Canada’s online legal magazine.

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : Pour empêcher que le meurtre d’honneur soit réduit à un homicide involontaire coupable, le législateur a choisi de restreindre la notion de «geste provocateur» à celui «qui constituerait un acte criminel prévu à la présente loi passible d’un emprisonnement de cinq ans ou plus»; cette modification apportée . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Let There Be Light – the Primary Function of AI in Legal Research

Imagine a library that tried to save money by relying on candles instead of electricity. Any dollars saved come at the expense of knowledge lost. Without adequate light, the contents of a library are as inaccessible as if the doors were closed.

In the world of legal information, light comes to the “library” through indices, key number systems, topic digests, abridgments, and more. Digitization, electronic access, multi-field search, hyperlinks and boolean logic add more light, but are still merely candles.

Candles are discrete tools designed to provide light only within a limited range of where the candle is placed. Compare . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Technology

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Injured at Work: Tribunal Clarifies the Limits

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor at First Reference Inc.

In a recent “right to sue application,” Decision No. 550/19, the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal considered whether a truck driver who sustained an injury at the workplace a short time after his work assignment ended was entitled to sue the employer. In reaching its conclusion that the right to sue was taken away by legislation, the Tribunal made key findings on the issues of whether the truck driver was a worker or an independent contractor and whether the injury was sustained in the course of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Thursday Thinkpiece: What Makes Court Forms Complex?

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

What Makes Court Forms Complex? Studying Empirical Support for a Functional Literacy Approach
15:1 Journal of Law & Equality 31 (2019)

Amy Salyzyn, Associate Professor, Faculty of Common Law, University of Ottawa
Jacquelyn Burkell, Associate Professor, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University
Emma Costain, Associate Lawyer, Nelligan . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Change, Hard Truths, and Project Management

This is the fourth and final column of a series on the Ten Laws of (Legal) Project Management. This column covers the last four laws, followed by a recap of all ten.

7. The Only Constant Is Change, So Plan on It

In some ways, this law gets to the heart of project management. As General Eisenhower once said, “Plans are useless, but planning is essential.” (Different sources offer slightly different phrasings for this quotation… which I suppose is a type of change, too.)

Another project maxim suggests, “You can have it good, you can have it fast, you . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Book Review: Non-Conventional Copyright–Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection?

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Non-Conventional Copyright: Do New and Atypical Works Deserve Protection? Edited by Enrico Bonadio & Nicola Lucchi. Cheltenham, UK: Edgar Elgar, 2018. xiii, 500 p. Includes bibliographic references and index. ISBN 978-1-78643-406-7 (hardcover) $200.00 plus eBook.

Reviewed by Laura Lemmens, BA BEd MLIS
Information Literacy Librarian, Library and Open Information
Alberta Government . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

The Meritocracy Trap

In “The Meritocracy Trap”, Yale Law Professor Daniel Markovits writes about the history of work and education in modern America. He asserts that Aristocratic dynasties based on land have been overtaken by meritocratic dynasties. The transfer of wealth in meritocratic dynasties has been facilitated through education.

Markovits states that education has become the labour market’s preferred sorting mechanism for class. “Education maps the fault line that separates workers in the newly polarized labour market.”

In the mid-twentieth century many workers were groomed from entry level positions to eventually take on leadership roles. However, nowadays “elite education has displaced continuous workplace . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Enviro Hazmat Emergency Response Inc. v Olson, 2018 ABPC 286

[4] Some motorists prefer to deal with the original manufacturer rather than buy aftermarket replacement parts. Part of the appeal with Ford parts, is that Ford guarantees their products. If an aftermarket product fails, the remedy is with the company who made the product, not Ford. Some of these aftermarket companies . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Open Access Consensus and Copyright Reform

This is the second in a series of blogs on how U.S. copyright law has, with the emergence of open access to research and scholarship in the digital era, slipped into an unconstitutional state because it can no longer be said, in the case of science, “to promote the progress of science and useful arts” (U.S. CONST. art. 1, § 8, cl.8.). Rather, the law is called upon to constrain such progress. These shortcomings apply no less trenchantly to Canada’s Copyright Act, as well as to copyright laws in most other jurisdictions. It is the U.S. Constitution’s particularly pointed wording . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Oaths, Affirmations and Eagle Feathers

The front page story in The Globe and Mail a day or two ago about the option of using eagle feathers in swearing oaths or making affirmation in courts in Alberta, where they have been available for some time now, got me thinking about the process of swearing or affirming before testifying in court more generally.

The rules around swearing oaths and affirming seem simple: the purpose is to bring home to the witness the importance of telling the truth. For some people, it is necessary to do that by swearing on a religious book, for others, who have no . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Supporting Community Justice Help and Advancing Access to Justice

The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) has collaborated with Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) on a number of initiatives to help develop awareness and implement programs that reflect community-specific needs. Julie Mathews, the recipient of the Law Foundation of Ontario’s fellowship grant, will be presenting her research during Ontario’s Access to Justice Week with Professor David Wiseman at the uOttawa Faculty of Law who is supporting this research. Offering us a sneak peek, Julie shares her thoughts and findings on the community justice help below.

The importance of drawing a clear line between giving legal information and legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues