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Archive for ‘Administration of Slaw’

The Ombudsman as “Architect of Better Governance”

Ombudsmen are a rather strange breed of public official –- we have very robust investigative powers, such as the ability to examine witnesses under oath and to gain entry into government premises. But we have no powers of enforcement. We cannot impose a solution or make our recommendations binding.

Nevertheless, we can recommend resolutions, not only to address individual grievances, but also to promote broad policy changes. In this way, we have the potential to positively affect thousands -– even millions –- of citizens.

Our key to success is the use of moral suasion -– persuading our governments to do . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Firm Guest Blogger: Ombudsmen

As our guest this month we have not a firm but the Ombudsmen from the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan.

Also, we are inviting our guests to join us a week earlier than usual this month because the Canadian Council of Parliamentary Ombudsman chose this week to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the modern parliamentary ombudsman — the first one was established in Sweden in 1809 — and to raise awareness of the important work that ombudsmen do today.

Speaking of “ombudsmen,” I should record here that the plural of “ombudsman” is a somewhat . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Firm Guest Blogger

Nicole Garton-Jones

We are very pleased indeed to announce that Nicole Garton-Jones is joining Slaw as a regular contributor. Nicole is the principal of Heritage Law, a Vancouver law firm, and practices in the areas of wills and estates, family law and mediation. She is a graduate of U.B.C., Leadership Vancouver and the Womens’ Campaign School and is on the board of Continuing Legal Education BC and the Pacific Legal Technology Conference.

Among the things that are interesting about Heritage Law is the fact that it is a “virtual” law firm — or an “e-lawyering” practice, as some prefer. Nicole, her . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

More on Social Media and the Courts

We have recently learned of the Alberta order for service of process by Facebook.

An English court has now ordered service of a injunction via Twitter — where the Twitter user was anonymous, impersonating a blogger (it’s a complicated world out there!):

I suppose there could be interesting questions if the Twitter user was not in the jurisdiction of the court, depending on (among other things) whether the rules of practice permit service out of the jurisdiction without prior leave of the court.

The complainant thought it was more efficient to get an ex parte injunction and serve it . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Slaw Implements Google Translator

As an experiment, Slaw has installed a new Google feature that can automatically translate a website into the language used by the viewer’s browser. Thus, when we have a reader who comes to us with a browser set to read French or German or Arabic — or any of 50 languages — the reader will see a bar at the top offering in the reader’s language to translate Slaw into that language automatically. Readers who come to us with browsers set to English should be unaffected by this feature.

It may be that our French-speaking readers will find this annoying, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

David Whelan

If you look to your right — while this post is at the top of Slaw’s main page — you’ll see that we have a new columnist. David Whelan is getting his feet wet by subbing for Wendy Reynolds, our regular Extreme Lib columnist, who is busy this month wrestling a new job to the ground. David, as most of you might know, is the head librarian, or Manager of Legal Information, at the Great Library at Osgoode Hall, maintained by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

A lawyer and a librarian, David brings to us a great deal of . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Online Defamation – Single Publication Rule?

The government of the United Kingdom is thinking about instituting a ‘single publication’ rule for online defamation. Here’s a story about that issue, with a link to the government’s consultation paper.

The single publication rule is an American rule that makes a limitation period for defamation run from the first publication of the defamatory statement. If the defamation remains available, say through the continuing availability of a book or through a newspaper archive, that does not restart the limitation period. US courts have applied that rule to Internet publications.

Canadian and British courts do not have a single publication rule . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Slaw Is Now Moderating Some Comments

We have been the object of a number of phony comments that passed the reCaptcha test and the Akismet comment spam filter. Although we delete these annoyances as soon as we can, they go out on the comment RSS feed before we can stop them, unfortunately.

To prevent this we are now forcing some comments into moderation. The arrangement is that if you have ever had an approved comment on Slaw, your future comments will not be moderated. (We reserve the right to delete them, even so, if they offend our comment policy, set out in the next paragraph.) We . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Michael Fitzgibbon Joins Slaw

I’m pleased indeed to tell you that Michael Fitzgibbon has joined Slaw as a regular contributor. You will doubtless know him because of his own blog, Thoughts from a Management Lawyer and because of his recent post on Slaw as part of the firm guest blogging by Borden Ladner Gervais, where Michael is a partner in the Toronto Office.

As the name of his blog suggests, Michael has experience advising employers in labour relations and other employment matters. He teaches labour and employment law at the University of Toronto’s Woodsworth College and has co-authored two books: Understanding Ontario’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Slaw and Anonymous Commenting

It seems sensible to say a few words now about Angela Swan’s concern, expressed in a recent post, about “anonymous blogging” on Slaw.

Let me start by giving you some information, most of which is not news. Only members may post entries on Slaw; members are, of course, known, identified, and much valued, I might add. Commenting on posts is a bit more vexed. We do not moderate comments on Slaw in the sense that we do not preview them before their publication; we do, however, promptly delete those that we find to be objectionable in one way or . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Regulatory Intervention in Shareholder Rights Plans

On August 25, 2009, the Alberta Securities Commission dismissed an application by TransAlta Corporation to cease trade the shareholder rights plan of Canadian Hydro Developers Inc. The TransAlta take-over bid for Canadian Hydro Developers was scheduled to expire, unless extended, on August 27, 2009 and was effectively blocked by the rights plan. Although the impact of this decision will not be clear until the ASC releases its written reasons, it may be further evidence of a shift by the Canadian securities regulators towards providing boards of directors with greater deference in resisting unsolicited take-over bids.

Shareholder Rights Plans

Shareholder rights . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Green Energy Act

The Ontario Government has recently passed innovative legislation to stimulate investment in renewable energy, green jobs and energy conservation and demand management. One of the key features of the Green Energy and Economy Act, 2009 (“GEA”) are “Feed in Tariffs” for renewable generation such as wind, solar, biomass and hydro-electric power. This regime of Feed in Tariffs for renewable power has proved successful for many European jurisdictions that have been leaders in the development of renewable power projects.

At the present time, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is working hard to draft the key regulations to support the . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law