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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

#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

The Sweet Morbidity of Link Rot

A couple years ago, the New Yorker ran a great, comprehensive piece on “link rot”—that scourge of dead-end links and vexing “404” errors that annoys us all and ensures the Web’s enduring reputation as an “ethereal, ephemeral, unstable, and unreliable” ravel of non-sequiturs.

The article charts the curious history of the Wayback Machine—that most indispensible weapon in the fight against link rot—and mentions the “disastrous” effects for lawyers and judges who seek to erect houses of reason on the quicksand of internet sources.

It is all quite topical given the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent move to tackle the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Supreme Court of Canada Tackles Link Rot With New Online Archive

To combat link rot, the Supreme Court of Canada today launched an online archive of Internet Sources Cited in SCC Judgments (1998 – 2016).

Link rot refers to broken URLs or to URLs that direct to the original site but whose corresponding document has been removed or relocated without any information about where to find it.

From the Terms of Use:

“The Office of the Registrar of the SCC, recognizing that web pages or websites that the Court cites in its judgments may subsequently vary in content or be discontinued, has located and archived the content of most

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Canadian Senate to Discuss Cannabis Legalization on January 31

Although legislation to legalize Cannabis is not set to be tabled until the spring, it seems as though the Canadian Senate wants to get the discussion going early.

In the Order and Notice Paper which sets out the agenda for the January 31, 2017, Senate meeting, the Honourable Senator Carignan, P.C. has laid out a number of questions on the topic of legalization that he would like discussed. Those questions include:

(a) What are the implementation costs estimated by the federal government for a system to legalize cannabis in Canada, including a breakdown of costs in the areas of hospitalization . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

New AI and Law eJournal on Legal Scholarship Network

There’s a new “Sponsored Subject Matter eJournal” available on the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) called “Artificial Intelligence: Law, Policy, & Ethics.” It’s sponsored by the Vanderbilt University Law School, Program on Law & Innovation.

It’s free and you can subscribe to the current awareness alerts once you’ve set up your also free Social Science Research Network (SSRN) User HQ membership. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

New Minister, Same Focus?

Outgoing Minister John McCallum received a standing ovation at the CBA conference for immigration lawyers in 2016. It was evident from his keynote address and from fielding questions, that he understood key issues and he had a plan for fixing some of the problems. His leadership at the department has been brief but they have managed to accomplish significant milestones. As of 10 Jan 2017, we have a new Minister, the Honourable Ahmed D. Hussen. The questions become: will this disruption in the department cause further delays to the proposed changes? And, will Minister Hussen change the focus of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information

Once Up a Time, in Another Land

For those of you enjoying your well-earned holiday vacation.

March 1601 wasn’t that long ago, from the sequoias and redwoods perspective; even some oaks.

From “The Workhouse: The Story of an Institution” http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Oxford/

Robert Phillis, weaver, shall be delivered unto him twenty powndes towards the settling on worcke in spynning of lynnen and in carding and sorting of wollen with the cytty and suburbes, wherein specyall regard must bee had that the idle and loytring sort be sett on workce, and yf they refuse and doe their worcke amysse, that they be punnyshed by whipping

That probably wouldn’t work under . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Reading

Accessing Public Legal Information in the Digital Age

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) has issued its “Statement on Government Provision of Public Legal Information in the Digital Age.” This Statement was prepared by members of the IFLA Law Libraries Section and endorsed by the IFLA Governing Board on December 13, 2016.

In the Statement IFLA note’s that the role of providing access to “authentic and official versions of legal materials” and ensuring that these materials are preserved in the future has changed. When dealing with print formats libraries acted as repositories and keepers of this information. In the “digital age” providing and maintaining access . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

“The First Thing We Do, Let’s Poll All the Lawyers”

Courthouse Libraries BC (CLBC) just launched its #CLBClawyersurvey2016. Now we’re looking for sweet, precious survey fuel to reach the moon-like destination of 350 respondents—our statistically significant sample. By “survey fuel” I mean, of course, human lawyers in BC capable of clicking through a 10-minute survey. Eligible takers can start the online survey now.

CLBC has a long history in BC. We have served lawyers and the public for over 40 years in (and beyond) dozens of branches in courthouses throughout the province. This survey is the first of its kind for us, and it should help CLBC evolve  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology

High Level Descriptions Added to Alberta Legislation

What does it all mean? Many people are asking themselves that on this day after the US general election.

If your personal ‘what does it all mean’ relates to the laws of Alberta (and why wouldn’t it) there is a new tool to assist you with an answer. The Alberta Queen’s Printer is now providing ‘high level descriptions’ to provide context to search and browse results for legislative information.

Wondering what the Judicature Act is all about? The description offers:

This act provides for the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal of Alberta and the Court of Queen’s Bench of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information

Consulting With Canadians on a Federal Accessibility Legislation

Between July 2016 and February 2017, the federal government is consulting Canadians on planned federal accessibility legislation. The goal of the law would be to promote equality of opportunity and increase the inclusion and participation of Canadians who have disabilities or functional limitations in all areas of every day life. It is expected that the new legislation will incorporate many features from Ontario and Manitoba’s accessibility laws that would include the process or processes that the Government would use to develop the accessibility standards, as well as the areas or activities to which the standards would apply. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology

Do the Opposite

‘”The Opposite” is the 86th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld,’ according to Wikipedia. It is also one of my favourite episodes because it teaches an important life lesson. Here is a clip to refresh your memory:


Today, a Canadian company backed up by tech interests and talent announced acquisition of an important Canadian legal publisher Maritime Law Book (“maritime” here does not mean admiralty law; instead, it refers to the Maritimes—the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island—presumably because that’s where the publisher originated).

Law tech startups, attention. Your exit strategy probably involves acquisition . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology