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Archive for January, 2010

Vaccination-Autism Link Based on Poor Science

Not that this will surprise anyone, considering the retraction the Lancet made in 2002. This BBC report of the ruling of the General Medical Council also includes a nice graph showing the enormous impact on measles infection rates that the doctors who conducted the shoddy research had. Most of them have issued their own 2004 retraction, though not Wakefield, the lead author. I wonder if they are now vulnerable to a malpractice action of some description, as lawyers are for inadequate research. I don’t know if any deaths have occurred, but this account by Roald Dahl is not fun . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Yammer On

The Real-time web has been a popular topic in recent times as we all try to figure out how it is changing, and will continue to change our work lives. I’ve recently started Yammering here at Dalhousie; no not prattling on endlessly, but using the service Yammer or enterprise microblogging. In simple terms think Twitter, without the 140 character limit and limited to your workplace or business email domain. The product has been around for a couple of years and has been referred to in passing here at Slaw previously. In the short time that I’ve used Yammer at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management

Canada C. Khadr Decision

Canada (Premier ministre) c. Khadr, 2010 CSC 3, (29 janvier 2010)
Le pourvoi etait accueilli en partie.

K a droit à une réparation en vertu du par. 24(1) de la Charte. La réparation demandée par K — une ordonnance intimant au Canada de demander son rapatriement — est suffisamment liée à la violation de la Charte survenue en 2003 et 2004 parce que les incidences de cette violation persistent jusqu’à présent et pourraient influer sur son procès lorsqu’il sera finalement tenu. Bien que le gouvernement doive disposer d’une certaine marge de manœuvre lorsqu’il décide de quelle manière il doit . . . [more]

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

The Friday Fillip

This fillip revisits something I blogged about two years ago (Flogging). Microsoft researchers are working with computer scientist Gordon Bell to develop a system that will record, annotate, and make available to recall, nearly every aspect of his daily life. A number of videos describing the project and showing aspects of it have emerged since I first blogged about it. And Bell and co-author Jim Gemmell published a book last year about this long-term experiment, Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything (Roughcut). (Amazon lets you peek inside the book at a few of the . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Procedural Lapse Leads to Loss of Jurisdiction by the Alberta Privacy Commissioner

I hope that this is not a new theme emerging: privacy proceedings in limbo.

Last week I wrote about how the recent vacancy of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s office in BC could have placed all pending files on hold. Now, this week, we have a decision [PDF] from the Alberta Court of Appeal that suggests the Commissioner there, Frank Work, may have lost jurisdiction over at least 180 pending cases.

The legislation in issue requires the Commissioner to follow certaint timelines, which can be extended by the Commissioner. From the Personal Information Protection Act:

50(5) An inquiry into a

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Project Conifer Wins Two Awards at OLA!

On May 1, 2009, 23 library partners, including the Paul Martin Law Library at the University of Windsor went live with Evergreen – an Open Source integrated library system. With only 2 – 3 developers to take it out of the box (originally packaged for the public library world), development has literally happened on the fly for the past 10 months.

It has been hectic, but we have a project we can all be proud of. To top it off, yesterday we heard that OLA has awarded the Project Conifer partners with two Divisional Awards. All awards will be presented . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Technology

A Golden Age for Judicial Biography

On the afternoon of Friday January 29, the University of Texas at Austin will host a conference on judicial biography, as a tribute to Roy Mersky, who was the subject of an earlier Slaw post.

At 2 PM Texas time the discussion will turn to International Jurists, featuring Philip Ayers on Chief Justice Owen Dixon of Australia’s High Court, Philip Girard on Chief Justice Bora Laskin of Canada, and Pnina LaHav on Shimon Agranat of Israel.

We seem to be in golden age of judicial biography. Any recommendations from the readership? . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Practice of Law, Reading, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Its a Golden Age for Consumers

Two completely different spheres have my thoughts overlapping like a Venn diagram. A recent interview with Arianna Huffington in the Financial Post and links from the Law Librarian Blog (among many other sources) showing an Inside Look at the WestlawNext and “New Lexis” Platforms.

Both these articles touch on monetization of web delivered services and how content producers may reap the rewards of their labours.

The Huffington Post model:

The Huffington Post is committed to the link economy and our business model is advertising-supported. The Greek philosopher Herodotus … said you cannot enter into the same river twice, and

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

The Future of WestLaw – a First Glimpse (Plus Update 1)

Yesterday, two members of Slaw were given an in-depth look at the most profound re-engineering of a legal research system since the migration to the Web. In Thomson Reuters’ impressive Eagan facility we had a briefing on the new Westlaw – to be launched at New York LegalTech next Monday under the name WestlawNext.

WestlawNext is the culmination of five years of research and development and a massive amount of customer research into how legal research is actually carried out. . . . [more]

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

Error on Currency Date on E-Laws Website (Ontario)

Are there any concerns from a risk management / liability perspective over the following warning/error message on the e-Laws website I noticed just now:

From December 18, 2009 to December 29, 2009, the e-Laws currency date should have been December 14, 2009.

See the screenshot here:

Do you review all of your legislative research from December 2009 within this time period?

Part of me says “no” since the Legislative Assembly adjourned on December 10, 2009, (to resume on February 16, 2010) and there appears to have been only 2 proclamations gazetted during the time period in question. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Creating Your Own Stable Financial Future

Rise Up. Creating your own stable financial future

My column this month is dedicated to personal finances. I greeted the New Year like so many other people I know – with a financial hangover that no aspirin was going to cure. Instead of the doctor I called my new neighbor on Salt Spring Island, financial planning guru Karin Mizgala, MBA, CFP, to share her best tips on how to put money woes to rest for good. Karin co-founded the Women’s Financial Learning Centre and has a financial planning column with the Financial Post.

The foundation to a stable financial future

. . . [more]
Posted in: Practice of Law