Monday, October 31, 2016

Library of Parliament Article on Ratifying and Implementing Trade and Investment Treaties in Canada

The Library of Parliament blog HillNotes has published a brief overview of the process for Ratifying and Implementing Trade and Investment Treaties in Canada:
"Under Canada’s constitutional system, the conduct of foreign affairs is a royal prerogative power of the federal Crown."

"Consequently, the Executive Branch has the exclusive power to negotiate and conclude international treaties. Parliament has the exclusive power to enact legislation to implement those treaties."

"As Canada continues to enter into such treaties, a number of important questions arise:
  • What is the interaction between Canadian and international law in the treaty-making and implementation processes, particularly in relation to trade and investment?
  • What measures must the Executive and Legislative branches take so that these treaties can come into force?
  • What formal role do the provinces and territories play in the negotiation, ratification and implementation of trade and investment treaties?"

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Live Streaming Video Schedule of Upcoming Charleston Conference

The annual Charleston Conference in Charleston, South Carolina is a major gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendor.

The 2016 conference is starting this week and many of the presentations will be live streamed.

They cover topics ranging from perpetual access to content to big data and open access.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 2016 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The October 2016 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

In this month's issue:
  • Hurricane Matthew prompts Florida Supreme Court to tweet about emergency court closings for first time
  • Nevada Supreme Court uses PSAs to try to woo potential jurors
  • Ballot selfies officially legal in New Hampshire
  • Young woman sues parents over embarrassing Facebook photos (Austria)
  • Student's violent tweets are not a crime

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Law Library of Congress Report on Laws Lifting Sovereign Immunity

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has made public a new report on Laws Lifting Sovereign Immunity In Selected Countries (from May 2016):
"This report provides a review of laws adopted in Cuba, Iran, Libya, Russia, Sudan, and Syria on lifting the sovereign immunity of foreign states.  Individual lawsuits against the United States brought before national and international courts by these countries are also analyzed."

"The surveys demonstrate some diversity and common threads with regard to lifting the sovereign immunity of the US and other countries.  Except for Iran and Russia, the surveyed countries have no specific legislation addressing general principles of sovereign immunity.  Iran uses domestic counterterrorism legislation to facilitate the freezing of financial assets of foreign governments.  Syria uses such legislation to freeze the assets of individuals, including government officials, while Sudan uses it simply to prosecute foreign nationals.  Cuba and Iran have adopted special laws targeting the US." 

"Laws on jurisdictional immunity passed by the Russian and Iranian legislatures are based on the principle of negative reciprocity meant to deter the lifting of sovereign immunity of Russia or Iran by other countries.  These laws allow domestic courts to try civil cases against foreign governments.  While the focus of the Iranian law appears to be limited to violations of international law and cases of terrorism, Russian law is broader and allows considering foreign state property in Russia as an asset in any civil suit against a foreign government brought before a Russian court.  In both cases, the countries’ foreign ministries determine the damage inflicted on the nation’s sovereign immunity and recommend the level of reciprocity to the court." 
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.

It has produced many comparative and foreign law reports.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 Government Information Day at University of Toronto

On Friday, December 9th, 2016, the University of Toronto Libraries will host the 4th annual Government Information Day in Ontario:
"This year’s Government Information Day will feature presentations from government librarians, academic librarians and scholars on topics relating to access of government information. There are still a few presentations to finalize, but we can confirm the following presentations:
  • Christopher Cochrane, Graeme Hirst, Nona Naderi, Ludovic Rheault, Tanya Whyte presenting the Linked Parliamentary Data Project (LiPaD)
  • Amanda Wakaruk presenting Could it be a case of the emperor’s new clothes? Crown copyright and Canada’s commitment to open government
  • Rolla Haddad and Jamila Hastick presenting Commotions over motions
  • Alex Alton [Publications Ontario], Sandra Craig [Ontario Legislative Library], Alex Eastwood [Open Government], Frank Van Kalmthout [Archives Ontario], and moderator Simone O’Byrne [Ontario Government Libraries Council] with a panel on the State of Ontario Government Publishing
  • Margaret Wall presenting Streamlining Access to Digitized Canadian Government Information
  • And Sam-Chin Li and Andrea Mills presenting about the Digitized Sessional Papers database"

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Legal Regulation of Marijuana in Canada and Selected Other Countries

The Library of Parliament has just published a background paper on The Legal Regulation of Marijuana in Canada and Selected Other Countries:
"This document discusses the legal regulation of marijuana in Canada and in a number of other jurisdictions. After some material on marijuana itself, it provides an overview of the international drug control regime, including current debates surrounding the possible reform of this regime and the outcomes of the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem, which took place in April 2016. The document then turns to the legal treatment of marijuana in Canada, including the prevalence of use of marijuana in this country. It then examines different regulation approaches - including legalization and decriminalization - in a number of jurisdictions."
Those jurisdictions include Uruguay, the United States, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:56 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for the period October 31 to November 11, 2016.

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 facta from the parties. All you need to do is click on a case name.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Free Access to Thousands of Reports from the US Congressional Research Service

The research reports of the Congressinal Research Service (CRS) in Washington are usually not easily accessible to the public.

A new website called EveryCRSReport.com has been launched by a bipartisan coalition. The site currently includes 8,255 CRS reports including many in the areas of American Law, Crime Policy, Constitutional Questions and many others:
"CRS is Congress’ think tank, and its reports are relied upon by academics, businesses, judges, policy advocates, students, librarians, journalists, and policymakers for accurate and timely analysis of important policy issues. The reports are not classified and do not contain individualized advice to any specific member of Congress."
"Until today, CRS reports were generally available only to the well-connected.
Now, in partnership with a Republican and Democratic member of Congress, we are making these reports available to everyone for free online (...)"

"We redact the phone number, email address, and names of virtually all the analysts from the reports. We add disclaimer language regarding copyright and the role CRS reports are intended to play. That’s it."

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on UN Documentation System

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on Thursday, November 17, 2016 called Uncovering the UN Documentation System. It starts at 1PM Eastern time:
"This session will provide an overview of UN documentation. Participants will learn about the main UN organs and the different types of documents they produce; learn about document symbols and how they are structured. The different databases, tools, and publications useful to UN research will be highlighted."
The speaker is a former colleague of mine: Susan Goard, law librarian and training coordinator at the Dag Hammarskjold Library at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

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Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Five Questions with Pam Borden, Law Society of PEI Library

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been running a series of member profiles called Five Questions With...

The most recent interview is with Pam Borden, Library Manager of the Law Society of PEI Library in Charlottetown.

Many more profiles can be found on the CALL Blog.

Another interesting profile series consists of interviews by the Law Library of Congress in Washington with members of its staff.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Government of Canada Nominates Mr. Justice Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada

Earlier today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the nomination of Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Malcolm Rowe to the Supreme Court of Canada:
"This is the first nomination by the Government of Canada under its new Supreme Court selection process, which was established to promote greater openness, transparency, and accountability."

"With today’s announcement, the members of the House of Commons’ Committee on Justice and Human Rights will be given a week to prepare for a special committee hearing, where the Minister of Justice and the Chair of the Independent Advisory Board will explain the process and why the nominee was selected."

"To further meet our commitment to openness and transparency, members of the House’s Justice and Human Rights Committee and Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee – as well as representatives of the Bloc Québécois and Green Party – will be invited to take part in a Q&A session with the nominee, moderated by a law professor, on October 25."
He will replace Thomas Cromwell of Nova Scotia, who retired Sept. 1.

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Slaw Reader Survey

Slaw.ca, Canada's major law-related blog, has released its first ever Slaw Readers Survey Report. I have occasionally contributed to the site.

The survey reveals details such as:
  • Who reads Slaw
  • Where readers come from
  • How frequently people visit
  • Why people come to the site
Full results are available in HTML or in PDF format.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Law Library of Congress Reports on Encrypted Communications and Foreign Intelligence Gathering

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., reported earlier this week on two recent comparative law reports published by the institution.

The first, Government Access to Encrypted Communications, "describes the law of 12 nations and the European Union on whether the government, pursuant to a court order or other government process, can require companies to decrypt encrypted communications or provide the government with the means to do so".

The other one is an updated version of an earlier report entitled Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws that examines the legislation regulating the collection of intelligence in the European Union (EU) and Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom..

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, October 08, 2016

Canadian Judicial Council Proposals for Reform to the Judicial Discipline Process

Earlier this week, the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) released a document outlining Proposals for Reform to the Judicial Discipline Process for Federally-appointed Judges.

The CJC was created in 1971. Its role is to improve the quality of judicial service in all superior courts in Canada. It is composed of the chief justices and associate chief justices of Canada's superior courts. The Council is chaired by the Chief Justice of Canada.

One of its essential functions is to examine misconduct allegations against federally-appointed judges.

One of the highlights is a proposal to allow the CJC to impose sanctions and remedial measures against a judge found to be at fault. At the moment, the CJC can only recommend removal from the bench as punishment.

Media coverage includes:

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

Cost of Justice in Canada Fact Sheets

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) recently published a series of fact sheets on Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada.

The fact sheets aim "at providing further detail on the incidences of the seventeen problem categories discussed in the [Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada] Overview Report."

The fact sheets cover topics ranging from consumer rights to immigration.

The Overview Report, published earlier in 2016,  measured the frequency and impact of everyday legal problems faced by members of the Canadian public.

The CFCJ is a national research and advocacy body promoting reform of the civil justice system.

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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Mentoring

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on November 2, 2016 on Navigating the Mentoring Relationship. It takes place from 1 to 2:30PM Eastern time:
"Whether you’re new to mentoring or just looking to brush up your style, our expert panel of mentors and mentees will help you ensure that you have the skills to approach a mentoring relationship with confidence. Learn how to set expectations, give and receive constructive feedback, and build your professional network. After exploring the mentoring relationship from a variety of perspectives, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. This webinar is free to CALL Student Members and CALL Unwaged Members."
The speakers are:
  • Tanya Davis, Provincial Law Librarian at the Law Society of New Brunswick Library
  • Steve Carroll, President of the Trillium Chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives
  • Martha Murphy, Library Manager at the Ontario Workplace Tribunals Library
  • Megan Siu, Community Development Specialist for the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta

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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

September 2016 Issue of Connected Bulletin on Courts and Social Media

The September 2016 issue of Connected is available online. The bulletin covers news about the impact of new social media on courts.

The bulletin is published by the Virginia-based National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Conference of Court Public Information Officers.

In this month's issue:
  • Georgia Court of Appeals hosts state’s first Twitter Town Hall 
  • New Florida podcast personalizes judges
  • Buyer beware: Yelp not liable for unreliable reviews
  • American bulldog Diggy the Dog still smiling after winning court case
  • New app lets users solve courtroom case

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Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

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October 2016 Issue of In Session: Canadian Association of Law Libraries' e-Newsletter

The October 2016 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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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Irish Law Reform Commission Report on Harmful Communications and Digital Safety

The Law Reform Commission of Ireland has published a Report on Harmful Communications and Digital Safety that recommends the enactment of 2 new criminal offences to deal with posting online of intimate images without consent:
"The first is to deal with the intentional victim-shaming behaviour of posting intimate images without consent, often done after a relationship has broken down (so-called 'revenge porn'). The second new offence also deals with posting intimate photos or videos and is to deal with a new type of voyeurism, often called 'upskirting' or 'down-blousing'. "

"The Report also recommends reforms of the existing offence of harassment, to ensure that it includes online activity such as posting fake social media profiles; and that there should be a separate offence of stalking, which is really an aggravated form of harassment."

"The Report also recommends reform of the existing offence of sending threatening and intimidating messages, again to ensure that it fully captures the most serious types of online intimidation." [from the press release]
The report also looks at how jurisdictions such as Scotland, England and Wales, and Northern Ireland deal with offences like cyber-stalking.

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