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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

New PLEI Resources From Manitoba Courts

Manitoba Courts has just recently posted a number of videos to assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) and other justice system participants on its website. The videos released to date include:

  • What to expect when attending court
  • The Manitoba Provincial Court
  • The Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench
  • The Manitoba Court of Appeal
  • What to expect at jury selection
  • How to fill out a Petition or Petition for Divorce

Along with each video is posted a list of links to other relevant resources.

The site notes that the next phase in the video development will focus on videos that are more tutorial in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Saskatchewan Courts Make Citation Rules

The Legal Sourcery Blog reported recently that the three Saskatchewan Courts now have a practice directive in place that requires the use of the Citation Guide for the Courts of Saskatchewan.

The purpose of this Guide is to provide a standard set of citation rules for the courts of Saskatchewan. It covers all of the basic citation structures. For citation questions not covered by this Guide, the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (the McGill Guide) should be consulted. Where this Guide and other style guides differ, this Guide prevails.

A Notice to the Profession outlines some of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

State Immunity, Torture, and Impunity

Today, justice was denied to Zahra Kazemi and her family. After an eight year struggle, the Supreme Court of Canada released the decision many of us feared: Iran and its functionaries are immune from the civil jurisdiction of the Canadian courts for having arrested, tortured and murdered Ms. Kazemi, a Canadian journalist.

There will be time to pick apart the decision over the coming months, and years. Right now, though, I can’t do much more than shake with frustration and grief. In my 2009 comment on this case, when it was still pending before the Quebec Superior Court, I . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of the Vilardell Case and a Victory for BC’s Middle Class

The thing about writing for a blog (especially one that commits you to weekly posts) is that often times you can only barely introduce a topic or idea.

And undoubtedly one of the best things about blogs is that cursory introductions are totally fine. Want popcorn commentary on a landmark decision from the country’s highest court? Bam. Here you go.

The Supreme Court of Canada’s October 2, 2014 majority decision regarding the (non) constitutionality of pricey court fees in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59, is big news here in BC. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

International Association of Law Libraries 2014

The 2014 course on International Law and Legal Information from the International Association of Law Libraries is taking place right now in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Of particular interest are the Tweets being posted to Twitter with the tag #IALL2014. Today’s content is focussed largely on human rights issues.

Related links:

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

Don’t You Know, We’re Talking About a Tuition Revolution

Students have two clear goals upon graduation: getting a job and paying off their debt. There is a third thing though that at one point is a motivating factor for many idealistic students—doing meaningful social justice law work. For most law students and recent graduates this third thing has fallen off the map at a time when everyone from the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court to the Bar Associations, law schools and LSUC are talking about increasing access to justice.

Steadily rising levels of tuition have become a tremendous financial barrier for students entering law school and for . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Of #HeForShe Feminism and the Autumnal Equinox

During an autumnal equinox the Sun spends about an equal time above and below the horizon at all points of the Earth. September 23 is the date for this year’s equinox. For the rest of 2014, the northern hemisphere will pine the loss of sunlight as the other half of the globe rejoices its gain. For a brief period during equinox, however, we are all equals. At least in this single, solar respect.

In most other departments, that simple, elegant equality does not resolve tidily. Not on any day of the year, in fact. Once you’re on the ground, inside . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Cyberbullying, Social Media Networks and Sentencing: The Alberta Court of Appeal Strikes a Hard Blow in R v Mackie

How should the courts determine appropriate sentences for online predators who victimize vulnerable children through various forms of cyberbullying? This was the question put squarely to the Alberta Court of Appeal in R v Mackie 2014 ABCA 221.

Background

Statistics Canada reported this summer that the traditional crime rate in Canada fell 8% from 2012 to 2013, reaching its lowest level since 1969. But this general decline in crime rates overshadows a disturbing countertrend – the rise in online crimes against children.

Crimes constituting sexual violations against children increased 6% from 2012. In particular, the crime of using a . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues

Why Pro Bono?

Last week I had the opportunity to speak with law students at Robson Hall as part of the Pro Bono Students Canada (“PBSC”) launch event. I had been asked to give a speech on my own pro bono and access to justice work with a view to motivating students to volunteer for one of the many interesting projects PBSC is coordinating this year. In preparing for the presentation, I thought back to my own days at Robson Hall and realized, with some dismay, how little I gave of my time to others at that point in my life.

Because I . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues

Elaborate Rules Means Justice System Is Expensive and Inaccessible

At the Opening of the Courts this week in Ontario, Justice Strathy, the new Chief Justice for the Province, gave a speech which highlighted how the court system is largely inaccessible to the majority of the public, largely due to the cost, complexity and time involved.

He made particular reference to his experience in the Ontario courts as a need for reform:

Having been a lawyer and a judge in this province for over 40 years, it strikes me that we have built a legal system that has become increasingly burdened by its own procedures, reaching a point that we

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

Online Dispute Resolution at UNCITRAL – Some Creativity Needed

The UNCITRAL Working Group on Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) meets next month in Vienna to continue discussion of model rules for international ODR. Here are the working documents for the meeting, and past meetings. .

The perspective of the project since its inception in 2010 has been to find a way to resolve high-volume, low-value disputes – not necessarily just consumer disputes, but many would be of this kind.

One of the problems has been to figure out a way to get both buyers and sellers into the ODR system, whatever it is (and there might be many such . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Justice Issues, ulc_ecomm_list