Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada Hearings Calendar for October 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for October 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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Monday, September 29, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

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

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

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

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CBC Cross Country Checkup Radio Show on Future of Libraries

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

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

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

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

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Library of Parliament Legislative Summary of New Federal Prostitution Bill

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

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

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

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

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Statistics Canada Report on Cybercrime

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

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

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interview With Law Library of Congress Metadata Technician Everett Wiggins

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

There are more than 140 posts in the series.

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

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

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

English Law Commission Recommendations on Social Investment by Charities

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

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

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

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

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Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Recently Released Research from Correctional Services Canada

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

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

August 2014 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

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

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

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

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Recently Released Report on Federal Inmate Suicides

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 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 sectors around the world.

The September 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 
  • listings of papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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Wednesday, September 17, 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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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

American Association of Law Libraries Report on Access to Justice

The American Association of Law Libraries recently released a report of a special committee it formed on Law Libraries and Access to Justice.

 It describes how law libraries can foster greater access to justice in society:
"From the earliest days of their profession, law librarians have facilitated access to legal information. At first, their services were extended primarily to judges, legislators, and attorneys, but in the last part of the 20th century, the public came to rely on public law librarians to locate information to assist them in handling their own cases, without the assistance of counsel. The number of self-represented litigants accessing the courts continues to grow rapidly. For many self-represented litigants, who may not have civil legal aid available to them, attorneys’ fees can be a burdensome expense. Still, they may find the legal system to be highly complex and often more favorable to those parties with sufficient resources, such as the benefit of counsel. In spite of this, the number of self-represented litigants accessing the courts is rapidly growing. "

"The Access to Justice movement challenges society to seek ways to educate citizens about the law and legal procedure, expand the appearance of counsel to those most in need, and provide information and programs for those handling their own cases. By providing a wide array of services, the movement hopes to allow disadvantaged and self-represented litigants to gain a more equitable foothold when resolving disputes with those parties who bear greater resources."

"As the principal providers of legal information, law libraries are an indispensable part of the services that can be provided to those with legal needs. Law libraries make 'The Law' available, and law librarians serve as guides to finding the most relevant legal information. Some may think that only court librarians can play a role in fostering access to justice. While it is true that they have such a core responsibility, law school and private firm libraries, by fostering the rule of law, can also be leaders in promoting access to justice in their communities."

"The goal of this White Paper is to outline in detail the many valuable ways in which law libraries can take an active part in improving access to justice. It should serve as an important guide for stakeholders in the Access to Justice community as they consider the implementation of services to benefit those in need."


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Monday, September 15, 2014

Recently Released Research from Public Safety Canada on Witness Protection Programs

The latest issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications includes a "Research Brief" from Public Safety Canada on Witness Protection Programs in Selected Countries:
"This paper reviews the practices and outcomes of witness protection programs using open source literature on the legislation and practices followed in Australia, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) and compares them with both federal and provincial programs in Canada."

"Each country reviewed has established legislation and criteria for acceptance and retention of protected witnesses. The paper also reviews approaches to witness protection adopted in international fora, such as the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, and the Council of Europe."
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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Recently Released Research from Justice Canada on Malicious Referrals to Child Welfare Agencies

The latest issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications includes a Justice Canada research report from 2013 on Malicious Referrals, Custody Disputes and Police Involvement in the Canadian Child Welfare System: Data Tables from the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect:
"This report presents information about malicious referrals to child welfare agencies in Canada using data from the 2008 Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS‑2008). The CIS‑2008 is the third national study to examine the incidence of reported child abuse and neglect in Canada ... The primary objective of the CIS‑2008 was to provide reliable estimates of the scope and characteristics of child abuse and neglect investigated by child welfare organizations in Canada in 2008..."

"The published literature examining the incidence and prevalence of false allegations in child welfare investigations is limited. Much of the research was conducted in the 1990’s and focuses primarily on false allegations of sexual abuse in the context of custody/access disputes ... In the Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect 1998 (CIS‑1998), four percent of the investigations were judged to have been triggered by intentionally false allegations of child abuse or neglect... Approximately 2% of reports from custodial parents were classified as intentionally false ... Twenty‑five percent of reports from anonymous sources and 15% of reports from noncustodial parents were classified as intentionally false reports ..."
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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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Recently Released Research Summaries from Correctional Services Canada

The latest issue of the Weekly Checklist of Canadian Government Publications refers to a number of research documents released recently by Correctional Services Canada :
  • Substance Abuse Problem Severity, Treatment Readiness, and Response Bias among Incarcerated Men: "Offenders with severe substance abuse (SA) problems were aware of their SA problems and ready for treatment. This finding was true for both reliable and unreliable responders. In other words, those who needed help appeared to be the most ready to receive it. However, offenders with moderate to low level SA problems appeared less ready to accept treatment and were more likely to deny having a SA problem. This finding suggests that a focus on treatment readiness (TR) for this group could be beneficial, particularly for those with moderate level problems who may require intervention while incarcerated."
  • Preliminary Analysis of the Impact of the Restorative Opportunities (RO) Program in CSC:"A preliminary examination of the impact of the Restorative Opportunities (RO) program involving victim-offender mediation (VOM) within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) indicates that the program shows some promise in reducing recidivism on release for participating offenders. A longer follow-up period would be required to allow for stronger conclusions."
  • Gangs and institutional adjustment in the context of the Security Reclassification Scale: "The results of the present study indicate that no further weight should be placed on gang affiliation when scoring the Security Reclassification Scale (SRS). Overall, gang affiliation does not appear to be predictive of SRS relevant outcomes (i.e., institutional adjustment, risk of escape, and risk to the public in the event of an escape). While some covariance between the indicators and gang affiliation was found, associations were mostly very weak and inconsistent. Further analyses revealed that those offenders identified as being affiliated with a gang had higher scores on the SRS, thereby reflecting that gang affiliation is already sufficiently accounted for within the current SRS assessment."
  • Descriptive Analysis of Unsuccessful Unescorted Temporary Absences: "Overall, the vast majority of unescorted temporary absences (UTA) are completed without incident. Of the 1.3% of UTAs that were recorded as 'unsuccessful' only about half represent genuine failures. Therefore, UTAs allow for important reintegration opportunities without posing significant risk."
  • Preliminary Development of a Dynamic Risk Assessment Tool for Women Offenders: An Examination of Gender Neutral and Gender Specific Variables: "Risk assessment measures have largely been developed using samples of male offenders. When applying these measures to women offenders there is a risk in misrepresenting women’s needs and over-classifying their levels of security and required intervention. As such, there is a need to develop risk assessment tools that are specific to women and reflective of women’s diverse risks and needs."
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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Law Library of Congress Report on Laws on Children Residing with Parents in Prison

The Law Library of Congress in Washington has released a new comparative report on the Laws on Children Residing with Parents in Prison:
"This report provides information on select international and regional measures ...  and the laws of ninety-seven jurisdictions from around the world ... that relate to allowing children to reside in prison with an incarcerated parent.  The report also provides information on the number of children residing in prison with a parent in various countries, where such information was available.  The final section of the report includes a bibliography with additional sources ..."

"Over the last decade, efforts have escalated at the international level to create policies specifically geared towards addressing the situation of the young children of incarcerated parents.  Some measures seek to ameliorate the treatment of pregnant women, nursing mothers, and mothers with children; others seek to encourage the provision of better conditions, such as nurseries and kindergartens and specially trained staff, for the children; still others try to promote better hygiene and a better environment in general.  There have also been trends urging the incarceration of mothers only as a last resort and that fathers’ needs to be with their young children be taken into account.  The discussion in Part II below highlights key international measures that address the issues surrounding children residing in prison with an incarcerated parent.  The list of international documents reviewed is not exhaustive, and includes major United Nations and European acts addressing mainly the well-being of children and women in prison."

"Most of the countries surveyed in Part III impose specific age limits for a child’s admission into and length of stay in prison.  However, some use different or additional markers (such as a breastfeeding period or an assessment of the best interests of the child) for making such determinations.  In addition, many of the countries surveyed permit children to actually live with the parent in jail, whether or not in special facilities, whereas a few put eligible children in prison child care facilities with the parent having regular access to the child.  Finally, some surveyed countries, in addition to admitting children to prison to live with an incarcerated parent, utilize alternatives to custodial sentences, including deferment of a custodial sentence and home confinement, when dealing with a person who has a young child."

"Most of jurisdictions surveyed require that prisons that admit children meet certain standards.  These range from making available basic necessities including additional food, special diets, and access to medical care, to having child care services and special residential units available for incarcerated mothers with children.  However, some jurisdictions do not provide extensive services for children residing in prison."
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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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Law Commission of Ontario Call for Research Papers

The Law Commission of Ontario has sent out a call for research papers on the topic of “take-up rates” in class action proceedings as a measure of access to justice. Take-up rates refer to the proportion of eligible claimants who present a claim for compensation in a class action lawsuit:
"In the context of access to justice, the CPA [Ontario's Class Proceedings Act, 1992] was intended to mitigate the social, psychological and economic circumstances that can frustrate a person’s access to the courts for consideration of a claim. It was premised on the notion that as a class seeking redress for mass harm, there is better leverage to level the litigation playing field when prosecuting a large corporate entity. However, it can be argued that the objective of access to justice is met only if sufficient members of the class actually benefit from the damages identified in a settlement or award.

The LCO will fund research on take-up rates, which will inform the development of options for reform."

(...)

"The objective of this Call for Research Proposals is to obtain expert input on the topic of 'take-up rates' in class proceedings as a measure of access to justice, as described in the scoping document. The resulting research will help to paint a clear picture of the extent to which class procedure has enabled meaningful access to justice in Ontario. Such research in turn will allow the LCO to make reasoned, evidence-based and practical recommendations for reform."

"Researchers are encouraged to employ relevant quantitative or qualitative research that they have already undertaken or, as long as it can be completed within the time frames set out below, to undertake original quantitative or qualitative research that will contribute to their analysis."
The scoping document referred to above is on the Law Commission website. Research proposals must be received by midnight on October 17, 2014.

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Most Recent Issue of LawNow: Looking at Criminal Law

The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The main section contains a number of features articles on the recent evolution of criminal law in Canada.

There is also a special report on the law of contests and sweepstakes.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Live Tweet Chat on the CBA Legal Futures Initiative

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a live "tweet chat" on Thursday, September 25 with Fred Headon, Past-President of the Canadian Bar Association and Chair of the CBA Legal Futures Initiative.

The live chat on Twitter will take place from 12 to 1PM EST and the topic will be "Does the CBA Futures Report provide opportunities for law librarians? "

The CALL website has details on how interested law librarians (and others) can join the chat.

People can read more about the CBA Legal Futures Initiative on the CBA Futures website. The Initiative recently published a report on the changing legal marketplace, the value that lawyers will bring to the future of legal services in Canada, and the opportunities that arise from lawyers choosing to adapt to change.

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Wednesday, September 10, 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 August 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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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Roundup on Proposed Outsourcing of AMICUS National Catalogue to OCLC

The INFOdocket website has a roundup of the correspondence between Canadian library associations and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) relating to the proposed outsourcing of its AMICUS national union catalogue to the OCLC international library cooperative.

The proposal has been quite controversial and sparked criticism from various library associations such as the British Columbia Library Association, the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, and the Canadian Library Association (CLA). Late last month, the new head of LAC, Mr. Guy Berthiaume, responded to the CLA.

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Monday, September 08, 2014

Program of October 16 Government Information Day at University of Ottawa

The University of Ottawa Library is organizing a one-day conference called Government Information Day on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at the University of Ottawa's downtown campus.

The event will be structured around two themes: preservation and access, and open government.

The program is now available online.

The first Government Information Day took place last year at the University of Toronto.

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Saturday, September 06, 2014

Australian Law Reform Commission Report into Serious Invasions of Privacy

The Australian Law Reform Commission has released a report on Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era .

The report proposes a new tort remedy for invasions of privacy that are serious, committed intentionally or recklessly and that cannot be justified as being in the public interest — for example, posting sexually explicit photos of someone on the internet without their permission or making public someone’s medical records.

The document also recommends a range of defences to protect free speech: these would include lawful authority, necessity (to protect life, for example), consent, absolute privilege (such as reporting court or parliamentary proceedings), the publication of public documents, etc.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:10 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Upcoming Webinar on Sharing Collaboration Tools

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on September 16, 2014 (1:00pm - 2:30pm EDT) on Sharing Collaboration Tools (online registration form):
"More than ever librarians need to collaborate - with each other or with other professions. Your collaborators may be across the hall or across the country. Fortunately, there are tools available to allow efficient and secure collaboration - no more worrying about losing files or over-writing work! Depending on the time allotted, this will cover (in order of importance) GitHub (not just a code repository!), Dropbox, Wikis, Google docs and whatever new may developed between now and then."
The speaker is Sarah Glassmeyer, Director of Community Development for the Center for Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI), a non-profit consortium of law schools, legal education programs and law libraries from around the globe.

The cost is $45.20 for CALL members, and $67.80 for non-members. As this session was cancelled at the CALL 2014 Conference. This webinar will be free to all 2014 Conference Attendees. Please email "events AT callacbd.ca" for the promo code.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:05 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Alberta Law Reform Institute Final Report on Oaths to Tell the Truth

The Alberta Law Reform Institute has published a report that recommends changes to the Alberta Evidence Act that deal with oaths that witnesses must make to tell the truth before giving evidence:
"In our legal system, a witness or a deponent of an affidavit must promise to tell the truth before giving evidence. The Alberta Evidence Act (AEA) makes swearing a religious oath the automatic requirement of first resort. Every witness or deponent is asked to swear. Only if someone personally takes the initiative to actively object to swearing an oath may that person possibly make a secular affirmation instead. But the judge or official administering the procedure must first make an inquiry and be satisfied that the objection to swearing an oath is justified on certain specified grounds."

"Historically, this 'object-and-justify' model was the standard statutory approach used by Canadian provinces and territories, American and Australian states, and the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Today, however, the majority of those jurisdictions have discontinued this approach and now largely use the 'free choice' model instead. In the free choice model, a witness or deponent is simply asked by the judge or official administering the procedure whether they want to swear an oath or affirm. There are no preconditions. People do not need to object to taking an oath first and do not need to justify which choice is made. Both options are treated equally."

"The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) recommends that the AEA be amended to adopt the free choice model as well. There are some indications that the current object-and- justify model may cause a certain level of difficulty, stress or confusion both for those who administer it and those who swear or affirm. As well, it is not good for Alberta to be so legally out of step with other jurisdictions on this matter. Society has changed and in our increasingly pluralistic and secular society, it seems inappropriate to maintain a legal hierarchy which gives greater status to swearing than affirming. Such a legal hierarchy may also infringe equality rights or the right to freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed by the Charter."
The report looked at practices in other Canadian jurisdictions, the United States, the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:12 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

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

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) have until September 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.

This scholarship fund was established in memory of James D. Lang, a long- time employee of Carswell and member of CALL.

More details are available on the CALL website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:24 pm 0 comments links to this post

New Version of Ontario Legislation Site E-Laws in Beta

A new version of e-Laws (the Ontario government's legislation website) is currently in beta (testing) mode.

The new version will offer:
  • Easier navigation between related documents (e.g., statutes and regulations, consolidated law and source law, current versions and previous versions)
  • Cleaner look and feel
  • Simplified search and browse functions for each law category (e.g., current consolidated law, source law, repealed, revoked and spent law, and period in time law)
  • Streamlined legislative history and help information
  • More accessible text for people who use screen reader
Users are asked to send their feedback to e-laws@ontario.ca

The current version of e-Laws is on the Ontario government website.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:19 pm 0 comments links to this post

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

The September 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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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:11 pm 0 comments links to this post