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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

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

Ontario Land Titles System to Add Risk to Owners

The Ontario Land Titles Act pushes onto an owner the risk of the owner’s transfer being void. It does so, even if the owner took proper care when buying. This is an outdated idea. Most modern land titles systems don’t use it.

Ontario’s Bill 27, the Burden Reduction Act, 2016, includes a major change to the Ontario Land Titles Act. The bill aims to modernize Acts and reduce their burden. The bill would put a new definition of a “fraudulent instrument” into the Ontario Land Titles Act. This would push even more risk onto an owner. It . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Entire Agreement Clause Doesn’t Trump Unconscionability

Donald Trump is estimated to have been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits, unprecedented for any presidential nominee. Most recently, he threatened to sue for defamation over further allegations of groping. Sources, however, indicate he hasn’t actually sued a news outlet in decades, and his threats may have a boomerang effect.

It’s clear that he has other legal disputes on this side of the border as well. Many of them involve the tower in downtown Toronto which bears his name. Only one of them has been reported though, and the Court of Appeal recently weighed in on this action . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

New Law Library of Congress Reports on Encrypted Communications and Foreign Intelligence Gathering

In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., reported earlier this week on two recent comparative law reports published by the institution.

The first, Government Access to Encrypted Communications, “describes the law of 12 nations and the European Union on whether the government, pursuant to a court order or other government process, can require companies to decrypt encrypted communications or provide the government with the means to do so”.

The other one is an updated version of an earlier report entitled Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws that examines the legislation regulating the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Measuring “Serious Harm” in a Data Breach

The prevailing legislative standard in Canada for a duty to report a breach of data security (loss of data, compromise, etc) seems to be that there is a real risk of serious harm as a result of the breach.

Have Canadian courts or regulators given useful guidance on when that happens, and what kind of harm is serious and likely? I am especially interested in court rulings, since the threat of litigation can focus the data holder’s mind as much as or even more than a regulator’s order. (Have privacy regulators cracked down on reporting requirements or other useful follow-up . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Electronic Chattel Paper – Changing the Medium

A private correspondent writes: “Have you ever heard of any cases on electronic chattel paper that is subsequently printed out (apparently called “papering out” in the biz) and the printed version being considered as an ‘original’?”

Views? What protections are there in law or in practice to avoid duplication of a record that should be unique, or at least have a single authoritative version?

On what basis is electronic chattel paper issued or used in Canada, if at all? UCC Article 9 makes special provision for it, and negotiable electronic records generally, but Canadian e-commerce law has not followed that, . . . [more]

Posted in: International issues, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

In Defence of “Safe Spaces” on Campus

A university student walks on to campus, wearing a hat that appears to support Donald Trump. Controversy ensues. Oh yeah, the campus was in Canada.

The video of the incident attracted far broader attention, including renewed discussions of the role of “safe spaces” on campus. The debate in Canada followed right after a similar discussion at the University of Chicago, where the Dean of Students told the incoming class of 2020,

We do not support so-called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

CASL Still Confusing

CASL, the Canadian anti-spam legislation, came into force on July 1, 2014. July 1, 2017 will be an important date for CASL, as a private right of action will become available. Anyone (class actions are likely) will be able to sue CASL violators. Statutory damages means that it won’t be necessary to prove actual damages.

CASL is a complex, illogical statute. Many businesses don’t comply because they don’t think emails they send could possibly be considered spam. After all, spam is about illicit drugs, diets and deals scams, right? Not according to CASL.

Nor do they understand they must keep . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Florida Court Rules Bitcoin Not Money

None of us is really sure what bitcoin is, or what it’s fully used for. It seems the courts are just as confused.

A judge in Florida v Espinoza recently stated the following in regards to a police sting involving Bitcoin:

Nothing in our frame of references allows us to accurately define or describe Bitcoin…

Bitcoin may have some attributes in common with what we commonly refer to as money, but differ in many important aspects. While Bitcoin can be exchanged for items of value, they are not a commonly used means of exchange. They are accepted by some

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

CRTC Advisory on CASL Consent Record Keeping

The CRTC recently issued a media advisory entitled Enforcement Advisory – Notice for businesses and individuals on how to keep records of consent. It doesn’t add anything new – but reinforces what the CRTC is looking for. This is important because CASL requires a business to prove that they have consent to send a CEM (Commercial Electronic Message). CASL has a complex regime of express and implied consent possibilities.

The advisory states: “Commission staff has observed that some businesses and individuals are unable to prove they have obtained consent before sending CEMs. The purpose of this Enforcement Advisory is . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Access to Private Standards Incorporated Into Law

From time to time governments make law by referring to non-governmental rules. These are often technical matters on which standards are developed by outside experts. For example, a regulation might require manufacturers to comply with a safety standard of the Canadian General Standards Board or the International Standards Organization.

When this happens, should the government have to ensure that the outside standards be accessible to those affected by them? Many standards bodies finance their operation at least in part through the sale of their standards. In other words, access to the text of the standards is not free. Is that . . . [more]

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