Sunday, September 14, 2014

Recently Released Research Summaries from Correctional Services Canada

The latest issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications refers to a number of research documents released recently by Correctional Services Canada :
  • Substance Abuse Problem Severity, Treatment Readiness, and Response Bias among Incarcerated Men: "Offenders with severe substance abuse (SA) problems were aware of their SA problems and ready for treatment. This finding was true for both reliable and unreliable responders. In other words, those who needed help appeared to be the most ready to receive it. However, offenders with moderate to low level SA problems appeared less ready to accept treatment and were more likely to deny having a SA problem. This finding suggests that a focus on treatment readiness (TR) for this group could be beneficial, particularly for those with moderate level problems who may require intervention while incarcerated."
  • Preliminary Analysis of the Impact of the Restorative Opportunities (RO) Program in CSC:"A preliminary examination of the impact of the Restorative Opportunities (RO) program involving victim-offender mediation (VOM) within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) indicates that the program shows some promise in reducing recidivism on release for participating offenders. A longer follow-up period would be required to allow for stronger conclusions."
  • Gangs and institutional adjustment in the context of the Security Reclassification Scale: "The results of the present study indicate that no further weight should be placed on gang affiliation when scoring the Security Reclassification Scale (SRS). Overall, gang affiliation does not appear to be predictive of SRS relevant outcomes (i.e., institutional adjustment, risk of escape, and risk to the public in the event of an escape). While some covariance between the indicators and gang affiliation was found, associations were mostly very weak and inconsistent. Further analyses revealed that those offenders identified as being affiliated with a gang had higher scores on the SRS, thereby reflecting that gang affiliation is already sufficiently accounted for within the current SRS assessment."
  • Descriptive Analysis of Unsuccessful Unescorted Temporary Absences: "Overall, the vast majority of unescorted temporary absences (UTA) are completed without incident. Of the 1.3% of UTAs that were recorded as 'unsuccessful' only about half represent genuine failures. Therefore, UTAs allow for important reintegration opportunities without posing significant risk."
  • Preliminary Development of a Dynamic Risk Assessment Tool for Women Offenders: An Examination of Gender Neutral and Gender Specific Variables: "Risk assessment measures have largely been developed using samples of male offenders. When applying these measures to women offenders there is a risk in misrepresenting women’s needs and over-classifying their levels of security and required intervention. As such, there is a need to develop risk assessment tools that are specific to women and reflective of women’s diverse risks and needs."
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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Law Library of Congress Report on Laws on Children Residing with Parents in Prison

The Law Library of Congress in Washington has released a new comparative report on the Laws on Children Residing with Parents in Prison:
"This report provides information on select international and regional measures ...  and the laws of ninety-seven jurisdictions from around the world ... that relate to allowing children to reside in prison with an incarcerated parent.  The report also provides information on the number of children residing in prison with a parent in various countries, where such information was available.  The final section of the report includes a bibliography with additional sources ..."

"Over the last decade, efforts have escalated at the international level to create policies specifically geared towards addressing the situation of the young children of incarcerated parents.  Some measures seek to ameliorate the treatment of pregnant women, nursing mothers, and mothers with children; others seek to encourage the provision of better conditions, such as nurseries and kindergartens and specially trained staff, for the children; still others try to promote better hygiene and a better environment in general.  There have also been trends urging the incarceration of mothers only as a last resort and that fathers’ needs to be with their young children be taken into account.  The discussion in Part II below highlights key international measures that address the issues surrounding children residing in prison with an incarcerated parent.  The list of international documents reviewed is not exhaustive, and includes major United Nations and European acts addressing mainly the well-being of children and women in prison."

"Most of the countries surveyed in Part III impose specific age limits for a child’s admission into and length of stay in prison.  However, some use different or additional markers (such as a breastfeeding period or an assessment of the best interests of the child) for making such determinations.  In addition, many of the countries surveyed permit children to actually live with the parent in jail, whether or not in special facilities, whereas a few put eligible children in prison child care facilities with the parent having regular access to the child.  Finally, some surveyed countries, in addition to admitting children to prison to live with an incarcerated parent, utilize alternatives to custodial sentences, including deferment of a custodial sentence and home confinement, when dealing with a person who has a young child."

"Most of jurisdictions surveyed require that prisons that admit children meet certain standards.  These range from making available basic necessities including additional food, special diets, and access to medical care, to having child care services and special residential units available for incarcerated mothers with children.  However, some jurisdictions do not provide extensive services for children residing in prison."
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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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Statistics Canada Article on Shelters for Abused Women

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published an article on Shelters for abused women in Canada, 2012.

The information in the article is based on the 2012 Transition Home Survey developed under the federal government's Family Violence Initiative in consultation with provincial and territorial governments and transition home associations.

Among the highlights:
  • in 2012, there were 601 shelters for abused women operating across Canada. 
  • most women and children residing in shelters were staying at transition homes (34%), second stage housing (25%), emergency shelters (22%) and women's emergency shelters (13%). The remaining 5% were staying at other types of facilities, such as safe home networks and interim housing.
  • about one-third (33%) of the women had stayed at that shelter before. The highest rate of re-admissions was reported by emergency shelter facilities, where almost half (49%) of snapshot date residents had stayed at the shelter previously.
  • women reported various reasons for seeking admission. On average, each woman reported five distinct reasons for seeking shelter, with the majority of women citing emotional abuse (68%) and physical abuse (52%).
  • Of the women reporting abuse as their primary reason for seeking shelter, 68% identified a current intimate partner as their abuser, with a further 17% reporting that their abuser was a former intimate partner.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Recent Justice Canada Research Reports

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists a series of research reports released by Justice Canada in recent months:
  • Health Impacts of Violent Victimization on Women and their Children: "There is growing evidence of the strong links between violence against women and children and significant physical and mental health impairment, and risky health behaviours. These are prevalent among children, youth and adults victimized during childhood and/or adulthood. Certain groups, for example Canada’s Aboriginal women, are at increased risk of more, and more severe, violence, and potentially more significant health impacts. While physical injuries and death form an important sub-set of the health impacts of violence, the more prevalent consequences are longer-term mental health problems, which in turn contribute to health risks as well as increasing the likelihood of being a violent offender or being re-victimized at a later point in time. As well, newer research points to the longer term chronic diseases associated with violent victimization."
  • Gladue Practices in the Provinces and Territories: "This study is intended to provide a status report on pol icies and p ractices in the provinces and territories that reflect the principles set out in the Supreme Court decision in R. v. Gladue regarding (1) specialized courts for Aboriginal accused; (2) training and awareness activities for judges, probation officers, courtworkers and duty counsel; (3) procedures for sentencing, bail and parole hearings when a case involves an Aboriginal offender; and (4) community justice programs and resources for Aboriginal offenders (...) Overall, initiatives and programs that comply with the Gladue decision were identified in all the jurisdictions that took part in the study. Specialized courts for Aboriginal persons seem to be one of the most exemplary initiatives in terms of applying the Gladue decision . In total, 19 specialized courts (whether or not they deal exclusively with cases involving Aboriginal persons) were listed in eight jurisdictions. Gladue training and awareness activities for justice system officials, including judges, are provided in roughly half of the participating jurisdictions. However, one of the participants questioned the quality of the training. Most jurisdictions stated that bail and parole decision - making processes involving Aboriginal persons are informed by Gladue type information. Community justice programs appear to exist in the majority of jurisdictions. However, one of the participants observed that inadequate information sharing, coordination, integration and communication between the various stakeholders in the justice system and the persons in charge of community justice and health programs (e.g. substance abuse and mental health treatments) may prove to be a significant obstacle to the effectiveness of these programs. Another participant pointed that the need for more effective information sharing must also be balanced with privacy and confidentiality considerations. In addition, establishing partnerships between non - governmental organizations (NGOs) and the justice system seems to be an approach that a number of jurisdictions have adopted to jointly identify solutions to the situation experienced by Aboriginal persons in the justice system. Last, legal aid programs may also play an important role in applying Gladue principles as shown by certain exemplary practices established by Legal Aid Ontario."
  • The Path to Justice in a Court-Based Drug treatment court program: "Research has shown that people who graduate from drug treatment court program s are less likely to re-offend. However, the proportion of participants in drug treatment court programs who graduate is typically low. Only about 10% of all participants graduate from the Ottawa drug treatment court program which was the subject of this study. Clearly, the low success rate diminishes the potential impact of drug treatment court programs. Therefore, an important policy issue is why some people graduate from the program while others do not. Any measures that could increase the number of people who graduate would improve the effectiveness of drug treatment court programs. This study takes an access to justice approach in attempting to understand why some treatment court program participants successfully complete the program while others do not. "
  • The Economic Impact of Firearm-related Crime in Canada, 2008: "In 2008, the total economic and social costs of firearm - related crime in Canada were approximately $3.1 billion. This amounted to a per capita cost of $93 in that year. However, this is likely to be a conservative estimate due to the una vailability of data in many areas. For example, victims may develop mental health problems, such as depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), substance abuse and suicidal behaviour. The associated costs are not included in this report due to data limitations . The costs outlined herein are borne by the criminal justice system, victims and third parties in general. The costs pertaining to the Canadian criminal justice system in 2008 amounted to approximately $302 million. A breakdown of the total criminal justice costs by sector reveals that policing services used the majority of justice expenditures on firearm - related crime (69.5%), followed by corrections (29.7%), courts (0.3%), prosecution (0.3%) and legal aid (0.2%). Victims bear the most direct and significant impact of crime. Many costs incurred are a direct result of victimization of firearm - related crime, such as health care cost, productivity losses and value of stolen/damaged property. The total victim costs were $2.7 billion in 2008, including both tangible and intangible costs."
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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Monday, February 25, 2013

Statistics Canada Report on Violence Against Women

Statistics Canada today released a report on police-reported data about violence against women in Canada.

Among the highlights:
  • about 173,600 women aged 15 years and older were victims of violent crime in 2011. This translates into a rate of 1,207 female victims for every 100,000 women in the population
  • there was a decrease in police-reported attempted murders and physical assaults against women between 2009 and 2011. However, the rate of police-reported sexual assaults against women increased in 2010 and remained stable in 2011. Following nearly three decades of decline, the rate of homicide against women has been relatively stable over the past decade
  • in 2011, the five most common violent offences committed against women were common assault (49%), uttering threats (13%), serious assault (10%), sexual assault level I (7%), and criminal harassment (7%). 
  • women were eleven times more likely than men to be a victim of sexual offences and three times as likely to be the victim of criminal harassment (stalking)
  • men were responsible for 83% of police-reported violence committed against women. Most commonly, the accused was the woman's intimate partner (includes both spousal and dating) (45%), followed by acquaintances or friends (27%), strangers (16%) and non-spousal family members (12%). This contrasts violent crimes against men, where intimate partners were among the least common perpetrators (12%)
  • about half (51%) of female victims of intimate partner violence suffered some type of injury

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Monday, October 08, 2012

Library of Parliament Papers on Gender-Sensitive Parliaments

The Library of Parliament recently published two papers on gender-sensitive parliaments.

They are:
  • Gender-Sensitive Parliaments: 1. Advancements in the Workplace: "This paper will examine gender-sensitive parliaments from the perspective of the parliamentary workplace; specifically, how a parliament’s procedural framework, policies, infrastructure support and bodies contribute to a workplace that is sensitive to the realities and needs of both men and women (...) Many parliamentary workplaces are structured and operate according to rules, practices and processes, both written and unwritten, that were established in previous centuries. While these rules, practices and processes represent the foundation of a parliament, to remain relevant, a parliament must adapt to changing social realities. Recently, legislators and administrators of parliaments have increasingly acknowledged the need to promote a workplace that is gender-sensitive. For many parliaments, including Canada’s, these considerations are at present in their nascency. However, an important dialogue has begun and positive changes are being both explored and implemented." 
  • Gender-Sensitive Parliaments: 2. The Work of Legislators: "This paper examines gender-sensitive parliaments from the perspective of the work conducted by parliamentarians: specifically, how men and women in parliament can use their roles as legislators to contribute to gender equality in their societies (...) In gender-sensitive parliaments, the work of legislators must promote gender equality across the country and must serve as an example to society. While the development of legislation and budgets is based on long-standing rules, practices and processes that may include outdated concepts of gender equality (or none at all), legislators must adapt their work to keep pace with changing realities. For many parliaments, including Canada’s, the evolution towards applying principles of gender sensitivity to everyday work has been slow. A great number of legislators, however, have shown through examples internationally and nationally that they are ready for the challenge."

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Is Number of Women Appointed as Judges Dwindling?

The Globe and Mail’s Kirk Makin reported over the weekend that Appointments of female judges slump under Harper's Tories:
"Only eight women have been appointed to the federal judiciary this year, compared to 41 men. Figures for 2010 were only slightly less skewed, with 13 women and 37 men being given judgeships."

"The discrepancy is likely to rekindle calls for reform to an opaque process that provides the government with considerable leeway to choose candidates for undisclosed reasons."
A spokesperson for Justice Canada explained that the overall record is somewhat better, with 30 per cent of the 420 judges appointed by the federal government since 2006 being women.

Judges appointed by the federal government include judges of superior and appellate courts, the Federal Court of Canada, Tax Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Anniversary of the 1929 Persons Case

October 18th is Persons Day in Canada.

On this day in 1929, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, then Canada's highest appellate court, ruled that women were indeed "persons" under the law.

The Blogosaurus Lex blog (Legal Resource Centre of Alberta) has links to the text of the case as well as to websites with historical background material and analysis.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

U.S. State Department HumanTrafficking Report 2011

The State Department of the United States has been producing an annual report since the year 2000 called the Trafficking in Persons Report. It reports on foreign governments' efforts to eliminate trafficking in persons. It has released its 2011 report.

It provides a detailed description of the issue, ranking every major country across the globe. Human trafficking takes numerous forms according to the report:
  • Forced labour
  • Sex trafficking
  • Bonded labour - where a worker's debt is exploited
  • Forced child labour and sex trafficking
  • Child soldiers
Here in Canada, the British Columbia Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons has created an online course for Canadian service providers on how to recognize, protect, and assist a person who may have been trafficked.

Earlier Library Boy posts on human trafficking include:
  • New Library of Parliament Publications (October 6, 2006): "Trafficking in Persons: 'The United Nations estimates that 700,000 people are trafficked annually worldwide – this is a fluid figure that is difficult to pin down (...) This paper will discuss the concept of trafficking in general terms and provide an overview of the legislative framework surrounding the issue at the international level and within the Canadian context. It will conclude with a discussion of potential gaps in Canadian legislation and policy with respect to trafficking in persons'."
  • New Library of Parliament Research Publications (February 18, 2007): "Human Trafficking: 'Trafficking in persons is not the same as migrant smuggling. The key distinction is that smuggled migrants are usually free once they arrive at their intended destination, whereas trafficking victims may be held against their will and subject to forced labour or prostitution (...) The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report [U.S. State Department] also indicates that 'Canada is a source, transit, and destination country …' Some 800 people are trafficked into this country each year, while an additional 1,500 to 2,200 are trafficked through Canada to the United States'."
  • Annual U.S. State Department Report on Human Trafficking (June 27, 2007): "The State Department of the United States has been producing an annual report since the year 2000 called the Trafficking in Persons Report. It reports on foreign governments' efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons (...) According to the country section on Canada: 'Canada is principally a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked mostly from Asia and Eastern Europe for sexual exploitation, but victims from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East also have been identified in Canada'."
  • New U.S. Reports on Human Trafficking (August 1, 2007): "The Government Accountability Office in the United States recently published 2 reports on human trafficking"
  • International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (December 2, 2007): "Today is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery and the Dag Hammarskjöld Library of the United Nations has put together a web page with resources on contemporary forms of human trafficking."
  • Wiki on Forced Migration Issues (September 17, 2008): "Librarian Elisa Mason, who has worked at the UN High Commission for Refugees and the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, has created the Forced Migration Guide using wiki software. The guide offers descriptions of resources for the study of refugees, internal displacement and human trafficking."
  • Library of Parliament Publication on Trafficking of Humans (October 21, 2008): "This paper will discuss the concept of trafficking in general terms and provide an overview of the legislative framework surrounding the issue at the international level and within the Canadian context. It will conclude with a discussion of potential gaps in Canadian legislation and policy with respect to trafficking in persons."
  • United Nations Report on Globalization of Crime (September 5, 2010): "The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime recently published a report on The Globalization of Crime A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment. The report examines a range of transnational criminal activities, including human trafficking, the heroin and cocaine trades, cybercrime, maritime piracy and trafficking in environmental resources, firearms and counterfeit goods."

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Statistics Canada on Violent Victimization of Aboriginal Women

Earlier this week, the Statistics Canada publication Juristat published an article on Violent victimization of Aboriginal women in the Canadian provinces, 2009.

Among the highlights:
  • Close to two-thirds (63%) of Aboriginal female victims were aged 15 to 34. This age group accounted for just under half (47%) of the female Aboriginal population (aged 15 or older) living in the ten provinces. Young females were also highly represented among non-Aboriginal victims
  • In 2009, close to 67,000 Aboriginal women aged 15 or older living in the Canadian provinces reported being the victim of violence in the previous 12 months. Overall, the rate of self-reported violent victimization among Aboriginal women was almost three times higher than the rate of violent victimization reported by non-Aboriginal women
  • The majority of violent incidents against Aboriginal women committed outside of a spousal relationship did not result in injury (84%) and did not involve the use of a weapon (89%). Comparable findings were seen among non-Aboriginal women
  • Over three-quarters (76%) of non-spousal violent incidents involving Aboriginal women were not reported to the police, a proportion similar to that for non-Aboriginal women (70%)
  • Among victims of spousal violence, close to six in ten Aboriginal women reported being injured during the 5 years preceding the survey, compared to four in ten non-Aboriginal women (59% versus 41%)
  • Similar to non-Aboriginal women, about 4 in 10 Aboriginal women (42%) stated that they were very satisfied with their personal safety from crime

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Saturday, April 02, 2011

Statistics Canada Report on Women and the Criminal Justice System

Statistics Canada has released a report on Women in Canada: The criminal justice system.

According to the report, the involvement of women and female youth in the criminal justice system has largely been as victims of crime rather than as offenders. While females accounted for about one-half of all victims of violent crime reported to police authorities in 2009, they represented a minority of offenders.

The report is part of the 6th edition of Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report

Among the highlights:
  • In 2009, females reported about 1.6 million incidents of violent crime (that is, physical assault, sexual assault or robbery)
  • The most common offence perpetrated against women was common assault, which accounted for nearly half of all police-reported incidents
  • Rates of homicide have declined substantially over the past 30 years, particularly for females. Much of this decrease can be attributed to a drop in homicides committed by spouses. In 2009, rates of spousal homicide against women were one-third of the levels in 1979. Even so, women were more than twice as likely as men to be killed by a spouse in 2009
  • In 2009, females accounted for approximately one-quarter of youth accused and slightly more than one-fifth of adults accused by police of having committed a Criminal Code offence
  • Females are most likely to commit acts of violence against their spouses or other intimate partners, followed by an acquaintance, a stranger or other family member
  • While charging for property crime has seen a steady decline, the rate at which women have been charged with violent offences has increased over the past 30 years
  • In 2008/2009, adult females represented 6% of admissions to federal custody and 12% of admissions to provincial and territorial custody. This was up slightly from 5% and 10% of admissions, respectively, in 1999/2000

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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Newsletter on Law and Religion

For the past few years, Sébastien Lherbier-Levy has been publishing a very detailed French-language newsletter on religion and law called La lettre du droit des religions.

Each issue includes an editorial comment, feature articles, news items from different countries, case law from the European Court of Human Rights (and domestic case law from French tribunals) as well as a bibliography.

The most recent issue (December 2010) has a number of items of interest to Canadian readers relating to the niqab issue (the full veil covering the entire face worn by some Moslem women) as well as to the prohibition against the teaching of religion in Quebec kindergardens.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Court.ca List of Ten Most Important Women's Rights Cases in Past 80 Years.

The Osgoode Hall Law School blog The Court has come with a list of the top 10 women's rights cases in Canada since the famous Persons case 80 years ago.

October 18, 2010 will mark the 8oth anniversary of the case Edwards v. Canada (Attorney General), [1930] A.C. 124, often referred to as the Persons case:
"The case is significant for two main reasons. First, by accepting that women fit the definition of 'qualified persons,' and could therefore be admitted to the Senate pursuant to s.24 of the British North America Act, 1867, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Canada’s then highest Court) substantially advanced gender equality in Canada. Second, by adopting the now-famous 'living tree' interpretive principle, Lord Sankey provided the mechanism by which our constitutional framework has developed and maintained an organic character. This characteristic is crucial for the Constitution to remain compatible with Canadian society amidst natural changes and evolution"

"In light of this significant anniversary, TheCourt.ca is pleased to bring you, in no particular order, the ten most significant women’s rights cases since the Persons case."

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

New Research Guides on International Law and Human Trafficking

The GlobaLex collection at New York University has just updated two of its legal research guides:
  • Introduction to Public International Law Research by Vicenç Feliú (David A. Clarke School of Law of the University of the District of Columbia): "Public International Law is composed of the laws, rules, and principles of general application that deal with the conduct of nation states and international organizations among themselves as well as the relationships between nation states and international organizations with persons, whether natural or juridical. Public International Law is sometimes called the 'law of nations' or just simply International Law. It should not be confused with Private International Law, which is primarily concerned with the resolution of conflict of laws in the international setting, determining the law of which country is applicable to specific situations. In researching this field of law, the researcher must also be aware of Comparative Law, the study of differences and similarities between the laws of different countries. Comparative Law is the study of the different legal systems in existence in the world, i.e.; common law, civil law, socialist law, Islamic law, Hindu law, and Chinese law. As there is no central international body that creates public international law, research in this field requires the use of a wide variety of sources."
  • The Exploitation of Women and Children: A Comparative Study of Human Trafficking Laws between the United States-Mexico and China-Vietnam by Christina T. Le (immigration lawyer in Houston, Texas): "This paper seeks to understand the push and pull effects of human trafficking and to determine what may be the appropriate government practices to combat the problem. The research will focus on two parallel country conditions: United States-Mexico and China-Vietnam. The four countries on both sides of the world are experiencing similar problems with human trafficking. Preliminarily, the push and pull causes of human trafficking between the countries appear to be quite similar with the more affluent countries, China and the United States as the receiving country. The United States and China with better economic opportunities are seeing an influx of trafficking victims into their country from their southern neighbors. However, the policies the countries choose to address their human trafficking problems are quite different. The United States has a unilateral enforcement approach to stop human trafficking whereas China has a bilateral approach in working with Vietnam to address the situation. How each respective country has chosen to deal with the problem provides a great opportunity for research and analysis."

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

New Library of Parliament Legislative Summaries

The Library of Parliament recently published two (2) legislative summaries relating to bills in front of the House of Commons:
  • Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act: "Bill C-3, An Act to promote gender equity in Indian registration by responding to the Court of Appeal for British Columbia decision in McIvor v. Canada (Registrar of Indian and Northern Affairs) (short title: Gender Equity in Indian Registration Act), was introduced in the House of Commons by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Honourable Chuck Strahl, on 11 March 2010. The bill modifies the Indian Act in order to comply with the British Columbia Court of Appeal's 2009 McIvor decision, which found aspects of the current registration provisions in violation of section 15 of the on the basis of sex. The Indian Act has been and remains the principal expression of Parliament's jurisdiction over 'Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians' under subsection 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867. From its inception, the Act has set out criteria defining Indian 'status' for purposes of determining entitlement to a range of legislated rights as well as eligibility for federal programs and services. Status provisions have been an enduring source of grievance for First Nations people, who claim an inherent right to determine their own citizenship.This section outlines the evolution of and developments related to those aspects of Indian status that are directly relevant to the specific amendments proposed by Bill C-3 over three periods: from pre-Confederation through 1982; from 1982 through 2007; and from the 2007 McIvordecision to the present."
  • An Act to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act: "Bill C-5, An Act to amend the International Transfer of Offenders Act (short title: Keeping Canadians Safe [International Transfer of Offenders] Act), was introduced in the House of Commons on 18 March 2010 by the Minister of Public Safety, the Honourable Vic Toews. It is almost identical to Bill C-59, which received first reading during the 2nd Session of the 40th Parliament but died on the Order Paper when Parliament was prorogued on 30 December 2009. Bill C-5 amends the purpose of the International Transfer of Offenders Act, as well as the factors for the Minister's consideration in deciding whether to consent to an offender's transfer."
Tracking federal bills is easy with LEGISinfo, an electronic research toll created by the Library of Parliament. LEGISinfo provides information about individual federal bills, including the text at various readings, government press releases and backgrounders, speeches in Parliament, legislative summaries, votes and coming into force information.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Newsletter on Law and Religion

For the past few years, Sébastien Lherbier-Levy has been publishing a very detailed French-language newsletter on religion and law called "La lettre du droit des religions".

Each issue includes an editorial comment, feature articles, news items from different countries, case law from the European Court of Human Rights (and domestic case law from French tribunals) as well as a bibliography.

In the most recent issue (March 2010), there are, among other things, a number of items on the niqab controversy in various countries, including Canada. The niqab is the full veil covering the entire face worn by some Moslem women.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

University of Ottawa Centre for Law, Technology and Society Conference

The Centre for Law, Technology and Society at the University of Ottawa will hold its official launch conference on March 5.

Called "Taking Stock of Tech: Reflections on Law, Technology and Society", the conference will explore topics such as open government and the impact of social networking on gender equality and privacy.

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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Beverley McLachlin: Ten Years as Canada's Chief Justice

Ten years ago today, The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin was appointed Chief Justice of Canada.

She was first appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on March 30, 1989. After serving 11 years as a puisne judge, she became the first woman ever to hold the office of Chief Justice.
  • McLachlin Court turns ten (The Lawyers Weekly, Dec. 25, 2009 issue): "Retired Supreme Court Justice Jack Major, who left the court in 2005, suggests that her successful efforts to reach out to the public might be the defining accomplishment of her first decade as chief justice. 'I think that she has presented the best public face of the Supreme Court to the public of any of the chief justices of my time,' he says. 'And I would say of all time, because the court’s judges were more and more isolated the further you go back in the court’s history. She is very conscious of going to law schools, Bar conventions, and actively participating and being available to groups and to people. That’s been a very big plus.' The Supreme Court’s public relations have dramatically improved since its first female chief justice took over the reins with an avowed goal of making the court accessible to all Canadians."
  • Ten years as top judge and she's still losing sleep (Globe and Mail, January 7, 2010): "In just three more years, Chief Justice McLachlin will have served longer than all 15 previous chief justices in the 135-year history of the Supreme Court. And, with nine years left before her mandatory retirement date, she could set a record that will be extremely difficult to equal. 'Whatever happens, happens,' she said. 'It has been a great privilege, one I could never have imagined in my wildest imaginings when I started out in law.' Equally unimaginable, four of the nine seats on the court are occupied by women – a development that has given the Supreme Court a unique status on the world stage. "
  • Charter issues fine tuned: McLachlin (National Post, January 7, 2010): "Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who took over a court 10 years ago that was under siege from the political right, says the critics who accused the bench of overstepping its power seem to have gone away because their anxiety over the Charter of Rights has subsided. Justice McLachlin, who today marks one decade leading the Supreme Court of Canada, told Canwest News Service she expects the most pressing legal issues facing the court in the coming years will be where to draw the line on anti-terrorism initiatives and how to deal with the nation's growing diversity as minorities challenge 'established social order'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, October 16, 2009

Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile

The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics has published its twelfth annual Family Violence in Canada report:

"Each year the report has a different focus. This year, the focus of the report is a profile of shelters that provide residential services to women and children fleeing abusive situations. Data for this profile come from the Transition Home Survey, a biennial census of residential facilities for female victims of family violence in Canada."

"In addition, using police-reported data, the report also presents fact sheets, data tables and figures examining spousal violence, family violence against children and youth, family violence against seniors (aged 65 years and older), and family-related homicides."

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

United Nations Launches RSS Feed on Gender Equality

WomenWatch, the UN portal on gender equality, has launched a new online service known as the UN Gender Equality Newsfeed.

It automatically collects gender equality-related news from individual RSS news feeds from UN agencies and displays a combined up-to-date news list.

Participating agencies include the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Program on HIV/Aids (UNAIDS), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:18 pm 0 comments links to this post