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Archive for November, 2013

Who Is to Be Master? Or, L’État C’est Moi!

Once upon a time, Humpty Dumpty reminded Alice, in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone. “It means just what I choose it to mean – neither more or less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

Readers of this blog, and others who follow Canadian politics and law, will know that there is some controversy surrounding the appointment, by the Prime Minister of Canada, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

On Ronald Coase

the (proclaimed by others) progenitor of the law and economics movement.

The appeal of the Coase theorem, and to lesser extent the “Theory of the Firm,” to legal scholars is somewhat puzzling. While many law professors resisted the impulse to explain the world in terms of implicit contracts and around alleged costs (the even more speculative reliance on alternative uses of factors of production has been, to my knowledge, ignored), more subscribed. This is odd. One might have thought that lawyers would viscerally sense the importance of history, of power, of institutional arrangements — of lots of things besides

. . . [more]
Posted in: Miscellaneous, Reading

Democratic Numb3rs

Earlier this month here in Nova Scotia we undertook an exercise in democracy, the very foundation of our legal system. From a numbers perspective two very interesting numbers came out of that exercise. Firstly, the results of the election proved to be the first time in 130 years that a first term government in Nova Scotia was not returned to power. This is not a political blog so I’m not going to go into any depth on that point other than to say that something happening for the first time in 130 years sounds like a significant event but actually . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Miscellaneous

The Friday Fillip: “Soup of the Evening, Beautiful Soup”

I had my first cullen skink the other day.

I felt a little as dear M. Jourdain must have felt when he learned he’d been speaking prose all his life, for I’ve had many a chowder in my time that’s come within a ace of skink, had I but known it. Finnan haddie, potatoes, onions, milk or cream. But the name! A delicious mouthful all on its own. Cullen’s a town pretty much in the top right-hand corner of Scotland, and skink, well that’s a Scottish word originally for a shin of beef but later generalized to mean a . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

Profits of Law

SLAW contributor Mitch Kowalski was in Australia speaking as a “legal futurist” on our national radio legal show, The Law Report, while here I am writing in a Canadian publication.

The old “Prophet in a foreign land” phenomenon was evident particularly when telling Australians about the only two law firms in the world to have been publicly floated — both Australian.

I did a similiar thing by bringing legal IT visionary Peter C Hart out to Australia from Canada in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. The great thing about bringing an overseas expert is that they get attention. Though . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology