Canada’s online legal magazine.

Juliet O’Neill Triumphs in Challenge to Security of Information Act

Today, an extremely important media freedom case. Reporter Juliet O’Neill of the Ottawa Citizen has won her case against the RCMP in connection with its investigation into leaks involving the Arar case. In the process, Justice Lynn Ratushny also struck down the Security of Information Act that was used to justify RCMP raids on a journalist they suspected of having received leaked material in the Maher Arar affair.
Judge Ratushny said the police used “the spectre” of criminal charges to try to uncover her confidential sources and cast a chill over the entire media. In doing so, it effectively . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Judicial Orders

For the second time in the past two months, a NS Judge has ordered a Cabinet Minister and/or Department to deal with individuals in the courts.

Yesterday, Judge Pam Williams ordered the NS Community Services Minister to appear in court as the legal guardian of a troubled teen who in the care of the Department of Community Services. Story here and here.

Last month, Judge Bill MacDonald ordered a 70 year old woman accussed of arson into the care of the Department of Health. Story here.

I’m not sure if Judges in Nova Scotia are intentionally trying to make . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Saluting Gerald Fridman

Our library has the new edition of Fridman on Contracts, this up to date as of the Summer Solstice 2006.

A new edition of a standard contracts text is an achievement. For a 78 year-old, it’s remarkable.

In the course of a long and distinguished academic career, Fridman has published 18 books, including among them the standard works on the common law Canadian law of obligations, as well as his works on Agency and Sale of Goods.

May he keep writing as long as Austin Scott, who was still working on his treatise on the Law of Trusts well . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Library Users Singled Out for Slovenliness

It’s not often that one sees reviews of patrons’ behaviour, so a comparative assessment of the U of A’s libraries as working spaces contained some shockers. Here is what the correspondent encountered at the John A Weir Memorial Law Library

Autumn drops beautiful colours around Edmonton, and campus is one place to enjoy the changing leaves. I wanted to enjoy these rich colours on a warm Thursday (7:30pm), so I took the scenic route to the Law Library. Once inside, I headed up to the 3rd floor, and sat down at a table. It was very quiet, although a woman

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

One Day in History Blog

Britons were urged to make history on October 17th by contributing to a mass blog for the national record. Part of the national History Matters – Pass It On campaign and inspired by the Mass-Observation Archive, Britons were encouraged to write about how history itself impacted their day (for example, passing by a historic landmark, discussing family history, watching repeats of a TV show). To get a picture of life in the UK on October 17th, the blog is open to anyone who would like to contribute, including UK citizens or people with ties to the UK currently living . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Anniversary of the Famous Five “Persons Case”

On October 18, 1929, the Judicial Committee of England’s Privy Council, which was the highest court of appeal for Canada at the time, ruled unanimously that the meaning of the word “persons” in Section 24 of the British North America Act of 1867 included women.

The Status of Women Canada website has a history of the Famous 5 case:

“In 1927 Emily Murphy and four other prominent Canadian women – Nellie McClung, Irene Parlby, Louise McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards – asked the Supreme Court of Canada to answer the question, ‘Does the word person in Section 24 of the

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

British Report on Copyright and the Humanities

A month ago the British Academy, a counterpart to science’s Royal Academy, published a report on Copyright and Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences. After a serious and detailed investigation, the researchers present 10 recommendations, précised here:

  1. Copyright policy and authors themselves must recognise that the interests of academic authors do not always coincide with those of the publishers who undertake to exploit their works.
  2. Copyright must therefore provide reasonably broad and practically effective exemptions for research and private study and for criticism or review.
  3. The exception for research and private study under the 1988 Copyright
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Current Awareness Services for Canadian Lawyers

To SLAW [cross-posted to TALL-L and CALL-L]:

I would like to compile a fairly complete list of both “fee” and “free” current awareness services available for Canadian lawyers. I realize efforts to compile such lists have been done in the past (see below for partial acknowledgements), but I thought I would update such efforts and seek feedback from colleagues on new services. In addition, although I have been off most law-related listservs for awhile, I made some effort to search the listservs for recent posts on current awareness but fear I may have missed some of the content so would . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Third Pacific Legal Technology Conference

Well I was feeling guilty that I hadn’t blogged from sunny Vancouver last week, and then I encountered some great posts from Emma Wood covering a couple of my sessions on research and presentations for settlement. Together with Dan Pinnington of Practice Pro fame
and Catherine Sanders ReachWho co-wrote the great study on the feasibility of the digital library for private law firms.
.

Mind you it’s sobering to have your casual thoughts blogged back at you. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

I Still Don’t Like Suites

I used to get frustrated that I was forced to use MS Excel because I bought the Microsoft Office Suite. I always liked Quattro Pro, and really wanted to mix-n-match my application software… As you can guess, that approach didn’t work out too well for me. There were simply too many features that could be had when they put those products together, and that ‘combined synergy’ was vastly superior to my personal selection plan approach.

Now we’re seeing the same thing happen with the soon to be released web-tool suites — the Google Docs of the world. And I find . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous