Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for July, 2011


What follows will be no revelation to most Slaw regulars (or irregulars as the case might be) so feel free to move along, but also feel to contribute some expertise if the feeling moves you. While celebrating Canada Day last week, it occurred to me that not everybody who visits Slaw will be as comfortable with some of the legal foundations of Canada as those regulars (or irregulars) are; so what follows are some of the legalities that make Canada… well Canada.

Canadian Constitutional documents being specifically:
– The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Canadian Constitution Act 1867, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Cross-Border Selection of Lawyers: Issues to Consider

This article by Jennifer Ip, Senior Claims Counsel at LAWPRO, follows up on Monday’s post on E&O coverage issues when dealing with foreign law, and appeared in the same December 2010 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

When you shop for a contractor for a home renovation, you are often reminded about the need to ensure your contractor has third party liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance – just in case.

Do you ask that same question when you shop for a lawyer outside of Ontario (or whatever is your home jurisdiction)? Do you remember to ask if the foreign lawyer carries . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Friday Fillip: Paleo-Futures

Human beings have a hard time living in the moment. And when we’re not rueing or re-writing the past, we’re envisioning the future. Though I haven’t kept score, I’d guess that on the whole we’re not very good at it, our favourite mode being the straight-line projection: tomorrow will be like today only more so — if you see what I mean. This means that our forecasts tell us more about ourselves and our times than they do about emergent folks or phenomena, which is why it’s fun, as a study in history, to see what the past has said . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Slaw Turns Six

Slaw began on July 8, 2005. In the ensuing six years we’ve written a lot: more than 7300 posts, which, if you assume 500 words per post, yields 3,650,000 words. Add to that the more than 10,000 comments you’ve given us, and the Slaw community has produced the equivalent of something like 66 novels.

The posts and columns have been written by nearly 200 people over the years: lawyers, librarians, judges, consultants, scholars, and politicians. And they’ve been read by thousands of you: we now average just under 50,000 unique visitors each month who pay us 130,000 visits a month, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Announcements

Library of Parliament Outlines Current and Emerging Issues for Canada’s 41st Parliament

The Library of Parliament has released a document outlining the current and emerging issues that will face the new Canadian Parliament elected on May 2, 2011.

William Young, Parliamentary Librarian, explains:

“The pages that follow illustrate the kind of work we can do for you: 27 concise and easy-to-read briefings on subjects ranging from cybercrime to the impact of demographic changes on public policy. The issues are presented in summary form and represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our subject-matter expertise (…)”

“The sheer volume of information presented at the beginning of a new Parliament

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

Law Foundation of BC Announces Legal Research Fund

The Law Foundation of British Columbia has announced a new fund of $100,000 per year to support legal research in BC.

The fund will offer $100,000 annually, with a maximum of $20,000 allocated per project. The purpose of the initiative is to support projects that “advance the knowledge of law, social policy, and the administration of justice”; and also to encourage projects that “reflect the diversity of British Columbia.”

Letters of intent must be received by Sept. 23, 2011, and should be discussed with program director Michael Seaborn prior to submission.

(HT: BC Law Watch Blog) . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research

Welcoming Reservists Back Home – and Back to Work

Now and in the coming months, members of the Canadian Forces will be returning from military service in Afghanistan in significant numbers. Many of them, Reservists, will be returning to civilian work. We all owe these soldiers a debt of gratitude for their service. Employers specifically owe them a number of legal obligations, under Employment/Labour Standards legislation in various jurisdictions.
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Legislation

Cooling Trends in Civil Justice

Hot: Discussing the civil justice system

Not: Funding the civil justice system

The civil justice system will likely never be a popular subject of household discussion or even a top trending topic on Twitter for a day, but it is receiving a little more attention in mainstream and social media of late. Sadly, it is receiving attention for all the wrong reasons. In the United States, the new feature-length documentary Hot Coffee explores a nation-wide conservative campaign to institute tort reforms that restrict the liability of corporations and medical professionals, but likewise limit access to justice for ordinary Americans. British . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

U.S. Farm Bills: Don’t Look, Don’t Tell

Seems that every couple of years or so I feel compelled to refer to the witticism about the unpleasant nature of making laws and sausages. This time, however, the link between the making of food and laws is rather more serious; this time the laws would compel us to avert our eyes — from farming, at least.

As factory farming has grown over the years, competition has increased and the pressure on farmers to keep the price of food low has remained steady. The result in many, or most, cases has been a deterioration in the conditions in which food . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Legislation Activity in Manitoba

With all the flooding news and euphoria about getting an NHL team again (Go Jets Go!), you could be forgiven for thinking nothing else was happening in Manitoba. However, you would be seriously wrong.

Manitoboba amended the Elections Act a few years ago, adding fixed-year election terms (s.49.1(2)), with October 4, 2011 being the first one. One of the conditions requires that the government not advertise or publish information about its programs or activities in the 90 days before October 4th. This means we are seeing a flurry of announcements in this run-up to the end of the current legislative . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Legal Research on an iPad

Set out below is one technique I use to make doing legal research on the iPad easier. If readers have other suggestions, I would welcome comments.

Rather than create Safari browser “Bookmarks” on my iPad, I instead found it more useful to use the option of “Add to Home Page.”

What I have therefore done was this: I use a customized HTML “home page” at work and on my home laptop that is organized into 6 “boxes” providing links (and password information) to web resources covering such things as reference tools, books, publishers, journals, research databases, news, case law, precedents . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Technology, Technology: Internet

New Canadian Law-Related Books of Interest (To Me)

There are a number of newly-published-or-soon-to-be published new editions or new titles in the Canadian legal literature that caught my eye as being useful research tools.

I have set some of these titles out below in alphabetical order by publisher (note: the dates indicated are from the publisher’s website; as you know, these dates are sometimes “approximate” due to the inevitable delays – usually by authors! – in getting books finalized for publication): . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing