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Archive for January, 2012

Your Dog May Be Too Dangerous for Your Home Insurer

In recent years, many Canadian home insurers have begun asking questions about dog ownership and, depending on the breed, impose policy exclusions, charge extra premiums, or decline home insurance applicants. These insurers maintain lists of breeds they consider problematic. These are not dogs that have already bitten someone (although that would be a problem) or lack training, they are breeds that are believed to have an above-average probability of inflicting a serious bite injury.

At the top of the list is the American Pit Bull Terrier and related breeds such as the American Staffordshire. These dogs are banned in Ontario . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

It All Links, You Know

Adding to David Canton’s post this week, updating us on privacy and data protection developments, here is a release from our friend, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian. And an interview with Steve Paikin at TVO.

It’s NOT “just a number!” Commissioner Cavoukian warns of the ease of data linkages in an increasingly online world

TORONTO, Jan. 25, 2012 /CNW/ – Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, says that people’s perceptions of their privacy and anonymity online fall far short of reality. In fact, technology has evolved to the point that the seemingly unrelated . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Legislation

Jobs “Debacle” in Québec

The latest Statistics Canada job figures have made headlines again in Québec, with the numbers showing that about 3 people are unemployed for every available job (reported the Montreal Gazette today). Some say the numbers are a “blip” others say that they are very “serious debacle“. The next quarter’s stats will tell us more. While there is much dispute as to the source of these problems, it is clear they are resulting in a very tense labour situation.

Indeed, the new year has brought much high-profile labour strife in Canada, particularly in Québec in . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Dear Mr. Prime Minister

The Caging of America

Why do we lock up so many people?

An excerpt, with some once (perhaps once again) Canadian content

For most privileged, professional people, the experience of confinement is a mere brush, encountered after a kid’s arrest, say. For a great many poor people in America, particularly poor black men, prison is a destination that braids through an ordinary life, much as high school and college do for rich white ones. More than half of all black men without a high-school diploma go to prison at some time in their lives. Mass incarceration on a scale almost

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous

Privacy – 1 Step Forward, 1 Step Back

Getting the privacy balance right is not easy, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. As examples, here are some recent developments that go both ways.

Pro Privacy

  • Proposed Bill C-12 amendments to PIPEDA that would mandate privacy breach notification in certain circumstances.
  • The Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Jones v Tsige that created a tort of breach of privacy, or “intrusion upon seclusion” for intentional, offensive privacy invasions.
  • The US Supreme court decision in US v Jones that decided police need to get a warrant before attaching a GPS tracking device to a vehicle.

Anti Privacy

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law

Specific Claims: The Alice in Wonderland Dimension of the Canadian Judicial System, Part 2

In the Specific Claims Branch process, of course, the Crown is obliged to disclose nothing whereas the claimant has to disclose virtually its whole case.

Mr. Justice Harry Slade,
of the Supreme Court of British Columbia
and Chair of the Specific Claims Tribunal Canada
in testimony before the Commons Committee on Aboriginal Affairs
13 March 15, 2011 at 051:3-14

Readers with particularly good memories may recall that in a late September issue of SLAW I introduced the topic that I call “the Alice in Wonderland Dimension …” by outlining some of the challenges of pursuing claims of Aboriginal rights, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of January 17 – 24.

1. Jones v. Tsige 2012 ONCA 32

[1] Does Ontario law recognize a right to bring a civil action for damages for the invasion of personal privacy?

2. R. v. Rose 2012 ONSC 350

[1] Mr. Rose is charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, four counts of possession of a controlled substance, and possession of property obtained by crime. He brings this application pursuant to section 24(2) of the Charter for an

. . . [more]
Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Library

I was shocked to read this headline in yesterday’s issue of INFORUM The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society semi-monthly e-newsletter: “Society to reduce Library & Information Services department”. The NSBS Library review project has been ongoing since April 2010.

There has been mention of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society Library and Information Services on Slaw, most notably, when this worthy group of librarians and library technicians received the Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing.

The NSBS offers documents surrounging the review on their website:

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

English Court Jails Juror Who Used Internet Search

English news sources reported yesterday that a three-judge panel of the High Court found Theodora Dallas, until recently a university lecturer in psychology, guilty of contempt of court and sentenced her to six months imprisonment. She will serve the first three in jail and “be on license” for the second three.

Dallas was on a jury trying a case of grievous bodily harm. The trial judge had given jurors clear instructions not to look up matters connected to the trial. At home, she searched the term “grievous bodily harm” and then put it in conjunction with “Luton,” producing a result . . . [more]

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

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Another year gone and in the world of legal content / publishing I’d like to suggest it’s been one of the most important we’ve had since the mid 90’s and the advent of the CD Rom.

Although most of 2011 has been fairly quiet with the usual round of product developments, upgrades and rejigs. The last quarter of the year has more than hinted that the upheavals of 2008 / 2009 have now filtered through to the core modus operandi of the companies whose job it is to distribute legal content through to the professions, business, government and the wider . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Check Out the Top Downloads at practicePRO in 2011

At the end of each year we at practicePRO take a look at what articles, checklists, tips, and other resources had the most downloads. As always, the list contains many resources that remain popular year after year, though there are some items that stand out.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Reading: Recommended