Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Updated Research Guide on Subject Law Collections on the Web

GlobaLex, the electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, recently updated its research guide entitled Foreign Law - Subject Law Collections on the Web.

The majority of the sites listed are available for free on the web with a few exceptions (subscription databases).

The guide covers:
  • General Multi-Subject Resources
  • Animal Law
  • Antitrust/Competition Law
  • Bankruptcy/Insolvency Law
  • Commercial Law (including arbitration, business entities, securities, trade, banking, and taxation)
  • Constitutional Law
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Election Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Human Rights (including child law, disability law, family law, gender law, health law, LGBT law, and refugee / asylum law)
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Labor and Employment Law (including occupational health / safety and social security)
  • Legal Profession and Practice
  • Maritime and Air and Space Law
  • Military/Armed Conflict/Terrorism Law
  • Property Law
  • Public Administration Law
  • Religion and Law
  • Technology / Data Law
  • Tort Law

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Amnesty International Annual Report Denounces Politics of Demonization

Last week, the international human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) published its most recent annual report on the state of human rights around the world.

It is not a pretty picture.

From the blog post on the website of the Canadian section of AI accompanying the release of the report:
Politicians wielding a toxic, dehumanizing “us vs them” rhetoric are creating a more divided and dangerous world, warned Amnesty International today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.
The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights around the world, covering 159 countries. It warns that the consequences of “us vs them” rhetoric setting the agenda in Europe, the United States and elsewhere is fuelling a global pushback against human rights and leaving the global response to mass atrocities perilously weak.
“2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s. Too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Divisive fear-mongering has become a dangerous force in world affairs. Whether it is Trump, Orban, Erdoğan or Duterte, more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people. Today’s politics of demonization shamelessly peddles a dangerous idea that some people are less human than others, stripping away the humanity of entire groups of people. This threatens to unleash the darkest aspects of human nature.”
The report highlighted a number of positive developments in Canada, most notably the resettlement of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing war and genocide and  the federal government's commitment to promoting the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls through its international development programme.

But it also drew attention to what the organization describes as a few less praiseworthy aspects of Canadian policy, in particular when it comes to the treatment of Indigenous people's rights in the context of resource development projects and the extensive use of solitary confinement for extended periods of time.

As well, Canada is faulted for its $15 billion sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia despite concerns about that country's abysmal human rights record.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

March/April 2017 Issue of AALL Spectrum

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Statistics Canada Article on Adult Ciminal Courts

The Statistics Canada publication Juristat has published a new article entitled Adult criminal court statistics in Canada, 2014/2015:
""This Juristat article presents information on the characteristics of criminal court cases involving adults (18 years and older). Using data from the 2014/2015 Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS), the article presents several key indicators of the adult criminal court process, and focuses on the number of completed cases (including the most common types of offences), the decisions made in cases, as well as the types and lengths of sentences that are imposed on accused persons who are found guilty. In addition, the amount of time it takes to complete adult criminal court cases and the factors which may influence case processing times are presented. Finally, this article briefly presents results by age and sex of the accused.""

"Over the years, decisions rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC), as well as a variety of initiatives that were put forward by different levels of government have influenced the volume of cases and the processing of those cases before the courts. The statistical trends presented in this report reflect, among other things, the progress made in implementing all of these practices and initiatives and are based on standardized reporting rules established with Statistics Canada’s various partners through the ICCS. However, it is impossible to identify a specific initiative as the source of the changes observed in the statistical trends; rather, the trends reflect the cumulative impact of these initiatives combined."

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Policy Options Article on Faulty Logic of Sexual Assault Trials

Policy Options, the online journal produced by the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy, has just published an article entitled Tracking the faulty logic of sexual assault trials:
"We’re mining Canadian court transcripts to better understand how interrogation strategies used in the courtroom have an impact on decision-making in Canadian courts.  In sexual assault court cases there are usually two conflicting stories: she says 'rape,' he says 'sex.' Who is lying? The court must weigh the evidence and decide. But how do courts 'think'? (...)"
"We found repeated examples of three categories of illogical arguments used by defence lawyers in the cross-examinations of victim-witnesses. These arguments were largely accepted by the courts, were not objected to by Crowns and often appeared to be associated with an acquittal of the accused."
The four authors, Amanda Parriag, Edward Renner, Laura Park, and Wendy Hovdestad, had conducted a similar analysis of 105 sexual assault trials some 20 years ago and conclude that many of the same logical fallacies are being committed today.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2015-2016 Intake Report of the National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project recently published its 2015-2016 report on the background of self-represented litigants (SRLs) in Canada.

This most recent report provides demographic data (age, gender, imcome, etc.) from 73 individuals.

Among the highlights (from a blog post on the Project website):
  • SRLs are clustered in the lower annual-income brackets (below $50,000 and especially under $30,000).
  • There are a significant number of SRLs who earn more than $50,000 a year... but are still unable to afford full representation – or these people began with a lawyer, but run out of funds.
  • In light of the above, it is unsurprising that we continue to see just over half (here, 56%) of all SRLs beginning with legal representation, but later reaching a point where they are unable to continue to afford full representation.
  • The pervasive myth that SRLs are only interested in their own cases, and that Access to Justice is not important to the Canadian public, seems to be rebutted by the 99% of respondents who ask to be added to NSRLP’s ongoing newsletters, blogs and other social media feeds. We continually meet former SRLs who want to work on Access to Justice issues long after their own case has ended, in order to make the SRL experience less frustrating for others whose circumstances will also require that they self-represent.
  • Finally – experiences of self-representation, with very few exceptions, continue to be reported as overwhelmingly stressful, disillusioning, and even traumatic.
The Project comes out of the work done by the University of Windsor's Julie Macfarlane and receives funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario and the University of Windsor.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Primary Research Group Report on Inter-Library Loan Services for Research University Faculty

New York-based Primary Research Group has just published a report called International Survey of Research University Faculty: Use of Inter-library Loan Services:
"The study presents data from a survey of more than 500 international research university faculty from 50+ universities in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland about their use of their academic library interlibrary loan service.  The study imparts data on incidence of use, extent of use, payments of fees, and satisfaction with a range of factors including speed of delivery, breadth of services, costs, and inter-library loan staff knowledge of a scholar’s field, among other factors.  Survey participants also volunteered what they like most and least about their library’s inter-library loan services.  In addition, the study looks at how faculty feel about article 'rental services' and how they compare to traditional inter-library loan."
Print and PDF versions are available for $109(US). Site licenses are also available.

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Interview With Law Library of Congress Legal Reference Librarian Theresa Reiss

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.

The most recent interview is with Theresa Reiss, Legal Reference Librarian:
Why did you want to work at the Law Library?
It may sound like a cliché, but working at the Library of Congress was a dream for me. When I began working at the Alexandria Law Library, I quickly took note of how often I referred patrons to the Law Library. I am not ashamed to admit I was envious of the Law Library’s massive collection.  So, I jumped at the opportunity to work here.

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
I am astounded at how many hidden treasures are available in the Law Library’s collection of 2.9 million volumes.
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:24 pm 0 comments links to this post

Program for WILU 2017 Library Instruction Conference

WILU stands for Workshop for Instruction in Library Use and is an annual Canadian conference devoted to research and innovations in the area of information literacy and library instruction.

The 2017 conference takes place May 23-25 in Edmonton, Alberta.

The preliminary program has just been published.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:18 pm 0 comments links to this post

Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile, 2015

The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics has released its most recent annual report on Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile:
"The 2015 edition of the report features an in-depth analysis of self-reported childhood maltreatment in Canada, using data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians' Safety (Victimization). This featured section examines the nature and prevalence of self-reported childhood physical and sexual abuse in Canada, as well as the issue of children witnessing violence in the home. The analysis is based on adult Canadians’ recollections of child abuse they experienced before they turned 15 years of age, and includes incidents that were reported to police as well as those that were not. The featured section also provides analysis of the socio-demographic risk factors linked to child maltreatment and the impacts and consequences it has for victims."

"As in past years, this year’s report also includes sections dedicated to police-reported data on family violence in general, intimate partner violence specifically, violence against children and youth and violence against seniors."

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from February 1 to 15, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

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

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 2017 Update from the Canadian Federation of Library Associations

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) held its first annual general meeting recently in Toronto and has offered an update about its decisions and policies.

This includes:
  •  the new Executive and Board of Directors
  • the 2016 annual report
  • the endorsement of the January statement  by the American Library Association opposing various Trump administration initiatives
The CFLA replaced the old Canadian Library Association with a new structure based on an association of national, regional and sectoral library associations.


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Monday, February 13, 2017

Legal Resources on the Trump Administration

The Osgoode Hall Law School Library Blog in Toronto has put together a series of Legal resources on the Trump administration.

It includes many links from the Oxford Public International Law collection as well as links to research guides from US universities.

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on US Legislation for Canadian Legal Researchers

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on March 2, 2017 called US Legislation for Canadian Legal Researchers (Part One) . It starts at 1PM Eastern time:
"This webinar will cover the legislative branch of government in the US - its structure, its law-making powers, and its legal publications. Emphasizing the differences between Canadian and US legislative publications, this session will focus primarily on free websites which provide access to federal legislative work."
The speaker is Professor Penny A. Hazelton who has worked at the University of Washington, the US Supreme Court Library, and the University of Maine.

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

February 2017 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The February 2017 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, February 06, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming Hearings

The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for February 2017.

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.

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

More US Library Association Oppostion to Trump

This is a follow-up to the January 31, 2017 post entitled US Library Association Oppostion to Trump Continues.

That post referenced public statements by a variety of American library & information associations opposing the disappearance of public information from US government websites and the temporary ban on immigrants and refugees from 7 Muslim countries.

As the following post on the infoDOCKET (Library Journal) website shows, opposition continues.


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Law LIbrary of Congress Materials on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

This is a follow-up to Thursday's blog post entitled Comments on Trump’s US Supreme Court Nominee.

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has prepared a bibliography on Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:43 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from January 16th to 31st, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

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

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

Comments on Trump’s US Supreme Court Nominee

SCOTUSblog, the well-known American blog devoted to analysis of the United States Supreme Court, has been providing great coverage of US President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit) to fill the vacancy left on the top court of our Southern neighbour by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.
Here are some links. Each of the SCOTUSblog posts below contains extensive links to news, commentary and analysis:

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

More on Supreme Court of Canada Link Rot

This is a follow-up of the January 26, 2017 posy entitled Supreme Court of Canada Tackles Link Rot With New Online Archive.

Today on Slaw.ca, Nate Russell provided some statistical analysis of dead-end Internet links in SCC decisions and how the Court has tackled the problem.

And the website Motherboard published an article yesterday on the topic under the title Canada's Supreme Court Is Preserving Every Website Mentioned In Its Rulings.

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