Canada’s online legal magazine.

EU Privacy Directive – Growing Obsolete?

The British Information Commissioner sponsored a study by RAND Europe of the EU Privacy Directive [PDF]. The study found the Directive in need of an overhaul, possibly a rebuilding from the ground up.

Here are the main challenges identified in the study, along with strengths and weaknesses of the current regime. Are any of them applicable to the Canadian system, either to PIPEDA and the provincial statutes that provide the framework, or to the privacy commissions that operate under them? Are the concerns applicable to public sector privacy statutes and commissioners as well?

From the study: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Insight Into LCO’s Processes

I thought I’d use our new Provincial Offences Act project to illustrate at least one way that we carry out our projects. The Board of Governors approved this project on April 2, 2009. Briefly, the purpose is to make recommendations to modernize the POA and bring it into line with other legislation and with up to date court processes. That doesn’t tell you much, though, and there’s good reason for that. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

LAWPRO Helps Prevent Major Frauds Targeting Ontario Lawyers – We Think

It has been crazy busy here at LAWPRO over the last month or so. Just over three weeks ago, we had calls from a few lawyers who had found themselves as possible targets of a bad cheque scam. They had been retained on a business loan matter in which it appeared the intent was to have them deposit a forged loan proceeds cheque into their trust accounts and then disburse good funds from them. We decided to send an e-blast warning the profession to watch for bad cheque scams.

That e-blast prompted several more lawyers to call us. We saw . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Do TOS Have the Final Word on Our Fundamental Rights and Freedoms?

Social networks and their Terms of Service (TOS) have been at the centre of current online debates about free speech and hate speech on the Web. Recently, Facebook had to determine whether holocaust denying groups within its pages should be removed. For the moment, Facebook has removed certain groups which violate its TOS but allowed those who do not violate its TOS to remain, citing Facebook’s commitment to the protection of free speech. This demonstrates that as the Internet becomes a greater part of our social communications, TOS are taking on a more influential role in our society. Already, they . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

This Week’s Biotech Highlights

The Obama administration’s efforts to foster openness and public engagement took a giant leap forward this week with the announcement of, making data from across the U.S. government readily available from a single portal. This will be an incredible tool for those interested in measuring how governments actually perform and should be a standard part of every government’s web offering… *cough*Canada*cough*

Though Canada hasn’t followed suit yet, we did get more data this week about Canada’s Clean Energy Fund, and about two new BIP investments by the Ontario government

We also saw interesting new data in . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

What Would Happen if One of Your Employees Posted a Video of an Irate Customer on YouTube?

The posting of a YouTube video of a woman throwing a tantrum at the Hong Kong International Airport should serve as a reminder to Canadian businesses that employees these days can (and do) easily record and post videos online from their mobile phones.

The three minute video shows a Cathay Pacific customer yelling and flailing her limbs as she lies on the floor after missing her flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco. I’ve been upset at missing a flight before, but the woman in this video takes things to an entirely new level. The video has drawn over five . . . [more]

Posted in: Firm Guest Blogger, Substantive Law

Knowledge Is Personal – So Why Not Personal Knowledge Management?

I was attending a KM session in NYC a few years ago when Michael Mills (Director of Professional Services & Systems of Davis Polk & Wardwell) was leading a session. He indicated, at that time, that the focus of the firm’s KM efforts was on helping each lawyer manage their own personal knowledge; hence Personal Knowledge Management (PKM). Several of the law firm KM leaders in attendance saw this as heretical — after all, most of the efforts in our KM teams are aimed at helping the firm or groups within the firm (e.g. practice groups) manage knowledge. This knowledge . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management

Black Liquor Sparks New Trade Feud and Old Controversies

Is Canada listening to calls to assert our national interests?

On Thursday, Canada joined the EU, Brazil and Chile in demanding the withdrawal of tax credits in the U.S. for black liquor.

The credits are estimated at $4-8 billion, passed in 2007, and intended for energy alternatives in paper mills and cogeneration facilities. Paper manufacturers have started mixing F-T diesel with a kraft process byproduct known as black liquor to meet the definition of the tax credit, which Canada claims is hurting Canadian jobs.

Although President Obama wants to terminate the rebate on Oct. 1, Canada and the other countries . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Firm Guest Blogger: Pitblado LLP

We’re proud to announce that our first firm guest blogger is Pitblado LLP.

Pitblado LLP ( is a Winnipeg business law firm that has been providing innovative legal solutions to prominent international, national and local clients for over 100 years. The lawyers that are contributing this week to Slaw are members of Pitblado LLP’s Information & Ideas Group. Working in collaboration with other members of Pitblado LLP, they provide comprehensive legal advice to clients in all facets of the law relating to technology, intellectual property and privacy matters.

You’ll know their posts right away because you’ll see this . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw

Slaw Scavenger Hunt – Neck and Neck to the Finish

Extraordinary development in the Slaw Scavenger Hunt. Our prominent lawyer from Toronto has had an extraordinary day, and is now 22 points ahead of the Oxford expert – it’s 180 to 158. Pulling away. But there are still 70 points to play for

Over the weekend, the duelling duo have guessed the Haflida Skra or Gràgàs in Reykjavik, the Field Code from New York, UN resolution 1962 of December 13, 1963, on the Declaration of legal principles governing activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space, De Indis et de ivre Belli Relectiones, by . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Slaw Scavenger Hunt – Getting Close to the End Update – the Hints Worked

We reported yesterday that we seemed to have stumped readers. Not any more. Within twelve hours of yesterday’s post, fully 20% of the outstanding items had been guessed. Tick off the Haflida Skra or Gràgàs in Reykjavik, the Field Code from New York and UN resolution 1962 of December 13, 1963, on the “Declaration of legal principles governing activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space”.

The remaining items in the global Scavenger Hunt are falling fast.

In terms of the contest list of 50 dates, set by the two Simons, the table below lists the dates . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law