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Archive for ‘Substantive Law’

Curehunter: Visual Medical Dictionary

Curehunter, the “visual medical dictionary,” is worth your taking a look at for at least a couple of reasons: it’s likely that some people in your firm have a practice that touches upon medical affairs one way or another; and as information presentation fans — we are, aren’t we? — we should, once again, pay homage to the interesting technological efforts of a sister profession.

The visual dictionary (don’t think pictures of diseases; unlike this visual dictionary, Curehunter is more a graphic display of words dictionary) presents you with three columns and a search box. Enter . . . [more]

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

Canadian Rate of Incarceration Increases

Statistics Canada reported today that that rate of incarceration in Canada increased for the first time in more than a decade in 2005/2006.

The rate moved from 107 to 110 prisoners per 100,000 population.

“Canada’s incarceration rate tends to be higher than most western European countries, yet far lower than that of the United States. For instance, Sweden posted an incarceration rate of 82 and France a rate of 85 per 100,000 population in 2005/2006. By comparison, the incarceration rate in England and Wales was 148, and in the United States the adult rate stood at 738 (the United States

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

CBA March in Solidarity With the Defenders of the Rule of Law in Pakistan

On Sunday, November 25, the Canadian Bar Association is organizing a protest march to the Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa as a a show of support for the lawyers and judges of Pakistan.

“CBA President Bernard Amyot will lead the procession of CBA Bar Leaders, lawyers, law students and other members of the legal community from across Canada. The County of Carleton Law Association is also giving its full support to the march to the steps of the Supreme Court of Canada. Bar Leaders will address the marchers and participants will have the opportunity to sign a petition

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

“College Part-Timers Closer to Union Rights”

This Ottawa Citizen article on the appointment of Kevin Whitaker to review the Ontario ban on unionization of part-time College workers went out on the CAUT Contract Academic Staff wire today.

The past decade has seen great strides in unionization of part-time (aka Sessional or Contract Academic Staff) university teachers. While some full-time faculty associations have acquired rights for these additional units, many are organized by national unions such as CUPE (which tend to hold rights for Teaching Assistant units as well). The article indicates that the “newly formed Organization of Part-time and Sessional Employees of the Colleges of Applied . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Rowling Row: Lex and the Lexicon

This from CBC News:

A publisher in Michigan has halted plans to release a Harry Potter encyclopedia after author J.K. Rowling launched a lawsuit.

Roger Rapoport of RDR Books, located in Muskegon, Mich., said he has stopped publication of the guide to Potter lexicon until a judge in New York City rules whether the work is a violation of Rowling’s intellectual property rights.

The suit was evidently filed some weeks ago. The book is an outgrowth of a prior blog, The Harry Potter Lexicon, which appears to have been running unmolested for some seven years. Plaintiffs are quoted . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Resources on Extraordinary Rendition

((Last week, Maher Arar was back in the news again as his U.S. lawyers argued in front of a U.S. Court of Appeal panel for the right to restart a lawsuit against the policy known as “extraordinary rendition”.

Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian engineer, had been intercepted by U.S. authorities in 2002 on his way home via the U.S. from a trip abroad. He was then shipped off to Syria where he was held in prison – without legal recourse and totally beyond the reach of the law – and tortured as an Islamist terrorist suspect.

After his return to Canada, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

US Case Law Freed

Here’s an announcement that 1.8 million pages of US case law are soon to be available online for free under a CC licence, and will be explicitly marked as public domain. The database will be a

free archive of federal case law, including all Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since 1754.

This via Library Stuff, Open Access News, and BoingBoing . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Universal Human Rights Index

The U.N. has a Universal Human Rights Index of United Nations Documents that lets you search the database by country, the right in question (e.g. “acceptance of international norms” “right to life”) and by the relevant Treaty Body (e.g. Committee on Migrant Workers, Committee on the Rights of the Child). The index is accessible in English, French and Spanish. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Preferential Trade Agreements Database

Professor Armand de Mistral’s project on PTAs has just been published on the internet. The announcement from McGill describes it as follows:

The database is an information center that lists international PTAs, and contains links to their texts, and the official websites of the government department responsible for them. It also contains an interdisciplinary bibliography on PTAs-related issues. The database was built two years ago and since then, we are constantly adding information to it to keep it as current as possible. In fact, we believe that it is the most up-to-date and comprehensive database of its kind.

Some sections . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

The PORTIA Project on Privacy and Technology

I don’t think we’ve mentioned the Yale / Stanford PORTIA Project before on Slaw:

The PORTIA goals are (1) to design and develop a next generation of technology for handling sensitive information that is qualitatively better than the current generation’s and (2) to create an effective conceptual framework for policy making and philosophical inquiry into the rights and responsibilities of data subjects, data owners, and data users.

Much of the material is inaccessible to the average reader because of a high degree of technical material (e.g. On the Implementation of Pairing-Based Cryptosystems or Private Multiparty Sampling and Approximation of Vector . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology

World’s Silliest Laws and Weirdest Cases

The British Broadcasting Corporation has a report about a survey to choose the most bizarre and ridiculous laws still on the books in the UK.

Some 4,000 people took part in the poll by the British television channel UKTV Gold.

Among the silliest laws, according to the vox populi (or is that vox dei?):

  • It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament
  • It could be regarded an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down
  • In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants
  • It is
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Information Freedom: Possible and Good.

Maybe its just me, but the web, as represented in my aggregator, seems to be drawing these threads together tightly this morning. First, we have the news that file sharing is good for the music business, plus the fact that some US universities are starting to rebuff the RIAA‘s requests for data on file-sharers. Anonymity is good for information quality where the information being exchanged is somehow protected or proscribed. But where the information is not controlled, anonymity is less crucial, and increased access makes markets work better. When the information is free (as in speech), . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law