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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Foreign Law’

Inuit Lose Again in Europe

Almost exactly four years ago, the European Parliament passed Regulation (EC) No 1007/2009 restricting the marketing of products made from seals to:

only where the seal products result from hunts traditionally conducted by Inuit and other indigenous communities and contribute to their subsistence.

and incidentally:

the placing on the market of seal products shall also be allowed where the seal products result from by-products of hunting that is regulated by national law and conducted for the sole purpose of the sustainable management of marine resources. Such placing on the market shall be allowed only on a non-profit basis. The nature

. . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

BlackBerry Faces Shareholder Class Action

A class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on Friday against BlackBerry and some of its executives, including chief executive Thorsten Heins and chief financial officer Brian Bidulka.

The lawsuit claims that the company misled investors about their financial situation and inflating the stock value by misrepresenting how BlackBerry 10 would fare on the market against competitors. The proposed class would include shareholders who purchased stack between Sept. 27, 2012-Sept. 20, 2013.

The suit claims that BlackBerry was aware of these challenges and lay off about 40% of its workforce . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

US Government Shutdown – Which Websites Are Up/Down?

The baby panda cam at Washington’s National Zoo is not the only digital casualty of the shutdown of U.S. federal government services that started this week [awwww man, not the cam with the adorable baby panda!].

The websites of Library of Congress and the Law Library of Congress, the world’s largest law library, are also down, although THOMAS, the legislative information site is still functioning.

Even NASA’s website is knocked out of commission.

The Washington Post, the Ars Technica site, and the government transparency NGO the Sunlight Foundation have details. . . . [more]

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

Law Library of Congress Report on Guest Worker Programs

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently produced a report comparing the legal situation of temporary or guest workers in 14 countries (including Canada):

“The report includes a comparative analysis and individual chapters on each country, the EU, and relevant international arrangements. It provides a general overview of a variety of immigration systems, and addresses issues such as eligibility criteria for the admission of guest workers and their families, guest workers’ recruitment and sponsorship, and visa requirements. The report further discusses the tying of temporary workers to their employers in some countries; the duration and the conditions that

. . . [more]

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

60th Anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the entry into force of the European Convention on Human Rights, which was signed in Rome on November 1, 1950, by 12 member states of the Council of Europe, and came into force on September 3, 1953. The Convention was one of the first instruments to give effect and binding force to certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Saudi Arabia Passes Anti-Domestic Violence Bill

After years of considerable criticism from the international community, Saudi Arabia has finally passed an anti-domestic violence bill. On August 26, 2013 the Saudi cabinet passed a 17-article protection from abuse law, which would provide up to one year in prison and $13,300 fine for those guilty of committing psychological or physical abuse.

The issue of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia is not limited to nationals, but also affects the significant migrant worker population located there. Numerous cases of abuse towards maids and domestic works have attracted international scrutiny.

Although many critics have attributed these lack of protections to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Liability for Texting to a Driver

An appeals court in the US has held that in principle, someone who sends a text message to someone she knows is driving (in this case, a motorcycle) and is likely to text back while driving, can be liable for damages caused by that driver while distracted by texting [Kubert v. Best]. In the case in point, the court held that the woman who was texting her boyfriend did not know he was responding while driving, so she was not liable for the damages he caused. (He himself settled with the victims, but his insurance did not cover . . . [more]

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

Bitcoins and Securities Law

Some publicity has been given to a recent Texas judgment that held that Bitcoins were a form of money, and thus a scheme by which investors hoped to increase their holdings of bitcoins was subject to securities regulations.

Is there any doubt that a similar holding would be made in Canada?

It was not necessary to find that bitcoins were a form of money in order for the investment to be a security. I recall from law school days securities that promised gains from chinchillas, for example.

The holding that bitcoins were money was needed in that particular case because . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Can a Search Suggestion Be Defamatory? (Revisited)

Earlier this year I posted about a French case that held Google liable for search suggestions that pulled up defamatory senses. (Courts in other countries have also held Google liable for this; others have not.)

The highest court in France, the Cour de Cassation, has now held that Google was not liable after all. The search results were completely automated, thus not the expression of anyone’s intention, and thus not able to be the basis of an intentional illicit act like defamation.

As the court said:

la fonctionnalité aboutissant au rapprochement critiqué est le fruit d’un processus purement automatique dans

. . . [more]

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

English Court Sanctions Jurors Who Used Internet

In a decision released yesterday, HM Attorney General v Davey [2013] EWHC 2317 (Admin), the High Court of England and Wales gave leave for applications for committal orders for contempt of court against two men, each of whom had sat as a juror in a criminal case and each of whom had used the internet in contravention of instructions not to do so.

Davey posted the following message to his Facebook account at the end of the first day of the trial:

Woooow I wasn’t expecting to be in a jury Deciding a paedophile’s fate, I’ve always wanted to

. . . [more]

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

Privacy Not Protected by Short Passwords?

The Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL – the French privacy authority) has recently found a company in breach of its duty to protect the personal information of its employees because the company used unduly short passwords that were too easy to guess and that were not changed often enough. (See the story on Le Village de la Justice)

According to the CNIL, the employer should have had a password policy that required longer passwords composed of letters, numbers and special characters, and that also required that the passwords be changed frequently.

It was not demonstrated that . . . [more]

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

Good Cop, Bad Cop: Comparing the Law of Police Interrogations in Canada and Japan

One interesting scrap of legal news that passed under the radar recently was a testy exchange involving Hideaki Ueda, Japan’s human rights envoy to the United Nations at a session of the UN torture committee in Geneva, Switzerland. The donnybrook arose when a fellow envoy called-out the Japanese criminal system for not mandating electronic recording or the presence of counsel at police interrogations. Mr. Ueda sprang to his nation’s defence, only to be met by the audience’s muffled laughter. In true diplomatic fashion, Japan’s emissary responded by telling his esteemed colleagues to “shut up” not once, but twice. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Foreign Law