By Sarah Sutherland
Manager, Content and Partnerships
Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)
Since CanLII’s founding, we have been working to make sure the law you need is available. As part of our project to add the Dominion Law Reports cases that have been cited in CanLII case collection that we announced last year, we are including historical cases that are foundational to understanding the context of Canadian law, including Browne v Dunn (1893), 6 R 67 (HL), which we are informed was the most requested case at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Great Library (Thank you to David Whelan for letting us know this was the case and sharing the scanned copy from the Great Library’s print collection!).
Did you know that the Saskatchewan Law Review is available in fulltext for members on the Law Society’s website since 2013? The current issue, volume 80, issue no. 2 (2017) is now available. Articles in this issue include:
- Refiner’s Fire: The University of Saskatchewan College of Law in Times of Depression and War (Beth Bilson)
- We Don’t Need No (Catholic) Education – But Why Can’t It Be Saved By Section 1? A Comment on Good Spirit School Division No. 204 (Michelle Biddulph)
- How Good Are Our “Best Practices” When It Comes To Executive Compensation? A Review of Forty Years of Skyrocketing Pay, Regulation, and the Forces of Good Governance (Bryce Tingle)
- Solicitor-Client Privilege and Income Tax Act Seizures: A Comment on Canada (Attorney General) v. Chambre des Notaires du Quebec (Jonathan Milani)
- Assisted Death in Canada: An Exploration of the Constitutionality of Bill C-14 (Firuz Rahimi)
By Barbra Bailey
Policy Counsel, Law Society of Saskatchewan
Canada’s Residential School System for Aboriginal children was a government-sponsored education system created to separate Aboriginal children from their families and cultural heritage, thereby assimilating them into Euro-Canadian society. The Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA) recognized the damage inflicted by the residential schools and established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The TRC spent six years travelling to all parts of Canada to hear from survivors, resulting in the release of the Calls to Action Report in June 2015. The Calls to Action Report outlines 94 areas to be addressed as part of the reconciliation process.
Call to Action #27 specifically addresses the legal profession and states:
“We call upon the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to ensure that lawyers receive appropriate cultural competency training, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal – Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.”
Recognizing the importance of Canada’s Indigenous peoples and the advancement of reconciliation, the Law Society of Saskatchewan has committed to responding to Call to Action #27. As part of our response, the Law Society has dedicated a section of our website to education about the Residential School System and Truth and Reconciliation. We will continue to provide more information and resources on this site as they become available.
Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian
Did you know that the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) website provides a wealth of free practice resources? We encourage you to check it out!
Here is a break down of the amazing resources provided by the CBA:
- Practice Tools
CBA’s Practice Tools feature a broad selection of online guides covering child rights, tax law, and legal ethics. For example, check out the Child Rights Toolkit.
- Practice Link
CBA’s Practice Links focus on work/life balance, mental health, and networking skills for legal professionals. For example, check out Got Stress? What to Do Before the Burnout Hits.
- Sections and Forums
CBA features over thirty sections that explore and develop resources for specific areas of the law. For example, check out the Aboriginal Law Section.
As we transition into summer, we thought we’d take the opportunity to refresh your memory as to what’s new at CanLII.
New Board members
In November 2016, Professor Adam Dodek, Crystal O’Donnell, Shannon Salter, and Thomas Schonhoffer, Q.C. joined the CanLII board. The board will be chaired by Dominic Jaar, Ad. E. They will help us further our goal of making legal materials more accessible to the public.
More information on this can be found here.
We have made several changes on the main CanLII site and on CanLII Connects.
- LexBox is now fully integrated into CanLII: For those who haven’t used the LexBox extension that Lexum offers for the Chrome browser, LexBox allows users to save search queries, set up alerts for new content that matches a search query, create folders with saved results, and offers a trail of your research. Until now, users were required to download the extension to save search queries on CanLII. This is no longer the case. See here for more details.
- The blue “Headnotes” button at the top of each case is now dynamic: This means it alerts you with a warning sign ( ) when there are either related decisions in our database from the same level of court as the decision you are consulting, or we have found a related decision from a higher court. Previously, this information was only available after clicking the button.
- The highlighting (i.e. find in document) feature now allows you to change which words you want highlighted in a decision: Previously, the tool did not allow for changes mid-search. Now, you can edit your highlights by clicking on the little pencil at the top right of the document page.
- The ability to post multimedia content: We recognize that commentary comes in many forms, and as such we welcome content in forms such as podcasts or videos. If this form of legal commentary appeals to you, just pick the embed option when you are creating content and paste the html embed code from hosting sites such as YouTube or Vimeo in the text box.
- The ability to save searches and set up e-mails: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but basically, just save your search after you run it, and you will get a daily update of new content.
- The ability to indicate negative treatment on a case: This new feature is still in its early stages, but promises to be an exciting development on CanLII Connects. Each case present on CanLII Connects now has the ability to be flagged by verified users to indicate that the case has received negative treatment by another case. All verified users are active members of the legal community. We will keep you posted on further developments of this feature.
We expanded our content
In furtherance of our goal of access to justice and for legal content to be publically accessible, we have partnered with multiple entities to increase our content. Most notable include:
- New “Smart PDFs” from Lexum have allowed us to upload 16,000 decisions from the Dominion Law Reports (DLR). The DLR are the second most cited block of cases on CanLII after the Supreme Court Reporter. The strategically chosen cases from the DLR represent all the decisions that have been cited in the cases contained in the CanLII collection when we started this project. This is more or less equivalent to saying that we have all the decisions in the DLR that have been cited in approximately the last 15 years in Canada or in any earlier case in the Supreme Court Reports (SCR). Some Privy Council decisions were included in this set, so we also set up a new database for this content. More information on this can be found here.
- An expanded partnership with CAIJ, which allowed us to post thousands of decisions issued between 1980-2015 from Quebec administrative tribunals including: 36 500 decisions from the Commission d’appel en matière de lésions professionnelles (CALP), 41 500 decisions from the Commission des lésions professionnelles (CLP), 17 000 decisions from the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ) and 28 000 decisions from the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec (CPTAQ).
- We introduced a new way to publish commentary. CanLII has expanded to include some secondary materials on our website. Thanks to Lexum’s Qweri software which powers this new innovation, you can now read legal commentary in a more elegant format with content that is easier to search and navigate. Looking forward, we will have more ebooks later this year. If all goes well we will have law reviews, CLE materials, and law reform commission reports by the end of 2017. We are also working on a program to allow individual authors and organizations (or teams of authors) to submit long form commentary (books or articles) to be considered for publication on CanLII.org. To see more on this, click here.
Did you know that the Saskatchewan Law Review is available in fulltext for members on the Law Society’s website since 2013? The current issue, volume 80, issue no. 1 (2017) is now available. Articles in this issue include:
Commercial Law Conference Honouring Distinguished Professor Ronald C.C. Cuming
A Celebration of Professor Cuming’s 50th Anniversary at the College of Law (Justice Donald H. Layh)
Deposit Account Set-off Under the PPSA (Clayton Bangsund)
Real Property Security Interests on First Nations Reserved Lands (Scott Hitchings)
The Case for Modernization fo Saskatchewan Real Property Wecurity Law (Ronald C.C. Cuming)
The Death and Resurrection of the Lowest Intermediate Balance Rule (Anthony Duggan)
Receiverships in Canada: Myth and Reality (Roderick J. Wood)
Examining the Exam: Use of the LSAT in Canadian Law School Admissions Procedures (Noah S. Wernikowski)
By Alan Kilpatrick
The Tort Law Subject Resource Guide is now available online at the at Research Resources area of the Law Society website.
Subject resource guides provide the titles of key texts, ebooks, CPD materials, journals, legal encyclopedias, and provincial and federal legislation for a particular area of the law. They are guides to finding the best resources for an area of the law. The guides are intended to be used by those starting new legal research projects and to ensure that obvious resources are not missed.
Other subject guides available at Research Resources include:
- Aboriginal Law
- Banking Law
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency Law
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional and Human Rights Law
- Construction Law
- Contract and Agency Law
- Corporate and Partnership Law
- Criminal Law
- Employment and Labour Law
- Family Law
- Insurance Law
- Tax Law
- Tort Law
- Trusts, Wills and Estates Law
The Law Society Library will continue to develop subject resource lists in every area of legal practice on a regular basis.