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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

The Role of ISPs in Canada’s New Copyright Regime

In 2012, the Copyright Modernization Act was enacted to make a number of significant changes to Canada’s existing copyright regime. One of the primary goals of this new legislation was to ensure that Canada did not open the floodgates to “copyright trolls” (copyright plaintiffs who file lawsuits simply to extort quick settlements) and devolve into the shocking state of copyright litigation south of the border. The federal government hopes to balance the rights of copyright holders with the privacy rights of the alleged copyright infringers. The Act now has a statutory limit of $5,000 on damages for all non-commercial copyright . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Do Mental Health Act Detainees Have Charter Rights?

Upon arrest or detention, a police officer must advise a detainee of their s. 10 Charter right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. Does this right apply if a person is “apprehended” and taken involuntarily to a health facility for a psychiatric assessment? Presumably it does: if the individual is not free to leave the officer’s custody or refuse the examination, then their individual liberty is clearly suspended by a state authority. This is the very definition of a “detention” under the Charter: R v Grant. Yet, the case law implies that officers may be failing to advise . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Education & Training: Law Schools, Law Student Week, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Trade Law: Non-Violation Complaints – “Legitimate Expectations” & “Good Faith”

During my 21 years at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) – now known as Global Affairs Canada (GAC) – I was privileged to represent Canada in a number of GATT, WTO, and NAFTA trade disputes and one somewhat obscure but important case under the Canada- U.S. Free Trade Agreement (CUSTA). While the case was not a “headliner” the Panel decision in Puerto Rico Regulations on the Import, Distribution and Sale of UHT Milk from Québec [USA-CDA-1993-1807-01] was important in demonstrating the application of a claim of “non-violation nullification or impairment” (“NVNI”). One of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Of Buzz and One Less Pay Wall With Sensational Spelling

Fellow Slaw contributor Kim Nayer wrote about QPLegalEze’s imminent dismantlement back in April 2014. Her post, titled “Goodbye QPLegalEze; Welcome Open Law“, heralded an end to an era of embargoed legal information, and hinted at the promise of a more democratic trend—one where the government lets the law become knowable even in the absence of our wallets.

Some goodbyes take longer than others. 20-odd months later, however, it really does feel like the house has cleared out. The repository of BC’s laws (various enactments, historical tables, ministerial orders archives, and that sort of thing) which was once kept  . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Greater – but Not Perfect – Clarity Coming, at End of Year, to Question of Personal Property Security Jurisdiction

By Nora Rock, corporate writer at LAWPRO.

A personal property security interest can’t be perfected if it’s registered in the wrong jurisdiction. Pinning down the appropriate jurisdiction for registration of a non-possessory interest in an intangible (like intellectual property), a good used in more than one jurisdiction (like a transport truck), or an instrument (like a lease) has proven to be surprisingly hard, due to ambiguous language in PPS statutes across the country.

The version currently in force of s. 7(1) of the Ontario Personal Property Security Act provides that the validity and perfection of a registration of an interest . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Star Wars, Like All Things, Is Legal

I was one of the many thousands of people who recently watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, despite being on vacation. I was not even born when the original films were released, but was surrounded by the Star Wars culture as a padawan child.

The has been a significant cultural impact of the film series on our society, so there’s no surprise that there are tons of legal issues around it. Despite being a fictional universe, there is an entire wiki of Star Wars laws and legal systems. The site uses “source documents” such as disparate as a 1987 . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Judicial Lineups and “Festivus” Presents

I’ve been sitting on this one to see what Santa might have in store for M.M (M.M. v. United States of America, 2015 SCC 62.) As I expected, and I assume others did, too, the Liberal gov’t has decided to review the prior Conservative regime’s decision to surrender M.M. for extradition to the United States: see here. You’d think that somebody in the editorial department of the newspaper involved would know the difference between statements in dissenting reasons and the majority reasons but, in the spirit of the season, I’ll let that pass.

Can I get a mental . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Mistakes in Website Prices – Consumer Items

A Quebec court has recently held that Costco was not bound to sell a computer to a consumer for $2.00, as advertised on its web site. Although the Consumer Protection Act says that an ad to a consumer is an offer, the court (Cour du Québec) held that online sales are different.

Here’s an article about the decision.

I presume the decision would be similar in common-law Canada. Is it not general law that an ad on a website is considered an invitation to treat, rather than an offer that can be accepted by anyone in the world? Certainly the . . . [more]

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

Workplace Accommodations: I Can’t Work Because I Have to Work (Somewhere Else)!

To what extent does an employer have to accommodate an employee’s other work and personal commitments when those commitments are unrelated to grounds protected under human rights legislation? A recent Ontario decision sheds light on an employer’s ability to dictate an employee’s work schedule in these circumstances.

In this case, the employee was a server who worked part-time for the employer. The employee was absent for over 20% of her scheduled shifts in a one-year period, and the employer terminated her employment in accordance with its attendance policy. The reasons for the employee’s absenteeism were two-fold. First, she worked full-time, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Permanent Trolling Injunctions Still a Temporary Solution

Trolls lurk in many dark recesses of the Internet. They make online browsing hurtful, defamatory, and sometimes, outright dangerous. These trolls are rarely slayed forever, and often raise their heads once again when given enough time.

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently reviewed an injunction granted in 2014 against a couple operating a website from publishing “in any manner” statement found to be defamatory towards an Ottawa lawyer, Richard Warman.

Among other grounds, the defendants sought a review of the permanent nature of the injunction as being overly broad. The very nature of the website in question was a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Let 2016 Be a Year of a Compassion for Employees in Canada

Compassionate care benefits are available to employees who have to take time away from work to care for a sick family member who has a significant risk of death. Changes to the availability of compassionate care benefits under the Employment Insurance Act are set to come into force in the New Year. The changes, which were introduced as part of the 2015 Budget, will increase the maximum amount of compassionate care benefits from six weeks to twenty-six weeks. The changes come into force on January 3, 2016.

Compassionate care benefits complement compassionate care leave, which is provided for in provincial . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

When Even Trump Calls Foul on Scalia

The controversial situation around affirmative action in American universities has reared its legal head at the Supreme Court of the United States more than once.

Affirmative action was brought into the forefront in 1961, when John F. Kennedy issued an executive and provided financing for it. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 went further, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin, while never explicitly mentioning affirmative action. The Act does not have a comparable component to s. 15(2) of the Charter, but Title VII and subsequent amendments empowered the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Substantive Law: Foreign Law