During my 21 years at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) – now known as Global Affairs Canada (GAC) – I was privileged to represent Canada in a number of GATT, WTO, and NAFTA trade disputes and one somewhat obscure but important case under the Canada- U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUSTA). While the case was not a “headliner” the Panel decision in Puerto Rico Regulations on the Import, Distribution and Sale of UHT Milk from Québec [USA-CDA-1993-1807-01] was important in demonstrating the application of a claim of “non-violation nullification or impairment” (“NVNI”). One of the . . . [more]
Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Foreign Law’
I was one of the many thousands of people who recently watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, despite being on vacation. I was not even born when the original films were released, but was surrounded by the Star Wars culture as a
The has been a significant cultural impact of the film series on our society, so there’s no surprise that there are tons of legal issues around it. Despite being a fictional universe, there is an entire wiki of Star Wars laws and legal systems. The site uses “source documents” such as disparate as a 1987 . . . [more]
The controversial situation around affirmative action in American universities has reared its legal head at the Supreme Court of the United States more than once.
Affirmative action was brought into the forefront in 1961, when John F. Kennedy issued an executive and provided financing for it. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 went further, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin, while never explicitly mentioning affirmative action. The Act does not have a comparable component to s. 15(2) of the Charter, but Title VII and subsequent amendments empowered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . [more]
Lately the news has been too full of weighty stuff like elections, the Ashley Madison hack, stock markets, and the Chinese economy.
So today’s post is a bit lighter.
Courts in the United States have recently decided whether copyright applies to chicken sandwiches and to cheerleading uniforms. They decided that it applies to one – but not to the other.
If you guessed it doesn’t apply to the chicken sandwich, you got it right. In the US Court of Appeals the parties were fighting over rights to a sandwich consisting of a fried chicken breast topped with lettuce, tomato, cheese . . . [more]
It’s early Sunday morning in Greece, but Peter Carayiannis of ConduitLaw in Toronto is up late writing a dispatch from the front lines
Postcard from Greece – A Nation Holds Its Breath
As I write this, it is late Saturday night. Tomorrow is the day of Greece’s referendum. After a tumultuous week that started last Sunday when PM Tsipras & Co. abruptly ended negotiations with European counterparts we are now on the eve of the most important vote in modern times for Greece.
Ultimately, this is a referendum not just on the ongoing chronic economic catastrophe that has been the . . . [more]
An unusual post today. Peter Carayiannis, whose Toronto firm Mitch Kowalski and Doug Jasinski have blogged about, is currently in Northern Greece, where he is a first hand observer at a momentous stage in modern Greek history.
He has been sending selected friends his notes on what he is seeing – and how it feels to be on Greek streets, as the population faces Sunday’s referendum on whether to accept the conditions of further economic aid, or go it alone, and exit the Euro.
Here is what he’s been seeing:
Greece – With Its Toes Over a Cliff . . . [more]
A recent decision from the California Labour Commission (the Commission) has held that drivers from the popular Uber service are employees and not independent contractors. This decision has sparked public interest as its implications could bring trouble for the successful mobile-based start-up.
In coming down on the side of the drivers, the Commission concluded that the employer was involved in “every aspect of the operation” of the ride hauling service. Uber, however, has appealed the decision emphasizing the significant degree of driver autonomy as the basis for their operations and stating that “the number one reason drivers choose to use . . . [more]
The United Kingdom has recently passed the Serious Crimes Act, 2015.
Part 2 of the Act makes several amendments to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (“CMA”), including:
– a new offence of unauthorised acts in relation to a computer that result either directly, or indirectly, in serious damage in any country to the economy, environment, national security or human welfare, or create a significant risk of such things. The offence will carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for some categories of cyberattack. A person is guilty of the offence if they, at the time of commission, are aware . . . [more]
The Court of Appeal in England has upheld a 2014 decision against Google about its scraping of information from users of the Safari browser. It classified a privacy action as a tort that will support a class action (called a ‘group action’ there) and also service out of the jurisdiction. The Court allowed the action to proceed without proof of pecuniary damages. It also held that ‘browser generated information’ (BGI) was personally identifiable information to which the Data Protection Act applied, though it did not contain the name of the person using the browser.
How far does the legitimate scope of governmental power reach, in a time of technology and enhanced concerns of personal privacy?
Following the attacks on Canadian Parliament on October 22, 2014, the proper balance between national security concerns and personal privacy and liberties is of foremost concern for many citizens. The Federal government has responded, in part, by the introduction of Bill C-51, which has itself spurned considerable controversy.
National security and law enforcement concerns are not exclusive to our jurisdiction. At the Fourth Annual UCLA Cyber Crimes Moot this weekend, competitors from across the country considered the constitutional implications . . . [more]
I must preemptively refer you to John Gregory’s post from last year when it comes to canvassing the laws, and lack thereof, around how third party services (like Google, Facebook, PayPal, etc.) are obliged to act upon the death of an account holder. The whole legal terrain is fascinating, and consists of a stewing heap of conflicting rationales, policies, privacy legislation and common laws around the rights of heirs, deceased people, states and private corporations. It’s all heading in a better direction, probably, with the advent of uniform legislation like FADA, but for some time it has been quite . . . [more]
The UN Human Rights Office has launched a major public online database that contains all the case law issued by the UN human rights expert committees known as the Treaty Bodies.
The Treaty Bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. There are 10 of them including the Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, the Committee on Enforced Disappearances and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The database was developed using data from the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) at the Utrecht . . . [more]