Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Foreign Law’

Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales Complains of “Impenetrable Legislation”

England’s top judge, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge (that’s a great name!) has complained that “impenetrable” criminal justice legislation is causing major delays in British trials.

The remarks are contained in the most recent annual report of the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.

In his introduction, Lord Judge writes:

“It has been another year of unremitting commitment to the administration of criminal justice. That is as it should be. What remains less tolerable is the continuing burden of comprehending and applying impenetrable legislation, primarily but not exclusively in relation to sentencing. The search for the legislative intention in the

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

Government Access to Stored Communications – Warshak and Gomboc Compared

Yesterday’s United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit finding that e-mail held by a service provider cannot be accessed without a warrant has already been much discussed. For good American commentary, see blog posts by Professors Paul Ohm and Orin Kerr and the Electronic Frontier Federation’s news release. This is a short note to identify the links with our recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Gomboc.

The American decision, United States v. Warshak, is very much about the societal value of confidential e-mail communications. The Court recognizes such value and grants it . . . [more]

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

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

This week in biotech was very slimming:

There have been three obesity drugs presented to the FDA for approval this year. The agency has very stringent criteria for obesity drugs because while they could see wide application (sic), the condition they treat is not generally life-threatening. So any signs of dangerous side effects can doom candidates’ applications. The third and final drug, however, Orexigen’s “Contrave” product, won a positive panel vote this week.

The Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association is lobbying heavily to slim down the free trade agreement being negotiated between India and the EU. They want to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology

Saving Libraries From Chocolate by Law

Young Mr. Byron Bennett sells chocolate. He has an elaborate shop in Manhattan offering 36 brands of the luxurious substance, hailing from ten countries. He also believes in order, so his chocolates are ranged on shelves with careful precision as to type and origin. To reflect this combination of succulence and seriousness he named his shop The Chocolate Library. It would seem to be a sensible and harmonious marriage…

…to everyone, that is, except the New York State Education Department.

What, you might ask, does a department of education have to do with a chocolate shop? The answer makes about . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Le Code Pénal – 200 Ans Aprés – en Fête

While of course legal scholars consult the current version of the text, both the Senate and the Cour de Cassation held parties and conferences recently to celebrate the fact that the legislature passed the original Code pénal on February 12, 1810, and it entered into force on 1 January 1811. This is of course six years later than the even more influential Code civil.

You can see the original text on Google Books.

Here is an audio discussion by Yves Mausen, Yves Jeanclos and Yves Mayaud of the background to the history of the Code.

The celebration . . . [more]

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

For Wikileaks Geeks: How to Decipher a State Department Cable

The National Security Archive, based at George Washington University, has provided a guide explaining How to Decipher a State Department Cable:

“This guide … might come in handy as you peruse the 251,287 Department of State cables recently released by wikileaks (…)”

“At the Archive, we have lots of practice reading declassified government documents. Since we will be using this space to share with you some documents from our trove of government releases, we thought it would be useful to give you some tips on what to look for in these documents. Several of our experienced analysts have created

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Technology: Internet

Black Sheep Out – Switzerland and Direct Democracy

In another act of direct democracy, 52.9% of the Swiss voting public yesterday approved a referendum proposal to automatically expel foreigners convicted of various crimes. The Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police press release reads, in part, as follows:

The people and the cantons have today adopted the popular initiative on the expulsion of foreign criminals. In future, foreign nationals who have committed one of the criminal offences named in the text of the initiative should automatically lose their right of residence and be deported to their country of origin. Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga will set to work on

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

Some Notes on Benjamin on Sale of Goods

Thanks to our neighbour, Mary Saulig of Goodmans for lending me her copy of an old acquaintance, Benjamin on the Sale of Goods. But this post isn’t about presumptions of delivery or FOB contracts. It’s about one of the most remarkable stories of a legal author I’ve heard.

Let’s start at the Cimetière du Père Lachaise‎ in the 20th arrondissement, though the website doesn’t list this grave, which has this inscription on the tombstone:

Judah Philip Benjamin, Born St. Thomas West Indies August 6,1811, Died in Paris May 6,1884, United States Senator from Louisiana, Attorney General, Secretary of

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

Internet Jurisdiction – Based on Location of Server?

A recent English court case, Football Dataco Ltd et al. v Sportradar GmbH [2010] EWHC 2911 (Ch), has held that at least for some purposes, the jurisdiction of a court over Internet content should be based on where the server was located, and not where the information online was read or used.

This seems to me to be half right. Jurisdiction should not be based on where the information was read or received, unless there is some separate activity going on there. But the location of the server should be irrelevant too. It is the location of the business . . . [more]

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

Busy Week for Law Reform Commissions

I confess: I love law reform commission reports. I find they are wonderful sources for legal research. Many of the reports provide historical background on an issue and you can often find comparative information about how other jurisdictions have responded.

In the past few days, by pure coincidence, I have come across a wealth of new reports by law commissions in New Zealand, Ireland and Australia:

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

The Sound of Silence

Six Canadian provinces have legislative recognition of Remembrance Day, though only two mention Two Minutes Silence, Ontario and Alberta. Nova Scotia for example says:

Every employer carrying on or engaged in an industry to which Section 3 does not apply shall, subject to Section 8, relieve the employees in the industry from duty, and suspend the operations of the industry, for a period of three minutes, at one minute before eleven oclock in the forenoon.

This post is about silence, and the legal protection of silence.

You have the right to silence. And in Quebec, a judge cannot refuse . . . [more]

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

Social Media Use in the Workplace – Slagging Your Boss

Today’s New York Times is reporting on a Federal labor relations board decision last week to proceed with a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service, American Medical Response, that canned an emergency medical technician for breaching a company policy that bars employees from depicting the company “in any way” on Facebook or other social media sites in which they post pictures of themselves.

This is the first case in which the US board has stepped in to argue that employees’ criticisms of their companies or bosses on a social networking site will be a protected activity and that employers would . . . [more]

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