Canada’s online legal magazine.

University of the People

Israeli entrepreneur Shai Reshef has launched the University of the People. Under the auspices of the U.N.’s Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technology and Development (GAID), the University of the People offers tuition-free education to anyone able to connect via the internet in two programs, Business Administration and Computer Science. At the moment the institution does not grant degrees, although it is seeking accreditation.

The somewhat tenuous connection to law — and thus to Slaw — lies in the fact that a number of the University’s advisors are lawyers: Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information, Miscellaneous, Technology

The Risk and Value of Journal Proliferation in the Age of Open Access

“India does not need any more journals, especially localized institution-based ones, if that is what you mean. We already have too many journals, most of them third rate. What we need is to look for ways by which we can convince many of these journals to close down. Instead, we should try to identify the better ones and persuade their editors and publishers to make them Open Access…” 

My challenging correspondent has permitted me, in this case, to share his comments and my response on this matter of journal proliferation. I have chosen to do so as it has become . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Evaluation by Any Other Means … Is Still Evaluation

At the LCO Symposium last Wednesday, a number of law reform related topics were discussed, but one that applies to law reform commissions and other institutions, as well, related to evaluation. The LCO has a particular interest in this because we’ll soon be evaluated on our performance so far. And of course, there hasn’t been much time to have developed a track record!

The concern expressed won’t surprise anyone: how can you get away from bean counting in evaluating organizations that engage in activities that just aren’t susceptible to measurement by numbers. For the LCO, traditional evaluation would focus on . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

E-Discovery Precedents

The Ontario Bar Association’s E-Discovery Implementation Committee has released eight model precedents. They are:

  • Discovery Agreement
  • Preservation Agreement
  • Memorandum to Corporate Client Regarding Documentary Discovery
  • Memorandum to Individual Client Regarding Documentary Discovery
  • Preservation Letter (To be Sent to Opposing Counsel)
  • Preservation Letter (To be Sent to Defendant or Proposed Defendant
  • Preservation Order
  • Annotated E-Discovery Checklist (with suggestions on how to minimize e-discovery costs)

These Model Documents have been revised based on comments received, as well as to reflect changes to the Sedona Canada Principles Addressing Electronic Discovery and impending amendments to the Ontario Rules of Civil Procedure (see below),

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law

Zotero Releases Version 2.0

George Mason University’s note-taking and bibliographic plugin for Firefox, Zotero, is now available in version 2.0 (beta 3) and boasts a number of new features. So far as I know, Zotero is still at legal odds with Thomson Reuters concerning Zotero’s ability to import data from the latter’s Endnote. But that doesn’t seem to be slowing them down much. We’ve talked about Zotero a lot on Slaw, but for those still not acquainted with this really impressive, free, open-source program, there’s a video on the Zotero website that will give you a quick overview of its features. And . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Canadians Require Passport to Enter US as of June 1

As of June 1st, all Canadians will need passports to enter the U.S. by land or water. This is in addition to air travel which has required a passport since January 23, 2007. This initiative is required by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), a U.S. law requiring all citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda to have a passport or other accepted document that establishes the bearer’s identity and nationality to enter or depart the United States from within the Western Hemisphere. Document requirements for children do vary somewhat from adult requirements.

Additional details are available . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

There weren’t exactly an Ark’s worth of devleopments this week, but what did develop came two-by-two.

This week saw two very public regulatory developments in the U.S.:

  • The FDA took two heavy steps against highly visible advertising: they said that General Mills’ claims on Cheerios boxes that the cereal can help lower cholesterol means that Cheerios are a drug and should be tested and regulated accordingly; and they chastised a number of pharma companies for ads placed with Google because the ads (limited to 95 characters) do not contain the required risk information. 
  • Also in the U.S., Rep. Pallone
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Deeper Insite Into Harm Reduction Strategies

I’ve mentioned the controversy surrounding the safe injection sites before. But I went in for a closer look recently in Vancouver, when I attended the appeal by the Crown of the decision of Pitfield J. last year in PHS Community Services Society v. Canada, [2008] B.C.J. No. 951; 293 D.L.R. (4th) 392 (B.C. S.C.) that allowed the facility to stay open.

The Respondents in this case were seeking the extension of an exemption for the Insite facility under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act (CDSA).

The opposition to the exception by the Federal Crown, appealing the decision made by . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Slaw Scavenger Hunt – Week 1 Report

After a week, we seem to have stumped the research skills of Slaw’s readers – or at least the time and patience of our competitors to date – in the global Scavenger Hunt, the contributions just keep on coming.

In terms of the contest list of 50 dates, set by the two Simons, the table below lists the dates remaining to be identified. The lead is still with our reader (a pioneer blogger) in Oxford, who is well familiar with the Bodleian Law Library. He has 148 points. Close behind is a prominent lawyer from Toronto is close behind . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Does Wolfram|Alpha Make Google Obsolete?

I have seen the future of search – and this demo of Wolfram|Alpha is so mindboggling in conception and ambition that when the site launches I want to experiment at length, when it launches on Monday. It’s essentially about fusing an analytical engine on top of search, drawing data from the web and then crunching it in a myriad of different ways. “Wolfram Alpha is like a cross between a research library, a graphing calculator, and a search engine.” “Wolfram Alpha can generate and compute vast amounts of data and present it using visual charts, spreadsheets and . . . [more]

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

Phillipine Customs Breaking New Ground in Educational Theory

The Florence Agreement of 1950 attempts to stem restrictions on the circulation of knowledge via books. In the Philippines, the government has recently given to the world a new understanding of the scope of the agreement, based on a more critical reading of the text. According to the Customs Undersecretary, the Agreement only applies to educational books, and, no surprise here, Customs is the body best able to make that determination. Perhaps they are well versed in the field. There seems to have been some interesting work done ((Such as HARSKAMP, E. and SUHRE, C. (1992). ‘Psychometrische kwaliteiten van meetinstrumenten . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading