Saturday, June 24, 2017

New Zealand Law Commission Final Report on Contempt of Court

The New Zealand Law Commission has published its final report on the laws of contempt of court.


The Commission writes that there is a great lack of certainty about contempt of court because the law in this area has evolved in a piecemeal fashion and many principles pre-date the digital age.

The Commission recommends a new statute, The Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Act, which will replace old judge-made law.

In particular, the Commission recommends:
  • Clearer statutory rules governing the publishing of information on an arrested person’s previous convictions and concurrent charges
  • New statutory powers allowing the courts to make temporary suppression orders postponing publication of information that poses a real risk of prejudice to an arrested person’s fair trial.
  • A new statutory offence to replace the common law contempt of publishing information where there is a real risk that the publication could prejudice a fair trial.
  • A new standardized procedure for dealing with disruptive behaviour in the courts that interrupts proceedings and interferes with a court’s ability to determine the proceedings effectively and efficiently.
  • A new offence to replace common law contempt where a member of a jury investigates or researches information which he or she knows is relevant to the case.
  • The antiquated contempt of scandalizing the court should be abolished.
  • A new offence of publishing untrue allegations or accusations against the judiciary when there is a real risk that the publication could undermine public confidence in the independence, integrity or impartiality of the judiciary or courts.



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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:16 pm 0 comments links to this post

2017 European Union Justice Scoreboard

The European Union (EU) recently released its fifth annual Justice Scoreboard.

The goal of the Scoreboard is to provide a comparative overview of the efficiency, quality and independence of EU Member States’ justice systems.

"The 2017 edition ... examines new aspects of the functioning of justice systems:

 >  to better understand how consumers access the justice system, it examines which channels they use to submit complaints against companies (e.g. courts, out of court methods), how legal aid and court fees influence access to justice, particularly for persons at-risk-of-poverty, the length of court proceedings and before consumer authorities and how many consumers are using the online dispute resolution (ODR) platform which became operational in 2016.
>  to keep track of the situation of judicial independence in Member States, this edition presents the result of a new survey on the perception of citizens and companies; it shows new data on safeguards for protecting judicial independence.
>  this edition continues to examine how national justice systems function in specific areas of EU law relevant for the single market and for an investment-friendly environment. It presents a first overview of the functioning of national justice systems when applying EU anti-money laundering legislation in criminal justice. It also examines the length of proceedings for provisional measures to prevent imminent damages in certain areas of law.
>  in order to have a clearer picture of the current use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in justice systems, this edition presents the results from a survey of lawyers on how they communicate with courts and for which reasons they use ICT.
>  as standards on the functioning of courts can drive up the quality of justice systems, this edition examines in more detail standards aiming to improve the court management and the information given to parties on progress of their case..."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:08 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Overview of Canadian Cannabis Laws

Toronto-based lawyer Matt Maurer (profile on the Minden Gross LLP website) published a post on Slaw.ca that provides a Coast to Coast Provincial Cannabis Legislation Update:
"While it is still early days with the Cannabis Act having only been tabled about two months ago, things have begun buzzing at the provincial and municipal level where issues such as sale, distribution and consumption will be legislated. Below is a coast to coast summary of what is transpiring at the provincial (and in some instances municipal) level."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:31 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Fifth Bibliography on Access to Justice from National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has published Version 5 of its Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography.


From the description on the NSRLP website:
"Version 5 of the Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography includes over 100 summaries on access-to-justice material in the Canadian, American, and International context. Our latest updated Version 5 contains a specific section dedicated to unbundling and legal coaching, reflecting the increasing attention being given to these areas (...)"
The NSRLP, which flows out of the work conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane, Faculty of Law of the University of Windsor, describes itself as a clearinghouse for resources, research data, new initiatives, training materials and other information that affects and reflects the SRL phenomenon.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:59 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Senate Committee Report on Combatting Delays in the Justice System

Last week, the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs released a comprehensive report on how to reduce the strain on Canada's clogged courtrooms.


"Canada’s criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. Delays in criminal proceedings have become a significant problem as it takes too long for many criminal cases to reach a final disposition. Lengthy trials and multiple adjournments are particularly hard on victims and their families, as well as on accused persons, whose stress can be worsened as the time between the laying of charges and the end of the trial stretches out month after month. When these delays become very lengthy, courts may find that the accused’s constitutional right to a trial within a reasonable time (as guaranteed by section 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) has been breached. If this happens, the only judicial remedy available in Canada is an order for a stay of proceedings, which ends the process without a completed trial on the merits of the case (...) "
"During the committee’s study, it became clear that the causes and effects of delays are many and varied. The Supreme Court has already identified that a primary cause is a culture of complacency that has permitted unnecessary procedures and adjournments, inefficient practices, and inadequate institutional resources to become accepted as the norm. Several witnesses cautioned the committee that there would be no one simple, quick fix to solve the delays crisis. There are broad, systemic changes needed, and smaller, more targeted reforms that will also help. Many agreed that what is needed most is a cultural shift among justice system participants that moves them away from complacency and towards efficiency, cooperation and fairness (...)"
The report includes 50 recommendations, of which 13 have been identified as priorities. Among them:
  • alternative remedies for dealing with delays aside from a stay of proceedings should be added to the Criminal Code in order to create more just outcomes and permit greater flexibility in dealing with delays
  • the Criminal Code should be amended to provide greater opportunity for procedural matters that take up valuable court time and judicial resources to be handled by other judicial officers
  • the court system should restrict or perhaps eliminate preliminary inquiries
  • the Justice minister should prioritize implementing the recommendations made in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s report on the legacy of the Indian Residential Schools that pertain to justice matters in order to address the unacceptably high number of Indigenous accused persons and offenders in our criminal justice system
  • the Justice minister should coordinate a Canada-wide strategy to ensure that adequate health-related services and alternative measures are in place within the justice system to serve, treat and rehabilitate persons with mental illnesses, including addictions
  • the Justice minister work with the provinces to find better ways of dealing with certain offences that are taking up too much court time. This includes administration of justice offences that represent 23 per cent of cases completed in adult criminal court (breaches of release conditions or failure to appear in court). Steps must be taken to ensure that the conditions imposed on accused persons are appropriate and related to the original charges, and to reduce the impact these proceedings are having on delays. Impaired driving offences represent about ten percent of the most common offences tried in court. Provincial schemes to deal with drivers with lower levels of blood alcohol concentration through administrative penalties (instead of criminal sanction) show promise in reducing the demands on our court system

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:04 pm 0 comments links to this post

Computer, Internet and E-commerce Law Year in Review

Barry Sookman, senior partner in the Toronto office of McCarthy Tétrault, recently posted The year in review: developments in computer, internet and e-commerce law (2016-2017):


"I gave my annual presentation today to the Toronto computer Lawyers’ Group (...)  It covered the period from June 2016 to June 2017. The developments included cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K., and other EU and Commonwealth countries."
"The developments were organized into the broad topics of: Online Liability/Intermediary Remedies, Copyright, Trade-marks/Domain Names, Technology Contracting, e-Commerce & Online Agreements, and Canada’s (despised) anti-spam/malware law, CASL. "
"The cases referred to are listed below. My slides can be viewed after the case listing. These and many other cases will be added to my 7 volume book on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (1988-2016)."
 Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law is one of the major Canadian textbooks in the field.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:41 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, June 19, 2017

Policy Options Magazine Series on Upcoming Legislative Review of Canadian Copyright Policy

Policy Options, a publication of the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy, is taking a closer look this month at Reviewing Canadian Copyright Policy as the Canadian government prepares for a mandatory legislative review of the Copyright Act that starts later this year.


"Reforming the Copyright Act was a tough slog the last time around, a balancing act for policy-makers and legislators, who heard from wildly different perspectives on what would be best for consumers, creators, and the businesses that deal with original work. Five years have passed, and the time has come for the required review of the Act. Our contributors, writing from multiple vantage points, offer their analyses of the current state of the copyright regime in Canada, what should be changed, and what should be left alone."
There are 6 articles, including Libraries and the copyright (balancing) act by Victoria Owen. Owne is the chair of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Copyright Committee, a member of the board of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Accessible Book Consortium and past chair of the International Federation of Library Associations’ Copyright and Other Legal Matters Committee.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:50 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Australian Law Reform Commission Report on Elder Abuse

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) released a landmark report on elder abuse last week.

The Attorney-General of Australia asked the ALRC to conduct this Inquiry into elder abuse in February 2016.

The Inquiry forms part of a range of initiatives aimed at addressing elder abuse and builds on a number of other reviews, including: the 2007 report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Older People and the Law; the 2015 report of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee into violence, abuse and neglect against people with disability in institutional and residential settings; the 2016 research report by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Elder Abuse: Understanding Issues, Frameworks and Responses; and the ALRC’s 2014 report, Equality, Capacity and Disability in Commonwealth Laws.

The Report includes 43 recommendations dealing with laws and legal frameworks across national, state and territory laws. The goal of these recommendations is to achieve a nationally consistent response to elder abuse and support the choices and wishes of vulnerable elderly people through
  • improved responses to elder abuse in residential aged care;
  • enhanced employment screening of care workers;
  • greater scrutiny regarding the use of restrictive practices in aged care;
  • building trust and confidence in enduring documents as important advanced planning tools;
  • protecting older people when ‘assets for care’ arrangements go wrong;
  • banks and financial institutions protecting vulnerable customers from abuse;
  • better succession planning across the self-managed superannuation sector;
  • adult safeguarding regimes protecting and supporting at-risk adults.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:33 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from June 1st to 15th, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:34 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories

Alan Kilpatrick, a law librarian with the Law Society of Saskatchewan, wrote last week on the Legal Sourcery blog about a new Primer to Legislative Research Across the Provinces and Territories published by the Vancouver Association of Law Libraries.


From the text of the Primer:
"This primer to legislative research is arranged by province/territory, with each table providing answers to seven questions.
  1. Do you have a centralized resource for Court Rules (either print or online)?
  2. Do you have any resources that help you with Provincial Point-In-Time Research?
  3. What is your legislative assembly’s website? Can you access Hansards from this website?
  4. Where do you go for legislative materials?
  5. Does your province/territory have a Continuing Legal Education Society? If yes, do you have access course  materials and other resources? Is it a paid subscription?
  6. Does your province/territory have Courthouse Library Services?
  7. Is there any other resource that you find invaluable for legal research? Are there any other resources specific to  your province/territory that you want to highlight?"
[Source: Legal Sourcery]

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:29 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 2017 Issue of Information Matters

Librarianship.ca recently launched Information Matters, a regular e-newsletter about librarianship-related matters in Canasda.

It is already up to Issue no. 3 (June 12, 2017). Each issue includes:
  • news/announcements from the Canadian librarianship community
  • new items from Librarianship.ca
  • people highlights
  • articles and reports
  • upcoming events
The current issue has news about:
  • the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics study of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)
  • the Canadian Web Archiving Coalition
  • the Indigenous Book Club at Ottawa Public Library
  • and much more

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:47 pm 0 comments links to this post

Statistics Canada Article on Police-Reported Hate Crimes

Statistics Canada has published a new article on Police-reported hate crimes, 2015.

Key topics include motivations for hate crime (e.g. race/ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation), types of offences, geographical comparisons and accused/victim characteristics. The article uses data from the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey which gathers data from police records:
"Overall, police reported 469 Criminal Code incidents in 2015 that were motivated by hatred of a religion, 40 more incidents than the previous year. These accounted for 35% of hate-motivated crimes reported in 2015."

"Police-reported hate crimes targeting the Muslim population increased from 99 incidents in 2014 to 159 incidents in 2015, an increase of 61%. At the same time, the number of police-reported crimes targeting the Jewish population declined from 213 in 2014 to 178 in 2015. Hate crimes targeting the Jewish population accounted for 13% of all hate crimes, followed closely by hate crimes targeting the Muslim population (12%)."

"Approximately 10% of the population in Canada were part of a non-Christian religion in 2016. According to recent projections by Statistics Canada, the number of people in Canada with a non-Christian religion could almost double by 2036. Within this group, the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths would see the number of their followers grow more quickly, although still representing a small portion of the population overall. In 2015, a number of police services increased outreach to ethnic groups, including Muslim communities. In addition, the National Council of Canadian Muslims made efforts to encourage reporting of hate crimes to police."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, June 12, 2017

Chief Justice of Canada to Retire December 15, 2017

The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada, announced today that she will retire from the Supreme Court of Canada effective December 15, 2017.

Here is the official press release from the Court.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:06 pm 0 comments links to this post

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada and Library and Archives Canada Sign Agreement on Transfer of Case Files

Under an agreement signed last Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) will transfer ownership of case files older than 50 years to Library and Archives Canada (LAC):
"Among the cases covered by the agreement are:
  •  Roncarelli v. Duplessis, a landmark 1959 ruling on the rule of law involving the Premier of Quebec;
  • the Margarine Reference which outlined the proper exercise of the criminal law power under the Canadian Constitution; and
  •  several matters decided in the aftermath of the enactment of the Canadian Bill of Rights in August 1960. "
"The LAC-SCC agreement also means that certain categories of the Court’s judicial information, such as the Collegial files of the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada, will become accessible to the public 50 years after a case file has been closed, thereby providing insights into the inner deliberations of the Court."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:19 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Québec National Assembly Guide on History of the Civil Code

The website of the Québec National Assembly has created a thematic guide to the history of the Civil Code of the province from its origins in France's Napoleonic Code of 1804.


 The guide outlines the major amendments and repeals up to and including those affecting the new Civil Code of Quebec that came into force in 1994.

For each change, the guide provides a detailed historical description with associated documents (bills, parliamentary debates, briefs or "mémoires" submitted by stakeholders in front of parliamentary committees etc.)

All the documents mentioned are available from the legislative library of the National Assembly. A hyperlink is provided whenever an electronic version of a document exists.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm 0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Statistics Canada Report on Women and the Criminal Justice System

Statistics Canada yesterday published a report on Women and the Criminal Justice System that looks at violence against women in Canada as well as women's involvement in the criminal justice system as offenders.

Among the highlights:
  • Since 2004, self-reported victimization rates have declined among women for physical assault, while self-reported rates of sexual assault have not changed.
  • According to 2014 statistics, women reported being the victim of 1.2 million incidents of physical assault, sexual assault or robbery in the previous year. Self-reported violent victimization rates were higher among women (85 per 1,000 population) than men (67 per 1,000 population). This difference was largely attributable to higher rates of sexual assault among women.
  • Females aged 12 and older accounted for about one-quarter of people accused of committing a Criminal Code offence in 2015, according to police-reported data. Although there was an overall decline in police-reported crime in Canada among adults aged 18 and older from 1998 to 2015, the decrease was more pronounced for crimes involving a male accused.
  • In 2014, Aboriginal women were 2.7 times more likely to have reported experiencing violent victimization than non-Aboriginal women.
  • The number of Aboriginal female victims of homicide has increased over the past several decades, while the number of non-Aboriginal female victims has declined. As a result, Aboriginal females account for an increasing proportion of female homicide victims, rising from one-tenth (9%) of all female homicide victims in 1980 to one-quarter (24%) in 2015.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:12 pm 0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Inter-Library Toolkit from American Association of Law Libraries

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has published a new ILL Toolkit:
"It is designed to help new and experienced interlibrary loan and document delivery professionals learn about the various platforms, professional groups, conferences, and resources available."
It has sections on:
  • Professional Groups and Listservs
  • Products/Platforms
  • Consortial Groups
  • Conferences
  • Practical Guidance (guidelines, copyright, discovery etc.)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:19 pm 0 comments links to this post

Monday, June 05, 2017

Library Assessment Conference 2016 Proceedings Now Online

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) hosted a Library Assessment Conference in Arlington, Virginia on October 31–November 2, 2016.

The Proceedings of the 2016 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment are now available online.

The event brought together 600 participants from 47 US states and the District of Columbia, 7 Canadian provinces, and 12 countries outside of North America. The program offered panel, paper, lightning talk, and poster presentations covering all areas of library assessment. The proceedings, 692 pages, include 28 papers and 62 short papers, representing the diversity of assessment efforts, including data visualization, facilities and spaces, and methods and surveys.

ARL members include 123 research libraries at comprehensive, research institutions in the US and Canada.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:07 pm 0 comments links to this post

Thursday, June 01, 2017

June 2017 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The June 2017 issue of In Session is available online.

It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:34 pm 0 comments links to this post

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles

The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from May 16 to 31, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

It is possible to subscribe via e-mail to receive the list.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:31 pm 0 comments links to this post