Thursday, June 23, 2022

Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice 2021 Conference Report on Indigenous Self-Governnance

The Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice recently published the report for its 2021 conference on Indigenous Peoples and the Law

The conference took place in Vancouver in November 2021:

"Over the course of the three days eight panels composed of Indigenous elders, judges, lawyers, academics as well as non-Indigenous legal professionals discussed issues ranging from Indigenous self-governance and legal orders to child welfare and the experiences of Indigenous students in law school. Collectively between in-person and virtual attendance, close to 500 people were able to participate."

"Throughout the various topics discussed and the experiences and wisdom shared a fundamental issue arose: Indigenous self-government. Not a panel passed without its mention. Self-determination was the narrative either from which discussion began or culminated to. The following report reproduces the aspects of Indigenous self-government that were highlighted and reoccurred throughout the conference. Three general areas were covered: the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a legal instrument, the legal narratives of Indigenous self-governance, and Indigenous laws and the inherent right to self-governance. The following report turns its attention to these topics."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:29 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of Bill C-13 on Official Languages Act

The Library of Parliament has prepared a legislative summary of Bill C-13, An Act for the Substantive Equality of Canada's Official Languages:

"Bill C‑13 incorporates many of the amendments proposed to Bill C‑32, An Act to amend the Official Languages Act and to make related and consequential amendments to other Acts, tabled during the 2nd Session of the 43rd Parliament. Bill C‑32, which died on the Order Paper at first reading, had itself been preceded by the release, on 19 February 2021, of a reform proposal entitled English and French: Towards a Substantive Equality of Official Languages in Canada. The bill was also preceded by many calls from civil society, parliamentary committees and the Commissioner of Official Languages to modernize the Official Languages Act (OLA)."

"The following list outlines some of the aspects of Bill C‑13 that are different from its predecessor, Bill C‑32:

  • (...)
  • the uniqueness and diversity of official language minority communities and their historical and cultural contributions to Canadian society,
  • the fact that immigration is one of the factors that contributes to maintaining or increasing the demographic weight of francophone minority communities, and
  • the fact that all legal obligations related to the official languages apply at all times, including during emergencies;
  • the recognition that language rights are to be interpreted in light of their remedial character for the purposes of the OLA;
  • (...)
  • the addition to the list of new powers granted to the Commissioner of Official Languages (the power to impose administrative monetary penalties on certain transportation entities defined by regulation); and
  • the withdrawal from the OLA of the rights to use French as a language of service and a language of work in relation to federally regulated private businesses in Quebec and in regions with a strong francophone presence and the inclusion of these rights in a new Act."

"Bill C‑13 has 71 clauses. It amends every part of the OLA, except Part I, which deals with the parliamentary proceedings. The bill also enacts an entirely new Act, on the language of service and language of work of federally regulated private businesses in Quebec and in regions with a strong francophone presence. This new Act is entitled the Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act (UFFRPBA)."

It is possible to follow the progress of the bill in the federal Parliament on the LEGISinfo website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:22 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Free Online Workshop on The Open Casebook Revolution

On July 6, 2022, the Canadian Association of Law Teachers is hosting a free, online workshop entitled The Open Casebook Revolution at noon Eastern time:

"The open access law book 'revolution' ... is gaining momentum. Open access law books are materials compiled and edited for law students, practitioners and/or the public that are freely hosted on websites and as downloadable, searchable, printable, mark-up-able PDFs. In the United States, dozens of open access law casebooks are popping up on platforms such as SSRN, Open Textbook Library, eLangdell and H2O."

"In Canada, CanLII hosts Professor Beswick’s casebook, Tort Law: Cases and Commentaries, and Messrs Fiddick and Wardell’s handbook, The CanLII Manual to British Columbia Civil Litigation. These materials are freely available alternatives to commercial casebooks and handbooks, which are typically expensive, heavy, and have a short shelf-life."

"Open access law books have clear practical, pedagogical and societal advantages. On the practical side, compared to commercial alternatives, open access books are simpler to edit, faster to publish, easier to update, and free. On the pedagogical side, they empower flexibility and innovation. They can be more readily structured to suit the editor’s teaching aims. They can link to podcasts 🎧, videos 📺, blogs, news, articles, books, and judgments. Readers can keyword search and highlight text. Students don’t break their backs carrying them. They can also be integrated with quizzes and exam exercises. On the social side, open access legal materials advance access to justice. Commercial materials are often beyond the reach of the public and, in some cases, students."

The session will feature the 3 Canadian authors mentioned above:

  • Samuel Beswick, Assistant Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia
  • John Fiddick, Director, Whitelaw Twining.
  • Cameron Wardell, Partner, Mathews, Dinsdale & Clark LLP

 It will be chaired by Sarah Sutherland, President and CEO, Canadian Legal Information Institute

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:31 pm 0 comments

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Law and Disability in Canada

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a webinar on Tuesday, June 28 at 1:00PM Eastern on Law and Disability in Canada: An overview of law and disability issues in Canada:

"This webinar will explore the ways in which persons with disabilities interact with the law in Canada. This will be done through an examination of barriers regularly faced by people with disabilities and how these are interpreted in foundational domestic and international equality rights instruments (including the Charter, human rights law, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). The authors will also provide a brief history of disability rights litigation in Canada and discuss several contemporary access to justice issues currently facing people with disabilities."

The speakers are:

  • David Ireland, Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba
  • Freya Kodar, University of Victoria Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Laverne Jacobs, University of Windsor Faculty of Law
  • Dr. Richard Jochelson, Dean of Law at the University of Manitoba
Registration is free for CALL members, $50 for non-members and $15 for student non-members.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:23 pm 0 comments

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Law Commission of Ontario Report on Accountable Artificial Intelligence

Last week, the Law Commission of Ontario released a new report discussing artificial intelligence (AI) in the Canadian justice system.

The report examines AI and Automated Decision-making (ADM) systems used to assist government decision-making in public benefits, child protection, education, immigration, regulatory compliance, and many other civil and administrative justice applications:

"Notwithstanding AI’s potential, government use of AI is controversial. There are many examples of government AI systems that have proven to be biased, illegal, secretive or ineffective. As a result, many governments – including the Government of Ontario – are adopting 'Trustworthy AI' frameworks to assure the public and stakeholders that government AI development and use will be transparent, legal and beneficial."

"Trustworthy AI is an important initiative, and the LCO commends the Government of Ontario for publicly committing to this goal. Achieving 'Trustworthy AI”', however, will depend on governments addressing a complex series of policy, legal and operational questions that go far beyond public statements of principle. Addressed thoughtfully, the answers to these questions will help governments and public agencies maximize AI’s benefits and minimize its harms (...)"

"Canadian governments have an opportunity to become leaders in successful AI deployment by applying hard-learned lessons and taking proactive measures to ensure trustworthy and accountable AI. Absent these measures, government ministries, agencies, tribunals and courts will likely need to address important legal and technical issues on a case-by-case basis, resulting in poorer public services, biased and inconsistent government decision-making, diminished rights protection, delays, and unnecessary costs and litigation."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:51 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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

The June 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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:00 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

English Law Commission Options Paper on Corporate Criminal Liability

The Law Commission of England last week published its proposed options for the UK government on how it can ensure that corporations are held accountable for committing serious crimes such as fraud.

The paper is part of a larger review of corporate criminal liability that the Law Commission has been asked to do by the government. 

The paper offers ten reform options:

  1. Retain the current general rule of criminal liability applied to corporations – the “identification doctrine” – as it stands.
  2. Allow conduct to be attributed to a corporation if a member of its senior management engaged in, consented to, or connived in the offence. This could be drafted so that chief executive officers and chief financial officers are always considered part of senior management.
  3. Introduce an offence of failure to prevent fraud by an employee or agent. This would apply when the company has not put appropriate measures in place to prevent their own employees or agents committing a fraud offence for the benefit of the company.
  4. Introduce an offence of failure to prevent human rights abuses.
  5. Introduce an offence of failure to prevent ill-treatment or neglect.
  6. Introduce an offence of failure to prevent computer misuse.
  7. Make publicity orders available (requiring the corporate offender to publish details of its conviction) in all cases where a corporation is convicted of an offence.
  8. Introduce a regime of administratively imposed monetary penalties.
  9. Introduce civil actions in the High Court, with a power to impose monetary penalties.
  10. Introduce a reporting requirement requiring large corporations to report on anti-fraud procedures.
The paper compares the situation in the UK with that of Australia and Canada.

It is now for the Government to review and consider the options paper.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:45 pm 0 comments

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Statistics Canada Article on Human Trafficking

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat published an article last week on Trafficking in persons in Canada, 2020 that offers an an overview of trends in human trafficking incidents, prior police contact among accused persons and the outcomes of cases that go through the court system.

Among the highlights:

  • Police services in Canada reported 2,977 incidents of human trafficking—that is, recruiting, transporting, transferring, holding, concealing and exercising control over a person for the purposes of exploitation—between 2010 and 2020.
  • More than half (57%) of the incidents involved human trafficking offences alone while 43% involved at least one other type of violation, most often related to the sex trade.
  • The vast majority (96%) of detected victims of human trafficking were women and girls. In all, one in four (25%) victims were under the age of 18. 
  • Just over half (52%) of all human trafficking incidents had no accused person identified in connection with the incident.
  • The large majority (81%) of persons accused of human trafficking were men and boys. Most commonly, accused persons were aged 18 to 24 (41%), followed by those aged 25 to 34 (36%).
  • Three-quarters (75%) of these accused had previously been implicated in other criminal activity. 
  • Between 2009/2010 and 2019/2020, there were 834 cases completed in adult criminal courts that involved at least one charge of human trafficking.
  • Human trafficking cases took almost twice as long to complete than violent adult criminal court cases. 
  • As the most serious decision in adult criminal court, a finding of guilt was less common for cases involving human trafficking (12%) than for those involving sex trade charges (33%) or violent charges (48%).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:27 pm 0 comments

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Paper on Parental Maintenance

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has published a consultation paper on the provincial Parents' Maintenance Act (PMA):

"It is a well-known tenant of law that parents have a statutory duty to provide reasonably for the support, maintenance, and education of their minor children by way of child support. It is lesser known that in most Canadian jurisdictions, including Manitoba, children have a  statutory duty to provide financial support to their parents, who by reason of age, disability, or infirmity are unable to maintain themselves (“parents’ maintenance”). This Paper addresses parents’ maintenance and not child support. Parents’ maintenance legislation currently exists in all Canadian provinces and territories, except British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan."

The consultation paper examines the arguments to repealing and amending the Act.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:19 pm 0 comments

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Law Library of Congress Webinar on The Most Improbable War: Legal Transformations in Ukraine and Russia Before and During the Invasion

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. is hosting a webinar next Thursday, June 16 at 2PM Eastern time on The Most Improbable War: Legal Transformations in Ukraine and Russia Before and During the Invasion:

"This entry in the series, which is cosponsored by the Law Library of Congress and the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), will provide an overview of the historic roots of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, including: reviewing information about the background of the Crimean and East Ukrainian territorial problem, which escalated into current war; providing an overview of treaties and agreements between Ukraine and Russia; reviewing laws regulating the use of arms in both countries; and examining legal regimes created in Ukraine and Russia before and during the invasion. Further, an analysis and comparison of legislation recently passed in Ukraine and Russia, coupled with Ukrainian legal scholars’ discussion of a so-called “juridical front,” provides an interesting picture of the situation on the ground and suggests how it may develop in the future. Resources available to research the laws of Ukraine will also be introduced during the presentation."


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

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Canadian Federation of Library Associations Spring 2022 Update

A few weeks ago, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CLFA) published an update about its recent activities.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries is a member of the Federation.

The update includes news about advocacy activities on behalf of the Canadian library community, copyright reform, strategic planning for the organization, and the possibility of holding a National Forum in 2023, public health requirements permitting.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:44 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Releases Final Insights Report from Diversity and Inclusion Study

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries recently released the final Insights Report from its Diversity and Inclusion Study, prepared by the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (CCDI Consulting).

From the press release:

"CARL conducted this study to gather baseline data on the composition of personnel in CARL libraries, gauge employee feedback on current EDI initiatives, and establish a set of benchmarks against which to evaluate and measure the impact of CARL libraries’ strategies and practices with respect to diversity and inclusion. CARL aims to measure progress through the conduct of the same or a comparable study in 3-5 years time (...)"

"Of 3742 employees invited to participate, 1299 respondents completed the survey, providing an overall completion rate of 34.7%. Please note that a response rate of 34.7% may not accurately reflect the demographics and views of each participating CARL member library. As such, CCDI Consulting could not confidently infer generalizations that are solely focused on demographic representations."

"Furthermore, findings in this report are based on the aggregate results of all 21 participating CARL member libraries and detailed analysis of each library is not provided. Each library will be facing unique circumstances and we recognize that some of the best practices reflected in this report may have been started or be in place at certain libraries. We further recognize that libraries are subject to the existing policies and practices of their parent institution, which can impact their capacity to implement the recommendations listed in the report."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:55 pm 0 comments

Statistics Canada Report on Trends in Firearm-related Violent Crime in Canada

Statistics Canada recently published an article in Juristat entitled Trends in firearm-related violent crime in Canada, 2009 to 2020.

It offers a detailed examination of police-reported firearm-related violent crime in Canada, drawing on data from the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey and the Homicide Survey. It also includes differences in firearm-related violent crime in urban areas compared with southern and northern rural regions of Canada.

Among the highlights:

  • Firearm-related violent crime represents a small proportion of police-reported violent crime in Canada, accounting for 2.8% of all victims of violent crime reported by police in 2020.
  • In 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 8,344 victims of police-reported violent crime where a firearm was present during the commission of the offence, or a rate of 29 per 100,000 population. This rate was unchanged compared to 2019. This was not the case in all jurisdictions, however, as rates of firearm-related violent crime increased in some areas and decreased in others.
  • Between 2019 and 2020, notable increases in rates of firearm-related violent crime were reported in southern rural British Columbia (+34%), the northern rural part of Ontario (+32%), rural Alberta (+32% in the North and +31% in the South), the Northwest Territories (+23%) and Nova Scotia (+22%).
  • Between 2009 and 2013 the rate of victims of firearm-related violent crime in Canada decreased, which aligned with violent crime trends overall. However, rates of victims of firearm-related violent crime started an upward climb in 2014, with the largest documented increase between 2014 and 2015. 
  • This article examines firearm-related violent crime in the two six-year periods before and after the notable increase in 2015 (between 2009 to 2014 and 2015 to 2020) and shows that the increase occurred in most jurisdictions in Canada.
  • Much of the increase in the rate of firearm-related crime between the two six-year periods was the result of a significant increase in the rate of firearm-specific violent offences of discharging a firearm with intent, pointing a firearm, and use of a firearm in an indictable offence.
  • Rates of firearm-related violent crime were higher in rural areas than in urban centres in most provinces, and were notably high in northern rural regions. However, firearm-related crime generally accounted for a higher proportion of violent crime in urban areas. As such, people living in some rural areas may be more at risk of firearm crime, but violent crime that occurs in urban areas is generally more likely to involve a firearm. 
  • In 2020, more than six in ten (63%) of the firearm-related violent crime in urban areas involved handguns. In rural areas, the firearm present was most commonly a rifle or shotgun: 46% in the rural South and 39% in the rural North.
  • The accused in firearm-related violent crimes was most frequently a stranger to the victim in 2020 (for 55% of male victims and 41% of female victims). This was driven, however, by firearm-related violent crime in urban areas.
  • Overall, one in four (25%) female victims of firearm-related violent crime was victimized by a current or former spouse or other intimate partner. In contrast, 2.2% of male victims of firearm-related violent crime in 2020 were similarly victims of intimate partner violence. Instead, among victims, a higher proportion of males were victimized by a stranger, friend or casual acquaintance (83% versus 64% of females).
  • The majority of incidents involving a victim of firearm-related violent crime were solved (with at least one accused identified in the incident), with those in the rural North (83% in 2020) and rural South (72%) more often solved than those in urban areas (54%).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:46 pm 0 comments

New Zealand Law Commission Releases Report on Surrogacy

The Law Commission of New Zealand recently published a report on surrogacy.

"This review has examined surrogacy law, regulation and practice, both in the domestic context and overseas. We have taken account of recent international developments in the regulation of surrogacy as well as law reform in other countries."

"A key problem is that the law does not recognise surrogacy as a process that creates a parentchild relationship between the intended parents and the surrogate-born child. Instead, intended parents must use the Adoption Act 1955, now over 65 years old and designed at a time when the modern practice of surrogacy could not have been contemplated. The prompt introduction and enactment of the Paige Harris Birth Registration Act 2022 with the unanimous support of the House illustrates the failure of the current law to meet the needs and reasonable expectations of New Zealanders."

"This Report recommends a new legal framework for determining legal parenthood in surrogacy arrangements. Surrogacy should be recognised as a legitimate method of family building that is distinct from adoption. Our recommendations accommodate all forms of surrogacy arrangements as we think that this will best promote the paramountcy of children’s best interests."

"Alongside a new framework for determining legal parenthood, we recommend a surrogacy birth register to preserve information for surrogate-born people about their genetic and gestational origins and whakapapa [Maori term sor geneaology] . We know from the experiences of adopted and donor-conceived people that such information is fundamental to a person’s identity and wellbeing."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:40 pm 0 comments