Canada’s online legal magazine.

The Perfect Ministry of Justice

I have just come back from the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly, when heads of state and government flanked by ministers flock in Manhattan for meetings, summits, informals, lunches and dinners. At this year’s UNGA week the leaders took stock of the first 5 years of progress regarding the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What we saw most in the media was the stock taking of climate. What also took place was stock taking on SDG16, the justice Goal.

We are not doing well. A staggering 5,1 billion people lack access to meaningful justice, according to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Book Review: The Fundamentals of Statutory Interpretation

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.

The Fundamentals of Statutory Interpretation. By Cameron Hutchison (with Contributors Eric M. Adams & Matthew Lewans). Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2018. xxii, 152 p. Includes index. ISBN 978-0-433-49492-8 (softcover) $95.00.

Reviewed by Erica Anderson
Manager, Digital and Web Content
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
In CLLR 44:3

Law librarians are experts at . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Celebrating 30 Years of Environmental Legal Aid in BC

When concerned individuals, community groups and First Nations are seeking justice on behalf of the environment, they need someone to turn to. That’s where programs like West Coast Environmental Law’s Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund (EDRF) come in – ensuring that people in BC have access to affordable legal services to address environmental issues in the public interest.

The EDRF program, which is funded by The Law Foundation of British Columbia, is unique in British Columbia and one of the very few of its kind in Canada. This year, as the EDRF celebrates its 30th anniversary, we’re reflecting on our . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

The “Twitter Town Hall” Comes Back to BC on Monday October 28

For several years now, the Provincial Court of BC has engaged in regular annual Twitter Town Halls as a form of digital outreach—an effort to bring more transparency about the judicial process through direct engagement between members of the Bench and the public.

The first one, carried out in 2016, garnered international attention from the Conference of . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Justice Issues, Technology: Internet

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. Semeniuk v Ron’s Bobcat Service, 2016 ABPC 231

[10] The term “burden of proof” is used to describe two distinct concepts: in its first sense, the term refers to the obligation imposed on a party to prove or disprove a fact or issue and in the second sense, it refers to a party’s obligation to adduce or point to evidence on . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Making Mischief With Open-Source Legal Tech: Radiant Law

Alex Hamilton is smiling on his couch in London, chatting with me over Skype. It’s early here in Alberta, late afternoon there. He takes a draw from what looks like a vape pen and grins widely, his eyes raised toward the ceiling. He looks back at the camera on his laptop.

“I think we can make some mischief,” he says with a twinkle in his eyes.

Hamilton is the CEO of Radiant Law, a “NewLaw” firm with offices in London, England and Cape Town, South Africa. In Canada, they have a partnership to Conduit Law called ConRad. Radiant

. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology

Why Publish With CanLII?

Publishing can sometimes feel like a daunting prospect. Today, we have the ability to make information available to the world easier than ever before, bringing the process of publishing closer to it’s authors. At CanLII, we want to make sure our process is visible, approachable, and maintains a high standard, so that authors can be excited to use our platform, participate in our programs, and feel proud to share their work.

We’re ready

Over the past year, CanLII has gone through some changes. Internally, our team has grown, with a focus on publishing and increasing awareness of our collection and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

CFCJ Releases Report on “Investing in Justice”

Investing in Justice – A Literature Review in Support of the Case for Improved Access, recently released by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, summarizes the “existing research and data on return on investment for justice services provided by civil society organizations, governments and private sector groups to communities and diverse populations worldwide”. (Disclosure: I sit on the Board of Directors of the CFCJ.) . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Reading: Recommended

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.

Research & Writing

O or Oh?
Neil Guthrie

On a recent Canada Day, someone on LinkedIn referred to O’Canada, which is clearly wrong. (O’ is confined to Irish surnames, where it is the anglicised version of the Gaelic Ó or Ua, meaning ‘descendant of’; M(a)c [or M’], as for the Scots, means ‘son of’). … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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. Family Health Law Blog 2. The Lean Law Firm 3. Alcohol & Advocacy 4. Global Workplace Insider 5. The Treasurer’s Blog

Family Health Law Blog
Can you doctor record your appointment on video? Not without consent!

When we seek health care we expect our provider to take

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

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) : Une personne accusée avant le 19 septembre 2019 d’un acte criminel passible d’un emprisonnement de moins de 14 ans et qui n’avait pas choisi son mode de procès n’a pas le droit de demander la tenue d’une enquête préliminaire en raison de l’effet rétroactif des modifications législatives . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

The Federal Election and Stakeholder Culture

Elections remind us that in a democracy, voters are “stakeholders” who can evaluate the potential of government platforms.

We might not share or even understand other people’s use of their vote in an election, but we all appreciate that it is a legitimate right and a critical part of being Canadian. The right to vote is a value that supersedes how any one individual might use their vote, as non-partisan voter registration organizations have recognized.

We are committed to the idea that we are all stakeholders in governance, whether we might disagree about how an individual vote is used, or . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues