Useful Resources

Academic Authors Sharing their Writing on CanLII

Posted on Updated on

By Sarah Sutherland; reposted with permission from the CanLii Blog

CanLIIDocs was created as a platform to share legal commentary, and we now have many types of resources available on CanLIIDocs written by authors from various backgrounds. Here is a page where you can browse what’s currently available on the site.

One group that has been enthusiastic in endorsing CanLII as a vehicle to share their work is legal scholars. In this post we would like to highlight some of the academics who agreed to share their work with legal researchers on CanLII:

François Crépeau is full professor and the Hans & Tamar Oppenheimer Chair in Public International Law, at the Faculty of Law of McGill University, as well as the director of the McGill Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism. You can read publications by François Crépeau on CanLII here.

Paul Daly is a University Senior Lecturer in Public Law at the University of Cambridge and the Derek Bowett Fellow in Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge. Before working at Cambridge he was at the University of Montreal. You can follow his commentary on developments in administrative law on his blog: Administrative Law Matters. CanLII contains multiple publications by Paul Daly which you can read here.

Armand Claude de Mestral is professor emeritus and Jean Monnet Chair in the Law of International Economic Integration at McGill University. Some of his publications on CanLII include Dispute Settlement Under the WTO and RTAs: An Uneasy Relationship and Investor-State Arbitration between Developed Democratic CountriesYou can read more publications by Armand Claude de Mestral on CanLII here.

Gerry Ferguson is a University of Victoria Distinguished Professor of Law who specializes in criminal law. He is also a senior associate with the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy in Vancouver. You can read his recent law textbook publication titled Global Corruption: Law, Theory & Practice on CanLII.

Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, and a former CanLII Board member. You can learn more about Michael Geist and follow his commentary on developments in information and privacy, intellectual property, and internet law from his eponymous blog. You can read several works by Michael Geist on CanLII here.

Linda C. Neilson is professor emerita at the University of New Brunswick, a lawyer, and a socio-legal academic. Her fields include domestic violence, court systems, conflict resolution, family law and sociology of law. One of her recent works includes a comprehensive ebook on domestic violence and family law published on CanLII. You can find Responding to Domestic Violence in Family Law, Civil Protection & Child Protection Cases on CanLII here.

Eric M. Tucker has been a professor at Osgoode Hall Law for over 35 years. He has published extensively in the fields of occupational health and safety regulation and labour law. Some of his publications on CanLII include On Writing Labour Law History: A Reconnaissance, and When Wage Theft Was a Crime in Canada, 1935-1955. You can read more publications by Eric M. Tucker on CanLII here.

Please join us in thanking them for seeing the value in open legal commentary!

If you would like to see your work in CanLIIDocs too, here’s how.

Here is what CanLII provides:

  • A reliable and credible online platform for authors to publish their content
  • A permalink with CanLII in the URL
  • Licensing options that allow you to continue sharing your work while keeping control of your rights

The First Wave of CanLII Authors Program Content

Posted on

By Sarah Sutherland; reposted with permission from the CanLII blog

Since the launch of the CanLII Authors Program, we are pleased to announce we have received some impressive submissions.

We are grateful to the first contributors of this program who have shared their work, which helps promote free access to legal information and spread new ideas.

Here is a list of the works from the first wave of CanLII authors:

Edward D. (Ned) Brown – Pitblado LLP

Selwyn A. Pieters – Pieters Law Office

Nicholas Reynolds – Student-at-law at Blaney McMurtry LLP

  • The New Neighbour Principle: Reasonable Expectations, Relationality, and Good Faith in Pre-Contractual Negotiations2017 CanLIIDocs 395

Michael H. Ryan – MHRyan Law

Jason Ward – Ward Lawyers

Han-Ru Zhou – Université de Montréal Faculty of Law

  • L’immunité de la Couronne à l’égard des lois, la Loi sur le droit d’auteur et l’affaire Manitoba c Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency, 2018 CanLIIDocs 163

Whether you write articles, books, or any type of legal commentary, we can showcase your work on the most popular legal information resource in Canada.

Ready to be a part of the CanLII Author’s Program? Submit a project using the red button below.

More questions? Contact us!

Primer on Saskatchewan’s Legalization of Cannabis

Posted on

By Alan Kilpatrick

Do you need to get up speed on legal cannabis?  The Law Society Library’s team of information professionals have put together this brief primer for you.

You can find a variety of posts about Saskatchewan’s legalization of cannabis on Legal Sourcery, the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library blog:

Law Society members can purchase this recorded CPD seminar that explores cannabis from insurance, criminal, labour, and law enforcement perspectives:

Saskatchewan’s Public Legal Education Association (PLEA) has also produced this excellent document.  It provides a practical and straightforward overview of the province’s new cannabis regulatory scheme:

PLEA, as you know, is a non-profit organization that creates plain language legal information for the public.  Those who want to learn more can also consult this helpful page created by the Government of Saskatchewan:

Finally, researchers will be grateful to learn that Saskatchewan’s Legislative Library has created an in-depth bibliography of articles, scholarly sources, and resources that explore legal cannabis use:

Foundations of the Common Law Library (1215-1914)

Posted on Updated on

By Ken Fox

Let’s talk about Legal Information Institutes (LIIs). Every Canadian legal researcher knows about CanLII (I least we hope you do). But there is also LII (that’s the USA one), BaiLII (Britain and Ireland), AustLII (Australasia), AsianLII, HKLII (Hong Kong), PacLII (Pacific Islands), SAFLII (Southern Africa), WorldLII, and many others, all of which are part of the larger Access to Law Movement.

LIIs provide free access to current, primary law in their jurisdiction. But they do not always contain comprehensive collections of historic materials (in all cases, I assume, they are working on it). In the English-speaking world, the most earnest attempt to fill in the historical gaps is CommonLII, which covers the world of common law (assuming there is a high correlation between commonwealth countries and common law countries, that is).

Recently, CommonLII enhanced their historical vision with the Foundations of the Common Law Library (1215-1914). No, 1215 is not a typo. In addition to the Magna Carta, the site includes many obscure statutes from the thirteenth century and forward, including, for instance, the Treason Act of 1351.

The collection of English Reports goes back to 1220, but seems a bit patchy when compared to the statute law, as there are hundreds of cases tagged January 1220, but then nothing more until the year 1457. Despite being “reports,” many of these records are no more than what we would today call summaries or digests – an example from 1491:

Conusee. –A man had lands of ancient demesne in extent for debt, and they were recovered from him by the sufferance of the vouchee, whereby he was ousted ; in this case he shall be holpen here. Morton, Chancellor ; per Assent, Bryan, and Hussey, Justices (7 H. 7. 11 [1491-921).

It might require a historical legal scholar to determine in what way the debtor was “holpen” (helped) in this case, but it appears that people in 1491 got themselves into similar situations that many of us do in the 21st Century.

“Foundations” is perhaps an overused metaphor. Is the modern law really built upon these judgments, in the way that a courthouse is built upon concrete footings? In reviewing the above ruling and a few others, I am more inclined to think of them as the infancy of the common law. The law was smaller, simpler, and by appearances, more innocent. The modern law grows out of it, rather than resting upon it. In any event, to invoke yet another overused metaphor, this is the fresh spring that over time will become the mighty river that is the common law.

What else does this collection include? It’s a bit of a mixed bag. In the case of Canada, it includes only a link to the complete Supreme Court of Canada judgments on CanLII. For Australia, who led in the development of CommonLII, there are law report series for all provinces, each going back to the 19th Century or earlier. There are also collections for Uganda, Southern and Western Africa, Hong Kong, Burma, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, Bahamas, and ever other country in the Commonwealth with a significant collection of reported case law.

So the next time you see a citation for a very old British judgment, or one from any common law jurisdiction, or you just feel like exploring the cracks and fissures in the footings beneath modern jurisprudence, remember to revisit CommonLII.org and return to the Foundations.

The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide on CanLII

Posted on Updated on

By Sarah Sutherland; This post is re-posted with permission from the CanLII Blog

We are happy to announce that the Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide has been added to CanLII’s Commentary section. The Best Guide to Canadian Legal Research, as it was previously known, has been freely available online since 1998.

Catherine Best created the website version of the Guide over her almost 30 year career as a research lawyer. Her expertise in researching complex legal issues and teaching legal research and writing have translated into a quality guide that has been helping researchers effectively use online tools for 20 years. When Catherine Best retired in 2015, she generously donated the site to CanLII.

We have been lucky to have had volunteers step forward to make up a national editorial board of legal researchers who have updated the text and worked with us in the process of converting it to an ebook:

Melanie Bueckert legal research counsel with the Manitoba Court of Appeal in Winnipeg. She is the co-founder of the Manitoba Bar Association’s Legal Research Section, has written several legal textbooks, and is also a contributor to Slaw.ca.

André Clair was a legal research officer with the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador between 2010 and 2013. He is now head of the Legal Services Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Maryvon Côté is an associate librarian at the Nahum Gelber Law Library at McGill University in Montreal. He is active on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries executive and writes on legal research topics.

Yasmin Khan is the head librarian at the City of Toronto Law Library. She has just finished a master’s of science, information and knowledge strategy from Columbia University.

Mandy Ostick is a law librarian and information professional with legal research experience in law firm, university library, and courthouse environments. She has had previous positions as library services manager for Norton Rose Fulbright in Vancouver, law librarian at Thompson Rivers University, and director, digital library at Courthouse Libraries BC.

We have redirected the site’s URL to the version of the Guide on CanLII as you can see here: legalresearch.org.

We are grateful for Cathie’s contribution to legal research in Canada and the ongoing work of the editorial board, and we look forward more exciting content developments. Thank you all!

Convention Refugees and Protected Persons: Access to LARC Services

Posted on Updated on

Joint Media Release by CLASSIC and International Women of Saskatoon (IWS)

International Women of Saskatoon (IWS), the organization that manages and operates the Language Assessment and Referral Centre (LARC) Saskatchewan Program, would like to announce that the Canadian Language Benchmarks Placement Test (CLB-PT) and Canadian Language Benchmarks Literacy Placement Test (CLB-LPT) are now available to Convention Refugees and Protected Persons residing within the province.
IWS has clarified its mandate in an example of collaboration with CLASSIC Inc. (Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City Inc.) and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IWS, through the LARC-Sask. Program, now offers placement testing to Convention Refugees and Protected Persons. This is particularly exciting given the vulnerability of Convention Refugees and Protected Persons who are not yet Permanent Residents. This opportunity to access placement testing means that Protected Persons and Convention Refugees now, after completing the testing, will be able to access free language courses paid for by the Government of Canada thereby making it easier to enter the workforce and more fully participate in life in Canada.
Any Convention Refugees and Protected Persons residing in Saskatoon, Regina or elsewhere in the province, who wish to improve their English-language skills should contact IWS to register for the LARC Program.

Child Support Recalculation Service

Posted on Updated on

The Saskatchewan Child Support Recalculation Service is a pilot project that helps families with child support orders ensure a fair level of support for their children. The service will recalculate child support, based on information reported on the most recent income tax return and current income of a support payor, in accordance with the Federal Child Support Guidelines. The benefits are a faster, no cost, option which is a less adversarial alternative for parents to update child support payments.

Please see the Government of Saskatchewan website for more information.