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Library Boy

Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian

Updated: 2017-09-25T12:44:20.051-04:00


Supreme Court of Canada Calendar of Upcoming October 2017 Hearings


The Supreme Court of Canada has published its calendar of appeal hearings for October 2017.

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.

Law Commission of Ontario Releases Fifth Paper on Defamation


This is a follow-up to the July 27, 2017 Library Boy post entitled Law Commission of Ontario Releases Papers on Defamation.

The Law Commission of Ontario has released a fifth and final background paper as part of its project on Defamation Law in the Internet Age.

The paper is entitled Reputation systems, ADR, Industry Regulation and other Extra-Judicial Possibilities for Protecting Reputation in the Internet Age.

Updated Research Guides From GlobaLex


GlobaLex, the electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, recently updated some of its research guides:A Research Guide to Cases and Materials on Terrorism: "A bibliographic survey of the law relating to terrorism - even one that tries to avoid advocacy and argument, and perhaps even more so on account of that - exposes its author to criticism more than anything over definition and criteria for inclusion. Terrorism itself is a moving target: laws addressing it written by a fearful Establishment, its history written by the victors. Terrorist acts can be undertaken for all sorts of reasons or, conceptually at least, for none at all other than to promote anarchy or to express hatred. A purely criminal undertaking (as in extortion) is the least likely to threaten the wider public (such crime tends to be local or limited to particular ethnic groups) and it is also the easiest to deal with. Terrorist acts commonly arise out of grievance and frustration, real or imagined: religious, political, economic, personal. Terrorism, or the threat of terrorism, can involve weapons of mass destruction, or it can consist of measures of murder and mayhem, repression and intimidation directed at individuals, at a group or class, or at all the inhabitants of a region or state. While a dozen or more sectors of the law are pertinent to terrorism - some as cause, some as effect, some as impediment and some as punishment - historically, no law has been more successful than the mere passage of time in bringing it to an end. Terrorism and its companion, civil unrest, either bring revolutionary change and are then sanctified in a new national myth, or they fail and grievances either continue to fester or are overtaken by events (...) The point of this survey is not so much to list sources - many of these could be found with a search engine and legal database; others by using some of the better bibliographic sites listed here. It is rather to provide some assistance in planning research and in formulating issues to address - to examine the range of issues and provide links, first to sources that are considered reliable and unbiased, then to specimen law cases and scholarly articles and, finally, to opinions and arguments not otherwise adumbrated which, even if they are in support of a particular agenda are coherent, plausible and forthright in their advocacy or apologia. Collected here are many of the major court cases involving terrorism and terrorists of the modern era, as well as a sampling of issues related to terrorism. "The Amparo Context in Latin American Jurisdiction: An Approach to an Empowering Action: " Since 1948 and after the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the necessity of a judicial mechanism of human rights protection became a global concern. Under the influence of Mexican amparo, the right to everyone 'to simple and prompt recourse, or any other effective recourse, to a competent court or tribunal for protection against acts that violate his fundamental rights recognized by the constitution or laws of the state concerned or by this Convention, even though such violation may have been committed by persons acting in the course of their official duties' was included in the American Convention on Human Rights (article 25.1) in 1969. With this 'inter-American purpose', the writ of amparo was conceived (also called Acción de Tutela, Recurso de Amparo and Juicio de Amparo, among others), inspired in the Mexican amparo which was created with the deep conviction of the need for a procedural instrument to protect the fundamental rights of the governed against the public power, including challenging the constitutionality of laws. Today is clear that one fundamental aspect in the modernization of the justice system in Latin American countries has been the quantitative and qualitative improvement of the instruments and the constitutional possibilities for th[...]

Government Information Day in Ottawa


The University of Ottawa Library and the Carleton University Library, in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada (LAC), are holding a Government Information Day on October 26, 2017.

The day's activities will take place at Library and Archives Canada and feature presentations on the following themes:
  • Access to government information and data in an era of “open by default” 
  • Extending preservation and access - government information and data beyond government 
The full program is available on the LAC website.

Newest Issue of Canadian Law Library Review


The most recent issue of the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR) is available online.

The CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries.

The Good and Bad of PowerPoint Slides



How do I love thee? How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways...

Today on, Steven B. Levy wrote about what PowerPoint is good for, and not so good for:
"I’ve seen many successful projects perceived as troubled simply because the project manager couldn’t 'manage' a presentation."

"In a project management presentation, PowerPoint (or its equivalent) is good for two things, and two things only:
  • Visuals, and
  • Signposts
It is a very poor tool for the purpose most people use it: transmission of information."
Not that I have ever, ever made any of the mistakes listed.

Supreme Court of Canada: New Library Titles


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

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

September 2017 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World


The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sectors around the world.

The September 2017 issue has just been published.

It includes:
  • news items from Canada and around the world 
  • announcements of upcoming Canadian and international events (meetings, conferences, seminars) 
  • project and product news in areas such as digitization, archives, open source, e-government, access to information and Web 2.0 
  • listings of papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

Law Library of Congress Interview With Adrienne Keys, Specialist in Legislative Information Systems Management


In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., has posted an interview this week with Adrienne Keys, specialist in legislative information systems management within the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress:
"How would you describe your job to other people?
As a specialist in legislative information systems management, I do a little bit of a lot of different things for, including testing the system to ensure the accuracy of legislative and congressional data, and making sure that new and existing site features are working correctly. I am currently preparing to give a demonstration of the site to a group of congressional staff as part of a pre-conference event. I am also frequently on the front line answering questions about the site from users – which reminds me very much of my previous jobs in public affairs and congressional services. One aspect of my role that I particularly enjoy is publishing tips on search – and other site – functions. New tips are posted on’s homepage almost every week, with links to help pages with detailed information and images that provide additional guidance." is the free official website for U.S. federal legislative information.

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.  

American Libraries Magazine 2017 Library Design Showcase


The magazine American Libraries has just published the 2017 Library Design Showcase:
"These are shining examples of innovative architectural feats that address user needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways. Renovations and expansions dominated this year, showing that libraries are holding on to and breathing new life into spaces already cherished by their communities."
One of the buildings featured in the slide show is the Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library in Vaughan, Ontario.

MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Indigenous Canada


The University of Alberta has developed a free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) entitled Indigenous Canada:
"From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations."
"Indigenous Canada is for students from faculties outside the Faculty of Native Studies with an interest in acquiring a basic familiarity with Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relationships."
The free online class takes place over 12 weeks and includes twelve modules composed of video lectures, course notes and required and recommended readings.

Topics covered include:
  • The fur trade and other exchange relationships
  • Land claims and environmental impacts
  • Legal systems and rights
  • Political conflicts and alliances
  • Indigenous political activism
  • Contemporary Indigenous life, art and its expressions.
Earlier Library Boy posts about MOOCs include:

Manitoba Law Reform Consultation Report on Small Estates


The Manitoba Law Reform Commission has published a Consultation Report on Updating the Administration of Small Estates as part of its Access to Justice initiative entitled "Access to Courts and Court Processes".

"In Manitoba, The Court of Queen’s Bench Surrogate Practice Act ('The Surrogate Practice Act') governs the administration of estates, whether there is a will or not. The rules in place serve to protect estates from fraud and mismanagement. The ordinary process for obtaining probate carries with it legal and administrative costs as well as time and administrative burdens. But what happens in the case of relatively small estates, where the costs associated with administering the estate may be disproportionately high compared to the value of the estate? In these cases, the estate available for distribution may be depleted. Alternatively, the personal representative for the estate may choose not to administer the estate at all"


"This Consultation Report considers possible amendments to improve the legislation and procedure related to the summary administration of small estates under The Surrogate Practice Act. The primary area addressed is whether the monetary jurisdiction should be increased."
The report looks at practices in a number of other Canadian jurisdictions, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.

The comment period on this Consultation Report is open until October 30, 2017.

13 Questions With Allyson Fox - Southern Ontario Library Service


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

Here is the most recent one with Allyson Fox, Training Manager, Southern Ontario Library Service:
"Why a career in librarianship?
Working at the Law Society of Upper Canada was what led to me pursing a career as a librarian. I didn’t intentionally seek out a library job, but once I started working in the Great Library, I knew that I was where I was supposed to be. I loved spending my days in the library and watching and listening to the knowledgeable staff members, many of whom had been there for decades. They seemed to know everything there was to know about legal research. I liked the high-pressure environment as lawyers would rush in on very tight deadlines and the reference team would work together to get them the information they needed. My manager (Jeanette Bosschart) and the Executive Director (Janine Miller) encouraged me to apply to FIS [University of Toronto]. I pursued my Masters degree while continuing to work part time. Their support and belief in me is what allowed me to finish my Masters while continuing to work and gain the hands on front line experience that I have since applied to every role I’ve had (...)

How do you stay current in your field?
In my current role as Training Manager at SOLS, I develop and coordinate training opportunities for public library staff across southern Ontario. To do my job well, I need to keep on top of the evolving trends and issues impacting public libraries. One of the things I love most about my job is that I get to connect with people working in libraries of all sizes which allows me to stay current about the innovative and exciting things public libraries are doing to serve their communities."

Most Recent Issue of LawNow: Wills and Estates


The most recent issue of LawNow is available online.

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

The main section contains a number of features articles on wills and estates.

The issue also has a special report on the Canadian Senate.

Québec Copyright Collective Sues Laval University


This is a follow-up to the July 23, 2017 Library Boy post entitled Reaction to Federal Court Decision on York University Fair Dealing that discussed the lawsuit by Access Copyright over the alleged improper reproduction and copying of protected works at York University in Toronto.

Last week, Québec copyright collective Copibec announced it was launching a class action lawsuit against Québec City-based Université Laval for alleged copyright infringement.

Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice


The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) surveyed over 3,000 people in Canada to better understand their experiences with the civil and family justice system.

The CFCJ has broken down the results based on:

University Of Ottawa Will Host Revived Court Challenges Program


According to the CBC, the University of Ottawa will host a revived Court Challenges Program to help Canadians launch constitutional rights cases in court.The Program, which provided funding to help minority, women's and other disadvantaged groups to help them launch "test court cases" challenging laws that may violate equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, was dismantled under the previous federal government.According to the CBC story: "The university will create a new Canadian Centre for the Court Challenges Program, which will be independent of the school aside from administrative support.""Its role will be to assist the two expert panels who decide which cases to fund: one devoted to official-language cases and the other to human rights (...)""[Professor Richard] Clément said the centre will soon hire a small staff, including two lawyers to receive and analyze requests. The lawyers will present each case to the relevant expert panel, who will decide independently whether to provide funding." The government has committed to spend $5 million per year on the program.Earlier Library Boy posts about the Court Challenges Program include (older links may not work):Court Challenges Program Challenged? (September 7, 2006): "Newspapers of the CanWest Global chain distributed a Janice Tibbetts article today that claims that the federal government may be considering the elimination of the Court Challenges Program as part of an overall review of government programs (...) The CanWest News Service article entitled Funding for minority groups to challenge federal laws under review reports that the program, first set up under former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, 'has been the target of harsh criticism from social conservatives and critics of so-called judicial activism, who assert the initiative is a slush-fund for left-leaning groups to circumvent the will of elected legislators by challenging them in court'." Lawsuit to Reinstate Federal Court Challenges Program (January 8, 2008): "According to [the Osgoode Hall Law School blog] The Court, 'Last month, a coalition of eight organizations representing equality-seeking communities announced that it will file a motion in Federal Court to intervene in a case challenging the decision of the federal government to cut funding to the Court Challenges Program (...) While operating, the program funded cases dealing with issues such as same-sex marriage, accessibility rights for people with disabilities, sex discrimination, violence against women, criminal law provisions regarding the use of disciplinary force against children, and racial discrimination in the immigration system'. " Impact on Language Minorities from Court Challenges Program Cancellation (January 22, 2008): "The most recent issue of the Canadian government's Weekly Checklist of official publications lists the December 2007 report of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Official Languages on the Court Challenges Program." Partial Restoration of Court Challenges Program (June 20, 2008): "The government is only reestablishing the official languages minority component of the program, under the name Program to Support Linguistic Rights. However, funding has not been restored for Charter challenges by other groups such as ethnic minorities, gays and lesbians or people with disabilities."[...]

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


The September 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.

University Of Toronto Symposium on Library Metrics


The iSchool at the University of Toronto is organizing a symposium next month (Oct. 2 & 3) on Outcomes, Value & Impact: Metrics for Library Success:
"Are your measurement strategies up-to-date?
  • Are you up-to-date on the latest in statistical profiles of libraries in Canada?
  • Are we measuring the community engagement and learning or just counting transactional stats?
  • What's the next step in measurement and what do we know about peer analyses now?"
Speakers include: 
  • Rebecca Jones, Director, Services, Brampton Public Library
  • Mohamed Hosseini-Ara, Toronto Public Library
  • Kim Silk, Canadian Research Network & Author, Creating a Culture of Evaluation
  • Richard Hulser, Chief Librarian, Natural History Museum of LA
  • Terry Beck, Information Services Manager, Sno-Isle Libraries
  • Christa Werle, Public Services Project Manager, Sno-Isle Libraries (via Skype)
  • Lindsay Hanson, Data Analysis Librarian, Sno-Isle Libraries
  • Stephen Abram, Executive Director,Federation of Ontario Public Libraries
  • Carl Thompson, Counting Opinions
  • Daphne Wood, Director, Communications & Development, Greater Victoria Public Library

Statistics Canada Article on Mandatory Minimum Penalties


Statistics Canada's publication Juristat has published an article entitled Mandatory minimum penalties: An analysis of criminal justice system outcomes for selected offences:
"Historically, Canadian law has laid out mandatory minimum penalties (MMPs) for the most serious offences under the Canadian Criminal Code, such as murder and high treason. For some offences, sometimes under the presence of certain aggravating circumstances such as re-offending or using a firearm, judges in adult courts are required by law to impose a specific type of penalty or length of sentence. In addition to minimum custody sentences (imprisonment), mandatory minimums may apply to fines, and also include the mandatory federal victim surcharge imposed on offenders and used to fund services for victims. Judges do not have the discretion to give a penalty that is less than the MMP, regardless of the circumstances of the case. Over the course of the 20th century in Canada, there was an increase in the use of mandatory minimum penalties for offences such as impaired driving (starting in 1921) and firearms offences (mostly in 1995). Since 2005, the number of offences with MMPs in the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act increased considerably, as new legislation introduced new or increased mandatory minimums (...)"

"The analysis presented in this Juristat article examines the characteristics and outcomes of cases in adult criminal courts for some of the offences that were subject to changes in MMP legislation enacted from 2005 to 2012. Specifically, the analysis looks at sentencing for offences occurring before and after the introduction or amendment of mandatory minimum penalties, using data from the Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS). In particular, the report focusses on cases where the most serious offence involved selected sexual violations against children, child pornography, or selected firearms-related offences. Some information on police-reported incidents from the Uniform Crime Survey (UCR) is also provided."

"It is important to note that this analysis of court outcomes is limited to information provided by the courts. Information about prosecutor decisions prior to proceeding to court, such as plea bargaining and Crown election, that may have an impact on sentencing, is not available."

Canadian Web Archiving Coalition Inaugural Meeting


The Canadian Association of Research Libraries is organizing the inaugural meeting of the Canadian Web Archiving Coalition in Gatineau, Québec on September 20:
"The Canadian Web Archiving Coalition (CWAC) is an inclusive community of practice within Canadian libraries, archives, and other memory institutions engaged or otherwise interested in web archiving. The Coalition’s mission is to identify gaps and opportunities that could be addressed by nationally coordinated strategies, actions, and services, including collaborative collection development, training, infrastructure development, and support for practitioners and researchers."
For more background on the Coalition.

Thomson Reuters White Paper on Law Firm Librarians


Thomson Reuters has published a White Paper called Taking a closer look at the changing role of today’s law librarian.

It is based on a survey of 123 respondents from large and medium firms and finds that the law librarian profession has gone through substantial change in the past few years:
"more than half of respondents said their role had undergone substantial change within the past three years, with 15 percent reporting 'extreme change.' How much has changed? Forty-eight percent of respondents reported spending more than three-quarters of their time on activities that were not part of their job descriptions three years ago. That’s a staggering degree of change."

International Literature Review on Licenses


The International Federation of Library Associations: (IFLA) recently published a Literature Review on the Use Of Licenses in Library Context that looks at the impact of digital licenses on access to library materials.

From the Executive Summary:
"A growing share of library collections is digital. With books – a good – replaced by access to databases – a service – traditional acquisition is increasingly replaced by licencing agreements."

"This has brought many advantages – costs related to physical storage and upkeep are falling, and libraries have access to a wider range of content than ever before. However, the move from purchased ‘hard’ copies to licensed ‘soft’ ones has also brought challenges."

"In order to understand these, and the evidence behind them, IFLA commissioned a literature review in late 2016. This looked through the available academic and grey literature, from theoretical analyses to practical survey work on libraries’ experience of licensing, and its limits as a tool."

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Webinar on Copyright


The Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) is hosting a webinar on September 13, 2017 called The Conversation Continues: Copyright in Context for CALL Members . It starts at 1PM Eastern time:
"Following the plenary at this year's Annual Conference, this webinar panel will discuss the much anticipated review of the Copyright Act and other copyright issues that concern law librarians in Canada."
The speakers are:
  • Amanda Wakaruk, Copyright Librarian at the University of Alberta
  • Kim Nayyer, Associate University Librarian, Law and Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Law at University of Victoria. She is also co-chair of the CALL Copyright Committee
  • Lesley Ellen Harris, author of the book, Canadian Copyright Law, 4th ed.

Library Association Submissions to 2018 Federal Budget Consultations


The federal government is holding consultations in advance of the 2018 budget and many library associations have made presentations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance.

The Canadian Federation of Library Associations made four recommendations “to improve Canadians’ ability to access and use important cultural products and historical records and up-to-date knowledge from the world’s leading researchers.”

The Assocation wants the government to:
  1. Invest $50 million over 5 years in a targeted Library Upgrade Investment Fund, which will allow libraries of all formats in all communities to improve their facilities and services, and be welcoming places where all Canadians can find the resources they need to contribute to our society and to the economy.
  2. Fund the Library Materials Service to ensure Canada Post can maintain existing services without further increases and that restrictions on library’s ability to create automatic accounts in the Electronic Shipping Tool be eliminated.
  3. Invest $30M over the next five years (2018-2022) to support a coordinated national initiative to digitize content and to build the digital infrastructure required to make Canada’s rich documentary heritage available to all Canadians.
  4. Invest $250,000 in 2018 to support the creation and establishment of a National Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) Association of Archives, Libraries and Cultural Memory.
The Canadian Association of Research Libraries is calling on Ottawa to boost support for reseafch and digitization projects.

Its main recommendations are:
1. In accordance with recommendations from the Leadership Council on Digital
Research Infrastructure, invest for the next five years (2018-2022) in building national
research data management (RDM) infrastructure. This advances innovation in Canada
and strengthens Canada’s contribution to the global advancement of science and
knowledge. The required annual investment for RDM is $5M growing to $10M per
year over the five years. 

2. Invest $30M over the next five years (2018-2022) to support a coordinated national
initiative to digitize Canada’s rich documentary heritage, and to build the digital
infrastructure required to make this material available to all Canadians.

3. Invest $2M annually for the next five years (2018-2022) to support and extend the
Federal Science Library as part of Canada’s open science commitment. This will
enable federal researchers to gain access to the latest global information resources
and research developments and will showcase Canadian science to the world. It will
also help to build the framework for a national collaborative data sharing network
that will benefit all of Canada.