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Archive for February, 2020

Refugee Law & Climate Change

Kiribati is a small island nation that may soon be gone. It is forecasted to be the first nation to become a victim of climate change and all of its citizens will be forced, involuntarily, to find another home. In an unprecedented decision, the UN Human Rights Commission ruled that a citizen of Kiribati, Mr. Ioane Teitioto, shall not be deported by New Zealand due to threats related to climate change. This decision is the first in a sea of change, I believe, that will lead to a significant expansion of Canadian refugee law.

A Brief History of the “Eco-Refugee”

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

The Expanding Meaning of “Other Cause”: Support Entitlement Beyond the Age of Majority

I continue to be amazed by the speed with which judicial interpretation of family law statutes evolves, and how that evolution undermines what little certainty those statutes provide to separating parents. As family law lawyers will recall, section 2(1) of the Divorce Act provides that:

“Child of the marriage” means a child of two spouses or former spouses who, at the material time … is the age of majority or over and under their charge but unable, by reason of illness, disability or other cause, to withdraw from their charge or to obtain the necessities of life.

Once upon a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion – What Can We Agree on and What Can’t We?

I recently attended part of RODA’s 5th Annual Diversity Conference which was entitled Resilience in Challenging Times. I was particularly interested in hearing the panel Building Consensus: The Future of EDI at the LSO. There were four panelists; two from the Stop the SOP slate and two who had been members of the Law Society Challenges Task Force.

The context for the panel appeared to me to be intentionally post-Statement of Principles, to address questions beyond the debate about compelled speech and belief. Perhaps not surprisingly, there was little if any consensus and little apparent attempt to find any. . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Ethics

Application of a Workplace Absenteeism Policy

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

In Teamsters Local Union 847 v Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, 2019 CanLII 95328 (ON LA), a labour arbitrator upheld the reasonable application of a workplace absenteeism policy. Although the employee’s excessive absenteeism was because the employee tried to better herself and upgrade her training, the employer was still justified in dismissing her. . . . [more]

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

Book Review: Fitness to Plead: International and Comparative Perspectives

Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

Fitness to Plead: International and Comparative Perspectives. Edited by Ronnie Mackay & Warren Brookbanks. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. xxxi, 323 p. Includes list of contributors and index. ISBN 978-0-19-8788478 (hardcover) $75.00; ISBN 9780191092718 (Kobo) $59.99, (Kindle) $66.27.

Reviewed by Goldwynn Lewis
Law Librarian
Public Prosecution Service of Canada
In . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Vavilov & Dunsmuir: Looking for Signals in the Precedential Game of Thrones

As we all know, administrative law nerds (their own expression) received a nice Holiday present on December 19 when the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Vavilov. This important event in Canadian law isn’t just fun for the admin law crowd, it’s also an occasion for us, legal information geeks, to live in real time another game of “precedential game of thrones.”

I’ve been interested for a long time in finding signals that could indicate that a case is no longer good law (or at least no longer to be cited without caution). There are ways to spot . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Legal 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. Theralase Technologies Inc. v. Lanter, 2020 ONSC 205 (CanLII)

[2] This motion raises the issue of whether the court has jurisdiction to grant judgment against unidentified defendants for defamatory statements published on the internet. For the reasons that follow, I find that where a form of service can reasonably be expected to bring court proceedings to the attention of an unidentified . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII

Add Value Not Noise

Content continues to be king for professionals trying to build their profile. However, not all content is insightful and understanding what your audience wants is the key to developing content that adds value.

I regularly listen to a very well-produced podcast that comes out weekly. I like what the personalities have to say and although I don’t always listen to the entire podcast I do listen to each new episode. During a recent episode, the conversation turned to the quality of reporting done as part of the podcast.

One of the presenters said that the podcast is really only good . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

Legal Information Specialists Twitter Chat Feb 19

“Ask the question.” That was a phrase often heard at morning leadership meetings (AKA coffee with my admin colleagues) at my former law firm. Asking the question was intended to mean that we shouldn’t assume that others in the firm noticed the same problems that we did. It is a call to collaborate, ideate, and create solutions as a team. On February 19 at 1 PM EST the @CALLACBD Executive Board will be asking the question, quite a few questions actually, using a Twitter Chat with the hashtag #CALLACBDCHAT.

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries is using a Twitter . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research

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.


A Step a Day to Leverage LinkedIn
Sandra Bekhor

How long have you been on LinkedIn? A few years? More? Have you added or changed anything since that time? Your headshot? Your profile? The type of content you post? …

Research & Writing

Some Additional Apostrophe Catastrophes
Neil Guthrie

This was the headline of a recent LinkedIn post: Cryptocurrency do’s, don’ts and dangers. Think before you use the . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Building Paths to Justice in Rural Wellington County: Learnings From the WellCoMs Mobile Van Pilot Project

In order to create pathways to justice it is often necessary to discover and follow the paths along which people already walk. This is what the WellCoMs Mobile Legal Services Van has done with great success in rural Wellington County by connecting with the normal patterns of communication and with the other ways people obtain help with everyday problems. This pilot project, which operated between May and October 2019, was developed by the Legal Clinic of Guelph and Wellington County and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario. Wellington County covers an area of 2,657 square kilometers mostly north . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues