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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Canadian Parliament Forcing Re-Opening of Nuclear Reactor

The Canadian Parliament held emergency sittings of both the House of Commons and the Senate last night to pass through Bill C-38 on an urgent basis. This Bill is meant to force the re-opening of the Chalk River Nuclear Reactor, previously closed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in November on safety concerns. This reactor reportedly creates two-thirds of the world’s isotopes for use in medical evaluations or treatment, including for cancer. There is now a world shortage of these isotopes which has pressured the government to make this move. Bill C-38 was passed last night, but is not yet . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Sun Microsystems and Plain Drafting

Sun Microsystems, like other corporations that are involved in the development and use of open source software, requires those who contribute to their efforts to sign contribution agreements that set out the terms of their relationship. Sun’s general counsel, Mike Dillon, has a great piece on his blog, The Legal Thing, about these contribution agreements and how they ought to be “a model of simplicity and clarity.”

A man of his word, Dillon put a team onto the redrafting of Sun’s contribution agreement, with the result that most anyone who is literate can now understand it. Take a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Carroll’s “the Hunting of the Snark”

In ebook form, with wonderful public domain illustrations, the full text of Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark”, here. Carroll’s is far more entertaining, far better than mine. More educational, too.

Anyway, this place supposedly being about things related to law, here’s an excerpt from “Fit the Sixth – The Barrister’s Dream”. The full text of “Fit the Sixth” follows after the break, together with the illustration that accompanies it.

He dreamed that he stood in a shadowy Court,
Where the Snark, with a glass in its eye,
Dressed in gown, bands, and wig, was defending a pig

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

QuickLaw vs. LexisNexis – Canadian Coverage

It was always my understanding that QuickLaw’s Canadian case law coverage was equal, if not superior, to LexisNexis’. If you too were operating under that assumption, then the following may surprise you… 

I had found a reference to a case using the Nadin-Davis Sentencing Digest. Unfortunately, no citation was provided; it did, however, list the name of the case, the date (1986), the judge and the level of court. The digest entry also mentioned that the case had been appealed. So I set about to search for the case. 

I turned first to QuickLaw. I searched by case name and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Opportunity to Discuss Forthcoming Copyright Bill With Minister Prentice Tomorrow

I received a message from a library discussion list this morning informing readers of an open house and call-in event at Minister Prentice’s constituency office tomorrow, Saturday December 8. The message notes that rumours are that the forthcoming copyright bill will resemble the US DMCA in some controversial respects. More information about the open house and call-in is available here. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama

A post in Law Librarian Blog this morning, Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14-Year-Old Children to Die in Prison, led me to the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, the group that wrote the report on children in U.S. prisons [PDF]. From their “About” page:

The Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama is a private, nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.

We litigate on behalf of condemned prisoners, juvenile offenders, people wrongly convicted or charged with violent crimes, poor people denied effective representation,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Chamber of Commerce on IP Protection

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce weighs in on the IP panic, calling for the provincial government to become involved and join the federal government in the fight against “piracy and counterfeiting.” The report itself [PDF], as opposed to the news story, seems to be more concerned about the counterfeiting of goods and brands in other countries than it does about the copying of music or films.

Thanks to Slaw reader Bill Dimitroff for the tip.

As an aside, isn’t it about time that news outlets — and others — stopped using the term “piracy” in this connection? While it may . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Loose Laptops Cause Flops


Perhaps encryption isn’t so easy after all, and some people could use a little primer. This is how I protect my laptop….

Wired – “How Does Bruce Schneier Protect His Laptop Data? With His Fists — and PGP

After a discussion among academics about the perils of crossing the U.S. border with your laptop full of research data, I began to wonder how diligent law firms are in ensuring that nothing leaves the office on a laptop that is unsecured. The shocking incident in which Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs lost a couple of disks containing private . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Technology

Farewell to the Right Honorable Antonio Lamer, Former Chief Justice of Canada

The Right Honorable Antonio Lamer, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court between 1990 and 2000 who passed away on the weekend, lay in repose earlier today in the Main Hall in the lobby of the Supreme Court building.

His flag-draped casket had an honour guard of 5 soldiers from the Governor General’s Foot Guards and a Mountie in ceremonial red serge uniform. Lamer was Honorary Colonel of the Foot Guards.

Numerous members of the public and the legal profession came to pay their last respects and were filing by all afternoon long. When I left my office . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

PDF Imaged Copies of Case Law in Online Databases

At last week’s monthly meeting of Toronto legal research lawyers we discussed the availability of online PDF’ed versions of judicial decisions that have also been published in print by the publisher.

In the States, for example, decisions from the West National Reporter Series are available online on Westlaw in a text/HTML format, and – for an extra charge – as PDF versions which are exact copies of the print version.

In the U.K., there is that provides PDF versions of the official U.K. Law Reports, in addition to HTML versions (and their HTML versions are great because they insert . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Gathering in Support of the Defenders of the Rule of Law

The notice below went out to lawyers in Ontario and their staff; a similar event took place Sunday in Ottawa.

Show your support for the rule of law

In response to the situation in Pakistan, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ontario Bar Association invite you to attend a . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

A Chief Justice for the Charter

The announcement of the death of Chief Justice Antonio Lamer is a significant passage. I can’t think of a single Supreme Court Justice who has had a more profound influence on the criminal law ((Arguably G. Arthur Martin, JA of the Ontario Court of Appeal may have had a more sustained impact on the day to day conduct of the criminal trial)).

Here are the tributes from the Prime Minister ((I can’t find a tribute from the current Chief Justice)), the Minister of Justice, the Globe, the Star, the CBC, the National Post.

Although Lamer . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Substantive Law