Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for March, 2007

Ontario Legislature Site Redesigned

This from Erica Anderson, TALL President and Research Librarian at the Legislative Library, Ontario:

The Legislative Assembly of Ontario website has been redesigned. It is a “soft launch” and a work in progress so you may notice some content changes, additions, or deletions. Not all of the content has been migrated yet, but it is on its way with more being added by the end of March. Specifically, the House Hansard and Committee Hansard indexes will be returning by about the end of March.

If you have any comments or questions on the new website and its content please direct

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Two Expert Systems

The idea of expert systems in law has been around for a number of decades at least and never seems to get much traction. The notion, drastically simplified, is that experts in an area of law analyse it into its components, arrange those components in such a way that it creates a progression of issues leading towards all possible conclusions, and then formulate questions based on this progression which can be posed to a non-expert. Because its meant to be a system, the whole thing has to be set up so that it can operate without the need for (any? . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics, 2005/2006

Statistics Canada just released the annual report Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics, 2005/2006.

Some highlights:

-Spending by Canada’s legal aid plans during 2005/2006 was up 9% from the previous year.

-Legal aid plans spent $673 million on providing services in 2005/2006, or the equivalent of $21 for every Canadian. Before 2005/2006, this spending had been stable for three years.

-Legal aid plans received 780,000 applications for assistance, an increase of 3% from the previous year.

-About 477,000 applications were approved for full legal aid service. This is up 2% from the year before.

-About 12,000 lawyers . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Are Supreme Court Justices Reading?

Slaw’s very own Simon Fodden has an item today in The Court (Osgoode Hall Law School) that analyzes the “Authors Cited” sections of Supreme Court of Canada judgments for 2006.

Entitled What is the Supreme Court Reading?, the article states that the analysis “reveals a meagre and mundane stock of stimulation, heavy on textbooks and light on theory”.


Fodden adds: “I assume that the great bulk of references in decisions originate in parties’ factums and do not represent independent research by the judges”.

Blame the lawyers. Sounds good to me. Don’t want to antagonize the bench too openly, . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What Open Access Could Mean for the Humanities

I supervise the student law journal at UVic, so I have been encouraging them to consider open source publishing, and in the course of reviewing some of this, I came across an good article on this from last September, care of Project Open Source at the University of Toronto.

I have referred to this earlier postings, but this is part of a larger initiative from north american research libraries called “The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition” or SPARC. . There are also similar initiatives in Europe and Japan., although you will need to know Japanese to be able . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Publicité Aux Enfants Sur Internet

La publicité sur Internet décolle, tout le monde le dit, et ce, même s’il a fallu attendre des années pour que cela se concrétise. Mais maintenant, çà y est. On l’a vu récemment au Québec avec l’affaire Igor et moi de Saputo, la publicité en ligne peut-être d’une efficacité redoutable. En l’occurrence, il s’agit d’un muffin en forme de gorille sympatique, drôle, présentant un message peu intrusif, différent (très différent même) de la publicité papier ou télévisuelle, par le biais de jeux disponibles sur Internet.

Sauf que, plus je lis la Loi sur la protection du consommateur, et plus . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Two recent graduates of the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia have pointed me to their website,, which has the tagline “A growing resource for lawyers.” The idea is that lawyers will submit “research resources” they have written, building a corpus of valuable material for use by everyone. The idea isn’t a bad one, although, as with Wikipedia, the evident model, much will depend upon the editors’ willingness to check the quality and currency of the submissions. There are few resources in fact available at the moment, and what there is, unsurprisingly, has a B.C. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

The Carnival Is Coming!

A blog carnival is a a regular review meant to highlight new and bright shining stars among the blog community in a particular subject area. Typically the carnival moves around, hosted by a different blog each time. I will soon be hosting two such carnivals on my personal blog :

Carnival of the Infosciences #67 – I am hosting the next carnival on Monday, March 19th. Please submit your suggestions for library and information sciences blog posts by Sunday, March 18th. I need you to keep open your eyes and ears! Find and send me the best, brightest, most exciting . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

IBM’s “Many Eyes”

IBM is returning to an industry leading position in software. One of the things that is helping in this revival is their commitment to research labs in various places around the world. The IBM Watson Research Center at Cambridge (Mass.) houses the CUE Group (“Collective User Experience”), which is exploring, among other themes, interactive visualization. They’ve developed a Java app called Many Eyes, which is available through IBM’s Alphaworks, a point of release for trial software (and well worth visiting regularly).

From the “about” page:

Many Eyes is a bet on the power of human visual intelligence

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous