Monday, February 29, 2016

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 2005 to 2015

The Supreme Court of Canada has published a statistical overview of its work for the decade from 2005 to 2015.

It provides data on the following:
  • "Cases Filed"
  • "Applications for Leave Submitted"
  • "Appeals Heard"
  • "Appeal Judgments": the number of judgments rendered each year
  • "Average Time Lapses": time lines in the life of a case at the Court 
As well, the Court has reorganized the home page of its website. It has introduced two new sections: “Latest Judgments” and “Latest on Twitter”. Entries that were formerly in “What’s New” now form part of “Quick Access”.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Quebec Legal Information Service CAIJ Launches Special Section on New Code of Civil Procedure

CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has created a special section on its website that brings together information about the province's new Code of Civil Procedure that came into force on January 1, 2016.

Users will be able to find:
  • an annotated version of the Code
  • case law 
  • secondary literature
  • a glossary
  • answers to research questions about the Code
  • links to external sites (for example, new court rules, notices to the profession, etc.)
Earlier Library Boy posts about the new Code of Civil Procedure include:
  • Quebec's New Code of Civil Procedure in Force Since January 1st (January, 12 ,2016): "Quebec's new Code of Civil Procedure came into force at the beginning of the year. The Quebec Ministry of Justice website has posted material explaining the main highlights of the changes (...)"
  • Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds New Annotated Code of Civil Procedure (January 21, 2016): "CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has recently added an annotated version of the province's new Code of Civil Procedure (...). It includes the text of the Code, a list of changes in legal terminology, a concordance between the new and old Codes, background commentaries for each section from the provincial Ministry of Justice, links to related regulations, links to related research questions answered by the CAIJ libraries, as well as links to debates in the Québec National Assembly and positions adopted by the Québec Bar Association." 
  • Series in Montreal Daily La Presse on Quebec's New Code of Civil Procedure (January 26, 2016): "The Montreal French-language daily La Presse today published a series of articles on Quebec's new Code of Civil Procedure that came into force on January 1, 2016."

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Ninth Annual International Library Automation Perceptions Survey

Library Technology Guides recently posted the results of its most recent International Survey of Library Automation:
"Over 3,400 libraries completed this year’s survey, providing sufficient data to focus the analysis more on each category of library type and size rather than aggregating across all responses. The functional requirements of public, academic, school, and other types of libraries overlap to a certain extent, but in other areas have distinctive if not contradictory functionality. Some of the products represented in the survey have been designed for specific sectors. For those used by multiple types of libraries, the analysis of the survey results by size and type of organization provides an opportunity to observe any differences in satisfaction across these categories."
"Some interesting themes can be seen in the analysis of this year’s survey results. Libraries using legacy products seem poised to move on to new systems. Those now using products like Aleph, Voyager, and Millennium show ever growing interest in migrating to new systems. Open source products achieve satisfaction levels similar to proprietary products. Results also indicate a tendency for libraries at least consider products offered by their incumbent vendor. Smaller libraries show much more delight with their products and vendors. Large libraries judge on a much more severe scale. These differing levels of expectations make it vital to group results in a way that presents valid comparisons."
The annual survey has been conducted every year since 2007. The results of all previous surveys are available on the Library Technology Guides website, which is maintained by Marshall Breeding, a well-known library automation expert.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Updated Research Guides From GlobaLex

One of the sources I consult for research guides on international law topics is GlobaLex, the electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law.

It recently updated a number of its excellent research guides:

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Canadian Library Association CLA Digest for February 2016 - What Happens After CLA Dissolves

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) publishes a regular news bulletin known as CLA Digest.

The most recent issue deals with the vote by the CLA membership on January 27, 2016 to dissolve the organization and launch a new federation of Canadian library associations in its wake:
"It has been a long journey, and the proposal is an important feat of collaboration, shared vision, and good will by all associations represented. For CLA Executive Council, we had to also come to a decision to recommend that CLA end with dignity as well as the intent of supporting the next stage in our communities' evolution of our national voice for libraries. We thank the CLA membership for supporting the motion, as difficult and - at times heart wrenching - as it was. We chose a path forward that allows the new Federation to start with a truly clean slate."

"So here we are looking forward to next steps."

"The Future Federation Working Group has expressed a wish to incorporate the new Federation as soon as possible to get the new Federation going. I couldn't be more delighted. This will take more than a handful of weeks, but, by early spring, you will likely start to see some communication from them."

"As for CLA, we have a lot of work to do between now and June 1 - 3 when we all - hopefully - meet again at the last CLA national conference, this time called 'Forum.' We need to determine - with the help of the Federation - what responsibilities of CLA fit within the scope of the Federation, which activities might better fit with another association or organization, and which activities will wrap with the final dissolution."
Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include: 


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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Law Library of Congress Report on Parliaments Around the World

The Law Library of Congress has published a report entitled Parliaments Around the World that compares who makes the laws and how they are made in Australia, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

An accompanying blog post gives you an idea of the breadth of questions the report can answer:
"... how many senators are there in the Australian parliament and how are they elected? What are 'Private Members’ Bills' in Westminster-style parliaments? What is the 'Standing Committee' of China’s National People’s Congress and what is its constitutional role? When did the Finnish parliament first start holding regular meetings? Can the President of France veto legislation? How many members are there in the German Bundestag? How old does a person have to be to run for election to Japan’s National Diet? How many committees are there in the Chamber of Representatives in Mexico? What are the deadlines for the submission of a budget bill to South Korea’s National Assembly and to Sweden’s parliament? And when will the next election take place for the UK parliament?"
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

CanLII Connects Tops 40,000 Summaries and Commentaries on Canadian Cases

CanLII Connects, the platform created by the Canadian Legal Information Institute to allow publishers, law firms and academics to share commentary on Canadian cases and legislation for anyone to read free of charge, recently reached the milestone of 40,000 posts:
"As CanLII Connects matures as a legal research tool, we are working to make sure people see what’s posted. We’ve added a more prominent link to CanLII Connects on the CanLII homepage, a running list of CanLII Connects’ four most recently added posts on the main search page, links to CanLII Connects case pages from search result pages when there’s commentary on the site, and changed the display in the case headnote to let you know if there’s commentary on a case before you click though."
Another source of free legal commentary can be found on CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association). CAIJ has signed resource sharing agreements with more than 20 major law firms that provide freely available  guides, bulletins and commentary articles on the website. Commentary can be in French or English.

The law firm commentary on CAIJ is part of a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including the Développements récents (annual reviews of areas of law), the Collection de droit (Bar School materials), proceedings of the annual Quebec Bar Association congresses, a growing number of treatises from publisher Wilson & Lafleur, numerous annotated acts, case law, and a list of thousands of legal questions with their corresponding answers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:05 pm 0 comments

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for February 1-15, 2016 is now available on the Court website.

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

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Statistics Canada Report on Youth Crime in Canada, 2014

Statistics Canada has released a report entitled Youth Crime in Canada, 2014.

According to the report:
"In total, there were almost 101,000 youth aged 12 to 17 accused of Criminal Code offences (excluding traffic violations) reported by police in 2014, resulting in a youth crime rate of 4,322 per 100,000 youth. This was lower than the rate of 5,428 per 100,000 population posted by 18- to 24-year olds, but well above the rate of 2,048 per 100,000 population for those aged 25 and older. While youth aged 12 to 17 made up 7% of the Canadian population, they accounted for 13% of individuals accused of crime by police."

"The police-reported youth crime rate has long been on a downward trend, declining over the past two decades after peaking in 1991. In fact, the youth crime rate has fallen 42% since 2000, a steeper drop than the 34% decrease recorded for the overall crime rate. The decline over this time period was largely the result of a 51% decrease in the rate of youth accused of property crime, particularly theft of $5,000 and under, and breaking and entering."

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Le Devoir Article on Vexatious Litigants

This is a follow up to the Library Boy post of January 18, 2016 entitled Le Devoir Feature Article on Growing Problem of Vexatious Litigants.

Vexatious liigants are aggressive litigants who take their grievances to an extreme, inundating courts and tribunals with numerous detailed complaints and multiplying procedures, and often abusing staff with threatening language.

In today's issue of the French-language Montreal daily Le Devoir,  there is another article about the phenomenon.

The problem has become so bad that Québec authorities have created a registry of abusive litigants who need to obtain the green light from a  judge before they can lodge a complaint in front of any court or tribunal. There are some 175 individuals on the list.

The article quotes Sylvette Guillemard, professor at the Law Faculty of Université Laval in Quebec City. She is supervising a PhD thesis by a student of psychoanalysis and psychopathology at Université Paris 7. The thesis is about people with "délires de revendication" (frenzies of demands or claims).

Guillemard explains that vexatious litigants tend to be men between the ages of 40 and 60, highly intelligent, self-represented and convinced of their superiority over everyone including judges and lawyers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:14 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 15, 2016

U.S. Launches Beta Version of Govinfo Portal

The Government Publishing Office (GPO), the official publisher of the U.S. government, has launched a beta version of, a government information portal that will eventually replace the Federal Digital System (FDsys).

FDsys offers authentic, digitally signed PDF documents from dozens of different collections of U.S. Federal Government information (Congressional, Presidential, judicial and federal agency materials).

All information currently available on FDsys can be found on govinfo.

According to the GPO:
"govinfo is a redesign of the FDsys public website, with a focus on implementing feedback from users and improving overall search and access to FDsys content. The redesigned, mobile-friendly website incorporates state-of-the-art innovative technologies and includes several new features for an overall enhanced user experience."

"The key new features include:
  • a new modern look and feel,
  • the capability to link related content,
  • two new ways to browse content: alphabetically and by category,
  • a new open-source search engine,
  • enhancements to the search filters, and
  • more options for sharing pages and content on social media."
FDsys and govinfo will run in parallel during a testing and design phase. When everything is working OK, FDsys will be sunset and replaced by govinfo.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:18 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Survey of Law Library Database Licensing Practices

New York-based Primary Research Group has released a Survey of Law Library Database Licensing Practices:
"The 105-page report gives detailed data about the acquisition, licensing deployment and management of online databases by law libraries in the United States and Canada.  The study helps its readers to answer questions such as:  How do law libraries value and evaluate different vendors of online databases?  How much do they spend and plan to spend and on what kinds of products do they plan to expand their collections?  What do they think of the training provided by database vendors and what are their feelings about the rate of price increases?  How do they feel about eBooks?  What are the most valuable sources of free legal information and how have these sources – such as Google Scholar and FindLaw – impacted legal information use?"
Print and PDF versions are available for $135(US). Site licenses are also available.

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

New Zealand Law Commission Report on Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters

The Law Commission of New Zealand has published a final report on Modernising New Zealand’s Extradition and Mutual Assistance Laws.

The report recommends that the Extradition Act 1999 and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1992 be repealed and replaced by more modern, simplified legislation. The Commission has prepared draft Extradition and Mutual Assistance Bills for the Government to consider

In terms of extradition, the Commission is proposing a two-category approach. There would be a simplified extradition procedure for requests from Australia and approved countries. Requests from any other country would be processed using the standard extradition procedure.  The main difference between the two would be that under the standard procedure the District Court would examine the strength of the prosecution case against the person sought to determine if there is a case to answer. The evidence for that inquiry would be presented in summary form. Under the simplified procedure there would be no evidential inquiry.

The draft Mutual Assistance Bill would broaden the types of assistance that New Zealand can provide to foreign countries in criminal investigations and prosecutions.

The report also examines the practices concerning these questions in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States.

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Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Top 25 Free Technologies

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a webinar entitled Top 25 Free Technologies for Law Librarians on March 9, 2016 from 1 to 2:30PM Eastern:
"Libraries are continually faced with the challenge of making the most of their budgets while progressively increasing efficiency and library services. Join Ellyssa Kroski and Avery Le to discover how you can implement free technologies in your library today. Ellyssa will present 15 Free Technologies for Law Libraries discussing how the New York Law Institute is leveraging many different types of free social software and open source applications to improve internal operations, market library services, and encourage staff collaboration. Find out what types of free applications are available for electronic resources management (ERM), private intranets, reference statistics tracking, email management and more in this informative talk! Avery will discuss her Top 10 Free Computer Tools that facilitate tasks such as converting files, editing photos, cropping videos, embedding materials into PowerPoint presentations, adjusting computer settings, creating interactive charts, and more."
Ellyssa Kroski is the Director of Information Technology at the New York Law Institute. Avery Le is currently a Reference Librarian at University of Florida Levin College of Law.

CALL/ACBD Member: $40 + $5.20 HST    = $45.20
Non-member: $60 + $7.80 HST    = $67.80
Student Rate: $25 + $3.25 HST    = $28.25

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Canadian Law Library Review 41.1 Now Available

Canadian Law Library Review issue 41.1 is now available online.

It is the journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

It is on the ISSUU platform that lets readers flip through the digital journal and zoom in to read. It is also possible to download the ISSUU app for Android or Apple.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:47 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for February 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for February 2016.

To find out more about any particular case, the Court's website has a section that allows users to find docket information, case summaries as well as factums from the parties. All you need to do is click on a case name.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:56 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 08, 2016

BC Law Institute Starts Project on Cost Effective Ways of Hiring Lawyers

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has started a Financing Litigation Legal Research Project to examine "a myriad of new, upcoming, and unconventional ways to hire lawyers for cost-effective representation, rather than relying on the traditional means of finance which remain out of reach for many people."

The project will look at options such as:
  • third-party litigation financing – where the plaintiff hires a third-party to litigate a case for them, and the third-party is paid a portion of any settlement or award obtained
  • publicly-funded litigation funds, particularly for cases in the public interest like class action liability cases, or human rights cases;
  • crowdfunded litigation financing
  • legal insurance, which would indemnify plaintiffs and defendants against legal costs in return for paying monthly or annual premiums;
  • unbundled legal services, which would allow individuals to hire lawyers for discrete contracts on specific parts of their case (such as drafting pleadings, assisting with mediation, or court representation)
The Institute hopes to publish a final study paper in early 2017.

A longer backgrounder is available on the BCLI website.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Interview With Law Library of Congress Rare Book Cataloguer Anna Bryan

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has been running an interview series featuring members of the library staff. The series started in late October 2010.

The most recent interview is with Anna Bryan, Rare Book Cataloguer:
How would you describe your job to other people?
In my experience, people don’t understand what cataloging is, so I usually simply say that I get to work with the most amazing books in the world. It is such a privilege. Over here it says 'Cataloging is the process of adding an item to a catalog, a process typically including bibliographic description, subject analysis, and classification.' To that I would add that rare materials cataloging has the additional elements of identifying and authenticating those items.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
I’m always amazed by the treasures we find, both in the Law Library and in non-law collections. Recently we were able to establish that a manuscript of Virginia General Court reports was Thomas Jefferson’s copy ...  (And people say cataloging is boring …)
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:22 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Information Management Results in the Canadian Government's 2014-15 Departmental Performance Reports

The website has compiled a list of information management-related results contained in the Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs) for 93 government departments and agencies. This includes the Supreme Court of Canada.

These annual Reports are part of the federal Estimates Process that includes government expenditure plans, the main and supplementary budget estimates, and Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs).

Every year, federal departments and agencies publish RPPs outlining their strategic goals. At the end of the fiscal year, Departmental Performance Reports look back on actual accomplishments and expenditures, to assess how well the agencies performed as measured against the objectives that were set out in the RPPs.

Here are the IM-related parts of the Supreme Court's DPR:
  • Business Transformation
    • The mapping of current case management processes and processes relating to judgments was concluded, and a comprehensive document detailing the requirements of a new integrated case management system was developed. Phase 1 of the migration of the Case Management System to a new operating system began, starting with Records Centre operations. An automated process for the management of cases from the time initiating documents are received at the Court to the case being accepted for filing was developed, and allows for a reduced need for duplicate data entry. A proof of concept of a records management system, i.e. GCDOCS, showed that it could be integrated with the Court’s document management system. Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada now allow the electronic processing of motions, the Court’s first fully electronic case process. The updated Policy for Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records came into force in March 2015, and allows for a more efficient service to frequent requesters. A trial of secure digital transmission technology was conducted and used to evaluate the use of the technology in a judicial environment and to identify future requirements for the authentication of users and / or documents for electronic filing.
Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome
  • Program 1.1:  Court Operations

    • The Supreme Court has a consistent record of meeting its objectives in processing cases without delay, providing effective access to Court services and programs, including reference information, and providing reliable courtroom services.  At the same time, the Office of the Registrar has maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.
    • Over the last three fiscal years, the Court has focused on its Business Transformation Initiative to address issues associated with aging mission critical systems while moving the Court towards increased electronic access and processing of cases, more effective and efficient work processes, as well as the protection and preservation of historical and archival information in electronic format. Electronic recordkeeping, through the implementation of an enterprise information management strategy, will continue to be considered as a core foundation of business transformation.  Business process mapping will look at current work processes and will identify workflows which may be streamlined or made more efficient through the introduction of new technologies.
  • Internal Services
    • The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Accomplishments for 2014-15 included progress in the following key priorities:
      • As part of an ongoing assessment of the Enterprise Information System Proof of Concept/prototype in support of business transformation, there were service enhancements to the case-related document management system as the Court moved to electronic transcripts. This has the added impact of saving photocopying and distribution costs.
      • Significant progress has been made on implementing GCDOCS across the organization to manage documents and records of business value. Issues related to the configuration of the software have been resolved and the system is scheduled for roll-out in the Records Centre in Q1 of 2015-16. This will support the organizational requirement for managing the full life-cycle of both physical and electronic records.
      • Ensuring that the Office of the Registrar is able to meet its obligations under the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Directive on Recordkeeping continues as a key objective. In 2014-15, a formal Disposition Plan was approved by the Executive Committee, laying the groundwork to streamline disposition processes for electronic documents and records. Much work was done to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding with Library and Archives Canada for the long-term storage and care of the SCC’s records of enduring value. A revised Access to Court Records Policy was approved in March 2015. A digitization project to back-date the Supreme Court Reports to 1876 has been completed.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:26 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 02, 2016 National Salary Survey 2016 has launched a 2016 National Salary Survey of Library and Information Management Professionals:
"The higher the response rate, the better the final product will be in accurately portraying the benefits and remuneration of the members of the Canadian library and information management community."

"The results of the Survey will be available in May 2016."
The organization is asking respondents to answer by March 6, 2016

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

February 2016 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The February 2016 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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Monday, February 01, 2016

Legal Services Clinic Offering Free Consultations in Montreal Subway

Every Monday during the month of February, the Juripop legal clinic will be setting up shop in the Berri-UQAM metro station in Montreal for free legal consultations (article from Montreal daily La Presse).

Some 20 lawyers will volunteer each week from noon to 6PM. Citizens will be able to receive 15 minutes of free legal advice.

It is all part of Montreal's Mois de la justice (Justice Month) organized in collaboration with the provincial order of notaries and other local institutions.

Juripop's president Marc-Antoine Cloutier is quoted in the La Presse article as saying that he hopes to encourage lawyers and notaries to give two hours a week to local organizations to help improve access to legal information.

A complete list of activities for the Mois de la justice is available on the Juripop website.


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