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Complaint Against McLachlin Dismissed

Readers may remember that in August the Canadian Judicial Council received a letter complaining of Chief Justice McLachlin’s conduct in having chaired the Advisory Council that recommended an Order of Canada for Dr. Henry Morgentaler. The Council received the complaint and set up a review chaired by Manitoba Chief Justice Richard Scott and monitored by Thomas G. Heintzman of McCarthy Tétrault.

The results of the review, dismissing the complaint, have now been made public [PDF].

The original letter of complaint is available [PDF] here. And there is a nice deconstruction of it on The Court.

The dismissal, in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

The Friday Fillip

Losing face, saving face, facing up to the music, it’s a facer, the face that launched a thousand ships — yes, even Facebook: all about what’s up top and up front. It’s what we present to the world and how that world knows us. There even seems to be a hard-wired ability in the human brain to recognize faces, damage to which produces the unhappy condition of prosopagnosia (the most famous instance of which is found in Oliver Sacks’ book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for A Hat“). In case you doubt that this is a special-purpose . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

LCO Joins Slaw: Getting to Know Us

Since this is my first post, I should introduce myself: Patricia Hughes, Executive Director of the Law Commission of Ontario. Simon Fodden invited me to become a Slaw blogger after I talked to him about my writing a blog on the LCO website. I thought it would be a better idea to bring my neophyte blogging skills to Slaw than to the LCO. Slaw has credibility that I can’t ruin, while at the LCO, we are still building credibility! So, to start, a bit about us …. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

New Electronic Resource Review Blog From Nina Platt

Nina Platt is a U.S.-based consultant who, like me and Steve Matthews, has a law librarian/knowledge management background and started a consultancy last year in the form of Nina Platt Consulting Inc. Congratulations to Nina who has just added a third blog to her fold, the Electronic Resource Review. So far it covers research and knowledge management electronic products. I thought the September 19th write-up of KM products from West, Lexis Nexis, and Interwoven to be of particular interest.

Here is the list of Nina Platt Consulting blogs:

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Technology

Android Powered Phones

I moved last weekend! My husband and I have spent the last couple of years (and the next 20?) developing a farm. In the technology portion of our development plan, we decided not to put hard wired telephone lines on our property to avoid the large Individual Line Surcharges that the CRTC allows and we paid the last time we developed a property.

Moving to the VoIP world has been interesting. Our digital cordless handsets don’t work and we have had to revert to a single analog handset until I can find a cordless analog phone. I have yet to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Amnesty International Presents Its Federal Election Wishlist

As its contribution to the federal election debate, the Canadian section of the international human rights organization Amnesty International today released a new report entitled Strengthening our Commitment: A Human Rights Agenda for Canada.

The group says it wants to draw the attention of candidates to crucial national and international human rights challenges that it claims Canada has not been doing enough to meet. The report outlines 10 areas in which it says Canada has been falling behind:

  • Human rights and national security laws
  • Human rights in Canadian foreign policy
  • Canada on the world stage
  • The rights of Indigenous
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Ontario Divisional Court Judgments

A note from Maritime Law Book points out that cases from the Ontario Divisional Court from 1984 to the present are available free on MLB’s Ontario Appeal Cases database and that CanLII offers Div. Ct. (Ont.) cases from 2002 to the present only. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Gurry’s Speech to WIPO

Francis Gurry, formerly a Senior Lecturer in Law in the University of Melbourne, was appointed Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in the spring and will take office on October 1. Yesterday he gave an acceptance speech to the the General Assembly of WIPO in which he outlined some of the challenges facing the UN organization and its member states. From the press release:

“The functional consequence of this trend [to harness the economic value of innovation through the acquisition of property rights] is that the system is becoming a victim of its own success” with patent

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Today Is World Day Against Software Patents

Slashdot reports that today has been declared World Day Against Software Patents by the European based Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure

They believe that software patents impede innovation and investment.

So depending on what side of this debate one falls on, feel free to either celebrate and promote it, or cringe and rail against it.

My thoughts? First, my bias – I’m not a patent agent, although I do deal with a lot of IP and IT issues, and advise companies that create and sell software or SAAS products. I have mixed feelings about it – but can’t help . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

S20,000 for Insolvency Research

The Canadian Insolvency Foundation invites applications for the fourth annual Lloyd Houlden Research Fellowship. The $20,000 Houlden Fellowship will be awarded for a paper that addresses current issues in Canadian insolvency policy and practice. Papers should be 7,000 to 10,000 words in length and should be written for an audience consisting of those involved in insolvency practice, insolvency law or in the development and analysis of insolvency policy.

The author should propose an original analysis of innovative ways to improve the insolvency system, a historical analysis of particular features of the system or an exploration of any other insolvency-related idea. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law

Federated Searching, the ‘Deep Web’, and Novice Preferences

I got a look at InfoVell today, and it is an interesting service. It provides single-point access to a selection of free US sources of health science, patent and other specialist information, AKA part of the ‘deep web’. Slawyers might use it for researching Health Law. The fact that a person can search there once for information that might take a number of searches otherwise is what is known in library circles as ‘federated searching.’ It embeds detailed knowledge of sources and search methods (what librarians know) into an easy to use format. Of course, it also hides from the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Jureeka in Canada

It seems we have not posted Jureeka to Slaw yet. It is a service that provides linkages between legal information searchers and providers. As part of the effort, it offers a Firefox extension that detects legal citations on the web and displays them as links. The extension is now is functional for citations to Canadian resources, including

  • The Constitution Acts (1867 and 1982)
  • Supreme Court cases from 1876 to the present (S.C.R. and SCC citations)
  • Federal Court cases from 1988 to the present (F.C. citations)
  • Consolidated Statutes of Canada
  • Consolidated Regulations of Canada

The fact that such extensions mess . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information