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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Domain Names of Well-Known People

An arbitrator under the WIPO domain name dispute resolution policy has held that Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay for ten years, has no remedy against someone who registered several domain names relating to a possible attempt by Ms Whitman to run for governor of California in 2010. The report on has a link to the decision itself.

Some of the domains were and

The essence of the decision is that Ms Whitman did not have a custom of commercial use of her name and thus had not established a ‘common law trademark’ in it. Mere fame was . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

UK ISP Service Bans, Un-Bans Wikipedia Page

Last week Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a collaborative service of Britain’s Internet Service Providers, banned a page of Wikipedia that contained a picture of a record album cover (in the UK called the ‘sleeve’) from 1976. The picture showed a young girl, about 10 perhaps, naked, in a sexually suggestive pose.

The ban was done by putting the page on a blacklist that IWF updates twice a day to help British ISPs avoid making potentially illegal images available.

An unintended consequence of the ban was to prevent any British internet users from editing any page on Wikipedia. This consequence comes . . . [more]

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

Once Again, Karlheinz Schreiber

The ubiquitous Karlheinz Schreiber has lost his latest round of legal whack-a-mole. This morning, the Supreme Court of Canada rejected his application for leave to appeal the most recent court decision allowing his extradition to Germany.

Germany initially requested Mr. Schreiber’s extradition on August 27, 1999. Since then, he has sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada no fewer than five times, and obtained it once (not counting his earlier trip to the SCC in 1998, challenging Canadian assistance to a Swiss investigation). He managed to delay the first court decision on the merits of his extradition . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

BBC Radio 4 on Drafting Legislation

The BBC is currently offering its program, “The Draftsman’s Contract,” online. It’s an examination in two parts of “the people who actually write our country’s legislation…” The first part, 15 minutes in length, is available now and for the next 6 days — after which it disappears, I suppose. The second part will be broadcast on December 17 at 20:45, and will presumably be similarly available for a number of days afterwards as streaming audio.

The BBC uses its own iPlayer format, which contains DRM restrictions, and has been the object of much criticism. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Today marks the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Amnesty International Canada is inviting people to get involved by participating in Write-A-Thon events taking across in hundreds of locations across the country.

More background:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

10 Essential Technology Skills and Practices

Technology has become an essential part of practising law and working in a law office (or any office for that matter). My TechTips column from the Summer 2008 issue of LAWPRO Magazine summarizes what I think are the 10 essential technology skills and practices that every lawyer and law office staff person should be familiar with.

Do you know what Alt+Tab does? How about a right-click on your mouse? Do you know how to use Cut, Copy and Paste? How about Paste Special. The text format shortcuts will save you tons of time next time you have to type up . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Cyberwarfare and the 44th Presidency

Chilling reading about the threats to the integrity of global communications that President Elect Obama will shortly face.

It comes from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency. Its mandate was to develop recommendations for a comprehensive strategy to improve cybersecurity in federal systems and in critical infrastructure.

The report was released on December 8, 2008 on Capitol Hill. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Canadian Cultural Diversity: Gender, Minorities and Public Life

Before curtailing her recent trip to Europe to deal with the political situation at home, Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean was participating in a discussion about Canadian culture diversity at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech on November 29, 2008.

Her blog reprints notes from two related talks: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

U.S. Capital Punishment Stats

A sad but significant report from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics publishes the data concerning capital punishment in 2007 in that country. Some 17 tables of statistics explore such matters as the demographics of persons under sentence of death, the number of persons executed in the last decade, method of execution by state, and so forth.

As of the end of December 2007, the median elapsed time since sentencing for inmates under sentence of death is 133 months. That is a month longer than 11 years.

[via beSpacific] . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Mandatory Reporting of Child Pornography in Ontario

The Ontario Legislature yesterday passed Bill 37, the Child Pornography Reporting Act, 2008.

The bill was somewhat amended in Committee, notably to tie the definition of child pornography more closely to the Criminal Code definition (though it’s still not identical). You can see the amendments here and the bill as amended in Committee here.

People who commented on the bill on the ULC-ECOMM list in the spring were sceptical of its benefits and of its practicality. No member of the Legislature shared any such doubts, apparently. All three parties supported the bill.

The penalty for not reporting child . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Canadian Human Rights Commission Submits Review to UN

The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights created a mechanism in 2006 to review the state of human rights in member countries. Canada’s turn comes up in 2009. The first step in the process is a self-evaluation by the target country. Canada submitted its report in September, and has made the submission publicly available here.

I’ve had only a brief look so far, but the report looks very interesting. The first bit provides insight into what programs/legislation/processes are in place to create a society which meets the goals of the UN. The second part provides a . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law