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Archive for April, 2015

On the (Reform) Road to Mandalay – and Yangon

Last October, John Claydon wrote for SLAW about the work being done by Canadian lawyers in Cambodia. I thought I would follow the thread by providing an overview of the system and legal education in Burma/Myanmar.

In 2012, the University of Oxford was encouraged by one of its famous alumni, Aung San Suu Kyi, to work with the University of Yangon to revive its undergraduate education programme. After more than 30 years, the regime was opening up to the outside world. Yangon and Mandalay Universities were allowed to resume undergraduate education, which had been banned in the wake of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Favourite Legal Words and Expressions

The Law Library of Congress in Washington recently conducted a survey of its staffers to find out what their favorite legal terms or phrases are and why.

Among the results are:

  • in custodia legis
  • proprio motu
  • amicus curiae
  • res ipsa loquitur
  • estoppel
  • force majeure
  • Miranda warning
  • pettifogger (!)

One employee’s entry was for “in loco parentis”:

In loco parentis [in place of parents]. When I see this term, I see not the Latin word for “place” but the Spanish word for “crazy,” as in “parents make you crazy” or “in parenthood, craziness.” I think of this term whenever my

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Addressing Sexual Violence and Harassment in Workplaces

On March 6, 2015, the Ontario government published its action plan aimed at addressing sexual violence and harassment in the province. “It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment” recommends changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) to deal with workplace sexual harassment prevention and training. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Law School Laboratory

As a librarian, I’ve been trying to avoid talking about libraries in this column. Mainly because there is already a legal information column on Slaw and I wanted to keep talking about “true” law school issues.

Then I realized I was being an idiot and part of the problem that plagues libraries.

What sparked my realization was reading a couple of closely timed items. Item the first was a article on Above the Law about Washington & Lee School of Law’s Strategic Transition Plan. In reference to the plan’s “Operating budgets will be reduced by 10 percent in 2015-16 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

Choices and Priorities

How do we as a society decide who is responsible to pay for access to justice initiatives and to what extent? Who sets those priorities and through what lens are those priorities ordered?

Does the fiscal responsibility lie solely with government? Is it the job of government to ensure that all those seeking to access and enforce their legal rights are able to do so, whether through legal aid programs or advocacy services? Many in the legal profession seem to think so. An argument I’ve frequently heard typically goes something like this: We don’t ask doctors and dentists to work . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Is Your Logo Favicon Friendly?

A favicon is the small image that you see beside a web address in a browser tab. Similar images are sometimes used with social media names. Slaw, for example, uses as a favicon “Sl” in a particular font, Harrison Pensa uses its “HP” design (which, by the way, is a registered trademark), and my own blog uses my initials.

Because they are so small, they must be simple. If someone has a simple logo to begin with, it might be usable as is. But more complex logos won’t work. They need to be simplified, or edited so only a portion . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

UK – “Serious Crimes” to Cybersecurity

The United Kingdom has recently passed the Serious Crimes Act, 2015.

Part 2 of the Act makes several amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (“CMA”), including:

………..

– a new offence of unauthorised acts in relation to a computer that result either directly, or indirectly, in serious damage in any country to the economy, environment, national security or human welfare, or create a significant risk of such things. The offence will carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for some categories of cyberattack. A person is guilty of the offence if they, at the time of commission, are aware . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Bully Lawyers & Shoplifting Civil Recovery Letters: Who’s Going to Stop Them?

For roughly 30 years, some Canadian lawyers have been engaging in a practice that other Canadian lawyers have vociferously criticized as “extortion with letterhead,” “bullying and intimidation”, a “predatory practice” and “an example of legal strong-arming.” Members of the public have also chimed in, characterizing the practice as “morally wrong” and “like being stabbed in the back”.

The practice at issue is the sending of shoplifting demand letters. In short, this involves lawyers acting for retailers sending letters to alleged shoplifters and/or their parents demanding the payment of money.

To take one example reported in the media, in 2004, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. Cali’s Plumbing Ltd. v. National Dispatch Services Ltd. et al., 2015 ONSC 1918

[5] More significantly, the parties have been denied speedy, efficient, affordable, proportionate civil justice because all parts of the “system” have yet to acclimatize to its new needs. This is not a question of simply criticizing counsel or enforcing minor orders out of an over-sensitive sense of judgitis. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII