Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2007


Just a follow up to Simon F’s posting from August 16th on the Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques (ittig); when I was browsing Worldlii today I discovered it has been added to their family of national legal databases. It doesn’t seem to fit the with the structure of the other national databases, and is somewhat difficult to navigate in either English or Italian. I wonder if there is a point at which worldlii has too much information and stops being functional? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Google’s SearchMash

For a while now, Google has been testing out various ideas in a search engine of theirs called SearchMash. It’s got a lot of AJAX, so it’s quick to respond, and the funcitions on offer now seem quite practical. It might be worth making this your next-to-everyday Google.

Some of the features it offers:

  • click on a domain name in the results and see only results from that domain — which, for example, in a search for “slaw,” brings up a list of all of our posts and pages, some 3500 results;
  • use the “hide details” button and all of
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Reason, Law & Science

There’s an interesting article in the NY Times Magazine about the potential impact of neuroscience on criminal law and the whole business of intention. “The Brain on the Stand,” by Jeffrey Rosen, explains that in capital cases

[l]awyers routinely order scans of convicted defendants’ brains and argue that a neurological impairment prevented them from controlling themselves. The prosecution counters that the evidence shouldn’t be admitted, but under the relaxed standards for mitigating evidence during capital sentencing, it usually is.

Which is pretty much a matter of bad cases making hard law, because the notion of “intention” is and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics: 1996-2006

The Supreme Court of Canada has just released a Special Edition of its Bulletin of Proceedings containing a statistical overview of activities for the period 1996-2006.

It is broken down into the following sections:

  • Cases Filed: “The total of 513 cases filed in the year 2006 is approximately 15% lower than the annual average number of cases filed over the last decade”.
  • Applications for Leave Submitted: “number of leave applications submitted to panels of the Court for decision, the number of leave applications granted and the percentage granted of the total submitted… In 2006, there were 506
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Carnegie Foundation Report

I found out about this title from a request by the Dean’s research assistant who asked a reference librarian if we had it in the law library print collection:

Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007)

The url also gives links to the table-of-contents and the summary of the reports reccomendations and findings.

There is some interesting matter in the report, but surprisingly not much specifcally on technology and new ways of learning and transmitting knowledge. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

More on OpenID

A couple of months ago I pointed you to a video explanation of OpenID by Simon Willison. He’s given another talk, “The Future of OpenID,” that he’s put online along with his slides, to take you further into this topic; there’s another introduction and then descriptions of all the things that can (and will) be done with it, as well as a tour of things that are still wrong with it.

Why should you take some time to learn more about OpenID — or anything, if it comes to that? Because Microsoft’s Bill Gates has weighed in on . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Small Town Lawyers and the Future

I’ve been in Europe all week, and my sole access to information has been La Republicca, Corriere and 2 minutes of excruciatingly slow dial-up access. So I haven’t been able to follow Slaw as closely as I should.

At at the Law Society’s Solo and Small Firm Conference ten days ago, my partner Gavin MacKenzie spoke as the Treasurer about the looming problem of access to legal services outside the big cities.

As he travels to meet with County Law Associations he’s learned in community after community that Ontario’s small town lawyers are an aging breed whose ranks . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Vision Économique du Vol D’identité

J’en ai déjà fait mention dans de précédents billets, le vol d’identité cultive frissons et peurs, et ce, comme tout récemment ce papier repris dans La Presse se faisant l’écho d’une étude de Gartner où une hausse vertigineuse du vol d’identité par Internet aurait été ressentie en 2006.

Ce type de discours ne m’intéresse pas. Quoi que! Car en allant sur le site de Gartner, nenni. Rien ne réfère à cette étude faisant état du catastrophisme de la situation, si ce n’est un papier du 27 février, de «4 pages» coûtant 95$ s’intitulant «The Truth Behind Identity . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Michel-Adrien Sheppard, sometime Slawyer and full-time Library Boy, mentioned JurisPedia here a number of months ago, but didn’t talk about it then. I thought I’d take a look and see how things were going in this law wiki venture.

Jurispedia, which aims to construct an encyclopedia of worldwide law, looks to be an initiative of 5 institutions:

  1. l’Équipe de Recherche Informatique et Droit, Faculty of Law of the University of Montpellier I in France,
  2. the Faculty of law of the Can Tho University in Vietnam,
  3. the Faculty of law of Groningen University in the Netherlands,
  4. the JURIS team
. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

One Thing Leads to Another…

How one thing leads to another in this webbed and polycentric medium…

In David Fraser’s excellent Privacy Law Blog I learn that Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner have a blog called Freakonomics, named after their book that takes an unconventional tack in the dismal science and is good reading (can’t believe that I, a product of the usual wretched micro- and macro-economics courses, said that about one of the most over-rated disciplines in the… but that’s another story). The blog looks like it’s going to be interesting.

And from that I learn that they write a column in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip

A late and short fillip today — which got away from me (the day, I mean).

MIT is an endless source of fascination, most of which is available on the web. (I ask you: how many universities would let their students design the front page of their website — every single day??) Today I simply point you to the site of the Perceptual Science Group, which I kept reading as Perpetual Science Group, something else entirely.

Here you’ll find a music study that invites you to take part — do it, and tell them if this or that sound . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous