Sunday, January 31, 2021

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Final Report on What To Do About Unclaimed Accounts

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has released its final report on Abandoned Accounts and Missing Money: Establishing a Process for Unclaimed Intangible Personal Property.

The report makes recommendations about how to handle abandoned or forgotten personal property such as credit balances, insurance policies, bonds or pension plans. This often happens when a person dies intestate:

"In Manitoba there is no obligation on the part of many property holders, such as credit unions and insurance policy holders, to report unclaimed personal property to the provincial government. Even where unclaimed personal property is remitted to holders and the government, the legislation provides no guidance for an individual to find out if they are the rightful owner and to apply to claim the money if they establish that they are the rightful owner. Other Canadian jurisdictions have enacted legislation to address unclaimed property so that money can end up in the hands of rightful owners. In light of reforms in other Canadian jurisdictions, the Commission has considered the question: Should Manitoba adopt a process for unclaimed intangible personal property? If so, what elements would the legislation need to address?"

"This project involves two distinct, yet related, issues: escheats and unclaimed property. While distinct legal concepts, in both cases the property vests in the Crown by operation of law. In Manitoba, both these situations are addressed in the same piece of legislation, The Escheats Act. The full version of this Act can be found at Appendix B."

"The Commission has learned that the process for administering escheats and unclaimed property is cumbersome for the government and impractical for individuals seeking to claim vacant or unclaimed property. Other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, Alberta, Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, have introduced changes to modernize and improve legislation related to property that vests in the Crown."

The Commission is recommending that Manitoba enact legislation similar to other provinces.

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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Statistics Canada Report on Police-Reported Criminal Incidents During the Pandemic

Statistics Canada has published a report on police-reported criminal incidents in the first eight months of the pandemic.

It found that "In the first eight months of the pandemic, 19 police services across Canada reported that selected criminal incidents were down by almost one-fifth (18%) compared with the same period a year earlier. In contrast, the number of calls for service, particularly wellness checks, mental health calls and calls to attend domestic disturbances, rose 8%."

Among the highlights:

  •  Fewer violent crimes and property crimes were reported to police services during the pandemic compared with the same period a year earlier. There were however increases in uttering threats and assault
  • Violent crime and property crime peaked in July
  • Calls for service to police increased in the first eight months of the pandemic compared with the same period a year earlier. These are calls related to general well-being checks, mental health-related calls such as responses to a person in emotional crisis or apprehensions under the Mental Health Act, and domestic disturbances

As the agency explains in its notes to the report:

"For this reference period of March to October, 19 police services provided data on a voluntary basis. These police services include the Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Kennebecasis Regional Police Force, London Police Service, Montréal Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Ottawa Police Service, Regina Police Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Saskatoon Police Service, Sûreté du Québec, Toronto Police Service, Vancouver Police Department, Victoria Police Department, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Winnipeg Police Service, and York Regional Police."

"Police services that responded to this survey serve more than two-thirds (71%) of the Canadian population. Since the Edmonton Police Service, Montréal Police Service, RCMP, Sûreté du Québec and Winnipeg Police Service were unable to provide data on calls for service, the police services that did provide these data serve one-third (32%) of the Canadian population."

"Selected crime types include the following: assaults; sexual assaults; assaults against a peace or public officer; uttering threats; robbery; dangerous operation causing death or bodily harm, impaired driving or impaired driving causing death or bodily harm; breaking and entering; motor vehicle theft; shoplifting; fraud / identity theft / identity fraud, and; failure to comply with order."

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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Congressional Research Service Explanation of Impeachment and Trial of a Former President

The Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. has published a brief document outlining the legalities surrounding Impeachment and Trial of a Former President:

"The Constitution does not directly address whether Congress may impeach and try a former President for actions taken while in office. Though the text is open to debate, it appears that most scholars who have closely examined the question have concluded that Congress has authority to extend the impeachment process to officials who are no longer in office. As an initial matter, a number of scholars have argued that the delegates at the Constitutional Convention appeared to accept that former officials may be impeached for conduct that occurred while in office. This understanding also tracks with certain state constitutions predating the Constitution, which allowed for impeachments of officials after they left office. It also accords with the British impeachment of Warren Hastings two years after his resignation as the governor-general of Bengal. The impeachment occurred during the Convention debates and was noted expressly by the delegates without expressing disapproval of the timing. While the Framers were aware of the British and state practices of impeaching former officials, scholars have noted that they chose not to explicitly rule out impeachment after an official leaves office. But the Framers nonetheless made other highly specific decisions about the impeachment process that departed from the British practice, such as requiring a two-thirds majority in the Senate for a conviction when the British system allowed conviction on a majority vote."

"That said, there are textual arguments against Congress’s authority to apply impeachment proceedings to former officials. The plain text of the Constitution, which states that '[t]he President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment ... and Conviction,' could be read to support the requirement that the process only applies to officials who are holding office during impeachment proceedings."

The trial of former US President Donald Trump will begin next month in the American Senate. 

The US House of Representatives impeached him for a second time earlier in January, just a week after the deadly extreme rightwing attacks on the US Capitol in Washington that the former leader is accused of having deliberately incited with his rhetoric. Five people died in the riots.

Earlier posts on the topic include:

  • US Glossary on Treason, Sedition, Insurrection (The Marshall Project, January 8, 2021): "In the 24 hours since a mob incited by the president of the United States stormed the Capitol attempting to halt the functioning of American democracy, the news media and everyone else have been at a loss for words to describe what happened. Was it a coup, or an insurrection? Did anyone commit treason, or sedition? What exactly does it mean to incite a crime, or to riot? These aren’t just word games. Knowing how these terms are specifically defined under federal law will have consequences for the most violent of the rioters who have been or could be arrested by federal authorities—and also for Donald Trump and others who instigated the crowd’s actions."
  • The Capitol Riot: Documents You Should Read (National Security Archive, January 13, 2021): "The Pentagon’s timeline of its response to the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol features multiple discrepancies with the public record, while the first federal indictment of mob participants details the specific legal charges that likely will be brought against others, according to the documents in the National Security Archive’s first 'January 6 Sourcebook' posted today." [The Archive based at George Washington University combines the roles of investigative journalism centre, research institute on international affairs, and library and archive of declassified U.S. documents]
  • Questions to Guide an Investigation of the Capitol Attack (Just Security, New York University School of Law, January 11, 2021): "The invasion of the United States Capitol was an entirely predictable event, which makes the wholesale security collapse all the more unconscionable. Threats on social media grew more frequent and specific after President Donald Trump called on his supporters to gather in Washington, D.C., and push Congress to overturn the election results. Somehow though, several security leaders said they could not have imagined the violence that happened on January 6. Congress should establish a commission to investigate the failure and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again, including by taking on its underlying causes. These are the questions that should guide the effort."
  • Could Trump face charges for speech before Capitol riot? Experts differ on Brandenburg impact (ABA Journal, January 14, 2021): "Could a 1969 case involving a Ku Klux Klan leader protect President Donald Trump from incitement charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol? Constitutional law experts offer differing opinions on the impact of the case, Brandenburg v. Ohio. The decision held that advocating the use of force is protected under the First Amendment unless it is 'directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.' The defendant in the case was Klan leader Clarence Brandenburg, who was charged under an Ohio law for advocating violence during a rally."
  • Federal Criminal Law: January 6, 2021, Unrest at the Capitol (Congressional Research Service Legal Sidebar, January 12, 2021): "This Sidebar focuses ... on three specific categories of federal criminal statutes that may have been violated by some of the participants in the unrest at the Capitol: (1) crimes involving federal property; (2) crimes against persons; and (3) crimes against government authority. (Additionally, though not discussed further in this Sidebar, inchoate crimes like attempt or conspiracy to commit the substantive crimes described below or other crimes, as well as accomplice liability, may be relevant)."
  • Domestic Terrorism and the Attack on the U.S. Capitol (Congressional Research Service Insight, January 13, 2021): "In light of this incident and the violent threat to the operation of the U.S. Congress, policymakers may be interested in whether this incident may be treated as domestic terrorism and if the participants are domestic terrorists, among other issues. This Insight discusses whether or not participants and their actions may be categorized as domestic terrorists and domestic terrorism, respectively, and issues around designating domestic fringe groups, such as the Boogaloo Bois and Proud Boys who were allegedly involved in the attack, as terrorist organizations. It concludes with possible next steps for Congress."
  • Siege at the Capital – The National Security Law Perspective (American Bar Association podcast, January 12, 2021): panelists are Professor William Banks, Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security Advisory Committee; Professor Mary DeRosa, Georgetown University Law School; Professor Harvey Rishikof, Temple University

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

New Globalex Research Guide on Human Right to Education

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, has published a new guide on Human Right to Education Research:

"Until the early twentieth century, education was a privilege only allowed to certain classes of a society. While some countries such as Germany tried to enlighten the general public as well by starting mandatory public education in the eighteenth century, this existed only by law and was not fully implemented. To make it worse, states indoctrinate authoritarian ideas through education, a problem which international law could not effectively regulate because they could not pierce sovereigns in human rights issues before the United Nations Charter and 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which specifically provides a human right to education under Article 26 (...) To have a better understanding of the right to education, there is no choice but to get its definition from international law, especially human rights instruments, which provides a more consistent approach to the right to education among states and better protection to humans around the world. Laws from other foreign countries and their implementation of human rights principles should also be considered in order to understand the right to education."

"Numerous international instruments, articles, treatises, and national laws relating to the human right to education have been drafted and published since World War II. International law has been used to pierce state sovereignty to protect a state’s citizens against the abusive use of state powers. Accordingly, research in this field to protect the human right to education has become diversified, complicated, and interdisciplinary. Research has focused on outcomes or contexts of education, applying a wide variety of theories including human capital theories, theories of consciousness-raising, and Neo-Weberian and non-Marxist theories. Further, international instruments should be considered holistically, including treaties, international custom, general principles of law, cases, and soft law from various intergovernmental and nongovernmental organization reports and documents. Domestic laws, including state law and local ordinances, should also be considered because the legal right to education is applied and implemented differently among different states."

"Considering a wide variety of international instruments and literature relating to the human right to education, this guide provides an annotated bibliography of journal articles, treatises, reports, and documents available online to facilitate the research of scholars and practitioners in this field. It also includes a list of primary source instruments with domestic laws of selective countries."


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Monday, January 25, 2021

Updated Globalex Research Guides on International Law

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

  • European Union –Tracing Working Documents: "In legal research, particularly in international and comparative law, it is often necessary to trace working documents, or travaux préparatoires, in order to get a clear view of how negotiations have affected the original draft of a document. The status of these documents varies greatly between different countries and organisations: while governments in some countries have long had a culture of openness, others have always preferred secrecy. Reports or articles may often refer to documents to which the author has had privileged access; often the sources are not indicated, and this can be very frustrating for researchers (...)The situation in the European Union is further complicated because some of the working documents involved originate in the European institutions, while others come from individuals or governments in the member states. In the formative years of the European Communities, which later evolved into the European Union, documents had a relatively informal status. Although many documents relating to the early treaties have been deposited in the official archives, they are not generally available in any other form. Because the proceedings of the institutions and of legislative or treaty negotiations have always been multi-lingual, many documents will only be available in French or German, although official documents were often translated into English even before the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community in 1973 (...)  The EU has pioneered the use of electronic media in providing information and many official documents are now available online through the EU web server, Europa, and its legal service Eur-Lex, both of which provide information in all official EU languages. However, administrative processes and translation can often cause considerable delays in access, and some documents are never made public. This article aims to clarify some of the distinctions between different categories of working documents and provides details of some of the databases and collections that are essential for research into the workings of the European Union."
  • À la Recherche des Travaux Préparatoires: An Approach to Researching the Drafting History of International Agreements: "There are two good reasons why one would go in search of the travaux préparatoires to an international agreement (and/or ask for the assistance of a law librarian in doing so). Before we go into those reasons, what exactly are travaux préparatoires? The phrase is of course French and translates literally as 'preparatory works.' Synonymous phrases in English are 'negotiating history' or 'drafting history.' It is better to avoid using the phrase “legislative history” as a synonym. While they bear similarities, treaty interpretation differs significantly from statutory construction (...) The first reason for seeking out travaux préparatoires can be called the interpretive reason. If there is doubt or disagreement about the meaning of an international agreement, those charged with interpreting the agreement - it could be a court, or an arbitral tribunal, or anybody who is interested in the meaning of the agreement, including scholars -- will want to consult the travaux préparatoires for insight into the 'common intentions and agreed definitions' of the negotiators (...) There is another reason for consulting travaux préparatoires that has little to do with interpretation as a matter of law. We can call this other reason the genetic reason. There may be absolutely no doubt about the meaning of the treaty text; it is clear to every reader, even to a lawyer. Yet, we may take great interest in how the text of the agreement evolved into its final form. In other words, the evolution of the text has intrinsic historical interest."
  • Researching International Human Rights: "This article explains the procedures of the major international human rights systems because it is procedures that create the need to record or communicate. In other words, documents emanate from critical junctures in a process. The article does not touch on the content of the human rights themselves or explicate the websites that hold the documents (...) International human rights are based on treaties that have secretariats that monitor the contracting parties’ adherence, interpret the treaty, perhaps provide an enforcement mechanism, and provide other support to the members of the intergovernmental organization, potential victims of abuses, and other adherents of human rights. Contemporaneously with the sharp increase in the number of these intergovernmental organizations, information technology has taken on new forms, increased its reach to the entire globe, and decreased the cost of disseminating information. These two waves of development have combined so that now one can find an enormous portion of the documents one needs on international human rights online. The first part of this article is organized geographically. It covers the intergovernmental organizations that cover the globe, followed by those that cover the regions that have major human rights treaties. It does not cover Middle East because it doesn’t have such a system or any comprehensive human rights system. Following that the article will list both domestic and foreign human rights journals."


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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Australian Law Reform Commission Releases First in Series of Background Papers on Judicial Bias

The Australian Law Reform Commission last year launched an inquiry into the laws that govern impartiality and bias in that country's federal judiciary:

"The Terms of Reference for this Inquiry direct the ALRC to consider in particular:

  • whether the law about actual or apprehended bias relating to judicial decision-making is appropriate and sufficient to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice;
  • whether the law provides enough clarity to decision-makers, the legal profession and the community about how to manage potential conflicts and perceptions of partiality; and
  • whether current mechanisms for raising allegations of actual or apprehended bias, and deciding those allegations, are sufficient and appropriate (including in relation to review and appeal mechanisms)."

As part of the project, the Commission last month published a primer on judicial bias, the first in a series of background papers that will be released in early 2021.

The Commission hopes to publish a Consultation Paper in April 2021 with questions and draft proposals for public comment.


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Survey of Visible Minority Librarians in Canada

 The Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network is conducting a survey to "identify visible minority librarians’ needs and propose projects to empower them in their current positions or their future career development, such as mentorship programming, leadership training, and networking opportunities."

The deadline is February 28, 2021.



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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Nominations for the Next Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is accepting nominations for the next Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

It honours a publisher (whether for-profit or not-for profit, corporate or non-corporate) that has demonstrated excellence by publishing a work, series, website or e-product that makes a significant contribution to legal research and scholarship.

Members as well as non-members of CALL can make nominations. Nominations from the author or publisher of a work are welcomed. 

Nominations can be submitted to Ann Marie Melvie [amelvie AT sasklawcourts.ca], Past President of CALL/ACBD, before February 15, 2021.

This year's will be presented to the recipient during the 2021 CALL Virtual Annual Conference, which will be held May 26 – June 4, 2021.

The award honours Hugh Lawford (1933-2009), Professor of Law at Queens’ University and the founder of Quicklaw.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Comments from Sharon Streams, Project Director of Pandemic-Related REALM Project

Sharon Streams, the project director of REALM (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) has discussed the project's COVID-19 research on the Hanging Together blog:

"The REALM project was designed to produce and distribute science-based information about how materials can be handled to mitigate exposure to coronavirus in staff and visitors of archives, libraries, and museums. A goal of the project is to better understand the virus in ways that will help inform local decision-making around operational practices and policies. The main questions that have shaped the project’s research activities are the following:

  • How is SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, transmitted? 
  • Are contaminated surfaces and materials contributing to COVID-19 infections?
  • What are effective prevention and decontamination tactics to mitigate transmission?"

(...) 

"What is not in scope for the project is to develop one-size-fits-all recommendations or guidelines. Institutions vary significantly in their resources, settings, services, and priorities; and there is also a wide range of advisories and orders in place at local, state, and national levels. Therefore, each institution needs to develop policies and procedures in response to its local community needs and conditions and take into account pragmatic considerations of risk and available resources."

"Staff and leadership of organizations are under a great deal of stress while trying to find and interpret credible information and make decisions in the middle of crisis. Naturally, individuals also want to know how best to protect their own health and the health of others. All of us working in the field are trying to do the 'right' thing to reduce any risk to the staff and users who depend on services, facilities, and collections. In an atmosphere of urgency, uncertainty, and ambiguity, figuring out what is the best course of action can be very complicated. We have had to learn that during a public health crisis it is normal to have to make decisions based on incomplete or conflicting information."

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

Further details and results from lab tests on how long the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various library surfaces and materials are available on the OCLC REALM Project website.


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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

January 2021 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

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

The January 2021 issue has just been published.

It includes:

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

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Monday, January 18, 2021

New South Wales Law Reform Commission Paper on Publication Bans

The New South Wales Law Reform Commission in Australia has issued a Consultation Paper on Open justice: Court and tribunal information: access, disclosure and publication.

It is part of a consultation process into whether current arrangements for court-ordered publication bans strike the right balance between the proper administration of justice, the open courts principle, the rights of victims and witnesses (for example, children involved in court proceedings and complainants in sexual offence proceedings), privacy, confidentiality, public safety, the right to a fair trial, national security, commercial/business interests, and the public interest in open justice.

It will also look into whether such bans can remain effective in the digital environment.

The document examines the situation in New South Wales, other Australian states, New Zealand as well as England and Wales.

The full terms of reference for the project are on the Commission's website.

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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Prison Law

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) will host a webinar on January 28, 2021 on Prison Law: Researching Health and Legal Implications of Aging Prison Populations

The event will take place 1:00 - 2:15 PM ET:

"Dr. Iftene will present on the substance and the methodology of her biggest project to date. This project was built around the experiences of older prisoners, the challenges individuals face in Canadian penitentiaries, and their struggles for justice. Through firsthand accounts and quantitative data drawn from extensive interviews, her work brings forward the experiences of federally incarcerated people living their 'golden years' behind bars. These experiences show the limited ability of the system to respond to heightened needs, while also raising questions about how international and national laws and policies are applied, and why they fail to ensure the safety and well-being of incarcerated individuals."

The speaker will be  Dr. Adelina Iftene, Assistant Professor and the Criminal Justice Specialization Coordinator at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, in Halifax.

Webinar Costs:

  • CALL Member: $40 + HST
  • CALL Student Member: $25 + HST
  • Non-member: $60 + HST

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

The January 2021 issue of In Session is available online. 

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

In the current issue, there is news about:

  • CALL's statement on the mob assault on the US Capitol on January 6
  • CALL elections for the next Executive Board
  • an upcoming webinar about prison law
  • deadlines for scholarships and awards
  • the activities of CALL committees and interest groups: Committee to Promote Research; Membership Development Committee; Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization Committee; New Professionals Special Interest Group; Courthouse and Law Society Libraries Special Interest Group; Private Law Libraries Special Interest Group

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Thursday, January 14, 2021

More Resources on Last Week's Extreme Rightwing Assault on the US Capitol

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of January 11, 2021 post on US Glossary on Treason, Sedition, Insurrection.

Here are more resources to help understand the legal dimensions of last week's rightwing mob assault on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C.

  • The Capitol Riot: Documents You Should Read (National Security Archive, January 13, 2021): "The Pentagon’s timeline of its response to the January 6, 2021 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol features multiple discrepancies with the public record, while the first federal indictment of mob participants details the specific legal charges that likely will be brought against others, according to the documents in the National Security Archive’s first 'January 6 Sourcebook' posted today." [The Archive based at George Washington University combines the roles of investigative journalism centre, research institute on international affairs, and library and archive of declassified U.S. documents]
  • Questions to Guide an Investigation of the Capitol Attack (Just Security, New York University School of Law, January 11, 2021): "The invasion of the United States Capitol was an entirely predictable event, which makes the wholesale security collapse all the more unconscionable. Threats on social media grew more frequent and specific after President Donald Trump called on his supporters to gather in Washington, D.C., and push Congress to overturn the election results. Somehow though, several security leaders said they could not have imagined the violence that happened on January 6. Congress should establish a commission to investigate the failure and make recommendations to prevent it from happening again, including by taking on its underlying causes. These are the questions that should guide the effort."
  • Could Trump face charges for speech before Capitol riot? Experts differ on Brandenburg impact (ABA Journal, January 14, 2021): "Could a 1969 case involving a Ku Klux Klan leader protect President Donald Trump from incitement charges in connection with the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol? Constitutional law experts offer differing opinions on the impact of the case, Brandenburg v. Ohio. The decision held that advocating the use of force is protected under the First Amendment unless it is 'directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.' The defendant in the case was Klan leader Clarence Brandenburg, who was charged under an Ohio law for advocating violence during a rally."
  • Federal Criminal Law: January 6, 2021, Unrest at the Capitol (Congressional Research Service Legal Sidebar, January 12, 2021): "This Sidebar focuses ... on three specific categories of federal criminal statutes that may have been violated by some of the participants in the unrest at the Capitol: (1) crimes involving federal property; (2) crimes against persons; and (3) crimes against government authority. (Additionally, though not discussed further in this Sidebar, inchoate crimes like attempt or conspiracy to commit the substantive crimes described below or other crimes, as well as accomplice liability, may be relevant)."
  • Domestic Terrorism and the Attack on the U.S. Capitol (Congressional Research Service Insight, January 13, 2021): "In light of this incident and the violent threat to the operation of the U.S. Congress, policymakers may be interested in whether this incident may be treated as domestic terrorism and if the participants are domestic terrorists, among other issues. This Insight discusses whether or not participants and their actions may be categorized as domestic terrorists and domestic terrorism, respectively, and issues around designating domestic fringe groups, such as the Boogaloo Bois and Proud Boys who were allegedly involved in the attack, as terrorist organizations. It concludes with possible next steps for Congress."
  • Siege at the Capital – The National Security Law Perspective (American Bar Association podcast, January 12, 2021): panelists are Professor William Banks, Chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security Advisory Committee; Professor Mary DeRosa, Georgetown University Law School; Professor Harvey Rishikof, Temple University

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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Most Recent Feature Articles in LawNow: Corrections

The most recent issue of LawNow is available online. 

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The issue features a series of articles about the correctional system:

  • Comparing Canada’s Corrections to Europe, the United States and Aboriginal Communities
  • The Many Faces of ‘Corrections’: A call for universal reform
  • How Inmates in Canadian Prisons Suffer
  • Transgender Inmates in Canada


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Translations of Canadian Case Law

Susannah Tredwell, Manager of Library Services at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP in Vancouver, regularly contributes research tips as part of the SlawTips column on the legal website Slaw.ca.

Her most recent tip is about A New Resource for Translations of Canadian Case Law:

"The Centre de traduction et de terminologie juridiques (CTTJ) at the Université de Moncton has been working on a project to translate important unilingual Canadian court decisions into Canada’s other official language. The project currently focuses primarily on the areas of criminal law and family law."

The blog written by the Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario published a post on the same topic back in February 2019: Je ne parle pas français: Tips for finding English versions of French language case law.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

All of the Provinces' COVID-19 Long-Term Care Visitor Policies

The Canadian Centre for Elder Law, affiliated with the British Columbia Law Institute, has published a list of all the COVID-19 visitor policies for long-term care facilities across Canada:

"All provinces and territories in Canada have some form of COVID-19 visitation policy or guideline for long-term care facilities. This blog provides brief summaries of the COVID-19 visitation policies adopted by Canadian provinces and territories. Links to the full policies and public health orders are included where more details can be found. This information is up to date as of January 4, 2021."

The list was compiled by Nicole Freeman, a third-year law student at University of Victoria.

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2020 Year in Review from the Court.ca

 This is a follow-up to the January 10, 2020 post about the Supreme Court 2020 Year-in-Review produced by Supreme Advocacy LLP.

TheCourt.ca, the student-run blog at Osgood Hall Law School in Toronto, has published its own 2020: Year in Review:

"In responding to the pandemic, nearly all aspects of society had to stop and re-evaluate their operations. In the legal world, this was most clearly seen through the operation of the courts. In the early days of the pandemic, most courts closed for several months, leading to a significant reduction in the number of cases heard and decisions released this year. The Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) only released 45 decisions in 2020, compared to 68 from 2019 and 60 from 2018. The same trend held true at lower levels. The Ontario Court of Appeal released 818 decisions in 2020, compared to 1022 in 2019, and 1050 in 2018, and the British Columbia Court of Appeal released 366 decisions in 2020 compared to 463 in 2019 and 483 in 2018 (...) "

"Virtual hearings also facilitated the open court principle in new ways. This was perhaps best exemplified by the rendering of the verdict in R v Theriault, 2020 ONSC 5725 [Theriault], in June, in which over 20,000 people watched the verdict being read to hear whether the Theriault brothers, two off-duty police officers who pursued and injured Dafonte Miller, a Black teen, would be convicted of assault. Although the virtual nature of the decision allowed more people to access the court system than usual, the decision also frustrated many lawyers and activists alike, and led to renewed questioning of the justice system’s ability to adequately respond to police violence against Black people in Canada."

"Like Theriault, there were a number of other cases that attracted significant public attention in 2020. Undoubtedly, the public responded most strongly to R v Sullivan, 2020 ONCA 333 [Sullivan], in which the Ontario Court of Appeal (ONCA) held that s. 33.1 of the Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c. C-46 [Code], which prevented self-induced intoxication from being a defence to violent crime was unconstitutional. This decision sparked public outrage, including a petition for the Crown to appeal the decision, as observers expressed particular concern over whether alcohol intoxication would now be a viable defence to sexual assault. Some lawyers took to social media, news platforms, and legal publications in an effort to correct the perceived misinformation about the availability of drunkenness as a defence to sexual assault. Others argued that the decision could have some troubling implications for women, reinforcing the perception that the justice system fails to meet the needs of survivors of sexual assault. Ultimately, Sullivan acted as a reminder of the importance of clear and accessible communication about legal decisions, which is too often overlooked in the legal system—a lesson that will need to be carried through 2021 as the SCC prepares to hear the Crown’s appeal in Sullivan."

The article also looks at some of the more significant decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada last year.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:52 pm 0 comments

Roundup of COVID-Related Court Changes in Canada

Canadian Lawyer has been regularly publishing updates about how courts across Canada have been adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The most recent roundup has news items about court operations and rule changes from the Supreme Court of Canada and from courts in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:43 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 11, 2021

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Launches Series of Modules on Copyright

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has created a series of short, self-directed, instructional modules on copyright.

The series is intended for university employees who need to navigate the complexities of Canadian copyright law.

Contents of the modules are licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. This means universities (and other institutions I would guess) can adapt the material.

"If you are considering using this course on your campus, ideas for implementation are available in the implementation guide. An implementation webinar will also be scheduled during winter 2021. You can download all of the source files for the course, including images, transcripts, audio and video files, and captions in University of Calgary’s digital collections."

There are 7 modules:

  • An Introduction to the CARL Copyright Training Modules
  • How Does Copyright Law Apply at My University?
  • When Do I Need to Think About Copyright?
  • The Balancing Act: What Rights Do Copyright Owners Have?
  • The Balancing Act: User Rights
  • What Do I Need to Know About Licensing?
  • Openly Licensed Materials

The videos that come with each module are also available on YouTube.

CARL members include Canada’s 29 largest university libraries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:07 pm 0 comments

Registration Now Open for 2021 Library Assessment Conference - Free Virtual Session on Measurement and Methods

 The Association of Research Libraries is hosting a free webinar on January as part of its 2021 Library Assessment Conference. The theme is "Measurement and Methods".

Topics covered will include:

  • Assessing library contributions and impact across the research lifecycle: a collaborative approach
  • Where do we go from here : managing collection moves with data visualization
  • Search, Report, Wherever You Are: A Novel Approach to Assessing User Satisfaction with a Library Discovery Interface
  • From Analyzing Abundant Data to Identifying Actionable Steps: A Closer Look at Library Student Data and Success
  • Have library users’ expectations decreased? A statistical comparison of LibQUAL+ scores for Affect of Service, Information Control, and Library as Place over the past two decades
  • What Does It Take? Evidence-based strategies for student survey engagement
  • Secret Shopping as a Method to Understand User Experience: A Case Study
  • Unraveling the (search) string: Assessing library discovery layers using patron queries
  • The CARL library impact toolkit project: An overview
  • Practical service design blueprinting: using service design techniques in a library task force
  • So, what now? Moving through tensions to practice in critical library assessment
  • D is for Data: A critical interrogation of the basic building blocks of assessment
The 2020–21 Library Assessment Conference is being offered as free monthly webinars through March.

The Conference is co-hosted by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the University of Washington Libraries. It brings together interested practitioners and researchers who have responsibility in the broad field of library assessment. 

ARL members include major universities, federal government agencies, and large public institutions in the US and Canada (University of Alberta, UBC, University of Calgary, Laval, University of Manitoba, McGill, McMaster, University of Ottawa, Queen's, University of Saskatchewan, Simon Fraser, University of Toronto, Waterloo, Western, and York).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:54 pm 0 comments

US Glossary on Treason, Sedition, Insurrection

The Marshall Project, an American nonprofit that conducts research into criminal justice, has published A Civilian's Guide to Insurrection Legalese to help people understand the meaning of legal terms such as treason and sedition that are being used to describe last week's violent assault on the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. by rightwing extremists:

"In the 24 hours since a mob incited by the president of the United States stormed the Capitol attempting to halt the functioning of American democracy, the news media and everyone else have been at a loss for words to describe what happened. Was it a coup, or an insurrection? Did anyone commit treason, or sedition? What exactly does it mean to incite a crime, or to riot?"

"These aren’t just word games. Knowing how these terms are specifically defined under federal law will have consequences for the most violent of the rioters who have been or could be arrested by federal authorities—and also for Donald Trump and others who instigated the crowd’s actions."

"To be sure, the most likely federal charges that could be levied against Trump supporters fall under the broad—and less serious—ban on committing 'unlawful activities' on Capitol grounds, from 'violent entry' to property destruction to disorderly conduct."

"Here’s a Marshall Project roundup of some of the terms in U.S. criminal law being batted around this week."

The legal words and phrases described include:

  • Treason
  • Sedition
  • Insurrection
  • Rioting
  • Incite/incitement
  • Attempt/attempted as in "coup attempt"
  • Conspiracy

The Marshall Project is named after Thurgood Marshall, the lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who won the landmark US Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education that galvanized the modern U.S. civil rights movement. He later became the first African-American justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:33 pm 0 comments

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Supreme Court 2020 Year-in-Review

 Supreme Advocacy LLP has published a blog post entitled 2020 SCC Year-In-Review:

"This special year-end review is a complete legal snapshot of all the law from the Supreme Court of Canada in 2020, and includes:

  • appeal judgments
  • oral judgments
  • leaves to appeal granted.

Each section is arranged in alphabetical order by area of law so you can more easily find the decisions relevant to your practice. We have also included direct quotes from judgments or headnotes in some cases if they provide a useful summary for the reader.

For Leaves to Appeal granted, a hyperlink to the C.A. decision being appealed is also included."

Supreme Advocacy LLP is an Ottawa-based Supreme Court of Canada agent. It offers services to law firms such as corresponding with the Court's Registrar, service and filing, and advising on the Court’s unique practice.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:07 pm 0 comments

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of January 2021 Hearings

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

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


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:57 pm 0 comments

Special Webinar on the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

Legal publisher HeinOnline is hosting a free webinar next week on the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.

It is a great tool to find secondary sources on foreign, comparative, and international law topics in multiple languages.

The HeinOnline website offers expert tips on using the Index as well as a good description of its contents.

It is produced at the Law Library of the University of California at Berkeley on behalf of the American Association of Law Libraries, which owns the copyright. 

The blog of the International Association of Law Libraries published an article this week on the topic:

"As the field of law evolves to become ever more global, legal information professionals employed by law firms and government agencies increasingly support the work of multilingual attorneys whose legal practices are transnational in scope.  Similarly, academic law librarians are often asked to assist faculty members and students in researching comparative law topics involving foreign legal systems, and to provide research instruction for advanced degree students who received their primary legal training in foreign jurisdictions.  Although many of us have some working knowledge of at least one foreign language, our familiarity with foreign legal terminology is often limited.  It can be especially challenging to assist patrons in locating jurisdiction-specific secondary law sources in languages other than English if we are completely unfamiliar with the language of the jurisdiction (...)"

"Established in 1960 as a print resource, the IFLP is now fully integrated with HeinOnline’s electronic research platform.  If your library already subscribes to HeinOnline, the IFLP is available as an affordable, cost-effective add-on to your subscription.  What follows is a brief introduction to the IFLP and an overview of its key features."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:20 pm 0 comments

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Five Questions with Dominique Garingan, Library Manager, Parlee McLaws LLP

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been running a series of member profiles called Five Questions With...

The most recent interview is with Dominique Garingan, Library Manager at Parlee McLaws LLP in Calgary:

"How has being involved in CALL helped you professionally?
I have been a member of CALL since March of 2019. This is not a long time, compared to many other members. To me, CALL has been an amazing community of legal information professionals that covers almost all current and emerging aspects of the profession. To this day, I find myself reveling at the work of CALL’s various committees and special interest groups."

"During my first year, the CALL Mentorship Program was a wonderful opportunity to get to know a long-serving and recognized member of CALL and discuss many facets of the profession. This was a lovely experience. Being a part of the Canadian Law Library Review Editorial Board has provided an avenue for me to keep abreast with current and emerging issues and dialogues in the legal information profession. Working with members of the CALL Vendor Liaison Committee has helped me learn more about legal technology and gain confidence in terms of communicating and engaging with legal publishers and vendors."

"Although I have only been to one in-person conference, the CALL Annual Conferences are a wonderful place to meet fellow peers and immerse one’s self in riveting seminars and learning opportunities. I do find my professional life meaningfully enriched by CALL and hope to continue being a member for years to come."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:43 pm 0 comments

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report for Discussion on Personal Property Security Act

Last month, the Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) published a Report for Discussion on the Personal Property Security Act.

The report offers a number of suggestions for public discussion with the goal of updating the province's Personal Property Security Act in keeping with recommendations made by the Canadian Conference on Personal Property Security Law (CCPPSL):

"Every Canadian province and territory, except for Quebec, has enacted a Personal Property Security Act [PPSA]. Although there are minor variations across jurisdictions, these statutes are substantially uniform. Alberta’s current Personal Property Security Act came into force on October 1, 1990. The enactment of the PPSA transformed secured transactions law in Alberta by sweeping away many of the restrictions and limitations that impeded the use of secured credit. It replaced the piecemeal approach that formerly governed with a comprehensive and rational system that fostered certainty, transparency and flexibility (...)"

"Although the PPSA produced a significant improvement in the law, experience with the legislation over the course of the last three decades has revealed several instances where improvements or clarifications are desirable. In some cases, the need for reform is driven by technological advances. When the PPSA was first enacted, electronic banking and electronic commerce were in their infancy (...)"

"The CCPPSL is an organization of provincial and territorial government officials and academics. It has played a leading role in the design of the PPSA model that is used in Alberta. The CCPPSL Report of June 2017 made proposals for changes to the PPSA. These recommendations were fully implemented in Saskatchewan, which proclaimed the amendments into force on June 22, 2020. The proposals have been partially implemented in British Columbia and Ontario. We expect that other provinces will be similarly guided by the CCPPSL Report, and we propose that Alberta update its PPSA through the implementation of the CCPPSL recommendations."

The ALRI was established in 1967 by the Government of Alberta, the University of Alberta and the Law Society of Alberta for the purposes of conducting legal research and recommending reforms in the law. Funding for ALRI’s operations is provided by the Government of Alberta, the University of Alberta and the Alberta Law Foundation.

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

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Winners of 2020 Canadian Law Blog Awards

The winners of the 2020 Canadian Law Blog Awards (known as the Clawbies) were announced a few days ago.

The Clawbies exist to reward the best and most innovative Canadian blogs, podcasts, videos, legal newsletters, and other forms of online commentary.

The Fodden Award for the very best in Canadian legal commentary went to the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP):

"Since its inception in 2013, the NSRLP has won several Clawbies for specific streams of content: their blog, their podcast and self-help resources; this year, we are awarding the NSRLP’s collective body of work with the Fodden Award. The organization’s effort in amplifying the stories and voices of stakeholders involved in the Canadian self-represented litigant phenomenon–from litigants to A2J groups to judges to lawyers–is well deserving of this recognition."

"Nominations praised the NSRLP for:

  • “their continued effort in making the legal system more accessible to SRLs. Their recent primer is an essential tool for SRLs to be better prepared”
  • “maintaining a current list of court changes nationwide due to COVID-19 ever since shutdowns started!”
  • “promoting dialogue between self-reps and members of the legal profession.  Understanding the ‘other’ side’s experiences and concerns is a very necessary part of resolving the current A2J crisis” "

There are awards in many categories, including one for Best Law Library Resources. And I won (along with 2 other institutions)!:

"@greatlibrary Twitter Account
Only on Twitter since March of 2020, the Law Society of Ontario’s Law Library “leads the way with its engaging, effective, and entertaining Twitter account.” This feed shares useful and interesting information, uses photos to great effect, and runs weekly fun facts, legal research tips and more."

"Great LEXpectations
The Law Society of Manitoba’s Great Library blog is a one-stop shop for court notices & practice directions, library news & resources, substantive law updates, legislation, legal research tips and local legal community blog posts. An invaluable current awareness tool for Manitoba legal professionals."

"Library Boy
For an incredible 15 years now, SCC librarian Michel-Adrien Sheppard has been steadfastly sharing the things well-rounded and well-informed law library folks need to know (aka “law library blogaliciousness”). From conferences to research, statistics to court news, Library Boy captures an astonishingly wide variety of citations related to the library and legal worlds."

The Clawbies are organized by Stem Legal, a B.C.-based strategy firm.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:07 pm 0 comments

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada were made public and will come into force on January 27, 2021:

"The amendments will, amongst other things, simplify the leave application process. With these amendments, an application for leave to appeal will consist of the notice of application, lower court decisions and memorandum of argument only. This new process will also facilitate the electronic filing of leave application materials. Service requirements for the electronic versions of these materials will be less stringent. The number of print copies required will also be reduced."

The Court has published new guidelines for preparing documents for filing.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:59 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Geek in Review Podcast - The Who, What, and Why of #LegalTech

The most recent episode of the Geek in Review Podcast by US law librarians Greg and Lambert Marlene Gebauer is available.

Lambert is a former president of the American Association of Law Libraries.

The podcast features a discussion of "Legal Technology and Innovation" with Kristin Hodgins, Project Manager for Legal Innovation at Osler, Hoskins & Harcourt LLP in Toronto and Jason Wilson, a legal publisher and author who has worked at Thomson Reuters.

Hodgins is currently a member of the Executive Board of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:38 pm 0 comments

Monday, January 04, 2021

Thoughts from Library Professionals on Challenges and Triumphs in the Time of COVID

Librarianship.ca interviewed library and information professionals from a range of different institutions to get their thoughts about challenges and triumphs during the pandemic.

People were asked two questions:

  • What was the greatest challenge your library/organization had to overcome during the pandemic?
  • What are two highlights for your library/organization from this past year?
The people who shared their answers were from the Ottawa Public Library, the University of Ottawa, the Toronto Star, GALE, Brandon University, OCLC, Laurentian University, and the Brockville Public Library.



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

Library and GLAM Sector Submissions to 2021 Pre-Budget Consultations

 The website Librarianship.ca has published an article on Library and GLAM Sector Submissions to 2021 Pre-Budget Consultations:

"In December 2020, the the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance resumed its Pre-Budget Consultations in Advance of the 2021 Federal Budget."

"Prior to the proroguing of Parliament in August, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC)—the national voices for Canada’s research libraries and major public library systems—had published their recommendations for consideration in the next federal budget."

"In November, the Standing Committee published the briefs submitted by other associations and organizations representing Canada’s GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) sector."

There are excerpts from budget submissions from many associations including:

  • Canadian Association of Research Libraries
  • Canadian Federation of Library Associations (with which the Canadian Association of Law Libraries is affiliated)
  • Canadian Museums Association
  • Canadian Urban Libraries Council 
  • Centre for Equitable Library Access 
  • National Network for Equitable Library Service


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm 0 comments