Thursday, February 11, 2016

Canadian Law Library Review 41.1 Now Available

Canadian Law Library Review issue 41.1 is now available online.

It is the journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

It is on the ISSUU platform that lets readers flip through the digital journal and zoom in to read. It is also possible to download the ISSUU app for Android or Apple.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for February 2016

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for November 2015.

To find out more about any particular case, the Court's website has a section that allows users to find docket information, case summaries as well as factums from the parties. All you need to do is click on a case name.

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Monday, February 08, 2016

BC Law Institute Starts Project on Cost Effective Ways of Hiring Lawyers

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has started a Financing Litigation Legal Research Project to examine "a myriad of new, upcoming, and unconventional ways to hire lawyers for cost-effective representation, rather than relying on the traditional means of finance which remain out of reach for many people."

The project will look at options such as:
  • third-party litigation financing – where the plaintiff hires a third-party to litigate a case for them, and the third-party is paid a portion of any settlement or award obtained
  • publicly-funded litigation funds, particularly for cases in the public interest like class action liability cases, or human rights cases;
  • crowdfunded litigation financing
  • legal insurance, which would indemnify plaintiffs and defendants against legal costs in return for paying monthly or annual premiums;
  • unbundled legal services, which would allow individuals to hire lawyers for discrete contracts on specific parts of their case (such as drafting pleadings, assisting with mediation, or court representation)
The Institute hopes to publish a final study paper in early 2017.

A longer backgrounder is available on the BCLI website.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Interview With Law Library of Congress Rare Book Cataloguer Anna Bryan

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.

The most recent interview is with Anna Bryan, Rare Book Cataloguer:
How would you describe your job to other people?
In my experience, people don’t understand what cataloging is, so I usually simply say that I get to work with the most amazing books in the world. It is such a privilege. Over here it says 'Cataloging is the process of adding an item to a catalog, a process typically including bibliographic description, subject analysis, and classification.' To that I would add that rare materials cataloging has the additional elements of identifying and authenticating those items.

What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
I’m always amazed by the treasures we find, both in the Law Library and in non-law collections. Recently we were able to establish that a manuscript of Virginia General Court reports was Thomas Jefferson’s copy ...  (And people say cataloging is boring …)
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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Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Information Management Results in the Canadian Government's 2014-15 Departmental Performance Reports

The website Librarianship.ca has compiled a list of information management-related results contained in the Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs) for 93 government departments and agencies. This includes the Supreme Court of Canada.

These annual Reports are part of the federal Estimates Process that includes government expenditure plans, the main and supplementary budget estimates, and Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs).

Every year, federal departments and agencies publish RPPs outlining their strategic goals. At the end of the fiscal year, Departmental Performance Reports look back on actual accomplishments and expenditures, to assess how well the agencies performed as measured against the objectives that were set out in the RPPs.

Here are the IM-related parts of the Supreme Court's DPR:
  • Business Transformation
    • The mapping of current case management processes and processes relating to judgments was concluded, and a comprehensive document detailing the requirements of a new integrated case management system was developed. Phase 1 of the migration of the Case Management System to a new operating system began, starting with Records Centre operations. An automated process for the management of cases from the time initiating documents are received at the Court to the case being accepted for filing was developed, and allows for a reduced need for duplicate data entry. A proof of concept of a records management system, i.e. GCDOCS, showed that it could be integrated with the Court’s document management system. Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada now allow the electronic processing of motions, the Court’s first fully electronic case process. The updated Policy for Access to Supreme Court of Canada Court Records came into force in March 2015, and allows for a more efficient service to frequent requesters. A trial of secure digital transmission technology was conducted and used to evaluate the use of the technology in a judicial environment and to identify future requirements for the authentication of users and / or documents for electronic filing.
Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome
  • Program 1.1:  Court Operations

    • The Supreme Court has a consistent record of meeting its objectives in processing cases without delay, providing effective access to Court services and programs, including reference information, and providing reliable courtroom services.  At the same time, the Office of the Registrar has maintained stakeholder satisfaction and high standards of service quality.
    • Over the last three fiscal years, the Court has focused on its Business Transformation Initiative to address issues associated with aging mission critical systems while moving the Court towards increased electronic access and processing of cases, more effective and efficient work processes, as well as the protection and preservation of historical and archival information in electronic format. Electronic recordkeeping, through the implementation of an enterprise information management strategy, will continue to be considered as a core foundation of business transformation.  Business process mapping will look at current work processes and will identify workflows which may be streamlined or made more efficient through the introduction of new technologies.
  • Internal Services
    • The Library and Information Management Branch supports the information management needs of the organization.  Accomplishments for 2014-15 included progress in the following key priorities:
      • As part of an ongoing assessment of the Enterprise Information System Proof of Concept/prototype in support of business transformation, there were service enhancements to the case-related document management system as the Court moved to electronic transcripts. This has the added impact of saving photocopying and distribution costs.
      • Significant progress has been made on implementing GCDOCS across the organization to manage documents and records of business value. Issues related to the configuration of the software have been resolved and the system is scheduled for roll-out in the Records Centre in Q1 of 2015-16. This will support the organizational requirement for managing the full life-cycle of both physical and electronic records.
      • Ensuring that the Office of the Registrar is able to meet its obligations under the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Directive on Recordkeeping continues as a key objective. In 2014-15, a formal Disposition Plan was approved by the Executive Committee, laying the groundwork to streamline disposition processes for electronic documents and records. Much work was done to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding with Library and Archives Canada for the long-term storage and care of the SCC’s records of enduring value. A revised Access to Court Records Policy was approved in March 2015. A digitization project to back-date the Supreme Court Reports to 1876 has been completed.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Librarianship.ca National Salary Survey 2016

Librarianship.ca has launched a 2016 National Salary Survey of Library and Information Management Professionals:
"The higher the response rate, the better the final product will be in accurately portraying the benefits and remuneration of the members of the Canadian library and information management community."

"The results of the Survey will be available in May 2016."
The organization is asking respondents to answer by March 6, 2016

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February 2016 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The February 2016 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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Monday, February 01, 2016

Legal Services Clinic Offering Free Consultations in Montreal Subway

Every Monday during the month of February, the Juripop legal clinic will be setting up shop in the Berri-UQAM metro station in Montreal for free legal consultations (article from Montreal daily La Presse).

Some 20 lawyers will volunteer each week from noon to 6PM. Citizens will be able to receive 15 minutes of free legal advice.

It is all part of Montreal's Mois de la justice (Justice Month) organized in collaboration with the provincial order of notaries and other local institutions.

Juripop's president Marc-Antoine Cloutier is quoted in the La Presse article as saying that he hopes to encourage lawyers and notaries to give two hours a week to local organizations to help improve access to legal information.

A complete list of activities for the Mois de la justice is available on the Juripop website.

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Law Commission of England Consultation on Misconduct in Public Office

Earlier this month, the Law Commission of England and Wales launched a consultation on Misconduct in Public Office [all the documents at the bottom of the page]:
"Misconduct in public office is a common law offence: it is not defined in any statute. It carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. The offence requires that: a public officer acting as such; wilfully neglects to perform his duty and/or wilfully misconducts himself; to such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder; without reasonable excuse or justification. "
"Historically the offence held public officers to account for their misconduct, where there were no other adequate ways of doing so. Nowadays such misconduct will usually amount to another, narrower and better defined, criminal offence."
"The offence is widely considered to be ill-defined and has been subject to recent criticism by the government, the Court of Appeal, the press and legal academics."
(...)
"We have identified a number of problems with the offence:
  1. 'Public office' lacks clear definition yet is a critical element of the offence. This ambiguity generates significant difficulties in interpreting and applying the offence.
  2. The types of duty that may qualify someone to be a public office holder are ill-defined. Whether it is essential to prove a breach of those particular duties is also unclear from the case law.
  3. An 'abuse of the public’s trust' is crucial in acting as a threshold element of the offence, but is so vague that it is difficult for investigators, prosecutors and juries to apply.
  4. The fault element that must be proved for the offence differs depending on the circumstances. That is an unusual and unprincipled position.
  5. Although 'without reasonable excuse or justification' appears as an element of the offence, it is unclear whether it operates as a free standing defence or as a definitional element of the offence."
Appendix F of the consultation document contains international comparisons that outline the situation in Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Scotland and a number of Caribbean countries.

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Irish Law Reform Commission Issues Paper on Regulatory Enforcement and Corporate Offences

Earlier this week, the Irish Law Reform Commission released an Issues Paper on Regulatory Enforcement and Corporate Offences:
"It addresses a wide range of questions concerning two related matters. The first is whether the supervisory and enforcement powers of the State’s main financial and economic regulators are adequate or need to be supplemented by, for example, civil financial sanctions and more effective co-ordination between regulators. The second is whether there are gaps in the criminal law that do not deal sufficiently with serious wrongdoing by corporate bodies, in particular regarding current fraud legislation and the general rules for attributing criminal liability to corporate bodies."

"The broad context for this Issues Paper can be traced to the financial and economic collapse that emerged in 2008. A number of studies discussed below have identified failings in regulatory supervision and enforcement in the years preceding the collapse. The close relationship between regulatory law and criminal law also brings into focus the effectiveness of existing criminal offences and the ways in which they might affect how companies behave and are regulated. Significant reforms to both the regulatory framework and criminal law have been enacted since 2008 but important areas remain to be addressed. This Issues Paper identifies a number of these on which the Commission now seeks views. Many of these can be linked to the financial and economic collapse of 2008, but a number potentially have a wider application beyond financial regulation, including those concerning fraud offences and the attribution of criminal liability to corporate bodies. To that extent, this Issues Paper addresses future risks as well as risks already identified as arising from the financial collapse of recent year."
The report examines how other jurisdictions like the UK, Australia and the US handle issues such as the enforcement powers of financial and economic regulators, the use of negotiated compliance agreements to avoid prosecution, cooperation between regulators, corporate fraud, "reckless trading", etc.

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Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for January 15-31, 2016 is now available on the Court website.

It includes a book on what the scifi series Star Trek can teach people about the law.

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

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Canadian Library Association Votes to Dissolve and Make Way for New Library Federation

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of January 6, 2016 entitled Canadian Library Association Special Meeting in January to Vote on New Library Federation.

Yesteerday, the membership of the Canadian Library Association (CLA) voted on a proposal to dissolve the CLA and replace it with a federation consisting of library associations from across the country. The CLA proposal was released last December.

The membership voted in favour of the proposal:
"The dissolution of CLA follows an extensive process during which CLA worked with a large number of library associations across Canada to develop a proposal to advance the interests of libraries. The proposed Canadian Federation of Library Associations [link] unifies the diverse library communities across Canada. CLA’s membership took this decision with a view to the future. Changing times and a proliferation of other library associations has seen a decline in CLA membership resulting in challenges in sustaining an effective organization. It was clearly time to reconsider the viability of the organization. The Executive Committee unanimously supported the motion to dissolve CLA in order to enable the creation of a new national federation. Over the next few months CLA will undertake the normal requirements to wind down an organization and pave the way for the Federation."

"While the demise of CLA is regrettable, the rise of the Federation as a new and more effective voice for Canada’s libraries is a reason to celebrate."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:27 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Library of Parliament's HillNotes Back for 42nd Parliament

The Library of Parliament's HillNotes blog is back for the Canada's 42nd Parliament
"Readers can expect analyses and concise articles on topics ranging from Canada’s supply management regimes to trade negotiations, health care, changing demographic landscape, our role in international affairs and our evolving telecommunications industry, to name but a few." (...)
"HillNotes builds upon the Library of Parliament’s tradition of high-quality and non-partisan research and information services to parliamentarians and committees of the Senate and House of Commons. These posts will continue to match the same high standards of the many other informational resources offered by the Library."
Other useful Library of Parliament publications include:
  • LEGISinfo for tracking bills in the House of Commons and the Senate
  • the Current Publications series that provides in-depth studies of policy issues
  • Legislative Summaries explain the purpose and history of bills, analyze their key clauses, and, where available, include media reaction and comments from interest groups.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:24 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Series in Montreal Daily La Presse on Quebec's New Code of Civil Procedure

The Montreal French-language daily La Presse today published a series of articles on Quebec's new Code of Civil Procedure that came into force on January 1, 2016.
Earlier Library Boy posts about the new Code of Civil Procedure:
  • Quebec's New Code of Civil Procedure in Force Since January 1st (January, 12 ,2016): "Quebec's new Code of Civil Procedure came into force at the beginning of the year. The Quebec Ministry of Justice website has posted material explaining the main highlights of the changes (...)"
  • Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds New Annotated Code of Civil Procedure (January 21, 2016): "CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has recently added an annotated version of the province's new Code of Civil Procedure (...). It includes the text of the Code, a list of changes in legal terminology, a concordance between the new and old Codes, background commentaries for each section from the provincial Ministry of Justice, links to related regulations, links to related research questions answered by the CAIJ libraries, as well as links to debates in the Québec National Assembly and positions adopted by the Québec Bar Association."

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship Deadline February 1st

The deadline for the Diana M. Priestly Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is coming up soon: February 1, 2016:
"Established in honour of the late Diana M. Priestly, a distinguished Canadian law librarian, and in recognition of her distinctive contribution to Law Librarianship, the Scholarship is intended to support professional development in the field and is awarded to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant: 
  • who has previous law library experience and will be enrolled in an accredited Canadian Library School during the next academic term/year; or
  • who has a degree from or is currently enrolled in an accredited Canadian Library School and will be enrolled in an approved Canadian Law School during the next academic term/year; or
  • who has a degree from or is currently enrolled in an approved Canadian Law School and will be enrolled in an accredited Canadian Library School during the next academic term/year; or
  • who will be concurrently enrolled in an approved Canadian Law School and an accredited Canadian Library School during the next academic term/year. "

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:22 pm 0 comments links to this post

CALL Survey on New Federation of Library Associations

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of January 6, 2016 entitled Canadian Library Association Special Meeting in January to Vote on New Library Federation.

This Wednesday, January 27, 2016, the membership of the Canadian Library Association (CLA) will be voting on a proposal to dissolve the CLA and replace it with a federation consisting of library associations from across the country. The CLA proposal was released last December.

The Board of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has created an informal survey to initiate discussion with its members about its possible involvement with a new federation.

CALL has been invited as a Stakeholder Representative to CLA's Special Meeting on the 27th.

The CALL survey will close at 12 midnight ET on Friday, January 29, 2016. Results will be shared with CALL members after they are compiled.

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Statistics Canada Report on Family Violence

Statistics Canada released a report this week called Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile, 2014:
"Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile is an annual report produced by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics under the Federal Family Violence Initiative. Since 1998, this annual report has provided the most current data on the nature and extent of family violence in Canada, as well as trends over time, and has been used to monitor changes that inform policy makers and the public (...)"

"This year’s report also features an in-depth analysis of self-reported incidents of spousal violence, using data from the 2014 General Social Survey on victimization. This featured section examines the nature and prevalence of self-reported spousal violence in Canada. The analysis examines rates of spousal violence from 2004 to 2014, and because the information provided in this section is collected from individuals (self-reported), it includes incidents that were reported to police as well as those that were not. The featured section also provides analysis of the socio-demographic risk factors linked to spousal violence, the impacts and consequences for victims and the police reporting behaviour of victims."
Among the highlights:
  • In 2014, 4% of Canadians in the provinces with a current or former spouse or common-law partner reported having been physically or sexually abused by their spouse during the preceding 5 years, according to the General Social Survey (GSS) on victimization. This represents a drop from a decade earlier, when 7% of respondents reported experiencing spousal violence.
  • In 2014, equal proportions of men and women reported being victims of spousal violence during the preceding 5 years (4%, respectively). This translated into about 342,000 women and 418,000 men across the provinces. Similar declines in spousal violence were recorded for both sexes since 2004.
  • According to the 2014 GSS, the most commonly-reported type of spousal violence experienced was being pushed, grabbed, shoved or slapped (35%). A quarter of victims (25%) reported having been sexually assaulted, beaten, choked, or threatened with a gun or a knife. A similar proportion (24%) reported having been kicked, bit, hit, or hit with something. As in previous years, women reported the most severe types of spousal violence more often than men.
  • Among victims of spousal sexual assault, over half (59%) reported non-consensual sexual activity that came as a result of being manipulated, drugged, or otherwise coerced, sometimes in combination with sexual assault through physical force.
  • Just under one-third (31%) of spousal violence victims in the provinces reported sustaining physical injuries as a result of the violence. Women were proportionally more likely than men to have reported physical injuries, with 4 out of 10 (40%) female victims reporting injuries compared to just under a quarter (24%) of male victims.
  • Results from the 2014 GSS indicate that psychological effects consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are fairly common among spousal violence victims, with about 16% of victims reporting three or more of the long term effects associated with PTSD. Female victims were more likely (22%) to report these effects than male victims (9%).
  • For the majority of spousal violence victims, the police were never made aware of the abuse (70%). Male victims were more likely to state that the spousal violence had not been brought to the attention of police (76%) than female victims (64%). When police had been made aware of spousal violence, most victims reported that they were satisfied with police response (65%).
  • Findings from the 2014 GSS indicate there may be a relationship between abuse during childhood and spousal violence later in life. More individuals who reported experiencing spousal violence reported having been physically and/or sexually abused as children (48%), compared to those who did not report spousal violence (32%).
  • A history of family violence in the childhood home was notable among those who reported being the victim of spousal violence as adults. Over one in five (21%) spousal violence victims reported having witnessed abuse committed by a parent, step-parent or guardian as a child. This proportion is significantly higher than the 11% of respondents in spousal relationships free of violence who had witnessed violence as children.
  • Data from the 2014 GSS show that individuals self-identifying as Aboriginal were more than twice as likely as non-Aboriginal people to report experiencing spousal violence in the previous five years (9% versus 4%, respectively). In particular, Aboriginal females were more likely to be victimized by current or former partners, as compared to non-Aboriginal women. Rates of self-reported spousal victimization among the Aboriginal population have not changed in a significant way from 2009 (10%) to 2014 (9%).
  • Aboriginal people more often reported having experienced abuse as children, a factor shown to be associated with spousal victimization later in life. People identifying as Aboriginal were also more likely than non-Aboriginals to report having witnessed violence committed by a parent, step-parent or guardian as a child.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:03 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds New Annotated Code of Civil Procedure

This is a follow-up to the January 12, 2016 Library Boy post entitled Quebec's New Code of Civil Procedure in Force Since January 1st.

CAIJ, the Centre d'accès à l'information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association),  has recently added an annotated version of the province's new Code of Civil Procedure (in the left column of the page "Code de procédure civile (nouveau)").

It includes the text of the Code, a list of changes in legal terminology, a concordance between the new and old Codes, background commentaries for each section from the provincial Ministry of Justice, links to related regulations, links to related research questions answered by the CAIJ libraries, as well as links to debates in the Québec National Assembly and positions adopted by the Québec Bar Association.

CAIJ won the 2012 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing for its JuriBistro UNIK global search engine. It simultaneously searches Québec Bar association continuing education materials, the CAIJ catalogue, the full text of Québec and federal caselaw and legislation, the full text of secondary literature from publisher Wilson & Lafleur, the contents of legal journal indexes and the TOPO knowledgebase of answers to research questions from member lawyers.

The Award is given out every year by the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.


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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

HeinOnline Oral History of Law Librarianship

U.S. vendor HeinOnline has created a series of online interviews entitled An Oral History of Law Librarianship.

The interviews are part of the HeinOnline library Spinelli’s Law Library Reference Shelf and are viewable on the HeinOnline YouTube channel. There are close to 100 interviews available.

The videos contain interviews of active and retired law librarians and others related to the profession. This series showcases individuals in the profession as they discuss and reflect on their experiences.

The Hein blog regularly features interviews from the series. The most recent blog item about the series presents Mary Kathleen Price, Professor of Law Emerita and retired Associate Dean, Library and Technology from the University of Florida in Gainsville, FL.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 9:20 pm 0 comments links to this post