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Library Boy

Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian

Updated: 2018-03-24T11:11:48.928-04:00


Tomorrow the Supreme Court of Canada Will Start Publishing Plain Language Case Summaries


Starting tomorrow, the Supreme Court of Canada will publish Cases in Brief on the Court website, and on its Facebook and Twitter accounts. These are short, plain-language summaries of Supreme Court decisions.

The first such Case in Brief will be made available tomorrow at noon in the case of Carson v. The Queen.

In a statement released today to Court staff, Chief Justice Richard Wagner writes:
"We’re doing this because we want to be more transparent and accessible to Canadians—but we’re also doing it because we must. The reality is that there are fewer journalists covering the Court than ever, and those who remain are pulled in many different directions. This is an attempt to fill the gap."

"This initiative has been in the works for some time, beginning under former Chief Justice McLachlin. Because many people are involved, we have been developing the process over the last few months to find the best method and format. I personally want to thank all the staff who have helped with this, particularly the jurilinguists, law clerks, and legal counsel (...)"

"The work this Court does is important, and I strongly believe this initiative is necessary. The Court has always strived to be transparent and accessible to the Canadian public, and that’s exactly what we’re doing."

Article: Understanding Twitter Use by Major LIS Professional Organisations in the United States


SAGE Journals is allowing access for one month behind its paywall so people can read the article Understanding Twitter Use by Major LIS Professional Organisations in the United States.

The article is from the recent issue of the Journal of Information Science :
"Although Twitter has been widely adopted by professional organisations, there has been a lack of understanding and research on its utilisation. This article presents a study that looks into how five major library and information science (LIS) professional organisations in the United States use Twitter, including the American Library Association (ALA), Special Libraries Association (SLA), Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T) and the iSchools. Specifically explored are the characteristics of Twitter usage, such as prevalent topics or contents, type of users involved, as well as the user influence based on number of mentions and retweets. The article also presents the network interactions among the LIS associations on Twitter. A systematic Twitter analysis framework of descriptive analytics, content analytics, user analysis and network analytics with relevant metrics used in this study can be applied to other studies of Twitter use."
People can check out the Canadian Association of Law Libraries' Twitter presence (which is awesome) at

[Source: infoDOCKET]

13 Questions With Fiona Anthes - Canadian War Museum


The website has been running a series of librarian profiles called 13 Questions With ...

Here is the most recent one with Fiona Anthes, Supervisor, Military History Research Centre, Canadian War Museum:
"Why a career in librarianship?
Because I get to bounce between my different brain functions and bridge the gap for others trying to do the same. I constantly alternate between big thinking and individual applications, long term planning and nitty gritty daily data management, process design and client service. When I was in school and was asked the much feared 'what are you going to do with your life?' I gave the unsatisfying answer 'something interesting.' I now can truly claim I’ve never had a boring day on the job." (...)

"Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Do something that has nothing to do with your career as doggedly as you do career development. Having a personality is one of the best assets you have going for you. I once had an interviewer ask me out of curiosity about when I played in a flute and harp duet (I got the job), and know someone that was asked about their circus experience while being interviewed for medical school (they are now a doctor). I also know hiring managers for whom ‘having a life’ is a non-advertised hiring requirement. Job applications aside, you will network better, avoid small world syndrome, and generally have more fun if puppy-like enthusiasm permeates your life. "

Issue no. 4 of Information Matters


The website has published Issue no. 4 of Information Matters, its regular newsletter:
"Each issue includes:
  • news/announcements from the Canadian librarianship community
  • new items from
  • people highlights
  • articles and reports
  • upcoming events"

Statistics Canada Article on Violent Victimization of Women with Disabilities


Last week, the Statistics Canada publication Juristat published an article on Violent victimization of women with disabilities, 2014 that shows that persons with a disability were overrepresented as victims of violent crime.

Among the highlights:
  • According to the 2014 General Social Survey on Victimization, women with a disability were twice as likely as women who did not have a disability to have been a victim of violent crime. A similar trend was evident among men.
  • Women with a disability were nearly twice as likely as women without a disability to have been sexually assaulted in the past 12 months.
  • Among victims of violent crime, women with a disability were almost twice as likely as women without one to have been victimized more than once in the 12 months preceding the survey (36% versus 20%).
  • The rate of violent victimization among women and men with a cognitive disability or a mental health‑related disability was approximately four times higher than among those who did not have a disability. Among women and men with a sensory or physical disability, the rate of violent victimization was roughly twice as high as among those who did not have a disability.
  • Victims of violent crime who had a disability were more likely to make use of victims' services. Six in ten (61%) victims of violent crime who turned to formal support services in 2014 had a disability. Women with a disability were more likely than their male counterparts to contact or use any services.
  • Canadians with a disability were more likely to be victimized in their own home, as close to one‑third (30%) of violent incidents against a person with a disability occurred in their private residence (compared to 17% of incidents where the victim did not have a disability).
  • Four in ten (40%) Canadians with a disability at the time of the survey were physically and/or sexually abused during their childhood, compared to about one‑quarter (27%) of those who did not have a disability.
  • About one‑quarter of women with a cognitive disability (24%) or a mental health‑related disability (26%) were sexually abused by an adult before they were 15 years of age.
  • Among victims of spousal violence with a disability, women were more likely than men to have experienced the most serious forms of spousal violence (39% versus 16%), to be physically injured due to the violence (46% versus 29%), to fear for their life (38% versus 14%), and to contact or use formal support services following the violence (71% versus 29%).

Library Journal's Movers and Shakers 2018


Library Journal has released its 2018 list of Library Movers and Shakers. It is an annual snapshot of the transformative work being done by those in libraries of all types and sizes and across the field.

Winners were chosen in the following categories:
  • Change agents
  • Innovators
  • Advocates
  • Educatotrs
  • Digital developers
  • Community builders
Most winners are from the USA (as befits an American publication) but there are also two Canadians this year: Jenny Ryan from the Saskatoon Public Library and Dayna Hart from Constable Neil Bruce Middle School, West Kelowna, BC.

The publication provides a map of all the Movers and Shakers from 2002 to 2018.

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from March 1st to 15th, 2018 is now available on the Court website.

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

Law Library of Congress Publishes Free Digital Copies of United States Reports from 1791 to 2004


The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. has released more than 35,000 Supreme Court cases in page image format, all for free. All the cases had originally been published in the printed bound editions of United States Reports:
"United States Reports is a series of bound case reporters that are the official reports of decisions for the United States Supreme Court dating to the court’s first decision in 1791 and to earlier courts that preceded the Supreme Court in the colonial era. The Library’s new online collection offers access to individual cases published in volumes 1-542 of the bound edition. This collection of Supreme Court cases is fully searchable. Filters allow users to narrow their searches by date, name of the justice authoring the opinion, subject and by the main legal concepts at issue in each case. PDF versions of individual cases can be viewed and downloaded." (...)

"The digital versions of the U.S. Reports in the new collection were acquired by the Law Library of Congress through a purchase agreement with William S. Hein & Co. Inc. The acquisition is part of the Law Library’s transition to a digital future and in support of its efforts to make historical U.S. public domain legal materials freely and easily available to Congress and the world. Users can access this collection from a link on and"

"More recent editions of the U.S. Reports from 1987 to the present are available online from the U.S. Supreme Court."

Law Commission of Ontario Consultation Paper on Class Actions


The Law Commission of Ontario has published a consultation paper on class actions.

From the press release:
"The LCO review is the most comprehensive assessment of Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act since it came into force more than 25 years. Since that time, class action litigation has grown dramatically in volume, complexity and impact in Ontario and across Canada."

"The LCO’s project will:
  • Analyze the experience with class actions in Ontario; and,
  • Provide an independent, principled and practical analysis of class actions from the perspective of access to justice, judicial economy, and behaviour modification."
"The Consultation Paper seeks advice from a broad range Ontarians, including class members, the legal profession, legal organizations, governments, public and private organizations, academics and any others who have an interest in class actions. Formal public consultations conclude in mid-May. The project expects to release its final report in late 2018. "

Canadian Bar Review Now Open Access


The Canadian Bar Review, the official journal of the Canadian Bar Association, is now open access:
"Founded in 1923, the Canadian Bar Review is the bilingual peer-reviewed legal journal of the CBA, where theory and practice meet. Its mission is to serve the legal profession, the bench, the bar, and the academy by publishing the highest quality legal scholarship that will shape discussion on the most relevant legal issues of our time."

New International Law Research Guides From GlobaLex


GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, recently published updates to a few of its research guides:
  • The Crisis in Darfur - Researching the Legal Issues: "The aim of this brief essay is to direct researchers to key online and print resources discussing the legal aspects of the Darfur crisis. Each section of this essay summarizes key issues, and links to the important documents, reports, treaties, and resolutions impacting these issues. The “examples of scholarship” subsections point researchers toward recent analysis and criticism. It is not the intent of this essay to produce a comprehensive bibliography."
  • Immigration Law - A Comparative Approach Guide to Immigration Law of Australia, Canada, and the United States: "This guide is designed to identify key resources concerning the immigration law of Australia, Canada, and the United States. For each country, this guide will identify key government bodies involved in administering immigration law and organizations involved with immigrants and immigration policy. The guide will also identify select legislation, regulations, case law, secondary sources, fee-based databases and research guides relating to each country’s immigration law and policy. It will report whether each country has acceded to the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the United Nations Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, two key international conventions concerning refugees. The guide will provide online and print resources for each country’s legislation, regulations, and case law relating to immigration, when available. It will also provide links to select resources relating to refugees for each country. Because of the breadth of the subject area, this guide is not comprehensive but selective. It provides an overview of the resources available and aims to serve as a starting point for those interested in conducting in-depth research in this area. "

Most Recent Issue of LawNow: Law for Entrepreneurs


The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

The magazine is published by the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta.

The issue features a series of articles on small business law as well as a special report on poverty and homelessness.

Registration Now Open for 2018 WILU Library Instruction Conference in Ottawa


WILU stands for Workshop for Instruction in Library Use and is an annual Canadian conference devoted to research and innovations in the area of information literacy and library instruction.

The University of Ottawa Library will be hosting the 2018 WILU conference next June.

Registration is now open.

The WILU 2018 conference site has a history section that contains presentations from many earlier gatherings.

Law Library of Congress Updated Report on Online Privacy Law


The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently published an updated version of its 2012 report on online privacy:
"The newly updated country surveys for the EU Member States included in the prior reports analyze this overarching European legislation and summarize changes in domestic legislation adopted over the the past five years.  The country surveys included in this study allow one to compare the details of how individual nations adapt international legal rules, assess powers granted to authorities in charge of monitoring the implementation of national data protection information, and analyze particular issues, which are specific for each country.  Among other issues, the individual country surveys provide examples of legal measures undertaken to secure the country’s transition to a 'digital republic' (France), efforts to protect data at the company level (Germany), new procedures for breach notifications (Netherlands), and attempts to make government information more easily accessible (Italy). Those surveys also illustrate how countries analyze the impact of technological advancements on national criminal legislation (Spain), review the legality of investigative authorities to access data retained by telecommunications providers (United Kingdom) and the right of government agencies to sell collected personal information (Sweden), assess government attempts to protect minors when they engage in online activities (France, United Kingdom), and evaluate the impact of the Google v. Spain decision on the development of national data transfer legislation (EU countries). "

"Surveys of significant legal developments in Australia, Canada, Israel, and Japan provide an example of how non-EU Member States have amended their national data and online privacy protection legislative frameworks over the past five years to meet present-day challenges and concerns." 
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.

Law Library of Congress Report on Erasure of Online Information


The Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. recently published a report on Laws on Erasure of Online Information:
"This report describes the laws of twelve jurisdictions that have some form of remedy available enabling the removal of online data based on harm to individuals’ privacy or reputational interests, including but not limited to defamation.  Six of the countries surveyed are within the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area, and therefore have implemented EU law.  Five non-EU jurisdictions are also surveyed (...)"

"As described in detail in the EU survey, the EU’s law in this area emerged from a 1995 Data Protection Directive that gave individuals the right to erasure of erroneous or incomplete data.  A 2014 decision of the European Court of Justice expanded on this right to provide for the right to remove search results to personal information even without deletion of that information from the original publication, where the individuals’ privacy interests outweigh the public interest in maintaining the information.  A 2016 Regulation that will apply in all EU Member States by May 25, 2018, will codify the 2014 decision (...)"

"The surveyed countries outside the EU have a range of approaches to these issues:   
  • Russia has criminal penalties for 'invasion of personal privacy' for the illegal spreading of private information about a person, which has been used to prosecute revenge pornography.  Its Civil Code provides for the right to demand removal of images improperly distributed on the internet, and under its Law on Information it recognizes the right to be forgotten—the right of applicants to request search engine operators to remove illegal, inaccurate, or outdated search results.
  • New Zealand has robust statutory remedies for resolving harmful online content. 
  • Canadian law provides not only for the processing of complaints regarding privacy and reputational issues through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, but also for court remedies that include injunctive relief against search engines to delist websites. 
  • Japanese law allows internet hosting providers to delete defamatory content, provides a safe harbor from liability for such providers, has a mechanism for victims to request the removal of infringing information, and has an easier and faster mechanism for the blocking of revenge porn.  It also provides a means by which victims can obtain the identification of offenders from the service provider. 
  • Israel’s Defamation Law has been applied by a court against Google for failing to change a technical code that resulted in defamatory information in online searches."
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.

Macdonald-Laurier Institute Report Card on the Canadian Criminal Justice System,


The Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa-based think tank, has released its second Report Card on the Criminal Justice System:
"Canada’s criminal justice system is facing a litany of serious challenges, including significant underreporting of crime by victims, delays and inefficiencies, rising costs, and considerable overrepresentation of Indigenous people in prison" (...)

"In this second report card, we use recently collected data to update the performance of the criminal justice system in each province and territory and in Canada as a whole. Using Statistics Canada data and quantitative statistical methods, we assess each province and territory’s criminal justice system based on five major objectives: public safety, support for victims, costs and resources, fairness and access to justice, and efficiency."
Among the highlights:
  • Ontario was the most-improved jurisdiction – its ranking improved dramatically to 4th place (from 7th place), with an overall grade increase to a B (from a C+), due to relative improvements in public safety, and fairness and access to justice;
  • Quebec’s ranking declined to 6th place (from 4th place), owing to a relative decline in fairness and access to justice;
  • British Columbia’s ranking declined to 10th place (from 8th place), due to a relative decline in public safety, and fairness and access to justice;
  • Manitoba was the worst performing province and the Yukon was the worst performing territory;
  • The territories have shockingly high rates of crime per capita – far exceeding those in any of the provinces (there is 10 times more violent crime per capita in Nunavut than in Prince Edward Island); and
  • There are disproportionately high levels of Indigenous incarceration relative to the population in every jurisdiction in Canada, but they are particularly acute in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

Law Library of Congress: First Women Lawyers and Judges


To mark International Women's Day later this week, In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., asked foreign law specialists, analysts, and interns of the institution to list who the first women lawyers and judges were in different countries around the world.

The questions they were asked were:
"When did a woman first graduate from law school? When were women first admitted to the practice of law? When was the first female judge appointed?  How many of the current judges of the highest court are women?"

Canadian Lawyer Magazine Grades Trudeau Government on Justice Reform


The magazine Canadian Lawyer has created a report card for the Canadian federal government, evaluating how it has been doing on justice reform issues since the late 2015 elections.

The results are all over the map:
  • Family Law: F
  • Access to Information: C
  • Mandatory victim fine surcharge: D
  • Cannabis: B
  • Solitary confinement: C
  • Pardons: D
  • Court Challenges Program: B
  • Judicial Vacancies: C
  • Judicial Diversity: A

Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming March 2018 Hearings


The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeals that will be heard from March 12 to March 23, 2018.

To find out more about any particular case, click on the docket number in parentheses next to each case name to find docket information, case summaries as well as facta from the parties.

Supreme Court of Canada Statistics 2007-2017


The Supreme Court of Canada has published a statistical overview of its work for the decade from 2007 to 2017.

It provides data on the following:
  • "Cases Filed"
  • "Applications for Leave Submitted"
  • "Appeals Heard": by type, by origin
  • "Appeal Judgments": the number of judgments rendered each year, how many were unanimous
  • "Average Time Lapses"

March 2018 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries


The March 2018 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.

Library and Information Management Highlights from the 2018 Federal Budget


The website has outlined some of the highlights in yesterday's federal budget that my be of interest to the Canadian library and information management community.

There are items relating to:
  • Access to Information
  • Canada Summer Jobs
  • Big Data
  • First Nations
  • Rural Broadband
  • Digital Services to Canadians
  • Diversity in the Workforce
  • A New Intellectual Property Strategy
  • Access to the Canada Learning Bond and the Canada Education Savings Grant
  • Lifelong Learning
  • New Partnership Between Library and Archives Canada and the Ottawa Public Library
  • Money for Research Granting Councils and Canada Research Chairs 
  • More Collaborative Federal Science
  • Renewing and Modernizing Statistics Canada

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


The list of new library titles added to the Supreme Court of Canada collection from February 15 to 28, 2018 is now available on the Court website.

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

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Celebrates Fair Dealing Week


The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) is celebrating Fair Dealing Week 2018 with a major social media campaign and the relaunch of the Fair Dealing Canada website.

Fair Dealing Week 2018 takes place February 26 – March 2.

As interpreted by Canadian courts, fair dealing is a recognized user right under copyright law that allows the use of limited quantities of copyright-protected content without permission from the copyright owner in certain circumstances, such as private study, research, criticism, review and news summary.

In a statement on the CARL website, CARL President and University Librarian at Dalhousie University, Donna Bourne-Tyson explains:
"The federal government is currently undertaking a review of Canada’s copyright legislation, and we as representatives of research libraries feel strongly that this user right must be maintained. While many people do not realize that they themselves make use of fair dealing on a regular basis, those of us who work in education – especially those of us in libraries – not only see the frequent application of this right, but also see the end results: the papers, the theses, the new scholarship and innovation that are the results of having benefited from such uses."
The Fair Dealing Canada website now contains many testimonials showing how Canadian scholars, students and citizens have benefitted from fair dealing.  Readers can follow the social media campaign on Twitter via the  hashtags #fairdealingworks, #faircopyright, #fairdealingweek, #droitdauteur and #utilisationequitable.

Five Questions with Meg Carruth - Legislative Assembly of Ontario


The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) has been running a series of member profiles called Five Questions With...

The most recent interview is with Meg Carruth, Research Librarian at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.

Another interesting profile series consists of interviews by the Law Library of Congress in Washington with members of its staff.