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Archive for June, 2018

Human Progress

I married my wife in 1954. She confirms that over the 64 years of our marriage I have generally been an optimist about human progress. I am also an optimist about human progress in the future.

Steven Pinker in his book, Enlightenment Now (2018), argues that since the 18th century the ideas of the Enlightenment have resulted in significant human progress. The ideas are reason, science and humanism. Some areas of human progress include health, wealth, life expectancy, education, knowledge, expansion of the voting franchise, reduction of violent crimes and wars, elimination of child labor, reduction of severe punishments, and . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Thursday Thinkpiece: Sossin on Law Schools as Social Innovation

Each Thursday we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the site’s contact form.

Law School as Social Innovation

Lorne Sossin, Professor, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
(2017) 48 Victoria University of Wellington Law Review 225-236

[Footnotes omitted. They can be found in the original via the link above]


In July of 2016, I had the good fortune to spend an eventful week . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Giving Back and Gratitude

Everyone “gives back” in different ways. One of the ways I have tried to give back over the years is to serve on various Boards of Directors. Yesterday was my last day as a member of the Board of the BC Courthouse Library Society (CLBC). I leave with immense gratitude to CLBC, its board members and staff, realizing that whatever I was able to contribute to CLBC was eclipsed by the benefits that I gained in learning, expertise and experience.

One of the reasons I agreed to join the CLBC board was a chance to work with, and learn from, . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

BC Attorney General Unveils “Dirty Money” Report by Peter German

The Dirty Money Report

At 9:30 PDT this morning (June 27, 2018) BC Attorney General David Eby QC convened a press conference to discuss the release of the much anticipated report by Peter German QC. Minister Eby was joined by German, a classic quadruple threat. Quite boring really. Lawyer (BC and Ont), former RCMP member of 31 years, Correctional Service Regional Deputy Commissioner, money laundering expert and textbook writer, PhD, and Queen’s Counsel. He does not, so far as we know, hold any Olympic medals, important medical patents or Eurovision victories.

Those who tuned in to the live stream, as . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law

Would It Be Good to Get Rid of Cash?

The Guardian has an article about the number of businesses in the U.K. that are refusing to accept cash in payment, notably for food and drink, and services.

The article and the comments to it point out the difficulties such policies may cause for people who do not have or cannot get bank accounts – but also the benefit for the businesses, who do not have to keep or tally cash.

The comments in particular point out the privacy and control implications of having all one’s transactions recorded – and the data often sold – electronically.

Some other countries, notably . . . [more]

Posted in: Miscellaneous, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

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. Mary Shuttleworth v. Licence Appeal Tribunal, 2018 ONSC 3790

[4] The Applicant then sought further information from the LAT about how the adjudicator arrived at her decision. She discovered that, pursuant to an unwritten review process imposed by the executive chair, the legal department sent the adjudicator’s draft decision to the executive chair for her review and comments. The executive chair . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Latest Legal Information Update From Washington DC

I am away from Washington for the summer, but I want to update you on some recent developments at the Law Library of Congress. If you have any questions about the information below or any other questions or suggestions, the law librarians there are available through their Ask a Librarian interface or their 24/7 chatbot.

In January a post in their In Custodio Legis blog announced an improvement to the search interface on Congress,gov. “The new Search Bar is what we used to refer to as the Global Search, which was present on almost every page. The new . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Protecting Journalistic Privilege

We rely on journalists to expose wrongdoings in society and provide facts and opinion that contribute to informed debate that lies at the heart of a vibrant democracy. Yet this enterprise is undermined and threatened on all fronts. With the internet, news is difficult to commodify and budgets for investigative journalism are meagre to non-existent. Access to information laws in this country are horribly outdated and ineffective. Whistleblower laws, while newer to the scene, are equally inadequate. Political debate is increasingly based on spin, misinformation, or outright lies, which media sources are more inclined to repeat than to investigate.

Journalistic . . . [more]

Posted in: Intellectual Property

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, practice and technology.

Research & Writing

The Subjunctive
Neil Guthrie

Did your studies in French get you as far as the subjunctive mood and all its weird variations (que je sois, que je fusse, que j’eusse été)? Things are a little less complicated in English, but still not straightforward. …


Use Your Downtime Well
Sandra Bekhor

It’s June, already! It’s been a long winter. Yet, somehow it feels like summer has . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Evolution of Traditional Law Publishing Marketing Techniques

I was asked recently to express some views on a topic on which I have never claimed any significant expertise, that of how to market books published on law and related professional topics (for the expertise, see the forthcoming 6th edition of Alison Baverstock’s book, How to Market Books). The fact that it still needs to be done by many publishers makes it a relevant issue but to some observers, perhaps a little distanced from the real world or simply in different types of publishing, it might seem odd that anyone should discuss such a topic at . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. National Magazine 2. Clicklaw Blog 3. Michael Geist 4. 5. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada

National Magazine
Past time to create a National Commissioner for Children and Youth

Canada is a great country, full of promise for this and future generations. What it lacks

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Telus Texts Not Intercepted When Stored

Many Canadians confuse the law when it comes to recording telephone conversations, likely due to exposure to American concepts in the media. Although the Wiretap Act of 1968 (18 U.S.C. § 2511) contains a one-party consent rule, a dozen states have a two-party consent that supersedes American Federal law, and given its presence in California (Cal. Penal Code § 632), it’s likely that this is often the source of the misunderstanding in Canada.

In Canada, we have Part VI of the Criminal Code, which states,

Consent to interception

 Where a private communication is originated by more than one person

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