Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Recent Government of Canada Publications from the Weekly Acquisitions List

The Government of Canada's Weekly Acquisitions List can be a great way to discover new research reports published by various public bodies and agencies of the federal government. 

It is a record of all publications catalogued in the previous week.

Some of the documents in the most recent list include:

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Monday, June 17, 2024

June 2024 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The June 2024 issue of In Session has been published. 

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. 

The current issue has news about the upcoming annual conference of the association in Montreal in late June, and more.

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Thursday, June 13, 2024

New South Wales Law Reform Commission Paper on Racial and Religious Vilification

The Law Reform Commission in the Australian state of New South Wales has issued a so-called options paper on serious racial and religious vilification.

It is part of a consultation on the effectiveness of section 93Z of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) in addressing serious racial and religious vilification in the state. 

The paper briefly outlines some of the options for reform of s 93Z.

That section makes it an offence for a person, by public act, to intentionally or recklessly threaten or incite violence towards another person or a group of persons on any of the following grounds: race; religious belief or affiliation; sexual orientation; gender identity; intersex status; or HIV or AIDS status.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Update to CanLII Ebook on Tort Law

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has published an updated version of its free-book Tort Law: Cases and Commentaries.

According to a post on the CanLII blog:

"Originally published on CanLII in September 2021, Tort Law: Cases and Commentaries is an open access casebook designed for use in Canadian common law torts courses."

 "A summary of the changes to this latest version of the casebook are as follows:

    • Major content restructure and addition of over 1,000 reflection questions on the readings;
    • New chapter on the various torts related to dishonesty and abuse of position;
    • Addition of important recent case law from around the common law world, addressing:
      • Intentional and dignitary torts (...)
      • Negligence (...)
      • Private and public nuisance (...)
      • Business torts (...)
      • Vicarious liability and strict liability (...)
      • Defences of lawful authority and illegality (...)
      • No-fault compensation systems (...)"

CanLII is a portal funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies to make legal information content (court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations, commentary) available to Canadians free of charge.

In recent years, it has been rapidly expanding its offerings of legal commentary, including law reviews, reports, newsletters and thousands of case commentaries.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Open Access Legal Citation Guide Published by CanLII

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has published the free Canadian Open Access Legal Citation Guide:

"The COAL Citation Guide originated with two primary drivers: the belief that we could create a citation guide that will better meet the needs of Canadian legal writers and researchers and the goal of creating a citation guide that will be accessible to everyone, via an open access publishing model (...) "
"This guide will help academics, legal professionals, and others cite legal documents and other sources of information. Please refer to the general rules, information on footnotes and in-text references, and other sections or subsections of this guide, as relevant."

The guide is a collective effort involving many authors, including quite a few law librarians who are members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

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Thursday, June 06, 2024

Recent Library of Parliament Documents

The Library of Parliament in Ottawa has recently published a number of legislative summaries of important federal bills as well as other documents.

Among them are:

  • Gender-based Analysis Plus in Canada: "The Government of Canada uses GBA Plus [Gender-based Analysis Plus ] to assess the impact of legislation, policies, programs and budgetary measures on diverse groups of women, men and gender-diverse people in an effort to reduce inequalities. The “Plus” in GBA Plus includes a range of identity factors – such as age, disability, education, language, sexual orientation, culture, geography, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, religion, social class and income – that overlap in an intersectional way. The “Plus” is thus aligned with the concept of intersectionality introduced in 1989 by Kimberlé Crenshaw, which makes it possible to include multiple intersecting identity factors beyond gender in the analysis of what shapes people’s experiences."
  • Scrutiny of Regulations: 50 Years in Review: "Parliament can delegate the authority to make regulations to a person or body specified in an Act. This authority might be given because regulations can be made more quickly than legislation or because Parliament might not have the expertise to legislate technical rules. This authority is usually delegated by way of enabling provisions in legislation that permit ministers, departments, agencies and other authorities to make rules on Parliament’s behalf. The committee’s powers derive from both statutory and sessional orders of reference which make it the committee’s mandate to ensure that this delegated authority is exercised lawfully and appropriately. The committee’s work begins after a regulation has been published in its final form in Part II of the Canada Gazette."
  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-20: An Act establishing the Public Complaints and Review Commission and amending certain Acts and statutory instruments: "Bill C-20 establishes the independent Public Complaints and Review Commission (the Commission) to review and investigate complaints against employees of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The Commission replaces the existing Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC) which reviews complaints against the RCMP. Currently, no oversight authority is responsible for reviewing complaints against the CBSA."
  • Legislative Summary of Bill C-65: An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act: "The bill amends the Canada Elections Act (CEA) to accomplish several distinct legislative objectives, including: providing for two additional days of advance polling; moving the next fixed election date; regulating voting at long-term care institutions; updating the process for voting by mail (special ballot); regulating voting at post-secondary educational institutions; amending the requirements relating to political parties’ policies for the protection of personal information; amending or creating new prohibitions pertaining to the electoral process; amending the regime applicable to third-party financing; granting new powers to the Commissioner of Canada Elections (CCE); and requiring the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to report to Parliament on potential changes to the electoral process."

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Wednesday, June 05, 2024

British Columbia Law Institute Report on Artificial Intelligence and Civil Liability

The British Columbia Law Institute recently published a Report on Artificial Intelligence and Civil Liability that explains how the current law of tort needs adapting to new realities.

Artificial intelligence raises complex issues when it comes to assigning liability for harm to humans, to their property or to other interests.

The report comes out against assigning strict liability for harms produced by artificial intelligence. Under strict liability, there is no need to prove fault on the part of a defendant. Only causation and damage need to be proven.

The authors prefer adapting ideas relating to product liability (p.44):

"The Project Committee considers that product liability law in the common law Canadian jurisdictions provides some answers regarding a just and balanced theory of liability while avoiding the difficulties of the other approaches discussed above. The principles concerning duty of care under product liability law may be applied by analogy to cases involving artificial intelligence without the need to take a definitive position on whether artificial intelligence itself may be characterized as a product."

"We would look to product liability law in regard to the liability of potential defendants situated “upstream” in the chain of events leading to litigation. Upstream defendants would be those involved in the design, development, training and testing of artificial intelligence systems prior to the point at which the systems are placed on the market or deployed in actual use. The liability of “downstream”  defendants, namely operators and other end-users, involves different considerations and is discussed later."

"A developer of a complete system that employs artificial intelligence may be realistically compared to a manufacturer of a complex product with numerous integrated components (...)"

"Product liability law recognizes a duty of care on the part of manufacturers and others who place a product in the stream of commerce towards anyone who may reasonably be foreseen to be at risk of damage or injury if the product is unsafe, not only towards those who acquire the product or who deal in some manner with the manufacturer."

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Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Chief Justice Wagner's Annual News Conference

Yesterday morning, the Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada, held a news conference to update Canadians on the work of the Supreme Court of Canada and answer questions from journalists.

Among other topics, Chief Justice Wagner talked about his concerns regarding disinformation undermining confidence in the justice system, including instances where political actors, columnists and social media pundits attacked Court decisions without or before having read them.

He also touched upon the topic of delays in the justice system and the under-funding of courts in many provinces.

The event was broadcast live on CPAC.ca.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:19 pm 0 comments

Monday, June 03, 2024

Justice Canada Research Digest on Victims of Crime

Justice Canada regularly publishes the Victims of crime research digest

It is an annual publication featuring short articles.

The 2024 edition is now available:

"Welcome to the 17th issue of the Victims of Crime Research Digest!"


"The goal of the Digest is to make research about victims of crime and the criminal justice system accessible to a wide audience, using short articles and clear language. In this issue, we are pleased to include extensive reference lists with several of the articles. These will be great tools for readers who are interested in reading more and diving into more detail on the topics discussed."

"The first article, “Victim-Centred Restorative Justice: Program Design and Implementation“ by Patricia Hughes, looks at how the practice of restorative justice has evolved over the past few decades in Canada and worldwide into a more victim-centred approach to better address victims’ needs. The second article, “Accessing Justice for Victims and Survivors of Sexual Assault and Intimate Partner Violence,” by Susan McDonald, reports on the development of several Independent Legal Advice and Independent Legal Representation projects funded by the Department of Justice Canada. Through a series of qualitative interviews, McDonald examines how these projects are making a difference for victims and survivors. In the third article, “A Brief Overview of Coercive Control and the Criminal Law”, Lisa Ha summarizes the research on and evaluations of coercive control legislation in other jurisdictions, such as England and Wales, Scotland, and Australia. In the final article, Bianca Stumpf summarizes the findings from the 2023 Child Advocacy Centre/Child and Youth Advocacy Centre Operational Survey."

The publication appeared in the most recent Government of Canada's Weekly Acquisitions List. It is a record of all documents published by various public bodies and agencies of the federal government that were catalogued in the previous week.

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May 2024 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The May 2024 issue of In Session has been published. 

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. 

The current issue has news about the upcoming annual conference of the association in Montreal in late June, and more.

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Saturday, May 04, 2024

American Libraries Releases 2024 Library Systems Report

The magazine American Libraries has released the 2024 Library Systems Report, its most recent annual report on the worldwide library technology industry.

"The library technology industry had a quiet year in 2023. But in the absence of major business moves and acquisitions, companies set their sights on executing strategies to strengthen their market position."

"Previous cycles of business consolidation have yielded a layered landscape with distinct levels of competition. At the top, a handful of large organizations with considerable resources—Clarivate, EBSCO Information Services, Follett School Solutions, and OCLC—continue to expand their portfolios, covering multiple business sectors and library types. Middle-tier companies, including Axiell, ByWater Solutions, The Library Corporation (TLC), and SirsiDynix, offer growing suites of products used by thousands of libraries. And finally, a group of smaller companies round out the industry, covering specialized libraries with niche products and services."

"Competition at each level remains vigorous. Libraries may have fewer product choices because of past acquisitions, but the options remaining are distinctive. Most libraries can choose between for-profit and nonprofit vendors, and between proprietary and open source products. For instance, academic libraries can pick from a short list of library services platforms (LSPs), including a proprietary solution from a for-profit company (Alma), an open source product supported by for-profit companies (FOLIO), or a proprietary product from a nonprofit organization (WorldShare Management Services)."

"Libraries see their technology vendors as strategic partners. They are increasingly purchasing core products from a single provider, rewarding companies’ efforts to create suites of integrated applications that function more efficiently than mix-and-match offerings. These days, libraries expect third-party integration from their products—but they generally acquire new components from a single main vendor."

The report is written by Marshall Breeding, a well-known library tech expert. He also edits the Library Technology Guides website and produces the annual international Library Automation Perceptions Surveys.

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Statistics Canada Article on Police Clearance Rates for Sexual Assault

Juristat, a publication produced by Statistics Canada, has published an article on Recent trends in police-reported clearance status of sexual assault and other violent crime in Canada, 2017 to 2022.

Prior to 2018, criminal incidents were recorded by police as unfounded when there was not enough corroborating evidence.

As of 2018, incidents were recorded as "founded" (the reported incidents had in fact occurred) unless there is evidence demonstrating that incidents had not taken place.

The article looks at trends following the implementation of revised coding practices which are intended to be more victim-centric.

The article found that 14% of all reported incidents of sexual assault were classified by police as unfounded in 2017, which dropped to 7% in 2022. This pattern was similar for other selected types of violent crime.

The number of incidents of sexual assault cleared by charge increased between 2017 and 2022. However, because of the increase in the number of founded and uncleared incidents of sexual assault, the proportion of incidents of sexual assault that were cleared by charge decreased from 34% to 31% during this period.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:55 pm 0 comments

Newest Episode of Arrêt sur le Droit Podcast about Good Faith in Contracts

Arrêt sur le droit is a relatively new French-language podcast whose goal is to help people better understand decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada.

It is co-produced by the Bar Association of Montreal and CAIJ (the free legal information portal of the Quebec Bar Association) in collaboration with the Supreme Court of Canada. 

The most recent episode analyzes the Ponce v. Société d’investissements Rhéaume ltée decision (2023 SCC 25, October 27, 2023). The case was about the obligation of good faith imposed on corporate directors when dealing with shareholders.

Arrêt sur le droit is hosted by Michel Désautels who for years was one of the top current affairs hosts of the public broadcaster Société Radio-Canada. His guests for this episode are Paul Martel, a lawyer with Blakes, and Stéphane Rousseau, law professor at the Université de Montréal.

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Friday, May 03, 2024

New British Columbia Law Institute Primers on Indigenous Law

This is a follow-up to the post from August 21, 2023 called British Columbia Law Institute Primers on Indigenous Law.

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has been publishing information on the province's adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

Since last August, the BCLI has published 3 new primers as part of its series on how to bring the laws in into alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

They are:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:05 pm 0 comments

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Library Journal's Movers and Shakers 2024

Library Journal recently released its 2024 list of Library Movers and Shakers.

It is an annual snapshot of the transformative work being done by those in libraries of all types and sizes and across the field:

"Over the past 22 years, Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers awards have offered a compelling snapshot of what’s up and coming in the library world, as well as how it has changed. Our 2024 Movers cohort represents a range of innovative, proactive, and supportive work; they are imaginative and kind and brave in a world that needs those qualities—and the results they produce—very much."

The publication provides a map of all the Movers and Shakers from 2002 to today. Over the years, quite a few Canadians have been added to the list. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:36 pm 0 comments

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Most Recent Annual Report of Amnesty International

The human rights NGO Amnesty International this week released its most recent report on the situation of human rights worldwide.

Not a pretty picture...

Regression on many fronts, according to the report. 

The organization's secretary general calls the situation "a descent into a hell."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:04 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Creative 404 Error Pages of US Government Agency Websites

 FedScoop, a US site that covers technology in government, published an article 404 page: the error sites of federal agencies that looks at a few creative ways that public agencies South of the border have adopted to indicate an error on their webpages:

"404 pages are what appear when a server cannot locate a website or resource at a specific URL. Hitting a 404 could be due to a number of reasons: a spelling error in the URL, the page may not exist anymore, or the server moved a page without having the link redirect. As a result of the error, many different entities with websites — such as state and local governments — have had a stroke of creative genius to make users aware of an issue while also having a bit of fun — which rings true for some federal agencies as well (...)"

"Currently, the park service’s site [National Park Service] has a revolving 404 page that showcases several different nature-themed images, with puns or quotes alongside information on how to get back on the right track for whatever online adventure a visitor seeks."

My favourite error page is from NASA's website where the message reads in part: "404 The cosmic object you were looking for has disappeared beyond the event horizon".


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:52 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Learning About Law Through Taylor Swift

Fun little article from a while back in the ABA Journal: Swift Justice: Students learn about the law through Taylor Swift cases.

It describes a few US law schools that offer law classes, often about intellectual property but covering other legal topics as well, using the legal troubles of mega-starTaylor Swift:

As stated by Vivek Jayaram, co-director of the University of  Miami Law’s Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law LL.M program:

"I bet Swifties know more about IP law than a lot of lawyers..."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:15 pm 0 comments