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Archive for December, 2020

Meaningful Access to Justice: What Is the Role for Tribunals and Adjudicators?

A review of “The Justice Crisis: The Cost and Value of Accessing Law”, Edited by Trevor C.W. Farrow and Lesley A. Jacobs (UBC Press, 2020)

This recent book arises out of the research done by members of the Costs of Justice research project with a focus on the cost and affordability of justice in the civil and family law areas. The two main research questions in this project are: what is the cost of delivering an effective civil justice system; and, what are the economic and social costs of failing to do so?

The main audiences for this book are . . . [more]

Posted in: Dispute Resolution

Doing the Two-Step on Uneven Platforms: Successes and Setbacks of Human Rights Advocacy

Human rights advocates are sometimes asked whether human rights advocacy works. Most human rights defenders answer in the form of anecdotes, because empirical research on effectiveness is scarce in a world where human rights advocates have limited resources and are increasingly in danger. This report reviews some 2020 successes and setbacks experienced by the pro bono advocates of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC). The year 2021 will require renewed energy and resources for visionary and persistent human rights advocacy that makes a positive difference to people at risk.

The gap between international law and reality

It is undeniable that human . . . [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

Terrible Transitions
Neil Guthrie

In an op-ed piece prompted by the Ontario government’s threatened invocation of the Charter’s ‘notwithstanding’ clause (s 33), Professor Lissa Paul of Brock University mused about the prevalence of similar ‘useless adverbs’ in student writing: ‘”Notwithstanding” and the Transition Word Epidemic’ … . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

This US Election May Finally Be Over and Other Year End News From Washington, DC

I have good news from DC about the US election. On Monday, December 14 the United States Electoral College met virtually and certified that Joe Biden is the President-elect and Kamala Harris as Vice-President-elect. The drama continues to drag on due to the machinations of a very sore loser, but many Republicans are finally acknowledging the fact. I think that the Electoral College is an outdated institution that violates the principle of “one person, one vote”. Its state winner-take-all approach can result in the winner of the popular vote losing the election as has happened twice in this century. However . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

New Privacy Concerns With Deep Nudes

In the back pages of comic books, there was often a curious advertisement. One which purported to sell x-ray glasses, which would allow the user to see through things.

Although first patented in 1906, these novelty items simply created an optical illusion and involved no x-rays at all. This didn’t prevent many young readers from purchasing, with the intent of being up to no good. Roger Luckhurst explains in “X-Ray Specs,”

As anyone who spent a dollar (plus postage and packing) on mail order X-Ray Specs came bitterly to learn, Röntgen’s x rays were not involved in

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

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:

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

Employee Wins Historic Amount of Damages for Sexual Harassment and Workplace Discrimination

by Lewis Waring, Paralegal, Law Student, Editor, First Reference Inc.

In NK v Botuik (“Botuik”), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) awarded a former employee $170,000.00 for sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the second-highest amount of damages ever awarded in Ontario. The employer, in this case, Alan Stewart Homes Limited, owned and operated a number of group homes that served individuals with significant disabilities. Tenants at the employer’s group homes were disabled such that they were unable to live independently and were also incapable of caring for themselves in relation to everyday activities. The employee worked at one of . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions

Book Review: Feminist Judgments in International Law

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.

Feminist Judgments in International Law. Edited by Loveday Hodson & Troy Lavers. Oxford, UK: Hart Publishing, 2019. xix, 511 p. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-50991-445-6 (hardcover) £90.00; ISBN 978-1-50991-443-2 (eBook) £64.80.

Reviewed by Dominique Garingan
Library Manager, Calgary
Parlee McLaws LLP
In CLLR 45:4

In Feminist Judgments in . . . [more]

Posted in: Book Reviews

Thursday Thinkpiece: Silver on Creative Renewal During COVID-19

Periodically on Thursdays, 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.

That Time of Year n°25-4 2020, page 216-219

Lisa A. Silver is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law, She blogs and podcasts at

“That time of year thou mayest in me behold” is from Sonnet 73, one of Shakespeare’s best-known sonnets. A metaphor for . . . [more]

Posted in: Thursday Thinkpiece

Yours to Discover: The Lack of Evidence Supporting the Conclusions Reached by the LSO Paralegal Licensing Report

On June 26, 2020, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) released the Family Legal Services Provider License Consultation Paper (FLSPL) for review and comment by the legal profession in Ontario. Prior to the release of the FLSPL the LSO had released the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project Steering Committee’s Report to Convocation entitled “Listening to Ontarians”, which in May of 2010 reported to Convocation that the Committee had identified access to justice as a significant issue facing the public in Ontario.[1]

Access to justice in the area of family law is an issue. Access to justice is an issue . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues

No Trivial Matter

I am a big fan of trivia. I am pretty much undefeated in any game of Trivial Pursuit since the mid-1980s[1]. One night years ago my family thought they might defeat me playing a DVD-video based version of the game. My victory that night has become family legend.[2]

A piece of trivia I recently learned was that the Audi automobile company takes its name from the legal maxim, audi alteram partem. The founder, August Horch, could not use his surname as it was part of the trademark of his former company. “Horch” in German means “hear”. . . . [more]

Posted in: Administrative Law

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. Miller v Edmonton (City), 2020 ABQB 784 (CanLII)

[23] One point where I disagree with Edmonton is that this is an instance where Mackin v New Brunswick (Minister of Finance) would apply, and that allegations that a law is unconstitutional cannot ground a claim for damages. When conducting procedure pursuant to r 3.68, pleadings are presumed to be factually correct ( . . . [more]

Posted in: Wednesday: What's Hot on CanLII