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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Federal Accessible Transportation Regulation

The federal Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR) was registered under the federal Accessible Canada Act (ACA) on June 25, 2019. Most provisions of the ATPDR will come into force on June 25, 2020, while other more complex requirements (i.e., self-serve kiosks) will be phased in over three years (June 25, 2020, June 25, 2021 and June 25, 2022). This is the only accessibility standard currently registered under the ACA. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Wondrous World of Creating Constitutional Law

Senator Mike Duffy is suing the Senate for the pay he lost when he was suspended from the Senate. His lawsuit raises the constitutional issue of parliamentary immunity, on the basis of which Justice Sally Gomery of the Ontario Superior Court dismissed his claim. Duffy’s appeal is based on the loss of Senate immunity if it has engaged in wrongdoing, as the Senate did, he says, in taking its direction from the executive (Prime Minister Stephen Harper). (For this story, see The National Post).

For no particular reason whatsoever, this case made me think about how so much of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Oaths, Affirmations and Eagle Feathers

The front page story in The Globe and Mail a day or two ago about the option of using eagle feathers in swearing oaths or making affirmation in courts in Alberta, where they have been available for some time now, got me thinking about the process of swearing or affirming before testifying in court more generally.

The rules around swearing oaths and affirming seem simple: the purpose is to bring home to the witness the importance of telling the truth. For some people, it is necessary to do that by swearing on a religious book, for others, who have no . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Construction Law Reform Across Canada: Prompt Payment and Adjudication

Construction law is being reformed at the federal and provincial levels across Canada. The changes will have wide-ranging impacts across the construction sector and related industries. Among the changes are “prompt payment” reforms that impose legislated payment deadlines on private and public construction contracts, as well as a new fast-track private dispute resolution regime called “adjudication.”

Any lawyer with clients in the construction supply chain ought to take careful note to avoid being caught unprepared by new deadlines and new dispute resolution forums introduced by the legislation. Alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) professionals may also be interested in the new adjudication . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Time to Review Your Accessibility Plans and Prepare to File a Report in 2020

1. Review your multi-year accessibility plans by January 1, 2020

On January 1, 2014, section 4(1) of the Integrated Accessibility Standards, Ontario Regulation 191/11 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) required the Government of Ontario, Legislative Assembly, designated public sector organizations and large organizations (50 plus employees) to have multi-year accessibility plans in place and posted on their websites (if any), and to provide the plan in an accessible format upon request.

The multi-year accessibility plan must inform and outline the organization’s strategy for preventing and removing barriers faced by persons with disabilities and also for meeting . . . [more]

Posted in: 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

It’s the Motivation and Impact That Matter When Government Requests Prorogation of Parliament

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue the UK Parliament last week reminded us of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s twice-proroguing of the Canadian Parliament in the space of about a year. It is, say supporters, just like any other quite regular prorogations; not so, say opponents, they undermine the nation’s constitutional structure. What makes the difference? The reason, the motivations, for the disruption of the parliamentary sitting in each case. What can be done about unconstitutional proroguing of Parliament? I discuss three responses. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Attracted Me to Law — and Why I’m Still Here

I first started musing about going to law school as I was finishing my undergrad degree in political science. The idea didn’t last long, though, because I couldn’t afford it (and this was long before law school tuition had even begun its climb into the stratosphere). Grad school, on the other hand, paid money to teaching assistants and otherwise and so I went on to my master’s and then my doctorate in political theory. I didn’t consider law school again for another three years or so. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Leadership and the Law

The role of a society’s recognized and legal “leader” is a complicated one. It is affected by and affects the society’s political culture. It can be unifying or divisive. It can seek to move the society forward or to take it back to an earlier time. It can reflect the individual’s ignorance or knowledge of the political unit’s norms, conventions and laws. However, one of the most important aspects of leadership is that the individual understands the law (with help from advisors) and respects the legal system, even though they may disagree with particular laws. A so-called “leader” who shows . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Satellites Are Watching You

In an article titled “Soon, satellites will be able to watch you everywhere all the time – Can privacy survive?” MIT Technology Review questions how we deal with privacy and satellite surveillance. Satellites are becoming more pervasive, and have higher resolutions – capable of identifying people. Compounding the issue is that countries and entities outside of our borders are not subject to whatever standards our country might adopt.

Privacy as we know it focusses on consent. For things privacy laws deem personal, others can’t collect, use, or disclose it without our consent. That works fine for things we . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Asia Ignored by the Media?

In the 1940s during World War II, I remember the war news being mostly about the war in Europe and very little news of the war in Asia. The bombing of Europe dominated the North American radio news and newspapers. Apart from the atomic bombs, I do not remember news items about the bombing of Japan which was extensive.

Today some of our news media are again ignoring some of the news from Asia. For example, “Uzbekistan’s growth rate of 8 percent is one of the world’s highest.” The population of Uzbekistan is 32 million. We do get some news . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing, Miscellaneous

Algorithms and Justice

Ontario’s justice system is fast approaching a digital crossroads.

New technologies, including algorithms, automated decision-making and artificial intelligence (AI), are set to challenge our long-standing assumptions and practices regarding human rights, due process and access to justice.

How well do justice system professionals understand these technologies? What are the broad legal implications of adopting AI in the justice system? How can or should the justice system regulate these challenges?

These questions, and more, will be addressed in a free half-day educational event on Wednesday, May 15th presented by the Law Commission of Ontario, Osgoode Hall Law School and . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Miscellaneous

Should Judges Be Tweeps and “Friends”?

One of the themes the Canadian Judicial Council has identified as part of its review of its Ethical Principles for Judges is judges’ use of social media. This is an etirely new area since the release of the current Principles 20 years ago and it has rapidly become a complex and sometimes dangerous area to navigate. Tempting though it might be to tell judges that they cannot use social media, this would be fruitless. Better to incorporate training for judges about its use, clear limits about subject areas and guidelines about the risks into judges’ initial education sessions, which should . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous