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Archive for June, 2012

RIP Lonesome George

It’s with a heavy heart I report on the passing of Lonesome George. He was found dead by his keeper yesterday. George was the last known of the sub-species Pinta Island Tortoise from the Galápagos Islands, found on one of the Islands in 1971. He was estimated to have been over 100 years old. Attempts to mate him with similar sub-species had failed.

Lonesome George’s name and image were used to launch programs in the Galápagos Islands to protect its unique flora and fauna. The Galápagos are oceanic archipelagos, or groups of islands, with 13 large islands and more than . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Update: Supreme Court Strikes Down Some Key Provisions of Arizona’s Immigration Law

This is a short update to previous Slaw posts on Arizona’s 2010 controversial new anti-immigration measures. After examining whether the law unconstitutionally invaded the federal government’s exclusive prerogative to set immigration policy, on Monday June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law as follows:

  • Requiring people to carry their identification papers at all times in public places
  • Making a crime of failure to apply for valid immigration papers
  • Allowing police officers to arrest anyone they believe has committed a crime that would make them removable from the country
  • Making it a crime for
. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

The Digital Library: Why Aren’t We There Yet?

Last week I was asked why my library wasn’t physically smaller.

“Isn’t everything online?” No. “Did we really need all these old books?” Yes. “Wouldn’t it be more convenient for lawyers to be able to access library materials regardless of their physical location?” Definitely.

Although we are moving towards the reality of a digital library, we have not arrived there yet.

What is available?
The most considerable barrier to the fully digital library is that many legal resources do not exist online. Legal publishers have digitized and made available online many Canadian primary legal resources such as case law and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Apple v. Motorola Case Finally Concluded. We Hope.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois – Eastern Division released a decision on Friday in Apple, Inc. et al v. Motorola, Inc. et al, dismissing the case with prejudice, effectively ending what has been a highly charged and contested conflict.

The two cases were consolidated for judicial economy, with each party claiming damages. Apple’s claims focuses on patents 6,493,0026,343,2637,479,949, and 5,946,647, and Motorola’s claim centers around US patent 6,359,898. The dispute began in 2011, with Apple initially claiming 16 patent violations, and Motorola claiming 6. From the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Foreign Law

English Law Commission Annual Report 2011/12

The most recent annual report of the Law Commission of England is now available.

The report includes highlights of the past year’s work. In particular, the Commission saw two pieces of legislation that derive from its work reach the statute book: the Estates of Deceased Persons (Forfeiture Rule and Law of Succession) Act 2011 and the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012.

A number of other reports are awaiting implementation in the areas of trust, marriage breakdown, conspiracy, business partnerships, renting homes, etc.

Part 4 of the report is entitled “Measuring Success” and provides interesting stats about the . . . [more]

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

Enigmatic Google Doodle Honours Turing

It’s barely conceivable, but some Slaw readers may not resort to Google today, what with the fact that it’s a Saturday, summer and all. That’d be a shame, because today the Google Doodle is honouring that tragic hero of the modern age, Alan Turing. And Google’s done it right: the doodle is an animated take on the Enigma Machine, challenging you to solve the puzzle and spell out in binary the Google name letter by letter. It ain’t easy: the ground keeps shifting underneath your trials.

In case you’re of a mind to cut to the chase, it being . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous


Friday, aka: The day of Firge or Venus; while Fridays are nice and all, I often find it harder to get out of bed on Friday than I do on Monday. While that is a personal observation I’ve another observation about Friday that I’ve found is shared with others; that is, weird things happen on Friday. Working in a an academic law library that is open to the public I’ve found that it is often on Friday, and more specifically, Friday afternoon that the individual who wants to challenge the constitutional validity of income tax arrives at the library looking . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of June 15 – 22.

1. Musselman et al v. 875667 Ontario Inc. et al 2010 ONSC 3177

[2] Toward the end of the meal, Gloria Musselman left the table to attend the ladies washroom. Washrooms were located at the basement level one floor below the dining room. To gain access to the washroom, Ms. Musselman was required to descend a series of steps comprised of eight risers. She then had to turn ninety degrees to her right and descend two further risers to reach the basement

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

The Friday Fillip: World Heritage Sites

Okay, so it’s way past the start of summer, at least where I am. And wherever you are, cold or hot, you’re thinking of going somewhere else, quite likely, because that’s what many of us do in summer. So I thought it might be a good idea to show you a few dozen photos of great destinations. If you can’t pack up and take off right now, you can at least plan, or, all else failing, dream of visiting one of these fascinating locations.

UNESCO World Heritage Site is an unofficial (!) tribute to that agency’s chosen protectorates, so to . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Choice Architects

Persons who design and arrange the shelving of items in a supermarket or in a cafeteria or books in a library can affect the choices people make. Such persons are choice architects and they have the opportunity of nudging people to make choices that may be good for them. The position of items can affect the choices that people make.

Whenever choices are made by individuals there is an opportunity for choice architects to affect individual decisions. For example, in organ donation some nations have a very high participation rate by requiring a negative choice on drivers’ licences. That is, . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

You Might Like … a Short Visit With the Rich, the Beatles, the Bard, a Slinky, Les Voisins, Witchcraft and More

This is a post in a series appearing each Friday, setting out some articles, videos, podcasts and the like that contributors at Slaw are enjoying and that you might find interesting. The articles tend to be longer than blog posts and shorter than books, just right for that stolen half hour on the weekend. It’s also likely that most of them won’t be about law — just right for etc.

Please let us have your recommendations for what we and our readers might like.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading: You might like...

Ecojustice Environmental Hansard

The Ecojustice Clinic at the University of Ottawa has established the online Ecojustice Environmental Hansard.

According to its website description, the site is “an easy-to-use collection of all House of Commons discussions and debates about Canada’s environment.”

The site suggests 4 different ways to access information:

1.Use the homepage to review featured topic summaries and debates from the previous sitting week.

2.Use the search box to query by topic, content or MPs involved in a debate or exchange in the House of Commons.

3.Browse debates by date or look for ones relating to specific categories.

4.Read topic summaries that

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