Thursday, September 29, 2022

Indigenous Bar Association Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples

The Advocates’ Society, the Indigenous Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario have published a First Supplement to the Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples

The document is intended to help the legal profession understand issues in Canada’s justice sector, including trauma-informed lawyering, land  acknowledgements, and the impact of new domestic and international legal developments.

The original Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples was published in 2018.

Its purpose was to help lawyers and others in the justice system learn about Indigenous cultures, understand the interplay between Indigenous legal orders and the Canadian legal system, and develop practical skills to effectively represent Indigenous clients. 

The Supplement includes chapters on the following topics:

  • land acknowledgments
  • developing a trauma-informed approach to legal practice
  • the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
  • Canada's passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and Indigenous child welfare legislation
  • recent developments in treaty litigation and interpretation
  • evolving duties to consult and accommodate Indigenous peoples
  • the ongoing development of Gladue principles and their application in novel legal contexts

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Recent Justice Canada Research Documents

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

Here are three Justice Canada publications from the most recent list:

  • Shifting the paradigm : exploring opportunities for community justice help : a review of access to justice literature and activity: "This report provides a review of recent developments in regulatory action and program activity aimed at improving access to justice through assistance provided by nonlawyers in community-based not-for-profit settings. We call this type of assistance “community justice help”. The purpose of this report is to explore and identify the potential for supporting and expanding the roles for community justice help in Canada. The primary focus of our review is Canada, but recent developments in comparative jurisdictions are also considered. The report identifies some relevant regulatory action with potential to expand the scope for non-lawyer roles in general and community justice help more particularly. It also identifies a significant level of program activity in the realm of community justice help."
  • Section 19 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act : a look at the use of conferences across Canada: "The Youth Criminal Justice Act (YCJA) came into force on April 1, 2003 to assist in reducing the notably high Canadian youth custody rate. The YCJA promotes youth rehabilitation and reintegration into society through diversion from the formal justice system and greater community involvement in responding to youth crime. It also promotes responsibility and accountability through measures that are proportionate to the seriousness of the offence and the youth’s stage of development. In support of these goals, section 19 of the YCJA introduced conferences as a means to assist both decision makers and youth involved in the criminal justice system (CJS). Section 19 conferences provide an opportunity for various professionals and stakeholders, including the young person concerned and their family, to come together to discuss the matter in a more informal setting in order to formulate recommendations about the young person’s case. Despite the introduction of section 19 conferences almost 20 years ago, there has been little information gathered on the extent of their use, how they are being conducted, and the associated outcomes. In 2020, the Department of Justice Canada undertook a national survey to fill this knowledge gap (...) . Many aspects of section 19 conferences were examined, including: Extent of use of conferences; Purposes and processes of conferences; Benefits of conferences; Challenges of conferences; and Data collection, evaluations and impact assessments." 
  • Panel Discussion Report: Indigenous and Restorative Justice Approaches: "Justice Canada, in collaboration with the Indigenous and Restorative Justice subcommittee of the Federal Provincial Territorial (FPT) Restorative Justice Working Group (RJWG), hosted a virtual panel discussion on February 15, 2022. This event was designed to support future discussions at the National Restorative Collaborative Learning Conference (NRCL Conference) to occur in October 2022. A theme of the conference will include the potential for justice transformation to address systemic racism, the legacies of colonialism and to work toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples through an increased use of restorative justice (RJ)."

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of upcoming appeals that will be heard in October 2022.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as factums from the parties.


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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Law Commission of Ontario Consultation Paper on Environmental Accountability

The Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) has published a consultation paper on environmental accountability.

"The EBR [Environmental Bill of Rights 1993] was enacted over 25 years ago. Since then, the environmental, policy, and legal landscape in Ontario has changed considerably. New issues have emerged, including important developments in the relationship between the Crown and Indigenous Peoples; the growing recognition of environmental justice; and the adoption of the right to a healthy environment by most member states of the United Nations. These new developments underscore the need to re-examine the substantive and procedural requirements of the EBR to ensure it reflects and is responsive to current realities (...) an underlying premise of the EBR is that the public and the government share responsibility for protecting the environment. The EBR sought to achieve its objectives by enhancing public participation rights in government decision making process on environmental matters. It was anticipated that this would improve accountability and transparency leading to better environmental outcomes (...)"

"The Consultation Paper asks two sets of questions. First, the paper asks about potential reforms to the EBR. Second, the paper asks potentially more far-reaching and challenging questions about emerging legal concepts of “environmental justice,” the “right to a healthy environment,” and how to account for Indigenous issues and legal orders in Ontario’s environmental accountability framework (...)"

"Finally, readers will know that environmental accountability is a complex, controversial, and politicized subject. The LCO is committed to bringing its rigorous, evidence-based and non-partisan approach to this project. The LCO’s goal is to move beyond the rhetoric and ask hard but fair questions about Ontario’s experience; the desirability, feasibility, and enforceability of reasonable law reform options; and how environmental accountability measures might be balanced against competing rights and economic interests."

The Commission will consult widely with stakeholders, including lawyers and legal organizations, environmental NGOs, industry representatives, academics, Indigenous communities, government and justice system leaders, and individual Ontarians interested in environmental issues. The consultation period ends in late November 2022.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Victorian Law Reform Commission Final Report on Stalking

This week, the Victorian Law Reform Commission tabled its final report on responses to stalking to the state parliament.

The state of Victoria is in south-eastern Australia and its capital is Melbourne.

The report contains recommendations to improve the ways that the justice system treats people who have experienced stalking in a non-family violence context. 

It says that victims should have easier access to financial and practical support, such as technology to prevent cyberstalking. Victims should be supported by independent advocates to guide them through every stage, from reporting the stalking activity to accessing support services and any court actions.

Another recommendation calls for the Crimes Act to be amended to make the stalking offence clearer and easier to apply.

Related posts that deal with stalking include:

  • Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors on Criminal Harassment (May 21, 2013): "The Handbook was developed by a working group of federal/provincial/territorial criminal justice officials in consultation with criminal justice professionals. It was  first published in 1999 and updated in 2004. The development of these  guidelines was prompted by the findings and recommendations of the 1996 Department of Justice Canada review of the criminal harassment provisions in the Criminal Code. The updates have been published in response to positive feedback regarding the usefulness of the Handbook and requests for more current information."
  • Law Reform Commission of Ireland Report on Domestic Violence Law (December 5, 2013): "The second issue discussed in the Report is whether the offence of harassment in the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 addresses sufficiently the problem of stalking in domestic violence cases. The Report notes that most prosecutions for harassment involve domestic cases, and usually involves stalking by former spouses and partners. The current law requires that the harassment must involve “following, watching, pestering, besetting or communicating” and must be done “persistently.” The Commission’s Report points out that the requirement of “persistence” means that a person can be convicted of harassment where stalking involves a single long episode of continuous following or pestering. By contrast, under English law the harassment or stalking must involve at least two separate types of conduct. The Report concludes that the current requirements in the 1997 Act impose appropriate legal thresholds and standards that should be met in order to convict a person of stalking."
  • Irish Law Reform Commission Report on Harmful Communications and Digital Safety (October 1, 2016): "The Report also recommends reforms of the existing offence of harassment, to ensure that it includes online activity such as posting fake social media profiles; and that there should be a separate offence of stalking, which is really an aggravated form of harassment."
  • Statistics Canada Article on Family Violence in Canada (January 22, 2018): "The 2016 edition of the report features an in-depth analysis of self-reported stalking in Canada, using data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians' Safety (Victimization). This featured section examines the nature and prevalence of self-reported stalking, including how stalking behaviour has changed over time. A particular focus on intimate partner stalking is also presented, including an overview of how stalking that occurs in the context of these relationships differs from other kinds of stalking in important ways."

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Monday, September 19, 2022

The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has published a Public Health Crisis Management Playbook for Archives, Libraries, and Museums.

REALM is a collaboration between OCLC, an international library services cooperative, the US government agency Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle.

The document outlines processes, resources, and tools to aid cultural heritage institutions when planning for, navigating through, and recovering from a significant public health emergency. 

It covers the following topics:

  • Crisis leadership - Provides starting points for crisis management and communications planning
  • Facilities and operations - Offers considerations for determining processes for decision-making about collections management, space configuration, building systems, and safety protocols
  • Crisis decision-making and risk management - Overviews risk assessment, information gathering, and decision-making during uncertain times
  • Resource networks - Shares strategies for identifying partners and maintaining collaborative relationships, including a tool for visualizing an institution’s potential partners during a crisis
  • Resources for more information - Provides all resources used to develop the playbook, as well as additional materials that can be used in developing a public health crisis management plan

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 10:50 am 0 comments

American Association of Law Libraries Launches Online Legal Information Resources

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has launched the Online Legal Information Resources collection.

It includes links to session laws, statutory codes, registers, administrative codes, and court opinions for U.S. states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and the U.S. Federal Government.

Interestingly, it also indicates whether the legal materials are official, authentic, preserved, and/or copyright-protected.

Example for US federal info:

The collection is part of AALL’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan to promote greater access to justice by making authoritative legal information  easier to find.

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September 2022 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sectors around the world.

The September 2022 issue has just been published. 

It includes:

  • news items from Canada and around the world
  • announcements of upcoming Canadian and international events (meetings, conferences, seminars)
  • project and product news in areas such as digitization, archives, open source, e-government, access to information etc.
  • listings of papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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September 2022 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The September 2022 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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Thursday, August 25, 2022

OCLC Launches Redesigned WorldCat Catalogue

OCLC, an international library technology and research organization based in the United States, has launched a revamped WorldCat.

WorldCat helps people explore the collections of thousands of libraries worldwide in a single search. The tool is used by many librarians, in particular for the purposes of inter-library loans.

The redesign is optimized for mobile devices and highlights resources from institutions closest to the searcher.

More information can be found in the press release.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:13 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Congressional Research Service Explanation of the Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant

This is a follow-up to the August 16, 2022 blog post Congressional Research Reports on Protection of Classified Information about the seizure by the F.B.I. of top secret files at the Florida residence of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

The Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. has published what it calls a Legal Sidebar on The Mar-a-Lago Search Warrant: A Legal Introduction:

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida (...) The warrant authorized government officials to seize all 'documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation' of three federal statutes ... In addition to the warrant itself and its attachments, the court unsealed other material related to the search, including the cover sheet to the warrant application and an inventory of property seized. Proceedings are underway to unseal a redacted version of the affidavit supporting the warrant, and former President Trump filed a motion asking the court, among other things, to appoint a special master to oversee the government’s handling of the seized material."

"This Sidebar describes the process for and implications of obtaining a search warrant. It then examines the criminal offenses identified in the Mar-a-Lago warrant. Finally, this Sidebar analyzes presidential authority to declassify documents and the role of declassification for the crimes at issue."

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

August 2022 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The August 2022 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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Thursday, August 18, 2022 Article on Researching Foreign and International Current Events

Marcelo Rodríguez, the Foreign, Comparative and International Law Librarian at the University of Arizona Law School in Tucson, Arizona, has published a post on entitled Researching Foreign and International Current Events that describes how he created a monthly series on how to find relevant sources on rapidly evolving events in a foreign country or internationally:

"In this monthly series, I strive to give readers a summary with all the known and relevant information on what’s currently happening, some analysis from experts, and most importantly for the researchers, I also include at least three academic articles which help connect the situation on the ground to larger conversations and trends (...)"

"In this post, I will mention a few crucial steps that I take in order to come up with a successful research strategy. Similarly to what I do in my legal research classes, I’m not going to enumerate a list of websites and hope the researcher finds their way. If you do that, a lot of the time, they’re left with websites which are not updated, don’t work or with a list of broken links taking you nowhere. Therefore, I will talk briefly about the initial steps I take when building a research strategy that has worked for me and also the limitations to this type of research requests that we should all be aware of."

His series is called Through the FCIL Lens.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

How To Make Conferences Truly Inclusive

The journal PLoS Computational Biology recently published an article on Ten simple rules to host an inclusive conference:

"Conferences are spaces to meet and network within and across academic and technical fields, learn about new advances, and share our work. They can help define career paths and create long-lasting collaborations and opportunities. However, these opportunities are not equal for all. This article introduces 10 simple rules to host an inclusive conference based on the authors’ recent experience organizing the 2021 edition of the useR! statistical computing conference, which attracted a broad range of participants from academia, industry, government, and the nonprofit sector. Coming from different backgrounds, career stages, and even continents, we embraced the challenge of organizing a high-quality virtual conference in the context of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and making it a kind, inclusive, and accessible experience for as many people as possible. The rules result from our lessons learned before, during, and after the organization of the conference. They have been written mainly for potential organizers and selection committees of conferences and contain multiple practical tips to help a variety of events become more accessible and inclusive (...)"

"Rule 1 is about setting a vision of diversity and inclusion that should guide all the efforts and decision-making in the organization. Rule 2 focuses on how to create a safe and welcoming environment for all the attendees. Rule 3 highlights the importance of starting with an inclusive and diverse organizing team and provides tips on work dynamics. The design rules focus on weaving inclusion into the conference design process. In Rule 4, we introduce multiple ways to counteract bias in the conference program (keynotes, program committee, abstract selection, and thematic sessions). Rule 5 provides advice for designing an inclusive online component in virtual and hybrid conferences. Rule 6 focuses on accessibility practices to include people with disabilities. In Rule 7, we provide suggestions to account for linguistic diversity. Rule 8 offers tips for developing an inclusive communication strategy. In Rule 9, we address budgeting for inclusive practices and helping participants with affordable registration costs, scholarships, and other forms of financial support. Finally, Rule 10, the continuity rule, emphasizes the importance of self-assessment and advocates for making the conference part of a long-term commitment to inclusion and for passing the torch to future organizers."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:12 pm 0 comments

Article on the Death of the Intranet and How to Make It Relevant

The UK website Legal Geek has published an article entitled The intranet is dead!? Long live in the intranet!?

"The Covid pandemic threw into sharp focus how firms communicate with their employees and we started to embrace informal communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Yammer in earnest in our quest to remain connected through the enforced separations of the lockdowns. With this development in communication channels, businesses have been given the opportunity to reflect on whether they really need their more formal, stuffier intranets. Keeping your intranet fresh and well-maintained takes resource so it might be tempting to wonder whether you could leave the intranet throne empty ... and live without it. Especially where there is a time-consuming and potentially expensive move to a cloud-based system on the horizon for many firms. This piece sets out some questions to ponder if you are grappling with this conundrum."

It is written by  Jenni Tellyn, a consultant in the areas of knowledge management and legal tech strategy.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Congressional Research Reports on Protection of Classified Information

In the wake of last week's seizure by the F.B.I. of top secret files at the Florida residence of former U.S. President Donald Trump, the Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. has updated a few of its reports on the topic of classified information and presidential powers.

The New York Times also featured an article on August 14 entitled Presidential Power to Declassify Information, Explained (may require password): "Former President Donald Trump’s claim that he had declassified all of the documents that the FBI seized in the search of his Florida home last week — including those marked as top secret — has heightened interest in the scope of a president’s power to declassify information. On Friday, Trump’s office claimed that when he was president, he had a 'standing order' that materials 'removed from the Oval Office and taken to the residence were deemed to be declassified the moment he removed them,' (...) Apart from whether there is any evidence that such an order actually existed, the notion has been greeted with disdain by national security legal specialists."

And Politico on August 15 published an article entitled Why Donald Trump’s declassification claim might not be that outlandish: "Nearly 20 years ago, Justice Department prosecutors wrestled with the vexing question of whether President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney could unilaterally authorize Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby to leak to select journalists the key findings of a then-highly-classified intelligence community-wide report on Iraq’s efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction (...) One problem for Trump is that he’s no longer president and his possession of tangible copies of apparently sensitive national security records implicated a host of potential legal concerns. And, as in Libby’s case, there are other charges that could be brought against Trump besides those dealing with classified information. But the episode from the aftermath of the Iraq invasion in 2003 highlights the difficulty in pursuing prosecutions of classified information in cases that have direct links to the Oval Office."

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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Report on the Law of Partition and Sale

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission Report has published a report on The Law of Partition and Sale:

"Partition refers to the act of physically dividing the land between co-owners resulting in each owner owning a portion of the land outright. An order of sale requires that the co-owned land be sold and the proceeds of the sale be divided among the former co-owners (...)"

"Among other recommendations, the Commission recommends that the statute should broadly define the class of persons who may bring an application for partition or sale as joint tenants and tenants in common of an estate or interest in land but should exclude from the class certain co-owners. It is also recommended that the relevant sections of the Act be amended to expressly apply to estates and interests that are solely legal or equitable as well as to estates and interests that are both legal and equitable in nature. Additionally, the statutory law should provide clearer guidance on the information required in a notice of application for partition and sale and should be amended to reflect the societal shift resulting in a preference for orders of sale over partition. Finally, the Commission recommends that the terminology used in the Act should be modernized."

In compiling its report, the Commission examined the relevant laws of other provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:20 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Emerging Models for In-Person and Hybrid Conferences

Ithaka S+R, a U.S. research service that offers consulting services to libraries, scholarly societies, and universities, recently published a blog post about The Many Faces of Meetings - A Taxonomy of Emerging Models for In-Person and Hybrid Conferences:

"The pandemic has made it clear that virtual meetings are not only possible, but make conferences more accessible to a broader, and more diverse audience. At the same time, the pandemic has clarified the unique value that in-person meetings offer due to their capacity to leverage physical proximity to promote social engagement, networking, and serendipitous interaction that foster the generation of new ideas. As organizers begin to shift their focus away from the necessarily reactive thinking that has dominated conference planning over the past three years towards strategic thinking about the long-term lessons of pandemic era experimentation with conference formats and modalities, one core question is how to create conferences that combine the most valuable features of in-person and virtual meetings (...)"

"One early area of consensus: the future of scholarly meetings will feature in-person meetings. What is less clear is what those meetings will look like."

The blog post describes the organization's typology of meeting types that combine in-person gatherings and hybrid and virtual meetings:

  • Hub and Spoke
  • Distributed
  • Parallel
  • Multidisciplinary Topical Summits
  • Seminars
  • Fully Hybrid Model
  • Fully In-Person Meetings


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:46 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

Library Initiatives to Change Terms Describing Indigenous People

The Conversation, a website that seeks to share news from the academic and research communities with the general public, published an article last week on how Libraries in the U.S. and Canada are changing how they refer to Indigenous Peoples:

"The two largest agencies responsible for the language we use to discover books in libraries in North America — the Library of Congress in the United States, and Library and Archives Canada — are changing how they refer to Indigenous Peoples."

"Recently, the Library of Congress announced that by September 2022 a project would be underway to revise terms that refer to Indigenous Peoples."

"Beginning in 2019, Library and Archives Canada made changes within Canadian subject headings, starting with replacing outdated terminology with 'Indigenous peoples' and 'First Nations,' and adding terms that specify Métis and other specific nations and peoples."

The article describes these and other initiatives to modernize the often awkward and outdated terminology, and touches on some of the limitations of these approaches.

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