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Library Boy

Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian

Updated: 2017-07-20T11:53:08.615-04:00


Closer Look at the British Columbia Law Institute Report on Complex Stratas


The British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) released a Report on Complex Stratas in June 2017.In British Columbia, a strata corporation is a legal entity with all of the powers of a natural person who has full capacity. This means that it can sue or be sued, enter into contracts and hire employees. There are residential strata corporations, commercial strata corporations.snd other categories."This report is the second published in BCLI’s Strata Property Law Project—Phase Two. BCLI’s work on strata-property law reaches back to phase one of this project, which concluded in 2012 with recommendations to examine the following seven areas: (1) fundamental changes to a strata; (2) complex stratas; (3) selected governance issues; (4) common property; (5) selected land-title issues; (6) selected insurance issues; (7) leasehold stratas." "Complex stratas is not a term found in the Strata Property Act. It’s an expression used to describe trends in the real-estate sector. Strata-property legislation was developed in the 1960s as a means to promote high-density residential housing. But the legislation has never restricted strata properties to just this form. Architecturally varied and mixed-use stratas began to spring up in the 1970s. At that time, the legislation gained three tools to manage the legal issues that arose in the wake of increasingly complex stratas: sections, types, and phases. This report marks the first comprehensive review of these three tools in a generation." "The report contains 68 recommendations for reform. The recommendations propose clarifying the procedures for creating and cancelling sections, spelling out section powers and duties, strengthening section governance, budgets, and finances, clarifying the procedures for creating and cancelling types and fine-tuning the operation of types, enhancing the oversight of the phasing process." In a series of posts, the BCLI blog has been "taking a closer look at three key recommendations in the report": “Should the Strata Property Act continue to require a strata corporation to hold an annual general meeting after the deposit of each phase in a phased strata plan other than the first phase?”“Should strata corporations be allowed to allocate expenses paid for out of the contingency reserve fund to types?” “Should sections be retained or repealed?”[...]

Canadian Federation of Library Associations Appoints Executive Director


The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA-FCAB) has apopointed Katherine McColgan as Executive Director commencing August 8, 2017:
"Based in Ottawa and fluently bilingual, Katherine will directly engage with federal government representatives to raise the profile of key issues and ensure that the voice of the Canadian library community is represented in policy decisions. CFLA-FCAB will continue to press the federal government for action on issues including support for Indigenous languages and cultures, digitization of and access to Canadian cultural content, and recognition of libraries as cultural institutions."
The Federation replaced the old Canadian Library Association with a new structure based on an association of national, regional and sectoral library associations.

Earlier Library Boy posts on the topic include:

Law Library of Congress Guide to Parliamentary Information Online


The Law Library of Congress has published a report on Features of Parliamentary Websites for some 50 different countries.

"In recent years, parliaments around the world have enhanced their websites in order to improve access to legislative information and other parliamentary resources. Innovative features allow constituents and researchers to locate and utilize detailed information on laws and lawmaking in various ways. These include tracking tools and alerts, apps, the use of open data technology, and different search functions. In order to demonstrate some of the developments in this area, staff from the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress surveyed the official parliamentary websites of fifty countries from all regions of the world, plus the website of the European Parliament. In some cases, information on more than one website is provided where separate sites have been established for different chambers of the national parliament, bringing the total number of individual websites surveyed to seventy. "


"All of the parliamentary websites included in the survey have at least basic browse tools that allow users to view legislation in a list format, and that may allow for viewing in, for example, date or title order. All of the substantive websites also enable searching, often providing a general search box for the whole site at the top of each page as well as more advanced search options for different types of documents. Some sites provide various facets that can be used to further narrow searches."

"Around thirty-nine of the individual websites surveyed provide users with some form of tracking or alert function to receive updates on certain documents (including proposed legislation), parliamentary news, committee activities, or other aspects of the website. This includes the ability to subscribe to different RSS feeds and/or email alerts."

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


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

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

Primary Research Group Report on Use of Law School & Other Digital Repositories


New York-based Primary Research Group has just published a report called Survey of Law School Faculty: Use of Law School & Other Digital Repositories:
"The study defines how faculty use law school and other digital repositories, answering with hard data questions such as: what percentage of law school faculty have deposited a journal article into a repository? A book? Newspaper and magazine articles? Blog posts? Videos of classroom lectures? Other forms of intellectual property?  How do faculty use repositories in research and teaching? Do they use the repositories of law schools other than their own? General university repositories?"

"The study also gives detailed information on how faculty assess their law school and other repositories, including assessments of how well the repositories are marketed, how well they help faculty with obtaining permissions, how well they report usage data and other repository services to faculty."
Among the respondent were professors from the University of Alberta Law School.

Print and PDF versions are available for $139(US). Site licenses are also available.

Interview With Law Library of Congress Junior Fellow Dasha Kolyaskina


In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has been running an interview series featuring members of the library staff. The series started in late October 2010.

The most recent interview is with Dasha Kolyaskina, Junior Fellow:

How would you describe your job to other people?
I’m working with the Hispanic Legal Documents Collection that the Law Library acquired in 1941. The collection is an assortment of law related texts from Spanish-speaking countries from the 15th to 19th centuries. In total, there are 96 boxes of unbound legal manuscripts that include criminal suits, customs documents, public notices and official correspondences, among other subject areas. There aren’t many common threads between the documents, but there are clusters of documents from Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, and Spain.

My work this summer has been to collect data points for each document in the collection–such as jurisdiction, time period, names of parties to proceedings and others–in order to create a finding aid for the collection, which would make it more accessible.

What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library?
I had no idea that the Law Library’s collections were so focused on jurisdictions outside the United States. More than half of the collection items are in languages other than English. The collections for foreign jurisdictions here are sometimes more complete than any collection in the countries that the documents come from, so the Library is able to serve as a reference to those governments.
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Statistics Canada Article on Self-Reported Sexual Assault in Canada


The Statistics Canada publication Juristat today published an article on Self-reported sexual assault in Canada, 2014.

It uses self-reported data from the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians' Safety (Victimization) to present information on sexual assault in Canada, including sexual attacks, unwanted sexual touching and sexual activity where the victim was unable to consent. This article examines the characteristics of sexual assault victims and their perceptions of safety, and the characteristics of sexual assault offenders and incidents. The emotional and physical consequences of sexual assault, in addition to reporting sexual assault to the police and the reasons for not reporting, are also discussed.

Among the highlights:
  • there were 22 incidents of sexual assault for every 1,000 Canadians aged 15 and older in 2014. This represented approximately 636,000 self-reported incidents of sexual assault.
  • the rate of self-reported sexual assault in 2014 remained unchanged from 2004.
  • a higher risk of sexual assault was noted among those who were women, young, Aboriginal, single, and homosexual or bisexual, and those who had poorer mental health.
  • among the three types of sexual assault measured, seven in ten self-reported incidents were unwanted sexual touching, two in ten were sexual attacks and one in ten was sexual activity where the victim was unable to consent.
  • overall, sexual assault offenders were most often men, acting alone and under the age of 35. Just over half of victims knew the person who sexually assaulted them.
  • most often, offenders were a friend, acquaintance or neighbour, then a stranger. Of all sexual assault incidents perpetrated by someone other than a spouse, one in twenty was reported to the police, compared to one in three incidents of other types of crime measured by the General Social Survey on Victimization.
  • most commonly, sexual assault victims reported feeling angry, or upset, confused or frustrated after the incident. One in four victims reported that they had difficulty carrying out everyday activities because of the incident. Further, one in six victims reported experiencing three or more longer-term emotional consequences, indicating the possibility of post-traumatic stress disorder.

List of Fastcase 50 Legal Innovators for 2017


Fastcase, an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions), has unveiled its list of Fastcase 50 winners for the year 2017.

"Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions."
There are a number of Canadians in the list:
  • Rian Gauvreau, Co-Founder and COO, Clio
  •  Monica Goyal, Founder, My Legal Briefcase and Aluvion Law; Adjunct Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School
  •  Thomas G. Martin, Founder, LawDroid; Co-Founder, Vancouver Legal Hacker 
Simon Fodder, the founder of, Canada's preeminent online legal magazine, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in 2014.

Podcast Interviews With Finalists for 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction


This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of May 13, 2017 entitled Vote for the 2017 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction.

The ABA Journal awards the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction every year to recognize a work of fiction that best exemplifies the role of lawyers in society.

In the most recent episode of the podcast Modern Law Library, the three finalists for this year's prize are interviewed.

They are:

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


The July 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.

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from June 16th to 30th, 2017 is now available on the Court website.

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

New BIALL Website


The British &  Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) has launched a new website.

Among the features:
  • the BIALL blog is now integrated into the website
  • more information on BIALL’s Council members with a bit more about who they are and their BIALL histories
  • a free sample from the association's journal Legal Information Management via a non-printable flip book
  • and quite a lot of member only content – current issues of the newsletter; committee minutes; Salary Surveys

Additional Articles Added to Policy Options Series on Rethinking Copyright


This is a follow-up to the June 19 post entitled 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, has been running a series of articles this month on different aspects of Canadian copyright law.

The series started with 6 articles but more have been added recently, including two on ownership of indigenous cultural works.

Law Library of Congress Guide on European Union Law


In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, has published a short Guide to Researching EU Law.

It was written by by Micaela DelMonte, a lawyer from the European Parliamentary Research Service who volunteered at the Law Library of Congress during May 2017:
"News about Brexit and the so-called Article 50 procedure have dominated the news about the European Union (EU) lately. If you are interested in researching these or other EU-related topics, then you have come to the right place. This Guide to researching EU law provides concise information about EU law sources and where to retrieve them."
The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2.65 million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

July/August 2017 Issue of AALL Spectrum


The July/August 2017 issue of AALL Spectrum is now available online.

It is the monthly publication of the American Association of Law Libraries.

Among the feature articles are:
  • Spotting Fake News: Best Practices for Authenticating Sources
  • Building a Repository Metrics Program to Enhance the Value of Library Services
  • Best Practices for Using Microsoft Outlook
  • Serving Trans* Patrons in Public Law Libraries

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.

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..."

Overview of Canadian Cannabis Laws


Toronto-based lawyer Matt Maurer (profile on the Minden Gross LLP website) published a post on 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."

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.

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 delaysthe 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 officersthe court system should restrict or perhaps eliminate preliminary inquiriesthe 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 systemthe 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 addictionsthe 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[...]

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.

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. Owen 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.

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.

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.

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]