Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Law Library of Congress Comparative Report on Asylum Application Laws

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently published its research report on the asylum application processes in nine selected jurisdictions.

The report looks at policies in Canada, Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the European Union:

"In March 2022, the EU+ countries, meaning the EU Member States plus Switzerland and Norway, received a total of 82,900 asylum applications—the most since 2016 according to the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA). The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reported a similar worldwide trend. In the first months of 2022, more than 100 million people were displaced, including 4.4 million asylum seekers. The number of forcibly displaced people constitutes the highest ever on record. Turkey reportedly hosts the world’s largest population of refugees."

"People seeking asylum must prove to the competent authorities that they have a well-founded fear of being persecuted. At what point in the asylum application process this requirement is examined varies from country to country. In Canada, it is not required for a referral for a hearing at the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The EU has enacted the Asylum Procedures Directive, which establishes common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection, meaning refugee status and subsidiary protection. Applicants are required to cooperate with the competent authorities and are entitled to a personal interview to determine their eligibility. The EU Member States surveyed in this report, meaning Germany, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and Sweden, are obligated to transpose the EU directive into their national laws and comply with its requirements. Even though the UK withdrew from the EU on January 31, 2020, it has transposed a number of EU directives, including the Asylum Procedures Directive, into its national legislation. Likewise, Turkey’s laws are largely in line with the EU laws, with the notable exception of the 'temporary protection' status."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:15 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 27, 2023

Law Library of Congress Report on Repatriation of Immigration Detainees’ Remains

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently published a report on the Repatriation of Immigration Detainees’ Remains.

The report looks at the rules that govern the repatriation of immigration detainees’ remains in Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom:

"It appears common that, in the absence of a provision such as that of the UK to cover repatriation expenses, the costs associated with repatriation are borne by the family of the foreign national or by the consulate. If repatriation does not take place, the remains of persons who die while in custody are buried or cremated in the countries where the death occurred."

"The attached jurisdictional surveys provide information on additional aspects of handling death of detainees in immigration custody. These include requirements for notification of death to family members and to foreign consulates (e.g., Canada, Japan); obligations of municipalities and regional administrations regarding burial of detainees dying within their boundaries (e.g., France, Greece, Japan, Sweden); and procedures for repatriation (e.g., Italy, Portugal). The survey on France includes information on the ability of family members of those who are detained there to request financial funeral assistance from local authorities. The Germany survey describes how foreigners who are present there and are subject to a final deportation order can receive financial assistance for their deceased relatives’ burial if they are unable to afford burial costs under conditions enumerated under the German Asylum Seekers Benefits Act."

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

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Most Recent Issue of the Law Library Journal

The most recent issue of the Law Library Journal is available online. It is published by the American Association of Law Libraries.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Statistics Canada Study on Cybervictimization of Youth and Young Adults

Statistics Canada has published a study called Online harms faced by youth and young adults: The prevalence and nature of cybervictimization.

The document looks at the prevalence and nature of cyberbullying and cybervictimization among young people aged 12 to 29 years.

It found that in 2019, one in four youth (25%) aged 12 to 17 years reported experiencing cyberbullying in the previous year. 

An equal share (25%) of young adults aged 18 to 29 years also experienced some form of cybervictimization in 2018, with receiving unwanted sexually suggestive or explicit messages and aggressive or threatening emails, social media or text messages being among the most common.

Among the highlights:

  • Some young people are more vulnerable to cybervictimization, including Indigenous youth, sexually diverse and non-binary youth, youth with a disability, and girls and women. 
  • Cybervictimization increases during adolescence and remains high among young adults in their early 20s. It then tapers off in the late 20s.
  • Increased internet usage, as well as using smart phones before bed and upon waking, are associated with an increased risk of being cyberbullied.
  • For youth aged 12 to 17, not using devices at mealtime, having parents who often know what their teens are doing online, and having less difficulty making friends act as potential buffers against cybervictimization.
  • Cybervictimized young adults often change their behaviour, both online—from blocking people and restricting their own access—and offline—such as carrying something for protection.
  • Cybervictimized young adults were also more likely to have experienced other forms of victimization such as being stalked and being physically or sexually assaulted.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:25 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Statistics Canada Article on Crime in Rural and Urban Areas

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat features a new article called Police-reported crime in rural and urban areas in the Canadian provinces, 2021.

Among the highlights:

  • In 2021, police services serving a mostly rural population served 15% of the population in the provinces, but reported 24% of violent crimes, 18% of property crimes, 30% of Criminal Code traffic offences and 23% of other Criminal Code violations.
  • The Crime Severity Index (CSI), which measures the volume and the seriousness of crimes, was 33% higher in rural areas than in urban areas. The gap was even greater for the Violent CSI. 
  • The gap between rural and urban Violent CSIs has widened over the past decade. The gap has especially widened during the COVID-19 pandemic as the Violent CSI increased in rural areas but not in urban areas.
  • Shoplifting and robbery, crimes that are generally more frequent in urban areas than in rural areas, have declined significantly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Conversely, crimes in private residences—which are typically more common in rural areas—have increased since the onset of the COVID‑19 pandemic. In addition, intimate partner violence has increased more in rural areas than in urban areas.
  • The higher crime rate in rural areas (7,033 incidents per 100,000 population) than in urban areas (4,919) was because a small number of police services recorded very high crime rates. Conversely, more than one-third (34%) of the rural population lived in a community where the crime rate was below 3,000 incidents per 100,000 population in 2021, compared with one-quarter (25%) of the urban population.
  • Higher crime rates in rural areas were mainly observed in the northern parts of the provinces. In the south, the rural crime rate was lower than or similar to the urban rate in most provinces. 
  • The higher crime rate in rural areas was mainly because of the high number of assaults, mischief and incidents related to disturbing the peace. These common offences were reported approximately two to three times more often by police services serving a predominantly rural population.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:42 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 20, 2023

Law Commission of England Advice Paper to Government on Remote Driving

The Law Commission of England has published advice to the British government on how to properly regulate the emerging sector of remote driving.

Remote driving refers to a situation where a person controls a vehicle using wireless connectivity.

Its potential uses could include delivering rental cars to a customer's door or trials of self-driving vehicles.

In its press release today, the Law Commission explains that its advice covers issues such as:

  • Short term measures to address gaps in the law
  • Safety requirements for remote driving
  • A new regulatory system to govern remote driving over the long term
  • Licences for remote driving operations
  • A ban on remote driving from overseas
  • Criminal and civil liability

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:33 pm 0 comments

2022 Corruption Perceptions Index

Recently, the government ethics watchdog group Transparency International released its 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), a survey of perceptions of public sector corruption in some 180 states. The perceptions come from experts and business leaders:

"This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reveals that 124 countries have stagnant corruption levels, while the number of countries in decline is increasing. This has the most serious consequences, as global peace is deteriorating  and corruption is both a key cause and result of this."

"Corruption and conflict feed each other and threaten durable peace. On one hand, conflict creates a breeding ground for corruption. Political instability, increased pressure on resources and weakened oversight bodies create opportunities for crimes, such as bribery and embezzlement."

"Unsurprisingly, most countries at the bottom of the CPI are currently experiencing armed conflict or have recently done so."
The cleanest countries for the survey were Denmark, Finland and New Zealand. Canada came in 14th.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:20 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Internet Archive Canada Survey about Access to Canadian Government Information

Internet Archive Canada, along with various Canadian partners, is involved in an initiative designed to provide free, open and sustainable online access to the full range of government research, data and publications necessary for a continued and sound democracy.

There is more background information about the project on the Internet Archive Canada website.

Partners include the Canadian Research Knowledge Network, Library and Archives Canada, and the University of Toronto.

As part of the initiative, the Archive has developed a survey to gather thoughts on the "possible solutions to the gaps that exist and set priorities":

"These questions are a first step that will assist us to:
-create an inventory of current projects and initiatives and digital collections focusing on Canadian government information
-determine gaps in the government information that is currently available and adequately preserved for perpetual access
-identify possible solutions and establish priorities for what needs to happen and when
-gather stories that illustrate the impact of the lack of access to government information
identify specialists, practitioners and communities who can provide advice and assistance."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:24 pm 0 comments

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Canadian Bar Association Interview with the Chief Justice of Canada

The Canadian Bar Association's (CBA) National magazine published an interview today with the Chief Justice of Canada Richard Wagner:

"Ahead of his address to the CBA's Annual General Assembly, Richard Wagner spoke to us about Canadians' confidence in the judiciary, his concerns about some courts returning to pre-pandemic habits, and the role of interveners."


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Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Geek in Review Podcast Interview with Colin Lachance on AI

The most recent episode of the Geek in Review Podcast by US law librarian Greg Lambert is available.

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

The podcast features a discussion with Colin Lachance from legal tech company Jurisage which is launching a new AI tool to synthesize and read cases:

"Jurisage’s tool, MyJr (pronounced “My Junior”) is part of a joint venture between Jurisage and AltaML, and is designed to change how researchers access information by allowing the AI tool to synthesis and read cases as the researchers search and analyze the information. Rather than opening up web browser tab after tab and scanning cited cases for relevant information, the idea behind MyJr is to have it quickly answer that information for you. If you need to know what the relevant arguments are from each side in Smith v. Jones, as MyJr to pass that along to you. Ask it a plain language question, get a quick and plain language answer."

"Lachance is working to use the GPT 3.5 tool to pass along cases and create what he calls “guardrails” with the cases so that the prompt and the results limit themselves to the case itself. This protects the researcher from the AI “creating” the answer from all the non-relevant information it has collected in its large language model of machine learning. Lachance has additional goals for using AI within Jurisage’s data, but he’s focused tools like MyJr establishing trust with those using it for researching Canadian, and soon US caselaw."

Lachance has been the Founder and CEO of Compass, the former General Manager for North America of global legal publisher, vLex, and the former President and CEO of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII).

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

February 2023 Issue of In Session E-Bulletin of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The February 2023 issue of In Session has been published.

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. 

Excerpt from the President's Message (George Tsiakos):

"Scholarships & Awards
Deadlines for the many CALL/ACBD scholarships and awards are approaching. I encourage all of you to think about nominating worthy colleagues for consideration or applying for financial support for a research project or professional development. Our Association relies heavily on the hard work and efforts of its member volunteers. Providing scholarships and awards is an important way that CALL/ACBD can acknowledge and support the many talents and awesome work of its members. More details about the various scholarships and awards available on the CALL/ACBD website."

"Strategic Planning
The Board and National Office staff are excited to engage in this process and we are looking forward to the many conversations this process will involve. In particular, the Board is looking forward to connecting with members about who we are, where we want to go, and how to increase awareness and relevance of CALL/ACBD. Presently, the Board is communicating with potential consultants to help guide this important work. We hope to begin the formal part of this process later this month."

"Annual Conference
Early bird registration is now open, and we are just over three months away from our first in-person conference in four years! The CPC is working diligently to bring together informative and timely educational programing, as well as inspiring keynote speakers. Register today so you do not miss this great opportunity to re-connect with colleagues on a deeper level or to meet new people and expand your professional network."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:13 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 13, 2023

New Canadian Law Librarian Salary Survey

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries and the Toronto Association of Law Libraries have teamed up to create a joint salary survey

"The 2023 Salary Survey is a joint undertaking between the Toronto Association of Law Libraries (TALL) and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries / L'Association canadienne des bibliothèques de droit (CALL/ACBD). The purpose of the survey is to determine benchmark employment remuneration received by members of the law library and legal information profession. A final report will be made available on the CALL/ACBD and TALL websites."

"Completion of this survey is voluntary. This survey is set up to collect responses anonymously. No identifying information will be shared and data will be presented in aggregate in the survey report. Any information that may be used to determine a respondent's identity will be excluded from the report."

The survey will remain open for two weeks from February 13-February 27, 2023.

Participants also have the option of entering a draw for ten $25 gift certificates.

Tabulated results will be available later in 2023

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:41 pm 0 comments

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Upcoming Webinar on Indigenization of Cataloguing

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries is organizing a webinar on March1, 2023 from 1:30 to 2PM called The Decolonization/Indigenization of Cataloguing Practices:

"Learn how libraries are Decolonizing/Indigenizing their cataloguing practices, including changes to subject headings and the development of the KI classification system. Learn how library staff can apply these practices within their workplaces in an effort to work toward reconciliation and to better assist their patrons."

Free to association members.

 Non-member – $50.00; Student Non-member – $15.00.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:00 pm 0 comments

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Geek in Review Podcast on Tagging and Artificial Intelligence

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 with Damien Riehl, VP, Litigation Workflow and Analytics Content at FastCase, and one of the drivers behind SALI (Standards Advancement for   for the Legal Industry):

"SALI is a system of tagging legal information to allow for better filtering and analysis. It works like Amazon’s product tags, where a user can search for a specific area of law, such as patent law, and then choose between various services such as advice, registration, transactional, dispute, or bankruptcy services. The tags cover everything from the substance of law to the business of law, with over 13,000 tags in the latest version. SALI is being adopted by major legal information providers such as Thomson Reuters, Lexis, Bloomberg, NetDocuments, and iManage, with each provider using the same standardized identifiers for legal work. With this standardization, it will be possible to perform the same API query across different providers and receive consistent results. Imagine the potential of being able to ask one question that is understood by all your database and external systems?"

"In that same vein, we expand our discussion to include how Artificial Intelligence tools like Large Language Models (i.e., ChatGPT, Google BARD, Meta’s LLM) could assist legal professionals in their quest to find information, create documents, and help outline legal processes and practices."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:34 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 08, 2023

Legislative Summary of Federal Bill C-23 - Historic Places of Canada Act

The Library of Parliament has published its Legislative Summary of Bill C-23, known by the short title of Historic Places of Canada Act:

"Many of Canada’s historic places are disappearing or under threat. Bill C‑23 strengthens and expands the protection and designation of federally owned historic sites in Canada. Bill C‑23 enacts the Historic Places of Canada Act (HPCA), which replaces the Historic Sites and Monuments Act (HSMA) – the Act currently providing for the protection of historic sites. The HPCA is under the authority of Parks Canada, and the minister responsible for that agency is the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. A significant portion of Bill C‑23 is dedicated to codifying conventional protections and programs. Bill C‑23 also provides enforcement mechanisms and penalties. Fines under the HPCA are collected in a fund dedicated to heritage conservation. Bill C‑23 also aims to support further reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada by implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action 79(i)."

Progress of the bill through the Houses of Parliament can be followed on the LEGISinfo website. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:07 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Overview Article About Open Access & Legal Scholarship in the Last Decade

There is a new article at Slaw.ca on open access legal research by Hannah Steeves:

"In 2011, the TALL Quarterly published a brief article authored by John Bolan, Public Services Librarian at the Bora Laskin Law Library (University of Toronto). The article addressed the burgeoning open access movement for scholarly literature generally, with a focus on the lack and lag of open access literature within the discipline of law and potential areas of growth in the field. Bolan wrote, 'As befits the field of law, there are, however, exceptions to the exceptions that are worth noting.' With more than 10 years since Bolan’s article was published, this post reviews the exceptions highlighted as potential areas of growth and summarises developments of open access legal literature in the Canadian context over the past decade."

Those areas include:

  • the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)
  • repositories of law-related articles such as SSRN and bepress
  • the rise of interdisciplinary legal scholarship
  • access to justice initiatives

Steeves is an Instruction & Reference Librarian at the Sir James Dunn Law Library, Dalhousie University (Halifax, Nova Scotia).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:28 pm 0 comments

Monday, February 06, 2023

Recent Justice-Related Documents from the Government of Canada

The Government of Canada's Weekly Acquisitions List can be a great way to discover new research reports published by various public bodies and agencies of the federal government.It is a record of all publications catalogued in the previous week.

Here are two publications from the most recent list:

  • Annual report of the Courts Administration Service (the Service provides registry and administrative services to the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada)
  • State of the Criminal Justice System: Impact of COVID-19 on the Criminal Justice System (Justice Canada): "This edition of the State of the Criminal Justice System (SOCJS) report focuses on monitoring key changes that occurred within the criminal justice system (CJS) since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It compares indicators of performance prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to those indicators up to two years into the pandemic, where data have been collected and made available. The following presents key findings from the report organized by the nine expected outcomes from the State of the Criminal Justice System Performance Monitoring Framework."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:39 pm 0 comments

Thursday, February 02, 2023

Legal Information Institute 2022 in Review

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell University in the United States is the original LII, and therefore the predecessor of all the other LIIs such as the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII).

Like the other LIIs around the world, it exists to make legal information available free of charge online.

LII has just published its year in review for 2002.

It highlights some of its top collections such as Wex, its free legal dictionary and encyclopedia, its Women & Justice Collection, and its sizable collection of regulations from all 50 American states.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:29 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

CanLII Publishes New Open Access Criminal Law E-Book

The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) has published a new open access e-book about Criminal Law.

From the introduction:

"We hope that this ebook will be an invaluable resource to lawyers, legal professionals, the courts, law students, academics, librarians, legal non-profits, and all those who need access to information about criminal law for generations to come."

"The CanLII Criminal Law Ebook is written by a team of 67 writers who include leading litigators and experts in criminal law. This project would not have been possible if it were not their time, energy, and expertise."

"This first edition consists of 10 parts broken down into 88 chapters, each focusing on different areas of criminal law: Detention and Arrest, Search and Seizure, Statements, Information and Indictments, Bail, Disclosure, Trial Procedure, Defences, Sentencing, and Appeals. Each chapter contains references and links to relevant cases and content."

"This resource is a collaborative and continuous work in progress. We aim to keep it updated on a biennial basis."

The publication is the latest in a series of collective open access books by CanLII:


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:58 pm 0 comments