Thursday, February 27, 2014

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of the Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act

The Library of Parliament recently published a legislative summary of of Bill C-11 known as the Priority Hiring for Injured Veterans Act:
"Under the PSEA [Public Service Employment Act] and the Public Service Employment Regulations (PSER), certain categories of individuals who meet specific criteria are given priority to appointments in the federal public service over all other persons. Provided that the eligible candidates meet the essential qualifications of the position and that preference is given to Canadian citizens, the priority levels set out in the PSEA follow this order:
  1. An employee who is surplus within his or her organization - who has been informed that he or she will be laid off but has not yet been laid off - because the employee’s services are no longer required by reason of lack of work, the discontinuance of a function or the transfer of work or a function outside of the public service...
  2. Both an employee on leave of absence whose position was staffed for an indeterminate period and a person who replaced an employee on leave of absence, if that replacement was appointed for an indeterminate period, a priority over all others for up to one year following the return of the employee who had been on leave of absence...
  3. A person already laid off because his or her services are no longer necessary for the reasons listed in point 1 ...
  4. The following persons or classes of persons designated by the PSER pursuant to section 22(2)(a) of the PSEA, who are given fourth level priority over all others, in no particular order:
    • before a layoff becomes effective, a surplus employee from another federal organization whose services are no longer required but before any layoff becomes effective ...;
    • an employee who becomes disabled and is no longer able to carry out the duties of his or her position ...;
    • a member of the CF [Canadian military] or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) who is released or discharged for medical reasons ...;
    • the surviving spouse or common-law partner of an employee or of a member of the CF or the RCMP whose death is attributable to the performance of duties ...;
    • an employee on a leave of absence as a result of the relocation of his or her spouse or common-law partner ... ; and
    • a priority employee who was appointed or deployed to a lower level position in the public service..."
"Currently, priority consideration given to members of the CF released for medical reasons - attributable to service or not - has the same standing as other fourth-level priority categories provided by the PSEA."

"Bill C-11 adds a priority right that will take precedence over all others. This right will be given to members of the CF released for medical reasons, provided that these reasons are attributable to their military service. In other words, this creates a distinction between members of the CF released for medical reasons that are attributable to service and those released for medical reasons that are not attributable to service. This second group will continue to receive priority under the PSER (now for a longer period), while the priority for those released for medical reasons that are attributable to service will take precedence over any other group designated in the PSEA or the PSER."

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Statistics Canada Article on Shelters for Abused Women

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published an article on Shelters for abused women in Canada, 2012.

The information in the article is based on the 2012 Transition Home Survey developed under the federal government's Family Violence Initiative in consultation with provincial and territorial governments and transition home associations.

Among the highlights:
  • in 2012, there were 601 shelters for abused women operating across Canada. 
  • most women and children residing in shelters were staying at transition homes (34%), second stage housing (25%), emergency shelters (22%) and women's emergency shelters (13%). The remaining 5% were staying at other types of facilities, such as safe home networks and interim housing.
  • about one-third (33%) of the women had stayed at that shelter before. The highest rate of re-admissions was reported by emergency shelter facilities, where almost half (49%) of snapshot date residents had stayed at the shelter previously.
  • women reported various reasons for seeking admission. On average, each woman reported five distinct reasons for seeking shelter, with the majority of women citing emotional abuse (68%) and physical abuse (52%).
  • Of the women reporting abuse as their primary reason for seeking shelter, 68% identified a current intimate partner as their abuser, with a further 17% reporting that their abuser was a former intimate partner.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of the Red Tape Reduction Act

The Library of Parliament recently published a Legislative Summary of Bill C-21 known as the Red Tape Reduction Act:
"The bill introduces a new statute that establishes rules for federal departments and agencies with respect to the amendment or the introduction of regulations so as to control the administrative cost to businesses of complying with regulations. The time and resources spent by a business to show compliance with regulatory requirements are known collectively as 'administrative burden'."

"The bill enshrines in legislation a Treasury Board rule that has been in force since 1 April 2012. Canada would be the first country to legislate such a rule."

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Recently Released Reports from Justice Canada

The most recent issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications refers to a number of reports recently made available by Justice Canada. They deal with family violence, Canada's assistance in international criminal investigations, and drug use.
  • Making the Links in Family Violence Cases: Collaboration among the Family, Child Protection and Criminal Justice Systems (2013): "This report is intended for justice system professionals and those working within the criminal justice, family justice and child protection systems. This includes federal-provincial-territorial officials, Crown prosecutors, family and criminal lawyers in the private sector, children’s law yers, members of the judiciary, court officials, child protection workers, child custody assessors, mediators, parenting coordinators, law enforcement officials, corrections officials, victim service workers and front-line service providers. The annexes to this report (Volume II) also contain a wealth of information about legal, policy, and service frameworks across Canada that have been developed to address family violence. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to these challenges given that each jurisdiction is unique and not all of the promising practices will be applicable in some remote, rural or Aboriginal communities. It is important to note that this report does not provide a thorough assessment of the specific needs and issues of Aboriginal Canadians experiencing family violence and having contact with the different sectors of the justice system. Although this report does not make specific recommendations and the promising practices do not necessarily address all the identified gaps, it is hoped that the findings will serve as a basis for future efforts to enhance collaboration on this important issue. "
  • Requesting Mutual Legal Assistance from Canada: A Step-by-Step Guide (2013): "A foreign state may request assistance from Canada in the gathering of evidence or the enforcement of some criminal orders (seizure orders, confiscation orders, fines) through three separate routes: (i) treaty and convention requests, (ii) letters rogatory (court issued non-treaty letter of request) and (iii) non-treaty requests. In rare circumstances, Canada may enter into an administrative arrangement with a non-treaty country to give effect to an individual request for assistance, for a time-limited period. The widest assistance can be provided for treaty or convention requests. More limited assistance is available for letters rogatory and non-treaty requests. "
  • An overview of non-medical use of prescription drugs and criminal justice issues in Canada (2009, 2013): "In Canada, the non-medical use of prescription drugs, specifically prescription opioids (POs) and benzodiazepines (BDs), have gathered attention in recent years. Although nation-wide epidemiological data are currently sparse, provincial data and data from the US indicate an area of growing concern. The following report explores the trends of non-medical use of prescription opioids (NMUPOs) and benzodiazepines (NMUBDs), the health and societal implications of non-medical use and some of the criminal justice policy is sues in Canada."
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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February 2014 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sector.

The February 2014 issue has just been published.

It includes:
  • news items from Canada and around the world 
  • announcements of upcoming Canadian and international events (meetings, workshops, seminars) 
  • project and product news in areas such as digitization, archives, open source, e-government, access to information and Web 2.0 
  • selected papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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Monday, February 24, 2014

7th Annual Library Automation Perceptions Survey

Library Technology Guides recently released the results of its seventh annual Library Automation Perceptions Report:
"This seventh annual Library Automation Perceptions Report provides evaluative ratings submitted by individuals representing over three thousand libraries from 53 countries describing experiences with 136 different automation products, including both proprietary and open source systems. The survey results include 730 narrative comments providing candid statements -- both positive and negative – about the products and companies involved or statements of intent regarding future automation plans. This report analyzes the results of the survey, presents a variety of statistical tables based on the data collected, and provides some initial observations. It aims to provide information to libraries as they evaluate their options for strategic technology products and to the organizations involved in providing these products and services as constructive criticism to help guide improvements."

"Libraries make major investments in strategic automation products, both during the initial implementation period and in annual fees paid for support, software maintenance, and other services. They depend on these products for efficient management of their daily operations and to provide access to their collections and services. This survey report allows libraries to benefit from the perceptions of their peers regarding the quality of automation systems and of the performance of the organizations involved in their development or support."

"Libraries in immediate need of replacing their current system, or in the process of making longer term technology strategies, benefit from data across a variety of sources as they assess options. Technical documentation, marketing materials, product demonstrations, product vision statements and functionality checklists represent some sources of information to help libraries evaluate automation products. The vendor community naturally provides information and materials that presents their products in positive terms."

"Another important avenue of investigation involves data from libraries with first-hand experience of the products and vendors. This survey aims to measure the perceptions libraries hold regarding their current automation products, the companies that support them and to capture their intentions about future migration options. It also explores interest in open source library automation systems, a key issue for the industry. Though its large number of responses, the survey aggregates the subjective experience of many libraries to create meaningful results, reasonably informative about the collective experience of libraries with this set of products and companies."
The Library Technology Guides website is maintained by Marshall Breeding, a well-known library automation expert.

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Canadian Bar Association Releases Legal Futures Initiative Consultation Report

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has released the stakeholders consultation report as part of its Legal Futures Initiative. The Initiative seeks to analyze and understand the rapid changes taking place in the Canadian legal marketplace.

The CBA undertook a broad consultation of the legal profession and other stakeholders starting in June 2013:
"Between June 2013 and January 2014, the Legal Futures Initiative distributed personalized correspondence inviting comment from over three hundred institutions and organizations, presented to audiences both internationally and within Canada, coordinated in-person consultations with stakeholder groups, and led vibrant discussions through twitter and through content published on the Legal Futures Initiative’s website (...)"

"Responses to the consultation demonstrated two over-arching perspectives: those who believe that change is happening in the legal profession, and those who doubt that transformative change is occurring or that there are compelling reasons to meet that change. The respondents who cautioned against the need for change often expressed strong support for the public policy reasons underlying lawyers’ existing regulatory regimes; similarly, they voiced reservations about liberalizing business structures for fear of creating more 'Big Law' while compromising the ability to lawyer in the public interest or for under-served practice areas like family and criminal defence law. Respondents holding opposing views took a different perspective on lawyers’ responsibilities towards the public; these respondents indicated that the various means by which clients are demanding changes to legal services are proof that the profession needs to genuinely transform itself from the inside out to retain the public’s trust."

"The consultation feedback also unearthed different perspectives as some topics engaged reflections on the past and the present, whereas others were more conducive to imagining future possibilities. The Legal Futures Initiative’s questions on education garnered feedback on the cost, length, and form of law school education, as well as on the utility of post-call training, but largely in reference to respondents’ own experiences. Innovating within one’s practice structure, or through re-structuring legal service delivery, was a better vehicle for respondents to identify their visions of the future. Imbued throughout the consultation were questions of whether – and how – regulators can support innovation in the profession, and how regulators would ensure lawyers’ continued professionalism in new business structures. Finally, an underlying theme was the composition of today’s profession: who within the profession can take advantage of these innovations, which segments of the profession bear the burden of reform, and what cautions and opportunities arise from applying the dual lenses of diversity/ inclusivity and access to justice to future innovations."

"In whole, the consultation illuminated a single reality: there really is no consensus on the future of the legal profession."
The Legal Futures Initiative will present its comprehensive report with recommendations in August of 2014.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Survey on Changing Roles and Perceptions of Librarians and Library Technicians

The website of the the CLA Government Library and Information Management Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association, has information about a new survey about the changing roles of and relationships between Librarians and Library Technicians:
"The purpose of this research is to identify the way roles might be changing in the two professions, what the reasons are for possible change, and what methods can be used to improve awareness between the professions."

"The results of this research will be of interest to many, both experienced and new to the professions. Ultimately, the purpose in doing the study is to continue facilitating strong working relationships between the two professions. This study will provide a greater understanding and heightened awareness of each other’s roles and issues with the workplace environment."
The survey runs until March 5, 2014.

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Canadian Library Association Statement on Federal Government Library Closures

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) has released a Statement regarding Federal Government Library Consolidation and Closure:
"(...)  the recent consolidation and closure of several Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Health Canada libraries has raised a number of particular concerns about the process by which the departments are closing libraries and preserving – or disposing of – materials in their collections (...)"
"The Government of Canada has consistently maintained that these closures are part of an ongoing and planned digitization program that will reduce costs. DFO has also made assurances that library closures will not come at the expense of significant reductions in the availability of holdings; however, CLA has received reports that valuable materials are being lost due to the haste of these library closures."

"These reports are disconcerting, particularly as there does not appear to be a long-term plan in place to ensure the preservation and continued availability of unique materials not already digitized. Canadians deserve to know how these valuable materials will be preserved and, furthermore, how the material can be accessed in the future. The library community has rallied around these issues and has tried to contribute to solutions for these challenges. For example, post-secondary institutions, such as Carleton University, have integrated some key documents into their collections. There is much more to be done."

"As noted above, the plans to digitize collections are unclear. CLA appreciates that digitization can provide enhanced access to materials for employees, researchers, and the broader public. However, digitization is a long-term, labour intensive process. Given the sheer volume of material destined for digitization, the role of library and information professionals will be critical. It is essential that government use this expertise to manage and curate this material. CLA has received no assurances from the Government of Canada that such a process is in place; on the contrary, CLA has seen official documentation indicating there is no long-term digital strategy in place in many departments, including the DFO."

"The “question and answer” document released on December 19, 2013 to help clarify the DFO library closure process was a good first step toward improved communication on the government’s plans; however, the government’s plans for the preservation of and access to the valuable material remain unclear. CLA requests transparency in matters relating to the management of publicly owned records and collections held by Departmental libraries and LAC, including further information regarding the preservation of and access to the information that was in all closed federal libraries. "
 

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Wednesday, February 19, 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 February 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 3:14 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, February 17, 2014

Correctional Services Ombudsman Report on How Inmate Deaths Are Investigated

Howard Sapers, Canada's Correctional Investigator, today released a report on how the federal correctional services conduct reviews of in-custody deaths.

The primary function of the Office of the Correctional Investigator is to investigate and bring resolution to individual complaints by offenders in federal custody.

In his report, Sapers found that the correctional services' review process is flawed because it is not carried out in a timely and rigorous manner as required by law.

Between 2003 and 2013, 536 inmates died in federal penitentiaries. Fully two-thirds of all inmate deaths were attributed to natural causes. Sapers contracted with a senior medical practitioner to conduct an independent and expert review of the quality and adequacy of medical care provided in a sample of fifteen deceased offenders.

The major findings of his report are (from the Backgrounder):

  • The medical consultant’s review raises serious compliance issues concerning the quality and adequacy of health care provided: questionable diagnostic practices; incomplete medical documentation; quality and content of information sharing between health care providers and correctional staff and; delays and/or lack of appropriate follow-up on treatment recommendations.
  • Despite these critical findings, all fifteen individual mortality reviews conducted by CSC assess the care provided to the deceased inmates as “congruent” with “applicable” health care standards and policy.
  • With respect to process, the time between a fatality and the convening and completion of the mortality review often exceeds two years. This timeframe does not respect the legislative obligation for CSC to investigate an inmate fatality “forthwith.”
  • The investigation further notes that the reviewer is not asked to establish, reconstruct, corroborate or otherwise probe the facts or circumstances that contributed to the fatality beyond recording cause of death as either “expected/anticipated” or “unexpected/sudden.” Most mortality reviews simply conclude with a Closure Memo stating “no further action required.”  
  • To date, the mortality review process has failed to generate findings, recommendations, lessons learned or corrective measures of any national significance. Even when compliances issues are noted, there is no way of determining whether the death was potentially preventable or premature.
  • The Office concludes that the mortality review process is an inadequate model for investigating deaths in federal penitentiaries. The exercise is not carried out in a timely or rigorous manner, and it fails to meet basic investigative standards such as independence, thoroughness and credibility.
Sapers' main recommendations to remedy the situation are:
  1. “Sudden” or “unexpected” fatalities, regardless of preliminary cause(s), should be subject to a National Board of Investigation.
  2. The convening of a board of investigation should normally be within 15 working days of the fatality.
  3. All mortality reviews, regardless of cause of death, should be led by a physician.
  4. Mortality reports in their entirety should be shared, in a timely manner, with the designated family member(s) who request it.
  5. The mortality review exercise should be subject to a quality control audit chaired by an outside medical examiner.

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Registration Open for 2014 Annual Meeting of American Association of Law Libraries

Registration is now open for the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) taking place July 12-15 in San Antonio, Texas.

There are more details about the educational program and workshops on the AALL website.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Statistics Canada Article on Victim Services in Canada, 2011/2012

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published a new article entitled Victim services in Canada, 2011/2012 that looks at the organizations that provide services to victims of crime:
"The information in this report is based on the 760 victim service providers and six criminal injuries compensation programs which responded to the Victim Services Survey. In total, these providers served almost 460,000 victims in 2011/2012. These services are offered to all primary and secondary victims of crime whether or not they have reported an incident to police. The large majority of these service providers, about 90%, provided some form of protection or crisis service, as well as helping victims participate in the court system or offering information about the criminal justice system (...)"

"Most victim service providers also supplied support to victims to help them participate in the criminal justice system (90%). In particular, these services included court accompaniment, assistance with victim impact statements and victim or witness preparation. In addition, most services provided information to support victims in the system (89%). This ranged from information on the criminal justice system to victim notification specific to their own situation (hearings, offender relocation, offender release). About half of victim services reported that they provided legal information to victims."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:44 pm 0 comments links to this post

Australian Law Reform Commission Copyright Report Recommends Introduction of Fair Use

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released the final report for its inquiry on Copyright and the Digital Economy.

The inquiry looked into whether the exceptions and statutory licences in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) are adequate and appropriate in the digital environment. Among other things, the ALRC was asked to consider whether further exceptions should recognise fair use of copyright material.

The major recommendation is the introduction of such a fair use policy [from the Summary Report]:
"Fair use is a defence to copyright infringement that essentially asks of any particular use: Is this fair? In deciding whether a particular use of copyright material is fair, a number of principles, or ‘fairness factors’, must be considered."
"The case for fair use made in the Report is based on several arguments, including:
  • Fair use is flexible and technology-neutral.Fair use promotes public interest and transformative uses.
  • Fair use assists innovation.
  • Fair use better aligns with reasonable consumer expectations.
  • Fair use helps protect rights holders’ markets.
  • Fair use is sufficiently certain and predictable.
  • Fair use is compatible with moral rights and international law."

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Heenan Blaikie Post-Mortem

The sudden collapse of the Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie shocked many observers and has attracted a lot of attention, commentary and musing about the future.

The Canadian Bar Association's National Magazine has gathered together some of that commentary in two posts on its blog:
  • Heenan Blaikie post mortem (February 11, 2014): "The dust is still settling, and by now you’ve no doubt heard Roy Heenan’ s view that internal rivalries caused his firm to dissolve. Still, here’s a quick round-up of reports and commentary attempting to explain what went wrong."
  • Heenan Blaikie post mortem, Ctd (February 12, 2014): "Following up on yesterday's roundup, Ian Holloway, the dean of law at the University of Calgary and a member of the CBA’s Futures Initiative steering committee, cautions that the partner flight from Heenan has revealed 'the Achilles heel of the Canadian legal profession' "


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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

English Law Commission Report on Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-Native Species

The Law Commission of England has published a report on Wildlife Law: Control of Invasive Non-native Species:
"Invasive non-native species are ones that arrive as a result of human action and cause environmental and economic damage. They pose a significant threat to ecosystems as well as damaging property and infrastructure. Existing law does not contain sufficient powers to allow for their timely and effective control or eradication. Our recommendations in relation to species control orders will allow for a proportionate and necessary response to an increasing problem."
The report is part of the Commission's Wildlife Law project.

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Library Association Responses to Royal Society of Canada Consultations on Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of September 11, 2013 entitled Royal Society of Canada Holding Public Consultations on Future of Canada's Libraries and Archives.

The prestigious institution has been consulting citizens and associations regarding the future of the country's library and archive infrastructure.

Two submissions worth  read come from the Canadian Library Association and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT). The CAUT report in particular is scathing about recent changes and budget cutbacks at Library and Archives Canada and about the closing of federal government libraries.


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Saturday, February 08, 2014

February 2014 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The February 2014 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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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Program for the 2014 Canadian Library Association Annual Conference

The program for the 2014 Canadian Library Association Annual Conference is available online.

The event takes places May 28 - 31, 2014 in Victoria, British Columbia.


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:38 pm 0 comments links to this post

February 2014 Issue of AALL Spectrum

The February 2014 issue of AALL Spectrum, a monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries, is available.

Among this month's selection of articles:

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Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Registration Now Open for the 2014 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2014 Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) Annual Conference.

This year’s conference will take place in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Fort Garry Hotel from May 25-28.

A preliminary program is available on the CALL website.

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Monday, February 03, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for February 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for February 2014.

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

January 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The January 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.

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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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 January 16-31, 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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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Membership Survey

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is asking members to fill out a new survey:
"CALL would like to know more about you and how to continue to improve its services and advance the profession. We ask CALL members to tell us what we do well and what CALL can do better. We also want to hear from other legal information professionals how CALL can serve them."

"The survey will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete."

"This survey is confidential and the anonymity of the respondents will be preserved in the final report. You can complete the survey anonymously if you wish, but please give your name and contact details if you would like your name entered into a prize draw for a $50 Indigo gift card."
The survey closes on February 21, 2014.

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