Canada’s online legal magazine.

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Welcome to the Food Court 2. Éloïse Gratton 3. Labour Pains 4. David Whelan 5. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada

Welcome to the Food Court
S2E4 – Gerald Chan on Food Crime

We’ve got Gerald Chan from Stockwoods LLP this episode and we’re talking about . . . [more]

Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Systemic Racism as a Basis for Excluding Evidence

Introduction

The existence of racism in our legal system is no surprise.

David Tanovich has written extensively how the Charter has still largely been ineffective in addressing racism in the criminal justice system. Faisal Mirza has explained how mandatory minimum sentences disproportionate affect black Canadians, and he wrote this in 2001, before the additional sentences added in 2009.

We can go even further back to 1993, and the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System, which described a widespread and prevalent prejudice against blacks as follows:

First what we are dealing with at root, and

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

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) : Reconnu coupable sous trois chefs de trafic d’influence, de fabrication de faux et de recyclage des produits de la criminalité à la suite de son implication dans le scandale des commandites, Jacques Corriveau est condamné à quatre ans de pénitencier et à une amende compensatoire de 1  . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

#Research4Refugees: A Cross-Canada Law Student Effort

An inspiring event began late last week and rose to a crescendo on Saturday: the law student-driven Research-a-thon for Refugees. The 12-hour distributed pro bono legal research marathon was kickstarted in a whirlwind of spark of initiative, quick communication, outreach, collaborative effort, and perhaps a bit of collective consciousness.

Volunteer law students receiving an immigration and refugee law overview from UVic Professor Donald Galloway

The goal of #Research4Refugees was to produce a collaboratively researched document for a Canadian NGO, focusing on interpretation and application of the US-Canada safe third country agreement for arriving refugees, on a project managed by . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Lawyers & Limelight

The chaos south of the border has pushed many immigration & refugee issues into the limelight. Over the past few weeks, I’ve spoken to reporters from CBC, Law Times, Winnipeg Free Press, the Canadian Press and Metro News. They have asked for quotes on various topics, radio interviews and even one request for a TV interview at a time I was unavailable. For this post, I will not get into all the substantive issues of Trump’s Executive Orders and how they may impact Canada. Instead, I want to review my recent experiences with the Canadian media . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Marketing

Publicly Funded Consumer ODR Is Now a Reality in Quebec

Ever since we started this regular column back in 2012, we’ve been defending a basic thesis: for consumer online dispute resolution (ODR) to succeed, it needs to be publicly funded and retailers need to be given a clear incentive to take part. This is the thesis we aimed to test when, on October 7th of 2016, the Cyberjustice Laboratory (the “Lab”), in collaboration with Quebec’ consumer protection agency (the Office de la protection du consommateur or “OPC”), and the ministère de la Justice du Québec, decided to launched a pilot project around the Lab’s Platform to Assist in . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Data From Pacemaker Used in Prosecution

A man in Ohio was charged with arson and insurance fraud after data from his pacemaker did not support his story about how his house burned down.

The evidence from the pacemaker was taken on a warrant.

A lawyer from the Electronic Frontier Foundation is quoted in the ABA story at the link as saying that privacy interests in one’s health information were “eroded” by the decision. The statement suggests that privacy should override the state’s interest in prosecution.

Do you agree? Or is the need for a warrant enough protection for privacy relating to medical devices, as it is . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Despite Settlement Breach, an Award of Compensation Not Warranted

Written by Cristina Lavecchia, paralegal, editor at First Reference

An Applicant recently went before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (Tribunal), alleging that the Respondent failed to pay settlement monies owed to him per the schedule agreed to in Minutes of Settlement. The Applicant sought full payment of the general damages amount agreed to in the settlement and a further $1,000 for the harm caused by the breach. Although the Tribunal found there to be a contravention of settlement, it deemed that the delay in receiving the monies was relatively minor, and therefore an award of compensation was not warranted. . . . [more]

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

AI Takes Over Google Translate

You may have missed, during the holidays, the news that Google has replaced the technology underlying its Google Translate tool, going from a “phrase-based” system to neural networks (i.e., AI).

The improved technology was announced in September, but it has only recently been made available in the publicly available Google Translate (and only for the most common language pairings).

Translation of legal information is an important issue in Canada. First, language barriers faced by different groups (Indigenous people, Francophone minorities outside Québec, Anglophones in Québec and immigrants) are a significant component of the access to justice problems.

But . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Thursday Thinkpiece: Evernote as a Law Practice Tool

Each Thursday 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.

Evernote as a Law Practice Tool

© 2017 American Bar Association. All rights reserved. Slaw readers can receive a 10% discount on purchase of this book. Use the discount code ENOH1 at checkout; this offer is valid from 2/9 – 5/9.

Heidi S. Alexander, Esq. (@heidialexander) is the Director of . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

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. Groia v. The Law Society of Upper Canada, 2016 ONCA 471

[101] But it is a far different thing to argue, as Mr. Groia does, that a trial judge’s authority to supervise and control the progress of the trial and the conduct of its participants constrains the Law Society’s exercise of its statutory jurisdiction to regulate a lawyer’s in-court conduct in . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Chevron’s Fair Share of Responsibility for Climate Change and Why It Matters

Wildfires. Drought. Flooding. Rising sea levels. Climate change is already reshaping and impacting BC communities in profound and frightening ways. As unchecked fossil fuel pollution continues to push global temperatures ever higher, we are frightened for our communities, for communities around the world, and for the world we leave our children. – Letter to BC local governments from community groups, 25 January 2017

On January 25, 2017, we, along with dozens of organizations from across British Columbia, sent a letter to each and every local government in the province – asking the Mayors and Councils to take action to demand . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues