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Archive for March, 2018

Osgoode Introduces Mandatory Indigenous and Aboriginal Law

When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its Calls to Action in 2015, I emphasized the need for Canadian law schools to respond to the call for mandatory training for all law students in Indigenous and Aboriginal Law. This is a necessary prerequisite towards reconciliation, and in training the next generation of lawyers to decolonize our legal system.

That same year, some law schools expressed an interest in reforming the curriculum, but acknowledged that all fell short of that goal. Since that time, Canadian law schools have been slowly finding ways to increase their Indigenous content.

Osgoode’s Dean Sossin explained . . . [more]

Posted in: Education & Training: Law Schools, Justice Issues

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.

PERSONNES : La juge de première instance n’aurait pas dû ordonner à l’appelant de se soumettre à une garde en établissement pour une durée de 21 jours; il n’avait pas consenti au second examen psychiatrique requis par l’article 30 C.C.Q. et l’Hôpital l’a maintenu sous garde préventive au-delà du délai . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Access to Justice Is More Than Just Access to Courts: Youth Justice and the New Toronto Courthouse

Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General is building a new courthouse in Toronto that will combine most of the city’s criminal courts, including all three youth courts, in one location downtown. Designed by a world-renowned architect and filled with technological innovation, it is being celebrated as a step forward for access to justice in the city. But access to justice is not just about access to a courtroom. It is about access to outcomes—outcomes that provide the most vulnerable groups, such as youth in conflict with the law, with the support they need to work towards more positive futures.

As . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

Recent Report of the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

Written wholly by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, and PhD candidate at the University of Western Ontario

In February 2018, the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics released a report that summarized issues and recommendations concerning the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The report was authored by Bob Zimmer, the Chair of the Standing Committee, and presented to the House of Commons in the first session of the 42nd Parliament.

More specifically, the report was generated following the decision to undertake a review of PIPEDA. This review began February 14, 2017; it consisted of . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Marketing, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, Technology: Internet

Pay Transparency Legislation Introduced

On March 6, 2018, the Ontario government tabled Bill 203, Pay Transparency Act, 2018 to close the wage gap between women and men in the province by imposing significant obligations and restrictions on employers relating to the disclosure of information about the compensation of employees and prospective employees. The government says it will spend up to $50 million over the next three years on the initiative. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Against a Lawyer’s Duty to Be “Zealous” or “Resolute”

Canadian lawyers have a legal duty of resolute or zealous advocacy. Law society codes of conduct direct lawyers to represent clients “resolutely and honourably” (FLS Model Code, Rule 5.1-1). The Supreme Court of Canada says that a core aspect of a lawyer’s duty of loyalty is the “duty of commitment to the client’s cause (sometimes referred to as ‘zealous representation’)” (R v Neil 2002 SCC 70 at para. 19).

Not everyone likes those duties. They worry that they implicitly endorse lawyer aggression. They think duties of honour and integrity, and as an officer of the court, ought to govern . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Should Artificial Intelligence Be Regulated?

Elon Musk spoke at SXSW and emphasized his concerns about artificial intelligence and why it needs to be regulated.

What is the issue?

Elon says AI is more dangerous than nuclear warheads.

Right now, AI is created for specific tasks, such as driving a car, playing a game, responding to our voice commands, or providing personal recommendations. AI today is nowhere near as capable in general than even a moth brain, and most people think general artificial intelligence is a long way off. But Elon says “I am really quite close, I am very close, to the cutting edge in . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

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. R v Barton, 2017 ABCA 216

[1] The jury system is probably the most familiar symbol and manifestation of the Rule of Law in this country. It is enshrined in our traditions, values and the words of our foundational law, the Constitution of Canada. The verdict of a jury is the product of the reason and collective human experience of people . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Nova Scotia’s Unfiltered Brewing Challenges Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation’s “Regulatory” Charges

Canada’s liquor control and licensing regimes remain under siege; for how much longer provincial governments will be able to enforce their antiquated monopolies over the import and sale of alcohol is anyone’s guess, but the forthcoming Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Comeau is expected to go a long way in answering this increasing controversial question.

While Comeau will be decided along Constitutional rather than regulatory lines, for administrative law practitioners the field of liquor control and licensing remains a rich source of beverage for thought.

For brewers and distillers, especially those of the “craft” or “micro” ilk, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

The INT-LAW Email Discussion List Migrates to Google Groups

On February 9, 2018, the Int-Law International Law Librarians list was migrated from LISTSERV to Google Groups. The migration was seamless. Joe Schumacher, the Int-Law list manager, did a great job of giving us advanced notice, migrating the list, and following up on any post-migration problems. The email address for posting to the Int-Law list remains the same. It’s been about a month since the migration. Below, I review the new features of Int-Law via Google Groups.

We learned that Int-Law was going to move to a new host when Joe Schumacher posted the following message on Int-Law on February . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

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

Legal Research Video Series From Courthouse Libraries BC
Alan Kilpatrick

Are you looking to develop more effective legal research skills? Consider checking out Legal Research Essentials: Finding Cases on Point from Courthouse Libraries BC. This is a hands-on legal research course consisting of several video modules. …


Search Your Name!
Sandra Bekhor

You’ve probably done it before. And maybe there were no surprises. Nothing to . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Artificial Intelligence: What Is AI and Will It Really Replace Lawyers?

This article appeared in the February 2018 issue of LAWPRO Magazine.

If you scanned social media or the headlines in many online or print-based newspapers or magazines published in 2017, you were pretty much guaranteed to see posts and articles on artificial intelligence (AI).

Most of these articles suggest that AI is in the process of fundamentally changing our lives at work, home and play. And if you believe the comments in these articles, the good news is that we will have more free time to enjoy virtual-reality worlds and have our self-driving cars take us around the countryside. The . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice