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Lawful Access Rears Its Head Again

Yesterday, the Justice and Public Safety ministers unveiled the latest generation of proposed “lawful access” legislation. Variations had been introduced in the past by previous Liberal governments, only to die on the order paper.

The texts of Bills C-46 and C-47 are now online at the Parliament website for your reading pleasure (and here are the summaries included in the bills when tabled in Parliament): . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

An Ongoing Experiment in Collaboration…

You know you make me wanna (Shout!)
Kick my heels up and (Shout!)
Throw my hands up and (Shout!)
Throw my head back and (Shout!)
Come on now (Shout!)
Don’t forget to say you will.. ♫

Lyrics and music by: O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Rudolph Isley, recorded by The Isley Brothers.

The Pacific Legal Technology Conference is scheduled for Friday Oct. 2, 2009 at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre. This conference is unique in that attendees – past and present – have the opportunity to select the sessions they most wish to see presented at the . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Print Based Legislation Research

It is Day 1 of the Edmonton Law Libraries Association Head Start Program and I am writing this post as I assist with timekeeping and travel for the students hands on legislative research sessions in the Alberta Law Society Library in Edmonton.

Every year we bring the attendee articling students into the library and work through hands on research sessions with them using print resources. This year, like those in the past, we “old” librarian types tell war stories about how crappy it was to update regulations before the Internet existed, and especially before the new electronic official copies that . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Google Books Improves

Google Books has released a number of improvements designed to make reading and sharing their material easier. The Books blog, Inside Google Book Search lists seven changes:

  1. embedding and links – From the new toolbar on a Books page you can copy a link to the source or the html necessary to produce an iframe in your blog or web page that will embed the source.
  2. improved search – There’s now more context around your search terms, and you can rank your search results by relevance as well as page order.
  3. thumbnail view – More useful, perhaps, where images are
. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading, Technology: Internet

Slaw RSS Feed Problem Fixed

Turns out the fault was not in our stars but in ourselves: we’d been hacked. We have now removed the offending code and believe that our feeds, whether direct from Slaw or via Feedburner, should be free of pollution. Please let us know if we are mistaken in any respect.

It is likely that within the next few days Slaw will upgrade the version of WordPress it uses to the latest version, as part of our efforts to frustrate hackers. Readers should not notice any change, but the site may be down for an hour or so. We will post . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

The Latest Word on Invasion of Privacy as a Tort in Canada: Macdonnell v. Halifax Herald Ltd.

Following an “emergency hearing held by telephone on [a] Friday night”, the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently refused to grant an injunction restraining the Halifax Herald from publishing a story using a five hour digital recording of a conversation between Minister Raitt and her former press secretary, Jasmine MacDonnell. This ruling is the latest to comment on the state of the potential common law tort for invasion of privacy in Canada.

Ms. MacDonnell, not Minister Raitt, commenced an action against the Herald and its reporter, Mr. Mahar. The common law tort of invasion of privacy was included in the . . . [more]

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

Identity Crisis?

There’s a great post on the Law Librarian Blog this morning, entitled Who are we anyway? In it, the author muses on the role of librarians in bridging the gap between users and technology, and challenges us to think about whether we’ve reached the point where librarians MUST be tech-competent and strategic users of technology in order to properly function in the profession.

I would have thought we passed this point some years ago. From helping students figure out the photocopier to participating in the design of portals and document repositories, librarians have had a key role in making . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

WestPac 2009

Here’s some information on the upcoming Westpac 2009 Conference, to be held this October 8-10 in Victoria. The Program is shaping up pretty well, with confirmed presentations from Professors John Davis and Ted McDorman, a tour of the Legislative Library, and a very interesting excursion to visit and learn about the Cowichan Tribes. We also plan a tour of the newly renovated Diana M. Priestly Law Library. I have to say, the conference hotel, designed by Aurthur Erickson, should be a pleasure. especially if you can afford to a studio (at conference rates, they will be considerably more . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Slaw Feed Has Problems

It would appear that the RSS feed for Slaw has been hacked and an advertising link inserted at the top of both the post and comment feeds. Slaw does not run advertising. Moreover, the intrusion has interfered with the readability of the feed for some.

We’re working on solving the problem and apologize to our readers for the annoyance.

UPDATE: The problem would appear to be with Feedburner, which handles our feeds. However you can subscribe to our feed directly from Slaw, and this seems to be working without problems. The direct feed URL is The direct RSS . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Westlaw Canada Improvements

I think the new name of Westlaw Canada will be easier for a lot of users (particularly American users) compared to the old name of WestlaweCARSWELL.

The new logo is here:

The change in name is also accompanied by some improved content. I like the fact that they have “chunked together” individual paragraphs from the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED) into a series of paragraphs in a single view (this avoids having to click on “next” or “previous” as much). Their commitment to update all of the CED titles in the next year or so is also very welcome (and overdue). . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Fraudsters Now Using Counterfeit Bank Drafts and ID of Major Banks on Mortgage Deals

This afternoon LAWPRO sent an e-blast warning Ontario lawyers to be on the lookout for the latest fraud scheme targeting them. For the first time LAWPRO is seeing a counterfeit bank draft fraud scheme that targets real estate lawyers on mortgage deals. Furthermore, the new scenario may include the supposed fraudster using the identity of a major national financial institution as the actual lender in the transaction.

This new type of fraud works as follows: A new and previously unknown client or lender contact allegedly from a major bank will ask a lawyer to act on mortgage matter. The source . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management

Lakehead U May Use Google Email System

Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, switched from an internal email system to Google Mail. The Faculty Association objected on the grounds that this breached terms in the collective agreement giving faculty the right to privacy in their personal and professional communications. ((Article 16.01.03 of the Collective Agreement provides: The Board agrees that members have the right to privacy in their personal and professional communications and files, whether on paper or in electronic form. )) The argument was that because Google and the relevant servers are based in the United States, authorities from that country would have legitimate and other . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Substantive Law, Technology