Canada’s online legal magazine.
CPAC Beyond Politics
Osgoode Professional LLM

Archive for September, 2011

Law, Science & Truth

All of the papers from the 2007 Brooklyn Law School symposium on law, science and truth “Symposium: A Cross-Disciplinary Look At Scientific Truth: What’s The Law To Do?” as published in (2008) 73 Brooklyn Law Review are are available for downloading in one pdf here.

I recommend them (for whatever that’s worth).

Any Canadian lawyer-type reading any of those pieces should also read Mr. Justice Binnie’s “Science in the courtroom: the mouse that roared” (2007) 56 UNB LJ 307. The article is available on Carswell/Westlaw and can be found here and here.

He has more to say about science . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: Recommended, Substantive Law

The Social Network Animal

We all seem to be part of social networks these days, indeed it is proving more and more difficult to avoid them. Movies are being made about social networks, devices are being marketed based on their social network capabilities, the phrase itself is becoming ubiquitous. I heard the following item this week and had to look into it more. It seems that in Switzerland (and Switzerland is a veritable font of information for Slaw), Guinea Pigs (amongst others such as budgies and goldfish) have been identified as a “social species” that are protected by law. That is, in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

One in Six Own an eBook Reader in the US

At least according to this poll, conducted by private US research firm Harris Interactive. The poll includes some interesting numbers on the current (general) geographical distribution of e-readers, plans of consumers to purchase e-readers, and some broad numbers on the effects of e-readers on reading habits.

This report does not state how many people were polled, does not reveal standard measures of significance, and notes that the respondents were selected from “among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys” so your mileage may vary. Still, the results don’t seem unexpected to me.

The mixed results on . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Reading, Technology

BC Legislative Digest Is Back!

The following post just went live on the VLLB, but it’s appropriate for the legal research community here at Slaw too. One of Stem’s clients, Quickscribe, has announced the relaunch one of BC’s most treasured legislative research tools, the BCLD. In the narrative below, you’ll find a brief history of the collection’s origin, custodianship, and how members of our West Coast law library community contributed to its digital rebirth.

The British Columbia Legislative Digest: A Brief History

The British Columbia Legislative Digest (BCLD) was conceived of in 1979 by librarians at the BC Courthouse Library, now Courthouse Libraries BC . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Writers’ Bill of Rights for the Digital Age

Writers and publishers are continuously facing a changing landscape.  The Writers’ Union of Canada has developed 12 core demands for the digital age. Interesting list for authors in negotiations with their publishers.

  1. Copyright legislation shall ensure the protection of intellectual property and appropriate compensation for rightsholders.
  2. Exceptions to copyright shall be minimized.
  3. The publisher shall split the net proceeds of ebook sales equally with the author.
  4. The author shall retain all e-rights not specifically granted to the publisher or producer and shall have the approval of any modifications made to the work.
  5. The publisher shall not exercise or sublicense ebook
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

The Friday Fillip: The Sky Is Falling

At one point, many years ago now, my parents moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a town distinguished by, among other things, being: the home of Mirro Aluminum; the western terminus of the Lake Michigan ferry; roughly equidistant from the Sheboygan Bratwurst Festival and the Green Bay Packers stadium; — and the landing place of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik IV, or a piece thereof, on September 6, 1962. Fortunately, the 20-pound piece of metal hit the middle of 8th Street, which happened to be unoccupied at the time. (See the graphic. Circle marks the spot.) Sensibly, the locals have built an . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario’s Ignition Interlock Program – Facts & Figures

Back in August 2010, Ontario joined the ranks of Provinces who took advantage of amendments to the Criminal Code permitting the creation of reduced suspension terms with ignition of Interlock programs for impaired drivers. When I last wrote about this topic many of the day-to-day details of the program were unclear. With the program having just celebrated its first anniversary, the time is ripe for a short retrospective on how far we’ve come.

First, the basics. The Criminal Code sets out a mandatory twelve month licence suspension for anyone convicted of impaired driving offences. Prior to the enactment of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

You Might Like…

This is a post in a series to appear occasionally, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: You might like...

Slaw Site News – 2011-09-22

Site news for those who read Slaw only via RSS or email

1. Comment Watch:

In the last week there were 30 comments. You might be particularly interested in these:

You can subscribe to the comments on Slaw either as a separate matter (RSS, email) or as part of a subscription combining posts and comments (RSS, email).

2. SlawTips

This week’s tips on SlawTips are:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

Dialogue on Human Rights Relating to Religious Belief and Practices

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has invited citizens to submit short papers (six to eight pages) toward a dialogue on human rights, specifically relating to religious belief and practice as shaped by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Is It Possible to Secure Law Firm Data?

To answer the question, we interviewed our friend and colleague Matt Kesner, the CIO of Fenwick & West LLP, a West Coast law firm representing high tech and bio-tech clients. Matt has “walked the walk” when it comes to security and protecting data.

Is the data at a law firm really different or are there “special” considerations when dealing with security within a law firm? Matt suggested that there are a lot of tensions at play within a law firm. There’s always the tension between IT and end-users. The end-users are more difficult to tame and are more independent than . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Anti-Spam Regulations Draw Critical Comment

The draft regulations under the anti-spam legislation have attracted a lot of comments, most them negative. See this article by Lorne Salzman and Barry Sookman for a detailed summary.

In essence, the common theme is that the legislation and draft regs will be a compliance burden on business and charities, and the regulations don’t do anything to temper that.

From the article:

Unless the proposed regulations are reformulated, many worry that CASL will impede rather than facilitate e-commerce. It will hurt small and large businesses, cause significant economic harm and stifle innovation in the use of electronic messaging systems. It

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation