Thursday, April 15, 2021

Law Library of Congress Report on Acquisition of Citizenship through International Adoption

The Law Library of Congress has published a comparative law report on the Acquisition of Citizenship through International Adoption:

"This report surveys acquisition of citizenship through international adoption in 18 countries around the globe. It provides a general overview about the main legislative instruments governing international adoption and acquisition of citizenship in each of the surveyed countries. The report shows that, in most of the surveyed countries, citizenship laws are the main piece of legislation governing the acquisition of citizenship through intercountry adoption. However, adoption laws in Italy regulate the acquisition of citizenship of adopted foreign children."

"The report sheds light on the required process and procedures of adoption in the surveyed countries. In Brazil, Canada, Israel, Australia, Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK), Turkey, China, France, and Russia, the adoption process entails the release of the health and criminal records of the adoptive parents as well as their income to determine their eligibility to adopt children."

"Some of the surveyed countries obligate the adoptive parents to attain a certain age before they submit their adoption application. For instance, in Germany, Japan, and Israel, the adoptive parents must not be under the age of 25 years old. Canada and Sweden require a person not to be less than 18 years of age to adopt a child. While the prospective adopters in the UK must be over the age of 21, China requires the age of the adoptive parents not to be younger than 30 years old. In Turkey, adoptive parents must not be younger than 30 years old or be married for at least five years. In France, adoptive parents’ must not be younger than 28 years of age."

"In addition to the age requirement, countries impose other requirements. For example, Israel requires that the adopted child be of the same religion as the adoptive parents. The court will waive this requirement if it is satisfied that the adoption will not have an adverse effect on the child’s welfare. Brazil, Israel, and Sweden mandate a social and psychological assessment report of the adoptive parents. Sweden also requires an adoptive parent to register the adoption with the Tax Authority. Turkey stipulates that married couples may adopt if they have been married for at least five years. Russia prohibits adoption by unmarried or same-sex couples."

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:00 pm 0 comments

Canadian Government Consultation on Copyright Framework for Online Intermediaries

The Canadian government has published a consultation document on the topic of copyright and online intermediaries. Intermediaries include Internet service providers, cloud storage services, web hosting services, social media and search engines:

"Canada's copyright framework establishes liability for intermediaries that infringe copyright or serve primarily to enable infringement by others. This liability is counterbalanced by certain protections, including "safe harbours" where intermediaries merely provide the technical means by which others infringe copyright by using the intermediaries' services. Some intermediaries are also subject to obligations to forward notices of claimed infringement received from copyright owners to the intermediaries' users. Recently, certain intermediaries have also been ordered by courts to disable access facilitated by the intermediaries' services to potentially infringing content or activities."

"This framework is the subject of mounting debate and study. Many rights holders have argued that it effectively diminishes their remuneration for uses of their content online and impairs their enforcement efforts. They have therefore argued in favour of modifying the safe harbour protections to incentivize public content-sharing services to pay rights holders equitably for uses of their content on those services' platforms. They have also advocated for imposing greater obligations on intermediaries to prevent or stop infringement. By contrast, many intermediaries and others have argued that Canada's laws sufficiently protect copyright online and intermediaries' current protections from liability and enforcement obligations promote an open Internet, advancements in online services and economic growth in Canada (...)"

"The Government is considering how best to respond to these trends and perspectives. Possible Government actions could be to:

  • clarify intermediaries' safe harbour protections against liability for copyright infringement, including how intermediaries' knowledge of infringement and content-related activities affect their liability as well as their attendant obligations;
  • compel remuneration of rights holders through collective licensing of their copyright-protected content on certain platforms;
  • increase transparency in rights holders' remuneration and online uses of their content; and
  • clarify or strengthen rights holders' enforcement tools against intermediaries, including by way of a statutory 'website-blocking' and 'de-indexing" regime."

Earlier this year, the governmment consulted on how to implement Canada’s commitment under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement to extend the general term of copyright protection. 

Another consultation on the intersection between copyright and artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will be launched by summer 2021.

Comments may be e-mailed to until May 31, 2021.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:52 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

April 2021 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The April 2021 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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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Book on Government Information in Canada Wins America Library Association Award

The 2019 University of Alberta Press book entitled Government Information in Canada has won the 2021 Margaret T. Lane / Virginia F. Saunders Memorial Research Award.

There is a downloadable open access version available.

The Award is handed out every year by the Government Documents Round Table, which is part of the American Library Association:

"Canadian Government Information Systems mirror many of the federal, state, and local systems in the Unites States, yet publications dedicated to librarianship of Canadian government information are surprisingly rare.  While reviewing literature on government information reference services, it was found that the most recently published book on the subject was nearly forty years old.  Thankfully, Government Information in Canada: Access and Stewardship was published in 2019.  Wakaruk and Li have brought together chapters from various sources and authors to fill this gap."

The editors are Amanda Wakaruk (University of Alberta) and Sam-chin Li (University of Toronto).

They explain that the book:

  • bridges a decade-long literature gap for Canadian government information since the publication of Olga Bishop’s Canadian Official Publications,
  • aims to document both the current state of government information in Canada and the 'state of the discipline' of government information librarianship from a practitioner’s perspective,
  • provides both an overview of what has changed in the government information ecosystem and highlights evolving strategies for continued access to these important resources.

Table of contents:

I Historical Overviews
1 Government Publication Deposit Programs: The Canadian Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Landscapes
Graeme Campbell, Michelle Lake, and Catherine McGoveran
2 Official Publications and Select Digital Library Collections at Library and Archives Canada, 1923 to the Present
Tom J. Smyth
3 Parliamentary Information in Canada: Form and Function
Talia Chung and Maureen Martyn
4 Commissions and Tribunals
Caron Rollins

II Provincial Landscape
5 Alberta Government Publishing
Dani J. Pahulje
6 Saskatchewan Government Publications Deposit in the Legislative Library
Gregory Salmers
7 Inside Track: Challenges of Collecting, Accessing, and Preserving Ontario Government Publications
Sandra Craig and Martha Murphy
8 Digitization of Government Publications: A Review of the Ontario Digitization Initiative
Carol Perry, Brian Tobin, and Sam-chin Li

III Looking Forward: Collaborative Stewardship
9 GALLOP Portal: Making Government Publications in Legislative Libraries Findable
Peter Ellinger
10 The Canadian Government Information Digital Preservation Network: A Collective Response to a National Crisis
Amanda Wakaruk and Steve Marks
11 Web Harvesting and Reporting Fugitive Government Materials: Collaborative Stewardship of At-Risk Documents
Susan Paterson, Nicholas Worby, and Darlene Fichter 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:27 pm 0 comments

Effect of COVID-19 on Law Libraries

An article entitled The Effect of COVID-19 on Law Libraries: Are These Changes Temporary or a Sign of the Future? was published recently on the SSRN publication portal.

It is free to create an account to download PDFs.

The article appeared in the latest issue of the Washburn Law Journal.

From the abstract:

"Due to the public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the traditional roles of the library were altered spontaneously. These sudden changes, coupled with the reality that libraries often struggle for relevance in an ever-changing legal education landscape, force one to ask the existential question: what will come from this crisis and what will academic law libraries look like on the other side? This Article examines the responses from academic law libraries to COVID-19-related changes and emphasizes the need for strong communication skills and effective crisis management strategies from our library leaders, and also discusses which of the changes necessitated by the pandemic should be temporary and which of the changes speak to the future of academic law libraries."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:12 pm 0 comments

Monday, April 12, 2021

More Background Papers on Judicial Bias from Australian Law Reform Commission Releases

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of January 24, 2021 entitled Australian Law Reform Commission Releases First in Series of Background Papers on Judicial Bias.

As part of its inquiry into the laws that govern impartiality and bias in that country's federal judiciary, the Australian Law Reform Commission has started releasing a series on background papers on the issue.

After a primer on judicial bias published in the winter, the Commission recently published 2 more documents:

  • Recusal and self-disqualification: "This background paper is focused on the practical matter of how courts manage claims (and the potential for claims) by litigants that the judicial officer deciding their matter is, or might appear to be, biased."
  • The Federal Judiciary – the Inquiry in Context: "This background paper provides an overview of the composition of the federal judiciary; the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth courts; the workload of those courts; and the frequency of complaints against judicial officers (noting that such complaints may not necessarily be in relation to an allegation of impartiality or bias). It also gives a preliminary analysis of information available in judgments over the past five years concerning applications for disqualification on bias grounds."
The Commission hopes to publish a Consultation Paper in April 2021 with questions and draft proposals for public comment.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:56 pm 0 comments

Spring 2021 Update by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA), of which the Canadian Association of Law Libraries is a member organization, has published its Spring 2021 Update.

It highlights initiatives of the CFLA in recent months.

There is news relating to copyright, cataloguing and metadata standards, intellectual freedom, and Indigenous matters.


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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

New Website and Archive for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR), the permanent home for all statements, documents, and other materials gathered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that investigated abuses against Indigenous children at Indian residential schools, has a new website.

Located at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, the NCTR holds millions of records.

The records include:

  • TRC reports and publications;
  • Footage from TRC public events – apologies, expressions of reconciliation and dialogues on reconciliation;
  • Thousand of hours of statements from former students, their families, staff and those affected by the residential school system;
  • Donations of material objects, art, poems and music;
  • School admissions, school histories, administration records, photographs, maps, plans and drawings from the Government of Canada;
  • Student records, duplicate photographs, school newsletters, cemetery records and religious records from church entities.
These records are stored in the AtoM (Access to Memory) database, a web-based, open source app that offers international standards and access in a multilingual environment.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:30 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Library Associations Respond to Canadian Government Consultation on Copyright Term Extension

Yesterday, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and the Canadian Federation of Library Associations released a joint response to the Government of Canada’s Consultation Paper on copyright term extension

The response was also endorsed by the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL).

Under the new Canada US Mexico Trade Agreement, Canada has agreed to extend, by the end of 2022, its general copyright term of protection from 50 to 70 years after the life of the author.

The Consultation Paper outlined 5 options.

The associations' response favours Option 3:

"which would allow non-profit libraries, archives and museums (LAMs) to use out-of-commerce and orphan works subject to claims for equitable remuneration. Further, the library community recommends including legislative amendments to the definition of commercial availability in the Copyright Act (the Act) and limiting liability for libraries that are making these works available to the public. We also believe that the government should combine Option 3 with Option 5 (creating exceptions for the use of works 100 years after their creation by LAMs) to ensure the broadest public benefit without causing harm to copyright owners."

They also support the following ideas:

  • Amend Section 29 of the Copyright Act to make the list of purposes allowable under the fair dealing exception an illustrative list rather than an exhaustive one
  • Establish a scheme of limited liability for libraries, archives and museums for use of orphan and out-of-commerce works.
  • Amend the Copyright Act to make it clear that no exception to copyright can be waived or overridden by contract
  • Amend the Copyright Act  to make it clear that no exception to copyright can be waived or overridden by contract and that Technological Protection Measures (TPMs) can be circumvented for non-Infringing purposes.
  • Address the need to respect Indigenous Knowledges.
  • Find a solution to allow for digitization of unpublished works.
  • Assign a Creative Commons licence to all publicly available federal government publications.
  • Extend Options 3 and 5 to apply to educational institutions and other non-profit organizations.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:02 pm 0 comments

Monday, March 29, 2021

Town Hall to Change Name of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a town hall to discuss a resolution to change the association's name.

The event will take place April 6 at 1PM ET:

"At our November 2020 Town Hall, a member suggested that our association name is misaligned with who our members are today and discussion ensued. Our association values input followed by action. With that, a name change of our association would require a special resolution at our AGM taking place on May 27, 2021."

"The purpose of this town hall is to discuss what we should call ourselves."

The 3 options up for discussion are:

  • Canadian Association of Legal Information Professionals / Association canadienne des professionnels de l'information juridique (CALIP/ACPIJ)
  • Canadian Legal Information Specialists Association / Association canadienne des spécialistes de l'information juridique (CLISA/ACSIJ)
  • Canadian Legal Information Specialists / Spécialistes de l'information juridique canadienne (CLIS-SIJC)


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:38 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Updated Globalex Research Guides on Foreign and International Law Topics

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, has updated a number of its research guides;

  • Researching Scottish Legal History: "This research guide was created to assist with research on Scottish legal history. It is adapted from the author’s research guide created for the Georgetown Law Library. The guide covers the feudal period through 1901 and up to referenda on independence from 2014, as well as Scotland’s position on Brexit. Pre-eminent print and electronic resources are highlighted. Annotations are provided for some of these resources."
  • Introduction to Public International Law Research: "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 (...) This guide is intended as an introduction to the topic and to help researchers find the most used sources and materials in the area with a primary focus on electronic research."
  • International Trademark Law – The Madrid System: "Registration of trademarks in multiple jurisdictions around the world is governed by two independent treaties—the Madrid Agreement (the Agreement) and the Madrid Protocol (the Protocol). Despite its name, the Protocol is a separate treaty and not a 'protocol' to the Agreement. Together, the Agreement and the Protocol are known as the Madrid System for the International Registration of Marks (the Madrid System). States party to the Agreement and/or the Protocol and organizations party to the Protocol are referred to collectively as Contracting Parties. Together, they constitute the Madrid Union, which is a Special Union under Article 19 of the Paris Convention. The Madrid System is a centrally administered system (by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO) for obtaining a bundle of trademark registrations in separate jurisdictions, creating in effect a basis for an 'international registration' of marks. This guide is intended to highlight the resources and important issues encountered in using the Madrid System for the international registration of marks."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:34 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

British Columbia Law Institute Report on Pension Division Between Separating Spouses

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has published a report on Pension Division: A Review of Part 6 of the Family Law Act:

"When a spousal relationship breaks down, the separating spouses are often faced with trying emotional, financial, and legal issues. This report is concerned with one set of legal issues that may arise from the breakdown of a spousal relationship. These legal issues involve the division of a pension between the separating spouses."

"British Columbia has had pension-division legislation in force since July 1995. It has generally worked well, fulfilling its purpose to provide British Columbia with a comprehensive and detailed set of rules on pension division, largely sparing the courts from having to settle, in litigation, issues that call for specialized expertise. Part of the success of this legislation can be attributed to the fact that it has been regularly reviewed and improved, to keep pace with developments in family and pension law."

"The latest version of British Columbia’s pension-division legislation is found in part 6 of the Family Law Act. This legislation has been in force since March 2013. There have been some significant developments in family and pension law since that time. The time is ripe for another review of pension-division legislation."

"This report contains that review. It has found that the legislation is still working well in general. But specific areas can be improved. These improvements are set out in the report’s 25 recommendations for reform."

The recommendations deals with issues such as the death of a spouse; waiving survivor benefits after pension commencement; commuted value: disability benefits; locked-in retirement accounts and life income funds; private annuities; and administrative fees.

More details about the Pension Division Review Project are available on the BCLI website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:49 pm 0 comments

Monday, March 22, 2021

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Member Research Tips Turned Into E-Book

Susannah Tredwell, a member of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries who is the Manager of Library Services at DLA Piper Canada in Vancouver, has been a regular contributor to SlawTips for years.

SlawTips, published on the legal website, are intended to be small nuggets of useful information that can be about legal research, technology or writing.

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, recently published a selection of Susannah's research tips in the form of an e-book.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Measuring the Impact of Legal Research

Alisa Lazear published an article about Measuring the Impact of Legal Research on a few days ago.

In it, she discusses how various disciplines have developed meaningful ways to measure the impact of research and whether law needs its own domain-specific metrics:

"It can be a challenge to assess the many ways research makes an impact and filter it down into a single number. Beyond impact, you can also look at engagement, influence, content quality over time, author productivity… There are many programs and calculations to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. "

"But how helpful are they for legal researchers? (...)"

"What does 'impact' in law mean? For a legal researcher who wrote a paper that is cited in a high profile Supreme Court case, this one citation can be seen as a significant impact. Or perhaps it is the impact of a widely-viewed blog or Twitter account of a legal scholar. Or perhaps it is the impact of a law professor who is actively participating in legal work for the wider community."

"Without developing tools with an understanding of some of the unique aspects of legal publishing and what research impact means in law, legal researchers could be left to use measurements of impact that weren’t designed for them."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:43 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

REALM Project Literature Review on Survival of COVID-19 Virus on Library Materials

The REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has been testing how long the virus that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various library surfaces and materials.

It recently published a systematic literature review of current research on how the virus spreads, its survival on materials and surfaces, and the effectiveness of various prevention and decontamination measures.

It has also published a series of toolkits to help libraries with reopening plans and protect public health.

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

Further details and results from previous tests are available on the OCLC REALM Project website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:01 pm 0 comments

Monday, March 15, 2021

Report on Impact of Supreme Court of Canada Pintea v Johns Decision About Self-Represented Litigants

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has published a new report entitled Pintea v Johns: An Updated Commentary.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision Pintea v. Johns, 2017 SCC 23 recognized the many difficulties experienced by those with less knowledge and experience of the legal system. 

It also exhorting courts to apply the Canadian Judicial Council's Statement of Principles on Self-Represented Litigants and Accused Persons to ensure that self-represented litigants can meaningfully participate in court processes. 

In the report, Anjanee Naidu and Julie Macfarlane track the trends in decisions citing Pintea to see how it has been followed in Canadian courts.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:32 pm 0 comments

Law Commission of Ontario Report on Legal Issues and Government AI Development

 The Law Commission of Ontario has published a report from a workshop organized with the Ontario government on the topic of Legal Issues and Government AI Development:

"Government interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and automated decision-making (ADM) systems is growing rapidly. This is because AI and ADM have tremendous potential to transform government decision-making and public services (...)"

"(...) in the US, AI and ADM tools are currently being used to assist government operations 'across the full range of governance tasks', including:

  • Enforcing regulatory mandates centred on market efficiency, workplace safety, health care, and environmental protection;
  • Adjudicating government benefits, from disability benefits to intellectual property rights;Monitoring and analyzing risks to public health and safety;
  • Extracting useable information from the government’s massive data streams, from consumer complaints to weather patterns; and
  • Communicating with the public about its rights and obligations as welfare beneficiaries, taxpayers, asylum seekers, and business owners."

"However, along with great potential is great concern. Many government AI and ADM systems are criticized due to serious concerns about racial bias, lack of transparency and legal accountability, data issues and inadequate public engagement."

"In many instances, AI and/or ADM systems are being used to either make or assist government decisions that impact individual rights, interests and obligations. For example, AI and ADM systems are currently being used by many governments to determine government benefits, immigration eligibility, assess the risk of child abuse, identify individuals likely to be criminals and prioritize access to housing, to name a few examples. As a result, justice system stakeholders in Canada and elsewhere are analyzing the legal principles, statutory rules and constitutional requirements that arise when government decision-making is assisted by machines (...)"

"The need to address these issues prompted the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) and the Ontario Digital Service (ODS) to bring together Government of Ontario lawyers, policymakers, operational managers and technology experts with Law Commission counsel and advisors for an informal and collaborative discussion about artificial intelligence, automated decision-making and the law."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:22 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 11, 2021

March 2021 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The March 2021 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.

In the current issue, there is news about:

  • the CALL 2021 Conference
  • the association's mentorship program
  • research grants
  • deadlines for CALL scholarships and awards
  • an April Zoom meeting about non-traditional jobs
  • another April meetup organized by the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Group on how to effectively communicate with lawyers, students, and staff
  • presentations from Government Information Day 2020 Program

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:16 pm 0 comments

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Singapore Academy of Law Report on Criminal Liability, Robotics and AI Systems

The Singapore Academy of Law's  Law Reform Committee (LRC) recently published a report on Criminal Liability, Robotics and AI Systems:

"Those systems are in turn being used – in commercial, military, consumer and other contexts – to enhance humans’ ability to carry out tasks, or to replace humans altogether. From self-driving cars and robotic carers, to autonomous weapons and automated financial trading systems, robotic and other data-driven AI systems are increasingly becoming the cornerstones of our economies and our daily lives. Increased automation promises significant societal benefits. Yet, as ever more processes are carried out without the involvement of a ‘human actor’, the focus turns to how those robots and other autonomous systems operate, how they ‘learn’, and the data on which they base their decisions to act (...)"

"Having considered current Singapore law, as well as legal and policy developments in other parts of the world, the LRC is now publishing a series of reports addressing discrete legal issues arising in an AI context."

"There is currently much work being undertaken at a national and international level in this field. Domestically, the Singapore Government has published the second edition of its Model AI Governance Framework and launched a National Artificial Intelligence Strategy to reap the benefits of systematic and extensive application of new technologies. The LRC hopes that its reports will complement and contribute to these efforts and help Singapore law – through legislation or ‘soft law’ – to develop in a way that fosters socially and economically beneficial development and use of robotic and AI-driven technologies."

"The series does not purport to offer comprehensive solutions to the many issues raised. The LRC hopes, however, that it will stimulate systematic thought and debate on these issues by policy makers, legislators, industry, the legal profession and the public."

Recent Library Boy posts on artificial intelligence include:

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