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Archive for ‘Justice Issues’

No Access to Remote Justice in L’Orignal, Ontario?

Recently we took on two Small Claims Court actions for good clients. In both cases we acted for the plaintiff.

Anyone who has commenced a Small Claims Court proceeding knows that the Small Claims Court Rules provide that the plaintiff is generally required to commence the action in the jurisdiction where the defendant lives or carries on business. In both cases our client operated from Toronto. In both cases, we had to commence the action in L’Orignal, Ontario as a result of that being where the defendant carried on business.

For those of you who don’t know, L’Orignal is about . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Technology

Someday We’ll Find It, the Rainbow Connection

The quotation below contains the first paragraph and part of the conclusion of an article with the title of this post. You will find that article on the University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog, here.

One might assume that LGBT rights in Canada were worse the further one delves back into our history. This would be incorrect. While LGBT rights in 1867 were nowhere near what they are today, it’s important to note that things actually got a lot worse before they got better.

To those of our readers in law school, legal professions, politics, and others

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues

Systemic Racism as a Basis for Excluding Evidence

Introduction

The existence of racism in our legal system is no surprise.

David Tanovich has written extensively how the Charter has still largely been ineffective in addressing racism in the criminal justice system. Faisal Mirza has explained how mandatory minimum sentences disproportionate affect black Canadians, and he wrote this in 2001, before the additional sentences added in 2009.

We can go even further back to 1993, and the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System, which described a widespread and prevalent prejudice against blacks as follows:

First what we are dealing with at root, and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

#Research4Refugees: A Cross-Canada Law Student Effort

An inspiring event began late last week and rose to a crescendo on Saturday: the law student-driven Research-a-thon for Refugees. The 12-hour distributed pro bono legal research marathon was kickstarted in a whirlwind of spark of initiative, quick communication, outreach, collaborative effort, and perhaps a bit of collective consciousness.

Volunteer law students receiving an immigration and refugee law overview from UVic Professor Donald Galloway

The goal of #Research4Refugees was to produce a collaboratively researched document for a Canadian NGO, focusing on interpretation and application of the US-Canada safe third country agreement for arriving refugees, on a project managed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Courthouse Libraries BC Hosting Webinar for Canadian Lawyers on the Impact of Recent Executive Orders


I feel I must write this quick, as every day the terrain shifts and the battle lines move in the escalating conflict between the 45th POTUS and virtually the entire machinery of justice.

FYI, the ABA yesterday released its resolution 10C calling on Trump to withdraw his order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Less than two weeks ago Trump started the whole mess when he slapped on brass knuckles to deliver not one, not two, but three immigration-related executive orders to finish his first week as President.

The world sucked wind.

Even north of the 49th people . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

An Uber Class Action Comes to Ontario

It was bound to happen. As I noted here last year, Uber has been facing challenges to its work model in multiple jurisdictions.

A class action was recently filed in Ontario, focusing on the employee/independent contractor distinction, but also raising some other interesting arguments. In particular, the plaintiffs claim that the arbitration agreement that Uber drivers are forced to sign is in contravention of the Employment Standards Act and unfair, as it requires class members to travel to Amsterdam, Netherlands to resolve their disputes.

Despite being a highly mobile workforce, the route from Ontario to the Netherlands by car is . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Technology

Comments Pro, Con and Neutral on Trump’s US Supreme Court Nominee

SCOTUSblog, the well-known American blog devoted to analysis of the United States Supreme Court, has been providing great coverage of US President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch (U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit) to fill the vacancy left on the top court of our Southern neighbour by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016.

Here are some links. Each of the SCOTUSblog posts below contains extensive links to news, commentary and analysis:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

United States Asking Foreign Visitors for Social Media Info and Cell Phone Contacts

I heard about the United States Custom Border Agency had been asking Canadians for access to their Facebook accounts and cellphones when they arrived at the border to join the women’s march on Washington the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. When some Canadians refuse to surrender their information, they were denied entry into the US and turned away (this is in addition to those who were refused entry because they were going to the march). I was appalled to hear this, and appalled at the invasion of privacy and violation of civil and human rights – and in 2017! I . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Finding the Best Ways Forward: A Symposium on Children’s Participation in Justice Processes

I am delighted to announce Finding the Best Ways Forward, a two-day national symposium scheduled for 15 and 16 September 2017 in Calgary, featuring keynote speakers Mr. Sheldon Kennedy of the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre and Dr. Nicole Sherren of the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative.

Finding the Best Ways Forward is aimed at gathering together leading stakeholders to share information and dialogue about how the voices of children and youth are heard, how their interests are protected, and how their evidence is received in justice processes. The symposium will generate innovative proposals for policy reform, best practices, . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Trump’s Immigration Policy Will Benefit Canada

Immigration lawyers are abuzz with Trump’s recent announcements on immigration. Today, he is expected to sign an executive order that will temporarily ban most refugees and a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries. His announcements regarding Mexico and his notorious wall have been alienating latin americans. This all good news for Canada. Lawyers from across the country have been getting more calls from immigrants who see a future of success, prosperity and, yes I will say it, freedom in Canada. To borrow the phrase, Canada has become the beacon on the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Nasty Women in the Law

Last week, the Women’s March overshadowed Trump’s Inauguration. So what was it about Hillary Clinton that people found so nasty? What was it that triggered such comments like: “such a nasty woman”?

And what is it about women lawyers that trigger these attacks? Such as: “Marie Henein is a successful female lawyer at the top of her profession. Total bitch.”

In “Nasty Women and the Rule of Law“, Alice Woolley and Elysa Darling analyze this conundrum. They argue that women lawyers face this backlash because being a lawyer requires women to challenge and subvert gendered norms. Women are . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law

Introducing the Alberta Limited Legal Services Project

Much of the research and writing on access to justice issues in the last five years, including that of the Canadian Bar Association and Julie Macfarlane’s National Self-Represented Litigants Project, has discussed unbundling as a potential, albeit partial, remedy.

The idea here is that the usual full-service retainer, ever so commonplace in civil litigation, makes lawyers’ services unaffordable and prevents many litigants from accessing justice. (Professor Macfarlane’s landmark 2013 study on the issue of self-representation found that “inability to afford to retain, or to continue to retain, legal counsel” was the overwhelming reason why the litigants she spoke to . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice