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. NSRLP 2. Double Aspect 3. Canadian Legal History Blog 4. Robeside Assistancet 5. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada

Questioning the Role of the Canadian Judicial Council: Is Access to Justice Being Served?

On May 21st a Federal Court justice delivered a decision in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

The Story Behind RDS

With widespread discussion around law enforcement and their interaction with young Black men, some people have tried to claim that these problems are not prevalent in Canada.

We know this to not be true on many grounds, but one of the early post-Charter cases was in 1997 with R. v. RDS, where the presiding judge took judicial notice of racial profiling that occurred in Halifax.

The Supreme Court of Canada rejected the calls of judicial bias, and upheld the trial decision. Worth noting is that the trial judge taking judicial notice of profiling was herself from the Afro-Nova Scotian . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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): L’accusé, déclaré coupable du meurtre au second degré de sa conjointe, devra purger 11 ans 1/2 d’emprisonnement avant de pouvoir bénéficier d’une libération conditionnelle, compte tenu de la dénonciation et de la dissuasion requises en raison du contexte conjugal, mais aussi de la déficience intellectuelle de l’accusé, laquelle . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

CALL/ACBD 2020 Virtual Conference Series

I am delighted to report that it is not too late to participate in the Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2020 Virtual Conference Series. This educational conference is being supported by legal information partner sponsors and there is no cost to attend. Register by following the links at

We have some exciting sessions for our final week of learning:

My CALL-eagues and I hope that you are not suffering from Zoomsaustion and can join in.

Thank you to all our sponsors for this virtual conference series: LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, CiteRight, Elsevier, Emond Publishing, HeinOnline, LLMC Digital, Lucidea, and vLex . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Legal Information

Developing a Model Parenting Assessment Order in British Columbia

Parenting assessments, known as custody and access reports, custody evaluations or bilateral assessments elsewhere, are commonly used in family law disputes in British Columbia whenever there is a significant difference of opinion about the parenting arrangements best suited for a child. However, in the absence of standards guiding the professionals who prepare these assessments, whether psychologists, clinical counsellors or social workers, the methodologies used to assess and describe the circumstances of the children and the capacities of their parents are as varied and unpredictable as the reports themselves. Thankfully, the number of execrable reports is dwarfed by the number of . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

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):

  • Managing Director (Full-time) | Toronto, ON
    (Legal Information and Resource Network (LIRN)
. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

Security of Sex Workers Paramount in Court Decision

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

The recent criminal case of R. v. Anwar, 2020 ONCJ 103 (CanLII) involved a constitutional challenge to various provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with prostitution. The challenge contained a distinct workplace safety consideration: it alleged that the interplay between the challenged sections created a legal regime which was intended to prevent sex workers from lawfully using third parties to protect them and to prevent them from associating with others for their mutual protection-aspects which are natural, expected and encouraged in all other sectors of the economy. Before eventually declaring . . . [more]

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

How to Think Better About Technology Risk in Four Simple Steps

1. Is it real?
2. What does it cost if it happens?
3. How does it compare to the status quo?
4. Are there other risks that are important, too?

Whether we have overcome our storied risk aversion, or we have merely been given a more important risk to avoid, the legal profession in Canada is now struggling to adopt technology at a very fast pace.

And as might be expected, success is not evenly distributed. The difference between the people who take this opportunity for change and those who miss it will be how they think about risk.

Here’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Revisiting R v. S. (R.D.), 1997: A Case About a Black Judge on “Trial” for Acquitting a Black Boy

“It wasn’t that long ago in Canada when our justice system put a Black judge on trial for acquitting a Black boy of allegedly running his bike into an officer’s leg – her offence? Speaking truth to power by stating that sometimes police over-react when dealing with Black youth.” – Professor David Tanovich @dtanovich 

In R v S. (R.D.), 1997 CanLII 324 (SCC), R.D.S. was a young person accused of assaulting a police officer. At trial, the testimonies of the police officer and the accused differed in material ways. The trial judge acquitted R.D.S. after trial. The case . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Reporting Sexual Harassment: A New Professional Duty for Lawyers?

Sexual harassment in the legal profession is a serious problem. Anecdotal accounts abound, and empirical data reveals sexual harassment among lawyers to be a significant issue.[1] While the experiences of those subjected to sexual harassment are diverse, there is no doubt that, collectively, the impact on the wellbeing and careers of victims is profound.[2]

Professional conduct rules explicitly prohibiting sexual harassment have been in place for roughly 30 years. The enforcement of these rules has led, in some instances, to lawyer discipline, but has not, obviously, stopped sexual harassment in the legal profession. So, what more should law . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

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. United States v Meng, 2020 BCSC 785

[82] Ms. Meng’s approach to the double criminality analysis would seriously limit Canada’s ability to fulfill its international obligations in the extradition context for fraud and other economic crimes. The offence of fraud has a vast potential scope. It may encompass a very wide range of conduct, a large expanse of time, and acts, . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

The Constitutionality of Interprovincial Boundary Closures (Part III)

This is the third and final post in a series considering the constitutionality of intraprovincial/territorial border closures. In Part I, I set out the background to the closures, with a summary of which provinces had closed their borders to travellers from other provinces/territories and those implementing other non-closure procedures. In Part II, I considered the constitutionality of the closure provisions (including the federal closure of Canadian borders) under sections 6 and 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In this final post, I look at the enforcement provisions relating both to the closure of borders . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law