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Following up on a post from last October, Arbitrator Peter Cory handed down his decision in the Beaverbrook Arbitration, last Monday (the 26th). In simple terms, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, was awarded 85 of the 113 disputed paintings; essentially, the paintings that were given to the gallery, prior to the opening. The gallery also won remuneration for three paintings that were removed from the gallery in 1976. The art gallery was justifiably pleased with the result; however, the Beaverbrook foundation has indicated that they plan appeal the decision of the arbitrator.

The decision itself (114 pages posted . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

World Economic Forum ICT Rankings

As it does each year the World Economic Forum released its country rankings for ICT, or “information and communication technologies,” styled as the Networked Readiness Index. Canada slipped from 6th to 11th position, behind (in rank order) Denmark, Sweden, Singapore, Finland, Switzerland, Netherlands, USA, Iceland, United Kingdom, and Norway. This is Canada we’re talking about, so of course there’s no mention whatever of it in the freely available material.

I’ve no idea whether this means anything at all. I’m invariably skeptical of anything that boasts of being “World” this or that, and positively averse to reports that use cant terms . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


The French continue to battle to see to it that the web contains as much serious material as possible originating from outside the United States (and that is in languages other than English).See, e.g, Simon Chester’s post We Have Seen the Enemy – And it’s Name is Google. Europeana is a recent part of this effort:

Europeana est un prototype de bibliothèque en ligne développé par la Bibliothèque nationale de France, dans le cadre du projet de Bibliothèque numérique européenne.

Europeana rassemble environ 12 000 documents libres de droits issus des collections de la BnF, de la Bibliothèque Nationale

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

World Trials Collection

I’m reluctant to introduce commercial content to SLAW; however, I think some kudos should go to Heinonline for some of the excellent work they are doing in building theme related collections of digital documents from disparate library holdings. I know from previous postings on SLAW that some Toronto law firms are considering subscribing to Hein. One of their new releases is the World Trials Collectiosn which they describe in a brief summary as collections of famous trials from libraries around the world, and from antiquarian book dealers, as well as books that analyze and debate famous trials, as well as . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Challenges to Legal Publishing

My friend Ron Friedmann of Prism Legal Consulting recently delivered an interesting presentation to an American legal publishing audience that has lots of resonance here too.
Legal Publishers in 2007 and Beyond Ron’s PowerPoint deck is here.
Legal publishers play an important role in the legal market. They have moved from print, to digital content, to assembling an array of services. How will changing technology affect publishers? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

SCOTUS Rejects Guantanamo Leave Application

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal attacking the constitutionality of a provision in federal legislation providing that detainees in Guantanamo cannot challenge their detentions in US civil courts. Three judges — Breyer, Souter and Ginsbert, JJ. — dissented; and two of the majority rejected the application on procedural grounds.

According to a report by BBC News:

The court’s majority opinion was that “the will of Congress” should prevail and that habeas corpus did not apply to foreign nationals being held at Guantanamo Bay because it is not US soil.

See also the Reuters report in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The OZone Database Is Now Live!

Erica Anderson, Research Librarian at the Legislative Library, Ontario, asked me to post this news to SLAW:

A collaboration between the Ontario Legislative Library and the Ontario Council of University Libraries’ Scholar’s Portal has resulted in the Legislative Library’s Ontario government documents collection now being available through OZone. This collection is also accessible through the Legislative Library catalogue. The OZone partnership and database will help to ensure the digital preservation of these materials for the long term, create a permanent url for the documents, and housing multiple copies in these two locations will help keep the collection safe

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Court (Revisited)

I’m trying, over on the blawg about the Supreme Court of Canada – The Court [] – to start a discussion about the adequacy (or not) of the SCC’s performance in private law areas that generally fall under the “obligations” rubric, although I’ve started it by using tort & damages cases.

My theme is the adequacy of judgments from the perspective of the practitioners who have to use them to advise clients. I’m sure the problem has arisen, recently, in areas other than those I’ve mentioned. Somebody could mention the punitive damages jurisprudence. The thread could expand, of course, to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Desktop Mess Coming Your Way

In the paper world, I make use of document piles to organize my work. You probably do the same. This pile here is such-and-so, that pile there is the tax material, and the red file sticking out has the notes I’ve been making… But on my computer I tend to go neat and hierarchical, with a more rigid taxonomy and maybe overlapping (i.e. piles) of windows. Not so easy to have an intelligent mess, perhaps.

At least, that’s the theory behind BumpTop, a technology in the development stage that would let you make piles of files on your computer . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Information for the Public

A news release from the South Australian government led me to the Law Handbook Online which contains an overview of the law in South Australia presented in everyday language. It outlines rights and responsibilities in a range of legal areas in plain language and advises on where the public can go for more assistance.

All of this done at Fitzroy on a grant of $30,000.

The taxonomy is fascinating, since it is entirely client-need oriented.

What is there comparable in Canada?I duly note the pioneering work of Ted Tjaden, the Jewetts (Access to the Law: A Study Conducted for . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous