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Archive for December, 2013

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Protection du consommateur: L'impression générale qui se dégage des annonces publicitaires de Kia Canada est qu'il n'y a pas de TPS à payer, ce qui est inexact; il s'agit d'une déclaration susceptible de tromper le consommateur, et Kia Canada est condamnée à payer des amendes totalisant 6 000 $.
Posted in: Summaries Sunday

A Comment on Bedford

The Supreme Court of Canada was unanimous: our prostitution laws do more harm than good. The laws take a lawful activity and make it more dangerous. It is an important victory for sex workers and their allies who support decriminalization. But, the political battle has only just begun.

Three criminal laws were at issue: the laws preventing bawdy houses or brothels (s.210), living on the avails of prostitution (s.212(1)(j)) and communicating in public for the purposes of prostitution (s.213)(1)( c)). Each law, according to the Court, increases the risks faced by sex workers. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment

Federal Q.C.s as Anniversary Presents

Eighty-one years and ten days ago the Statute of Westminster 1931 was signed into law, UK legislation that came close to giving the Dominions, including Canada, complete independence. What was reserved to Britain was, by section 7, the power to amend the British North America Act, something that didn’t arrive on these shores until the repatriation of the constitution in 1982.

Avowedly to celebrate this demi-glorious moment, the federal government recently bestowed the designation of Queen’s Counsel on seven (to honour s.7?) lawyers in the public service. This, despite the fact that the federal government stopped designating Queen’s Counsel . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous

Legalization and Apostilles in Canada: A Bleg

[vocabulary watch: ‘bleg’ – a request (beg) for information delivered by blog]

Does anyone know of any instance where any body in Canada – private or public – asks that foreign public documents be legalized before being accepted for use here? (Legalization is a method of authenticating a foreign public document by consular officials of the country in which it is to be used. Public documents can include birth certificates and other personal status documents, school or unversity transcripts, and much else that is issued by a public authority of some kind.)

So far as I know, no one in . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous

Bare Minimum Tech Standards for Lawyers

I am dealing with an older lawyer who told me that he won’t be able to review my 3 page agreement until January 6, 2014 because his staff will be gone for the holidays and he needs staff to help him with technology – in this case, with blacklining my agreement, which would be tough since I sent the agreement to him in pdf format. I suggested that he make his comments in pen on the document and then fax it back to me. He did manage to do that.

This is not the first time that I have come . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, Technology: Office Technology

Supreme Court Rules for Bedford

The Supreme Court of Canada has released its decision in Attorney General of Canada, et al. v. Terri Jean Bedford, et al., the case involving prostitution that has been before Ontario courts eight times. In a 9-0 judgment delivered by the Chief Justice the Court dismissed the appeal by the Attorney-General and allowed the cross-appeal by Terri Bedford.

From the headnote:

Held: The appeals should be dismissed and the cross‑appeal allowed. Sections 210, 212(1)(j) and 213(1)(c) of the Criminal Code are declared to be inconsistent with the Charter. The declaration of invalidity should be suspended for one year.

. . . [more]
Posted in: Announcements, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Protecting Privacy in Your Legal Practice

In April I wrote a column in which I posed the question “Are lawyers paying enough attention to privacy?”. Based on some high profile privacy breaches and extensive discussions with practitioners that I have met and worked with in the past, my unfortunate conclusion to the question was, no. As I mentioned in the previous post, I believe that this state of affairs largely arises from the deep history of protection of confidentiality within the legal profession and the mistaken notion that protection of confidentiality equals protection of privacy and ensures compliance with the relevant legal requirements that surround the . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

The Friday Fillip: The Sounds (And Sights) of Elsewhere

In a day’s time—at 12:11 p.m where I am, to be exact—it’ll be all downhill for the next six months, as we glide with increasing speed into the light. We’ve done it. We’ve survived the shrinking of the day for yet another year. Time now to begin the inhale, as it were.

I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned the business of burning off the day at both ends leaves me with the desire to be elsewhere, preferably closer to the equator. And though I buck myself up with the “downhill” analogy, I know that . . . [more]

Posted in: The Friday Fillip

French Veil Ban Goes to European Court of Human Rights

On November 27, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights held a Grand Chamber hearing (which was broadcast on the Internet) in the case of S.A.S v. France (Application no 43835/11). The case concerns a French Muslim woman’s complaint that French law prohibits her from wearing a full-face veil in public. As of April 2011, French Law no. 2010-1192 prohibits concealment of one’s face in all places open to the public in France. The penalty for breaking the law is a fine of up to €150 and/or compulsory citizenship classes. Separate penalties are provided for anyone forcing a woman to conceal her face in public.
Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

UN Database on Gender in Constitutions

UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, a three-year-old organization, has made available online a database of those provisions in nations’ constitutions that concern gender. The Constitutional Database covers 195 countries and provides relevant passages in both the original language and English translation. It is possible to download the entire database in PDF.

The database is searchable, of course, with filters available for country, region, or type of provision (e.g. reproductive rights, marriage family rights, equality…).

[Hat tip: Blogging for Equality] . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Christmas Movies and the Restatement of Torts

There is a new blog post over at In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, that discusses Christmas movies with a law-related theme.

Obviously, the post mentions Miracle on 34th Street.

But check out the final paragraph that manages to connect the movie Gremlins to a discussion of The Restatement of Torts. . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Substantive Law: Foreign Law

Frankfurter Buchmesse

With around 7,500 exhibitors from over 110 countries, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the publishing industry’s biggest trade event in the world. I found myself there this past October, mostly hanging around the “Digital Innovation” track. This for two reasons: we (Lexum) are in the business of helping publishers look good on the web and there was a beer stand conveniently located not far from the stage to help fight the jetlag.

The premise of the courtship between an IT service provider and a publisher is quite straightforward. Publishers want to sell more of their books by repurposing . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing