Canada’s online legal magazine.

It’s Time to Stop Copyright’s Violation of the U. S. Constitution

The jurisdiction in which it makes the most sense to reform copyright law so that it supports, rather than deters, access to research and scholarship is the United States. After all, the country’s Constitution empowers Congress “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” The only other thing the Constitution seeks to “promote” is the country’s “lasting Welfare.”

Yet U.S. copyright law today violates this constitutional imperative. The evidence that copyright law is not promoting the progress of science comes from . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property, Legal Publishing

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Dispute Resolution Under the Canada Labour Code Transferred to Canada Industrial Relations Board

On July 29, 2019, certain provisions of the Budget Implementation Act 2017, No.1 (introduced as Bill C-44) came into force. The new law streamlines the dispute resolution process under the Canada Labour Code in federally regulated workplaces by transferring adjudicative functions under the Employment and Social Development Canada – Labour Program to the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB).

This transfer impacts: . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Hilson v. 1336365 Alberta Ltd., 2019 ONCA 65

[1] On May 27, 2019, the court released a judgment in this appeal in error. One of the members of the panel that heard the appeal, Justice Huscroft, was not provided with either the draft judgment for review or the final judgment for signature. The judgment was signed, in error, by another justice . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Canada’s New Impact Assessment Act Is Only as Good as the Extent to Which It Will Apply

In June, the federal government passed Bill C-69, An Act to enact the Impact Assessment Act and the Canadian Energy Regulator Act, to amend the Navigation Protection Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts. Along with its companion Bill C-68, C-69 seeks to make good on a number of federal government commitments to restore lost protections and introduce modern safeguards under the Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act, modernize the National Energy Board, and restore credibility and public trust in federal environmental assessments.

However, regulations proposed under the new Impact Assessment Act . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Privacy Rights in the Internet Age and the New Tort of Public Disclosure of Private Facts

“Society has been scrambling to catch up to this problem [the publication of intimate photos or videos online without consent] and the law is beginning to respond to protect victims.” – Justice Stinson in Jane Doe 464533 v N.D., 2017 ONSC 127

Gradually courts have been awarding damages for the tort of public disclosure of private information. The tort of public disclosure of private information consists of the following elements: (a) the defendant publicized an aspect of the plaintiff’s private life; (b) the plaintiff did not consent to the publication; (c) its publication would be highly offensive to a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Technology

A Former Adjudicator Contemplates the Ontario Court of Appeal’s Mix-Up

When I first heard about the confusion around the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision in Hilson v. 1336365 Alberta Ltd. (“the withdrawal decision”), I, like many others (I assume), thought, “how could this have happened?” I sat for a while as a vice-chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and as alternate chair of the Ontario Pay Equity Tribunal, very often on a panel of three adjudicators. I decided to track the making of a decision, as I know it, at least, to see where the mistake may have occurred. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Deemed
Neil Guthrie

This is one of those words with a weird function confined largely to the world of law. The ordinary current meaning of deem, according to the OED is, essentially, to consider, think or judge (in a non-judicial way). …

Practice

Get Free Ontario CPD Papers on AccessCLE
Emma Durand-Wood

It’s been a few years since AccessCLE was cited here on SlawTips, and a . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Adding Courts to the Lawyer Wellness Discussion

Like many other teachers of legal ethics, I have started to incorporate more discussions about “lawyer wellness” into my classes in recent years. Issues such as lawyers’ mental health and dealing with stress haven’t traditionally been part of the legal ethics curriculum. It is obvious, however, that they now must. We have undeniable evidence that members of the legal profession disproportionately experience mental health challenges. Given this reality, it’s essential that we acknowledge the importance of lawyer health and happiness in law school and strive to foster a community that works to improve outcomes. Studying this topic in a legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Existence Before Essence: On Identity and Adaptation in the Legal Profession

I’ll start by showing my cards: I’m an existentialist. I believe in Jean-Paul Sartre’s creed, the obtuse-sounding rallying cry “existence precedes essence”, which in law-conference circles would elicit, more often than not, a guffaw and a snobbery beyond what I’d typically impart. But my qualms leave me as leaves on a tree – they fall with age. I take the existentialist creed to mean that a person’s identity is defined by this action, right now. And every subsequent action re-defines a person again. There is no identity other than the identity we choose. And the past fades away into the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Meurrens on Immigration 2. ABlawg.ca 3. Vancouver Immigration Law Blog 4. Excess Copyright 5. BC Injury Law Blog

Meurrens on Immigration
Applications for Extension of Authorization to Remain in Canada as a Temporary Resident

Regulation 181(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that a foreign

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Ethical Conduct in Cabinet Absent Precise Definitions of Conflict

The Conflict of Interest Act (the “Act”) is likely one of the most reviewed pieces of legislation this week, as a result of the release of the the Trudeau II Report. The characterizations of the Report, and the underlying lessons that may be gleaned, risk being lost to partisan narratives absent close scrutiny.

The history of attempts to define rules around conflicts of interest go back to at least the 1970s, but despite several discussion papers, task forces, committees, inquiries, and reports, very little was actually achieved for over three decades.

The first of these was a green paper introduced . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions