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Voting Records of MPs

Michael Lenczner and Craig Davey have launched a site that does one thing very well: OurParliament tells you in French and in English how every MP voted during the 2nd Session of the 39th Parliament.

How’d They Vote? is a similar project that first hit the internet three years ago. It fell out of date, but has recently been updated, and offers more complex information in a somewhat less attractive format. Thus, you can find a list of bills voted on in this session; and the chart setting out the MPs voting record can be sorted by province, type of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Machine Readable Licensing Lingo for Photos

I have to apologize for falling down on the job in my contributing to Slaw since my inclusion among the exalted Slawyers a few weeks ago. I have to confess I’ve been distracted by a combination of being busy at work and rediscovering a passion for photography. (You can check out some of my recent work on my site or on Flickr.)

I find it interesting that regularly taking photos changes the way you look at things. Colours, shadows, textures and perspectives stand out a lot more than they used to. Everyone walks around with particular filters affecting their . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dominic Jaar Launches Ledjit

Our colleague here at Slaw, Dominic Jaar, after working for years as a house counsel for Bell, has struck out on his own with a practice — Ledjit — aimed at helping businesses, including law firms, manage information flows. An expert in IT law and particularly e-discovery, Jaar is based in Montreal. His website explains more fully. (You will have better luck with the French version, ledjit.ca; the English version — ledjit.com — still needs some work on the links.)

Giving his enterprise a healthy boost, La Press today has a long piece in the business section on Jaar . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Practice of Law

Google It Like 2001!

I love using google as a verb (see: post headline). Keeps life interesting waiting on that C&D letter. :)

You may have come across this already in your web travels, but Google’s restore of their January 2001 index makes for some fun & interesting searching. Especially for those terms not yet coined…

As Phil Bradley points out, “Try searching for IPOD, Weblog, Twitter, “Wayne Rooney”, wii, iPhone, “David Cameron”, “credit crunch”, “sarah palin” – you’ll laugh or be amazed at just about all of the results you get!”

Or better yet, how about some legal keywords? A search for . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology: Internet

Upcoming Conference Sounds Amazing!

The Canarie/Orion summit will be held in Toronto in early November. It’s bringing together a truly impressive variety of speakers and appeals to infogeeks of all kinds. The Cloud Computing session grabbed my attention, as does the session on how Web 2.0 is changing teaching and learning. I see that Nora Young, from CBC’s Spark, is also on the agenda.

If anyone does attend this, I’d be really interested in a report back to the group…please? . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: CLE/PD

Voting Card Woes

My husband and I received our voting cards for the upcoming Federal Election. Much to our surprise we were in different constituencies. It seemed a bit incongruous that we would potentially have different MPs and yet live in the same house.

I decided to check out the Elections Canada website for a remedy. I am happy to report that there is a great deal of information on the site, with the ability to lookup voter information through the voter information service. Unfortunatley, I now live on the ambiguously described line between two electoral districts. A down side to the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Environmental Investigation Agency

Thanks to a video on the New Yorker website, I’ve learned about the London- and Washington D.C.-based Environmental Investigation Agency. Not a governmental bureau in any sense, the EIA tackles environmental crime through a variety of means, often clandestine or with the efforts of a network of — one hesitates to say spies or moles — people who have day jobs inside government and industry. Currently the EIA has three campaigns, Species in Peril, Global Climate, and Forests for the World.

It’s in connection with this last campaign that Raffi Khatchadourian wrote “The Stolen Forests, The . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Wigging Out

Today’s the day that most British judges go bare-headed into court. All save the criminal court judges will appear sans wigs, as the style changes introduced some months ago go into effect.

Part of the change includes new, modernized judicial robes designed by British fashion designer Betty Jackson. Her take on the traditional involves scrapping the wing collars, bands and voluminous robes for more streamlined robes — with pockets, no less — a Nehru collar, and coloured strips of cloth on the breast reminiscent of bands, the colour — gold, red or lilac — indicating place in the hierarchy.

There . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Goudge Commission Report on Rogue Pathologist Who Sent Innocents to Jail

The Goudge Commission into the activities of renegade Ontario pathologist Dr. Charles Smith published its much anticipated report today.

In late April 2007, the chief coroner of Ontario published a report that concluded Smith, a former leading Ontario child pathologist, had botched at least 20 autopsies involving the deaths of children.

That announcement cast doubt on 13 criminal convictions based on Smith’s testimony. Courts have since then reviewed a number of those wrongful convictions.

In the report, Mr. Justice Stephen Goudge:

  • found that Dr. Smith “actively misled” his superiors, “lacked basic knowledge about forensic pathology” and “made false and misleading
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

The Morality of Plagiarism

Language Log has a good post on the recent Harper-plagiarism brouhaha, which you can read about on Canadian Press or BBC News. The BBC piece republishes the Liberal Party ad that graphically shows the parallels between Harper’s speech and that of the Australian Prime Minister at the time. But Language Log takes the audio feeds and overlaps them so that you can hear the similarity more or less simultaneously. More important, Mark Liberman explores the issue of copying in the political arena and compares it to that in the academic world, finding useful differences. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law

Cloud Computing Controversy

We see the term “cloud computing” a lot these days. Its a term that’s hard to define – like Web 2.0. It essentially means having your software work “out there” somewhere, and/or your data reside “out there” somewhere – rather than on a computer in your own home or office. Think of it as commoditized outsourcing. The term is sometimes used to include SAAS and other concepts, and sometimes in a much more limited way. From a legal point of view, the issues and risks for using any flavour of cloud computing are the same – although the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Global Legal Monitor Revamped Again

The Global Legal Monitor, a publication of the Law Library of Congress, has been posted about on Slaw here and here and other posts as well. Today, the Law Librarian Blog reports that this useful service is no longer a monthly pdf, but rather a continually updated website with an RSS feed. Thanks Law Library of Congress! Hat tip to Ron Jones. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information