Sunday, June 29, 2014

Cost of Justice Panel Presentations at 50th Annual Law & Society Conference

At the most recent Law & Society Association annual conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) organized a panel on Costs to Justice.

The papers from that panel are available on the CFCJ website:
"Research on access to justice - at the local, national, and international levels - has often noted the conflict between initiatives to improve access and limits to the funding of those initiatives. The papers presented in this panel address this tension in a variety of settings and locations, and seek to push into new conceptualizations and approaches to the "cost of justice". These papers explore conceptual boundaries between cost and justice - including the costs of injustice - in a wide range of sites, including rights of indigenous peoples, how private lawyers manage the costs of providing services, how demands for justice change over the life course, and new findings on the cost of unmet legal needs."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 11:45 am 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Law Commission of Ontario Discussion Paper on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship

The Law Commission of Ontario has released a Discussion Paper on Legal Capacity, Decision-making and Guardianship:
"This project will focus on the core statutory framework of the Substitute Decisions Act (SDA) and Health Care Consent Act (HCCA), as well as the provisions of Part III of the Mental Health Act (MHA) related to assessment of legal capacity to manage property. It will not address the common-law, other statutes that touch upon consent and capacity issues, or the broader provisions of the MHA.  Within this scope, the project will concentrate on the following broad issues:
  1. The standard for capacity, including tests for capacity and the various avenues and mechanisms for assessing capacity under the SDA, HCCA and MHA;
  2. Decision-making models, including an examination of the desirability and practical implications of alternatives to substitute decision-making, including supported and co-decision-making;
  3. Processes for appointments (for example of substitute decision-makers), whether through personal appointments or a public process, with a focus on appropriate use and on improving efficiency and accessibility;
  4. The roles and responsibilities of guardians and other substitute decision-makers, including potential for more limited forms of guardianship and consideration of options for those who do not have family or friends to assist them;
  5. Monitoring, accountability and prevention of abuse for substitute decision-makers or supporters, however appointed, and of misuse by third party service providers, including mechanisms for increasing transparency, identifying potential abuse and ensuring compliance with the requirements of the law; and
  6. Dispute resolution, including reforms to increase the accessibility, effectiveness and efficiency of current mechanisms."
"In evaluating the current law and developing recommendations, the LCO will apply the Frameworks it has developed for the law as it affects persons with disabilities and older adults, as well as taking into account developments in international law, experiences in other jurisdictions, and concerns about practicality and implementability."
"The Discussion Paper is based on the research and public consultations that the LCO has completed to-date, including a series of commissioned papers. It synthesizes information gathered to this point, identifies key issues and sets out potential directions for reform. It is intended as a foundation for public consultation and discussion of the issues identified. It is accompanied by a Summary of Consultation Issues intended to support the consultation process. Following the completion of public consultations, the LCO will release an Interim Report, containing analysis and draft recommendations."
The Commission is accepting feedback from members of the public, including older adults and persons with disabilities, service providers, policy-makers, lawyers and advocates until Friday, October 17, 2014, as part of its public consultation process.

Related posts on Library Boy include:

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:16 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Report on Police-Reported Hate Crimes

Statistics Canada has released a report on Police-reported hate crimes, 2012:
"In 2012, police reported 1,414 criminal incidents motivated by hate in Canada, 82 more incidents than in 2011. These hate crimes represented 4.1 incidents per 100,000 population."

"In 2012, about half of all hate crimes (704 incidents, or 51%) were motivated by hatred toward a race or ethnicity such as Black, Asian, Arab or Aboriginal populations. Another 419 incidents, or 30%, were motivated by hatred towards a particular religion, including hate crimes targeting Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and other religions."

"An additional 13% (185 incidents) were motivated by sexual orientation, while the remaining 6% of hate crimes were motivated by language, mental or physical disability, sex, age or some other characteristic (such as occupation or political beliefs) (...)

"Overall, the majority (69%) of hate crimes reported by police involved non-violent offences. Mischief, which includes vandalism, graffiti and other destruction of property, was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes, making up over half of all hate crime incidents in 2012 (...)"


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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Upcoming TV Interviews With Supreme Court of Canada Justices

The Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) will broadcast a series of interviews of the Chief Justice and the Justices of the Supreme Court of Canada on July 1st, with Catherine Clark as the host.

The interviews will air on the Beyond Politics program at the following times (EDT):
18:00 Justice Wagner
18:30 Justice Moldaver
19:00 Justice Karakatsanis
19:30 Justice Cromwell
20:00 Justice Rothstein
20:30 Justice Abella
21:00 Justice LeBel
21:30 Chief Justice McLachlin
CPAC will re-broadcast the interviews on the eight Sundays from July 6-Aug 24 at 20:00 as follows:
July 6 20:00 Justice Wagner
July 13 20:00 Justice Moldaver
July 20 20:00 Justice Karakatsanis
July 27 20:00 Justice Cromwell
Aug 3 20:00 Justice Rothstein
Aug 10 20:00 Justice Abella
Aug 17 20:00 Justice LeBel
Aug 24 20:00 Chief Justice McLachlin
The interviews will also air the week of July 7th and 14th as follows:
July 7 19:00 and 23:00 Justice Wagner
July 8 19:00 and 23:00 Justice Moldaver
July 9 19:00 and 23:00 Justice Karakatsanis
July 10 19:00 and 23:00 Justice Cromwell
July 11 19:00 and 23:00 Justice Rothstein
July 14 19:00 and 23:00 Justice Abella
July 15 19:00 and 23:00 Justice LeBel
July 16 19:00 and 23:00 Chief Justice McLachlin

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

English Law Commission Report on Conservation Covenants

The English Law Commission has released its final report on Conservation Covenants:
In this report, we make recommendations for the introduction of a new statutory scheme of conservation covenants in England and Wales.

Our recommendations to introduce such a scheme would create a new legal tool, enabling landowners to protect land in order to conserve and restore our natural and built environment. Conservation covenants would allow landowners voluntarily to create binding obligations on their own land to meet a conservation objective, such as preserving woodland, cultivating a particular species of plant or protecting a habitat for an animal, or farming land in a certain way. Our proposed statutory scheme would give individual landowners the opportunity, using private agreements, to contribute to conservation efforts being made across England and Wales (...)  
In recent years there has been an appreciation – both in this and other countries – of the contribution that can be made by landowners to a nation’s conservation efforts. As a result many countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Scotland, have given legal recognition to voluntary conservation agreements in the form of conservation covenants.

Two main benefits flow from the introduction of conservation covenants: missed conservation opportunities can be captured, and the need to use workarounds to create private conservation obligation in relation to land is reduced, if not eliminated. Conservation covenants will assist the efforts of private individuals and communities who seek to conserve, protect, restore or enhance our historical and environmental assets. They will also be a cheaper way of realising conservation agreements than the existing methods. In particular, conservation bodies and public bodies will no longer have to purchase land in order to protect it or undertake conservation activities in relation to it.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:11 pm 0 comments links to this post

New Zealand Law Commision Report on Review of Joint and Several Liability

The New Zealand Law Commission has released a report on Liability of Multiple Defendants.

The document recommends that joint and several liability remain the normal rule to govern the liability of multiple defendants for the same damage, but with several modifications to achieve better fairness in more extreme or unusual circumstances or for some classes of defendants.
 Among other things, the modifications propose that:
  • courts should have power to grant relief to a truly minor defendant, who bears only a small responsibility or share of fault for the plaintiff’s loss, but who would otherwise be required to pay all or nearly all of the damages because they are the only remaining solvent defendant. 
  • a court may order supplementary contribution, so that the cost of paying an uncollected share caused by an absent defendant is distributed among all remaining solvent defendants, according to their shares of responsibility.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

DAS Canada/Ipsos Reid White Paper on Canadians' Perceptions of the Justice System

Legal insurance company DAS Canada has released a white paper on how Canadians perceive the justice system.

The research, conducted in partnership with pollster Ipsos Reid, revealed that 45% of Canadians know someone who has gone into debt trying to resolve a legal dispute, and that 55% of those who had accessed the legal system were not represented by a lawyer.

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Thursday, June 19, 2014

More Comparative Law Reports from the Law Library of Congress

This is a follow-up to last week's Library Boy post about the Law Library of Congress Report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms.

The Law Library of Congress has released two other comparative law reports recently. They are:
  • Child Restraint and Seat Belt Regulations: "This report contains citations to the laws on seat belt use in Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, England and Wales, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malta, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and Vietnam, with information on provisions concerning children where available."
  • Bond Requirements in Procurement Protest Procedure in Selected Countries: "This report contains information on twenty-one countries on the question of whether a bond is required for a protest procedure in government procurement.  In some countries the term “deposit” or “fee” is used instead of “bond.”  The majority of countries included in this report require the payment of fees for an administrative review.  These fees can be forfeited if the claim is found to be frivolous.  In Israel, there were proposals to adopt a bond requirement, most recently in 2007, but they were not enacted. Thirty-seven additional jurisdictions were reviewed and not found to have provisions requiring a bond: Angola, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Sweden, and Vietnam."
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, June 18, 2014

Comparative Report on Whistleblower Protection in G20 Countries

Researchers at the University of Melbourne and the NGO Transparency International Australia have released a public consultation document on Whistleblower Protection Rules in G20 Countries: The Next Action Plan. A section of the report is devoted to Canada.

From the Overview:
"The G20 countries declared in 2010 that they would have adequate measures in place by 2012 to protect whistleblowers and provide them with safe, reliable avenues to report fraud, corruption and other wrongdoing. Despite significant advances in some areas, as a whole they have fallen short of meeting this commitment. Many G20 countries’ whistleblower protection laws fail to meet international standards, and fall significantly short of best practices."

"Serious wrongdoing can lead to wasted taxpayer money, unsafe consumer products, public health threats, financial instability and environmental damage. Lacking strong legal protections, government and corporate employees who report wrongdoing to their managers or to regulators can face dismissal, harassment and other forms of retribution. With employees deterred from coming forward, government and corporate misconduct can be perpetuated. This is the larger importance of whistleblowing protection on the G20 countries’ agendas."

"Research presented in this report reveals important shortcomings in the whistleblower protection laws of most G20 countries. Whilst many of the criteria for a large number of the countries have not been properly satisfied, specific areas that fall well short and need immediate attention in G20 countries are laws supporting:
  • A three-tiered system of reporting channels, including clear external avenues to third parties such the media, MPs, NGOs and labour unions where necessary
  • Anonymous channels to get those who know about corruption in the door to auditors or regulators, in the first instance.
  • Internal disclosure procedures, the mechanisms by which organisations public or private adapt whistleblower protection principles to their own environment"
"The research has also highlighted that there is a particular need to focus on introducing laws to provide better coverage of the private sector..."

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Tuesday, June 17, 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 June 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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Monday, June 16, 2014

Canadian Library Association CLA Digest for June 2014

The Canadian Library Association (CLA) publishes a regular news bulletin known as CLA Digest.

In the most recent issue, there are a number of items that caught my interest:
  • New Proposed Cyberbullying Law (C-13) is Well Intentioned but Introduces Serious Risks to Personal Privacy: "Based on the scope of the anti-cyberbullying measures, the CLA’s position is that Bill C-13 provides law enforcement agencies with greater access to private information such as metadata since the Bill allows internet service providers to voluntarily hand over private customer information to policing agencies without facing civil or criminal liability. As such, while Bill C-13 emphasizes judicial oversight when requesting private information from internet service providers by providing warrants to legitimate private information requests, since the Bill has no provisions which hold internet service providers (ISPs) accountable, it has the potential to result in major privacy violations for Canadians. More specifically, the CLA is concerned that Canadian libraries will be unable to provide effective library services to their users since libraries will be unable to ensure the necessary protections for patrons accessing their networks and resources."
  • CLA Letters to Canadian Government Regarding WIPO VIP Treaty: "The Canadian Library Association (CLA), along with many other organizations and the print disabled community in Canada, celebrated the adoption of the WIPO Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (VIP Treaty) on June 27, 2013. The Canadian Government was deservedly commended for its role in the successful completion of the negotiations. CLA notes that as of April 30, 2014 sixty-four countries have signed the VIP Treaty including the European Union and the United States. To date it is our understanding that Canada has not yet signed. CLA trusts that it is your Government’s intent to sign the VIP Treaty in a timely manner."
  • Call for Proposals - EBLIP Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researcher : "The Centre for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (C-EBLIP) Fall Symposium: Librarians as Researchers is a one-day conference (with complimentary registration, including breaks and lunch) designed to facilitate sharing, collaboration, and networking with the focus on librarians in their researcher roles.  The symposium will consist of a series of single-track sessions, along with a keynote address, and time for networking. The sessions will focus not only on the research being done by librarians, but also on why librarians are doing research – their motivations or inspirations." [the event is October 15, 2014 at the University Library, University of Saskatchewan]

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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Spring 2014 Issue of Law Library Journal Now Available

The Spring 2014 issue of Law Library Journal is available on the website of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the articles are the following:
  • Law Firm Knowledge Management: A Selected Annotated Bibliography: "This selected annotated bibliography covers scholarly research articles on knowledge management in law firms. The annotations are preceded by an introduction highlighting salient themes that emerge in this literature. These include the use and effectiveness of information technology in law firm knowledge management, the human side of knowledge sharing, and lessons for law firm and law school librarians."
  • Breaking Down the Black Box: How Actor Network Theory Can Help Librarians Better Train Law Students in Legal Research Techniques: "The development of a pedagogy for the teaching of legal research would serve to both improve the quality of research instruction that law students receive and elevate the status of those providing that instruction within the legal academy. Actor network theory, a methodology that originated in the field of science studies to trace relations in the process of group formation, can assist librarians in the development of such a pedagogy and also help them to better understand how to position themselves as the experts best suited to the task of providing that instruction."

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Friday, June 13, 2014

Recent Trends in Legal Aid

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice published a post on Slaw.ca today on Recent Trends in Legal Aid.

As the post explains:
"Keeping track of trend and change in legal aid has never been more important. Legal aid is by far the largest part of the access to justice landscape in Canada. Even with constraints of the current fiscal realities, or perhaps because of them, legal aid systems have the infrastructure, the expertise and the resources to contribute significantly to expanding access to justice in Canada. "
It looks at trends in government support for legal aid, applications, levels of duty counsel service in criminal and civil matters, etc.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

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 3:41 pm 0 comments links to this post

Law Library of Congress Report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms.

The report analyzes legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) plants and foods in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States.

There is also a bibliography.

Earlier comparative law reports from the Law Library of Congress have covered topics such as:
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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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Canadian Newspapers Release 8th Annual National Freedom of Information Audit

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of two days ago on the latest Annual Report of the Information Commissioner of Canada.

Last week, Newspapers Canada, a joint initiative of the Canadian Newspaper Association and the Canadian Community Newspapers Association, released its 8th annual National Freedom of Information Audit report.

The annual report reviews the performance of Canadian governments and various public institutions with respect to their access to information laws. In particular, it tests how readily officials disclose information that should be publicly available on request.

Hundreds of requests were sent to 11 federal government departments and crown corporations,ministries, departments and agencies in all ten provinces and in the Yukon and to 19 major municipalities across the country.

The 2014 also put a special emphasis on access to open government data:
"(...) the 2014 audit has a special focus on data in light of the move by governments to open data, a growing trend toward making government data available for developers, journalists and others, to build applications and mine information. One hundred and seventy two requests for electronic data were included in the audit, and while some government bodies were prepared to release raw data as requested, others insisted on providing paper printouts of the data, or converting it to PDF or images files. These latter formats defeat the purpose of requesting data because they can’t be read by spreadsheet and data analysis programs and are useless for web development environments without error-prone, often technically difficult conversion. Data released as an image or printed out isn’t data at all."

"The federal government, on its open data site, says, 'The Government of Canada has made open government, including open data activities, a priority in order to increase transparency and accountability, as well as to spur national innovation and economic growth.' Provinces and municipalities have made similar statements. But as noted in the detail section of the report, if open data is to have meaning, data has to be available through the FOI process and not just when governments choose to release datasets that may have been carefully vetted and manicured for public consumption."
So how did they do?

Here are a few of the highlights, divided into darts (negative results) and laurels.

Darts:
  • The Privy Council Office, the central agency that serves and advises the Prime Minister, for telling a Newspapers Canada auditor who asked for a copy of data from the agency’s access request processing system that the PCO simply does not release electronic records. Despite being reminded of its obligation under the act to do so, the agency refused to relent and declared that the request would be considered abandoned if the auditor did not accept paper records;
  • Transport Canada, for imposing an extension of one year on a request for ministerial briefing notes on the Lac Megantic disaster;
  • The Province of Manitoba for claiming it was not “feasible” to provide data from its database of repair and maintenance needs of provincial highway bridges. It said it would have to print out paper copies from the database and black out information manually, rather than remove any exempt information electronically;
  • The City of Winnipeg for proposing to charge $27,000 to process a request for a dataset of property standards orders;
  • The City of Windsor for refusing a request for names, positions and salary classifications of its employees, saying they constituted information about employment-related matters;
  • Edmonton Police for their $8,000 fee to provide a list of how many hours of overtime and how much overtime money was paid to each Edmonton police officer in 2012. Toronto Police for refusing to even process the overtime request unless the auditor submitted the request again, this time with an expensive certified cheque or money order to pay the $5.00 application fee;
  • The CBC for blacking out a section on “transparency and accountability” in briefing notes for president Hubert Lacroix on the issue of adding advertising to some CBC Radio Services;
  • Several provinces for poor recordkeeping, as they said they would have to go through individual inmate files to find inmate complaints;
  • P.E.I. for its claim it would cost $2,200 to release a database of highway collisions.
 Laurels
  • Quebec for being the only province that was able to release all prisoner complaints at a named correctional institution;
  • Environment Canada, Finance, National Defence and Public Works and Government Services, for being an example to other federal departments and crown corporations in releasing data in useable, electronic form;
  • B.C. for taking a similar leadership role among provinces;
  • Alberta and Manitoba for being the only two provinces to release briefing notes prepared for their premiers in advance of national premiers meetings;
  • Police in Ottawa, Calgary, Saskatoon, Winnipeg and Victoria for bucking the trend among police agencies countrywide, and releasing details of police officer overtime claims;
  • The City of Charlottetown and Saskatoon Police for responding to requests for information, even though they are not formally included in access legislation

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:31 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, June 09, 2014

Canadian Government Documents Digitization Registry

The Geographic, Statistical and Government Information Centre at the University of Ottawa is asking libraries to contribute to a registry of digitization projects for Canadian government documents.
" This project seeks to identify past, present, and future digitization projects for Canadian government documents. A digitization registry for government documents will provide an important forum for libraries and other knowledge institutions involved or interested in contributing to or learning from comprehensive digitized collections of Canada’s historic government publications."
"The registry will enable institutions to share information concerning whether a collection has been digitized (avoiding duplication and aiding in resource discovery), identify complementary collections, and locate potential partners for collaboration."

"The information collected in this form will be stored for public viewing in a Google spreadsheet."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:13 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Annual Report of the Information Commissioner of Canada

Last week, Suzanne Legault, Information Commissioner of Canada, tabled her most recent annual report in Parliament.

Her Office exists under the federal Access to Information Act and handles complaints from citizens and organizations that federal institutions have not respected their rights under the Act.

In 2013-2014, Legault noted a 30-percent increase in complaints including those relating to institutions unable to meet their basic obligations under the Act and about the use of the Cabinet confidence exclusion. New complaints about administrative matters, such as delays and fees, grew by 54 percent:
"My office received significantly more complaints in 2013–2014 than it had the year before. This is accounted for, to some extent, by an overall increase in the number of requests to institutions in the previous year. However, only some organizations successfully absorbed this growth; others had, and are continuing to have, difficulty meeting their basic obligations under the Act. These difficulties manifested themselves in a significant increase in complaints about basic administrative matters, such as delays and extensions."

"This decline in performance must be promptly addressed. Canadians should be concerned and speak out whenever their quasi-constitutional right of access is in jeopardy. As Commissioner, I call on senior institutional officials to step up their leadership of and commitment to access in their organizations and across government."

"My role is to protect the right of access, using the full range of powers at my disposal. In 2013–2014, I closed the most cases I have in three years, and the number of files completed within nine months continued to grow. I thank my team for their contributions to this continuing track record of success."
Media coverage:

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Upcoming Webinar on Training Articling Students

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries is hosting a webinar on June 17, 2014 called The SWOT of Law Library Head Start Programs (online registration form):
"A collection of law firm libraries in Edmonton provide group training to articling students and call it Head Start. In Ottawa and Toronto the local county court house libraries provide training to students and call it Head Start too. All 3 programs have similarities and differences, and learning lessons for all."
Speakers are:
  • Shaunna Mireau, Director of Knowledge Management and Process Improvement at the Field Law firm in Edmonton, Alberta. She tweets as @smireau, is a core contributor at Slaw.ca, and edits the weekly legal research tip at SlawTips.ca. 
  • Joan Rataic-Lang, Executive Director/Library Director of the Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA).
  • Jennifer Walker, Head Librarian at the County of Carleton Law Association in Ottawa. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the Education Committee of CALL/ACBD. 
The event is at 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EST. The cost is $45.20 for CALL members, and $67.80 for non-members.

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Thursday, June 05, 2014

MOOCs - Massive Open Online Courses or Massively Overhyped Obfuscated Concept?

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of October 3, 2013 on MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and Law Librarians.

Yesterday on Slaw.ca, Sarah Glassmeyer, Director of Community Development for the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction penned a column entitled Massively Overhyped Obfuscated Concept – MOOCs in Legal Education:
"As a known supporter of open content and technology, as well as someone who works in education, I like to pretend that people are dying to ask me, 'Sarah, are MOOCs going to save law schools?' "
"My answer? No. No they are not."
"Okay, I guess I could flesh this answer out a bit, and not just because I should have about 800 more words to make this a respectable blog post."
"So how about this: No, MOOCs will not save law schools …but they might save legal education."
"Confused? Let’s start from the beginning."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:07 pm 0 comments links to this post

June 15 Deadline for Applications for James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship Fund

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) have until June 15, 2014 to apply to the James D. Lang Memorial Scholarship fund.

The scholarship is designed to support attendance at a continuing education program, be it a workshop, certificate program or other similar activity deemed appropriate by the CALL Scholarships and Awards Committee.

More details are available on the CALL website.

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Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Justice Canada 2014 Victims of Crime Research Digest

Last week's issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications lists the most recent issue of Victims of Crime Research Digest. Published by Justice Canada, it includes short, accessible articles on victims of crime research:
"This issue of the Digest begins with an article by Lisa Ha on cyberbullying in Canada, on what we know and what we do not know. In the second article, Melissa Lindsay provides a look at how technology is being used in all the jurisdictions to improve access to victim services. Next, Susan McDonald and Lara Rooney present the social science research on support animals, dogs in particular, and the role they could play in supporting victims of crime. This is followed by an article by Susan McDonald who examines third party records case law from 2003 to 2010, an update from previous case law reviews. And finally, in the last article, André Solecki and Katie Scrim take a look at the human cost of impaired driving by mapping and analyzing incidents of impaired driving causing death across Canada in 2012."
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 6:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice May 2014 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.

The latest issue of the newsletter includes:

  • a Spring 2014 update about CFCJ projects across Canada
  • a feature article about access to justice for children
  • and a number of "stories from the road" (participation of CFCJ members in events and activities in different parts of Canada)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Vote for the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction

Readers can vote online for the winner of the 2014 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The prize, which is sponsored by ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law, is intended to recognize a work of fiction that best exemplifies the role of lawyers in society.

The three finalists this year are:
  • Ronald H. Balson for Once We Were Brothers 
  • John Grisham for Sycamore Row 
  • Elizabeth Strout for The Burgess Boys
The award is named after author Harper Lee, whose novel To Kill A Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.

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Tuesday, June 03, 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 May 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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Monday, June 02, 2014

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

The June 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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May 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The May 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 and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

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Sunday, June 01, 2014

Statistics Canada Report on Sexual Offences against Children and Youth

A few days ago, Statistics Canada released a report on Police-reported sexual offences against children and youth in Canada, 2012:
"There were about 14,000 children and youth (under the age of 18) who were victims of a police-reported sexual offence in Canada in 2012. This represented a rate of 205 for every 100,000 children and youth. Overall, the rate of police-reported sexual offences against children and youth decreased for the second consecutive year in 2012, and was similar to the rate reported by police in 2009."

"Nevertheless, children and youth continued to account for more than half (55%) of the victims of sexual offences reported by police, even though they make up 20% of the Canadian population." (...)

"Female children and youth were victims of police-reported sexual offences at a higher rate than male children and youth. There were 341 female child or youth victims of police-reported sexual offences for every 100,000 female children and youth in Canada, about five times higher than the rate for males (75 per 100,000 male children and youth)."

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English Law Commission Report on Hate Crimes

The Law Commission of England has issued a new report called Hate Crime: Should the Current Offences be Extended?

In England, hate crimes are those motivated by hostility based on one of the following personal characteristics of the victim: (1) disability; (2) transgender identity; (3) race; (4) religion; and (5) sexual orientation.

The Commission examined a number of possible changes to existing legislation:
  •  under enhanced sentencing, the judge declares in open court that the offender’s sentence has been increased because the hate element has made the offence more serious. The Commission proposes that every time enhanced sentencing is applied, this should be recorded on the offender’s criminal record in the Police National Computer 
  • aggravated offences: right now, accused people can be charged with an aggravated form of the offence if they demonstrated or were motivated by hostility on the basis of race or religion.  The aggravated offences carry longer maximum sentences. Before extending the application of aggravated offences to acts motivated by other forms of hostility,  the Commission suggests a wider review should be conducted to consider how well the offences currently work and how the criminal justice system can best protect victims of hate crime 
  • stirring up offences: the Commission looked at creating new offences of stirring up hatred on grounds of disability or transgender identity, but it found that they would rarely, if ever, be prosecuted, and their communicative or deterrent value would therefore be negligible.

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