Canada’s online legal magazine.

A New Vote on Abortion?

Between the government’s withdrawal of funding for NGOs that provide maternal health programs overseas, and a proclaimed emphasis on maternal health at the upcoming G8, some in Canada are wondering if we’re heading to a new vote on abortion.

Liberal MP Paul Szabo of Mississauga South said,

Is (a vote) inevitable? I would say yes.

If such a vote was held today, what would the outcome be? . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

New Format, New Columns

Welcome to the newly refurbished Slaw. We’ve freshened up the design — after three years. We’ve added some new functionality, particularly when it comes to choosing how you subscribe to Slaw. Just take a look at the column to your right to learn about all of this.

And we’ve added a new left column for, well, our new Columns. Starting today, we’re bringing you a fresh column every day, written by experts on the topics — Legal Publishing, the Practice of Law, Legal Information, Outsourcing, Legal Marketing, Justice Issues, Legal Technology, and e-Discovery.

All of this more means “a bit . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

The Friday Fillip

“Slow is the new fast.”


When it comes to cooking, slow is newly fashionable, it’s true. But when it comes to computer speeds, not so much. And so far as travel is concerned… it’s problematic.

Everyone knows that jet travel nowadays is an increasingly gruesome experience, certainly if you fly steerage as most of us do. And even if you’re a first or business class flier, the dreary ordeal of checking in, checking baggage, and being checked in one or more security lineups, is enough to take the edge off any interest in, let alone excitement at, going somewhere . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Hanging in India

The surviving terrorist from the Mumbai event has been sentenced to hang. The story is online at the Guardian. India currently has 52 people on “death row,” awaiting execution of their sentences. I hadn’t realized that India has not carried out a sentence of capital punishment since 2004, and prior to that not for nine years.

China, with a roughly similar number of citizens, but where the data on capital punishment are secret, is estimated to kill somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people a year through the legal process.

One of the reasons cited for the infrequency of hangings . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Media Monitoring and Current Awareness

I attended an excellent conference session this week at the CALL/ACBD/MichALL Conference in Windsor. The session, titled Media Monitoring and Current Awareness: Tools in the Information Explosion. There was a panel of speakers including Casian Moscovici from NATIONAL Public Relations, Jillian Taylor a Librarian from Fasken Martineau, and Connie Crosby of Crosby Group Consulting (and Slaw too of course). Some presentation materials are already posted.

Media monitoring and current awareness take up a lot of time in the daily routine for the library staff at my firm. The pressures of knowing immediately when something critical is taking place have been . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Canadian Forum on Court Technology – September 22-23, 2010

Earlier this week, I was at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries in Windsor, where I had the opportunity to hear Pierre-Paul Lemyre from LexUM.

He was speaking about the Guidelines for Canadian Court Web Sites being developed by the Canadian Centre for Court Technology.

He mentioned that the Centre is organizing a Canadian Forum on Court Technology in Ottawa on September 22 and 23.

The final version of those web site guidelines should be about ready by then. Slaw contributor Patrick Cormier described the process for developing those guidelines in January 2010. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Technology: Internet

Resources on Elena Kagan

As you might have expected, the Library of Congress has put together resources relevant to the nomination of Elena Kagan for the U.S. Supreme Court. There you’ll find articles and books she’s written, relevant congressional documents, a collection of material from the web, half a dozen transcripts of her oral arguments before the Supreme Court, and some videos of and about her.

For those unfamiliar with Ms Kagan, who is currently the Solicitor General of the United States, Wikipedia has a good potted biography.

Somewhat like baseball statistics — you know: “the longest game ever played during rain in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Full-Body Scanners Still Raise Many Legal Concerns

Airport full-body security scanners raise many legal concerns, and while this isn’t exactly a new issue, it made headlines recently by raising employment law concerns—particularly with respect to workplace harassment and violence. However, the more publicized issues that this technology raises are privacy and human rights concerns.
Posted in: Substantive Law

Articling Students in Need

One of the unique requirements that we have in North America to be called to the bar is the articling process, the merits of which have been discussed here. And we have seen law students try to use social media to get these positions.

But I still know an astonishing number of students from the class of 2010 that do not have any articling position at all. Not just from my school, but across Ontario and the country. So here’s my attempt to try and do something about it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools

When Is Email Received?

A recent English case considered when an email message is received, for the purpose of accepting an offer of a contract. Thomas v BPE Solicitors, [20100 EWHC 306 (Ch). (The relevant parts of a very long decision are at paras 85 – 90.)

In short, the court held that the postal rule did not apply to an email, as it had been established by authority that it did not apply to other instantaneous forms of communication, like telexes (Entores [1955] 2 Q.B. 327 and Brinkibon [1983] 2 A.C. 34). That said, was the mail received for legal purposes . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law


I am a bit surprised that no one has posted the news on Slaw that Ted Tjaden received the Denis Marshall Memorial Award for Excellence in Law Librarianship at the Canadian Law Libraries Association annual meeting on Monday. A description of the award can be found on the CALL website.

I assume that in due course the Association will be posting some sort of testimonial to Ted on their website along with pictures of the award presentation, but I‘m quite certain that Slaw readers will want to send their congratulations to Ted as well. We are certainly proud to . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements

Digital Economy Consultation – Our Moonshot

The Canadian government announced a consultation on the future of Canada’s digital economy at the Canada 3.0 conference this week. I encourage readers to add their thoughts to the consultation process – which is open for the next 60 days.

It is summarized as:

Digital technologies are critical to every aspect of our economy and society. That is why a strategy for the digital economy is needed to ensure that Canada is positioned to benefit from the opportunities that it presents.

All Canadians have a role to play in helping shape Canada’s digital future. Your perspectives, suggestions, ideas and submissions

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology