Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for April, 2020

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 Ju stice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

FAMILLE : Malgré l’urgence sanitaire que représente la COVID-19, en l’absence de symptômes chez les personnes visées, il n’y a pas matière à modifier les modalités de garde et d’accès, de sorte que la demande du père, qui souhaitait que les droits d’accès de la mère s’exercent au moyen . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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 (March 12 – April 16, 2020 inclusive).


Criminal Law: Delay; Verdict Deliberation Times
R. v. K.G.K., 2020 SCC 7(38532)

Section 11 (b) extends beyond the end of the evidence and argument at trial, . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

“Trial by Zoom”: What Virtual Hearings Might Mean for Open Courts, Participant Privacy and the Integrity of Court Proceedings

It’s not business as usual in Canadian courts. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended court operations, just as it has upended every other aspect of daily life. One response to the need to ensure physical distancing has been to move in-person court hearings to virtual formats. Beyond the utility of virtual hearings as short term emergency measures, there is reason to believe that this moment may well mark the start of a shift toward increased use of virtual hearings in the longer term. In discussing the impact of COVID-19 on courts, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court has stated . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

On Gut Punches And Optimism

The Chairperson of the American Bar Association Center for Innovation, Dan Rodriguez, resigned his position suddenly in February of this year, more than a year before the planned end of his term. The move was a surprise, and coincidental with the controversial conclusion of the Center for Innovation’s efforts to have the larger ABA adopt policy statements in favour of experimentation in regulatory reform.

Official statements suggest that the departure was not a result of the vote, specifically. But it seems likely Rodriguez’ departure was related to the larger political machinations.

Among legal technologists it is generally accepted that there

. . . [more]
Posted in: 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. R v. Rajan, 2020 ONSC 2118 (CanLII)

[68] While the tertiary ground reasons for detention are based on a visceral reaction against release–a somewhat abstract notion premised on gauging the reasonable views of the public–the threat of COVID-19 in a jail setting is based on cold, hard scientific reality.

[69] The two must be counterbalanced against each other. The traditional grounds for . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Importance of Civil Justice Indicators

Law touches many aspects of daily life. We skim and (hastily) agree to user agreements in order to stream music and videos online, sign lease agreements for housing, hydro contracts for hot water and electricity, and employment contracts that outline terms and conditions for work. The everyday legal problems landscape is rife with disputes with employers and neighbors, arguments over money owed, contentious divorces, and many other civil justice problems. The recent economic and social pressures created by the COVID-19 crisis have certainly not improved things. Everyday legal problems carry legal ramifications and profound personal, financial and social consequences. Much . . . [more]

Posted in: 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.


Get Free Help With Publishing Reference Docs Online During COVID-19
Emma Durand-Wood

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian legal tech industry is stepping up to help. Joining Clio and Optimize Compliance in offering generous assistance during this challenging time is Lexum, which today made the following announcement: Need to Provide Open Access to Key Documents and Materials? Lexum Will Help at No Cost. …

Research . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

My Concerns With the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review Panel Report, and Thoughts About Taming the Internet

In January, the panel tasked with the review of Canada’s telecommunications framework issued its report. Some of the recommendations are to be saluted, but others have left me worrying, most importantly the recommendations that aim to effectively regulate the Internet the same way that we have regulated broadcast since the last century.

This post is certainly not intended to be a comprehensive discussion of the report. If you’re looking for such a thing you can, well, read the report to hear the panellists’ explanations for their recommendations, or head to Michael Geist’s blog to hear about the other side . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Legal Technology

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. Clicklaw Blog 2. RT Blog 3. David Whelan 4. First Reference 5. IP Osgoode

Clicklaw Blog
April 2020 Events: Educating & Helping the Public

Free or low cost events for the general public to understand and use the law. Follow the links to see cost & registration

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Laicity State Remains Unchallenged, for Now

On June 16, 2019, the Assemblée nationale du Québec passed the Act respecting the laicity of the State. On its face, the Act would appear to be controversial, seeking to ensure the non-religious nature of the state,

2. The laicity of the State is based on the following principles:

(1  the separation of State and religions;
(2  the religious neutrality of the State;
(3  the equality of all citizens; and
(4  freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.

The very next day though, the Act was challenged on the basis . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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 Ju stice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : La tenue d’un nouveau procès est ordonnée sous des chefs d’homicide involontaire par acte illégal et de négligence criminelle causant la mort visant un policier de la Sûreté du Québec qui, alors qu’il était dans l’exercice de ses fonctions, a déchargé son arme sur le jeune . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The British Invasion: Legal Services Regulation Edition

Bringing British things across the pond is a hot Canadian trend. Prince Harry and Megan Markle are now our most famous immigrants. A Canada-U.K. free trade deal has apparently become a post-Brexit priority. And the Downton Abbey movie has raked in hundreds of millions of dollars from my parents and their friends.

While we’re at it, we should copy at least three aspects of legal services regulation as practiced in our erstwhile mother country. The U.K. has swept away many of the outdated and unnecessary restrictions on legal services that we still cling to. The payoff is better access . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics