Canada’s online legal magazine.

Archive for February, 2018

Towards Cyberjustice Retrospective Part 1: Who Controls Court Data?

In our October 17th column, we announced that we would start posting a series of blogs highlighting different papers, studies, and pilot projects conducted under the auspices of the “Towards Cyberjustice” project. As a reminder, this project, which was financed by a Major Collaborative Research Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, spanned over the last seven years and has made significant contributions in the domain of what many call eJustice (what we refer to as cyberjustice). As stated on the Cyberjustice Laboratory’s Website, the purpose of the project was (although we’re . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Consistency in Case-by-Case Privilege for Religious Communications

Solicitor-client privilege has been described by the Court in Lavallee, Rackel & Heintz v. Canada as a principle of fundamental justice and civil right of supreme importance in Canadian law. The Court went further in R. v. McClure and stated at para 35, “solicitor-client privilege must be as close to absolute as possible to ensure public confidence and retain relevance.”

Not all forms of privilege though are so strongly protected. For forms of privilege that is not historically protected on the basis of class or category, the courts have employed the test originally set out in the 1961 tet by . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a Québec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the Québec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in Québec.

PÉNAL (DROIT) : L’infraction de facilitation se trouvant à l’article 83.19 C.Cr. ne concerne pas l’auteur principal d’une activité terroriste, dont le comportement est plutôt visé par l’article 83.2 C.Cr.

Intitulé : R. c. Jamali, 2017 QCCS 6078 *
Juridiction : Cour supérieure (C.S.), Montréal, 500-73-004347-155
Décision de : Juge . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Simon Fodden (1944 – 2018)

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that our beloved Slaw founder, Simon Fodden, passed away on February 10th, 2018. Simon had been fighting cancer for the past four years, and died surrounded by his family at the Kensington Hospice in Toronto.

Simon’s accomplishments were many. From the family’s eulogy, he was beautifully described as “law professor and associate dean of law, author, blogger, founder/publisher of slaw.ca, lifelong learner, eclectic collector of interests and curiosities, aesthete, fashion plate, craft beer lover, foodie, charming conversationalist, music lover, technofile, web designer and all-around early adopter of innovation. Online . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, The Friday Fillip

Valuing Legal Information

The problem with trying to value legal information is that we mostly just talk about its price instead of its value. The value of anything is subjective, and correct legal information at the perfect time is worth a great deal, general legal information that isn’t needed at a particular moment is worth much less. This is important because the people who make decisions about how to fund legal information are often not the people who use it regularly and are generally not faced with urgent legal matters at the moment of making decisions about how much to pay for it. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

The Legal Aid Effect on Health Outcomes

A study recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) showed that every dollar spent on social programs is associated with a 0.1% decrease in potentially avoidable mortality and a 0.1% increase in life expectancy. Both results were statistically significant. This analysis of social and health care spending in 9 provinces from 1981 to 2002 concludes that population health outcomes would be improved if government spending were reallocated from health to social spending (“Effect of provincial spending on social services and health care on health outcomes in Canada: an observational longitudinal study”, Daniel J. Dutton et al, . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Two Improvements Our Courts Can Implement for Self-Represented Litigants

Recently Chief Justice Wagner announced that the Supreme Court will modernize its headnotes by adding a summary written for regular folks. This summary will be posted on the Court’s website and its Facebook page. This change is a response to the way people are getting information. Today people learn about information from social media and websites in addition to traditional news broadcasts.

Justice Wagner’s initiative should be followed by our lower courts. Many self-represented litigants read cases arising from trials or motions. These cases can be hard to understand, even for lawyers. Our courts should be supplementing these dense decisions . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Electrical Infrastructure Standards Updated to Meet Cyber Security Threat

A quote famously attributed to then FBI Director, Robert Mueller, in March 2012 advised that: “There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be”.

With the rapid increase in the current plague of cyber attacks, a key issue for regulators continues to be the protection of critical infrastructure. In recent years, various US regulatory agencies have established (and periodically update) standards to improve the ability to detect, mitigate and respond to the increasing cyber security threats to critical infrastructure. Canadian regulatory agencies and industry participants, particularly in sectors where there are cross . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

Wednesday: What’s Hot on CanLII

Each Wednesday we tell you which three English-language cases and which French-language case have been the most viewed* on CanLII and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this last week:

1. Major League Baseball v. Cardinal, 2018 ONSC 714

[5] In anticipation of a game later that afternoon, on October 17, 2016, Mr. Cardinal sought interim and interlocutory injunctions in the Superior Court of Justice to restrain the Cleveland Team from displaying the Team Name and/or Logo; to restrain Rogers from using or displaying the Team Name and Logo in its broadcasts . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on research, writing, and practice.

Research & Writing

Please Tell Me You Don’t Write Letters Like This
Neil Guthrie

This is an excerpt from an actual letter received from a writer whose identity shall remain shrouded with a justly deserved veil of anonymity…

Technology

Canada Post Personal Vault
Law Society of Saskatchewan Library

Do you need safe online storage for confidential information such as passwords, birth certificate, bank accounts, medical records, passports, tax returns, wills,

. . . [more]
Posted in: Tips Tuesday

British Columbia Releases Details on Recreational Cannabis Rules

After much anticipation, the Government of British Columbia has released details on recreational cannabis rules that will govern how cannabis can be purchased and consumed within the province.

Retail Framework

British Columbians aged 19 and older will be able to purchase recreational cannabis through privately run retail stores or government operated retail stores and government online sales. The province’s Liquor Distribution Branch will operate a new standalone network of public retail stores while the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will be responsible for licensing and monitoring private retail stores.

Licensed retailers will not be able to sell cannabis in the . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Presenting the Bills: Who Calls the Tune?

Who gets to participate in making the rules that affect them, and to what degree? This is a fundamental question in Canada (Governor General in Council) v. Mikisew Cree First Nation, 2016 FCA 311 (“MCFN”), an appeal of a judicial review proceeding. In MCFN, the core question is whether indigenous groups in Canada entitled to a role in drafting legislation that affects their treaty rights.

This case is unique in Canadian jurisprudence. Until now, cases regarding the duty to consult have been about the obligation to consult indigenous peoples in the course of making a regulatory decision. MCFN is . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law