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Archive for ‘Miscellaneous’

Jurisprudential Aether, Something in the Water, or Something in the Air?

When the Supreme Court of Canada says “X” in 2007, and repeats “X” in 2011 adding explicitly that “X does not mean Y but means Z”, it is reasonable to assume (is it not?) that, once word of what was said in 2007 and repeated in 2011 spreads through the Canadian “jurisprudential aether”, however long that takes, the judges of the lower courts in Canada will pay attention.

It’s always worth quoting this reminder about pecking orders in the Canadian judicial universe:

[51] Any legal system which has a judicial appeals process inherently creates a pecking order for the judiciary

. . . [more]
Posted in: Case Comment, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Finding a Lawyer in a Law Thick World

“We live in a law thick world. To secure a benefit or avoid a loss in this world, we often find that we must somehow use the law. This is as true for global corporations as it is for ordinary individuals…” Noel Semple in Legal Services Regulations at the Crossroads

“Using the law” often requires people to hire lawyers. But, how do people go about finding a lawyer?

Although the Internet has drastically changed how people buy services, choosing a lawyer still necessitates a significant investment in time and resources. Semple remarks in his book that “both quality and price . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Banality, #ELXN42 and John Oliver Baiting Charges Under the Elections Act

It’s late in the evening at this moment, and all reports indicate a Liberal majority will form Canada’s next government. But 24 hours ago there was still plenty of uncertainty and spectacle left in this race.

If you missed the awkward clips of Mulcair coming off as “Paul Giammati’s uncle reading a rhyming dictionary”, of Trudeau’s talent for falling down stairs (on purpose), or of Harper “murdering” a cover of Sweet Caroline and coming of as a body snatcher you can catch last night’s spectacle here. Be warned there is nothing remotely SFW on the other side of that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Laws That Politicians Are NOT Bound By

I’ve seen complaints suggesting emails from those running in the federal election are spam. But CASL specifically exempts political emails from the definition of spam. A recent review of political emails by a mail service provider showed that they are not even trying to comply with the spirit of CASL – such as having unsubscribe mechanisms and contact information.

It’s never been clear to me why those making laws think they deserve to be exempted from many laws they think business need to follow. Perhaps if they applied more laws to themselves some laws might be a lot more user . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Voice Messages Compromised as Electronic Documents?

New technology is apparently capable of reproducing human speech very accurately – i.e. the speech of particular people.

Researchers have found automated and human verification for voice-based user authentication vulnerable, and explore how an attacker in possession of voice audio samples could compromise a victim’s security, safety and privacy.

It seems pretty clear to me that an electronic recording of a voice (as in a voice-mail message) is an electronic document within the meaning of all provincial e-commerce/transactions legislation. We (the folks who wrote the uniform law) considered the voice as a kind of biometric and saw no reason in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, ulc_ecomm_list

Tax Lock Is Unconstitutional, Pointless, and Dangerous

On Friday, the Prime Minister promised if elected he would enact legislation that would create a “tax lock,” preventing future governments from raising taxes,

This new legislation will protect our fragile economy and guarantee reduced taxes and stable incomes for our families.

His party has already promised not to raise taxes, while the other parties have promised they will. This measure goes further, because it would seek to bind the hands of successive governments, without the necessary constitutional amendments.

Former Parliamentary law clerk, Rob Walsh, indicated the proposed legislation would likely be unconstitutional for this reason. The division of powers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Of Social Media Privacy Through Obscurity

Prof. Woodrow Hartzog is an interesting voice on privacy law and technology. He has written about his own research and interviewed others on the role that obscurity plays in our modern conceptions of privacy. Technologies like encrypted communication applications and device encryption tools can be privacy-enhancing technologies, while obscurity — the condition of being unknown or not entirely comprehensible to others — is a privacy-enhancing state.

Obscurity, it appears, is a state that many of us seek out when it comes to social media, even if we don’t realize it. And if you’re reading this thinking, “I don’t . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology: Internet

Dianne Saxe Appointed Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

On behalf of the Slaw community, we congratulate our colleague Dianne Saxe on her appointment as Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Her new role takes effect on December 1st, 2015.

As one of Canada’s most respected and knowledgeable environmental lawyers, Dianne has been a key columnist with us here at Slaw since June of 2010. While we are uncertain at this time whether her new role will allow her to continue writing (we hope she will), we are exceptionally proud of her achievement. Dianne is a tireless advocate for our environment and we know she will do well.

Well worth noting: . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Opposition to Green Party Through Debate Exclusion

The Green Party of Canada has a filed a complaint with the Canada Revenue Agency over its exclusion from the upcoming Munk Debate on Sept. 28, 2015.

The party claims that by not allowing them to participate in the debate, the Aurea Foundation, the registered charity organizing the event, is in violation of the Income Tax Act. The party meets the definition of a political party under s. 149.1(6.1)(c) of the Act.

In a news release earlier this year, the Munk Debate organizers stated,

There are two ways in which someone is a leader of a party in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Envy in Law School (Or What I Learned From the Rock This Summer)

In the summer disaster movie, San Andreas, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s character scours earthquake-rocked California in a helicopter, plane and then speedboat to save his family members from fires and floods. We see him engage in feats of athletic prowess, but we also see him learn to talk about his feelings, and in particular the pain and regret he experienced following the death of his younger daughter. Lawyers at all stages of their careers may do well to follow the Rock’s example and practice talking more openly about their feelings, but this lesson may be particularly relevant for law students. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Miscellaneous

Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioners Bring Your Own Device Program Guidelines

Using personal devices at work to conduct business (BYOD or “bring your own device”) has become commonplace in the last couple of years. Employers are implementing BYOD policies left, right and centre to try to control the privacy challenges this practice can bring about when employers access these devices to protect their data contained on them. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, Technology: Office Technology