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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

The Walk to Freedom

The World’s Columbian Exposition was an influential social and cultural event (“The Devil in the White City” from Erik Larson brilliantly communicates the vibrancy of the preparation of the Exposition). On October 9, 1893, the day designated as Chicago Day, the fair set a world record for outdoor event attendance, drawing 716,881 people to the fair. Electricity occupied a very special place in the White City. An entire building was devoted to electrical exhibits. Electricity powered everything: fountains, a moveable sidewalk, elevators, automatic door openers, and even electric cigar lighters. GE, Westinghouse, Thomas Edison, Brush, Western Electric were showcasing various . . . [more]

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

Important Notice on Notice: Supreme Court of Canada Reverses Quebec Court of Appeal

In a surprising decision, the Supreme Court of Canada reversed the Quebec Court of Appeal (QCA) last week in a decision regarding the provision and payment of “reasonable notice” on resignation. In the original QCA decision, the Court held that when an employee resigns and provides notice, the employer is free to forgo the notice period and let the employee leave immediately, without payment. This is different than in any of the common law provinces which would require the employer to pay out the common law “reasonable notice” or previously agreed upon contractual notice. While acknowledging that this may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

European Court of Human Rights Factsheets

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg decides thousands of cases every year on an unimaginably vast range of topics. And it has often heard cases on controversial subjects years before Canadian courts have tackled them.

The ECHR has been publishing a series of Factsheets that describe key jurisprudence of the institution broken down by subject.

The ECHR recently added new Factsheets on:

The ECHR hears complaints from individuals living in any of the member states of the Council of Europe about violations of the European Convention of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Accessing Personal Information in Legal Opinions

A recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union found that the Dutch immigration authorities were not required to give a person access to a legal opinion about the person’s immigration status, though the opinion contained personal information about the person. Here is a story about the decision. Giving a summary of the personal information contained in the opinion was sufficient to comply with the obligation under the EU Privacy Directive to let people see the personal information about themselves.

Would such a request have a similar outcome in Canada, or would PIPEDA provide a separate . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list

Vexatious Employees Turned Vexatious Litigants

We’ve all had experience with vexatious employees (not to mention vexatious colleagues) but we employment and labour lawyers often deal with vexatious litigants who happen to be former or current employees. I’ve personally had experience with employees filing similar claims for similar incidents before the Human Rights Tribunal, Superior Court, the Workers’ Compensation Board and the Employment Standards Office. These claims can often by filed for free or minimal charge to the employee but generate huge cost for employers. Additonally, employees (particularly those who are self-represented) often file multiple pointless motions with each of those forums.

Thankfully, as chronicled here . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Of Lotus Land and Outdated Bicycle Laws

Here out west you’ll find a “Beads and Granola” culture (thank you, Douglas Coupland), where our mild work ethic, sea-to-sky nature and hospitable year-round climate lures would-be lotus eaters from across the vast confederation. British Columbia’s fresh air and crisp scenery encourages outdoor activities of all kinds. Even our roadways are a balmy, unblemished asphalt invitation for physical enjoyment through bicycling.

So it’s somewhat surprising that despite a progressive vibe, BC’s cycling laws are among the least friendly in the country.

Even as BC’s capitol city boasts astonishing commuter stats—at 5.9% Victoria has basically three times more bike commuters . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

The Laws of 2014 FIFA World Cup

Today is the finals for the 2014 World Cup between Argentina and Germany.

Although I don’t follow sports much, you cannot but help notice the sea of multicoloured jerseys around you. So I did what any disinterested lawyer would do, and I started taking a look at the laws around the FIFA competition.

Of course FIFA has its own Laws of the Game, a 140 page document which details how the matches will be taking place. I’ll be carrying this handy document to the finals to look closely for any contraventions of the rules, though it’s unlikely any of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Quebec Bill Would Require Small Farms to Collectively Bargain

Quebec's new government wants to ensure that all farm workers have the right to unionize and collectively negotiate working conditions with their employers. Minister of Labour Sam Hamad has introduced Bill 8, An Act to amend the Labour Code with respect to certain employees of farming businesses, which would require small farms to let a union represent their employees.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

US Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Warrantless Cell Phone Searches. Will the Supreme Court of Canada Follow?

Lower courts in both Canada and the US have been deeply divided on the application of their respective Supreme Courts’ precedents on whether the police need a warrant to search the contents of a smart/cell phone seized during a lawful arrest. On June 25, 2014, the US Supreme Court unanimously settled US law in Riley v. California, No. 13-132. The court found that privacy interests at stake outweigh any legitimate governmental interest, absent any “exigent circumstances”.

The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution provides protection against unreasonable search. A common law exception to the protection under the Amendment . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Law Reform Commission Reports: Recent Releases

Legal researchers too often overlook law reform commission reports as sources of vital information and analysis.

Law commissions consult widely with stakeholders, sometimes compare how other jurisdictions have dealt with the same problem and they frequently dig into the history of an issue.

Here are a few reports released in the past few weeks.

  • British Columbia Law Institute Report Proposes Franchise Act : The report recommends that British Columbia become the 6th Canadian province to adopt franchise legislation. The report analyzes franchise legislation in force in Canada, the U.S., and elsewhere, and contains a detailed legislative proposal with commentary. Alberta,
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Grand Chamber Judgment Validates the Prohibition on Wearing the Full-Face Veil in Public in France

On July 1, 2014, in a final judgment that cannot be appealed, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the case of S.A.S v. France (application no. 43835/11), validated French Law no. 2010-1192, which prohibits concealment of one’s face in all places open to the public in France and found that the law does not violate the applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions