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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Library of Congress Global Legal Monitor Adds Topical and Country RSS Feeds

The Global Legal Monitor, published by the Law Library of Congress in Washington, is a publication that provides regular updates on legal developments from around the world on a vast array of topics.

Content comes from official sources, judicial decisions, and other legal news sources.

As of last September, it has offered an RSS feed for updates for all news stories.

It now also offers dozens and dozens of free RSS feeds broken down by topic and/or jurisdiction. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Increased Personal Information Privacy Breaches in Saskatchewan

As covered by CBC News earlier today, Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner Gary Dickson expressed his concern about an increase in privacy breach complaints in the province in his 2008-2009 Annual Report. His office opened 62 new breach of privacy investigations over a recent 12 month period. According to today’s Press Release from the Commissioner, Dickson said:

this explosion in the volume of breach of privacy complaints however constitutes the single most significant change in our caseload since the appointment of a full-time Information and Privacy Commissioner in 2003.

He called for improvements in the areas of leadership, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Beatles’ Song Copyright

According to the headline of an article in Wired, “Jackson’s Death Puts Lucrative Beatles Copyrights in Play.” Part of the tangle that is the estate of Michael Jackson is 50% ownership of the copyright to the songs composed by the Beatles. Jackson beat out McCartney in a 1985 auction of the rights (for a mere $47 million) and sold half ownership to Sony. Jackson’s half was subsequently given as collateral for one of the loans he obtained.

Of course, it will take some time to sort out who owns and who owes what. One imagines lawyers will be . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

The LCO & Consultation: Part II

A few posts ago, I talked about how important face-to-face (in person) consultation is to the LCO. Today I’ll provide some examples of actual recent consultations relating to particular projects. This doesn’t mean that we’re opposed to using technology to extend our consultations (in fact, we are looking at getting software to help us do exactly that), but we’ll continue with the old-fashioned kind. The consultations I’ll mention relate to our projects on the Provincial Offences Act and with respect to persons with disabilities. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Hey, Yu! Anybody There?

This too shall pass, a wise man once said. It certainly was the case with the state formerly known as Yugoslavia. And for that reason it will soon be equally true for the stranded .yu country domain suffix. According to the Yugoslav Internet Domain Name Registry “propagating information on .yu domains on the Internet will cease on 30 September 2009.”

The fact of the matter is that nations come and nations go, as anyone with a less than recent map of Europe or Africa could tell you. And political change is not the only source of instability: global warming has . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

In Kazakhstan We Have Many Hobbies, Except Blogging

I agree with Simon Chester, Borat was a “silly film.” The real country of Kazakhstan is making headlines, and few people online are laughing.

The parliament in that country has approved a new law that would allow criminal prosecution for blogs, chat rooms and social networking sites. Foreign sites considered unsuitable can also be blocked.

The government defends the recent move, saying it is intended for child pornography and extremist literature. But critics cay that it can also be used to censor content on elections, strikes, demonstrations, and inter-ethnic strife.

The popular blog site,, is already inaccessible to . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Maybe the Jury Didn’t Like the Songs

In a highly publicised decision that caught most music industry watchers off guard, a federal jury in Minneapolis last week handed the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) an unprecedented and overwhelming victory in the form of a $1.92 Million (U.S.) award against a mother of four for allegedly file-sharing 24 songs. At $80,000 per track, it represents a ratio of 80,000 to 1 of punitive damages to the actual damages suffered, assuming each song could have been legally purchased for $1.00. News reports on the case, the first of thousands filed in the U.S. against individual file sharers to actually . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

A Risky Business for BC Lenders

The land title registration system in British Columbia, which is based on the principles of the Australian ‘Torrens’ registry system (named after Sir Robert Torrens) allows one to register title against real estate in a central registry. This system, which has been used since the 19th century, was a significant improvement from earlier, more cumbersome methods of proving title which required tracing back the historical “chain of title” in order to prove that the land was unencumbered.

A key part of BC’s land title system is the principal of “indefeasibility of title” which allows purchasers, lenders and other parties dealing . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

The Emerging Climate Consciousness – Public Company Disclosure and Beyond

Recently, I ran across an excellent article in the Spring 2009 issue of Corporate Governance Quarterly called “Climate Change Disclosure Heats Up”. The authors, Patricia Koval, Tyson Dyck and Michael Pickersgill of Torys LLP, discuss public companies’ disclosures pertaining to the companies’ exposure to “climate risks”. This broad risk category includes matters such as: how climate change affects the company’s profitability, what opportunities / challenges climate change presents to the company, and what actions the company is taking in anticipation of the various climate change related regulations coming down the pipe (e.g. the anticipated mandatory cap-and-trade system on greenhouse . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Pickton Judgment From BCCA

The conviction of Robert William Pickton was upheld today in a two-one split decision of the British Columbia Court of Appeal. Here is the judgment from the court, subject to some redaction because of the publication bans.

In a second ruling yesterday, the court unanimously accepted the Crown’s appeal of a decision by Justice Williams to sever the 26 counts of first degree murder into six and twenty as well as errors of law in three rulings on evidence and errors in the jury charge. But the Crown acknowledged that a new trial on 26 first-degree murder charges . . . [more]

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

Suddenly …Nothing Happened! Despite Media Hysteria, Outs for Pre-Sale Condo Purchasers Remain the Same

It should be no surprise that, with the current market conditions, both developers and purchasers are closely scrutinizing just how firm their contracts are for residential property developments currently under construction. As such, the recent British Columbia Supreme Court decision in Dwane v. Bastion Coast Homes Ltd. drew a lot of attention from developers, pre-sale purchasers, and the media alike in this Province. Though headlines blared Judge lets buyer ditch deal on condo and B.C. court rules pre-sale condo contract invalid, the fact of the matter is that Bastion Coast is little more than the application of pre-existing law. . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law