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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Foreign Law’

Bush-Era Legal Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping

The legal memos from 2004, over a decade ago, outlining the power of the President to use wiretapping, have been obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Privacy Information Center.

The project was called Stellar Wind, and allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect information, even when it was contained in the U.S., as long as one end of the communications was overseas and a party was believed to be connected to terrorism.

Jack Goldsmith, Assistant Attorney General at the time, wrote in a memo from May 2004,

…the

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

Australian Law Reform Commission Report Into Serious Invasions of Privacy

The Australian Law Reform Commission released a report earlier this week on Serious Invasions of Privacy in the Digital Era .

The report proposes a new tort remedy for invasions of privacy that are serious, committed intentionally or recklessly and that cannot be justified as being in the public interest — for example, posting sexually explicit photos of someone on the Web without their permission, a topic much in the news recently because of the massive leak of nude photos of some of Hollywood’s biggest female celebrities.

The document also recommends a range of defences to protect free speech: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Texan Court Refuses Jurisdiction for Pre-Suit Discovery in Anonymous Blogger Defamation Case

The Supreme Court of Texas has refused to provide the identity of an anonymous blogger, in a 5-4 split decision released this week. The blogger initially claimed to be an employee of the Plaintffs’ company. He created a site in 2007 which targeted a business and its CEO, making a number of disparaging comments about the Plaintiffs and alleging involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

The Plaintiffs sought the identity of the blogger through Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 202, which states,

202.1 A person may petition the court for an order authorizing the taking of a deposition on oral

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

European Court of Human Rights Factsheets

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg decides thousands of cases every year on an unimaginably vast range of topics. And it has often heard cases on controversial subjects years before Canadian courts have tackled them.

The ECHR has been publishing a series of Factsheets that describe key jurisprudence of the institution broken down by subject.

The ECHR recently added new Factsheets on:

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Laws of 2014 FIFA World Cup

Today is the finals for the 2014 World Cup between Argentina and Germany.

Although I don’t follow sports much, you cannot but help notice the sea of multicoloured jerseys around you. So I did what any disinterested lawyer would do, and I started taking a look at the laws around the FIFA competition.

Of course FIFA has its own Laws of the Game, a 140 page document which details how the matches will be taking place. I’ll be carrying this handy document to the finals to look closely for any contraventions of the rules, though it’s unlikely any of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

US Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Warrantless Cell Phone Searches. Will the Supreme Court of Canada Follow?

Lower courts in both Canada and the US have been deeply divided on the application of their respective Supreme Courts’ precedents on whether the police need a warrant to search the contents of a smart/cell phone seized during a lawful arrest. On June 25, 2014, the US Supreme Court unanimously settled US law in Riley v. California, No. 13-132. The court found that privacy interests at stake outweigh any legitimate governmental interest, absent any “exigent circumstances”.

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution provides protection against unreasonable search. A common law exception to the protection under the Amendment . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Law Reform Commission Reports: Recent Releases

Legal researchers too often overlook law reform commission reports as sources of vital information and analysis.

Law commissions consult widely with stakeholders, sometimes compare how other jurisdictions have dealt with the same problem and they frequently dig into the history of an issue.

Here are a few reports released in the past few weeks.

  • British Columbia Law Institute Report Proposes Franchise Act : The report recommends that British Columbia become the 6th Canadian province to adopt franchise legislation. The report analyzes franchise legislation in force in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere, and contains a detailed legislative proposal with commentary. Alberta,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Grand Chamber Judgment Validates the Prohibition on Wearing the Full-Face Veil in Public in France

On July 1, 2014, in a final judgment that cannot be appealed, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of S.A.S v. France (application no. 43835/11), validated French Law no. 2010-1192, which prohibits concealment of one’s face in all places open to the public in France and found that the law does not violate the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

More Comparative Law Reports From D.C. and Down Under

This is a follow-up to last week’s Slaw.ca post Law Library of Congress Report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms.

The Law Library of Congress has recently released two other comparative law reports. They are:

  • Child Restraint and Seat Belt Regulations: “This report contains citations to the laws on seat belt use in Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, England and Wales, Fiji, Ghana, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malta, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and Vietnam, with information on provisions concerning children where available.”
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Law Library of Congress Report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has published a new comparative law report on Restrictions on Genetically Modified Organisms.

The report analyzes legislation on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) plants and foods in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, England and Wales, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Russian Federation, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States.

There is also a bibliography.

Earlier comparative law reports from the Law Library of Congress have covered topics such as:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Nature of Partnership

By some weird synchronicity, the Supreme Courts in both the United Kingdom and Canada in the last 24 hours have considered the nature of partnerships and the extent to which employment law protections also applied to partners.

Yesterday’s decision in Clyde & Co LLP and another (Respondents) v Bates van Winklehof (Appellant) [2014] UKSC 32 held that a junior partner (unhelpfully called an Equity Partner) in a London firm was protected by the whistle-blowing protections of the Employment Rights Act 1996. She had been involved in a rather dubious file in Tanzania and reported to the firm’s money laundering reporting . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Climate Change Class Actions Could Spur Greater Emergency Preparedness

There are no such things as natural disasters, only situations with disastrous consequences due to lack of social preparedness. This sentiment was a quite common one to encounter during my time working in emergency management. For example, Ilan Kelman states,

The term “natural disaster” is often used to refer to a disaster which involves an event originating in the environment. The term has led to connotations that the disaster is caused by nature or that these disasters are the natural state of affairs. In many belief systems, including Western thought, deities often cause “natural disasters” to punish humanity or

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Foreign Law