC policy, procedures, programs, decisions and actions governing CCCs and in responding to the needs of offende rs residing in these facilities.
  • Assess barriers to safe, timely and effective reintegration."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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Sunday, December 07, 2014

Interview With Law Library of Congress Head Cataloguer Gabe Horchler

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has been running an interview series featuring members of the library staff. The series started in late October 2010.

The most recent interview is with Gabe Horchler, section head of the Law Section of Library Services’ Acquisitions & Bibliographic Access Directorate, U.S. Programs, Law & Literature Division:
"How would you describe your job to other people?
When I try to describe my job to non-librarians, their eyes usually glaze over, but I find my work to be very rewarding.  Responsible for cataloging the materials that are assigned to the Law Library, the Law Section processed nearly 20,000 titles in 82 languages in Fiscal Year 2014. This workload covers a wide span of time and place. It runs the gamut from the most recent, cutting edge U.S. imprints which we catalog through the Cataloging in Publication Program before they are even published, to materials from the Library’s overseas offices, and to books from as early as the 16th century that are held by the Law Library but are not under bibliographic control. Dealing with such a large and varied workload requires a diverse, highly skilled, and productive staff, and when the members of the Law Section are unable to handle a particular language or format, they can turn for help to other specialists throughout the Library. There is probably no other institution in the world that has such a range of expertise."
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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Saturday, December 06, 2014

English Law Commission Report on Rights to Light

The Law Commision of England has published a report on the Rights to Light that deals with the types of disputes that arise when a landowner wants to put up a building that may interfere with a neighbour’s right to light.

The Commission recommends:

  • a statutory notice procedure which would allow a landowners to require their neighbours to tell them within a specified time if they intend to seek an injunction to protect their right to light, or to lose the potential for that remedy to be granted;
  • a statutory test to clarify when courts may order damages to be paid rather than halting development or ordering demolition;
  • an updated version of the procedure that allows landowners to prevent their neighbours from acquiring rights to light by prescription;
  • amendment of the law governing where an unused right to light is treated as abandoned; and
  • a power for the Lands Chamber of the Upper Tribunal to discharge or modify obsolete or unused rights to light.




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Thursday, December 04, 2014

December 2014 Issue of the Journal du Barreau

The December 2014/January 2015 issue of the Journal du Barreau is available on the website of the Québec Bar Association.

Among the highlights are articles on:
  • the Association's presentation to the Charbonneau Commission on corruption in the province's construction industry,
  • rules governing testimony in court by medical experts
  • the issue of consent in sexual relations, in particular those involving sadomasochism

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Nominations Open for 2014 Canadian Law Blog Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Canadian Law Blog Awards known as the Clawbies.

As the organizers explain, "we’re celebrating excellence in law-related blogging throughout Canada (and beyond). We’re going to honour (CanCon spelling, too!) the very best of the Canadian legal blogosphere: the most interesting, timely, and helpful law or legal-industry-related blogs on the internet."

The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, December 23, and the winners of the 2014 Clawbies will be announced on New Year’s Eve.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

New Zealand Law Commission Issues Paper on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

The Law Commission of New Zealand has published an Issues Paper on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

From the press releases:
"The Paper presents issues with the current law and contains draft proposals which could create significant reform. The Commission’s proposals are intended to promote discussion and generate submissions prior to the preparation of the final report to be submitted to Parliament (...)"

"The Extradition Act 1999 governs the circumstances under which another country may request suspects for trial in their country, while the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 (MACMA) provides the mechanism for another country to request assistance in investigating and prosecuting criminal offences. The Law Commission has arrived at a preliminary conclusion that both the Extradition Act and MACMA are not fit for purpose in the modern, globalised world. Since both Acts were enacted , the landscape for transnational crime has changed significantly . Considerable advancements in technologies and communications, the rapid expansion of global markets, and ever-increasing international travel has escalated the opportunity for both suspects and the evidence and proceeds of crime to be located in different countries (...)"

"One of the key proposals to reforming extradition law would provide for a simpler two - category approach to categorising countries based on their relationship to New Zealand. The categorisation would influence how an extradition request is advanced. Category 1 would comprise a small group of New Zealand’s closest extradition partners, and Category 2 would include all other countries (...)"

"Currently, MACMA is too detailed and specific and instead needs to be more principles - based. The general rule should be that any domestic tool that can be used to investigate and prosecute crime, and to restrain and seek forfeiture of property derived from crime, is available for foreign criminal matters in the appropriate circumstances. One of the Commission’s key proposals is that the gateway function should be widened, particularly in the area of search and surveillance so that foreign countries will have the ability to ask the New Zealand Police to conduct searches and surveillance under the Search and Surveillance Act 2012 which are needed to assist the foreign countries in their own investigations ."
 The report also examines the practices concerning this question in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

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CLA Government Library Network Interview With Katherine Clubine, Senior Information Specialist at Industry Canada

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

This week's interview is with Katherine Clubine, Senior Information Specialist at Industry Canada:
"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
If you want to work in Ottawa (not just the government, but anywhere in the city), work on your French. In most organizations, a working knowledge of French (at minimum) is just as important as the Library degree or Library Tech diploma (...)"

"How do you stay current in your field?
By reading (publications from professional organizations, blogs and news), through involvement in professional organizations like the Canadian Federal Libraries Strategic Network (CFLSN) and by attending conferences (when possible)." 


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Judges Working Group Comes Up With Ideas for Helping Self-Represented Litigants

A small Working Group of judges representing jurisdictions across Canada have released a document entitled Working with SRLs: Ideas and Suggestions from the Bench.The group was facilitated by Julie Macfarlane of the University of Windsor who leads the National Self-Represented Litigants Project.

From the introduction by Associate Chief Justice John D. Rooke, Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench:
"Judges across Canada are dealing with the challenges p resented by historic numbers of self -­‐ represented litigants (SRLs) in their courtrooms. The SRL phenomenon has had a very significant impact on the way judges perform their role and the work they do. The approaches and strategies described in this 'First Edition' document - the result of a detailed exchange among five judges from across Canada about their experiences and practices - reflect the work, attention and care that judges are giving to this issue. "

"The intent of 'Working with Self -­‐ Represented Litigants: Ideas and Suggestions from the Bench' is to contribute to this ongoing discussion, building on important work in judicial education by the Canadian Judicial Council, the National Judicial Institute and other judicial education institutions. We judges recognize that it is important to talk about best approaches at the level of both principle and practice. This document is oriented towards practical tips and strategies that we have used in our own courtrooms. We hope that other judges might find them useful, and that SRLs might also learn from them – in the spirit of an important and constructive dialogue."

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Statistics Canada Report on Homicide

Statistics Canada reported yesterday that the homicide rate in Canada for 2013 reached its lowest point since 1966:
"Canadian police services reported 505 homicides in 2013, 38 fewer than the previous year. The homicide rate fell 8% from 2012 to 1.44 victims per 100,000 population (...)"

"The overall decrease in homicides was the result of 40 fewer homicides reported in Quebec. The decrease in Quebec followed two years with higher than average numbers of homicides. There were 68 homicides in the province in 2013, representing a rate of 0.83 per 100,000 population. This was the lowest rate recorded in Quebec since reporting began in 1961."

"While Quebec experienced a marked decline, six provinces reported modest increases in the number of homicides in 2013. Taking these increases into account, the homicide rates in nearly every province and territory were below their 10-year averages in 2013. The exceptions were Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, where the 2013 homicide rates were above their previous 10-year average (...)"

"There were 131 firearm-related homicides in 2013, down 41 from 2012. This resulted in the lowest rate of firearm-related homicide since comparable data became available in 1974. Despite the decline, shooting was the cause of death in about one-quarter (27%) of homicides."

"The majority (68%) of firearm-related homicides were committed with the use of a handgun, a trend that has held over the last 20 years. Despite this trend, the rate of handgun-related homicides reached its lowest point since 1998.
While firearm-related homicides decreased in 2013, the number of fatal stabbings grew. There were 195 fatal stabbings, 31 more than in 2012. Stabbings accounted for 40% of all homicides in Canada in 2013."



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Monday, December 01, 2014

December 2014 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The December 2014 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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November 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The November 2014 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

Most of the items are about the United States, but there is occasional coverage of other jurisdictions.

Items in this issue include:
  • Chinese workers may want to watch what they say on social media. A recent article on Bloomberg BNA revealed that Chinese courts are increasingly entering social media posts into evidence during labor disputes.
  • Houston lawyer Keith Jaasma takes hundreds of pages of opinions crafted by the nation’s most potent legal minds and reduces them to three lines and 17 syllables on her website, Supreme Court Haiku.
  • On Tuesday, October 21, the Connecticut Supreme Court traveled to Fairfield Warde High School to hear arguments in two cases, State of Connecticut v. Thomas F. Bonilla and Gregoria Campos, Administratrix of the Estate of Jose Campos, et al. v. Robert Coleman et al. The event was promoted on @CTStateCourts and local websites.
The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Australian Law Reform Commission Report on Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a Final Report on Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws.

It examines how the law treats people with disabilities in areas including: employment, health, social security, banking, insurance, restrictive practices, access to justice, aged care, and anti-discrimination

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Canadian Forum on Civil Justice November 2014 Access to Justice Newsletter

The non-profit Canadian Forum on Access to Justice (CFCJ) has been publishing a monthly newsletter about Access to Justice since early 2013.

The latest issue of the newsletter includes:

  • the first post from a new series on access to justice advocates
  • a profile of a Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Research Assistant
  • and a number of "stories from the road" (participation of CFCJ members in events and activities in different parts of Canada)

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