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Labels: legal research and writing
Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian
Labels: legal research and writing
"Solicitor-Client Privilege explains key aspects of lawyer-client confidentiality, analyzes the exceptions to privilege, conditions where privilege is unclear, and situations of competing interests that might bring into question the application of privilege (...) "The Prize seeks to recognize excellent legal writing and to reward outstanding new contributions to Canadian legal literature that enhance the quality of legal research in this country.
"Prof. Dodek teaches public law and legislation, constitutional law, legal ethics and professional responsibility, and a seminar on the Supreme Court of Canada at University of Ottawa. He is a founding member of the faculty’s Public Law Group, the director of the Professionalism Initiative, and co-founder of the Legal Writing Academy."
"The Conservative government has now named about 600 of the 840 full-time federally appointed judges, or nearly three in every four judges on provincial superior courts, appeal courts, the Federal Court and Tax Court. " (...)
"The judges, who can serve until they are 75, may be sitting long after other governments have come along and rewritten the laws. They also are a farm team or development system for the Supreme Court. They are Mr. Harper’s enduring legacy" (...)
"The rules in the appointments system are few, and all previous governments have used the bench to reward party faithful. But Mr. Harper is the first Prime Minister to be a critic of the Charter, and early on he told Parliament that he wanted to choose judges who would support his crackdown on crime."
Related Globe and Mail articles include:"The Globe spent months exploring the secret world of appointments to understand the extent of the changes and how the government set out to identify candidates who share its view of the judiciary’s proper role. We spoke to dozens of key players – political insiders, members of judicial screening committees, academics, judges and former judges – often on a condition of anonymity, so they could talk freely."
Labels: library instruction
"Decisions are evidence of judicial thinking. Indeed, legal precedent has earned a 'presumption of correctness' based on the 'judge's own considered conclusions' unless 'clearly erroneous.' of fact and conclusions of law, evidence showing a lack of 'independent judgment' might reveal a due process violation."
"Some common objections to verbatim copying in judicial decisions include: (1) adoption of one party's fact-finding ex parte; (2) no independent decision-making; (3) no notice, hearing or opportunity for objection by other party; (3) no evidence to support adopting findings; and (4) improper delegation of decision-making power to a party."
"In response, appellate decisions and scholarly literature have offered some useful indicia of 'independent judgment': (1) an oral pronouncement that reveals decision-making before inviting or adopting the proposals of parties; (2) citation of evidentiary support and legal principles for the court's conclusions; (3) biases and advocacy of the parties filtered out in vetting the factual findings; and (4) a robust appellate review assuring fidelity to due process and statutory requirements for independent judicial reasoning."
"This article collects notable decisions and scholarly research concerning the legal and ethical issues associated with cut-and-paste decision-making."The article cites to US and to a few Canadian decisions and articles.
"The law regulating the use and acquisition of firearms is contained primarily within the Firearms Act 1968. Further provisions, however, are to be found in an additional 33 Acts of Parliament. In total therefore, to understand fully the law on firearms it is necessary to have regard to 34 Acts of Parliament. In addition to these, the law is to be found in numerous pieces of secondary legislation."The consultation period ends September 21, 2015.
"Early fact finding with stakeholders suggested there was consensus on those problems that cause the most difficulties in practice. In this scoping consultation paper, the Law Commission sets out these problems and makes some provisional proposals as to how they could be remedied. By providing immediate solutions to these pressing problems, the aim is to maximise public safety whilst also providing clarity and certainty for members of the licensed firearms community."
"From discussions with stakeholders, it also became clear that there are more fundamental problems with the law. These problems are attributable to the fact the law has become increasing complex, inaccessible and in some instances incoherent. Given that the Firearms Act 1968 was a consolidating Act, many of its provisions have their origin in older legislative provisions, such as the Pistols Act 1903. It is questionable whether these remain fit for purpose in the 21st century."
"It is for these reasons the Law Commission has also examined in this scoping consultation paper whether more comprehensive reform of the law is necessary. We conclude that the law is problematic and could be improved. The consultation paper gives some examples of problems stakeholders have brought to our attention which we believe could be remedied by codifying the law."
"Emerald's Green OA route offers all Emerald authors of journal articles the option to make their research openly available, free from payment and time restrictions. Once an article has been published by Emerald, an author may voluntarily post their own version of the article that was submitted to the journal (pre-print) or the version of the article that has been accepted for publication (post-print) onto their own personal website or into their own institutional repository with no payment or embargo period (with the exception of funded research where Emerald’s standard 24 month embargo period applies to mandated articles)."The journals in the trial include:
"The majority of Supreme Court justices ... stated that the province would meet its constitutional obligation by providing a fair opportunity for a broad cross-section of society to participate in the jury process, irrespective of the ultimate composition of the jury roll. A fair opportunity will have been provided when the state makes reasonable efforts to compile the jury roll using random selection from lists that draw from a broad cross‑section of society, and deliver jury notices to those who have been randomly selected."
"The majority ruled that it is beyond the scope of section 11 to require that the state encourage the participation of Aboriginal peoples on juries, or address systemic issues related to their disengagement from the justice system."
"They held that the state will only violate the right to an impartial tribunal that is set out in section 11(d ) if it deliberately excludes a particular group, or if its efforts are 'so deficient that they create an appearance of partiality'. "
"The two dissenting judges defined a representative jury roll as one that substantially resembles the group that would be assembled through a process of random selection. They stated that the jury roll will comply with section 11 as long as the state takes appropriate steps to ensure that random selection will result in a group that is broadly representative of the community from which it is drawn."
"The Fastcase 50 for 2015 highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers — people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services. In law firms – including some of the nation’s largest – with new delivery models, legal tech startups, legal publishers, academia, and the judiciary, these pioneers are giving the world a first look at what’s next for law and technology."Simon Fodder, the founder of Slaw.ca, Canada's preeminent online legal magazine, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in 2014.
Labels: information management
"How do we know we are doing well? To justify our existence over 40 years we must be doing something ‘good’ (to paraphrase sister Maria in The Sound of Music)."
" ‘Implementation’ data is one way – the darling of those who like KPIs. But it is not all about statistics. A lack of implementation, of itself, does not mean failure. It is not even a very good guide to performance. (Although our ‘numbers’ are good: as of June 2014, over 88% of ALRC reports had been substantially or partially implemented)."
"My personal conviction, after nearly nine years at the ALRC, is that an assessment of the contribution that law reform work makes must be seen through another lens. It is like a pebble in a pond. There are ripples that run over the surface of the pond—the extending, echoing impact, long after the pebble has disappeared beneath the surface of the water."
"The ripples are multiple and overlapping. Here are some ...."
"This report covers laws on parental child abduction and the legal aid that may be available to parents of abducted children in thirty-eight countries that have not signed the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The responses are organized by region of the world: East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. While in many countries no specific legislation or programs dealing with international abduction of children could be located, existing laws and general legal aid programs may be relevant."The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty developed by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH) that provides an expeditious method to return a child internationally abducted by a parent from one member country to another.
"How would you describe your job to other people?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.
I research various aspects of Canadian law in order to answer public requests and compose brief summaries on the current state of law in my jurisdiction. I also stay apprised in recent developments of Canadian law in order to write articles for the Global Legal Monitor, an online Law Library publication on legal developments around the world. (...)"
"What is the most interesting fact you have learned about the Law Library of Congress?
Just how impressive the Law Library’s collection is! You don’t realize the magnitude of the collection until you’re lost in the sub-basement trying to find a book. If it weren’t for the help of the librarians, I would still be wandering through the stacks."
"The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) aim to protect people who lack mental capacity, but who need to be deprived of liberty so they can be given care and treatment in a hospital or care home. If a person’s right to liberty needs to be infringed in other settings, an authorisation must be obtained from the Court of Protection."The consultation paper is available on the Commission website.
"The DoLS have been criticised since they were introduced for being overly complex and excessively bureaucratic. In March 2014, a House of Lords Select Committee published a detailed report concluding that the DoLS were 'not fit for purpose' and recommended that they be replaced. At the same time, a case in the United Kingdom Supreme Court held that far greater numbers of people fell to be dealt with under the DoLS system than had previously been thought. This has placed increasing burdens on local authorities and health and social care practitioners administering the DoLS."
"Our consultation paper concludes that the DoLS are ‘deeply flawed’. We provisionally propose that they be replaced with a new system, to be called ‘Protective Care’. This system is not focused on authorising deprivations of liberty, but instead upon providing appropriate care and better outcomes for people who lack mental capacity and helping their family and carers."
"The law on sentencing affects all criminal cases, and is applied in hundreds of thousands of trials and at thousands of appeals each year. But it lacks coherence and clarity: it is spread across many statutes, and frequent updates are brought into force at different times by different statutory instruments and have a variety of transitional arrangements."The consultation paper is available on the Law Commission website.
"Our aim in this project is to introduce a single sentencing statute that will act as the first and only port of call for sentencing tribunals. It will set out the relevant provisions in a clear and logical way, and ensure that all updates to sentencing procedure can be found in a single place. It is not the aim of this project to interfere with mandatory minimum sentences or with sentencing tariffs in general. Those will remain entirely untouched, but the process by which they come to be imposed will be streamlined and much improved."
"This first paper is about the process of transition to the Code. While a seemingly technical issue, it is in fact vital to the success of the Code: we think that to maximise its impact the new Code should apply to everyone being sentenced after its implementation. We want to avoid judges being forced to continue to use the complex existing procedural regimes for months if not years to come. In this paper, we explain why sweeping away the vast bulk of the historic sentencing procedure will cause no unfairness to the defendant, nor will it involve any breach of human rights obligations, as long as certain basic safeguards are observed."