Month: November 2014

Finding Federal Statutes In Part III of the Canada Gazette (Tip of the Week)

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By Ken Fox

So now that we know how to find the Consolidated Statutes of Canada, and locate official Regulations in Part II of the Canada Gazette, let us complete the picture by finding federal statutes in their original published form.

Return with me once more to the Canada Gazette Publications Page. Part III of the Gazette is Acts of Parliament. Do you remember how to look up the chapter number of an amending act using the Table of Public Statutes? Good, because it would be difficult to locate a statute in the Gazette without the chapter number.

As with Part II, only the volumes back to 2009 are displayed in the menu – for older volumes, click on Archives, where you can find editions back to 1998. Editions from 1841 to 1997 can be searched at Library and Archives Canada.

There are typically 2 -5 issues per annual volume. Here is the list of issues for 2006:

FedLeg8

Each issue includes a range of chapters passed that year. At the beginning of the PDF file, there is a clickable Table of Contents to access the newly passed Acts of Parliament.

Aside from the evidentiary benefits of being able to view the Acts of Parliament in their original published form, locating statutes in Part III of the Gazette also enables you to view new acts before they have been consolidated. There is a way to check for recent updates to an act, using Parts II & III of the Gazette, but it is much easier with the aid of LegisInfo, which will be next week’s tip.

This is Part 5 of a multi-part series on researching federal legislation:  Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 6 | Part 7

The Book in Chains

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By Ken Fox

papyrusOn November 26, Alan reviewed the Economist article, From Papyrus to Pixels: The Future of the Book, and asked readers for their thoughts on the future of print. For my part, the distant future of print is very unclear, especially as the immediate future of the electronic book is riddled with contradictions between its existence as a useful object and a product of the market.

The Economist article makes some worthwhile points on the print medium, particularly in how genres evolve to adapt to their underlying technology – but in contemplating the “future of the book” the anonymous authors manage to ignore the elephant squatting on their typewriter. Of course, electronic books are the future. But they are locked up & straightjacketed by the fact that they are still “books.” Electronic texts flow like water. They can be downloaded, uploaded, copied, pasted, edited, altered, reformatted, resized, and reshaped (redundancies intentional for emphasis) as easily as … well there really is no analog analogy. Imagine you have fifty faucets in your house for various kinds of juice or soup, and a soupprocessing machine that can not only add a certain ingredient, but also extract ingredients, and you also have a pipeline to send your new flavours out to friends & strangers.

The purpose of ebook formats is to hamper this functionality. To slow the flow of texts, prevent copying, editing, pasting, all the things that electronic texts, by definition, are amenable to. In essence, to recreate the paper book in a new medium, but without the advantages of the old medium. Of course, the owners of content are able to exploit some advantages of electronic medium – they can send out books more efficiently, and at much lower costs, and can amass data on how books are being used. The Economist authors do talk briefly about this last point – but barely stop to consider the problem. We now have the potential to learn, in detail, how people read – but “we” will never learn anything from it because the sole purpose of this mountain of data is to extract more money from us. An article in the Economist that ignores economics? Pile that on top of all the other oddities at work here.

Imagine going to a library and finding that most of the books, especially the newer ones, have locks on them. Imagine buying a book, and passing it to a friend to read, and the friend finding that suddenly all the pages are glued together, and cannot be unglued without destroying the book. But those are just the print analogies. The great advantage of the electronic medium is in how it facilitates the transmission of texts, and above all, aids the reader’s ability to copy, edit, write back & re-produce them – and in that respect, ebooks, as a product of the marketplace, are badly out of step with their physical nature.

From Papyrus to Pixels: The Future of the Book

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By Alan Kilpatrick

libraryWhat is the future of the book?  Is the print book soon destined for the trash heap of history?  Are eBooks the way of the future?  The Economist recently tackled this controversial question in an online essay entitled From Papyrus to Pixels: The Future of the Book.  The essay suggests a vibrant future for the book.  Here is an excerpt:

Many are worried about what such technology means for books, with big bookshops closing, new devices spreading, novice authors flooding the market and an online behemoth known as Amazon growing ever more powerful. Their anxieties cannot simply be written off as predictable technophobia. The digital transition may well change the way books are written, sold and read more than any development in their history, and that will not be to everyone’s advantage. Veterans and revolutionaries alike may go bust; Gutenberg died almost penniless, having lost control of his press to Fust and other creditors.

But to see technology purely as a threat to books risks missing a key point. Books are not just “tree flakes encased in dead cow”, as a scholar once wryly put it. They are a technology in their own right, one developed and used for the refinement and advancement of thought. And this technology is a powerful, long-lived and adaptable one.

Do you agree?  Let us know!  Check out the rest of the essay here.

Saskatchewan Limitations Manual Online

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By Kelly Laycock

In February 2014, the Library brought you the updated and revised Saskatchewan Limitations Manual Online, a public resource that contains an alphabetical list of all Saskatchewan statutes with limitation periods, complete with relevant case law annotations. This fall, we’ve had our best annotators working to update that information to help our members stay current. The Law Society Library is happy to announce that those changes are now complete and the manual is ready for use!

Highlights of the November 2014 Release

Current to September 30, 2014

  • New acts added, such as:
    • The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Act, SS 2013, c C-30.2
    • The Saskatchewan Employment Act, SS 2013, c S-15.1
    • The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013, SS 2013, c W-17.11
  • New case law for other popular acts, such as:
    • The Arbitration Act, 1992, SS 1992, c A-24.1
    • The Automobile Accident Insurance Act, SS 1978, c A-35
    • The Limitations Act, SS 2004, c L-16.1
  • Upcoming acts not yet proclaimed, such as:
    • The Accounting Profession Act, SS 2014, c A-3.1
    • The Lobbyists Act, SS 2014, c L-27.01
    • The Wildfire Act, SS 2014, c W-13.01

…and more! Check it out!

Book Review – Military Justice in Action

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By Alan Kilpatrick

BkRevMilitaryMilitary Justice in Action: Annotated National Defence Legislation
By Justice Gilles Létourneau and Professor Michel Drapeau
Carswell, 2011
1900 pp.

 

Do you need to learn about Canadian military law?  Few items explore this difficult legal topic.  Fortunately, Carswell has published an extensive annotation of National Defence legislation.  Carswell describes this one of a kind work on its website,

Military Justice in Action: Annotated National Defence Legislation is a new, unique, fully annotated work containing the National Defence Act and the Queen’s Regulations and Orders. It is a one-stop resource of key Canadian military legislation of relevance. The book provides expert commentary by two leading experts: the senior justice of the Court Martial Appeal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal as well as a military law professor and practitioner with prior command experience and service in the higher echelons of the Canadian Forces. It includes a full discussion of the military rules of evidence, the Rules of the Courts Martial Appeal Court and their relation to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. A detailed analytical index completes this essential work.

Please stop by the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library in Regina if you are interested in checking this item out. Call Number: KF 7209.L64 2011.

 

In the Legal Sourcery book review, new, thought-provoking, and notable library resources are reviewed. If you would like to read any of the resources reviewed, please contact our library at reference@lawsociety.sk.ca or (306) 569-8020. Let us know if there is a book you would like reviewed.

 

Access to Justice

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By Sarah Burningham

I’ve been reflecting on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59, and, in particular, the Chief Justice’s statement linking the rule of law with access to justice. Though the case is set in the context of a challenge to court tariffs, I believe the decision has larger implications for our profession. It reinforces the idea that access to justice is of foundational importance to the functioning and constitutionality of our legal system, thus highlighting the importance of access issues to all lawyers, law students and legal academics.

Access to justice is not an intangible constitutional norm, but rather an issue with every-day effect, which is particularly visible to lawyers. Given our training and our familiarity with the legal system, lawyers are uniquely positioned to understand the challenges associated with inaccessible justice. We are best placed to appreciate the frustration and confusion of self-represented litigants, to experience delay and inefficiency in the courts as a result of access to justice problems, and to be alert to the damage to the justice system’s reputation caused by inaccessibility. Lay people may not always appreciate the importance of access to justice, but we do. Accordingly, we have a duty to support programs and projects that facilitate access to justice.

As lawyers, we hold a privileged position in society. We have received specialized knowledge and training that provides us with the potential to impact the law, the legal system, and the lives of others in our community. We have benefited from our legal education. It has provided us with opportunities, careers and incomes which may have not otherwise been available to us. We have benefited from our community. It has provided us with a place to practice our profession. We have a duty to use our skills and knowledge to support and better our community in whatever ways we can. Given our intimate knowledge of the legal system and problems with access to justice, many lawyers desire to volunteer with access to justice programs in order to give back to our communities. Those of us who find ourselves short on time or energy can also contribute to facilitating timely and effective access to the courts for low income people by financially supporting access to justice programs. In these ways, we can do our part to facilitate access to justice and also uphold the rule of law.

Sarah Burningham is a a PhD candidate at the University of Ottawa and has a term position at the University of Saskatchewan as an assistant professor. She received her LLB from the University of Saskatchewan and her BCL from the University of Oxford.