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Archive for July, 2019

My Horse for a Civilization: Regulating Carbon Emissions and Emergence of Climate Change Law

A century ago, Western civilization was still extensively using domesticated animals, specifically the horse, as one of the main means of transportation. Though domesticated for at least 6,000 years, this animal provided an invaluable means for people, goods, and services to move throughout North America, especially in inland areas away from shipping routes.

As could be expected, the common law at the time contained ample number of decisions that related to horses or incidents connected to horses. The horse was a central piece of technology that enabled civilization. Of course, all of that changed with the introduction of the Model . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

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 (June 21 to July 11, 2019 inclusive).


Criminal Law: Complainant’s Sexual Activity
R. v. Goldfinch, 2019 SCC 38 (38270)

To be admissible, relationship evidence that implies sexual activity must satisfy requirements of s. 276 . . . [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.

TRAVAIL : L’employeur, qui exploite un restaurant, a été condamné à payer à une salariée une indemnité de 26 000 $ à titre de dommages moraux et punitifs en raison du harcèlement sexuel qu’il a exercé à son endroit; il s’agit d’un message clair envoyé par le Tribunal afin de . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has released a report on the Regulation of Artificial Intelligence that looks at AI regulation and policy in jurisdictions around the world.

It was written in January and published on the Library’s website recently:

“This report examines the emerging regulatory and policy landscape surrounding artificial intelligence (AI) in jurisdictions around the world and in the European Union (EU). In addition, a survey of international organizations describes the approach that United Nations (UN) agencies and regional organizations have taken towards AI. As the regulation of AI is still in its infancy, guidelines, ethics

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Parenting Coordination Unboxed and Repurposed

Parenting coordination was first developed in California in the 1980s as a response to family law cases characterized by elevated levels of conflict and repeated trips to court. The Special Master Program, as it was then known, was established to help parents resolve ongoing child-related disputes through a combination of consensus-building and decision-making, steering parents away from court and providing a more holistic, balanced alternative to the conflict and expense of adversarial court processes.

Under this program, parents were referred to mental health professionals who sought to resolve parenting disputes through mediation but, if mediation failed, were empowered to resolve . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

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

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

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

How Can We Talk About It?

We urgently need to figure out how to talk about justice systems at the highest political level. As I have said before in this column: globally, justice systems are not delivering. Read the report of the Task Force on Justice. We need to make them better. That requires a new type of justice leadership and a new way of talking.

On 19 and 20 June the ministers of justice of the G7+ met for two days in The Hague. The fact that they met made me rejoice. You can’t have enough ministers of justice sharing experiences and getting . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Northwest Territories Upcoming Statutory Leave Changes

On May 29, 2019, the Northwest Territories tabled Bill 57, An Act to Amend the Employment Standards Act to align with recent changes to certain statutory leaves in the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Insurance Act, as well as to update certain provisions of the Employment Standards Act to better protect Northwest Territories workers. . . . [more]

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

Responsible AI: A Review

ITechLaw, C. Morgan, ed., Responsible AI: A Global Policy Framework, 2019

Can technology lawyers think outside the box? They may be better at it than some of their legal colleagues because the box itself is redesigned so frequently, the walls knocked down and rebuilt in different places, the interactions among the sections rethought, the whole picture scarcely recognizable over the years.

In this spirit, perhaps, a number of members of ITechLaw, the international body once known as the Computer Law Association, addressed their minds to the legal and policy challenges of artificial intelligence, still known as AI.

This field . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

2018 Fastcase 50

I look forward to the Fastcase 50 list every year. It is wonderful to see an acknowledgement that legal innovation is actually happening and to recognize those who are working at the front of the change line. Special congratulations to some familiar Canadian folk who made the list.

  • Gillian Hadfield, University of Toronto
  • Sukesh Kamra, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada.

Curious about who and how innovation happens? Check out this year’s list of the Fastcase 50. The list includes lawyers, law librarians, legal academics and as you expect, legal technologists. Let the inspiration begin. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Satellites Are Watching You

In an article titled “Soon, satellites will be able to watch you everywhere all the time – Can privacy survive?” MIT Technology Review questions how we deal with privacy and satellite surveillance. Satellites are becoming more pervasive, and have higher resolutions – capable of identifying people. Compounding the issue is that countries and entities outside of our borders are not subject to whatever standards our country might adopt.

Privacy as we know it focusses on consent. For things privacy laws deem personal, others can’t collect, use, or disclose it without our consent. That works fine for things we . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

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. Toronto Transit Commission v Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113, 2019 CanLII 58978 (ON LA)

72. Turning to the current language at issue. In my opinion, the most reasonable construction of the critical sentence would permit the TTC to stop using the SBA as a means of delivering sick leave benefits to employees but not demand that it first obtain the necessary . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII