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Archive for October, 2012

Bedford Sex Worker Case to Proceed to SCC

The Supreme Court of Canada granted leave for appeal for the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in Bedford v. Canada. The Court also granted that the appellate decision be stayed until judgement is rendered, meaning the Criminal Code provisions relating to prostitution challenged in this case will still be valid, even if not routinely or uniformly enforced by the police.

The Bedford case may be heard in conjunction with, or set a legal backdrop, to a similar case in B.C. in (Attorney General) v. Downtown Eastside Sex Workers United Against Violence SocietyThe differences between the cases have . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

How Secure Are ‘Virtual Meetings’?

SlawTips offered tips this week on setting up virtual meetings that focused mainly on how great it is to use Skype, seeing as how it’s free as well as functional.

Question: is it secure enough for lawyers? I know that the Ontario government does not allow me (or others) to download the software (or any other software….) to make it work. But I have heard as well from private sector lawyers that their IT departments don’t think Skype is secure enough to use professionally.

Is that your view, or experience?

What is the issue:

  • that Skype wants to set itself
. . . [more]
Posted in: Technology: Internet, Technology: Office Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

The Friday Fillip: Where the Lubber Meets the Lake

Though I’ve lived near serious water most of my life, I’m a confirmed landlubber. Happy as I am about this preference for terra firma, landlubber’s not a title you’d really want to adopt. I’d always thought in a sloppy way that the word was a turn on “land lover” — and what could be wrong with that? Fact is, the seaman’s insult strikes further below the Plimsoll line than I’d realized, because, according to the OED, a “lubber” is “A big, clumsy, stupid fellow; esp. one who lives in idleness; a lout.” (The fact that it’s a term that . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

You Might Like … to Have a Butchers at Bukowski, Beluga, Breaking, Black Boxes, a Bi-Bookerist and Beyond

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...

Legal Business Development: Succession Planning

Do you and your firm have a succession plan? Or maybe this sounds familiar: “I’ve been meaning to think about it, but it always gets pushed to the side by the everyday demands of the practice.”

I met a partner from a small firm that said nearly everyone in the firm was approaching retirement in the next nine years. When I asked what their succession plan looked like, his response was typical… “Quite frankly we haven’t given it a thought.” I followed up with… “Will you close the doors when the last partner retires?” He shrugged his shoulders indicating that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Should We Take Our PIAs Public?

This week, the 34th International Meeting of Data Protection & Privacy Commissioners, is taking place in Punta del Este, Uruguay. The meeting brings together leading decision-makers and stakeholders from all over the world to discuss and [at least attempt to] resolve pressing privacy-related issues. The week kicked off with the Public Voice meeting, hosted by civil society representatives and canvassing a breadth of public policy issues.

One matter of interest that was explored during a highly informative panel on civic participation and e-voting, raised the question of whether public sector Privacy Impact Assessments should include a mandatory . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

Law Library of Congress Report on Bioethics Legislation in Selected Countries

The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. occasionally publishes reports that compare the laws on a given theme in a number of countries.

Earlier this month, the Library published Bioethics Legislation in Selected Countries:

“This report examines the field of bioethics from an international and regional legal perspective. It focuses on major international law documents such as the United Nations Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights and UNESCO declarations on human cloning and the human genome. Coverage of regional legal instruments includes the Council of Europe Convention on HumanRights and Biomedicine (the Oviedo Convention) and its Protocols

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

Random Thoughts on Articling

If you took in the #articling discussions on twitter today, you’ll know that the debate has been postponed until November 22nd, and that the opinions on this issue are incredibly strong. Lawyers have obviously had a lot of time to reflect on the value of the articling process, what it provided them personally, and the value it provides to the profession. So intense were the discussions, that it trended in Canada on Twitter (in the number one position) for well over an hour.

I’d like to share a couple of random observations here, as a non-lawyer who has worked . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice

Benchers Hijack a Convocation Gripped by Fear

What if a law society created an articling task force that canvassed the view of stakeholders over the course of many months, prepared an interim report, then a final report and then asked for a vote.

One would think that a vote would then take place, no?


Today the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Bencher debate was hijacked by a group of Benchers who – wait for it – wanted even more time to study the issues and seek stakeholder input.

The climate of fear in Convocation was palpable as a number of Benchers seemed completely unprepared to vote . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training, Education & Training: Law Schools, Practice of Law: Future of Practice

The Rob Ford ‘Conflict’ Case, Part 2: What Other Cities Have Done

by Daniel Gogek

As you saw from last week’s post (The Rob Ford ‘conflict’ case: Why it will be dismissed), the case wasn’t a conflict case at all. It’s a case of a public body – Toronto’s City Council – imposing a penalty on a member and the Canadian law that requires giving the accused council member, in this case Rob Ford, the opportunity to be heard and thus speak to the matter at Council.

How is it possible that there was such confusion on this issue of ‘conflict?’ The short answer is that the whole phenomenon of . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law

What’s Hot on CanLII This Week

Here are the three most-consulted English-language cases on CanLII for the week of October 16 – 22.

1. R. v. Cole 2012 SCC 53

[2] Computers that are reasonably used for personal purposes — whether found in the workplace or the home — contain information that is meaningful, intimate, and touching on the user’s biographical core. Vis-à-vis the state, everyone in Canada is constitutionally entitled to expect privacy in personal information of this kind.

2. Meads v. Meads 2012 ABQB 571

[1] This Court has developed a new awareness and understanding of a category of vexatious litigant. As

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