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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Foreign Law’

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

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

Law Library of Congress Report on Miranda Warning Equivalents Around the World

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. published a report a little while ago about Miranda Warning Equivalents in more than 100 countries around the world, including Canada.

In the United States, so-called Miranda rights are named after the US Supreme Court decision of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966) that determined that a person detained by law enforcement and interrogated must be made aware of the right to remain silent, the right to consult with an attorney and have the attorney present during questioning, and the right to have an attorney appointed if they can’t afford one. . . . [more]

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

Why Brexit May Never Happen, Despite the Referendum

The most significant development in law this past week was the Brexit referendum.

Although technically not legally binding, the political repercussions of trying to do anything but follow the narrow vote means that the U.K. will be attempting to leave the E.U.

The real question is when, and how.

Although the legal implications are vast and uncertain, the Wall Street Journal proclaims that it could be a “boon” for lawyers. Leave it to lawyers to turn the largest demerger in history into business like advice on tax, “antitrust, immigration, intellectual property, trade agreements, employment and other areas of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Trade Law: Non-Violation Complaints – “Legitimate Expectations” & “Good Faith”

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]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Star Wars, Like All Things, Is Legal

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 padawan child.

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]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

When Even Trump Calls Foul on Scalia

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]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Does Copyright Apply to Chicken Sandwiches or Cheerleading Uniforms?

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]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

On the Eve of the Referendum – a New Dispatch From Our Greek Correspondent

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]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

From Our Own Correspondent – a Canadian Lawyer in Greece

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]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Uber Drivers Found to Be Employees in California: Canadian Provinces to Follow?

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]

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

UK – “Serious Crimes” to Cybersecurity

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]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list