Monday, August 31, 2015

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, 2015 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.

Here is a testimonial from a recent recipient, Mary-Jo Mustoe, Librarian at the R. Boak Burns Law Library at the Welland County Law Association in Welland, Ontario:
“I’ve been aware of the James D. Lang Scholarship for many years, but it never occurred to me to apply. This year I was seriously thinking of expanding my educational opportunities outside of the usual library conferences and I found a really interesting course offered by the iSchool Institute. The James D. Lang Scholarship enabled me to attend the two-day course - Defining New Metrics for Library Success. This course opened a whole new dimension of learning and analytics and has added a new skill to my daily work in the law library.”
This scholarship fund was established in memory of James D. Lang, a long- time employee of Canadian publisher Carswell and member of CALL.

More details are available on the Scholarships & Awards page of the CALL website.

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Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Library Boy on Vacation

See you in September! Enjoy the rest of the summer.


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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Manitoba Law Reform Commission Consultation Report on Presumption of Death Act

The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has released its Consultation Report on Improving Manitoba’s Presumption of Death Act

From the Executive Summary:
"Presumption of death legislation is not to be confused with survivorship or missing persons legislation. Survivorship legislation prescribes the order of death when two or more persons die in circumstances in which the order of death cannot be determined. Missing persons legislation provides access to records for the purpose of searching for a missing person. In contrast to both of these type of legislation, presumption of death legislation allows courts to issue orders declaring someone to be presumed dead so that the estate of the missing person may be administered, insurance proceeds may be paid out, or a spouse may remarry. Manitoba has statutes which deal separately with survivorship, missing persons and presumption of death."

"All Canadian jurisdictions have some form of presumption of death legislation regardless of whether or not the relevant legislative provisions are restricted, in their application, to specific statutory contexts or are laws of general application, or both. It would appear that the presumption of death legislation found in most other Canadian jurisdictions has been significantly amended since originally enacted. Conversely, Manitoba’s Presumption of Death Act has not been amended since first enacted in 1968. The purpose of this Consultation Report is to recommend improvements to Manitoba’s Presumption of Death Act in order to put it on par with presumption of death legislation found other Canadian jurisdictions."
The report:
  • outlines the history and background which led up to the enactment of the Presumption of Death Act in Manitoba
  • canvasses the need for reform with reference to legislation in other jurisdictions
  • provides a summary of additional matters considered or reviewed by the Commission during its study of the Act, but about which it has made no recommendations
  • provides a summary of the Commission’s provisional recommendations.
Since this is part of a consultation process, comments  are being invited and should reach the Commission by September 8, 2015.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Roundup of SLA Twitter Chat on Knowledge Management

The international information professional organization SLA (Special Libraries Association) held a Twitter chat on knowledge management (KM) on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 from 3 to 4PM Eastern time.

The chat dealt with 4 questions:
  • the definition of KM
  • are you responsible for areas in your workplace that can be considered KM?
  • what KM strategy or technique do you find most valuable?
  • which resources do you use to learn about or sharpen your KM skills?
The SLA has now published the contents of the event on the Storify website

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

The August 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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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Bingham Centre Report on Judicial Appointments in Commonwealth Countries

The London-based Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law has just published a report on The Appointment, Tenure and Removal of Judges under Commonwealth Principles: A Compendium and Analysis of Best Practice.

 The study, funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, provides an overview of current arrangements in the 53 member states of the Commonwealth including Canada, and seeks to identify best practices under the Commonwealth Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government (also known as the 'Latimer House Principles').

From the foreward:
"When Commonwealth Heads of Government at their meeting in Abuja in 2003 adopted the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government, they demonstrated continuing Commonwealth commitment to advancing respect for the separation of powers including judicial independence, and a collective determination to raise levels of practical observance (...)"

"This Compendium on the appointment, tenure and removal of judges in the Commonwealth outlines the various constitutional arrangements in Commonwealth member states, and makes recommendations. It also indicates best practice in the appointment, security of tenure, and removal of judges in light of the Latimer House Principles. It analyses statistics, soft law instruments, commentaries, and recent developments, as well as the composition and workings of judicial appointments commissions in Commonwealth member states."

"Our hope is that the best practices shared in this publication, and other agreed Commonwealth values and principles, will assist member states in formulating legislative and institutional policy, and with strengthening independence and accountability in the relationships between the three
branches of government (...)"

"Accordingly, the Compendium stresses the importance of judiciaries that are independent, impartial and efficient. If the rule of law is to be respected, it is necessary to have fair and impartial processes for resolving disputes; for correct and clear interpretation and application of the law; and, for holding governments, institutions, and private individuals accountable."
The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law is named after Tom Bingham (The Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill) who died in 2010. During his long judicial career, he filled many positions including that of Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales.

The Centre is dedicated to the promotion and enhancement of the rule of law worldwide. It is based at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London.

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Monday, August 03, 2015

Canadian Lawyer Magazine Top 25 List of Most Influential People in Law

Canadian Lawyer Magazine has released its 6th annual list of the Top 25 Most Influential people in the country's justice system and legal profession:
"We aim to select lawyers who have been influential within the profession as well as society over the last year and a half — both at home and beyond Canada’s borders. Inclusion in the Top 25 talks to a level of respect, the ability to influence public opinion, and to help shape the laws of this country and others; contribution to the strength and quality of legal services; involvement and impact within the justice community; and social and political influence and involvement."

"The Top 25 is split into five areas of influence with five winners in each of the following categories: government, associations, and non-profits — including courts, public inquiries, and officers of Parliament; changemakers; criminal and human rights law; the world stage; and corporate-commercial law. Nominees were put in the category in which the individual exercised their influence during the time period."

"A number of previous honourees are back this year: perennial winner Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin; perpetual rabble rouser Rocco Galati, who is intent on making the government actually follow the law; and Louise Arbour, Murray Klippenstein, and Pascal Paradis all in the world stage category."

"For the first time, we have included a write-in candidate. Justice Murray Sinclair, who made the list last year for his contributions as the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, wasn’t on our list of nominees but with the release of the TRC’s recommendations and executive summary of its hearings, Sinclair’s impact and influence on Canadian society deserved mention."

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ABA Journal Cover Story on Why Hollywood Loves Lawyers

The ABA Journal has a feature article this month on Why Hollywood loves lawyers (as in "loves movies with lawyer characters as heroes", not as in loves studio lawyers to bail movie stars out of jail for DUI and drug offences). Check it out:
"Academy Award-winning actress and Harvard heartthrob Natalie Portman announces that she has signed on to do a biopic on the life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and law lovers everywhere come to a halt—Bluebooks drop in mid cite-check, throats go dry at oral arguments, billable hours stop for a minute (actually, just a second), and court watchers turn off Judge Judy and long for selfies with the glamorous Portman dressed in a black robe."

"Football is America’s game, but movies are its favorite form of entertainment. And movies about the law are as essential to Hollywood history as cowboy Westerns or romantic comedies. Heroism that acquits the falsely accused will hold its own against any nonstop action flick."


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Saturday, August 01, 2015

Nominations Open for ABA Journal Annual List of the 100 Best Legal Blogs

Every year, the ABA Journal selects a Blawg 100 list (2014 list) of the best legal blogs based on input from readers.

It is time once again for nominations. Nominations can be sent in until the end of the day Aug. 16, 2015.

Here are the criteria:

  • We’re primarily interested in blogs in which the author is recognizable as someone working in a legal field or studying law in the vast majority of his or her posts.
  • The blog should offer insights into the practice of law and be of interest to legal professionals or law students. 
  • The majority of the blog’s content should be unique to the blog and not cross-posted or cut and pasted from other publications. 
  • We are not interested in blogs that more or less exist to promote the author’s products and services. 


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Canadian Forum on Civil Justice July 2015 Access to Justice Newsletter

The non-profit Canadian Forum on Access to Justice (CFCJ) has been publishing a monthly newsletter about Access to Justice since early 2013.

The latest issue of the newsletter includes:
  • an article on online divorce
  • news about the upcoming Innovation and the Access to Justice Conference in October 2015
  • a Summer Round Up: Our Picks for Must-read News and Articles from the CFCJ

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