Canada’s online legal magazine.

Law, Policy and Ethics of COVID-19

The COVID-19 has been a boon for novel and unique issues in law.

While there have been widely reported concerns about women academics being less productive during the pandemic than men, likely due to unequal divisions of labour at home such as childcare, the intersecting impacts of gender, race and parenthood on academic productivity illustrate a broader and more complex factors, but ones that could have long-term career implications.

The necessity to rapidly share scientific information during a pandemic has also accelerated a shift towards more open-access publications. Removing paywalls facilitates a better flow of information and knowledge transfer, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

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.

DROITS ET LIBERTÉS : Une petite entreprise familiale d’édition n’a pas établi que sa décision de mettre fin au processus d’embauche d’une responsable des ventes de titres à l’étranger était justifiée du fait que les mesures d’accommodement envisagées en lien avec sa grossesse constituaient une contrainte excessive.

Intitulé : St-Pierre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

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

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

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

The Moral Rights of Researchers as Authors

I am working this year on developing a copyright amendment that is intended to do a much better job of supporting open access to research than the current law. This work is catching something of the tailwind filling the sails of open science, brought on by tragic, disruptive turns of the global pandemic. The rising tide of open preprints, data, and article access is accelerating the pursuit of vaccines and cures, and some believe science will never be the same. Yet science operates within an intellectual property regime that makes few distinctions over its particular economy. Thus the need to . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Reasonableness Prevails in Ruling on Due Diligence

By Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In R v Kal Tire, 2020 ABCA 200 (CanLII), the Alberta Court of Appeal clarified the law on an employer’s defence of due diligence when charged with an occupational health and safety violation. The matter came before the court when Kal Tire appealed its conviction under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (“the OHSA”) for failing to ensure that a truck was rendered sufficiently inoperative while it was being serviced by one of its employees. . . . [more]

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

Thursday Thinkpiece: By the Court–Anonymous Judgments at the Supreme Court of Canada

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.

By the Court: Anonymous Judgments at the Supreme Court of Canada

Authors: Peter McCormick and Marc D. Zanoni

ISBN: 9780774861724
Publisher: UBC Press
Page Count: 268
Publication Date: March 1, 2020

Regular Price: $32.95 (paperback)

Excerpt: From the Preface

This book represents an unusual co-authoring partnership, between a senior (and now emeritus) . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Community-Based Access to Justice: Impact and Opportunity

The COVID-19 pandemic has had wide-ranging and profound impacts on our society. The crisis has led to a surge in legal problems related to tenant rights, employment issues, domestic violence and other areas. Most would agree that, pandemic or not, access to justice is still a goal that is far beyond our grasp. Making real headway is complicated and no easy solutions exist, but in this moment there is opportunity for meaningful change. Can we seize it?

This week CLEO released a new report, Community Justice Help: Advancing Community-Based Access to Justice. It is the product of a fellowship . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Connecting Public and Private Legal Information Part II: Linking Your Legal Citations to CanLII Material

A month ago, I introduced Lexum’s first step in providing Knowledge Management as a Service (KMaaS) via Lexbox. This development has made it possible for Lexbox users to start searching their own documents alongside the public legal information made available on the CanLII website. This post covers the upcoming release of the second feature tied to that approach. In a few weeks Lexum will integrate its citator to Lexbox, automating the linking of legal citations included in the body of documents submitted by users to the corresponding cases and legislation on CanLII.

The idea of enabling users to auto-link their . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Publishing

The Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of Its Passing

In the “Vanishing Trial: The Era of Courtroom Performers and the Perils of its Passing”, trial lawyer Robert Katzberg reminds readers of the importance of the jury trial, why it is in danger of vanishing, and what makes a good trial lawyer. His arguments are grounded in stories from his experience of being a trial lawyer for over 40 years.

Katzberg began his career clerking, moving on to become a public prosecutor, then entering private practice. Where he has been till this day, specializing in white collar crime.

In the book, Katzberg describes the transition to the defense . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews, Technology

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. Nanda v. McEwan, 2020 ONCA 431 (CanLII)

[41] In my view, expressions concerning racism, sexism, corruption, abuse of union funds, and misconduct by a candidate for President of the Toronto Local of a Canadian public sector union relate to a matter of public interest. In the words of McLachlin C.J.C. in Torstar, at para. 102, “[i]t is enough that some . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

What We Already Knew About Shameful COVID-19 Hotspots

Without exhausting the list of populations where the coronavirus has found an enthusiastic home in Canada, there are two that have led to much tutting and promises to reform: the elderly living in long-term care homes (where sometimes younger people with certain challenges also live) and migrant workers employed on farms. But we already knew the conditions in these settings left much to be be desired. Nevertheless, in both cases, the rules and laws governing regulatory oversight have told us what happens when those responsible lose sight of the human reality and when those responsible for implementing the law fail . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on practice, research, writing and technology.


Post-Pandemic Planning Tip
Sandra Bekhor

It’s hard to believe that the COVID-19 lockdown began only three months ago. It feels like forever! And yet, many are predicting that we are just getting started. My tip? Use this time for business planning. Don’t just dust off any old run-of-the-mill template, mind you. Take an honest and deeply introspective look at your future. …

Research & Writing

Six Horrors
Neil . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday