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Archive for November, 2018

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. Vancouver Immigration Law Blog 2. DroitDu.Net OK 3. Official Clio Blog  4. Eloise Gratton  5. Civil Resolution Tribunal blog

Vancouver Immigration Law Blog
Fettering Discretion and Standard of Review – Boswell J. sets out a Useful Summary in Alagaratnam

Readers of this blog know that one of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

We Built This City (Library)

Civic pride has been riding a bit of a high in Calgary recently, and it has naught to do with any professional sports franchise, annual rodeo or the swell of nostalgia roused when considering a possible Olympic bid. The cause for such a recent surge was actually the opening of the new Central Library on November 1. Winning further accolades from some was the fact that the project ultimately came in $10M under budget. While one must admit that the new central library is not perfect in all ways, it is fair to say that in a word, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Towards a National Security Regulator

I had always presumed, erroneously, that all those entering the legal field would have some modicum of interest in public policy, equity issues, and promoting the rule of law. A significant chunk of the profession certainly do share those concerns, even while differing in the positions they may take.

But I was bewildered by those I encountered early in my legal education who simply were indifferent towards politics or any legal topic that did not directly impact their professional pursuits. I could only assume that such an existence was a by-product of a lifestyle and existence that was not threatened . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. It’s a summary of all appeals as well as leaves to appeal granted so you will know what the SCC will soon be dealing with (October 24 – November 15, 2018 inclusive).

Oral Judgments

Criminal Law: Attempted Murder
R. v. Normore, 2018 NLCA 10 ; 2018 SCC 42 (37993) judgment rendered Oct. 19, 2018

The Chief Justice: “Mr. Normore was . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

RESPONSABILITÉ : Le verdict de non-responsabilité criminelle ne peut, en soi, faire la preuve de l’incapacité du défendeur de discerner le bien du mal au moment du meurtre de son voisin, mais il s’agit d’un fait juridique qui, additionné au rapport d’expert sur la santé mentale et la preuve documentaire, . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Bitcoin, Not Blockchain for Governments Everywhere

Governments are among the biggest consumers of technology. Amazon has a whole separate AWS cloud for governments. I would not be surprised if very, very few corporations approach, for example, US government’s database transaction volume. Imagine hundreds of millions of tax filings, border crossings, purchases, sales, emails, surveillance records, court files, and highway traffic data stored, processed and retrieved every year. Wait, strike court files. Those are probably still handled in paper form or through private databases, at least in North America.

If the government is so tech hungry, will it eventually become the biggest user of blockchain? The answer . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology, Practice of Law

Federal Government Omnibus Bill Includes Employment Law Changes

Bill C-86, A second Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on February 27, 2018 and other measures received first reading on October 29, 2018. Bill C-86 is another omnibus budget Bill that, if enacted, would among other things, make changes to the parental leave EI benefits under the Employment Insurance Act (again), significantly amend the Canada Labour Code (again), introduce pay equity legislation and amend the Wage Earner Protection Program, among other Acts. . . . [more]

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

SI – Subtracted Intelligence

In our newfound enthusiasm of all things AI, some might take issue with the word “Artificial” and prefer “Augmented”, or the less pretentious “Added” to reflect a “man+machine” future, rather “man or machine” one. Just as there is a rule that scuba divers operate in pairs to look out for each other, maybe machines should be paired with a human minder/beneficiary.

Trusting them is an issue for Ms. Melanie Mitchell, Professor of Computer Science at Portland State University, according to the article titled “Artificial Intelligence Hits the Barrier of Meaning” in the New York Times:

“While some people

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

CRTC Releases Onerous CASL Intermediary Bulletin

The CRTC just released a bulletin that goes to surprising lengths to impose liability on third parties for CASL violations. Lengths that may not be supported by the legislation.

It basically tries to turn intermediaries into enforcers. An approach this aggressive is surprising in light of the INDU committee report on CASL released in December 2017 that concluded in part: “The Act and its regulations require clarifications to reduce the cost of compliance and better focus enforcement.”

The bulletin is Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2018-415 Guidelines on the Commission’s approach to section 9 of Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) . . . [more]

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

Fall 2018 Information Update From Washington, DC

I got back to DC in time for the 2018 Federal Depository Library Conference, held October 22 through 23 in Arlington, Virginia. This was an opportunity to learn about the latest enhancements to the Government Publishing Office’s U.S. government information platform, govinfo.gov . This platform has replaced their FDSys.gov which will be offline by the end of this year. There will be redirects from the PURL’s to the new location of the content.

Their new content includes statute compilations for major legislation, eight new courts added in the U.S. Courts collection, and the Congressional Directories for the 115 . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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. R. v. Marakah, 2017 SCC 59

[1] Can Canadians ever reasonably expect the text messages they send to remain private, even after the messages have reached their destination? Or is the state free, regardless of the circumstances, to access text messages from a recipient’s device without a warrant? The question in this appeal is whether the guarantee against unreasonable search and . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Women in Legal Tech

Women are underrepresented in legal technology companies. In the article Making the Future of Legal Tech Female: How We Can Promote Women Founders, Kristen Sonday discusses the dangers of the underrepresentation of women in legal technology companies. “Women currently account for less than 15% of legal tech founders overall.” This is problematic.

As we move from a print-based society to an Internet-based society, technology will change the way legal information is provided and created. If algorithms and AI systems are created by homogenous groups, then the law and legal services will be skewed. Homogenous groups that build the algorithms . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology