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Open Access, Free Access to Law and Access to Canadian Legal Scholarship (Part 2)

[This is the second of a two-part column on open access and public access to Canadian legal scholarship. The first part is available here.] There is an overwhelming public good and social benefit to be obtained from open access publishing. The principle that the results of research that has been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain is itself a compelling one, and fundamentally unanswerable. Arguments in support of man...
Posted in: Legal Information

Does Open Access Publication Help or Hinder Legal Scholarship?

The latest issue of the Lewis & Clark Law Review is devoted to the implications of open access publication for legal scholarship, for law reviews and for access to legal information. Serious issues which we might well consider exploring more fully in future posts on Slaw. SYMPOSIUM: OPEN ACCESS PUBLISHING AND THE FUTURE OF LEGAL SCHOLARSHIP Foreword: Why Open Access to Scholarship Matters Joseph Scott Miller 10 Lewis & Clark L. Rev....
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Open Access, Free Access to Law and Access to Canadian Legal Scholarship (Part 1)

[This is the first of a two-part column on open access and public access to Canadian legal scholarship within the free law movement. This week (October 21-27, 2013) is International Open Access Week. This annual global event, now entering its sixth year, is organized by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to promote the goals of Open Access to the public generally but e...
Posted in: Legal Information

Is Lawful Access Legislation a Good Thing?

...d Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, National Post (October 31, 2011) Letters to Ministers Toews and Nicholson re: Lawful Access [pdf] – letters by Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (October 31, 2011) Why Lawful Access legislation should not be allowed – David T.S. Fraser, Canadian Privacy Law Blog (October 31, 2011) Privacy Commissioner outlines concerns about potential lawful access legislation – New...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Fiduciaries’ Access to Digital Assets

...he November draft of the ULC bill referred to assets on a ‘digital device’ or to which the owner had access online, I am inclined to think that the medium is no part of the message here. A digital asset may be anywhere that electronic records are stored. The fiduciary may need access to the physical device to get at the digital assets, of course. (I have seen learned discussions of why ‘digital’ is preferable to ‘ele...
Posted in: Legal Technology

Access to Justice Reports Released on Prevention, Triage and Referral, which posits a different view of how the justice system should deal with access issues. Whether current Canadian governments – conservative in policy and austere in their appetites for new expenditures of public funds – will rise to the challenge, is an open question. The national Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters has posted four Working Group Reports for consulta...
Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Reading: Recommended, Technology: Internet

Bill C-12 and “Lawful Authority” Under PIPEDA

...include the following clarification: s.7(3.1) For greater certainty, for the purpose of paragraph (3)(c.1): (a) lawful authority refers to lawful authority other than (i) a subpoena or warrant issued, or an order made, by a court, person or body with jurisdiction to compel the production of information, or (ii) rules of court relating to the production of records; and (b) the organization that discloses the personal information is not required t...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Open Access and Academic Reputation

Open access is an initiative that seeks to find ways of making the journal literature published online freely available to readers. It is having the effect of not only taking us a step closer to the ideal of universal access to the knowledge needed to advance knowledge, but it is also altering, if every so slightly, the traditional means by which reputations are established and maintained within academic life. About twenty percent of the researc...
Posted in: Legal Publishing

Access to Justice Fatigue

I hope JP Boyd was right when he recently suggested there is a growing fatigue with the subject of access to justice in Canada. Boyd has recently launched a blog on the subject (lauded here on Slaw) that focuses on concrete steps lawyers and other stakeholders can take to increase access to justice in small but significant ways. If there is growing weariness, I expect some of that is generated by those on the frontlines who continue to slog forw...
Posted in: Justice Issues

Access to Justice Commissions: Learning to Work Collaboratively on Difficult Justice Problems

Two weeks ago, the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters released the Colloquium Report. This document captures the action-oriented strategies, reforms and innovations from leaders in the access to justice field in response to the recommendations made by the Action Committee in their final report, A Roadmap for Change (see a SLAW summary here). One of the institutional and structural goals discussed in the Colloquium...
Posted in: Justice Issues

Indian Kanoon: Sushant Sinha on Innovation and Free Law in India

...Sinha interpreted the Indian Kanoon usage data as suggesting a remarkable hypothesis: that the provision of free access to law via the Internet was actually increasing demand for access to law among ordinary citizens; Dr. Sinha called this rise in demand “the thirst for law.” I asked Dr. Sinha about the evidence that had given rise to that hypothesis. He replied that he had observed in the Indian Kanoon transaction logs a consistently...
Posted in: Legal Information

The Access to Clothing Crisis

Access to Clothing [1] is a complex issue that seems almost impossible to effectively address. Some consider it one of our most pressing issues [2] . The well-off continue to be able to afford appropriate clothing for all occasions. The least fortunate amongst us are able to access free or subsidized clothing to be worn during the most important events in their lives. The middle class cannot afford to purchase clothing at all. To the great disc...
Posted in: Legal Ethics