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Library Boy

Legal research news from an Ottawa law librarian

Last Build Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2018 11:13:05 +0000


Library Journal's Movers and Shakers 2018

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 22:06:00 +0000

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

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 21:59:00 +0000

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

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 22:21:00 +0000

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

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:34:00 +0000

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

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:29:00 +0000

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

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:25:00 +0000

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

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 22:16:00 +0000

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

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 19:11:00 +0000

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

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 23:38:00 +0000

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

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 23:30:00 +0000

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,

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 18:42:00 +0000

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

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 18:34:00 +0000

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

Tue, 06 Mar 2018 18:28:00 +0000

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

Mon, 05 Mar 2018 21:11:00 +0000

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

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 18:31:00 +0000

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

Thu, 01 Mar 2018 18:27:00 +0000

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

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 23:21:00 +0000

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

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 23:13:00 +0000

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

Tue, 27 Feb 2018 17:45:00 +0000

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

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:19:00 +0000

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. 

Getting to Know the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:14:00 +0000

DipLawMatic Dialogues, the blog published by the Foreign, Comparative, and International Law Special Interest Group of the American Association of Law Libraries, has a post today called Getting to Know the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals.

This is a happy coincidence since I was playing round in that very same IFLP index earlier today.

It has been around since 1960 and is now available on the HeinOnline platform.

Today's post is intended to be the first in a series to make this valuable resource more well-known by explaining its breadth and scope, providing examples on how to use the index and highlighting unique features.

One interesting idea:
"We also encourage you to submit examples of how you have used IFLP for research, ideas on how others can promote usage of the Index, and ideas or examples of how to teach patrons to search the Index.  To this end, we will be adding a form to the IFLP website where you can submit your suggestions and comments."

Law Firm Bulletin Articles on Cannabis Legalization

Thu, 22 Feb 2018 23:52:00 +0000

The website of the CAIJ (Centre d'accès à l'information juridique), which is associated with the courthouse libraries in the province of Quebec and the Quebec Bar Association, has a section devoted to private law firm news publications.

In recent weeks, many participating law firms have been writing about the legalization of recreational cannabis that will take place later this summer in Canada. Articles are in English or in French:

Article on Filing Amicus Curiae Briefs in Other Countries

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 01:37:00 +0000

The website DipLawMatic Dialogues has a fascinating recent article called Can You Do That? Filing Amicus Curiae Briefs in Other Countries.

Among other things, it looks at strategies for finding facta filed by intervenors in courts that are not in their country of origin:
"Whether or not it is a salutary trend for NGOs to wield increasing influence upon national courts is a topic that inspires much debate and diversity of opinion. But to even get to the point of discussing the pros and cons, you need to find the briefs in the first place to know what you’re dealing with. Here are some strategies that have worked for me:
  • In jurisdictions that have adopted formal submission rules, there are likely to be indicia of filing. Having a document number, or even a docket number, is an enormous help when you’re researching in unfamiliar jurisdictions.
  • In jurisdictions that don’t have formal submission rules, you may need to trawl through the news sites and legal journals of the local bar associations (...)
  • If you know that you’re looking for a brief from a particular NGO, chances are decent that they will have published the brief on their own website along with a press release describing the case (...)
  • INTA has put together a handy chart on filing amicus briefs in Latin American jurisdictions. Helpfully for researchers, it indicates which courts do and do not accept amici and at what level (e.g. Supreme Court only).
  • Of course, you can always find foreign governments’ amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, for comparison’s sake—but you already know how to do that."

Canadian Association of Research Libraries Brief on Unsustainability of International Journal Costs

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 22:20:00 +0000

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) has released a brief on escalating subscription costs for international journals:
"Over the past several years, a convergence of escalating subscription costs, unfavourable exchange rates, and tightening budgets at Canadian universities has put a spotlight on the unsustainable economic environment of scholarly journals. In 2015, the Ontario Council of University Libraries outlined the problem in a letter to vendors. 'We are currently facing significant cumulative negative impacts through the combined effects of flat funding for the sector, increasing inflationary costs, and projected lower student enrollments. Moreover, many institutions are undertaking system-wide budget cuts that include targeted reductions for libraries’ collections budgets. This situation is significantly aggravated by a major weakening of the Canadian dollar against the US dollar.'  In 2016, CARL issued a similar statement, asserting that we are in a perfect storm of factors. Many Canadian library acquisition budgets cannot stretch any further — bringing us to a point where we must consider new strategies and responses."
 The association proposes 4 recommendations for action:
  • Support libraries and consortia in taking a strong stance against unreasonable price increases and publisher lock-in. 
  • Raise awareness of the issues with the broader academic community.  
  • Raise awareness with other stakeholders about the inherent limitations of impact measures such as journal impact factor, and work with them to define a broader range of assessment measures that more accurately reflect research quality, impact and value.  
  • Invest in sustainable scholarly publishing platforms, services and infrastructure that support the needs of researchers and provide practical alternatives to the existing system. Libraries are already working nationally and internationally to develop this infrastructure, but will need support for redistributing funds towards new models.
CARL represents Canada’s twenty-nine largest university libraries as well as two national libraries.

Aid Available to Canadian Law Librarians to Attend Law Via the Internet 2018 Conference in Italy

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:09:00 +0000

Members of the Canadian Association of Law Librarians can apply for the Janine Miller Fellowship to receive funding to attend the Law Via the Internet 2018 conference in Florence, October 11-12, 2018:
"This year the Conference, organized in Florence by the Institute of Legal Information Theory and Techniques of the Italian National Research Council, will explore issues of trust in accessing law for democratic purposes in the big data age. Knowledge management plays a critical role for organizations seeking to establish trustworthy digital repositories and to make the future open and diverse, based on genuine verified legal content. During the two days conference, speakers will discuss how scholars, researchers, legal practitioners and information professionals use very large or complex data sets to distill meaning and develop public policy."
Expenses up to a maximum of $2,500 will be covered.

Law Via the Internet is an annual international conference that brings together various communities involved in free access to law.