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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

FDRIO’s Family Dispute Resolution Week to Be Held November 21st to 25th

The second annual Family Dispute Resolution Week (FDRweek) is set be held this coming November 21st through 25th, with the group’s key event, a 1-day conference scheduled for Monday the 21st at the Ismaili Centre in Toronto.

This year’s conference and FDRweek will include events for lawyers, family law professionals and the general public in Toronto, Oshawa, Pickering, Ajax, Newmarket, and Barrie. 

The theme for FDRweek 2016 is “Mediation and dispute resolution in a pluralistic society.” Event organizers note that, “Canada is widely recognized as being the second home for many immigrants. Many dispute resolution clients are new . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Is the Debate on a Secular State Useless and Fruitless?

Here we go again. Quebec Justice Minister recently tabled Bill 62, An Act to foster adherence to State religious neutrality and, in particular, to provide a framework for religious accommodation requests in certain bodies fostering respect for religious neutrality of the state and aimed in particular to frame requests for religious accommodations in certain organizations. This is this sitting government’s attempt to draft a charter of secularism.

This is the fourth time that the Quebec government (under different leadership) has tried to pass a bill to clarify the religious neutrality of the state and set guidelines for the granting of . . . [more]

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

Of Taylor Swift, Referent Power, Jury Duty and Psychological Theories of Social Influence

I don’t know much about Taylor Swift (or TayTay/Swifty/Tayter Tot/T-Swizzle depending on fan-preference), but I take pride that most of what I do know comes from a delightfully small number of sources:

  • My six-year old daughter (more “stream of consciousness fan fiction” than literal news)
  • The Dover Police Department—this YouTube video in particular
  • The ingenious OpenDataTaylorSwift Twitter account (@ts_institute) — light on Taylor Swift data (Tay-lore?), true, but a truly great dig into the Open Data world… see!
. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Invitation to Participate: Survey on Scientific Evidence in the Legal Profession

Slaw readers are invited to participate in a research study conducted by Professor Jacob Shelley, and law students, Gabriella Levkov and Michelle Noonan at the Faculty of Law, Western University.

Briefly, the study involves a short multiple choice online survey regarding scientific evidence in the legal profession. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary, confidential, and independent of your professional responsibilities, and identifiable information will not be collected. Your participation should only take 10-15 minutes.

To participate in this study please click on the link below to access the letter of information and survey link. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Merit and Diversity in Judicial Appointments

With Justice Cromwell’s surprise decision to resign this September, the Federal Liberals promising reform of Supreme Court appointments, and recent media discussion around the political edges of judicial appointments, The Law Society of BC yesterday offered recommendations to Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould promoting four core principles for the judicial appointment process. They are: “transparency; judicial independence; merit and diversity; and public participation.”

The July 18, 2016 announcement references the report from a recently formed subcommittee of the Law Society of BC’s Rule of Law and Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee, titled “Principles for the Appointment of Justices to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Preserving Your Legal Rights Against Pokemon Go

As of this afternoon, Pokemon Go has officially arrived in Canada. The number of downloads for the augmented reality game were so high that they crashed the app’s servers.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the introduction of this real-time in-public game has created  concerns around trespass, robbery, and even murder.

Pokemon hunting has resulted in police being alerted on suspicious behaviour, only to find people walking in circles staring at their phones. These hapless players have also been targeted by criminals based on their blind meandering. At least one attempted murder suspect has been apprehended due to the Pokemon . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Manitoba Proposes Amendments to CPP Enhancement

The Manitoba government has responded to the agreement in principle to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) concluded June 20, 2016. Manitoba’s Finance Minister Cameron Friesen wants all provincial and federal finance ministers to take more time to talk about the enhanced Canada Pension Plan before finalizing the agreement by July 15, 2016. . . . [more]

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

Three Business IP Scams to Watch For

It’s summer vacation season, and worth a reminder about some common business IP scams to watch out for. Staff covering for vacations and unfamiliar with these may be more vulnerable to them. While there are lots of scams out there, these three are the ones I get asked about most by clients.

The trademark registration scam. Scammers monitor the trademark application process, and send an invoice to the trademark applicant that looks like it is part of the trademark application process. If you read it very carefully it says it isn’t an invoice, and it is a pitch for a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

Refugees in Schools: Intersection of Municipal Law & Federal Obligations

To date, the Federal government has accepted 27,580 Syrian refugees into Canada through various government programs and private sponsorships. The processing of this volume of applications has been a monumental task. In meetings, the Deputy Minister described how they created a 24/7 processing machine, using their resources around the globe to increase efficiency and decrease processing times. These +27,500 refugees join the ~150,000 other refugees from other source countries. When they arrive, there is no doubt that they require significant settlement services and the children need access to education. This is where things can get messy. While the Federal government . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Miscellaneous

Amendment to the Charter of the French Language: Signage in French and Trademarks

The Charter of the French Language currently allows for the exclusive use of trademarks in languages other than French unless a French version of the trademark has been registered. Seeing an increase in the presence of trademarks in a language other than French displayed on outdoor signage all over the province, the Québec Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the Protection and Promotion of the French Language, Hélène David, tabled proposed amendments to regulations under the Charter of the French Language (Loi 101). The amendments are to ensure a greater visibility of French in the display of . . . [more]

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

Enemy of the State – Still Topical

I recently watched the 1998 movie Enemy of the State . It is a spy thriller about a lawyer being smeared by politicians because they believe he has information that can implicate them in criminal matters – the murder of a politician who was opposing a privacy bill that is really a bill empowering mass surveillance. They use sophisticated, unsavoury, unethical, and illegal methods to watch him, discredit him, and retrieve the evidence. No one is watching the watchers, who are out of control.

While like any disaster movie the plot is a bit over the top, it was fascinating . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Courting Controversy: Substantive Equality and the New Court Challenges Program

Following through on their election promise, the Federal Government has committed to reinstating and updating the Court Challenges Program (“CCP”) after the Harper government cut the entire budget in 2006. The process is well under way, with funding promised in the 2016 Budget, stakeholder consultations and Parliamentary Committee hearings currently in progress.

In its previous iteration, the CCP was made up of two separate panels: a Language Rights Panel and an Equality Rights Panel. The program provided funding for court cases of national significance that had the potential to advance constitutional language or equality rights. Equality cases were . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous