Friday, August 31, 2007

Upcoming Library and Information Studies Training Seminars

The Education Institute, which runs continuing education programs for The Partnership, Canada's national network of provincial and territorial library associations, has a number of interesting programs this fall (click on the EI Program Calendar and then choose a month).

The line-up includes audio and web Conferences, on-line courses, and audio Courses.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:34 pm 0 comments

Harvard Law School Legal Portraits Online Collection

The Harvard Law School Library owns 4,000 portraits of jurists and legal thinkers from the Middle Ages to today:

"Although most of these prints, drawings, and photographs depict legal figures prominent in the Common Law, a significant number portray jurists and legal educators associated with the Canon and Civil Law traditions. The collection is particularly strong in images of eighteenth and nineteenth century British and American lawyers, ranging from such well known historical figures as William Blackstone, Jeremy Bentham, John Marshall, and Joseph Story to many lesser known jurists and legal educators. The collection also contains images of many graduates of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School. Librarian Eldon R. James and Dean Roscoe Pound began the collection in the first quarter of the twentieth century as an adjunct to the School's 'basic collection' of paintings and sculpture. It has continued to grow significantly over the years, and today constitutes a major resource for images of lawyers and jurists that have shaped our Western legal heritage".

"The collection of portrait images is the most heavily used portion of the Library's visual materials. Researchers and publishers almost daily request reproductions from this collection to illustrate scholarly articles, monographs, textbooks, Web sites, and television programs. Although the most frequent request is for reproductions of the likenesses of individuals important in the history of the law, the collection has also been consulted for iconographic images (e.g., scales of justice, blindfolded justice) and for scenes depicting judicial activity (e.g., courtrooms, assizes). Researchers in fields other than legal history may also benefit; many of the images will interest students of social history, costume, art history, and heraldry. Students of art may also find it useful as the collection covers many centuries and styles of portraiture".
Lovers of legal portraits with a less respectful tone might also be interested in the works of 19th-century French artist/caricaturist Honoré Daumier whom I mentioned in my August 14, 2005 post entitled Honoré Daumier Lithograph Collections and Corrupt Lawyers:

"The Librarians' Index to the Internet features 2 items this week about 19th century French artist Honoré Daumier, who gained notoriety for his often acerbic caricatures of the monarchy, politicians, and the French middle class. He is especially well-known for his Les gens de justice collection attacking the corrupt practices of lawyers of his time".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:08 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 30, 2007

New Research Guide on Australian Law

GlobaLex, an online legal research collection at New York University, has just published A Guide to online research resources for the Australian Federal Legal System with some reference to the State Level. It is written by Petal Kinder, Court Librarian at the High Court of Australia, the equivalent of the Supreme Court of Canada.

The guide covers the structure of government and of the judicial system, the law reporting system, methods for locating case law, legislation, parliamentary documents, legislative histories, treaties, and secondary sources.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:47 pm 0 comments

Select Bibliography on the Transatlantic Slave Trade

To mark the 200th anniversary of the passing of a law in the UK Parliament that banned the transatlantic slave trade, the National Library of Jamaica has published a select bibliography on the topic:
"The bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade (2007), in the British West Indies is being recognized in Jamaica and other regions. In acknowledgment of this year as an important historical event, the National Library of Jamaica has compiled a select bibliography of materials available on this subject in its collections. The National Library of Jamaica holds a number of materials on the slave trade, dating as far back as 1671 and publications from each century thereafter".

"The slave trade has been the subject of extensive scholarship; confronting issues such as the number of Africans transported to the Americas and the social, economic and political effects of the trade. These studies are available in a variety of formats such as manuscripts, books, newspaper articles and CD-ROMs. In addition to analytical studies of the slave trade, there are also descriptive materials including narratives by those directly involved such as freed persons, slave traders and observers".
The bibliography includes sections on books and abolitionist pamphlets; periodical articles; newspaper references; illustrations; manuscripts; prints; and audio-visual materials.

Other Library Boy posts on the topic include:
  • UK Bicentennial of Abolition of the Slave Trade - But Canada Was First! (March 20, 2007): "The year 2007 marks the 200th anniversary of the British legislation that banned the transatlantic trade in slaves. The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed in the Westminster Parliament on 25 March 1807 (...) What is not well known, even in Canada, is that one of the first moves towards the abolition of the slave trade took place right here. The colony of Upper Canada, now the province of Ontario, was the pioneer in this movement. In 1793, colonial Governor John Graves Simcoe, the founder of York (later to become Toronto), passed An Act to prevent the further introduction of slaves, and to limit the Term of Contracts for servitude within this Province (...) The law freed slaves aged 25 and over and made it illegal to bring slaves into Upper Canada, which became a safe haven for runaway slaves. Simcoe’s law also made Upper Canada the first jurisdiction in the British Empire to move toward the abolition of slavery."
  • More on Bicentennial of the Abolition of the Slave Trade (March 26, 2007): "The OpenDemocracy website has an interesting commentary on the history of the abolition struggle and on the repercussions of the transatlantic slave trade. It is entitled Slaves and slavery, 1807-2007: the past in the present, by Marika Sherwood, researcher at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies."
  • Quiz on History of Slavery (March 30, 2007): "This week's Friday Brain-teaser from Xrefer on Peter Scott's Library Blog is about the history of slavery (...) Xrefer is a major provider of online reference resources."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:32 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Small Arms Survey 2007 - Americans Own 30% of All the Guns in the World

This week, the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies released its Small Arms Survey 2007.

The Survey is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and receives contributions from the governments of Belgium, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The survey covers issues such as firearms production, international small arms transfers, international transfer control initiatives, the impact of urbanization on armed violence, and the economics of small arms.

According to this year's report:

  • U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world's 875 million known firearms. This comes out to 90 guns for every U.S. 100 citizens. The U.S., representing 4.5% of the Earth's population, owns 30% of all the small firearms on the planet. If only the civilian-owned small arms (650 million) are counted, U.S. private citizens own 41.5% of all the non-police/non-military firearms.
  • India had the world's second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million firearms outside law enforcement and the military for a ratio of 4 guns per 100 people there. China comes 3rd with 40 million privately held guns, or 3 firearms per 100 people
  • On a per-capita basis, Yemen had the second most heavily armed citizenry with 61 guns per 100 people, followed by Finland with 56, Switzerland with 46, Iraq with 39 and Serbia with 38
  • France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Germany each had about 30 guns per 100 people, while many poorer countries often associated with violence ranked much lower. The report states that gun ownership thus may be correlated with rising levels of wealth, and that means future demand may rise rapidly in parts of the world where economic growth is giving people larger disposable income
  • Overall, civilians own approximately 650 million of the total 875 million combined civilian, law enforcement, and military firearms in the world today
  • Five years ago, the Small Arms Survey had estimated there were a total of just 640 million firearms globally
  • At least 60 states made what could reasonably be interpreted as irresponsible small arms shipments to 36 countries during the period 2002–04
  • The more effective a country’s regulatory laws are, the higher weapons prices will be. In African countries, the price of an assault rifle is around 200 US dollars lower than the global average
  • Only about 12 per cent of civilian weapons are thought to be registered with authorities

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:13 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

50 Years Later, Truscott Murder Conviction Deemed 'Miscarriage of Justice'

Almost a half century after the events at the heart of the case, the Ontario Court of Appeal today acquitted Steven Truscott of murder in the death of Lynne Harper in Clinton, Ontario. Fresh forensic evidence surrounding the time of death of the victim helped Truscott's case.

At age 14, Truscott was sentenced to hang in 1959 in what became one of the most famous and controversial trials in the Canadian history. His sentence was later commuted to life in prison. He was paroled after 10 years in federal penitentiary.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has put together an extensive file on the case, with links to court documents going back 5 decades, video of the Appeal hearings last winter, factums, and CBC archival material.

In a 300 page decision, the Court of Appeal unanimously declared that the conviction and sentencing of the teenager was a "miscarriage of justice". The Justices did not declare Truscott innocent but they did order the original conviction quashed and entered a verdict of acquittal. A summary of the decision is provided on the website of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.

Earlier Library Boy posts about miscarriages of justice/wrongful convictions include:
  • Wrongful Conviction Resources on the Web (December 19, 2005): "The website has just published a bibliography entitled Wrongful Conviction and Innocence Resources on the Internet. It is divided into sections on current awareness, 'innocence projects' (groups and research projects that help investigate cases of wrongful conviction), government commissions, case profiles and case databases, reports on wrongful conviction published by the government, academics, various organizations and the media in the United States, courses, conferences and organizations." The post mentions other Canadian resources
  • James Driskell Wrongful Conviction Report (February 16, 2007): "This week, the Manitoba Attorney General has released the report of the judicial commission of inquiry in the James Driskell case (...) Driskell was wrongfully convicted in 1991 of murder. That verdict was overturned in 2005 by the federal government, which launched a commission of inquiry into how this miscarriage of justice could have happened. Driskell spent 13 years in jail. The commission report concluded that police and Crown lawyers failed to disclose crucial evidence that could have prevented Driskell's wrongful conviction. The jury was also 'seriously misled' on issues including the reliability of a key Crown witness."
  • Wrongful Convictions Database at University of Texas Law Library (April 12, 2007) : "The Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas has created an Actual Innocence awareness database that covers the area of wrongful criminal convictions in the United States."
  • Wrongful Convictions: Public Inquiry Called Into Actions of Ontario Pathologist (April 24, 2007): "The chief coroner of Ontario revealed last week that Dr. Charles Smith, a former leading Ontario child pathologist, made mistakes in 20 cases involving the deaths of children. The announcement cast doubt on 13 criminal convictions (...) As a result of the chief coroner's report, Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant announced yesterday that he is launching a public inquiry with powers of subpoena for people and documents. Cabinet will name a senior judge tomorrow to lead the inquiry."
  • Annual Report on Applications to Review Miscarriages of Justice (June 12, 2007): "'Under Canadian law, the Minister of Justice has the legal authority to review a criminal conviction on the basis that there may have been a miscarriage of justice (...) This is the fourth annual report and it covers the period April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006. Under the regulations, the Minister's annual report must address the following matters: the number of applications for ministerial review made to the Minister; the number of applications that have been abandoned or that are incomplete; the number of applications that are at the preliminary assessment stage; the number of decisions that the Minister has made; and any other information that the Minister considers appropriate."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:19 pm 0 comments

How Much Courthouse Security Is Enough?

The most recent issue of The Lawyers Weekly (August 31, 2007 issue) has a feature article on the ongoing debate about security in Canadian courthouses, in particular those in the province of Quebec.

The article is entitled Quebec lawyers question 'over-the-top' court security:
"Security guards stand at the entrance to the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal. Lawyers have criticized the court for its strict security measures."

"Lawyers, including Crowns, are asking why they have to undo their belt buckles, raise their pants’ legs, and otherwise submit to strict new security measures before pleading at the Quebec Court of Appeal in Montreal – even if they are courtroom regulars who are well known to security staff."

"Meanwhile, at the bustling Palais de Justice across the street, combative family law litigants and people accused of serious crimes face no security checks whatsoever when they show up for their trials."

"That irony sparked comment in Calgary following a panel discussion Aug. 13 at the Canadian Bar Association’s conference which highlighted abysmal security in courtrooms across Canada, including at all of Quebec’s 42 trial courthouses. Montreal’s Palais de Justice, home to 93 courtrooms and the second largest courthouse in North America (after Chicago), does not even have a metal detector to screen the 6,000 people who flock through its five doors each working day. "
On December 13, 2006, I posted about the problems in the main Montreal courthouse - Newspaper Series on Threats to Montreal Crown Prosecutors: "The Montreal daily La Presse has a series of articles today about the security (or lack of security) for Crown prosecutors in Montreal and elsewhere in the province of Quebec (...) The intimidation tactics include being photographed inside the Courthouse by criminal gang members and their supporters, being followed in parking lots, and bomb threats."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:09 pm 0 comments

New Material From

The law and technology resources site has just published new material for August 2007.

Here are some of the articles that caught my attention:
  • Legal Information Management in a Global and Digital Age: Revolution and Tradition, by Claire Germain, Edward Cornell Law Librarian & Professor of Law, Cornell Law School: "This article presents an overview of the public policy issues surrounding digital libraries, and describes some current trends, such as Web 2.0, the social network. It discusses the impact of globalization and the Internet on international and foreign law information, the free access to law movement and open access scholarship, and mass digitization projects, then turns to some concerns, focusing on preservation and long term access to born digital legal information and authentication of official digital legal information. It finally discusses new roles for librarians, called upon to evaluate the quality of information teach legal research methodology and be advocates in information policy."
  • IM a Librarian: Establishing a Virtual Reference Service with Little Cost or Technical Skill, by Bonnie Shucha, Head of Reference, University of Wisconsin - Madison Law Library: "Librarians can take advantage of these real-time communications tools also. No longer must virtual reference systems be expensive or complex. With today's real-time communication tools, librarians can establish a virtual reference service with relatively little expense or technical expertise. In the article, I'll demonstrate how by exploring the pros and cons of real-time communication; explaining how real-time communication works in a library setting; and introducing two free, easy-to-use applications for virtual reference."
  • Technology and the Generation Gap, by Genevieve Zook, Reference & Instructional Services Librarian, Law Library, University of Wisconsin - Madison: "While the young are busy posting an apology to their readership on their blog, before they take an extended summer vacation with their family; the older generations are slow to make use of the latest gadgets and online tools, and are baffled by the reason one would want to post the date you will be absent from your house on the Net. The resulting clash is being called a new generation gap."
  • Law and Technology Podcasts, by Roger V. Skalbeck, Associate Law Librarian for Electronic Resources and Services at Georgetown Law Library in Washington: "During my commute on the Washington, DC metro, I rarely have enough room to butterfly my newspaper, let alone actually get a seat. Since I can't read law and technology news en route to work, I now listen to it instead. Unsurprisingly, there are numerous high-quality podcasts in these areas. Based on my personal experience, following are a very select handful of useful podcasts covering topics such as technology policy, law, and web development."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:22 pm 0 comments

Monday, August 27, 2007

Get Well Soon Wishes for Supreme Court Watcher Eugene Meehan

This item in the blog Precedent: The new rules of law and style caught my attention.

Eugene Meehan, litigation partner with the firm Lang Michener and an expert on the Supreme Court of Canada, recently published an item about his battle with the rare disease known as Guillain-Barré Syndrome. The article explains that he will be discharged from hospital in late August (this week I assume). He arrived in hospital March 31.

Meehan was the Executive Legal Officer at the Supreme Court in 1990-1992. He has also served as the National President of the Canadian Bar Association for the term of 1999-2000.

He produces 2 of the best newsletters about Canadian law, the Supreme Court of Canada L@wLetter and the L@wLetter from Canada (for an international audience).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:34 pm 1 comments

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Canadian Government Response to Parliamentary Report on Security Certificates

Earlier this week, the Canadian government published its official Response to the Twelfth Report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

The House of Commons report (presented to Parliament on April 16, 2007) dealt with the security certificate system.

Under Canada's security certificate system, non-citizens could be detained and deported based largely on allegations that they represented a risk to the security of Canada. The allegations did not have to be proven in open court. Since 2001, many of the cases related to the certificates have involved Middle Eastern men suspected of being connected to Islamist terrorist movements.

Under the system, legal proceedings concerning the reasonableness of the certificate were held, but the government could present the Court with confidential and secret evidence, with the detainee and his or her lawyers only being granted access to a summary.

On February 23, 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down many of the components of the security certificate system as unconstitutional. [See Library Boy: Supreme Court Ruling on Security Certificates, February 24, 2007; and More Commentary on Supreme Court Security Certificate Ruling, February 27, 2007]

The use of secret evidence that is not disclosed to the detainee was found to violate section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (right to life, liberty and security of the person). The section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that does not require a detention review for foreign nationals until 120 days after the reasonableness of the certificate has been judicially confirmed was found to infringe the guarantee against arbitrary detention found in section 9 and 10(c) of the Charter.

The House Committee made a series of recommendations. The government response addresses those recommendations.

The Supreme Court has given the government 12 months (until late February 2008) to change the provisions that were declared unconstitutional.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:32 pm 0 comments

Friday, August 24, 2007

Update on Polygamy Controversy

This is an update to the August 3, 2007 Library Boy post entitled Legal Background to the Controversy on Polygamy in Canada.

The Osgoode Hall Law School blog The Court has just published a good summary of the issues for Canada: A Polygamy Primer.

"The debate over the Criminal Code’s polygamy provisions is almost as old as the provisions themselves. Now, British Columbia’s Attorney General says he is considering a reference to the B.C. Court of Appeal to determine the provisions’ constitutionality. Regardless of the outcome there, experts say the matter will soon wind up in the Supreme Court of Canada. In this, our Polygamy Primer, The Court reviews the history of Canada’s polygamy ban, describes the events leading up to this month’s announcement, identifies the major players, and briefly considers some of the Charter issues that are likely to dominate the court battle".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:05 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Australian Library of Parliament Report on Firearms

The Parliamentary Library in Australia recently published a "Background Note" entitled Firearms in Australia: a guide to electronic resources:

"On 28 April 1996, 35 people were killed and 18 others were wounded at Port Arthur in Tasmania by an assailant using a semi-automatic rifle. In response, The Australasian Police Ministers’ Council convened a special meeting on 10 May 1996 and agreed to a national plan for the regulation of firearms—the Nationwide Agreement on Firearms. This agreement banned self-loading rifles and self-loading and pump-action shotguns, introduced a nationwide registration of firearms along with limitations to firearm ownership, and led to the Australian firearms buyback scheme."


"This brief is a guide to some of the literature, statistics and information on firearm ownership, firearm offences, firearm controls and government policies since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996".
For a comparative perspective, here are some earlier Library Boy posts on the topic of firearms legislation and gun control:
  • Gun Control Resources (December 10, 2005): "On Thursday, as part of its platform in the January 23, 2006 federal elections, the Liberal Party of Canada proposed a sweeping national ban on handguns (...) To understand the debate, here are various resources [list of resources from Canada, the UK, United States, Australia, international]"
  • Reverse Onus in Gun-Related Bail Hearings (January 4, 2006): "In the aftermath of the Boxing Day gangbanger shoot-out in the middle of Canada's busiest shopping street (Toronto's Yonge St.) that left an innocent 15-year old dead, officials such as Prime Minister Paul Martin have called for reforms to Canadian bail practices. They want to to change bail conditions so people charged with gun offences can be kept behind bars unless they could show good cause for being released, something known as 'reverse onus' (...) There are already a number of offences enumerated under section 515(6) of the Criminal Code that place the onus on the accused to justify bail. The section lists offences, such as commiting a crime while on bail, as part of a criminal organization, terrorism-related offences, narcotics-related offences, etc."
  • New Compendium of U.S. Gun Laws (August 23, 2006): "A group called Legal Community Against Violence, a San Francisco- based public interest law centre dedicated to preventing gun violence, has just released a comprehensive overview of U.S. federal and state laws on gun control. The report looks at gun laws in a number of broad areas: classes of weapons, restrictions on sales and transfers, gun dealers, gun ownership, consumer and child safety, crime detection (ballistic identification, retention of sales records, background checks)."
  • Updated Library of Parliament Report on Mandatory Minimum Sentences for Gun Crimes (March 10, 2007): "The document includes sections on: History of Minimum Sentences for Firearm Offences; Constitutionality of Mandatory Minimum Sentences; Effect of Mandatory Minimum Sentences on Gun Crime ...; Description and Analysis"
  • Criminal Intelligence Service 2007 Annual Report on Organized Crime in Canada (August 18, 2007): "Canada's Criminal Intelligence Service has just released its latest annual report on the activities of organized crime in Canada. This year's report contains a special feature section on the illegal firearms market."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:49 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Justice Gomery Hired by Radio-Canada as Commentator

John Gomery, the Quebec judge who presided over the judicial commission of inquiry into the federal sponsorship scandal in 2004-2006, has been signed as a legal commentator by Radio-Canada (Radio-Canada press release in French).

Gomery, who retired from the bench earlier this year, will comment on legal affairs and public ethical issues for the main Radio-Canada TV network and its all-news channel, RDI.

Radio-Canada is the French network of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:04 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Release of Proposed New Civil Procedure Rules in British Columbia

The BC Justice Review Forum has just released a proposal for New Rules of Civil Procedure as part of an overall reform package aimed at making the civil justice system of the province more streamlined and accessible.

As the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice reports, other provinces and territories, such as Quebec, Nova Scotia, Alberta and Yukon, have also been having a look at modifying their rules of procedure.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:38 pm 0 comments

Report on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Contexts

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has just posted a new report on its website entitled Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Aboriginal Contexts: A Critical Review:

"In relation to disputes involving Aboriginal peoples, there appear to be three emerging modes of alternative resolution processes. One mode involves Western-based paradigms such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration and mediation. A second mode involves Indigenous paradigms, which call for the rejuvenation and reclamation of ways in which disputes may be resolved according to the culture and custom of the Indigenous party involved. Due to the diversity and distinctiveness of Aboriginal peoples across the continent, Indigenous methods of dispute resolution are not easily summarized into categories. Rather, they are reflective of the Indigenous teachings from which they come and therefore may be different from one Aboriginal nation to another. A third mode is a combination of the two paradigms".

"All three modes, however, share similar challenges. Whether using an Indigenous paradigm, a Western one or a combination of the two, issues of power, cultural differences, language barriers and the effects and impacts of colonialism need to be addressed. This paper examines several of these common challenges. It examines differing worldviews in relation to dispute settlement and conceptualizes the Indigenous paradigms and Western paradigms based upon these worldview differences. By so doing, this paper will not only add to the literature that distinguishes between Indigenous paradigms of dispute resolution and the "indigenization" of Western paradigms, it will also inform ADR theorists and practitioners. In particular, it will inform them of ways in which Indigenous and Western ADR paradigms may work cooperatively together while simultaneously protecting and respecting worldview and cultural differences".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:33 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Library: New Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of August 1 to 15, 2007 is now available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library does not lend materials from this list, which is provided for information only."

But, once the material goes into the general collection, after about a month, the works do become available for inter-library loans to authorized libraries.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:31 pm 0 comments

Monday, August 20, 2007

Privacy E-Learning Tool for Canadian Retailers

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has launched an online learning tool for retailers "to help them bring their privacy practices and policies in line with the law".

The idea is to help small retail businesses understand their obligations under federal laws such as the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

After completing the online training, retailers will have:
  • an information audit
  • consent provisions required specifically for their business
  • a security plan
  • a sample privacy brochure for customers
  • a training needs assessment

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:37 pm 0 comments

Australian Library and Information Association Celebrates 70th Anniversary

Today marks the 70th birthday of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA).

Happy Birthday to our Antipodean colleagues!


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:23 pm 0 comments

Sunday, August 19, 2007

July/August 2007 Issue of The National (Canadian Bar Association)

The most recent issue of the Canadian Bar Association journal The National is available online (warning - the PDF file is quite large).

Among the interesting articles in this issue are:
  • Rising Tide (p. 24): "Climate change and political tensions have raised concerns about Canada’s ability to manage and control our vast fresh water supply. Water law experts forecast which way the tide is likely to turn."
  • The new landscape of law (p. 38): "The practice of law continues to experience great upheaval. Here are five vibrant practice areas that weren’t on the radar ten years ago, but might seem ordinary a mere decade from now." Those 5 areas are Internet gaming, global warming, life sciences, outsourcing, and privacy
  • The public eye (p. 46): "Cameras in the courtroom is an age-old debate that has received a new injection of urgency in the age of cellphone cameras and YouTube uploading. Should the future be televised?"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:38 pm 0 comments

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Criminal Intelligence Service 2007 Annual Report on Organized Crime in Canada

Canada's Criminal Intelligence Service has just released its latest annual report on the activities of organized crime in Canada. This year's report contains a special feature section on the illegal firearms market.

The Service coordinates the criminal intelligence units of Canadian law enforcement agencies at the federal and provincial levels of government. It is chaired by the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

According to the report, Canada now has 950 identifiable organized crime groups operating across the country, a jump of 20% from the 2006. This may look like bad news but police intelligence authorities attribute the number to better reporting practices.

Organized crime groups come in a wide variety of forms, from highly structured motorcycle gangs to loose street gangs. 80% of them are active in narcotics.

The report notes the increased use of technology by organized crime groups: Blackberries and Windows are becoming as important as Magnum .357s and machetes. According to police, there is a growing trend towards techno-crime involving identity theft, telemarketing fraud, stock and mortgage fraud, committed using a variety of techniques ranging from dumpster diving, modification of bank machine card readers, and online data mining to hacking into corporate databases.

Despite these new trends, narcotics continue to be the major source of profits for Canadian crime groups.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:38 pm 0 comments

Conference on Charter of Rights and Labour Law

The University of Western Ontario is organizing a conference on The Charter and Human Rights at Work: 25 Years Later on October 26-27, 2007 in London, Ontario. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, will be the keynote speaker.

The full conference program is available online.

"Human rights and equality have become the leading legal issues in the Canadian workplace. Anti-discrimination clauses in collective agreements, human rights statutes and even the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are regularly litigated in labour and employment law cases. As our society becomes more diverse and more rights-oriented, and as our employment relationships become more transitional, workplace glass ceilings have become more visible and human rights talk has become more evident".

"The workplace, in Canada and elsewhere, is not only a primary source of human rights violations but it is also one of the most obvious social institutions through which to challenge these discriminatory practices through laws and campaigns. Many of the path-breaking human rights and equality rulings in Canada over the past twenty-five years – on disability, race, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, older workers, and family status issues – have arisen out of the workplace. All of these human rights issues, and more, have been at the centre of developments in modern Canadian labour law and industrial relations".
Earlier Library Boy posts about the 25th anniversary of the Charter include:
  • Library and Archives Canada Exhibit for 25th Anniversary of the Charter (November 7, 2006): "Library and Archives Canada has put together an online exhibition Building a Just Society: A Retrospective of Canadian Rights and Freedoms for which it has 'invited a number of individual Canadians to contribute their personal thoughts and thought-provoking commentary on this vital section of our Constitution'."
  • Conference on 25th Anniversary of the Charter of Rights (January 2, 2007): "The McGill Institute for the Study of Canada is hosting a conference from February 14 to 16 entitled The Charter @ 25."
  • Survey on Canadian Attitudes Regarding Charter of Rights (February 8, 2007): "In conjunction with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada's conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) asked polling firm SES Research to do a detailed survey of the attitudes of Canadians towards the Charter."
  • Charter 25th Anniversary Conferences (February 21, 2007): "There are other conferences this year to mark the 25th anniversary of the Charter. Some of the key ones are: 25th Anniversary of the Charter - A Tribute to Chief Justice R. Roy McMurtry (Law Society of Upper Canada, April 12, 2007, Toronto) ... 25 Years Under the Charter (Association for Canadian Studies, April 16-17, 2007, Ottawa) ... A Living Tree: The Legacy of 1982 in Canada’s Political Evolution (Saskatchewan Institute of Public Policy, May 23-25, 2007, Regina)"
  • Articles on 25th Anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (April 6, 2007): "There are a number of articles in the most recent issue of Canadian Lawyer about the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms ..."
  • Top Ten Charter Cases (April 14, 2007): "Last week, there was a symposium organized by the Law Society of Upper Canada in Toronto to mark the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. For the occasion, as noted in the Osgoode Hall blog The Court, a panel of 10 top Supreme Court watchers came up with a list of the 10 most important Charter cases."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:08 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Recent Parliamentary Reports from the UK on Elderly Healthcare and Internet Security

1)The Joint Committee on Human Rights of the House of Commons and the House of Lords recently published a report on the Human Rights of Older People in Healthcare:

"In this Report the Committee examines how human rights principles can be applied to ensure that older people in hospitals and care homes are treated with greater dignity and respect (...) The Committee heard that, while some older people receive excellent care, there are concerns about poor treatment, neglect, abuse, discrimination and ill-considered discharge. It considers that an entire culture change is needed. It also recommends legislative changes and a role for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (...) In the Committee's view there is a significant distinction between a 'duty to provide' under care standards legislation and a 'right to receive' under human rights legislation. It recommends that the Government and other public bodies should champion understanding of how human rights principles can help transform health and social care services (...)" [from the Summary]
2) The Science and Technology Committee of the House of Lords has released its report on personal Internet security:

"Where a decade ago the public perception of the e-criminal was of a lonely hacker searching for attention, today's 'bad guys' belong to organised crime groups, are highly skilful, specialised, and focused on profit. They want to stay invisible, and so far they have largely succeeded. While the incidence and cost of e-crime are known to be huge, no accurate data exist (...) The Government have insisted in evidence to this inquiry that the responsibility for personal Internet security ultimately rests with the individual. This is no longer realistic, and compounds the perception that the Internet is a lawless 'wild west'. It is clear to us that many organisations with a stake in the Internet could do more to promote personal Internet security: the manufacturers of hardware and software; retailers; Internet Service Providers; businesses, such as banks, that operate online; the police and the criminal justice system. We believe as a general principle that well-targeted incentives are more likely to yield results in such a dynamic industry than formal regulation. However, if incentives are to be effective, they may in some cases need to be backed up by the possibility of direct regulation. Also, there are some areas, such as policing, where direct Government action is needed. So Government leadership across the board is required. Our recommendations urge the Government, through a flexible mix of incentives, regulation, and direct investment, to galvanise the key stakeholders".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:54 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quebec Hearings on Reasonable Accommodation of Minorities Begin Next Month

Public hearings into what is referred to as reasonable accommodation of minorities are to begin in September in the province of Quebec.

Internationally famous philosopher and McGill University scholar Charles Taylor and sociologist Gérard Bouchard will co-chair the consultations that will take place in some 17 cities of the province.

The Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences was created by the provincial government last spring after a number of incidents involving clashes or controversies between members of minority groups, in particular religious minorities, and the members of the highly secularized French-speaking majority that overthrew the restraints of its earlier conservative Catholic culture more than 40 years ago during the "Quiet Revolution" of the 1960s.
The Commission's consultation document is available online.

More background on the debate:
  • Quebec's 'accommodation' hearings to start in September - Debate rages over immigrant integration even as commission announced (CBC News, August 14, 2007): "The debate over accommodating immigrants was sparked earlier this year when the small town of Herouxville passed a code of conduct for immigrants, which included a rule against stoning women. There has also been significant debate about whether women should be allowed to wear head scarves while playing sports (...) A few months ago, a Montreal community health centre was under fire for holding women-only pre-natal classes to make Muslim, Sikh or Hindu women feel more comfortable. Quebec, a French minority within North America, considers itself a secular society that encourages immigrants to integrate into its francophone culture."
  • Quebeckers' insecurity said to fuel backlash against minorities (Globe and Mail, August 15, 2007): "While integrating newcomers is a challenge for all Western societies, the two men noted Quebec's unusual dynamic, where the francophone majority is at the same time an insecure minority in Canada. Confronted by the cultures of immigrants, 'they fear that it will erode and drain out the French-Canadian culture,' Prof. Bouchard said. They were taken aback by the intense insecurity they witnessed. Prof. Bouchard noted that francophones, who make up 72 per cent of the population, were fearful of Muslims, who make up 1.4 per cent."
  • Let the debate begin - Commission unveils timetable on accommodation hearings (Montreal Gazette, August 15, 2007): "Reasonable accommodation is a legal notion, defining equality in a diverse society. But the phrase in Quebec has come to encompass everyday gestures that help integrate immigrant customs and religious practices into the broader society. Taylor and Bouchard said they are taking the widest possible view of their mandate, and will look at the root problem of integration in Quebec society (...) Old-stock francophone Quebecers, sometimes called Québécois de souche, are a minority in Canada and North America and seem insecure in the face of immigrant minorities in the province, Bouchard said. That might explain why the issue of reasonable accommodation is now more hotly debated in Quebec than elsewhere in Canada, he added. Quebecers need to regain confidence and show the 'openness and generosity of spirit' that majorities have toward minorities in their midst, Taylor said."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:04 pm 0 comments

Electronic access to English Reports (1220-1865)

The other day, I had to look up an old British case from the first half of the 19th century.

A colleague pointed out to me that I should check the name of the reporter in the index of the English Reports. In the first half of the 20th century, some 100,000 English cases spanning the years 1220 to 1865 were reprinted verbatim in 178 volumes of these Reports.

Lo and behold, the name of the reporter was included along with a reference to the appropriate volume numbers in the English Reports where the material had been reprinted. Easy.

A few days later, I discovered that the English Reports, indexes and all, are available on HeinOnline. It was the kind of moment that makes you want to smack yourself in the head (or maybe go ahead and create that research guide on UK legal research I have been promising to eventually get around to).

Which brings me to my main point in this post. There are days when I think law libraries now have access to so many electronic ressources, it is easy to forget (or easy to not even know any more) that we have the material.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:11 pm 2 comments

Canadian Bar Association Awards

At its annual meeting in Calgary, the Canadian Bar Association handed out a number of awards, in addition to the Justicia Award for Excellence in Journalism I mentioned earlier this week.

In the category for legal writing, Ari N. Kaplan and John Swan were declared co-winners of the 2007 Foundation for Legal Research's Walter Owen Book Prize, Toronto lawyer Kaplan for his book Pension Law, and Osgoode Hall Law School professor Swan for his book Canadian Contract Law.

Other awards include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:14 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

New Current Awareness Blog About Upcoming Legal Conferences

The reference department of the Gallagher Law Library of the University of Washington School of Law has created the Legal Conference Blog that keeps track of upcoming conferences that can be of interest to law faculty members (and others in the field).

The authors explain that they "do not plan to include continuing legal education programs or local bar association meetings". They intend to cover mostly American and Canadian events, but will also include other activities in other countries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:13 pm 0 comments

Monday, August 13, 2007

8th Justicia Awards for Legal Reporting

The Canadian Bar Association announced the names of the winners of the 2007 Justicia Awards for Legal Reporting last weekend.

The winners:

  • Filmmaker John Kastner in the broadcast category for his documentary "Monster in the Family" (aired on CTV, June 2006): "The controversial film examined the case of notorious criminal Martin Ferrier on the eve of his release from prison and showed how an offender, despite having a relatively minor violent record, can easily be portrayed as a monster by an unquestioning media and public."
  • Sue Bailey and Jim Bronskill of The Canadian Press in the print category for their five-part series "Shackled Minds: Criminalizing the Mentally Ill" (November 2006): "(It) examined the dilemma of a swelling population of mentally ill inmates in prisons across Canada, based on interviews with social and medical workers, correctional staff, police, wardens and senior judges including Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin".
The Justicia Awards are sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association and the Department of Justice Canada.

They are meant to "recognize outstanding journalism that fosters public awareness and understanding of any aspect of the Canadian justice system and the roles played by institutions and participants in the legal system".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:44 pm 0 comments

July 2007 Issue of Global Legal Monitor

The July 2007 issue of the Global Legal Monitor is available on the site of the Law Library of Congress.

It is a publication of the Law Library of Congress that provides regular updates on legal developments from around the world.

The current issue covers topics ranging from abortion to trade in countries from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

The complete archive of the Global Legal Monitor is also available.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:23 pm 0 comments

Sunday, August 12, 2007

New Canadian Law Papers and Articles on SSRN

The Social Science Research Network exists to disseminate research in a free and open way over the Net. It has a law subdivision, the Legal Scholarship Network. It is possible to browse and search for and register for updates in specific topical areas such as Canadian Law.

I highly recommend it. It is a great way to keep up to date with legal research and writing from many of the major law faculties. Often, papers and articles that are to appear in upcoming issues of academic journals are posted to SSRN.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:26 pm 0 comments

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Canadian Civil Justice Reform Database

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice at the University of Alberta has created what it calls a knowledgebase of civil justice reforms in Canada:

"The Inventory contains descriptions of reform initiatives from across the country, each described according to a standard format that includes information on the purpose, development, implementation, and evaluation of the reform".

"The initial focus of our research over the summer of 2007 is selected issues relating to the cost of access to justice: point-of-entry assistance, caseflow management, expert evidence, discovery, and proportionality".

"Over the coming months we will be working both to expand the collection itself and introduce new functionality to our search interface. To ensure the Inventory is current and comprehensive, we will rely on members of the civil justice community from across Canada to contribute information regarding reforms in their jurisdictions. Please visit our Take Part page for information on how you can contribute to this project".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:37 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Foreign Law Translations

The most recent issue of InSITE, a current awareness service of the Cornell University Law Library, describes a translation service offered by the Institute for Transnational Law at the University of Texas in Austin:

"The Institute for Transnational Law is hosted by the School of Law at the University of Texas at Austin. This site is a resource for French, German, Austrian, and Israeli legal materials in the fields of constitutional, administrative, contract and tort law. The English translations of decisions from Germany include cases from the Reichsgericht, the Bundesverfassungsgericht, and the Bundesgerichtshof. Translations from French include decisions of the Conseil constitutionnel, the Conseil d'Etat and the Cour de cassation. Since it is very difficult to find any English translations of foreign court opinions or statutes even at subscription services, this is a valuable resource, although the material available is limited. According to the Institute for Transnational Law's website, their intention is to eventually 'build a comprehensive database of leading French and German cases, beginning with the areas of contract, tort, commercial, and constitutional law (mainly human rights) and making them available to foreign audiences who cannot access the originals.' The site does issue warnings that the collection is not complete and 'should not be relied upon for the basis of a legal opinion or course of action without careful review of current applicable authority.' Because the English translations are intended to emphasize readability rather than exactness, no absolute reliance on the translations should be considered."
InSITE has a searchable database of past issues. One can also subscribe via RSS or via e-mail from the home page.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:09 pm 1 comments

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

American Bar Association Journal Website Redesign

There has been a recent redesign of the ABA Journal website with all sorts of interesting features.
  • There is a constantly updated daily news section (when I visited, the most recent story was "J-Lo Gets Tell-All Book Banned")
  • There is a section of news articles organized by topic.
  • There is a very well-organized blawg directory (broken down into topical categories, author type, region and law school). At the moment, the editors have only identified 13 Canadian blawgs.
  • There is a feature showing the most read articles of the day, the past 7 days and the past 30 days.
  • There is another feature showing the most popular blawgs of the day, past 7 days, past 30 days

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:43 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada Library: New Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of July 1st to 31st, 2007 is now available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library does not lend materials from this list, which is provided for information only."

But, once the material goes into the general collection, after about a month, the works do become available for inter-library loans to authorized libraries.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:28 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Papers from Evidence-Based Librarianship Conference Available Online

Many of the papers presented at the EBLIP4 4th International Evidence Based Library & Information Practice Conference in Chapel Hill/Durham, North Carolina are now online.

The conference was hosted May 6-11, 2007 by the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:38 pm 0 comments

Upcoming Online Copyright Courses

Lesley Ellen Harris, author and educator, is teaching a number of online classes this fall on copyright, licensing and managing copyright and digital content.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:25 pm 0 comments

Monday, August 06, 2007

Portrait of Law Prof Bloggers

Daniel Solove of Concurring Opinions recently published an updated 2007 version of his census of U.S. law professors who blog.


  • 307 law professor bloggers were identified
  • About 25% are female and 75% are male
  • Schools with the most bloggers, at 8 each: Chicago, George Washington, San Diego
  • The US News & World Report Top 25 schools represent 24% of the total number of bloggers
Steve Matthews of the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog has compiled a list of Canadian blawgs (last update April 20, 2007). There appear to be relatively few Canadian academic law blogs:


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:47 pm 0 comments

Friday, August 03, 2007

Legal Background to the Controversy on Polygamy in Canada

Earlier this week, a special prosecutor in British Columbia concluded there was insufficient evidence to lay criminal charges against members of a break-away Mormon polygamist colony in the town of Bountiful.

On a number of occasions in the past, the Crown had decided not to press charges against members of the community out of fear that the anti-polygamy sections of the Canadian Criminal Code might be struck down as an unjustifiable infringement on religious freedoms under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The provincial government has announced that it is now considering a constitutional reference, a move that allows it to directly ask the courts to rule on the constitutional validity of the legislation, all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada if necessary.

There have recently been a number of studies on the legal aspects of the polygamy debate in Canada. In 2005 Status of Women Canada, a government agency that promotes gender equality, commissioned four research reports on the topic of polygamy:

  • How Have Policy Approaches to Polygamy Responded to Women's Experiences and Rights? An International, Comparative Analysis: "Devising effective legislative and policy strategies for dealing with polygamy in Canada requires an analysis as to how practices associated with plural marriage affect the lives of women. This report seeks to illuminate how life within a polygamous marriage might affect women's social and economic status, as well as their overall health and well-being. This report also undertakes an examination of law and policy approaches to polygamy worldwide, with a view to assessing whether existing responses to polygamy adequately address the needs, rights and realities of women living within plural marriages. Based on this analysis, recommendations are made as to the most appropriate approach to polygamy in the Canadian context."
  • An International Review of Polygamy: Legal and Policy Implications for Canada: "Status of Women Canada contracted the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family to conduct an international review of polygamy, examining the social, legal and policy implications for Canada. This paper sets the present controversy in Canada in a broader international context, by discussing social science literature and legal developments in other countries, and relating this international material to the situation in our country. The paper reviews the social science literature and media reports about the effects of polygamy on women and children in Canada and other countries. Legal issues that have arisen in other countries related to polygamy are summarized, with a particular focus on countries that have legal systems most similar to our own. The current legal and policy issues concerning polygamy in Canada are also discussed. The paper concludes by considering how the information and developments of other countries shed light on the current controversies in Canada, offering legal analysis and policy recommendations for this country."
  • Expanding Recognition of Foreign Polygamous Marriages: Policy Implications for Canada: "Recognition of valid foreign polygamous marriages raises the issue of how Canadian law should respond to 'plural unions' entered into within Canada in some religious communities. The law does not consider such unions to be marriages. They are legal nullities. No civil legal consequences result merely from the fact that the parties went through a religious ceremony. There are, however, criminal consequences. Section 293 of the Criminal Code criminalizes polygamy and by its terms applies both to those who enter into a plural union within Canada and to parties to a valid foreign polygamous marriage who 'practise' polygamy within Canada. This report examines the history, efficacy and constitutionality of s. 293 of the Criminal Code and recommends that this provision be repealed. Finally, this report considers arguments for and against permitting polygamous marriages to take place under Canada's domestic laws, specifically, the constitutional arguments that could be made. The report recommends that Canada prepare for a constitutional challenge to the limitation of marriage to two persons."
  • Separate and Unequal: The Women and Children of Polygamy: "Polygamy is illegal in Canada pursuant to s. 293 of the Criminal Code of Canada. However, a polygamous community thrives in Bountiful, British Columbia and, to date, nobody from the community has been prosecuted for violating s. 293. Justice officials in British Columbia say prosecuting s. 293 would invite a defence challenge to the section's constitutionality, based on the argument that the section infringes the guarantee to religious freedom as set out in s. 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, an analysis of the practice of polygamy in Canada, and how it undermines the equality rights of women and children, suggests that even if s. 293 impinges on religious freedom, such a limit is justified, because of the inherent harms polygamy engenders for the women and children of polygamous families."
The following year, 2006, a report entitled Polygyny and Canada's Obligations under International Human Rights Law was prepared for Justice Canada. The document outlined the harms associated with polygamy and emphasized that polygamy is a form of discrimination and a violation of international law. It recommended vigorous action to address the practice in Canada and measures to protect the women and children living in or transitioning from polygamous families.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:54 pm 2 comments

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Privacy Commissioner of Canada Releases Privacy Breach Guidelines

This week, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart, released guidelines to help organizations deal with privacy breaches, including notifying people at risk of harm after their information has been stolen, lost or mistakenly disclosed.

The guidelines are voluntary.

The Commissioner has called on the Canadian government to pass legislation making notification of data breaches mandatory.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:
  • Paper on Data Security Breach Notification (January 10, 2007): "The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa released a white paper yesterday that calls on the federal government to enact a data security breach notification law (...) Such a law was proposed by a number of groups that appeared in 2006 in front of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Ethics and Privacy during the statutory review of PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)."
  • Recent Rash of Data Security Breaches in Canada (January 19, 2007): "[quoting CBC Online:] The privacy commissioner of Canada on Thursday announced she is launching an investigation into a CIBC personal information breach involving nearly half a million people (...) The commissioner said she has reasonable grounds to investigate whether the bank violated the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Stoddart's office also said Friday it is checking to see if TJX Cos., the U.S. parent firm of Canadian retailers Winners and HomeSense, was in compliance with private sector privacy laws after the company acknowledged Thursday that customer information has been stolen from its systems."
  • List of Identity Theft Laws in US and Canada (July 6, 2007): "The Congressional Research Service in the United States recently published a paper entitled 'Identity Theft Laws: State Penalties and Remedies and Pending Federal Bills' (...) This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of April 2, 2007 entitled 'Working Papers on ID Theft'. That post referred to a series of papers prepared by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) at the University of Ottawa, including ones on anti-ID theft legislation in Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:28 pm 0 comments

Access 2007 Library Tech Conference in Victoria

The draft program for the Access 2007 library technology conference in Victoria, British Columbia, has been posted. The conference takes place October 10th - 13th, 2007.

Among the sessions:
  • Opening Keynote by Jessamyn West of Web 2.0, Library 2.0, Librarian 2.0 - solving problems with buzzwords
  • Closing Keynote: Leveraging the Power of the Grid by Roy Tennant of OCLC
  • Alouette Canada Progress Report (Canada-wide digitization initiative)
  • Darth Vader, Open Access, and Digital Libraries: What is the Future of Electronic Collections?
  • Genius Loci: Libraries in Transition ("Drawing on the results of the 2007 Canadian Consortial LibQUAL+ survey and on their amiably conflicting perspectives, the speakers will paint two different scenarios for tomorrow’s academic library and the organizational implications of each.")
  • ILS Options for Academic Libraries
  • Open ILS, Web 2.0 and multitype provincial library initiatives in BC
  • Repository Redux

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:18 pm 0 comments

Mondaq - Another Service For Tracking Law Firm Newsletters

This is a follow-up to my July 31, 2007 post entitled Tracking Law Firm Newsletters With Linex Legal in which I described the free UK-based Linex Legal news service. Linex Legal provides access to articles and newsletter material from big law firms and organizations in Australia, Canada, France, the United States, the UK and elsewhere.

Among the Canadian law firms whose newsletters are available are: Torys; Stikeman Elliott; McCarthy Tétrault; Gowling Lafleur Henderson; Goodmans; Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg; Blake, Cassels & Graydon; Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh; McMillan Binch Mendelsohn; Heenan Blaikie.

Today, I received an e-mail from Calgary law librarian Elda Figueira who pointed me to Mondaq, a service that provides legal commentary from big law firms and experts in dozens of countries, including Canada.

It is possible to sign-up for free news alerts and feeds on specific topics or from specific regions.

Mondaq also distributes its material via Lexis Nexis and Factiva as well as via Google News and Yahoo! News.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:59 pm 1 comments

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Online History of Human Rights in the UK 1215-1945

The National Archives of the United Kingdom has a new online exhibition that traces the historical development of legal and human rights in Great Britain from the Magna Carta in 1215 to the emergence of the modern post-WWII Welfare State.

The collection contains many digitized images of important documents held at the National Archives, such as the Magna Carta itself, the Poor Law Act of 1601, papers from the famous seditious libel trial against MP John Wilkes in the 1760s, newspaper accounts of 19th-century working class movements, and material about the Suffragettes.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:02 pm 0 comments

New U.S. Reports on Human Trafficking

The Government Accountability Office in the United States recently published 2 reports on human trafficking:

Human Trafficking: Monitoring and Evaluation of International Projects Are Limited, but Experts Suggest Improvements:

"The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2006 recognizing that broad international cooperation is essential for combating trafficking, and UNODC launched the Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking in March 2007. In two of the three countries we visited, we found that host governments—which bear ultimate responsibility for combating trafficking within their borders—have passed national antitrafficking laws and enacted national action plans. However, organizations continue to face numerous challenges when collaborating to combat human trafficking, including varying levels of government commitment and capacity (...) "

"A GAO-convened panel of experts identified and discussed ways to address the factors that make it difficult to monitor and evaluate antitrafficking projects (...) To improve information on the nature and severity of human trafficking, panelists suggested several sampling methods that have been used to sample other hard-to-reach populations, including the homeless, hidden migrants, missing and exploited children, and domestic violence victims. One suggested method is sampling of 'hot spots'—an intensive search for victims in areas known to have high concentrations of victims or in areas to which many victims return.

Human Trafficking: A Strategic Framework Could Help Enhance the Interagency Collaboration Needed to Effectively Combat Trafficking Crimes:
"Federal [i.e U.S.] agencies have coordinated investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes across agencies on a case-by-case basis, but their approaches to expand the scope of efforts to combat trafficking could benefit from an overall strategic framework to help enhance and sustain interagency collaboration on trafficking in persons. Agencies have described their coordination as reactive, and coordination has occurred as determined by the needs of individual cases and the established relationships among law enforcement officials across agencies (...) These included developing coordinated proactive approaches to identify trafficking victims; intelligence gathering; analysis of trafficking patterns; and expanding outreach to non-law-enforcement agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and other law enforcement agencies. However, the current coordinating mechanisms do not address the interagency collaboration needed for this level of expanded effort, and individual agency plans only address individual agency goals linked to agency missions—none of which is linked to a common governmentwide outcome for investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes. Additionally, while no single agency can bring traffickers to justice, agencies have differing views on leadership of U.S. efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking and information sharing policies. Our previous work has shown that a strategic framework that, at a minimum, includes agencies working together toward a common outcome with mutually reinforcing strategies; agreed-on roles and responsibilities; and compatible polices, procedures, and other means to operate across agency boundaries can help enhance and sustain collaboration among federal agencies dealing with issues, such as trafficking in persons, that are national in scope and cross agency jurisdictions."
Earlier Library Boy posts that deal with human trafficking are referred to in the June 27, 2007 item entitled Annual U.S. State Department Report on Human Trafficking.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:45 pm 0 comments