Thursday, September 28, 2023

CanLII Resources for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th marks Truth and Reconciliation Day, an occasion to reflect on the painful legacy of residential schools.

From the 19th century until very recently, in total, about 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities and forced to attend remote boarding schools run by Christian congregations under government contract. Countless children were abused physically or sexually.

The assumption behind the system was that Indigenous Canadian cultures were unable to adapt to modern industrial society. The schools were intended to aggressively assimilate the children and Christianize them. Children were frequently punished for speaking their ancestral tongues and their culture was denied.

In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its findings after its years-long investigation into the many abuses against Indigenous children at the schools.

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, has been adding Indigenous-related resources to its collection of freely available legal commentary.

To mark Truth and Reconciliation Day, it has listed a selection of materials readers may find useful.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Podcast Series Five Tech Law Cases Everyone Should Know

Law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP has created a podcast series called Five Tech Law Cases Everyone Should Know:

"Hosted by Connor Bildfell, Five Tech Law Cases Everyone Should Know takes a closer look at five groundbreaking court cases that have shaped Canadian tech law. From de-indexing websites, to internet defamation, to data breach class actions, these cases cover a wide range of tech law issues. Throughout the podcast, leading practitioners offer their insights and experience to help you understand how these cases have been applied on the ground level."

The cases are:

  • Google v. Equustek: do Canadian courts have the power to make injunctive orders with worldwide effects across the internet?
  • Jones v. Tsige: a case about the tort of intrusion upon seclusion in the digital era
  • SOCAN v. CAIP: can internet intermediaries be held liable for copyright infringement by users?
  • Crookes v. Newton: can sharing a hyperlink to defamatory third-party content triggers liability under Canadian defamation law?
  • Setoguchi v. Uber:  can a data breach, without any actual loss, trigger liability via a privacy class action?

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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Canadian Bar Association Magazine Article on Supreme Court Analytics

National, the magaize of the Canadian Bar Association, has published an article on Forecasting the Supreme Court’s work:

"Judicial analytics is what happens when modern information processing techniques like machine learning are applied to the work of courts, judges and lawyers. Companies offering judicial analytics services make some bold claims — that their products can help lawyers craft arguments with particular judges in mind, that they can track a judge’s 'ruling tendencies' or predict how long it will take for a case to conclude. One product offers to uncover the 'personal factors' that influence a particular judge’s decisions, including 'net worth, education, work experience [and] political affiliation'."

" 'Talking to lawyers, we don’t get the sense that it’s in widespread use in Canada,' said Amy Salyzyn, associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s faculty of law. 'We are seeing more interest in the technology, however, and more and more court data is getting digitized and the tech is getting better'."

"Are the makers of judicial analytics tools overselling what they can do? In a new paper, Salyzyn and her associate professor colleague, Jena McGill, argue that while the technology may hold some promise for analyzing trial-level trends, it can’t predict which way the Supreme Court of Canada will jump."

"Commercial judicial analytics tools track the work of individual judges. SCC [Supreme Court of Canada] judges always sit in a panel and their rulings are arrived at collectively, if not always through consensus."

Salyzyn and McGill do see some use for analytics in Canada, such as spotting patterns in the judicial authorities and secondary information sources cited in judgments. This could help lawyers draft better or more effective submissions.

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Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario Blog Post on Finding Orders in Council

Know How, the blog of the Great Library at the Law Society of Ontario, has a new post explaining the different ways of Finding Federal Orders in Council:

"Sourcing Orders in Council is rarely a straightforward task. Often researchers will experience frustrating hiccups in their search as they are faced with where to find unpublished Orders, as well as the inconsistent indexing standards of the past."

"This blog post will attempt to provide a checklist for where to look in the (sometimes) nebulous world of searching for Orders in Council."

"Generally, the Orders in Council1 that researchers encounter take the form of regulations which are systematically published in the Canada Gazette. However, Orders in Council address a wide range of administrative and legislative matters and are, for the most part, unpublished."

Take it from me: finding these documents is often hard work. The tips from the Great Library are very welcome. 

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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Government of Canada Brief Report on The Future of Generative AI

The Government of Canada Publications Weekly Acquisitions List can be a great way to discover new research reports published by various public bodies and agencies of the federal government.

In a recent edition of the list, there was a link to a report on The future of generative AI : what could we see five years following the launch of ChatGPT?:

"This first iteration of this foresight brief (May 2023) explores some potential shifts and disruptions that may arise due to generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in the next five years. As ChatGPT has taken the world’s attention, this foresight brief highlights eight key things to know about generative AI, and important implications in three key areas: critical infrastructure, labour and market conditions, and content production and processing. Generative AI could unleash scientific innovation, raise productivity, and change the way people find information. These technologies are also likely to create disruptions and challenges for multiple policy areas. By reflecting on what might happen in the future, Policy Horizons Canada aims to strengthen decision making within the Government of Canada"

The report was written by Policy Horizons Canada, an organization within the federal public service that conducts strategic foresight research.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Law Library of Congress Interview With Louis Gilbert, Legal Research Fellow

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted an interview with Louis Gilbert, Legal Research Fellow in the Library's Global Legal Research Directorate.

It is part of an ongoing series of interviews about the kinds of work staff do behind the scenes:

"How do you describe your job to other people?
I tell people that my job is to respond to legal research requests concerning French-speaking jurisdictions from Congress, the judiciary, federal agencies, and members of the public. I also help write reports on legal and legislative developments in the French-speaking jurisdictions I cover."

"Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
I first wanted to work for the Library of Congress after hearing alumni from my school praise the work environment. I also wanted to work in an environment that would allow me to switch between reading and writing in English and French throughout my work day. What really pushed me to apply was the idea that the work in the Global Legal Research Directorate involves not only researching multiple jurisdictions, but also switching between varied legal subject areas."

"Ultimately, it’s the friendliness of the people I have met working here that makes me want to stay."

 The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of almost 3 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

September/October 2023 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The September/October 2023 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 user feedback surveys, marketing plans, and library signage.

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Monday, September 18, 2023

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

The September 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. 

One interesting initiative is the formation of a new Artificial Intelligence Standards Working Group that will look at how AI may impact our profession.

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

New Podcast Series on Canadian Criminal Justice System

 University of British Columbia (UBC) law professor Benjamin Perrin has launched a new podcast series entitled Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial.

Th UBC Law School interviewed professor Perrin about the series:

"The search for a new approach to criminal justice is the driving force behind Indictment: The Podcast, launched today by Perrin. In each episode, he invites listeners to hear from guests who have first-hand experience with the criminal justice system – including victims of crime and people who have been incarcerated."

"The podcast is the prelude to Perrin’s forthcoming book, Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial, which takes a closer look at why tough-on-crime approaches have failed, and brings forward innovative ideas from around the world that Perrin says could help create a new and better criminal justice system. Indictment was chosen as one of Indigo’s 'most anticipated books' of fall 2023."

A list of all the episodes

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:06 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Update on Artificial Intelligence Applications in CanLII

In the most recent update about its activities and projects, CanLII summarizes some of its AI-related initiatives.

CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute,  is a portal funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies to make legal information content (court judgments, tribunal decisions, statutes and regulations, commentary) available to Canadians free of charge.

Among the new developments:

  • AI-generated subject classification of decisions on CanLII has been expanded from Saskatchewan and Ontario to all Canadian jurisdictions, except for Quebec
  • The CanLII Citation Network is a recently completed project utilizing artificial intelligence/machine learning and designed to refine  the search engine. CanLII explains that the algorithm is much better at returning highly authoritative documents for broad conceptual queries
  • CatLII is an AI-based program designed to generate summaries for cases on CanLII

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Monday, September 11, 2023

Canadian Bar Association Podcast Episode on What Generative AI Means for the Legal Profession

The most recent episode of Modern Law, a Canadian Bar Association podcast hosted by Yves Faguy, features a conversation with Jordan Furlong about what generative AI means for the profession.

Jordan Furlong is an analyst and forecaster for the legal sector, focused on the most important trends shaping the provision of legal services and the formation and regulation of lawyers.

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Sunday, September 10, 2023

OCLC Global Survey on the Library in the Future

The international library technology and research organization OCLC conducted a global survey recently to see how libraries were approaching planning for the future.

There were respondents from dozens of countries, the top five being the US, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Among the major findings:

  • Libraries will increasingly play the role of “space providers”
  • Demand for open access in academic libraries will intensify
  • Resource sharing through consortia will increase
  • Partnerships with non-profit and government agencies will increase for public libraries
  • Academic librarians expect increased partnerships with consortia and other libraries
  • Library workers may see more flexible working options and access to mental health care
  • Additional need for data analytics is expected

Just over half of respondents are from academic (or education) libraries. Nearly a third (30%) are from public libraries and 18% are from other library types, such as government and special libraries. 


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:35 pm 0 comments

New Issue of Student Information Science Journal Pathfinder

A new issue of Pathfinder, a student-run journal that promotes the work of students and early career information professionals, has been published.

The peer-reviewed publication is based at the University of Alberta.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:24 pm 0 comments

Thursday, September 07, 2023

British Columbia Newsletter About Unbundling Legal Services today published an article about the BC Family Justice Innovation Lab in British Columbia.

A major focus of the lab is the "unbundling" of legal services.

The concept describes a situation where a client hires a lawyer or paralegal to complete specific discrete tasks, the client handling the rest of the legal problem.

The client is charged only for those tasks agreed to in advance, unlike in the traditional full-representation model.

For example, a client opting for an out-of-court process like mediation would contract with a lawyer for legal advice before mediation or for the drafting of a binding agreement after mediation. 

Unbundling is proving to be popular and a more affordable avenue for many people.

The Lab also publishes a newsletter.


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Wednesday, September 06, 2023

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Around the World

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new report on the Regulation of Artificial Intelligence Around the World:

"This report, prepared by the research staff of the Law Library of Congress, provides a list of jurisdictions in the world where legislation that specifically refers to artificial  intelligence (AI) or systems utilizing AI have been adopted or proposed. Researchers of the Law Library surveyed all jurisdictions in their research portfolios to find such legislation,  and those encountered have been compiled in the annexed list with citations and brief  descriptions of the relevant legislation."

"Only adopted or proposed instruments that have legal effect are reported for national and subnational jurisdictions and the European Union (EU); guidance or policy documents that have no legal effect are not included for these jurisdictions. Major international  organizations have also been surveyed and documents adopted or proposed by these organizations that specifically refer to AI are reported in the list."

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.
Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:42 pm 0 comments