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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Alberta’s Ministry of Spirit Proposes Religion Exemption

The government of Alberta (Ministry of Culture and Community Spirit) proposes to amend that province’s Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act by requiring school boards to inform parents when the curriculum deals with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation. The provision in question reads as follows:

11.1(1) A board as defined in the School Act shall provide notice to a parent or guardian of a student where courses of study, educational programs or instructional materials, or instruction or exercises, prescribed under that Act include subject-matter that deals explicitly with religion, sexuality or sexual orientation.
Bill 44 [PDF]

Essentially, a parent may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

“One Generation Abroad” Rule for Citizenship Is Now Law

Canadian expatriates are up in arms about the recent amendment to the Citizenship Act, which came into effect on Friday, implementing a “one generation” rule limiting transmission of citizenship by Canadians born or adopted from outside Canada (section 3(3)).

Is this amendment really so terrible? Let’s consider a few examples.

Jane Canuck is born in the U.S. of Canadian parents, while her family is living there briefly. When she is a month old, her family returns to Canada, where she grows up and lives.

Under which of the following circumstances will Jane’s child be born a Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Ontario’s Toxic Substances Bill

Government Bill 167, Toxics Reduction Act, 2009, received first reading in the Ontario Legislature yesterday; and the text of the bill is just now available in PDF and HTML on the Legislature website.

This is a substantial piece of legislation aimed at reducing and managing the use by industry of substances designated as “toxic,” and, as the preamble states in part, will require

owners and operators of facilities that use or create the substance to prepare, in specified circumstances, a toxic substance reduction plan for the substance. The plan must include certain matters specified in the Bill, including the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Challenge of Making Legal Information Publicly Accessible

My apologies for starting this post with a pic, but

A woman in a hotel room in Uganda is making judgments ready for the scanner.

It demonstrates graphically the challenges faced in making legal information publicly accessible through a Legal Information Institute. That’s the topic of an excellent blog posting by Kelly Anderson of Southern African Legal Information Institute – SAFLII – over at VoxPopuLII, which is a guest-blogging project sponsored by Tom Bruce and our friends across the lake at the Legal Information Institute at the Cornell Law School.

We may be complacent in North America about our . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

New Alberta Rules of Court One Step Closer

The Alberta Law Reform Institute has been drafting a new set of court rules for Alberta since 2001. Our previous rules came out in 1968 and after 40 years of use, they are not a cohesive read. A little about the project from ALRI’s perspective:

The project goal was to create rules that are clear, useful and effective tools for accessing a fair, timely and cost efficient civil justice system. The proposed rules are:

* short — arranged and written in plain English,
* clear — describe a logical step-by-step process for carrying out a lawsuit, and
* user-friendly —

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

Quebec E-Laws to Become Official

The Quebec Government yesterday introduced Bill 18 in the National Assembly.

Officially known as An Act respecting the Compilation of Québec Laws and Regulations, one of its effects would be to give official status to electronic versions of Quebec statutes.

Section 17 of the Bill reads:

“17. The laws published by the Québec Official Publisher on its website, including the Civil Code and the Act respecting the implementation of the Civil Code, are the laws of the compilation and have official status as of (insert the date of coming into force of this Act).”

“Within 24 months following that

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

U.K. Still Lacks Cohabitation Rights

An item in the Times Online law section surprised me this morning. It referred to a private member’s bill coming for second reading before the Lords tomorrow “to create a framework of rights and responsibilities for couples in England and Wales who live together but who are not married.” The Cohabitation Bill is promoted by Lord Lester of Herne Hill. (Nothing about this in Lords of the Blog. Perhaps tomorrow. BTW: someone help them get the “wordpress” out of their URL, please: http://lordsoftheblog.wordpress.com Way too amateur.)

I suppose I knew that the U.K. lacked this sort of protection for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

New CanLII Legislation System

The CanLII blog announced that their new legislation system is now live. It is not a Friday.

The main improvements introduced by this new approach are:

* Versions of statutes and regulations reflect real changes;
* Legislative updates are carried out on a weekly basis;
* Versions’ dates correspond to legislative changes, such as entry into force, amendment or repeal;
* You can search a legislative text as it was legally binding on a particular date in the past. Historical coverage is approximately five years;
* You can compare two different versions of a particular document;
* You can

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation

Advance Notice: LCO’s New Project

We will be posting news of our new project on our website shortly, but let me give Slawyers advance notice. The Board of Governors recently approved a project on joint and several liability, primarily considering whether the Ontario Business Corporations Act should be amended to eliminate or restrict the joint and several liability imposed on professionals. For example, auditors may be liable if there are misrepresentations or omissions in the financial materials and statements they prepare for their clients and if the other defendants are unable to pay damages awarded for their wrongdoing in the same case, the auditors may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Science, Pseudoscience, and the Law

Following up on Simon’s vaccines post from earlier this week comes the encouraging news that on Thursday (happy 200, Charles Darwin) the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued decisions in three vaccine-related test cases rejecting any causal link between vaccines and autism.

Yet, much like with the Pennsylvania victory in the battle over teaching evolution, I can only manage a half-hearted cheer at this latest triumph of science over superstition and ignorance. That it is even necessary to take this to trial – to say nothing of the refusal of so many to accept the correctness of . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Recent Developments in Foreign State Immunity

The visibility and relevance of foreign state (or sovereign) immunity has grown significantly in recent years. States and state-related entities are playing a growing role in international investment and commerce, while seeking civil remedies against states in domestic courts is increasingly seen as an important tool in holding states accountable for torture or other breaches of human rights.

State immunity, in its most traditional formulation, is the rule that a domestic court will not implead a foreign state in its proceedings without the state’s consent. It is, in effect, the expression of judicial deference to the executive’s responsibility . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation