Monday, February 28, 2022

March/April 2022 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The March/April 2022 issue of AALL Spectrum is now available online.

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

This issue has a series of feature articles on student training and outreach and on legal tech education.

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Sunday, February 27, 2022

Background on US Supreme Court Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson

The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has provided some background information about Ketanji Brown Jackson, the American President's nominee to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States:

"On January 27, 2022, Justice Stephen Breyer announced his intention to retire. In a letter to the President (PDF), Justice Breyer wrote that he intended for his retirement 'to take effect when the Court rises for the summer recess this year (typically late June or early July) assuming that by then my successor has been nominated and confirmed.' President Biden announced his 'intent to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court' on February 25, 2022. Judge Jackson's nomination was President BIden's first U.S. Supreme Court nomination; she is the first Black woman to be nominated to the high court. The Senate Judiciary Committee will soon begin its hearings process for judicial nominees, and this page will be updated as more information becomes available. In the meantime, researchers may review the resources below to learn about Judge Jackson, including a brief biography, articles by and about her, judicial opinions she has authored, congressional hearings testimony, and more."

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Thursday, February 24, 2022

Upcoming Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Student Action and Indigenous Legal Education

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on March 9 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Meaning Making: Student Action and Indigenous Legal Education:

"Student research, advocacy, negotiation and hard work are widening our views about what at times seems impossible - respecting Indigenous peoples’ aspirations within and beyond Canada’s legal frameworks. This work is slowly gaining momentum as students shed greater light on our collective past, present and future. In the process, this impacts society as a whole, as student ideas and research spreads beyond universities through their work. This seminar will address how Canadian legal education is responding to these processes."

The speaker is Dr. John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School.

The event is free for CALL members. Students pay $15.00 plus applicable taxes, non-members $50.00 plus applicable taxes.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2022

New and Updated Globalex Research Guides on Foreign and International Law Topics

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

  • A Brief Introduction to the Right to Privacy – An International Legal Perspective: "In course of time, the personal data market has become global due to the constant increase of the access and use of the Internet. Eventually, personal data has evolved as the main fuel of the 4th Industrial Revolution era. In such an atmosphere, ordinary citizens, being private individuals, or consumers desire to have adequate legal protections for their privacy rights. Thus, the worldwide debate on privacy concerns has become apparent. Keeping this in mind, this article aims to explore some basic aspects of privacy, including the meaning, value, historical development, challenges, and legal protections as ensured in international, regional, and national legal frameworks."
  • United Nations Administrative Law: "The United Nations (UN) Secretariat has a staff of over 35,000 employees and is by far the largest administrative body of the UN system. Naturally, an organization with this many employees will see a variety of disputes related to the rights and obligations of those staff members. The goal of this research guide is to present the sources of law that govern those employment disputes and the research tools and strategies useful for examining those sources. While the direct application of this body of law is limited to the staff of the UN, it is highly influential on the administrative law of other inter-governmental organizations, and the field in general may be relevant as a model for domestic administrative and labor law."
  • UPDATE: Legal Research in Germany Between Print and Electronic Media – An Overview: "Starting with a brief introduction to the German legal system and legal tradition, this article looks at legal research from a practitioner's point of view and provides an overview of the major sources for German legal research with a focus on business and commercial law, both print and online. Due to the wealth of German legal literature, it presents but a selection of the most essential sources and does not make a claim to comprehensive portrayal or completeness. Most of the materials mentioned here are in German, as any substantive law research will need to be conducted in the vernacular. To assist the foreign researcher though, references have included the translations of German laws and cases as well as select literature and websites on German law in English. Kommentare (commentaries) and Festschriften as forms of publication specific to German legal research are highlighted as is the way German case law is published and the issues this involves. Extensive coverage is given to legal databases and their growing importance to the researcher."

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Tips for Finding Older Newspaper Articles

Susannah Tredwell, Manager of Library Services at DLA Piper (Canada) LLP in Vancouver, recently published a new SlawTips column on the Canadian legal website about Finding Older Newspaper Articles

It is something all law librarians are asked to do from time to time.


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Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Statistics Canada Article on Black and Indigenous People's Confidence in Police

Last week, Statistics Canada published 2 articles on the experiences of Black and Indigenous Canadians:

"The everyday experiences and perceptions of Indigenous and Black people in Canada differ from those of the non-Indigenous, non-visible minority people in many ways. Recently, social movements seeking racial and social equity in response to injustice—both current and historical—have demonstrated the importance of measuring and monitoring the perceptions and experiences of diverse populations. In particular, inequities among First Nations people, Métis, Inuit, and racialized groups regarding public safety measures, victimization, and the criminal justice system have been a key focus."
"Two Juristat articles, released today, contain detailed analysis of the perceptions and self-reported experiences of diverse populations in Canada, with a particular focus on Black and Indigenous people ..."

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Library of Parliament Explanation of the Emergencies Act

This is an update to yesterday's post entitled Analysis of the Anti-Vaccine Mandate Protests.

The Library of Parliament has published an explanation of The Emergencies Act: Parliament’s Role During a National Emergency:

"On 14 February 2022, in response to the ongoing blockades and protests taking place in Ottawa and at some border crossings, the Prime Minister announced that the Governor in Council had invoked the Emergencies Act, giving the federal government certain temporary powers."

"The Emergencies Act sets out the procedure by which a national emergency can be declared and by which the declaration can be confirmed, continued, amended and revoked. It also provides for a supervisory role for Parliament."

"This HillNote provides some background information about this Act and explains the role of Parliament during a national emergency."

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Monday, February 21, 2022

Analysis of the Anti-Vaccine Mandate Protests

Here are a few articles and podcasts to help understand the legal measures adopted to put a halt to the anti-vaccine mandate occupation of downtown Ottawa that ended last weekend.

There is tons more out there. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:31 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 14, 2022

February 2022 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The February 2022 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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Thursday, February 10, 2022

Book Review By Colleague of Mine: The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law has published a boom review by a colleague of mine, Krisandra Ivings.

It is about the book The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law.

The Canadian Law Library Review, the journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, has been supplying with book reviews on a regular basis.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:43 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 09, 2022

Law Reform Commission of Ireland Consultation Paper on Compensating Victims of Crime

The Law Reform Commission of Ireland has started a consultation process to look into how victims of violent crime are compensated. 

As part of the exercice, it has issued a Consultation Paper.

It covers:

  • the nature of awards of criminal injuries compensation;
  • who should be eligible to receive compensation;
  • how the criminal injuries compensation process operates;
  • who should make decisions on compensation awards and how to fund any modified scheme;
  • how to avoid secondary trauma to victims;
  • what kinds of non-monetary supports should be offered to victims;
  • what a reformed statutory scheme should look like

Among other things, the paper examines the  development over time of compensation programs in Ireland, as well as the origin of state-funded victim compensation schemes internationally. It also traces the development and recognition of victim’s rights, particularly the binding legal obligations that arise for EU Member States.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:50 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 08, 2022

Report on Commission on Wrongful Conviction Applications

The Canadian government recently published a report of the independent commission to consider wrongful conviction applications.

The report was submitted to the Minister of Justice by the Honourable Harry LaForme and the Honourable Juanita Westmoreland-Traoré in November 2021.

Consultations focused on the creation of an independent commission in Canada to consider miscarriage of justice applications. The report summarizes the input received during the consultations on various reform options and provides recommendations on the path forward.

As the Executive Summary explains:

"The current system has failed to provide remedies for women, Indigenous or Black people in the same proportion as they are represented in Canada’s prisons. We believe that the new commission must be proactive and reach out to potential applicants, including Indigenous people, Black people, women and others who may have reasons to distrust a criminal justice system that had convicted them and denied their appeals (...)"

"The new commission must be systemic in the sense that it should be concerned about both the correction of miscarriages of justice and their prevention. Like the New Zealand Commission, the commission should make its decisions public and have a mandate to examine and research general matters that contribute to miscarriages of justice (...) "

"The second fundamental policy choice is that the commission should be as independent and arm’s-length from government as possible and adequately funded. In taking over the Minister of Justice’s power to direct new trials and appeals, the independent commission will exercise unique powers. If it is to have the power to require the independent judiciary to re-hear cases, it should be treated by government as far as possible in the same manner as the independent judiciary (...)"

"A final fundamental policy choice is that the new commission should be concerned with all miscarriages of justice and not only cases where factual innocence can be established. Proof of factual innocence is often not possible in non-DNA cases. Most convictions including many wrongful convictions of women and less serious cases do not involve DNA. We recognize that factual innocence is very important to exonerees and Innocence Projects. Nevertheless, we do not believe that the commission should be limited by the approach taken by voluntary and poorly funded organizations."

"The current Ministerial review regime focuses on whether a miscarriage of justice likely occurred and can include applications related to dangerous and long-term offender designations. We recommend that this mandate be continued and extended somewhat to include other cases where applicants are serving a sentence and raise new matters of significance. This is a more restrictive sentencing mandate than the English, Scottish and New Zealand Commissions, but one we believe is justified and manageable."

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Monday, February 07, 2022

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper on The Law of Partition and Sale

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has issued a consultation paper on The Law of Partition and Sale:

"When co-owners of Manitoba land need or want to terminate their co-ownership, but they cannot agree on the dissolution of their co-ownership, ss. 18-26 of The Law of Property Act provide them with two potential remedies: partition, a judicial order physically dividing the co-owned property between the co-owners, and sale, a judicial order of sale of the co-owned property and division of the proceeds of sale between the co-owners (...)"

"Sections 18-26 of The Law of Property Act outline some of the key components of partition and sale proceedings; namely, the major actors and their rights under the Act, the powers of the Court in conducting partition or sale proceedings, and the duties owed by the Court to the various actors in the process. The major actors in partition and sale proceedings include individuals bringing the action for partition or sale of land, individuals who may be compelled to make partition or sale of land , and other individuals who are not necessarily parties to the action, but who have some type of interest in the land that is the subject of the action (“subject land”). In addition to delineating the rights of these individuals, ss. 18-26 of the Act set out the powers of the Court and the duties it owes to these actors in various unique circumstances (...)"

"In this Paper, the Commission contemplates whether the current version of ss. 18-26 of The Law of Property Act and the complementary QB Rules adequately address the partition and sale of land in Manitoba, or whether these sections and rules are in need of reform. Specifically, the Commission contemplates whether the Act or Rules require further specification, elaboration, modernization or simplification to better reflect the current realities of Manitoba and to better guide and support Manitobans through an inherently complicated legal process. In particular, the Commission contemplates whether the Act and Rules should be amended to more clearly address who can bring action for and who may be compelled to make partition or sale of land in Manitoba, and to touch upon additional unique circumstances in which partition or sale proceedings may be brought, such as where encumbrance holders are involved, where parties have contracted out of the right to apply for partition and sale, where dispositions are pending in parallel proceedings under other Acts, etc."

The paper examines legislation and court tules on the issue in the other provinces of Canada as well as the relevant Canadian case law.

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Thursday, February 03, 2022

English and Scottish Law Commissions Publish Joint Report on Self-Driving Cars

The Law Commission of England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission have published a joint report on automated vehicles.

The report into self-driving cars comes after 3 rounds of extensive consultations.

Recommendations cover approval and authorisation of self-driving vehicles, ongoing monitoring of their performance while they are on the road, misleading marketing, and both criminal and civil liability. 

They include:

  • Writing the test for self-driving into law, with a bright line distinguishing it from driver support features, a transparent process for setting a safety standard, and new offences to prevent misleading marketing.
  • A new in-use safety assurance scheme to provide regulatory oversight of automated vehicles throughout their lifetimes to ensure they continue to be safe and comply with road rules.
  • New legal roles for users, manufacturers and service operators, with removal of criminal responsibility for the person in the passenger seat.
  • Holding manufacturers and service operators criminally responsible for misrepresentation or non-disclosure of safety-relevant information.

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

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report on Family Maintenance and Support from the Estate of a Person Who Stood in the Place of a Parent

 The Alberta Law Reform Institute recently released a report on Family Maintenance and Support from the Estate of a Person Who Stood in the Place of a Parent:

"Family Maintenance and Support from the Estate of a Person Who Stood in the Place of a Parent, Final Report 117 recommends that the Wills and Succession Act be reformed to allow a child to apply for family maintenance and support from the estate of a person who stood in the place of a parent (...)"

"This recommendation would close a gap in the law about child support. A child may apply for support from a person standing in the place of a parent while the person is alive, but not after the person’s death. ALRI has concluded that children should be able to apply for support in both situations. ALRI recommendations are based on widespread consultation including three online surveys targeted at the general public ..."

"ALRI’s recommendations would make the Wills and Succession Act consistent with other provincial legislation that provides benefits to a child with a person standing in the place of a parent, like the Family Law Act, the Fatal Accidents Act, and the Workers’ Compensation Act."

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Wednesday, February 02, 2022

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Report on Organ and Tissue Donation

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has published a report on Presumed Consent Organ & Tissue Donation:

"Each year, thousands of Canadians find themselves on waitlists to receive donations of vital organs, including kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs, and pancreases. However, there is a gap between the number of organs and tissues needed by Canadians and the number of organs and tissues available for donation and transplantation. Accordingly, governments continue to explore ways in which to maximize the availability of organs and tissues for transplantation, to ensure the loss of fewer Canadians to donation systems that are unable to support them."

"One such method, which has already gained traction in a number of jurisdictions outside of Canada, and which, as of January 2021, has been introduced in Nova Scotia, is the implementation of a legislative system of “presumed consent” or “opt-out” organ and tissue donation. Under such a system, when there is no record of a person’s decision on organ and tissue donation, their consent will be considered, under law, to have been given. This type of system differs from all other current Canadian organ and tissue donation systems, including Manitoba’s, which maintain “express consent” or “opt-in” systems of organ and tissue donation. Under these “express consent” or “optin” systems, legislation requires the explicit consent of donors for the use of any parts of their bodies after death for therapeutic purposes, medical education or scientific research. Under The Human Tissue Gift Act (“HTGA”), Manitoba’s current organ and tissue donation legislation, as under all analogous Canadian legislation aside from Nova Scotia’s, individuals will not be candidates for after-death organ or tissue donation without this express consent (...)"

"The Manitoba Law Reform Commission (the “Commission”) has considered how the HTGA should be amended if the government were to decide to switch from an express consent to a presumed consent statutory organ and tissue donation framework. Accordingly, the Commission takes no position in this Report on whether or not to recommend the enactment of such legislation, but on what elements ought to be included in such legislation if it were to be implemented, and how these elements should be crafted."

The report includes comparisons of the situation in other Canadian provinces as well as foreign jurisdictions such as the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Spain.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:27 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 01, 2022

US Supreme Court Appointment Process

Last week, US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced he would retire at the end of the current term. 

American President Joe Biden stated that he intends to quickly announce his nominee to replace Breyer.

For people interested in the process, the Congressional Research Service has updated its guide on the Supreme Court Appointment Process: President’s Selection of a Nominee:

"The appointment of a Supreme Court Justice is an event of major significance in American politics. Each appointment is of consequence because of the enormous judicial power the Supreme Court exercises as the highest appellate court in the federal judiciary. Appointments are usually infrequent, as a vacancy on the nine-member Court may occur only once or twice, or never at all, during a particular President’s years in office. Under the Constitution, Justices on the Supreme Court receive what can amount to lifetime appointments which, by constitutional design, helps ensure the Court’s independence from the President and Congress."

"The procedure for appointing a Justice is provided for by the Constitution in only a few words. The “Appointments Clause” (Article II, Section 2, clause 2) states that the President “shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ... Judges of the supreme Court.” The process of appointing Justices has undergone changes over two centuries, but its most basic feature—the sharing of power between the President and Senate—has remained unchanged: To receive appointment to the Court, a candidate must first be nominated by the President and then confirmed by the Senate. Political considerations typically play an important role in Supreme Court appointments. It is often assumed, for example, that Presidents will be inclined to select a nominee whose political or ideological views appear compatible with their own."

"The political nature of the appointment process becomes especially apparent when a President submits a nominee with controversial views, there are sharp partisan or ideological differences between the President and the Senate, or the outcome of important constitutional issues before the Court is seen to be at stake."

"Additionally, over more than two centuries, a recurring theme in the Supreme Court appointment process has been the assumed need for professional excellence in a nominee. During recent presidencies, nominees have at the time of nomination, most often, served as U.S. appellate court judges. The integrity and impartiality of an individual have also been important criteria for a President when selecting a nominee for the Court."

"The speed by which a President selects a nominee for a vacancy has varied during recent presidencies. A President might announce his intention to nominate a particular individual within several days of when a vacancy becomes publicly known, or a President might take multiple weeks or months to announce a nominee. The factors affecting the speed by which a President selects a nominee include whether a President had advance notice of a Justice’s plan to retire, as well as when during the calendar year a Justice announces his or her departure from the Court."

The Congressional Research Service, based in Washington D.C., is a US federal government agency that conducts research for the US Congress.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:55 pm 0 comments