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Archive for ‘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

Ratifying the Electronic Communications Convention

I would like to raise again whether Canada should ratify the UNCITRAL Electronic Communications Convention (ECC). The ECC sets out in treaty form some of the basic rules of the 1996 Model Law on Electronic Commerce about how legal requirements that appear to need paper writings can be satisfied by electronic communications. The Convention operates only for international contracts, though it can be used as well to interpret other conventions to which the ratifying country is a party.

Thus the Convention says that information shall not be denied legal effect solely because it is in electronic form; that a legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Wikipedia as Evidence

A NJ Appellate Division court says that Wikipedia is too malleable to be used as evidence in Palisades Collection v. Graubard, A-1338-07.

Mary Pat Gallagher of the New Jersey Law Journal reported yesterday,

“[I]t is entirely possible for a party in litigation to alter a Wikipedia article, print the article and thereafter offer it in support of any given position,” an appeals court held. “Such a malleable source of information is inherently unreliable and clearly not one ‘whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned,'” such as would support judicial notice under New Jersey Evidence Rule 201(b)(3).

The decision reversed an . . . [more]

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

World Book and Copyright Day

Today (being both Shakespeare’s birthday and Shakespeare’s and Cervantes’ deathday) seems apt for some comment on World Book and Copyright Day.

Last month, at the Second Global eIFL-IP conference in Istanbul, librarians from thirty-nine developing and transition countries decided to highlight the importance of users’ rights for libraries and education to mark the occasion. eIFL.net is an international foundation, which supports national library consortia in approximately fifty transition and developing countries to negotiate and advocate for the wide availability of electronic resources to education, research and professional communities as well as governmental organisations and civil society. This global . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading, Substantive Law

FLARE Index to Treaties

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in the United Kingdom recently launched the FLARE Index to Treaties, a searchable database of basic information on over 1,500 of the most significant multilateral treaties from 1856 to the present.

Information comes from many sources such as Multilateral Treaties: index and current status (London: Butterworths, 1984, tenth supplement, 1994), International Legal Materials (Washington: American Society of International Law, 1962-) , Bulletin of International Legal Developments/Bulletin of Legal Developments (London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 1966-), United Nations Treaty Series Index, etc.

Information about each treaty includes:

  • the official, popular
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Ontario’s New Road Safety Act – Convictions Without Trials?

A new look for Toronto Police uniforms?

On April 21, 2009 the Ontario Road Safety Act (RSA) passed through final reading creating a host of changes that will come into effect in the coming months. The government’s executive summary of the act is available at http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2009/04/21/c3780.html?lmatch=&lang=_e.html for anyone who wishes to peruse it.

As one might expect, the RSA is overflowing with ‘get tough on crime’ language and continues the predictable tradition now enshrined in Canadian law to increase penalties for impaired driving offences at every opportunity. Where the RSA strikes bold new ground is in its fiendishly clever solution . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law