Canada’s online legal magazine.

How to Institute an Open Access Policy? Stand Up.

On June 10th, my colleagues in the Stanford University School of Education listened patiently as I stood before them explaining how the Harvard Law School had passed an “open access” motion which was going to lead to free online access to all of the scholarly articles that they published. We were on a faculty retreat, at a hotel by the ocean near Monterey, California, with the waves rolling in not far from where we were sitting. An opening had appeared in the program, and I jumped in, asking for the time to explain what such a policy could mean for . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

A Google Vision of Wireless

CNET News had an article on Friday about a patent that Google has applied for in which it describes an attractive vision of how wireless services might be managed in some… ideal future (“Does not apply in Canada”). The essence of the notion, which hardly seems to be a patentable idea, is that your wireless device would seek out among competing signals that which was the strongest or cheapest or some combination of each and use that signal for the immediate instance of communication. Wireless devices would not be bound in any way to particular service providers, and there would . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology, Technology: Internet

CanLII Expands Labour Law Coverage

In case you missed the announcement yesterday, let me report that CanLII has added 25 databases involving 130,000 decisions in labour law. These come from boards and arbitrations in just about all of the jurisdictions in the country. For a list, see the CanLII announcement. . . . [more]

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

Banning Spam… Et Al.?

The Conservative Party of Canada has announced as part of the current federal election campaign that if re-elected, it will bring forward legislation to ban spam.

The Canadian Press story mentions this (and a number of other consumer-oriented promises).

Earlier this month the Supreme Court of Virginia, in Jaynes v Virginia [PDF], struck down that state’s anti-spam legislation as unconstitutional, because it was ‘over-broad’. Its rules prohibiting misuse or misrepresentation of IP addresses applied not only to commercial but to all messages, including political or religious ones. This was an impermissible infringement on free speech, said the court. As a . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law

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