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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Digital Ontario Reports?

On behalf of trees everywhere I have made an initial inquiry with the powers that be asking why the weekly paper part of the Ontario Reports is not distributed only in digital format.

Although this issue may of less interest to those outside of Ontario, it does raise questions that are regularly discussed on SLAW.

Background: Members of the Law Society of Upper Canada receive a weekly paper part of the Ontario Reports as part of their membership fees. It contains (in this order): a Table of Contents with brief details of typically 5 to 7 cases per weekly . . . [more]

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

Australia and URL-Blocking

The Australian Communications and Media Authority plays a role somewhat similar to our Canadian Radio and Television Commission. Recently there’s been a kerfuffle over a list on Wikileaks purporting to be the ACMA website blacklist. The ACMA says that under Australian legislation it is required:

to take action if as a result of an investigation it locates content that is prohibited content or potential prohibited content. In the case of content that is hosted in or provided from Australia, ACMA must issue a take-down notice to the person hosting the content. ACMA has no power to direct the removal of

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, Technology

New Alberta Rules of Court One Step Closer

The Alberta Law Reform Institute has been drafting a new set of court rules for Alberta since 2001. Our previous rules came out in 1968 and after 40 years of use, they are not a cohesive read. A little about the project from ALRI’s perspective:

The project goal was to create rules that are clear, useful and effective tools for accessing a fair, timely and cost efficient civil justice system. The proposed rules are:

* short — arranged and written in plain English,
* clear — describe a logical step-by-step process for carrying out a lawsuit, and
* user-friendly —

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Quebec E-Laws to Become Official

The Quebec Government yesterday introduced Bill 18 in the National Assembly.

Officially known as An Act respecting the Compilation of Québec Laws and Regulations, one of its effects would be to give official status to electronic versions of Quebec statutes.

Section 17 of the Bill reads:

“17. The laws published by the Québec Official Publisher on its website, including the Civil Code and the Act respecting the implementation of the Civil Code, are the laws of the compilation and have official status as of (insert the date of coming into force of this Act).”

“Within 24 months following that

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

Artists-Who-Use-Brushes Ten-Plus-One

Slaw readers may have seen the article in the Tuesday Globe and Mail pointing out that Toronto art dealer Lynda M. Shearer holds a trade mark in the phrases “painters eleven” and “painters 11” set to be registered today. The phrase, however spelled, has been used to describe the group of artists that included Harold Town and Jack Bush ever since it was formed in 1954. (The first Globe and Mail reference I could find was on February 13, 1954: “Abstract art claims major attention in the Toronto art scene this weekend, and a new group of abstractionists called Painters . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Shazam iPhone App and Piracy

Music producers are finally fighting piracy the right way – through convenience.

The new free iPhone app, Shazam, recognizes songs and tells you where you can buy it from. It also provides information about the artists and the album, directs users to reviews, and gives you song lyrics.

The advantage with this is that it allows users to pick the song off television, radio, or movies, puts them directly in touch with valuable services, and seeks to commercialize off of it.

If these services prove to be more convenient than users having to search the web for all of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Straight to the Supreme Court of Canada

I need to go to the Supreme Court website from time to time, and although I’m sure I’ve bookmarked it somewhere, it’s a tad tedious to first find the bookmark and then activate it, or to use Google when the bookmarks on your laptop aren’t the same as those on your desktop machine. What would be right, would be if the court had the URL or some such, but in our peculiar capitalist way, that URL has been snatched by someone and is being camped on, as are all sensible variants. And in our peculiar bureaucratic way, the actual . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

About 82% of Canadians were already happy with Obama in February, but this week I suspect he converted a few of the holdouts with his call for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making. All was subsequently peaceful and happy in the U.S. of A., leading to M&A rapprochement between Roche and Genentech and to Gilead Sciences riding to CV Therapeutics’ rescue

M&A developments were not so peaceful and happy in Canada, where the Special Committee formed by Patheon’s Board called a takeover bid by JLL Partners “substantially undervalued, opportunistic and structurally coercive.” Merck and Schering-Plough did . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

BBC Botnet Could Be Breaking Laws

A recent show on the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC Click, investigated cybercrimes and how compromised computers could be used to send spam.

But the program didn’t just provide information on current criminal practices, they created their own botnet and accessed 22,000 computers in the U.K. The show informed users they had infected about the vulnerability, and about ways to better protect themselves.

Despite the informative value of the exercise, some critics like Graham Cluley are wondering if they are in violation of the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which states,

Computer misuse offences

1 Unauthorised access to computer material

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Federal Baby?

I’ve just noticed the CBC story concerning the Quebec couple who paid a woman $20,000 to be surrogate mother, received the baby, and were refused an adoption by the court when they applied and revealed all of the details concerning the genesis of the child. The takeaway line from the judgment is the peculiar statement that “Cette enfant n’a pas droit à une filiation maternelle à tout prix,” [“This child has no right to a declaration of maternity in spite of everything.” — my weak translation] which the news has picked up as meaning the child has no legal mother. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Online Defamation – No Limitation Period? reports today that the European Court of Human Rights upheld an English defamation case in which the publication had been online for more than the usual one-year limitation period for defamation suits. [Case of Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v. The United Kingdom]

Though the limitation period runs from publication, each time a web site is accessed is considered a new publication. Thus the limitation period never expires for an online publication.

Does this make sense? (, a publication of the Pinsents law firm in the UK, does not think so.)

On the other hand, . . . [more]

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

U.K. Still Lacks Cohabitation Rights

An item in the Times Online law section surprised me this morning. It referred to a private member’s bill coming for second reading before the Lords tomorrow “to create a framework of rights and responsibilities for couples in England and Wales who live together but who are not married.” The Cohabitation Bill is promoted by Lord Lester of Herne Hill. (Nothing about this in Lords of the Blog. Perhaps tomorrow. BTW: someone help them get the “wordpress” out of their URL, please: Way too amateur.)

I suppose I knew that the U.K. lacked this sort of protection for . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation