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Archive for October, 2019

Procedural Fairness: Listen to the Other Side

Written by Daniel Standing LL.B., First Reference Editor

A recent case of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, Saskatchewan (Employment Standards) v North Park Enterprises Inc., 2019 SKCA 69 (CanLII), illustrates the importance of the Latin maxim, audi alteram partem which means “listen to the other side,” or “let the other side be heard as well.” All administrative bodies, including labour boards, must comply with the rules of natural justice and procedural fairness. Within those rules there exists the duty to act fairly, which includes allowing the parties the right to be heard. In this case, the Saskatchewan Labour Relations . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Electronic Wills Even Further Updated

The Uniform Law Commission in the United States has now published the revised text and commentaries to the Uniform Electronic Wills Act adopted at its annual meeting in July 2019.

Here is the official description of the Uniform Act:

The Uniform Electronic Wills Act permits testators to execute an electronic will and allows probate courts to give electronic wills legal effect. Most documents that were traditionally printed on paper can now be created, transferred, signed, and recorded in electronic form.

Since 2000 the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) and a similar federal law, E-SIGN, have provided that a transaction is

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Technology

A Life Well-Lived in Legal Education and Beyond: Ian Kerr (1965-2019)

On August 27, 2019, my friend and colleague at the uOttawa Faculty of Law Ian Kerr passed away due to complications arising from cancer. He was only 54 years old.

Ian was a giant in his field. A visionary in AI and Ethics who thought about the implications of autonomous vehicles before they even had a name. He was a teacher who deeply cared about his students. He was a researcher who supported, mentored and championed his colleagues. But most of all he was our friend and we miss him dearly.

When Ian left us, tributes flowed in from around . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Education

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. Hunter et al. v. Southam Inc., [1984] 2 SCR 145, 1984 CanLII 33

Where the state’s interest is not simply law enforcement as, for instance, where state security is involved, or where the individual’s interest is not simply his expectation of privacy as, for instance, when the search threatens his bodily integrity, the relevant standard might well be a different one. . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Research and Writing in the Experiential Learning Context

Can you give one day to your writing? If so, there is a treat coming to Toronto just for you.

Each year, at law schools all across the United States, the Legal Writing Institute sponsors a One-Day Workshop, which establishes 10-12 satellite forums to discuss the study, teaching, and practice of professional legal writing.

This year, for the very first time outside the US, Osgoode Hall Law School and the U of T Faculty of Law will jointly host a One-Day Legal Writing Institute Workshop entitled “Research and Writing in the Experiential Learning Context.”

The Osgoode and U of T

. . . [more]
Posted in: Legal Information: Publishing

Ontario’s Fourth Annual Access to Justice Week Begins on Monday, October 28

Ontarians across the province require access to justice in different ways. Extraordinary developments in technology, access to legal information and the diverse society we live in all demand that we be open to changes in how communities engage with the justice system and exercise their rights.

While lawyers and paralegals play a critical role, they are not alone in facilitating access to justice. Professionals, academics, community workers, support staff and the public all play important roles in the system. Together, these justice stakeholders can create a more coordinated and collaborative approach to address challenges relating to access to justice.

From . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

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 practice, research, writing and technology.

Research & Writing

Gendered Job Descriptions
Neil Guthrie

Does it still strike you as odd to see Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep described as an actor? Actress is in fact a relatively new word in English, because no females performed on stage in England before the seventeenth century (although the OED does say that actor was applied to both sexes in the early days of the mixed stage). … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

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. The Treasurer’s Blog 2. 3. PierreRoy & Associés 4. Great LEXpectations 5. Timely Disclosure

The Treasurer’s Blog
The fourth annual Access to Justice Week (Oct 28 – Nov 1)

As I stated in my Opening of the Courts remarks from last September, the Law Society has

. . . [more]
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Heated Wax Case Reveals Bare Motives of Animus

On Dec. 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 217A, proclaiming and adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite the supposed importance and significance that conflicts such as WWII should have had in emphasizing the importance of human rights, their role in our society is being undermined in some quarters only 70 years after the creation of this milestone document.

Much of the derision around human rights discourse in Canada is focused on populations where there is less of a direct affinity or identification with the grounds or basis that is being protected. Often masked in . . . [more]

Posted in: 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) : Les nouvelles dispositions relatives au processus de sélection du jury ne s’appliquent pas rétrospectivement aux actes criminels commis avant le 19 septembre 2019.

Intitulé : R. c. Lindor, 2019 QCCS 4232
Juridiction : Cour supérieure (C.S.), Montréal
Décision de : Juge Éric Downs
Date : 9 octobre . . . [more]

Posted in: Summaries Sunday

Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, or learn how you can use Slaw Jobs to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at

Current postings on Slaw Jobs (newest first):

. . . [more]
Posted in: Friday Jobs Roundup

The Perfect Ministry of Justice

I have just come back from the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly, when heads of state and government flanked by ministers flock in Manhattan for meetings, summits, informals, lunches and dinners. At this year’s UNGA week the leaders took stock of the first 5 years of progress regarding the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. What we saw most in the media was the stock taking of climate. What also took place was stock taking on SDG16, the justice Goal.

We are not doing well. A staggering 5,1 billion people lack access to meaningful justice, according to . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law