Canada’s online legal magazine.

World Book and Copyright Day

Today (being both Shakespeare’s birthday and Shakespeare’s and Cervantes’ deathday) seems apt for some comment on World Book and Copyright Day.

Last month, at the Second Global eIFL-IP conference in Istanbul, librarians from thirty-nine developing and transition countries decided to highlight the importance of users’ rights for libraries and education to mark the occasion. is an international foundation, which supports national library consortia in approximately fifty transition and developing countries to negotiate and advocate for the wide availability of electronic resources to education, research and professional communities as well as governmental organisations and civil society. This global . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Reading, Substantive Law

Announcing the Legal Workshop

We’ve mentioned the practice of having a web adjunct to conventional law journals. A collective was announced yesterday. I’ll let them speak for themselves:

Law Journals Band Together to Launch Web Magazine

The Legal Workshop Aims to Revitalize Legal Scholarship

STANFORD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A consortium of America’s most influential law reviews today launched The Legal Workshop, a free, online magazine featuring articles based on legal scholarship published in the print editions of seven participating law reviews: Stanford Law Review, New York University Law Review, Cornell Law Review, Duke Law Journal, Georgetown Law Journal, Northwestern Law Review, and University of Chicago

. . . [more]
Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Legal Information: Publishing, Technology

Australian Research Council Rates Journals

The Australian Research Council, as part of a program to assess Australian research efforts, has rated English-language journals in the sciences and in the humanities and creative arts, including law. According to the background page:

A journal’s quality rating represents the overall quality of the journal. This is defined in terms of how it compares with other journals and should not be confused with its relevance or importance to a particular discipline. There are four tiers of quality rating [A* = top 5%; A = next 15%; B = next 30%; C = bottom 50%] and their definitions

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

FLARE Index to Treaties

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in the United Kingdom recently launched the FLARE Index to Treaties, a searchable database of basic information on over 1,500 of the most significant multilateral treaties from 1856 to the present.

Information comes from many sources such as Multilateral Treaties: index and current status (London: Butterworths, 1984, tenth supplement, 1994), International Legal Materials (Washington: American Society of International Law, 1962-) , Bulletin of International Legal Developments/Bulletin of Legal Developments (London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law, 1966-), United Nations Treaty Series Index, etc.

Information about each treaty includes:

  • the official, popular
. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law

Google Profiles

Someone at Google has woken up, a little belatedly I think, to realize that the Web is in large part about publicizing (I won’t say “exposing”) oneself and that they are the doormen, so to speak, of the Web. Sure, you could always — and did often — Google yourself, but there had to be something out there to find. In came Facebook and other webs within the Web, of course, and that took care of that: now it’s no longer a matter of Googling yourself: you are on Facebook (MySpace, Linkedin, and now .tel) or you’re not available in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Ontario’s New Road Safety Act – Convictions Without Trials?

A new look for Toronto Police uniforms?

On April 21, 2009 the Ontario Road Safety Act (RSA) passed through final reading creating a host of changes that will come into effect in the coming months. The government’s executive summary of the act is available at for anyone who wishes to peruse it.

As one might expect, the RSA is overflowing with ‘get tough on crime’ language and continues the predictable tradition now enshrined in Canadian law to increase penalties for impaired driving offences at every opportunity. Where the RSA strikes bold new ground is in its fiendishly clever solution . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Law and Technology

Recent Slaw posts talk about Blackberry’s, the ABA Techshow, social media, online ADR, and online legal resources. Richard Susskind talks about how technology is fundamentally changing the practice of law, and how we will provide services in the future. One point he makes is that this is not a big bang change, but a creeping change.

That’s quite true. As I think back, I entered law school after being a computer science major. That was before computers were used in law firms (except perhaps for accounting purposes), and before the Internet. At the time, most people thought it was truly . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Owed to the West Wind, Er, Blackberry…

♫Thy magic reunites those
Whom stern custom has parted;
All men will become brothers
Under thy gentle wing…♫

Lyrics by Friedrich von Schiller, music by L. van Beethoven, “Ode to Joy“.

When my trusty but basic cell phone died, it was time to look for a replacement. I knew that it was time to stop my resistance as one of the last holdouts against the western phenomenon that has blown thru the business world, namely the Blackberry. It was a difficult decision but ultimately driven by the need to carry my calendar around with me without . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Listen to the ABA TECHSHOW Keynote by Dr Richard Susskind: Is It the End of Lawyers?

The attendees at ABA TECHSHOW 2009 where treated to a fantastic keynote presentation by Dr Richard Susskind. He spoke about the hypothesis of his new book, The End of Lawyers?

Now the good news for all those that couldn’t attend TECHSHOW: an audio recording of Dr Susskind’s keynote is now available on the TECHSHOW site. It is most definitely worth a listen.

The title and theme of Dr. Susskind’s book – the end of lawyers – appears on first blush to be rather ominous. And while it is, most people miss is the question mark, and its implication. . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Technology

StatsCan’s Crime Severity Index

Statistics Canada has introduced a new measure of police-reported crime, the crime severity index, in which more serious crimes are weighted more heavily, by comparison with the usual crime rate in which all crimes affect the outcome equally. The Daily has a summary of the current index data and the chart reproduced below. For a detailed description of how the index is calculated see “Measuring Crime in Canada: Introducing the Crime Severity Index and Improvements to the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey.”

. . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law

Copyright and Defamation Issues With Social Media and Politics

I gave a talk earlier today on the use of social media in politics, focusing on the Canadian scene, at the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre.

Issues of copyright, including the use of YouTube, are discussed, as well as social media alternatives to defamation actions.

Social Media And Politics in Canada (4/21/09)

Audio of the talk available here until a Slide Cast can be set up. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology, Technology: Internet