Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Law Library of Congress Interview With Foreign Law Intern Ben Hills

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted an interview this week with Ben Hills, Foreign Law Intern from the UK:

"How would you describe your job to other people?
I am currently an intern for the Global Legal Research Directorate and am working under the supervision of Clare Feikert-Ahalt, senior foreign law specialist for British and Commonwealth jurisdictions. We receive requests from the U.S. Congress, executive agencies, the federal judiciary, and from the public and conduct research into the law of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories and nations of the Commonwealth, including Caribbean nations and other former British colonies."

"Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
The Law Library of Congress is one of the premier law libraries in the world, with the world’s largest collection of legal texts, and an internship represented a significant opportunity to both expand my legal knowledge and sharpen my research skills and writing abilities. Also, the Law Library’s commitment to providing information about and truly understanding other nations and cultures is a beacon of hope in a world where sometimes it appears close-mindedness and fear may be winning (...)"
The Library has conducted a huge number of interviews with employees and interns.

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of close to 2.9 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:48 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Wants to Intervene in Supreme Court of Canada Copyright Case

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is considering whether to seek intervenor status in an upcoming appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada dealing with Crown Copyright.

In a communication sent to all CALL members today, the Executive Board of the association wrote:

Keatley Surveying Ltd v Teranet Inc, SCC docket 37863 (Ontario) (Civil) (by leave): Proposed motion by CALL/ACBD to intervene

On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal in the matter of Keatley Surveying Ltd v Teranet Inc. The decision now under appeal, 2017 ONCA 748, held that copyright in plans of survey deposited with Teranet belong to Ontario, by operation of s 12 of the Copyright Act.
This case is important to law librarians and the legal profession (among other groups, such as government information professionals and copyright professionals) because it will be the first time the SCC squarely considers s 12 of the Copyright Act. Section 12 is the current iteration of the legislative provision that brought the notion of Crown copyright into Canadian law in 1911.

Crown copyright and primary law:

The memorandum of argument of the applicant/appellant (Keatley) which supported the successful leave application makes clear that the question of the interpretation of the words in s 12 is a key question before the court:

32.The applicant submits that this case raises the following issues of national and public importance:

(1) What is the test for determining whether a work is “prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department” within the meaning of s. 12 of the Copyright Act? (...)

CALL/ACBD has directly addressed Parliament twice on the question of the interpretation of these very words, and since 2009 has made a total of at least three consistent statements in favour of the position that Crown copyright should not or does not apply to primary law.

In advance of the 2012 Copyright Act amendments, CALL/ACBD, submitted a letter to the Bill C-32 review committee. Among the submissions CALL/ACBD made was a recommendation that Parliament review Crown copyright provision and legislatively make clear that the words of s 12 do not encompass primary law.

Earlier this year, during the current statutory review of the Copyright Act, CALL/ACBD again addressed a Parliamentary committee and again included submissions that squarely addressed Crown copyright. The submission included the recommendation that Parliament make clear that primary law is outside the scope of s 12’s application. The Copyright Committee’s work on CALL/ACBD’s written brief to Parliament is in progress and is foreseen to reiterate this position on Crown copyright.

Fortuitously, the Copyright Committee sponsored a well-attended session at the 2018 conference on this question of Crown copyright and primary law, and that session presented Canadian, historical, comparative, and policy research to support the legal position. That research can support the work of any counsel retained if an intervention application proceeds. Also, members of the legal profession, copyright academia, and copyright bar informally have expressed the view there is merit in this legal position.

Crown copyright and regulatory schemes:

The second question Keatley raised is also within CALL/ACBD’s interests, from a different perspective:

(2) Does s. 12 of the Copyright Act operate to transfer copyright from the creator of a work to the government when the government makes available to the public a work that was submitted to government as part of a filing requirement under a regulatory scheme?

Unlike the first question, this one does not focus on the meaning and scope of application of the words central to the first question and CALL/ACBD’s previous work on Crown copyright and primary law. Nevertheless, this question may also be of interest to CALL/ACBD’s membership because it raises the possibility by extension that any work, including legal briefs, submitted to government as a part of a regulatory scheme becomes the property of the Crown.


The parties will file their formal notices of appeal and cross-appeal by August 21. The factums are due on or before September 25. By Rule 55 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada, any intervention application must be filed within four weeks of that date. The SCC has now specified in the Docket that the deadline for motions to intervene is October 23, 2018.
The text to CALL members goes on the address the pros and cons of the association seeking to intervene in front of the Supreme Ciourt.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:50 pm 0 comments

Monday, August 27, 2018

September/October 2018 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The  September/October 2018 issue of AALL Spectrum is now available online.

It is a publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the feature articles are:
  • Putting Artificial Intelligence to Work in Law Firms
  • Data-Driven Decision-Making: Getting Started with Reference Tracking Systems & Data Analytics
  • Let's Teach Our Student Legal Technology ... But What Should We Include?

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:57 pm 0 comments

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Law Commission of England Consultation on Electronic Execution of Documents

The English Law Commission has published a consultation document on the Electronic Execution of Documents.

According to a description by the Commission:
"The law relating to signatures and other formal documentary requirements has a history spanning centuries."

"In today’s world, individuals, consumers and businesses demand modern, convenient methods for entering into binding transactions. Technological developments have changed the ways in which these transactions are made."

"Can the law of England and Wales keep up?"

"Our common law system is flexible and contracts can be created in many ways. Most transactions are not required to be executed in a particular manner. Electronic signatures are validly used instead of handwritten signatures in transactions every day."

"However, the law subjects particular types of documents to certain procedures, such as signing or witnessing."

"We have been told that issues around the electronic execution of documents, including uncertainty around the legal status of electronic signatures, are inhibiting the use of new technology where legislation requires a document to be “signed” or executed as a deed (...)"

"Following our analysis of the law, our provisional conclusion is that an electronic signature is capable in general of meeting a statutory requirement for a signature. We do not consider that legislative reform is necessary. We ask whether consultees agree."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:34 pm 0 comments

New International Law Research Guides From GlobaLex

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, recently published updates to a few of its research guides.

DipLawMatic Dialogues, the blog of the FCIL Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries, has the list.

There are updates for the guides on:
  •  the European Human Rights systrem
  • the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations
  • U. S. Federal Legal System Web-based Public Accessible Sources
  • the Australian Federal Legal System
  • and more

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:03 pm 0 comments

Most Recent Issue of Canadian Law Library Review Available

The most recent issue of the Canadian Law Library Review is now available online on the ISSUU platform. It is also available in PDF format.

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

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:39 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Essential Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh Reader

The U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) has published The Essential Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh Reader: What Cases Should You Read? (link is to a version of the document on the site of the Federation of American Scientists that reprints many CRS reports):
"Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, whom President Trump has nominated to fill the impending Supreme Court vacancy caused by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s retirement from the Court, has amassed a voluminous record of judicial writings during his legal career. These writings are certain to be a key topic of interest as the Senate prepares to hold hearings and a possible vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the High Court. CRS has published a report, Judicial Opinions of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, which provides a tabular listing of every judicial opinion authored by Judge Kavanaugh during his time on the federal bench, briefly describing each opinion (and the contrasting approach taken in any separate judicial opinion authored by another member of the panel on which Judge Kavanaugh served) and the primary legal subject the ruling addresses. While the report provides succinct descriptions of more than 300 judicial opinions authored by Judge Kavanaugh (the overwhelming majority as part of a D.C. Circuit panel, though a handful were authored as part of three-judge district court panels), some of the judicial opinions might be particularly useful to Members, congressional committees, and staff seeking to better understand Judge Kavanaugh’s approach to different subjects. The following table, adapted from the larger report, highlights many of Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial opinions that have received the greatest degree of attention from legal observers."
Earlier Library Boy posts about Kavanaugh:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:59 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from July 16 to 31, 2018 is now available on the Court website.

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


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:24 pm 0 comments

August 2018 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The August 2018 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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:22 pm 0 comments