Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for September, 2008

Federated Searching, the ‘Deep Web’, and Novice Preferences

I got a look at InfoVell today, and it is an interesting service. It provides single-point access to a selection of free US sources of health science, patent and other specialist information, AKA part of the ‘deep web’. Slawyers might use it for researching Health Law. The fact that a person can search there once for information that might take a number of searches otherwise is what is known in library circles as ‘federated searching.’ It embeds detailed knowledge of sources and search methods (what librarians know) into an easy to use format. Of course, it also hides from the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Jureeka in Canada

It seems we have not posted Jureeka to Slaw yet. It is a service that provides linkages between legal information searchers and providers. As part of the effort, it offers a Firefox extension that detects legal citations on the web and displays them as links. The extension is now is functional for citations to Canadian resources, including

  • The Constitution Acts (1867 and 1982)
  • Supreme Court cases from 1876 to the present (S.C.R. and SCC citations)
  • Federal Court cases from 1988 to the present (F.C. citations)
  • Consolidated Statutes of Canada
  • Consolidated Regulations of Canada

The fact that such extensions mess . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

I Should Know Better by Now

Like an alcoholic seeking a drink, I thought that I would buy software to automate and save time in making backups of whatever I’m working on and have saved. I made a careful search for well-recommended software and discovered that Novastor Backup 10, Professional, for a single user, was highly recommended.

What a mistake! My attempt at downloading what I had bought failed. I eventually got a very nice young man from Novastor’s tech support to assist me with the installation. He had to download a number of upgrades, patches or whatever, from Microsoft, making it clear to me (and . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Europeana Is Coming

The European Community is preparing to launch a digital “library, museum and archive,” Europeana, that will give visitors some access to two million European objects of cultural interest and value. Two years in the making, this front end for a host of digital objects will launch in November of this year. But you can see a canned demo now that will give you a pretty good idea of what’s in store.

There’s also a short video accessible from the main page that’s less useful but which features Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walking,” one of the all-time . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing

The Chase Is Better Than the Catch

Here’s a search engine that promises to reduce our chasing and improve the catching, by offering access to the shadowy ‘deep web.’ InfoVell requires a free registration, and they are coyly waiting a day or so to send me my password, but then they say anticipation is 90% of excess, or something like that. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Electronically Stored Information: A Reality Check

Huge volumes of business data are nothing new. But the ways data can hurt you these days – well, that’s a different story. In an age when your company can rise or fall on how they manage their information how an organization manages its ever-growing mountains of data can be the difference between a good day at the office and sheer disaster.

Some organisations take a “wait and see” approach to controlling information. They keep their fingers crossed for nothing to go wrong – and then call in help when it does. That’s a short-sighted view that creates more risk . . . [more]

Posted in: e-Discovery

Goa CM Kamat Goes Online – Indian Lawyers to Follow

Courtesy of the Goa Blog (although it’s also in today’s Hindu (Chennai edition):

Country’s first e-law library inaugurated

Panaji (PTI): Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat inaugurated the country’s first e-law library here aimed at facilitating legal practitioners. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Is eCommerce Law Different?

Dear slawers,

Even if I became a very very occasional contributor, and not the contributor that I was supposed to be, may I again be permitted to contact slaw’s great audience in publicizing the next event that I am co-organizing October 2nd (PM) and 3rd, 2008 named “Is eCommerce Law different?” Behind this question, we ask ourselves if we must approach IT law in the same manner we do traditional law or rather as a “law of the horse” as coined by Llewellyn and used by Judge Easterbrook in his debate with Lessig? Fifteen years after . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology: Internet

Legal Research for Hong Kong’s Special Admin Region

Hong Kong has a unique legal situation, being a former British colony inheriting the common law. As a result the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has a different legal system than the civil code found in the mainland.

To complicated it further , Hong Kong borrows from other common law jurisdictions when necessary. Chapter 4, S. 4 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region states,

Article 84
The courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall adjudicate cases in accordance with the laws applicable in the Region as prescribed in Article 18 of this

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

SCC Turns Thumbs Down on ABCP Appeal


Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc. et al. v. Metcalfe & Mansfield Alternative Investments II Corp. and Other Trustees of Asset Backed Commercial Paper Conduits Listed in Schedule “A” to this application et al. (Ont.) (Civil) (By Leave) (32765)

(The motion to expedite the applications for leave to appeal brought by the Respondents on August 27, 2008, is granted. The applications for leave to appeal and other relief sought from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Number C48969 (M36489), 2008 ONCA 587, dated August 18, 2008, are dismissed without costs.

Coram: . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions


September 2, 2008 was the 10th anniversary of Swissair Flight 111 disaster in the Atlantic Ocean just off Peggy’s Cove (about 40 minutes outside of Halifax). It is one of those events where anyone who was in the region at the time, can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they found out. The 10th anniversary was a solemn event and the events of that day and their aftermath strike many Nova Scotians to their core; especially those volunteers and fisherman that aided with the recovery efforts.

The resulting investigation by Transportation Safety Board (TSB) . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

De Wolf v. Bell ExpressVu and the Law of Unintended Consequences

The recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court in De Wolf v. Bell ExpressVu has been hailed, at least by the plaintiff, as a win for the consumer. Myself, I admit to some doubts: the reasoning of the decision suggests that any victory is Pyrrhic at best.

For those who haven’t read the decision, the plaintiff challenged Bell ExpressVu’s practice of charging an “administration fee” of $25 on delinquent accounts, on the basis of the Criminal Code prohibition of “interest” exceeding 60%. Bell argued – and, in fact, the court agreed – that the fee was a fair estimate of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation