Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for January, 2012

Justice and John Turner: What Might Have Been

In Elusive Destiny: The Political Vocation of John Napier Turner, Carleton University historian Paul Litt has written a sympathetic and interesting account of one of Canada’s most gifted political figures. Litt leaves the reader wondering what Canadians missed out on by not having John Turner as Prime Minister for an extended time. Those interested can delve into this book.

Turner did serve as Justice Minister for almost four years (July 1968 – January 1972). He was an activist, reformist and progressive Justice Minister but he also served as Attorney General during the invocation of the War Measures Act during . . . [more]

Posted in: Reading: Recommended

Kenya Law Reports Win International Association of Law Libraries 2011 Website Award

The 2011 Website Award of the International Association of Law Libraries (IALL) went to the Kenya Law Reports.

The winner was announced in December at an IALL meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Award seeks to recognise and promote free legal information websites that are authoritative, comprehensive, up-to-date, useful, and user-friendly.

Other nominees in 2011 included:

A list of winners from previous years can be found on the IALL website. . . . [more]

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

Same-Sex Divorce and Conflict of Laws

It’s been a great long time since I claimed any expertise in family law, but the fuss over today’s Globe and Mail front page headline (see the story here) concerning the availability of divorce to foreign same-sex couples married here in Canada has tempted me to put a toe in the waters again, just to check with Slaw readers that my understanding is correct or off base.

And that understanding is the following:

The law of marriage is governed by two sets of rules, one dealing with formal validity and the other with essential validity, or capacity to marry. Just . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

Slaw Site News – 2012-01-12

Site news for those who read Slaw only via RSS or email

1. Comment Watch:

In the last week there were 32 comments. You might be particularly interested in these:

  • the discussion about using GPS tracking on company vehicles following the post by Yosie Saint-Cyr, “Employer Monitoring Employees With GPS Tracking”
  • the lengthy exchange—15 comments extending into the prior week—on Shaunna Mireau’s post, “Queen’s Counsel Appointments.”

You can subscribe to the comments on Slaw either as a separate matter (RSS, email) or as part of a subscription combining posts and comments (RSS, email). . . . [more]

Posted in: Slaw RSS Site News

Internet Child Pornography Reporting Regulations

On December 6, 2011, the Internet Child Pornography Reporting Regulations were registered in the Canada Gazette and came into force. The goal of the regulations is to establish a framework necessary to implement the mechanics for the designated organizations receiving reports and service providers who report to discharge their duties under the Act.
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Attawapiskat and Social Media

You can’t have missed the recent coverage of the housing and governance crisis in Attawapiskat. The story certainly captured my attention. I’ve been watching news of the situation travel over the Internet.

Social media played a key role in the coverage of this story. What particularly interests me is that the quality of some material published about Attawapiskat through social media is as good as or better than high quality legal information available through traditional legal publishing channels. And this caused me to consider again: what is the role of social media in legal publishing?

I first became aware of . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Three New Fraud Attempts Reported to AvoidAClaim

Today AvoidAClaim posted about three new fraud scams that lawyers alerted us to. All were similar to other scams we have seen in the past.

This goes to show that the frausters are always at work coming up with new names, new email addresses, and new variations of the same scam to keep ahead of our efforts to publicize the information. See our Fraud Fact sheet for all the information you’ll need to help . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology: Internet

CES and Privacy

As Connie mentioned, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is now underway in Las Vegas. The tech press is full of commentary on the latest and greatest things at the show. One trend is that everything is becoming more intelligent and more connected, ranging from TV’s to appliances.

That results in many great features and new capabilities. At the same time, a Washington Post article entitled Privacy rights activists worry about potential abuse of high-tech devices featured at CES event points out that we can’t forget about the privacy issues that comes along with this technology.

The article starts off . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology

Legal Entrepreneurs: Lawyers or Marketers?

We are just preparing the 2012 Online Legal Services Conference. It seems that in the last year or two the legal, business and technology planets have aligned to produce a surge in interesting web-based projects hitting our legal shores. Far from overnight inspirations, many seem to have been nurtured for years. Often the result of pain experienced by lawyers, or their clients.

When such projects ferment for so long, their depth can be surprising. They start out providing solutions to real problems the legal entrepreneur has experienced, but are enriched by feedback from numerous sounding boards.

Another observation is . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

10th Circuit Blocks Oklahoma’s “Shariah Ban”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit ruled today in Awad v. Ziriax et al, blocking a proposed constitutional amendment that would forbid domestic courts from considering or using international law. The more controversial aspect of the amendment is that it would also ban courts from using or considering Shari’ah law.

The Appeals court upheld the decision of The Western District Court of Oklahoma on November 29, 2010 to grant a preliminary injunction blocking the amendment, and stated,

Appellants argue there is no discrimination because the amendment bans all religious laws from Oklahoma courts and Sharia law

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Hockey and Language: Part Deux

About three weeks, my colleague and fellow blogger Genevieve Lay wrote a post about the brewing storm in Montreal regarding the Canadiens’ appointment of the unilingual Anglophone Randy Cunneyworth as head coach. Perhaps because it was posted shortly before Christmas, Genevieve’s post did not garner any comments. However, the debate has intensified, both in the “blogosphere” and in Montreal.

In short, many Québecois feel that the Canadiens should appoint only a bilingual or Francophone coach. Local Québec papers got in the act, calling for the Canadiens’ General Manager’s head for his insentive decision. In response to the furor, the Canadiens . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of January 1 – January 9.

1. Bouzari v. Iran 2004 CanLII 871 (ON CA)

[1] From June 1993 to January 1994 Houshang Bouzari was abducted, imprisoned and brutally tortured by agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Shortly after his release, he escaped from Iran and eventually came to Canada as a landed immigrant in 1998. He now seeks to sue Iran for the damages he suffered.

2. Saskatchewan (Social Services) v MS 2011 SKQB 481

[1] T.J.E.S. . . . was apprehended by officials

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