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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Playing the Identity Card: Surveillance, Security and Identification in Global Perspective

On Monday, November 17, 2008 Dr. Colin J. Bennett, Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Victoria, will be speaking at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto about identity cards in Canada. Details here and in the full press release below the fold. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Closing Gitmo

Yesterday’s widely-reported story that the Obama administration-in-waiting is already drawing up plans to close the facility at close the facility at Guantánamo Bay and try the remaining suspects in the U.S. has generated a lot of buzz. In fact, the Obama team appears to be trying to temper expectations, as last night saw further stories emphasizing that no decisions have yet been made.

One should probably be skeptical about such reports in any event, given the incentive for anonymous “advisors” to the incoming administration to try to steer the agenda. But no reasonable person, in my view, should be . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

New Domain Name Scam

I am usually used to picking up on spam from a mile away. But the email message in my box this morning had me pause for a moment–perhaps it was legitimate? A quick search on the web, however, showed it to be a new type of scam, possibly as recent as March. This was the message I received from a company called “Asia DNR”:

Subject: Crosbygroup-Intellectual property rights (To President/CEO)

Dear President/CEO:

We are the domain name registration organization in Asia, which is mainly responsible for domain name registration and dispute. We have some points need to confirm with your

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

Internet Defamation? Count the Readers

An English court has recently held that the fact that a defamatory comment has been published online does not mean that anyone has read it. The plaintiff must show that the comment has been accessed as well.

In the English case, Brady v. Norman [2008] EWHC 2481 (QB), described on, the question was one of qualified privilege, and whether some people without an interest in knowing the information had nevertheless been given access to it.

While this is reminiscent in some ways of the Bangoura case in Ontario, where the only visitors to the online defamation appeared . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The E-Communications Convention — in Australia

The Australian government has just started a public consultation on the desirability of ratifying the UN E-Communications Convention in that country. The page containing the public notice also offers a link to the consultation paper in PDF or Word.

The American Uniform Law Commission (formerly NCCUSL) has a Committee to study implementation of the Convention in the US. The working group met recently to discuss options for implementation.

In Canada, there appears to be little action since the Uniform Law Conference meeting on the topic in August. Professor Gautrais’ paper on the impact of the Convention on Quebec law . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Former Supreme Court Justice Iacobucci to Mediate Truth and Reconciliation Commission Dispute

Former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci has been asked to help mediate the dispute that has paralyzed the work of the Truth And Reconciliation Commission that was set up earlier this year to deal with the historical legacy of the Indian residential school system.

Over the years, thousands of aboriginal students were subjected to physical, sexual and emotional abuse by personnel working for the church authorities that ran the boarding schools on behalf of the Canadian government.

Last month, the work of the Commission was derailed after its head, Justice Harry LaForme, resigned, complaining that he could no longer work . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

SCOTUS to Hear Argument on Indecent Words

On Tuesday of this week, while the rest of the United States is going to the polls, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, et al.. (The docket # is 07-582 but the link generated by the U.S.S.C. site is currently giving a 404 error.) This case has its recent origins in the reaction to a few television broadcasts in which performers used profanity, particularly, variations on the word “fuck.” The F.C.C. had a rule permitting “fleeting expletives,” which rule was changed in 2003 to forbid any use of certain words . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Is Obama a Mixed Blessing for Canada?

There might be a downside for Canada if Obama wins, according to some experts.

The Rideau Institute released a report, How the next US president could affect our country, where Rideau president, Steven Staples had some harsh words for both major political parties,

By virtue of conjoined geography, history, economies and political cultures, Canada and the United States are inextricably linked, and it is only a matter of time before the shifts in U.S. politics realign Canada’s politics as well.

One need look no further than the dramatic rise of the U.S. national-security state in the wake of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Bob and Doug and Law

Not to take things too lightly, but I had a chance to watch Strange Brew again this week, and I noted a surprising amount of legal content:

  • re: the mouse in the bottle that started it all, see M’Alister (or donoghue) v Stevenson [1932] AC 562
  • As Bob and Doug make their initial claim for free beer, Bob informs us “Its in the Canadian Criminal Code”
  • At several moments, Doug expresses awareness of the legal consequences of whatever ill-considered plan they are undertaking, and his solution is most often to get his brother to drive
  • As Pam settles Claude’s hash
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

EU Web Businesses Must Have Phone Numbers or Fast Contact Forms

According to this morning:

Companies have to provide a means of contact on their websites in addition to their postal and email addresses, the European Court of Justice has ruled. A telephone number, or a contact form that is answered within 60 minutes, were deemed acceptable.

This holding flows from the E-Commerce Directive, which says that companies:

“shall render easily, directly and permanently accessible to the recipients of the service and competent authorities, at least the following information:

(a) the name of the service provider;

(b) the geographic address at which the service provider is established;


. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

International Law Video Library

Teresa Miguel at Yale Law Library’s Foreign and International Blog posted her review and endorsement for the International Law Video Library yesterday. A very interesting project, and great use of video to capture content, knowledge and history.

Teresa’s post also included the following excellent examples from the collection:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law