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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Maple Leaf Scare Provides Meat for Thought

Despite a public apology and acknowledgement of responsibility, the tragedy from tainted meats in Canada may not yet be over.

Even in light of this incident, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) seems to be following through with a plan that would lower inspection requirements for domestic meat products, while maintaining higher standards for exports.

Although safety issue don’t appear to be a concern, consumer confidence is at stake. This would affect already cash-strapped beef farmers.

Susan Bourette, a journalist who worked undercover for Maple Leaf in 2004 to write her book, Carnivore Chic: From Pasture to Plate, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Examining Fault/No Fault Medical Insurance

CMAJ, the publication of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA), is doing a series examining medical malpractice in Canada. The CMA drew national attention this month when a private health care advocate was elected their president, drawing criticism from various quarters.

Part one in the last week’s issue describes the emotional difficulties, isolation and stress that physicians undergo when dealing with professional litigation.

They then compare tort-based systems around the world and note that our system is not as user friendly.

The pros and cons of a no-fault compensation scheme are then reviewed, and they claim that 50% of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Happy Birthday Canlii

Our friends at Canlii are celebrating eight years. Yes August 29, 2000 it all started.

Now CanLII publishes over 140 databases, gets nearly 25,000 visits per day, 2,500 new cases are added every week and 11 statutory databases are updated monthly.

The announcement has links so you can look back at what it used to look like.

Long may it thrive. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology

Law Librarians and Virtual Worlds

While we’ve had discussions from time to time about Second Life, but we missed telling you about a novel virtual workshop on innovative forms of library services through virtual worlds. The workshop explored the benefits and challenges of operating a virtual world law library program, leading to practical advice on how to create and present a program or topical resource within Second Life.

The website noted that a legal community is developing in Second Life: over 65 lawyers and firms have an official Second Life presence, the “Second Life Bar Association” has 200+ members, and the ABA has recently . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology

Cognition for Legal

The race is on to make (and sell to users) the first truly good search engine that deals well with concepts, such that a search for “dog bites man” would include results without the word “dog” or “bites” but that include “Pomeranian” and “attacks,” to give a very simple example. Natural language processing — or NLP — is not easy for machines to learn, of course. Not only must they have a decent thesaurus, but as well they should be able to parse a document and derive some sense of context so that the results of a “dog bites man . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Guantanamero. Guajiro, Guantanamero.

The song has travelled the world, and is recognizable worldwide as a classic Cuban folk tune about a local girl.

Except that’s not what it was always about.

Although the song was first written by José Fernández Diaz around 1929, the modern lyrics can be traced back to a poem, Versos Sencillos, written by a Cuban nationalist named José Martí (1853-1895).

Martí, who studied law in Spain while in exile from Cuba, served as joint consul for Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina in New York in 1881. He actively lobbied for Cuban independence from American ambitions to annex the island. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Are Good Litigators Born?

I’ve always been leery of proponents of a biological basis for intelligence [or running].

I have conceded that genetics play some role on an individual basis, but need to be activated by the environment. Measures of intelligence are far too culturally specific, and ignore many other forms of intelligence. And I wholly reject, for largely scientific reasons, attempts to correlate genetic intelligence with racial or ethnic groups.

The same holds true for great lawyers.

Some of us are born to a long line of lawyers, or have parents that are judges or legal academics. We grew up . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Extended Powers of Attorney: WCLRA Report

The “Western Canada Law Reform Agencies” — i.e. those of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba — have together produced a report entitled “Enduring Powers of Attorney: Areas for Reform” [PDF] with the aim of harmonizing their separate pieces of legislation. The report is 90 pages in length and contains the following substantive chapters:

  • Recognizing and Extended Power of Attorney
  • Clarifying Attorney Duties Under an EPA
  • Preventing Misuse of an EPA
  • Transitional Provisions
  • . . . [more]

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

Point-in-Time Legislation From a LII

AustLII is developing point-in-time legislation on their site! You can read about the project here.

In Canada, the Department of Justice Laws site has point-in-time legislation available back to Jauanary 2003 for acts and from March 22, 2006 for regulations.

e-Laws has Ontario period in time legislation available too.

The Alberta QPSource Internet paid site has point-in-time statutes back to January 1, 2002 for subscribers. Other legal publishers offer some point-in-time services too.

Wouldn’t it be great if other LII’s could offer point-in-time legislation for one stop shopping. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation

Indian Courts on Search Engines

Indian courts have recently become involved in two issues affecting the operation of search engines in that country.

According to the Hindu Times, the Supreme Court in New Delhi has “issued notice” to various search engine companies — Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc. — on a petition claiming their violation of the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act because of advertising on their sites promoting sex selection techniques. The companies have not yet responded to the petition. (See also the story in the Straits Times.)

In Mumbai, a local company wishes to sue a blogger who goes by the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law