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Archive for ‘Legal Information’

Google’s Dominance Doesn’t Require Anti-Competition

Google permeates everything we do. Our society could be described as a “Google generation,” for better or worse.

Some suggest that Google undermines our democracy, specifically by fostering greater inequality and eroding our notions of privacy. Others point to Google’s potential role in fighting back against “fake news,” and the crucial role that flows of information and media play in a democracy.

Google’s market share in search engines in Canada is estimated between 60% to over 90%. It’s Google’s dominance in the market that has some concerned about the centralization of power and information flows.

The broader practices of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Letter on Eliminating Print Version of Statutes of Canada

Connie Crosby, President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL), has written a letter to The Honourable Judy M. Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, explaining the many concerns law librarians have about the idea of discontinuing the paper publication of the annual Statutes of Canada.

The letter is in response to a CBC News report that the federal government might consider changes to legislation that requires that Canada’s annual laws be made available in print.

In her letter, Crosby calls on the government to take care before any move to a digital-only policy, in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation

University of Virginia Website on US Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch

The University of Virginia School of Law has launched the Gorsuch Project, a website devoted to the career of Neil Gorsuch, US President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy left on the US Supreme Court by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016:

“Hearings on the nomination of the Honorable Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled to begin March 20 and interest in the nominee’s judicial record is high. To assist researchers, we’re proud to announce the launch of the Neil Gorsuch Project, a website that assembles all of Gorsuch’s written opinions, as well

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Quebec Legal Info Service CAIJ Adds Commentary From McCarthy Tétrault

CAIJ, the Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (the network of courthouse law libraries associated with the Québec Bar Association), has signed resource sharing agreements with many major law firms in Québec that make their legal commentary freely available on the organization’s website.

This week, CAIJ announced that it will now feature texts written by lawyers from the firm of McCarthy Tétrault. This means there are 29 law firms that share material with CAIJ in English and French.

Their material will be added to a collection that already includes full-text commentary and textbooks including the Développements récents  (annual reviews of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

LII’s Thomas Bruce Testifies Before the Judiciary Committee

Thomas Bruce, Director of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, spoke before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee specifically to the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet who are exploring issues related to judicial transparency and ethics. Bruce mainly provides comments about PACER the “electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information online from federal appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts”.

The whole session was live streamed on February 14 and is a couple of hours long so I thought it might be useful to zoom in on . . . [more]

Posted in: 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