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Archive for April, 2008

iGoogle Themes

A little bit of fancy stuff for mid-week:

iGoogle has introduced themes by a whole bunch of famous designers, artists and charity figures — Jeff Koons, Michael Graves (pictured above), Robert Mankoff (pictured below), Akira Isogawa and more than five dozen others, so you’re bound to find something that appeals. This is eye candy with some power to nourish.

. . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Why SharePoint?

There has been some recent debate (on one of the legal community’s discussion forums) on the merits of SharePoint, Microsoft’s portal product. Our firm launched its SharePoint portal earlier this year (although we are still migrating content from our old intranet, and adding features and functions).

Even at this early date, we are enjoying two of the important benefits that led us to implement SharePoint in the first place – “one stop shopping” is not far from reality and distributed content contribution is taking place.

“One stop shopping” is the short-hand we use for our efforts to deliver all the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Law Reform Commissions Listed

The Faculty of Law at the University of Cambridge maintains a list of law reform commissions around the world that have some downloadable material (in English) available. As they note, the British Columbia Law Institute maintains a law reform database that provides information on a much wider selection of reform documents whether or not they are available online. But, and this is a little surprising, there’s no simple list of the various websites available on the BCLI site.

The Cambridge site is missing the newly re-instituted Law Commission of Ontario site (I’ve emailed them), which now contains their Report on . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

BCCLS Needs Help From BC Lawyers

As posted earlier today on the VLLB, the BC Courthouse Library Society is seeking feedback from BC Lawyers to help plan their online future.

Part of their overall web strategy and service planning, the BCCLS is looking for input from practicing British Columbia lawyers via this short 3-minute web survey.

Participants will also be entered to win one of two 8G iPod Touch devices.

If you or someone you know fits the demographic, please help us spread the word! Help from Slaw readers who are also BC law bloggers would also be greatly appreciated. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

LanguageLog and Alberta’s Hate Speech Laws

Hate speech laws have always come in for criticism, balancing as they do on the slack wire between freedom of speech and violence to others. The brouhaha involving Mark Steyn, MacLeans and some law students is only the latest wobble on the wire, and one that I won’t go into here. But I thought Slaw readers might be interested in a provision in the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Act that the venerable (and very pro speech, shall we say) LanguageLog poked fun at today. The provision is found in section 3(1) and the part that attracted their attention . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Rogers Announces iPhone Deal

The iPhone is coming to Canada. For sure. Ted Rogers issued an announcement today that Rogers Communications has struck a deal with Apple:

We’re thrilled to announce that we have a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone to Canada later this year. We can’t tell you any more about it right now, but stay tuned.

No word on any of the details, such as how big the mortgage on all you own will have to be to pay for the service. . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

New Sources for US Law

The Tuscaloosa News yesterday had a pot-pouri of useful information under the heading Lawyers Open Their File Cabinets for a Web Resource, focussing on JDSupra, a database for contributed legal documents and PreCYdent.

The San Diego Business Journal describes this under the headline PreCYdent Legal Research Web Site Takes on LexisNexis, Westlaw. The product was built in San Diego and Milan, and offers a free and quite robust interface to U.S. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals cases.

It describes its content as:

US Supreme Court: complete with official US citation and pagination since 1759

Federal Reporter . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Louise Arbour Joins International Crisis Group

Louise Arbour, former Supreme Court Justice and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, will join the Board of the International Crisis Group. New fellow board members include Kofi Annan, (Lord) Paddy Ashdown, HRH Prince Turki al-Faisal and the former President of Poland, Alexander Kwaśniewsk. There are 54 members on the board all told.

The International Crisis Group meets twice a year and

is now generally recognised as the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.

Their . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Old Bailey Records Online

Thanks to Jon Smithen for a link to a BBC piece discussing the availability of The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, 1674-1913, which is a fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London’s central criminal court.

The site is fascinating, although I would advise North American readers of Slaw to look at the site in the evening, since there is so much traffic from British researchers that the site is crashing.

A conference on the use of these resources is planned for later . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Special Sitting of Ontario Legislature Puts Toronto Transit Back to Work

Friday night 9,000 Toronto Transit Commission’s unionized workers voted on a tentative deal with the TTC and, despite the expectation by both the media and Toronto residents that they would either accept the deal or give 48 hours notice of any strike action, they did not accept the deal and went on immediate strike at midnight. Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 President Bob Kinnear had endorsed the deal, but it is speculated that a number of maintenance workers were not happy with the lack of job security given in the agreement.

The immediate strike action was taken because the union . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation


LawInfoChina offers a combination of free and subscription services to keep you up to date on Chinese law. Many of China’s regulations have been translated into English and can be searched here. As well there are notes on the Chinese legal system and doing legal research into Chinese law.

Curiously, I wasn’t able to find any links to RSS feeds. Perhaps I was looking in the wrong places. Which brings me to another criticism: the site is poorly laid out in my view — too busy, way too many red hyperllinks, and generally the kind of unlovely appearance we’ve come . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research