Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Canadian Resources Added to Law Library of Congress Indigenous Law Portal

Earlier this month, the Law Library of Congress in Washington announced that it has added Canadian aboriginal law resources to its Indigenous Law Portal:
"This new segment of the portal expands our coverage for the first time beyond the United States."

"The Canadian portion of the Indigenous Law Portal is divided into three regions: Eastern, Western, and Northern Canada. These regions closely follow the recently updated K Class – Law Classification. In addition to the regions, you can browse the legal information by province or alphabetically."
Tim Knight, Associate Librarian and Head of Technical Services at the Osgoode Hall Law School Library in Toronto, provided some background on the Indigenous Law Portal in a post published on Slaw.ca in August 2014.

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.

[Source: Slaw.ca]

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

American Law Librarian Cited in Recent US Supreme Court Decision

John Cannan, research and instructional services librarian at Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law in Philadelphia, made the history books on June 25.

The United States Supreme Court opinion King v. Burwell cites Cannan's Law Library Journal article, "A Legislative History of the Affordable Care Act: How Legislative Procedure Shapes Legislative History," 105 Law Library Journal 131 (2013).  The Law Library Journal is a publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Cannan's article is cited on p.14 of the judgment.


King v. Burwell upholds a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that provides tax subsidies for the purchase of health insurance in all 50 American states.

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2015 Canadian Library Association Conference Presentations Available

The presentations from the recent 2015 conference of the Canadian Library Association in Ottawa are now available online:
Whether you were unable to be with us in Ottawa or you want to access some of the resources made available by the conference presenters… this is the place for you!

In this special post-conference section, you will find various items related to the 2015 CLA National Conference. A number of our speakers have provided copies from their sessions that include things such as Microsoft PowerPoint Shows, handouts, resource lists, etc. These files are for reference only.
The conference took place June 3-5, 2015.



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Thursday, June 25, 2015

English Law Commission Report on Public Nuisance and Outraging Public Decency

The Law Commission of England today published its report on Simplification of Criminal Law: Public Nuisance and Outraging Public Decency.

It follows a consultation paper published in 2010.

Public nuisance is a common law offence involving environmental danger or loss of amenity or offensive public behaviour.

The related common law offence of outraging public decency involves actions in public places that outrage generally accepted standards of decency, in the presence of at least two people.

At present public nuisance requires negligence on the part of the defendant, while outraging public decency does not require any mental fault at all.
The report recommends that both offences should be replaced by statutory offences. The new offences would be similar to the old, except that the fault element would be redefined:
  • in public nuisance, it should be a requirement of the offence that the defendant intended to cause, or was reckless about causing, a nuisance to the public;
  • in outraging public decency, it should be a requirement of the offence that the defendant knew that he or she was or might be in a public place and that the act or display was of such a nature as to cause outrage to ordinary people.  There should be no requirement that two people were actually present.

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Statistics Canada Article on Drug-Related Offences

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat today published an article on Drug-related offences in Canada, 2013.

Highlights from the article:
  • Since peaking in 1991, the police-reported crime rate has decreased by half (-50%), while the police-reported rate of drug offences has increased 52% over the same period. Police reported about 109,000 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) offences in 2013, representing approximately 5% of all incidents reported by police.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of all police-reported drug offences in 2013 involved cannabis. In particular, cannabis possession accounted for more than half (54%) of all police-reported drug crime.
  • British Columbia recorded the highest provincial rate of drug crime in 2013. This has been the case each year since 1982, with the exception of 2012, when Saskatchewan had the highest provincial rate.
  • About one-quarter (26%) of all police-reported drug crime is cleared by departmental discretion (i.e., a warning or referral to a community-based program rather than a charge), a considerably higher proportion than crime in general (8%).
  • The rate of persons accused of police-reported drug offences was highest for the 18 to 24-year-old age group (1,176 per 100,000 population), followed by youth (ages 12 to 17) (741 per 100,000).
  • In about half of all completed adult criminal and youth court cases that involved offences related to cannabis, the cannabis charge was the only violation. Cases involving drugs other than cannabis had a single charge in about one-quarter of cases.
  • In adult criminal court, completed cases that include charges related to drugs take longer to complete than non-drug-related cases, with cases involving cannabis requiring the shortest median case length among drug-related case (105 days).
  • Cases that included charges related to cannabis completed in adult criminal court were more commonly stayed or withdrawn (55%) than cases involving other types of drugs (38%).
  • Of drug-related cases in completed in adult criminal court that resulted in findings of guilt, about one in three involved a sentence of custody. Cases related to drug supply involved custody about twice as frequently as cases related to drug possession, though custody was less often imposed in cases involving cannabis.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

US National Center for State Courts Report on Trends in State Courts 2015

The National Center for State Courts based in the state of Virginia has just published a report on Trends in State Courts 2015.

Trends in State Courts is an annual publication dedicated to making courts aware of key trends in court operations and society.

Many of the articles cover issues related to technology such as developing an online benchbook, using online portals to help self-represented litigants, and archiving court records via the cloud.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

If You Need Inspiration for Your Social Media Policy


Many organizations, including libraries and library associations, have been using social media to communicate with users and clients.

They often feel the need to develop a "social media policy" but are not sure where to start.

Stephen Abram, executive director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries, has linked to two sources that can help:
  • the Social Media Policy Database on the Social Media Governance website: it lists hundreds of links to social media policies from corporations, governments and non-profit organizations from North America, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand
  • David Lee King, Digital Services Director at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and author of Face2Face: Using Facebook, Twitter, and Other Social Media Tools to Create Great Customer Connections, has gone through that long list and distilled a short compendium of useful ideas : "Remember – if you are thinking about creating some social media guidelines for your organization, you don’t have to start from scratch. Find some good examples, pull some points off those, and then tweak and expand as needed."
[Stephen Abram's blog Stephen's Lighthouse]

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Statistics Canada Report on Trends in Reporting Criminal Victimization to Police

Statistics Canada today published a report on Trends in reporting criminal victimization to police, 1999 to 2009.

Among the main highlights:
"Reporting criminal victimization to police was generally highest for incidents of break and enter, or theft of a motor vehicle or parts, while police were rarely made aware of spousal violence incidents and sexual assaults, according to data from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization."

"About one in three self-reported victimization incidents came to the attention of police in 2009. Break and enter (54%), as well as theft of motor vehicles or parts (50%) had the highest rates of reporting to police. The proportion of incidents reported to the police climbs to 90%, when considering only completed thefts of a motor vehicle, that is excluding attempts and thefts of motor vehicle parts."

"Police, however, were seldom called for sexual assaults committed by someone other than a spouse, making it the offence with the highest level of underreporting. Almost 90% of sexual assaults by a non-spousal perpetrator were never reported to police. Underreporting was most pronounced for unwanted sexual touching, with 93% of incidents going unreported."

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

University of Toronto Law Faculty Report on Detention of Migrants With Mental Health Issues

Last week, the University of Toronto Faculty of Law's International Human Rights Program released a report entitled We Have No Rights: Arbitrary Imprisonment and Cruel Treatment of Migrants with Mental Health Issues in Canada.

According to the report, many refugee claimants and asylum seekers with mental health issues are locked up in detention in Canada. The government argues that these migrants can get better health care in jail, but that idea is challenged in the report.

According to the press release:
"There is nothing in the law, for example, that defines which detainees can or should be transferred to jails. And once they are in jail, it's not at all clear which authority retains responsibility over them—the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or provincial correctional officials. Because Canada has no mandated legal limit on the length of time an immigration detainee can be held, some are left languishing behind bars for months and years with no clear end in sight. This situation leaves them with fewer rights than convicted criminals. It also puts Canada in a very special position, as one of the only standard-setting countries that does not impose either a legally mandated limit on migrant detention or a soft limit that's been determined by the courts (...)"

"The upswing in migrant detention is something relatively new for Canada, whose reputation up until about a decade ago was one of welcome and compassion for refugee claimants and asylum seekers arriving at its borders. 'Canada was seen as one of the better countries up until very recently,' says Stephanie J. Silverman, PhD, a course coordinator at the U of T Centre for Ethics who has studied and written extensively about detention in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada. 'Release was always preferable to detention. It really was kept as a last resort, which is how it must be if you're going to follow international law and human rights standards'. "

"Things started to change, she says, with an increased emphasis on law and order. Canada adopted changes to its Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, accompanied by a new list of new regulations. Irregular arrivals from certain countries could be subject to mandatory detention, and authority over the CBSA had already been transferred from Citizenship and Immigration to Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. Border agents became first and foremost officers of law enforcement tasked with keeping perceived danger out, rather than facilitating the entry of newcomers into Canada (...)"

"According to Silverman's research, the CBSA claims it releases about three quarters of detainees after 48 hours and that 90-95 per cent of asylum applicants are released into the community. Nonetheless, according to the IHRP report, in 2013 the CBSA detained more than 7300 migrants. Thirty per cent were held in jails, many mixed in among the criminal population. They wear prison-issued jumpsuits. They can be subject to lockdowns and periods of solitary confinement. Many don't speak English and have no easy access to interpreters or legal counsel. "

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

International Journal of Legal Education Wins British Legal Journal of the Year Award

The Law Teacher: The International Journal of Legal Education has won the 2015 Legal Journals Award given out by the British and Irish Association of Law Libraries (BIALL):
"The winning title was commended for providing an important, foundational service to the teaching of the law as discipline, successfully mixing theory and practice. Judges praised the accessibility of its content, encouraging readers to spend time with the articles. Notably, as teachers of information literacy ourselves, the potential of the title to add significant value to the work of the individual legal information professional was remarked upon by the panel (...)"
The Award was presented on June 12th in Brighton during the BIALL Annual Conference. BIALL is a sister association of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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 15-31, 2015 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, June 16, 2015

Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation in Wake of Indian Residential School Abuses

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of June 3, 2015 entitled Library and Information Community-Related Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools .

Earlier this month, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its findings after its years-long investigation into the many abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The ActiveHistory.ca website yesterday published an article by Krista McCracken, Archives Supervisor at Algoma University’s Shingwauk Residential School and Wishart A. Library.

It is called The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation:
"The report features 94 recommendations to facilitate reconciliation and address the legacy of residential schools, including a set of recommendations relating specifically to museums and archives. Given the challenging past relationship between the TRC and archival institutions these recommendations are perhaps not surprising."

"The TRC went to court in 2012 and 2013 to gain access to archival records relating to residential schools held by Library and Archives Canada. The Commission’s recommendations go beyond the issue of access.  It also includes calls to action relating to best practices, commemorative projects, public education, and compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples."

"In terms of public education and commemorative projects the Commission urges the federal government to work with Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian Museums Association to establish funding for commemoration projects for the 150th anniversary of Canada relating to reconciliation. It also calls for Library and Archives Canada to commit additional resources to education and programming on residential schools."

"The executive summary pointedly notes that museums and archives 'have interpreted the past in ways that have excluded or marginalized Aboriginal peoples’ cultural perspectives and historical experience….as history that had formerly been silenced was revealed, it became evident that Canada’s museums had told only part of the story.'(p. 303)"

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Comprehensive Index of Legal Reports by Law Library of Congress

The Law Library of Congress in Washington has compiled a comprehensive index of  legal reports it has produced:
"The legal research reports listed below by topic provide commentary and recommended resources on issues and events. These reports are provided for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. The information provided reflects research undertaken as of the date of writing, which has not been updated unless specifically noted."
The topics covered range from "Adoption, Custody, and Parentage" to "War Crimes, Terrorism, and National Security".

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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Magna Carta Arrives in Canada

A copy of the Magna Carta arrived last week in Ottawa as part of a tour marking the 800th anniversary of the famous document.

It is on display until July 26 at the Canadian Museum of History.

Earlier Library Boy posts about the Magna Carta include:
  • Magna Carta to Tour Canada in its 800th Anniversary Year (January 29, 2015): "The Magna Carta, along with its companion document from 1217 known as the Charter of the Forest, will be exhibited in Ottawa/Gatineau at the Canadian Museum of History from June 11 to July 26, 2015, before making stops in Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton."
  • Speech by UK Supreme Court Justice Lord Sumption on 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta (March 14, 2015): "The speech looks at the origins of the  document and at how it has perceived by lawyers and historians over the centuries."
  • British Library Exhibition on 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta (April 11, 2015): "The British Library's Medieval Manuscripts Blog has an article on Pictures At An Exhibition that describes some of the prints, drawings and paintings that present the Magna Carta in its historical context. The items come from the British Museum; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the National Portrait Gallery; HM The Queen and the Royal Collection, Windsor; the Palace of Westminster; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and the Musée Carnavalet, Paris."

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

SLA 2015 Conference Slides and Handouts Now Available

The international information professional organization SLA (Special Libraries Association) is holding its annual conference June 14-16, 2015 in Boston.

Many of the speaker presentations and handouts have been made available ahead of time.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Statistics Canada Report on Police-reported Hate Crimes

Statistics Canada today published a report on Police-reported hate crimes, 2013.

The report compiles stats on criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are determined to have been motivated by hate toward an identifiable group based on race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or other factors such as profession or political beliefs.

In 2013, police across Canada recorded 3.3 hate crimes per 100,000 population. This represented a 17% drop from 2012.
"In 2013, three primary motivations accounted for 95% of hate crimes. Hate crime motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity represented about half (585 or 51%) of all hate crime incidents, followed by religious hate crimes (326 or 28%) and crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation (186 or 16%) ..."

"Although the number of hate crimes reported by police declined from 2012, some characteristics of these crimes remained constant. For example, among hate crimes related to race or ethnicity, Black populations were still the most frequently targeted (22% of hate crimes of all types). For religiously motivated hate crime, there has also been little change over time, with hate crimes targeting Jewish populations still the most common (16% of hate crimes of all types)."

"Overall, the majority (60%) of hate-motivated crimes reported by police involved non-violent offences. Mischief, which includes vandalism, graffiti and other forms of property destruction, was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes, making up half of all hate crime incidents. This was especially true for religious hate crimes, where 72% were mischief offences."

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Monday, June 08, 2015

Texas Supreme Court Judge Named State 'Tweeter Laureate'

They do things differently down there.

According to an article from the Associated Press, Don Willett, a judge of the Texas Supreme Court, was named Twetter Laureate by the Texas Legislature, something like Poet Laureate I presume, but not as long-winded.

"Willett humors his more than 17,000 followers with 140 characters about Texas pride, life with his children — whom he dubs the 'wee Willetts' — and the occasional law lesson. Often, tweets contain eye-roll-worthy memes, Dad jokes and puns."

"Instructions to judges on how to use social media are still being formulated, as the technology is still relatively new to the judiciary branch. But Willett embraced the communication tool early, garnering plenty of media attention and topping many 'must-follow' lists (...)"

"Typically, judges avoid revealing their opinions other than published, in-court ones. And rules regarding social media have only just begun to come out, such as last year, when the American Bar Association issued a formal opinion recognizing social media as 'a valuable tool for public outreach'."

"The Texas Code on Judicial Conduct instructs judges to observe high standards of conduct and avoid extracurricular activities that interfere with the proper performance of judicial duties. The state's Commission on Judicial Conduct enforces the code, which executive director Seana Willing said already includes communication rules applicable to all modes."

"But new rules will likely be adopted soon, Willing said, as the body is involved in its first appeal to the state Supreme Court over a district judge who was sanctioned for misusing Facebook."
Readers can follow Justice Willett on Twitter at @JusticeWillett.

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Sunday, June 07, 2015

Australian Law Reform Commission Report on Reform of Native Title Act

Last week, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released a report on Connection to Country: Review of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

The report addresses barriers to the recognition of legal rights of indigenous groups to their ancestral lands and waters in the Commonwealth of Australia.

 From the Executive Summary:
"... the ALRC’s recommendations for amendment to s 223(1) acknowledge that linking between the pre-sovereign laws and customs and their modern counterpart is necessary, but carefully targeted recommendations are directed to reducing the impact of the connection requirements where they have introduced more stringency than may be evident from the current definition of native title in s 223(1). The capacity for traditional laws to adapt, evolve and develop and that requirements for continued acknowledgment of laws and customs not be unduly onerous, is an important means of addressing the challenge of change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, while still reflecting the significance of the recognition of traditional connection to land and waters (...)"

"In summary, the recommendations are intended to (...)
  • acknowledge that, while retention of a focus on traditional laws and customs is important, the law should be flexibly applied to allow evolution, adaptation and development of those laws and customs and succession to native title rights and interests;
  • expedite the claims process by removing ‘substantially uninterrupted continuity’ and the ‘normative society’ requirements as a strict necessity and refocusing on the core elements of the definition of native title;
  • facilitate the drawing of inferences of fact in defined circumstances, while recognising that the extent of evidence required to establish native title is in tension with the object of the Act to recognise and protect native title;
  • provide statutory reflection of the principles developed by the High Court that recognised that a native title right may be exercised for any purpose—commercial or non-commercial and to include a native title right to trade in a non exhaustive list of native title rights and interests;
  • strengthen the internal governance of the claim group by clarifying the functions, powers and duties of the applicant (...)"
The report also looks at aboriginal title in Canada and New Zealand.

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Statistics Canada Article on Mental Health and Contact with Police

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat this week published an article on Mental health and contact with police in Canada, 2012.

The article explores the type of contact that Canadians with a disorder have with police and how it differs from those without a disorder. In addition, the prevalence of mental or substance use disorders by selected demographic characteristics are also discussed.

Among the highlights:
  • According to the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey―Mental Health (CCHS―MH), about 5 million, or approximately one in five (18.4%), Canadians aged 15 and older reported coming into contact with police in the 12 months prior to the survey. Of those 5 million Canadians who came into contact with police, 18.8% also met the criteria for having a mental or substance use disorder.
  • In 2012, 1 in 10, or approximately 2.8 million Canadians aged 15 and older, met the criteria for at least one of the following mental or substance use disorders: depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse or dependence, cannabis abuse or dependence, or other drug abuse or dependence.
  • Overall, the proportion of persons with a mental disorder only (5.5%) was higher than the proportion of persons with a substance use disorder only (3.4%), while 1.0% of Canadians had both a mental and a substance use disorder.
  • Compared to other age groups, rates of disorders were highest among younger Canadians, with almost one in five (18.5%) Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24 meeting the criteria for at least one of the mental or substance use disorders measured by the survey. This was partly influenced by substance use disorders, which were significantly higher among this age group.
  • Overall, Canadians with a disorder had higher rates of childhood maltreatment (66.5%), as measured by the 2012 CCHS―MH, than those without a disorder (44.9%). Differences in the types of childhood maltreatment experienced tended to be most pronounced for what could be considered the most serious forms of maltreatment. For instance, the proportion of those having been physically attacked was almost three times higher for those with a disorder (22.9%) than those without a disorder (8.4%).
  • Among Canadians who came into contact with police, those with a mental or substance use disorder, compared to those without a disorder, were more likely to come into contact with police for problems with their emotions, mental health or substance use (18.7%), as well as for being arrested (12.5%).
  • While the majority of people who came into contact with police did so for only one reason, a higher proportion of Canadians with a mental or substance use disorder (30.6%) reported more than one reason for contact compared to those without a disorder (12.2%).
  • The presence of a mental or substance use disorder was associated with increased odds of coming into contact with police, even after controlling for related demographic and socioeconomic factors. Furthermore, those who perceived a need for help with their emotions, mental health or substance use also had greater odds of contact with police, regardless of whether those needs had been met.

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Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Criminal Law

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is organizing a webinar on criminal law on June 18, 2015 from 1 to 2:30PM Eastern:
"There are two goals: (i) to give a sense of what law school students study and learn in their first year criminal law class, and (ii) to provide practical tips on researching criminal law issues. "

"Questions / topics to be covered will include:
- How is criminal law taught in law school?
- More specifically, the following concepts will be discussed:
  • Mens rea/ actus reus
  • Indictable offences versus summary conviction offences
  • Strict liability offences
  • Criminal Code offences versus provincial offences
- Research tips for researching criminal law
- Creating your own research guides and pathfinders for researching criminal law"
It is part of CALL's 2014-2015 series of webinars on substantive law.

The speaker is Ted Tjaden, national litigation precedents lawyer in Gowlings’ Toronto office. He is the author of Legal Research and Writing, 3rd ed (Toronto: Irwin Law, 2010).


CALL/ACBD Member: $40 + $5.20 HST    = $45.20
Non-member: $60 + $7.80 HST    = $67.80
Student Rate: $25 + $3.25 HST    = $28.25

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Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Library and Information Community-Related Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools

Yesterday, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its findings after its years-long investigation into the over a century of abuses against Aboriginal children at Church-run Indian Residential Schools.

The Government Library & IM Professionals Network, part of the Canadian Library Association, has compiled the Commission's many calls to action that focus on the information management community (museums, Library and Archives Canada, archivist associations, vital statistics agencies, etc.)

Library and Archives Canada has compiled a list of resources relating to residential school records.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Clearinghouse for Internships & International Personnel Exchanges

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Foreign, Comparative & International Law Special Interest Section (FCIL-SIS) maintains a webpage for Internships & International Personnel Exchanges:
"[The SIS] recognizes an increasing need among our members to gain experience in working with foreign legal information sources and to develop personal and professional relationships with law librarians around the world. Through the Clearinghouse for Internships & International Personnel Exchanges we seek to channel information to interested law librarians on opportunities to visit libraries abroad."
It is currently updating its list of opportunities. Institutions interested in being placed on this list as a potential host site are invited to complete a survey.

As the survey site explains:
"Completing this information in no way obligates you to accept specific individuals seeking internships, visits, or exchanges, or in fact to accept any individuals at all. This survey is designed to serve an informational function only."

"The results of this survey will be compiled by the Internships & International Exchanges Committee and made available via the AALL FCIL SIS website so that interested individuals may contact potential institutions and attempt to arrange internships, visits, or exchanges."

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June 2015 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The June 2015 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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Monday, June 01, 2015

Correctional Investigator Report on Administratrive Segregation in Federal Prisons

Last week, the Office of the Correctional Investigator released a report on Administrative Segregation in Federal Corrections: 10 Year Trends
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The Investigator acts as the ombudsman for inmates incarcerated in Canadian federal institutions.

Administrative segregation or solitary confinement is commonly used to manage mentally ill offenders, self-injurious offenders and those at risk of suicide. 

Segregated inmates spend 23 hours a day alone in their cells (furnished with a bed and a toilet – no table or chair).  The segregated inmate eats all meals alone in the cell, is permitted to take an hour of outdoor exercise per day (weather permitting and with other compatible inmates if possible), is given the opportunity to shower every second day and has limited access to the phone and programs.
The majority of interactions with correctional staff, nurses and psychologists are conducted through the food slot of the segregation cell door.

Mr. Howard Sapers, Correctional Investigator of Canada, found that inmates in administrative segregation are twice more likely to have a history of self-injury and attempted suicide, and 31% more likely to have a mental health issue.

Sapers is of the opinion that segregation is overused in Canada. The report also shows that certain incarcerated groups are more affected than others, including federally sentenced women with mental health issues, Aboriginal and Black inmates.  Aboriginal inmates continue to have the longest average stay in segregation compared to any other group.

Sapers called for the Government of Canada to limit the use of administrative segregation, prohibit its use for mentally ill inmates and for younger offenders (up to 21 years of age), impose an initial limit of no more than 30 days, and introduce judicial oversight or independent adjudication for any length of stay in segregation beyond 30 days. 

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Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles May 2015

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection for the period of May 1-15, 2015 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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