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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

StatsCan’s Crime Severity Index

Statistics Canada has introduced a new measure of police-reported crime, the crime severity index, in which more serious crimes are weighted more heavily, by comparison with the usual crime rate in which all crimes affect the outcome equally. The Daily has a summary of the current index data and the chart reproduced below. For a detailed description of how the index is calculated see “Measuring Crime in Canada: Introducing the Crime Severity Index and Improvements to the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.”

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Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Copyright and Defamation Issues With Social Media and Politics

I gave a talk earlier today on the use of social media in politics, focusing on the Canadian scene, at the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre.

Issues of copyright, including the use of YouTube, are discussed, as well as social media alternatives to defamation actions.

Social Media And Politics in Canada (4/21/09)

Audio of the talk available here until a Slide Cast can be set up. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet

Has Online ADR Got a Future?

Every few years there is a wave of enthusiasm for online alternative dispute resolution. One can see one starting in the mid-1990s, and another in 1999-2000, and maybe a wavelet in 2004 or so. Some international bodies are thinking about it again, according to discussion at the ABA’s Business Law spring meeting over the past weekend.

Osgoode Hall Law School has just got a major gift to set up an online ADR centre, the largest in the world, according to the press story.

Can this be made to work? I know that pure numbers-based saw-offs can be automated, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Recession and the Criminal Law Practice

The first question always posed to me seconds after learning that I am a criminal defence lawyer is “How can you defend those people?” or some variation of that classic accusatory inquiry. Recently however, this query is finding tight competition at the edges of inquiring lips with the question, “How’s the recession treating your criminal law practice, Ed?”

The answer to the first question, while nuanced and important, is one I would hope readers of a mature legal blog such as this one, would already know and respect. The answer to the second question is somewhat more difficult to articulate . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law

“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

Law Day 2009

Throughout this week Law Day is being celebrated in Canada. From the Ontario Law Day 2009 website:

Law Day is a national event celebrating the signing of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Originated by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and first held in Canada in 1983, Law Day is aimed at educating and informing the public about the role and importance of the law. Since many people have a limited knowledge about the law and how the legal system works, Law Day empowers the public at large. It provides an excellent opportunity for the profession to educate the

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Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law

Electronic Records and Freedom of Information

In a decision released earlier this month a strong panel of the Ontario Court of Appeal took a look at one aspect of the issue of what constitutes a “record,” in this case for the purposes of applying the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. M. 56. Toronto Police Services Board v. (Ontario) Information and Privacy Commissioner 2009 ONCA 20 entailed a request by a journalist for information stored in Toronto police databases in a format different from the one used by the police. The data could have been produced in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Climate Change Impact of Spam

Taking off from David Canton’s post on the Economics of Spam, here’s a link to a survey from McAfee published today that has some findings that surprised me – One e-mail is like driving three feet:

An estimated worldwide total of 62 trillion spam emails were sent in 2008
Globally, annual spam energy use totals 33 billion kilowatt- hours (KWh), or 33 terawatt hours (TWh). That’s equivalent to the electricity used in 2.4 million homes in the United States, with the same GHG emissions as 3.1 million passenger cars using two billion United States gallons of gasoline
Spam filtering . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

Canadian Cochrane Centre

Something with only a tangential relation to law, but squarely in the middle of our interest in online resources and libraries:

As of today all Canadians can log into the Canadian Cochrane Centre, part of “The Cochrane Collaboration,” and free of charge read abstracts in plain language of studies in medicine and health care — or, as the welcome page puts it:

…the best available evidence on which health treatments work, which ones don’t, and which may cause harm.

I have to say I’ve never encountered the Cochrane Library before and am basically ignorant about how it’s funded and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Walrus Magazine Profile of Canada’s Chief Justice

The most recent issue of The Walrus has a profile of Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada.

The article, The McLachlin Group – How Canada’s first female Chief Justice has taken the heat off the Supreme Court, is by Susan Harada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law