Monday, September 29, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of September 1-15, 2014 is now available on the Court website.

The web page explains: "The Supreme Court of Canada Library lends materials from all but the most recent New Library Titles list in accordance with its Interlibrary Loan Policy."

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:06 pm 0 comments links to this post

CBC Cross Country Checkup Radio Show on Future of Libraries

Yesterday afternoon, CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup devoted its weekly national phone-in program to the topic of What's the future of the library in the age of Google? People who missed it can listen to the archived podcast on the CBC website:
"We are coming to you from the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus. This is a new university campus that has no library but students are plugged-in to a wider information network. "

"Digital technology is rapidly changing the way we gather, store, and disseminate information ...and that includes the historical record of our culture and civilization. It is also changing the way we learn from it. Libraries have always had a central place in storing and sharing this precious legacy ...but libraries are changing. "

"It might mean your local library will no longer be local ...but still accessible far away with the click of a mouse. It might mean your local library becomes even more important as meeting place and a portal, offering access to much larger digital resources. "
The show was moderated by special guest host Peter Mansbridge, the chief correspondent of CBC News.

Expert guests on stage in front of a live audience were:
  • Ken Roberts, member of Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on The Status and Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives
  • Christine McWebb , Director of the international digital humanities project MARGOT and director of academic programs at the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus
The Cross Country Checkup website has links to studies, reports and news articles about the future of libraries, as well as e-mail and Twitter contributions from listeners of the program.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:23 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of New Federal Prostitution Bill

The Library of Parliament recently published a legislative summary of Bill C-36, introduced in response to the Supreme Court of Canada's Bedford ruling of December 2013 that struck down sections of the Criminal Code relating to prostitution.

The Court ruled that sections 210 (keeping a common bawdy-house), 212(1)(j) (living on the avails of prostitution) and 213(1)(c) (communicating for the purpose of engaging in prostitution) imposed dangerous working conditions on sex workers, thus violating section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person.

The Court suspended the declaration of invalidity for one year to give Parliament sufficient time to respond. Bill C-36 is the government's response.

It is possible to follow the progress of the bill on the LEGISinfo website. LEGISinfo also includes links to background material and to parliamentary debates and committee reports on the proposed legislation. The bill returned to the House of Commons for debate earlier this week.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:50 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Report on Cybercrime

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published an article on Police-reported cybercrime in Canada, 2012:
"The rapid growth in Internet use has allowed for the emergence of new criminal opportunities ... Criminal offences involving a computer or the Internet as either the target of a crime or as an instrument used to commit a crime are collectively known as cybercrime ... Frauds, identity theft, extortion, criminal harassment, certain sexual offences, and offences related to child pornography are among the criminal violations that can be committed over the Internet using a computer, tablet, or smart phone."

"Using data from the 2012 Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2.2), this Juristat article examines police-reported cybercrime in Canada ... Analysis is presented on the number of cybercrimes reported by police services covering 80% of the population of Canada, as well as the characteristics of incidents, victims, and persons accused of cyber-related violations. These findings are supplemented with self-reported data on cyber-bullying, based on results from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization."
Among the highlights: 
  • In 2012, 9,084 incidents of cybercrime were reported by select police services policing 80% of the population of Canada. This represented a rate of 33 cybercrime incidents per 100,000 population.
  • The most common type of cybercrime was fraud, accounting for more than half (54%) of all police-reported cybercrimes in 2012. Intimidation violations, composed of violations involving the threat of violence, accounted for 20% of police-reported cybercrimes in 2012, while 16% of cybercrimes involved a sexual cyber-related violation.
  • In 2012, an accused was identified by police in a relatively small proportion (6%) of cybercrimes against property, notably for incidents of fraud (5%) and identity theft (3%).
  • An accused was identified by police in connection with 31% of sexual cyber-related violations and 55% of cybercrimes related to intimidation violations. Compared to intimidation violations, sexual violations were more frequently cleared by the laying of a charge (25% versus 18%).
  • The majority (76%) of accused identified by police in 2012 were men. For cyber-related violations of a sexual nature, males accounted for 94% of accused.
  • Accused identified by police in connection with intimidation violations tended to young, with more than one-quarter (28%) under the age of 18, whereas those accused of cybercrimes of a sexual nature tended to be somewhat older, as the largest proportion (22%) of accused of sexual cybercrimes were aged 25 to 34.
  • In 2012, police identified 2,070 victims of violent incidents involving a cybercrime. Females accounted for the majority of victims of violent incidents associated with a cybercrime (69%), particularly when incidents involved a sexual violation (84%).
  • Overall, 42% of victims of police-reported cybercrime were under the age of 18. In 2012, almost all (96%) victims of sexual violations associated with a cybercrime were under 18 years of age, including 10% of victims under the age of 12.
  • Most victims (73%) of violent incidents associated with a cybercrime knew the accused. Victims of sexual violations involving a cybercrime were less likely to know the accused (57%) relative to victims of non-sexual violent violations (77%).
  • According to results from the 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization, approximately 1.75 million Canadians aged 15 and over reported that they had been cyber-bullied. This represented 8% of Internet users aged 15 and over. Less than one in ten (7%) victims of cyber-bullying reported the incident to police.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interview With Law Library of Congress Metadata Technician Everett Wiggins

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has been running an interview series featuring members of the library staff. The series started in late October 2010.

There are more than 140 posts in the series.

The most recent interview is with Everett Wiggins, Metadata Technician:
"How would you describe your job to other people?
Unless the law is freely available, we can’t be expected to know and obey it. I help put old laws online by providing the descriptive keywords to make them findable. It isn’t glamourous work, but it is important that we be able to read and understand our history and the laws that govern us."

"Why did you want to work at the Law Library of Congress?
Really? It’s the Library of Congress, our National library and one of the best libraries in the world. The Law Library collections have helped rebuild the law after disasters in other countries; they inform Congress; they provide resources and assistance for scholars from around the world. As a librarian, my goal is to connect people with the information they need. I can’t think of a better place to be for doing that."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:53 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

English Law Commission Recommendations on Social Investment by Charities

The Law Commission of England has published a series of recommendations on social investment by charities.

From the release:
"Charities occupy a special place in society and in law.  They exist for the benefit of the public and they must have exclusively charitable purposes.  To achieve those charitable purposes, charities have traditionally both spent their funds in support of their charitable objectives (for example, providing funds to build a hospital), and invested so as to generate further funds for future initiatives (for example, purchasing shares in listed companies to provide an income).  A charity making a social investment combines these objectives in one transaction, seeking to achieve both its charitable purposes and a financial benefit (...) "
"Some charity trustees, however, are not confident about making social investments because they are unsure whether their powers under the charity’s governing document or under the general law authorise such investments.  In addition, some charity trustees considering whether to make social investments may feel that they risk breaching their duties."

"We provisionally proposed the introduction of a new statutory power for charity trustees to make social investments to supplement their existing powers.  We proposed that the new statutory power should be accompanied by a non-exhaustive checklist of factors that charity trustees may take into account in deciding whether to make a social investment."

"We also considered whether charities with permanent endowment can use the endowment to make social investments. We concluded that permanent endowment can be used to make social investments which are expected at least to maintain their capital value."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, September 22, 2014

PACER Electronic Court Records Service Restores Deleted U.S. Files

PACER, an electronic database of U.S. federal court records, was in hot water recently for its decision to delete a decade's worth of older court docket documents as part of a system upgrade. PACER charges about 10 cents US per page from documents in the docket of a case. We subscribe to it at my place of work.

The court documents were from the US Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 7th, 11th, and Federal Circuits, as well as the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The explanation was that the documents from those courts were on older legacy court management systems that were not compatible with the newer PACER platform.

Good news. The Administrative Office  of the United States Courts, the arm of the American government that runs the federal courts, has now decided to restore the files. The process should be completed by the end of October.

Earlier Library Boy posts about PACER include:  
  • Where to Find U.S. Court Documents (September 25, 2009): "The WisBlawg (University of Wisconsin Law Library) has put together a list of services and databases to find that kind of material. It includes the big names such as Westlaw and Lexis as well as specialized services like PACER, FreeCourtDockets, RECAP and Justia Federal District Court Filings and Dockets."
  • PACER Database for US Court Documents Gets a Remake (May 18, 2010): "The PACER website (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) has a new look (...) Resourceshelf describes the changes."
  • User Survey Results for PACER's Electronic Court Records Service in the US (October 4, 2010): "The Judicial Conference of the United States has released the findings of a year-long survey of the users of PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) ... 80% of users surveyed indicating they are 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied' with the service. Over 95% of respondents who contacted the help desk during the study period indicated they are 'satisfied' or 'very satisfied" overall'."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:52 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Recently Released Research from Correctional Services Canada

The latest issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications refers to a number of research summaries released recently by Correctional Services Canada :
  • Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders Among Incoming Federal Offenders: Atlantic, Ontario, & Pacific Region: "Incoming male federal offenders have high rates of alcohol and substance use disorders and antisocial personality disorder (APD). In addition, over 35% of these offenders also meet the criteria for at least one other mental disorder, indicating high rates of co-morbidity. The degree of impairment implies that many offenders with mental disorders face serious challenges that will affect their ability to complete their correctional plans and reintegrate once released to the community. Many offenders may require interventions to address both their criminogenic risk factors and their mental health problems."
  • Unescorted Temporary Absences: "Overall, the past and present results on the use of temporary absences indicate they can produce reductions in recidivism without increased risk to Canadians. They serve as one step in the gradual reintegration of offenders into the community."
  • What factors are related to disengagement in offenders?: "The majority of offenders are engaged (i.e., they demonstrate responsibility and take accountability for their offences and rehabilitation). The current research found that disengaged offenders are more likely to be male, older at admission, have a gang affiliation, and have committed a violent offence. Incentive programs designed to increase offender responsibility and accountability should target these offenders as they could most benefit from such programs."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad. 

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:52 pm 0 comments links to this post

Saturday, September 20, 2014

August 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The August 2014 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

Most of the items are about the United States, but there is occasional coverage of other jurisdictions.

Items in this issue include:
  • Fifth report released on new media's impact on judiciary (US)
  • Article by Pennsylvania judge on "Avoiding Tweeting Troubles, Facebook Fiascos and Internet Imbroglios"
  • Texas judge shuts down live tweeting during deposition
The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:54 pm 0 comments links to this post

Recently Released Report on Federal Inmate Suicides

The latest issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications includes A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides(2011–2014) by the Office of the Correctional Investigator.

The Investigator acts as the ombudsman for inmates incarcerated in federal institutions.

From the Introduction:
"The conclusions reached in this report are supported by a review of the current literature on risk factors for prison suicide, the Office’s assessment of CSC’s suicide awareness and prevention strategy, as well as findings and recommendations from post-incident reviews and investigations. As a synthesis of the findings and lessons learned derived from these sources, this report aims to identify persistent gaps, risks and impediments to CSC’s current suicide prevention measures. The report points to a number of organizational weaknesses and calls for improvement in specific areas of CSC’s suicide awareness and prevention program:

1. Suicide risk screening and identification (pre-indicators).
2. Monitoring and management of suicidal behaviour.
3. Physical infrastructure vulnerabilities (e.g. access to the means and methods of prison suicide, including in-cell suspension points).
4. Quality of the internal post-incident investigative process.
5. Continuity of care concerns.
6. Communication and information sharing issues."
The Weekly Checklist includes a listing of titles made available by the Parliament of Canada, federal departments, and Statistics Canada to the Depository Services Program for distribution to a network of Depository Libraries in Canada and abroad.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:42 pm 0 comments links to this post