Saturday, December 28, 2013

See You in 2014!

Library Boy is taking some time off, unplugging, going Luddite, disconnecting.

See you in mid-January 2014.

Happy New Year, Bonne Année.




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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:50 am 0 comments links to this post

CBA 2013 Supreme Court Wrapup and 2014 Look Ahead Predictions

The Canadian Bar Association's National magazine has 2 videos where Henry Brown of Gowlings give his take on the landmark Supreme Court of Canada cases of 2013 and previews some of the important upcoming cases of 2014.

Readers may also want to take a look at the National's selection of its best articles of 2013.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:46 am 0 comments links to this post

December 2013 Issue of The National Voice (Canadian Library Association)

The December 2013 Issue of The National Voice, the advocacy newsletter of the Canadian Library Association (CLA), is available online.

It has news about:
  • Canada Post's special library postal rates
  • a University of Toronto MOOC on library advocacy
  • the CLA's positions on the Canadian government's announcement it wants to monitor Canadians' social media activities, open access, open government, telecommunications privacy and the 2014 federal budget

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:41 am 0 comments links to this post

Monday, December 23, 2013

New European Court of Human Rights Factsheets

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg has published a series of Factsheets that describe important jurisprudence of the institution on a number of subjects. The ECHR recently added new Factsheets on:
The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of Human Rights. The Council of Europe is one of the continent's oldest political organizations, founded in 1949. It has 47 member countries.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:58 pm 0 comments links to this post

December 2013 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The December 2013 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.

The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice December 2013 Access to Justice Newsletter

The non-profit Canadian Forum on Access to Justice (CFCJ) has been publishing a monthly newsletter about Access to Justice since early 2013.

This month's newsletter includes:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:49 pm 0 comments links to this post

Amendments to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has amended its rules of practice.

The Rules Amending the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada have been registered as SOR/2013-175 and were published in Part II of the Canada Gazette on October 23, 2013. They will come into force on January 1, 2014.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:17 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 19, 2013

UK Report on Web-Scale Resource Discovery Tools

The information research organization UKSG, in cooperation with Loughborough University and Birmingham City University, has published a study that assesses the Impact of library discovery technologies in academic libraries. These technologies are also called web-scale discovery tools.

These tools allow users to search all of a library's offerings (databases,catalogue, dissertations, institutional repositories, e-book subscriptions) through a single interface and via a preharvested central index.

Among the findings of the study:
  • Increased usage is not the primary motivation for moving to a discovery technology – libraries are more concerned with user experience and providing a single search interface linked to full text. Undergraduate students are seen as the primary users and beneficiaries of library discovery technologies. 
  • RDS (reseource discovery services) appears to influence content usage, most visibly for e-books. The impact varies by resource, and across libraries. 
  • Library perceptions of increased usage following RDS implementation are borne out by the usage data. E-book usage appears to have accelerated in the case study libraries following RDS implementation, while e-journal usage have increased just a little or decreased in some instances. 
  • Database searches can be affected by how the RDS interacts with the multiple databases on some provider platforms, artificially increasing the apparent number of searches recorded. Database results were inconclusive, although there is some indication that the number of searches of some publisher’s databases may have fallen following RDS implementation. 
  • Other factors affecting usage include the link resolver and the options selected when libraries implement the RDS, increase in the volume of subscriptions, growing appetite for electronic content, particularly e-books, promotion of electronic content by libraries and academics, e.g. via reading lists etc. 
  • High levels of library satisfaction with RDS were reported in the survey and in the case studies. Similarly, user feedback is generally very positive. 
  • Libraries are unable to see how well their resources match the RDS index, although they believe the match to be 50% or more. There are gaps in the coverage of some collections, particularly Law, owing to the fact that the main publishers and content providers in this discipline do not contribute metadata.
Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:
  • Electronic Resources and Libraries Conference - Web Scale Discovery (March 3, 2011): "...another big theme that emerged at the conference is what is called 'web scale discovery' or WSD (...) Basically, WSD tools claim to offer a unified search of all of a library's offerings through a single interface. Contrary to federated search, WSD tools are based on a pre-harvested centralized unified index of an institution's licensed and local collections. Services such as Serials Solutions Summon, WorldCat Local, Primo Central or EBSCO Discovery pre-index material from subscription databases, library holdings, dissertations, institutional repositories, e-book subscriptions, etc. to allow fast, simultaneous searching. We briefly looked into WSD at my place of work but decided not to pursue things further for a few reasons. In particular, not all vendors of legal research materials play along and will allow their content and metadata to be harvested into a unified index. And these tend to be relatively expensive products."
  • OCLC Report on Single Search: The Quest for the Holy Grail (August 23, 2011): "The prominence of multidisciplinary research, the increase in the use of primary materials, and the desire to make new connections across disparate materials all would be advanced by the offering of single search to open up all the collections to the researcher (...) OCLC Research facilitated the working group of nine single search implementers through discussions about the opportunities for, and obstacles to, integrated access across an institution. They told their stories, categorized a list of issues, and created and answered a questionnaire looking for similarities and differences in their approaches. This brief report summarizes those discussions and highlights emerging practices in providing access to LAM [libraries, archives and museums] collections, with a particular emphasis on successful strategies in the quest for single search."
  • AALL Spectrum Article on Discovery Tools in Law Libraries (November 30, 2011): "The most recent issue of the AALL Spectrum, a monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), has an article on Discovery Layers in Law Libraries - A progress report on how our institutions are implementing this new technology (...) The author ... ran into some of the same problems we did at my place of work when we looked into discovery tools: 'Most concerning are the restrictive and expensive licensing policies of the largest legal information publishers [i.e. Westlaw and Lexis - my note], whose materials are by and large unrepresented in discovery layer systems because of these restrictions. What is the benefit of marketing such a tool to our students and faculty if their most vital sources of information are nowhere to be found in the system?' "
  • Evaluation of Single Search Implementation at North Carolina State University (January 10, 2012): "Academic libraries are turning increasingly to unified search solutions to simplify search and discovery of library resources. Unfortunately, very little research has been published on library user search behavior in single search box environments. This study examines how users search a large public university library using a prominent, single search box on the library website. The article examines two semesters of real-world data, totaling nearly 1.4 million transactions. Findings include that unified library search is about more than the catalog and articles, though these predominate. Additionally, a small number of the most popular search queries accounts for a disproportionate amount of the overall queries."
  • Evaluating Web-Scale Discovery Services (April 30, 2012): "The April 2012 issue of Computers in Libraries features an article by Athena Hoeppner on The Ins and Outs of Evaluating Web-Scale Discovery Services. Hoeppner is the electronic resources librarian at the University of Central Florida: (...) Librarians around the world are trying to learn what these services are and how they work, evaluating the services on the market, selecting and implementing a service, and then teaching colleagues and patrons all about it. (...) Based on my investigations, this article explains WSD concepts and terminology, shares findings from my interviews with major WSD vendors, and provides a template checklist, which librarians can use during their own exploration of these systems (...)"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:49 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

British Columbia Law Institute Report on Contribution after Settlement under the Negligence Act

The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) has released a new Report on Contribution after Settlement under the Negligence Act.

According to the press release:
" 'When a person suffers damages or a monetary loss at the hands of more than one wrongdoer, often the quickest and simplest way to deal with the dispute is to settle with some of the wrongdoers,' explained BCLI chair Tino Di Bella. 'But the way the law is being applied in BC creates disincentives to these partial settlements, by depriving the settling wrongdoers of the finality traditionally found in a settlement agreement.'  "
"The report, entitled Report on Contribution after Settlement under the Negligence Act, recommends that the legislature amend the Negligence Act to clarify that statutory rights to contribution and indemnity among wrongdoers do not take precedence over settlement agreements."
"Noted Mr. Di Bella: 'Enacting these reforms will improve the civil-justice system for litigants, by giving them an exit from protracted, complex litigation, and British Columbians generally, by freeing up scarce and valuable judicial resources'. "
In addition to the report, the website includes consultation documents and backgrounders.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:54 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

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 December 1-15, 2013 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 4:45 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, December 16, 2013

CanLII's Top 10 Most Consulted Cases of 2013

Colin Lachance, President and CEO of the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), wrote a post last week on Slaw.ca about the top 10 most consulted cases on CanLII in 2013.

CanLII is funded by Canada’s provincial and territorial law societies to provide the public free access to primary legal information.

The database holds over 1.2 million judgments across 233 case collections, as well as tens of thousands of legislative documents from all Canadian provincial, territorial and federal jurisdictions.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:41 pm 0 comments links to this post

Friday, December 13, 2013

What Happens When We All Downsize at the Same Time?

From Sarah Sutherland's post at Slaw.ca yesterday called Where Will Old, Expensive, or Unexpected Legal Information Come From When Libraries All Downsize Together?:
"(...) decisions are being made regarding whether materials will be maintained as ongoing current subscriptions, discontinued but kept, or discarded, based on the holdings of other institutions. Private law libraries look to courthouse libraries, courthouse libraries look to university libraries, university libraries look to each other, and everyone looks to the Supreme Court of Canada Library. The problem is that it seems budgetary pressures are being felt at all levels of the chain, and these decisions are being made without consultation."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Text on Altmetrics

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries recently published a short text entitled Altmetrics in Context that describes an emerging way of measuring the impact of scholarly research.

Altmetrics incorporate multiple data sources, including the traditional article citation numbers, but go beyond that to also include bookmarks, shares, blog mentions, Facebook likes and tweets.




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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:15 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Interview With Law Library of Congress Director of Global Legal Collection

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 100 posts in the series.

This week's interview is with Janice Hyde, Director of the Global Legal Collection:
"How would you describe your job to other people?"
I have the privilege of managing an incredible group of individuals who are responsible for maintaining and making accessible the world’s largest legal collection. While digital items present some unique challenges, I prefer to view the law collection holistically and not draw distinctions based on format. I look forward to working with colleagues within the Law Library and across the institution to figure out how to integrate the analog and digital materials in our collection (...)"

"What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
Even though others have mentioned it, I still find it interesting that more than half of our collection is in languages other than English."
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 3:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wrapping Up 2013 for Law Firm Librarians

Kate Greene Stanhope, Manager Library & Information Services at McInnes Cooper, has written a post called Wrapping Up 2013 on the On Firmer Ground blog.

On Firmer Ground is a blog about law firm librarians and is a joint project of the Legal Division of the Special Libraries Association, the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries and the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians.

In her post, she explains how she reached out to colleagues in Canadian law firm libraries to share "their thoughts on what kept them busy this year and what 2014 might look like".

The big themes are:
  • Beyond legal research – The intersection of library and marketing: "More law libraries are collaborating with marketing, whether formally or informally, to lend expertise in the areas of Competitive and Business Intelligence."
  • KM for Library & Information Services: "Legal information professionals continue to drive Knowledge Management within firms, but KM practices have relevance in helping us manage our internal know-how, specifically the collective knowledge amassed in the provision of research and reference services. "
  • Prominent Roles in KM and Technology Projects
In concluding, Greene Stanhope writes:
"Looking ahead, the dynamic nature of the work we do as Legal Information Professionals will probably be reflected in the changing composition of our groups. At Lawson Lundell, an innovative, team approach is described in the advertisement for a new position, Manager of Information Resources. And, in 2014, my group will welcome the firm’s Conflict and Audit Coordinators as we become more involved in the life cycle of information within the firm, from new business intake to closed file management, and everything in between."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:08 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Survey of Visible Minority Librarians in Canada

Maha Kumaran (University of Saskatchewan) and Heather Cai (McGill University), founding members of the Visible Minority Librarians of Canada Network of the Canadian Library Association, are conducting a survey of visible minority librarians in Canada:
"Currently there is no data on the number of visible minority librarians working in Canadian libraries. The Visible Minority Librarians of Canada (ViMLoC) Network wants to gather statistics on the number of visible minority librarians working in or for Canadian Libraries. The results of this survey will serve as foundational data that will help ViMLoC identify the needs of visible minority librarians and propose projects or initiatives to empower them in their current positions or their future career development initiatives."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:45 pm 0 comments links to this post

AALL Announces Legal Research Competency Principles and Standards

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has launched an online portal to promote its Principles and Standards for Legal Research Competency within the legal profession.

There, readers can find the principles and standards, as well as implementation and best practice ideas.

The association advocates that law schools, law firms, continuing legal education providers, bar examiners, bar associations, and other legal related organizations use these standards for legal research education and training.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, December 09, 2013

English Law Commission Recommends Criminal Penalties for Jurors Conducting Prohibited Internet Research

The English Law Commission has published a report on Contempt of Court: Juror Misconduct and Internet Publications that deals with 3 main topics:
  • recommending a new criminal offence for jurors conducting prohibited research, that is research on aspects o a case beyond what is revealed in court proceedings;
  • recommending an exemption of contempt liability for publishers relating to archived online material and
  • recommending a limited exception to the prohibition on jurors revealing their deliberations, in order to reveal miscarriages of justice, or to participate in carefully controlled research.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:46 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Law Commission of Ontario Discussion Paper on Capacity of Adults with Mental Disabilities and the Registered Disability Savings Plan

Last week, the Law Commission of Ontario released a discussion paper on the Capacity of Adults with Mental Disabilities and the Federal RDSP. RDSP refers to the Registered Disability Savings Plan:
"Persons with disabilities tend to experience a lower standard of living than other Canadians due to factors such as barriers in the labour force and unmet needs for supports. The RDSP is a savings vehicle created by the federal government to assist persons with disabilities with long-term financial security. Financial institutions offer RDSPs to eligible members of the public. Beneficiaries and their family and friends can make private contributions to an RDSP. Beneficiaries can also receive government grants to match contributions and those with a low income may be eligible for government bonds."

"The RDSP has distinctive policy objectives that include poverty alleviation, encouraging self-sufficiency and promoting the active involvement of persons with disabilities in making decisions that affect them. Under the Income Tax Act (ITA), adults can establish an RDSP for themselves and decide the plan terms as the'plan holder' The ITA provides that where an adult is not 'contractually competent to enter into a disability savings plan' with a financial institution, another 'qualifying person' must act as a plan holder on his or her behalf."

"A financial institution may decline to enter into an RDSP arrangement with a beneficiary who does not meet the common law test of capacity to enter into a contract. An adult or another interested person, such as a family member, may also believe that an adult has diminished capacity and wish to appoint a qualifying person before approaching a financial institution."
"However, adults and their families have expressed concerns to the federal government with respect to provincial and territorial laws that govern how a qualifying person can be appointed. Many of these laws require that an adult be declared legally incapable and receive assistance from a guardian. This process can be expensive, time consuming and have significant repercussions for an adult’s well-being (...)"
"The purpose of this discussion paper is to synthesize the results of our preliminary research and consultations, and to identify several options for reform. Responses that we receive to this discussion paper will be considered for a Final Report with detailed recommendations."
"The discussion paper identifies nine options for reform. The options draw on our review of Ontario’s framework under the SDA [Substitute Decisions Act, 1992] as well as other laws in Canada and abroad. They incorporate elements of existing laws that could meet evaluative criteria – or benchmarks – that the LCO has developed. We propose that an effective alternative process for Ontario would meet the following benchmarks:
  1. Responds to Individual Needs for RDSP Decision-MakingPromotes Meaningful Inclusion in the Decision-Making Process
  2. Ensures that Necessary Protections for RDSP Beneficiaries are in Place
  3. Achieves Administrative Feasibility, Cost-Effectiveness and Ease of Use
  4. Provides Certainty to Legal Representatives and Third Parties"
The Commission is looking for feedback from members of the public, including persons with disabilities, service providers, policy-makers, lawyers and advocates until Friday, February 28, 2014. The Final Report is anticipated to be released in spring 2014.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:26 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Law Reform Commission of Ireland Report on Domestic Violence Law

The Law Reform Commission of Ireland has released its Report on Aspects of Domestic Violence Law:
"The Report examines two specific issues concerning the current law of domestic violence."

1. Bail law and domestic violence cases

"The first issue dealt with in the Report is whether current bail law as it applies to domestic violence cases should be retained or reformed. In particular, the question raised is whether, when a person is charged under the Domestic Violence Act 1996 with breaching a barring order or safety order, should it be made possible to refuse bail on the basis that the person might commit another offence while on bail. This is called refusing bail for preventative reasons. The Constitution allows bail to be refused on this ground if a person is charged with a 'serious offence' and where it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent the commission of another serious offence by that person while on bail. The Bail Act 1997 defines a 'serious offence' as an offence that must carry at least 5 years imprisonment on conviction and which is also specifically listed in the Bail Act 1997 itself. The offence of breach of a domestic violence order currently carries a maximum sentence of 12 months imprisonment. The Report discusses whether the law should be reformed to make it a serious offence."

"The Report recommends that the current law should be retained and that the offence of breach of a domestic violence order should not be changed into an offence that could carry 5 years imprisonment on conviction. Among the reasons listed in the Report for this conclusion is that such a change would not be in keeping with the general purpose of the Domestic Violence Act 1996, which is to ensure that victims of domestic violence can get access to effective protection through barring orders and safety orders. This could be put at risk if breach of an order was made a very serious criminal offence. The Commission’s Report also notes that the current law on bail allows a court to impose conditions that prohibit a person from making contact with the person who has applied for a barring order or safety order and that if the accused breaks any such condition their bail can be revoked. The Commission also recommends that there should continue to be a clear policy of prosecuting not only breaches of barring orders and safety orders but also that if this is accompanied by an underlying serious offence, such as assault causing harm or harassment, this should be prosecuted also."

2. Harassment law and domestic violence

"The second issue discussed in the Report is whether the offence of harassment in the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997 addresses sufficiently the problem of stalking in domestic violence cases. The Report notes that most prosecutions for harassment involve domestic cases, and usually involves stalking by former spouses and partners. The current law requires that the harassment must involve “following, watching, pestering, besetting or communicating” and must be done “persistently.” The Commission’s Report points out that the requirement of “persistence” means that a person can be convicted of harassment where stalking involves a single long episode of continuous following or pestering. By contrast, under English law the harassment or stalking must involve at least two separate types of conduct. The Report concludes that the current requirements in the 1997 Act impose appropriate legal thresholds and standards that should be met in order to convict a person of stalking. The Report also notes that some emerging types of unacceptable behaviour, such as the use of social media to post fake or misleading information, may not come within the current law on harassment. The Commission concludes that this and other forms of cyber-bullying should be examined as part of the project on that topic in its new Fourth Programme of Law Reform, which was launched last week by the Attorney General."
[from the press release]
The report examines the situation in a number of other jurisdictions, including England and Wales, Canada and Australia,

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:53 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

November 2013 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The November 2013 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.

The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:51 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

2013 Federal Annual Report on Reviews of Possible Miscarriages of Justice

In the most recent Weekly Checklist of federal government publications, the latest annual report by Justice Canada on applications for ministerial review in cases of possible miscarriages of justice is listed:
"Since 1892, the Minister of Justice has had the power, in one form or another, to review a criminal conviction under federal law to determine whether there may have been a miscarriage of justice. The current regime is set out in section 696.1 – 696.6 of the Criminal Code."  
"The conviction review process begins when a person submits an 'application for ministerial review (miscarriages of justice),' also known as a conviction review application. "
"The application for ministerial review must be supported by new matters of significance — usually important new information or evidence that was not previously considered by the courts. If the Minister is satisfied that those matters provide a reasonable basis to conclude that a miscarriage of justice likely occurred, the Minister may grant the convicted person a remedy and return the case to the courts — either referring the case to a court of appeal to be heard as a new appeal or directing that a new trial be held. The Minister may also refer a question to the court of appeal in the appropriate province (...) " 
"Under section 696.5 of the Criminal Code, the Minister of Justice is required to submit an annual report to Parliament regarding applications for ministerial review (miscarriages of justice) within six months of the end of the fiscal year. This is the 11th annual report, and it covers the period from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013. Under the Regulations Respecting Applications for Ministerial Review — Miscarriages of Justice (the Regulations), the report must address the following matters:  
  • the number of applications for ministerial review made to the Minister;  the number of applications that have been abandoned or that are incomplete; the number of applications that are at the preliminary assessment stage; the number of applications that are at the investigation stage; the number of decisions that the Minister has made; and any other information that the Minister considers appropriate."
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 12:54 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, December 02, 2013

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 November 16-30, 2013 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 12:32 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Nominations Open for 2013 Canadian Law Blog Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 Canadian Law Blog Awards known as the Clawbies.

The Clawbies recognize "the most interesting, timely and helpful law or legal-industry-related blogs".

The deadline for nominations is Friday, December 27, and the winners of the 2013 Clawbies will be announced on New Year’s Eve.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:34 pm 0 comments links to this post