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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

UN Report on Business and Human Rights, Updated

At this time last year, John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on business and human rights released a report, “Protect, Respect and Remedy: a Framework for Business and Human Rights” [PDF] recommending, as we reported then, implementation of a framework to give effect to

the State duty to protect against human rights abuses by third parties, including business; the corporate responsibility to respect human rights; and the need for more effective access to remedies.

Ruggie has now released a report to the UN Human Rights Council on his work since that time, entitled “ . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Leaky Condo Class Action Case Dismissed by the SCC

Having a carpenter for a partner adds an interesting twist to my life. Rather than playing Scrabble or sipping Margaritas on beaches, when he and I take a vacation, it is often to work on the current building project. It also means I take special interest in construction that leads to the courts like McMillan v. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Eugene Meehan’s excellent publication Lang Michener Supreme Court of Canada L@wletter had this note today:

The Applicants purchased a condominium unit in a condominium development in White Rock, British Columbia, constructed in 1994.

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

Eagan’s Eight Rules for Success in Legal Information

Find a niche with growth potential
Organize information to make it useful
The internet is a distribution channel — not a product
Turn words into maths
Separate the signal from the noise
Computers can’t do everything
Treat content like patented material
Print’s not dead, it just needs online help

Rules that wouldn’t have been recognized by the distinguished figure below:

They’re the distilled wisdom in a well-researched piece entitled Westlaw rises to legal publishing fame by selling free information – St. Paul company outprofits Gannett, McGraw Hill, New York Times

And it started here: . . . [more]

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

Irish Minister to Introduce Blasphemous Libel Law

The Irish Times is reporting that the Minister for Justice proposes to introduce a provision into the defamation bill under discussion by committee that will prohibit blasphemous libel. The provision would read in part:

A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000.

According to the news report:

“Blasphemous matter” is defined as matter “that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Law Reform & the Old Ways

It may be heresy to say so, but I still consider the in-person, face-to-face, in-the-same-room contacts that we at the LCO have to be crucial to our work. I’ve emphasized how important outreach generally and consultation on our projects are to what we do, mostly in connection with wanting to develop smart technological means to accomplish both (or maybe especially the consultation on particular projects). Of course, we’re still working on doing more, but, I hope, only when it enhances old-fashioned ways of interacting with people, when it allows us to hear from people we might not otherwise hear from, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Canadian Journalists Hunger for Gavels

Most Slaw readers will know that gavels simply aren’t part of the equipment of Canadian or British judges – however much they may feature in the popular iconography of the American judicial system.

Which meant that it seemed odd to see headlines like Gavel falls on Judge Cosgrove, by Tracey Tyler in the Toronto Star for April 1, (admittedly fixed in the electronic archive) or Gavel Slams Harper on Khadr in the free Toronto newspapers for April 24. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Neuroenhancers and Lawyers

The New Yorker has a fascinating piece, Brain Gain, by Margaret Talbot, that explores the various current and likely future uses of neuroenhancing drugs. Typically stimulants prescribed for such conditions as attention deficit disorder, prescription drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, Provigil (modafinil), or piracetam are now commonly taken “off label” by people wishing to enhance their mental powers in some respect or other. It would seem that the principal effect of these drugs is an increase in the ability of the user to focus attention and to persist in a task that would otherwise be too tiresome . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Critical Issues in Health Law and the Future of Medicare

Case Law and Legislation Updates

Changes to the RHPA

This past week I attended a session hosted by the Health Law section of the Ontario Bar Association on Critical Issues in Health Law: Case Law and Legislation Updates.

Richard Steinecke of Steinecke Maciura LeBlanc, Barristers & Solicitors, spoke about recent amendments to the Regulated Health Professions Act in Ontario. As part of a 5 year review by the Health Professions Regulatory Advisory Council (HPRAC), a number of changes will become effective June 4 2009 under Bill 171. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Facebook Surfing Cost Swiss Woman Her Job

A woman in Switzerland working for Nationale Suisse told her employer she couldn’t work at the computer, and had to stay home in the dark.

A fellow employee supposedly noticed her surfing on Facebook and reported her. And yes, it cost her the job.

The employee’s quite plausible position was that she was surfing Facebook on her iPhone in bed. She also accused them of spying on her.

Most workers are becoming aware that privacy controls should be used to protect personal information, even from employers. And persons added as “friends” probably shouldn’t include those that will try to get . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

First Day of Summer? Time for a Spam Bill

We’ve blogged recently on studies showing the colossal waste of time and energy that spam causes. But fret not, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, today announced that the Government of Canada is delivering on its commitment to protect consumers and businesses from the most dangerous and damaging forms of spam. The proposed Electronic Commerce Protection Act (Bill C-27) will deter the most dangerous forms of spam, such as identity theft, phishing and spyware, from occurring in Canada and will help drive spammers out of Canada.

“Our government knows how damaging spam can be to Canadians and Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology

Federal Court Decision on Khadr

Yesterday’s Federal Court decision of Mr. Justice O’Reilly, Omar Ahmed Khadr v. The Prime Minister Of Canada, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and The Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police 2009 FC 405, is available in PDF.

[3] I am satisfied, in the special circumstances of this case, that Mr. Khadr’s rights under s. 7 of the Charter have been infringed. I will grant his request for an order requiring the respondents to seek his repatriation from the United States. Given my conclusion regarding s. 7, it is unnecessary for

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Alberta’s Taking Names

Or will be, if Bill 42 [PDF], introduced into the Alberta Legislature two days ago, is passed into law. The bill would amend the Gaming and Liquor Act to permit licensees, i.e. bar owners and their employees, to take down the names of any patrons they suspect of being gang members and to share these names with other licensees and the police. Specifically:

69.2 (1) A licensee may, before allowing a person to enter licensed premises, collect the person’s name, age and photograph.

(2) If a licensee has personal knowledge or reasonably believes that a person referred to in subsection

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law