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Blaming Victim of Sexual Harassment Not a Good Defence

Written by Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, PhD, Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

In January 2024, a British Columbia labour arbitrator had no hesitation concluding that an employee, who was the grievor accusing a female colleague of sexual harassment in this case, was actually the one who was sexually harassing the female colleague. Simply put, the arbitrator found that the grievor’s evidence was not credible, the female colleague’s account was credible and consistent with the evidence, and the female colleague did not do what the employee accused her of. As a result, the labour arbitrator agreed with the employer that . . . [more]

The post Blaming Victim of Sexual Harassment Not a Good Defence appeared first on Slaw.


Democratizing Justice, Whose Problem Is It?

Democratization means making something, usually a public good, accessible to everyone. The democratization of technology related to the internet or the democratization of health care are examples. As digital technologies become more widely adopted in areas touching peoplesa daily lives such as making appointments, applications for employment, being informed about changes in conditions of services or bargains available in the marketplace the reasons for making enabling technologies accessible to everyone become increasingly obvious. In a nation with a long-standing system of publicly funded health care the reasons are obvious although the realization seems to be falling short. In justice democratization . . . [more]

The post Democratizing Justice, Whose Problem Is It? appeared first on Slaw.


What if Access to Justice Was Never Going to Lead to Poverty Alleviation?

I recently read that when legal aid was first developed in the United States in the 1960s, its primary goal was alleviation of poverty rather than access to counsel. However, over time, some stakeholders, mostly on the conservative side of the political spectrum, expressed concern that this was an inappropriate goal for public policy. This led people working in the legal aid sector to rebrand their initiatives as access to justice.[1] The primary difference between framing initiatives as “access to justice” as opposed to “alleviation of poverty” being that access to justice has a goal of improving the legal system . . . [more]

The post What if Access to Justice Was Never Going to Lead to Poverty Alleviation? appeared first on Slaw.


The Court of Owlsa| and Other Things That Mean Different Things to Different People

Note: In this article, the term aculturea is used broadly and is intended to mean anything and everything related to oneas customs, beliefs, behaviours and habits attributable to the make-up of who they are. It embraces the concept introduced to the writer by legendary professor Michelle LeBaron which appreciates that each individual person subscribes to several different cultures. Any one person may have a cultural component of themselves attributable to their age, surroundings, work, etc.

Afsana Gibson-Chowdhury is the founder of Gibson Chowdhury, Clear Collaborative Mediation and a renowned advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion among legal, dispute resolution and . . . [more]

The post The Court of Owlsa| and Other Things That Mean Different Things to Different People appeared first on Slaw.


Anticipating AI-Generated Law Journal Submissions

Last week, I was asked to provide a peer-review of an article submission to a law journal.

After reviewing it thoroughly, I began to suspect that at least some of the content may have been AI-generated.

What Gives?

First off, there were at least two citations that led to dead ends. By now we all know this is a dead give away.

Second, there was little to no language linking paragraphs together. So there might have been two or three paragraphs written on a distinctive topic, but no language to alert the reader that a new topic was about to . . . [more]

The post Anticipating AI-Generated Law Journal Submissions appeared first on Slaw.


Mondayas Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canadaas awardA-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

This week the randomly selected blogs are 1.A PierreRoy & AssociA(c)s 2. IFLS at Osgoode 3. Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 4. Barry Sookmant 5. Meurrens on Immigration

PierreRoy & AssociA(c)s
ResponsabilitA(c)s daadministrateurs daentreprise : ce que vous devez savoir

Si vous Aates laadministrateur daune entreprise aux prises avec des difficultA(c)s financiA"res, vous . . . [more]

The post Mondayas Mix appeared first on Slaw.


Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a QuA(c)bec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the QuA(c)bec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in QuA(c)bec.

PANAL (DROIT) : Dans une affaire de violence conjugale et postconjugale, la juge de premiA"re instance a commis 2A erreurs de principe en omettant d’A(c)valuer correctement le risque que l’imposition d’une peine avec sursis A l’accusA(c) poserait pour la collectivitA(c); une peine d’emprisonnement de 6A mois est substituA(c)e aux 10A . . . [more]

The post Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ appeared first on Slaw.


Environmental Regulation Is Not “Constructive Expropriation”

On April 4, 2024, the Alberta Court of Appeal released its decision in Altius Royalty Corporation v Alberta, 2024 ABCA 105 (CanLII).

The appellants own a royalty interest in a coal mine. In 2014 they acquired royalty interests in the Genesee coal mine. This coal fuels the Genesee power plant in Alberta.
By 2012 federal performance standards, the end of life of the three coal-fired plants was determined to be 2039, 2044 and 2055 (para 3).

They claim their interest was constructively expropriated (paras 2 and 5) when the government of Canada amended the regulations to require the . . . [more]

The post Environmental Regulation Is Not “Constructive Expropriation” appeared first on Slaw.


Friday Jobs Roundup

Each Friday, we share the latest job listings from Slaw Jobs, which features employment opportunities from across the country. Find out more about these positions by following the links below, orA learn how you can use Slaw JobsA to gain valuable exposure for your job ads, while supporting the great Canadian legal commentary at Slaw.ca.

Current postings on Slaw Jobs:

. . . [more]

The post Friday Jobs Roundup appeared first on Slaw.


When Practicing Law Is Slow Death

It started as soon as I began my law career as an articling student. A lawyer gave me a task on Friday due Monday, meaning I would lose my weekend. I felt a little bit of pride a who, little old me, tasked with something so important? But I soon learned what is urgent is rarely important, and important rarely urgent. Having “uncovered every rock” and discovered nothing further, I watched my research memo fall into the abyss of make-work legal projects, more for show and profit, productivity measured more in money than in legal progress. I think I gained . . . [more]

The post When Practicing Law Is Slow Death appeared first on Slaw.


The Perils of Remaining Silent

Written by Daniel Standing, LL.B., Content Editor, First Reference Inc.

The interim decision of Caroline Sand, Member of the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in 2024 HRTO 233 (CanLII) shows what can happen when a party is invited to participate but decides not to. As it turns out, the technique of putting one’s head in the sand works for ostriches but not for employers who seek to avoid liability for human rights complaints.

Background

The matter arose out of a sex-based human rights complaint by an employee against her former employer, a social club. The employer had numerous opportunities to . . . [more]

The post The Perils of Remaining Silent appeared first on Slaw.


Thursday Thinkpiece: Suing for Silence : Sexual Violence and Defamation Law

Periodically on Thursdays, we present a significant excerpt, usually from a recently published book or journal article. In every case the proper permissions have been obtained. If you are a publisher who would like to participate in this feature, please let us know via the siteas contact form.

Suing for Silence : Sexual Violence and Defamation Law

Author: Mandi Gray
Publication Date: March 1, 2024
ISBN: 9780774869171
Page count: 180 pages; 6 x 9

Excerpt: Introduction

In summer 2017, I received a Facebook message from Lynn, a Canadian tattoo artist in her late twenties. Women from all . . . [more]

The post Thursday Thinkpiece: Suing for Silence : Sexual Violence and Defamation Law appeared first on Slaw.


Wednesday: Whatas Hot on CanLII? a March 2024

At the beginning of each month, we tell you which three English-language cases and French-language cases have been the most viewed* on CanLII in the previous month and we give you a small sense of what the cases are about.

For this past month, the three most-consulted English-language decisions were:

  • R. v. Kruk, 2024 SCC 7 (A(c)galement disponible en franASSais ici)
  • [81] Assessments of credibility and reliability can be the most important judicial determinations in a criminal trial. They are certainly among the most difficult. This is especially so in sexual assault cases, which often involve acts that . . . [more]

    The post Wednesday: Whatas Hot on CanLII? a March 2024 appeared first on Slaw.


    Newly-Launched Jurisprudence Database of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

    At the beginning of this year, in January 2024, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) based in San JosA(c), Costa Rica launched its first ever AI-powered case law database.This free legal source aims to provide an easy to use access to the regional courtas jurisprudence and important information regarding its procedure and composition. Recently, I had the tremendous opportunity to interview the Courtas Head Librarian, Ana Rita RamArez and get more information regarding the process of producing this database and its future growth.

    [Screenshot of the Database main page. Click image to see the larger picture.]

    What was the . . . [more]

    The post Newly-Launched Jurisprudence Database of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights appeared first on Slaw.


    Study Permits & Uncertainty

    In July 2023, IRCC Minister Marc Miller was put in charge of our immigration system and he has been focused on fixing problems while addressing the growing anti-immigration sentiment within Canada. On one side, he inherited many years of Liberal promises to welcome and support international students and to meet lofty goals. To that end, he remains committed to the goal of 485k new permanent residents in 2024, 500k in 2025 and 500k in 2026. On the other side, Minister Miller has overseen a series of decisions to cut programs, increase restrictions and add roadblocks to previous pathways. Applicants most . . . [more]

    The post Study Permits & Uncertainty appeared first on Slaw.


    Can Self-Represented Litigants Access Justice? NSRLPas New Intake Report

    Since 2013, the NSRLP has gathered data from self-represented litigants (SRLs) across Canada through our SRL Intake Form. After the publication of Julie Macfarlaneas original study on self-representation in 2013, SRLs wished to continue sharing their stories and experiences with the legal system, so the Intake Form was developed as a means to continue collecting this data, as it was clear there was a significant gap in existing organizations and systems and that SRLsa contributions and experiences were going unheard. Every 1-2 years the NSRLP analyzes the Intake Form data for the previous period, and writes an updated report . . . [more]

    The post Can Self-Represented Litigants Access Justice? NSRLPas New Intake Report appeared first on Slaw.


    New Article on Algorithmic Personalized Pricing by Windsor Law Professor Pascale Chapdelaine

    On March 27, 2024, Windsor Law Professor Pascale Chapdelaine released her latest article on the very interesting topic of algorithmic personalized pricing.

    Pascale Chapdelaine, “Algorithmic Personalized Pricing: A Personal Data Protection and Consumer Law Perspective” (2024) 102 Can Bar Rev (forthcoming, online via SSRN).

    Here’s more information about the article:

    “Price is often the single most important term in consumer transactions. As the personalization of e-commerce continues to intensify, the law and policy implications of algorithmic personalized pricing i.e., to set prices based on consumersa personal data with the objective of getting as closely as possible to their maximum willingness . . . [more]

    The post New Article on Algorithmic Personalized Pricing by Windsor Law Professor Pascale Chapdelaine appeared first on Slaw.


    Mondayas Mix

    Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canadaas awardA-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

    This week the randomly selected blogs are 1.A Official Clio Blog 2.A Canadian Cybersecurity Law 3. David Whelan 4. Know How 5. BC Injury Law Blog

    Official Clio Blog
    TikTok Ban: A 2024 Update (and What You Should Know)

    If youare one of the one billion monthly active TikTok users worldwideaor a devout aLawToka followerayouave . . . [more]

    The post Mondayas Mix appeared first on Slaw.


    Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy

    One Sunday each month we bring you a summary from Supreme Advocacy LLP of recent decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada. Supreme Advocacy LLP offers a weekly electronic newsletter, Supreme Advocacy Letter, to which you may subscribe. Itas a summary of all Appeals, Oral Judgments and Leaves to Appeal granted from February 9 a March 20, 2024 inclusive.

    Appeals

    Aboriginal Law/Constitutional Law: Division of Powers
    Reference re An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and MA(c)tis children, youth and families, 2022 QCCA 185; 2024 SCC 5 (40061)

    In an order in council made on December 18, 2019, . . . [more]

    The post Summaries Sunday: Supreme Advocacy appeared first on Slaw.


    Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

    Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a QuA(c)bec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the QuA(c)bec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in QuA(c)bec.

    FISCALITA : La portion des incitatifs qu’un contribuable a reASSus d’un courtier afin de souscrire une police d’assurance-vie universelle et qui se rapportent purement A la couverture d’assurance-vie ne sont pas visA(c)s par l’article 87A w)A de laA Loi sur les impA'ts; toutefois, la partie des incitatifs reASSus au . . . [more]

    The post Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ appeared first on Slaw.


    Governments: A2J Is Mostly Your Mess to Clean Up

    Itas easy to blame lawyers for the failure to provide people with accessible and reliable legal solutions. But truthfully, Iad place only about a third of the responsibility for the A2J at the feet of the legal profession.

    Lawyersa contribution to the access failure in Canada falls into two broad categories:

    Regulatory: Lawyers elected by other lawyers constitute the great majority of law society Benchers who have consistently blocked expanding the supply of legal services providers beyond the legal profession.

    Commercial: Lawyers in private practice charge fees that are beyond most peopleas financial capabilities, both in terms of amount and . . . [more]

    The post Governments: A2J Is Mostly Your Mess to Clean Up appeared first on Slaw.


    Book Review: Art Law: Cases and Controversies

    Several times each month, we are pleased to republish a recent book review from the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR). CLLR is the official journal of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD), and its reviews cover both practice-oriented and academic publications related to the law.

    Art Law: Cases and Controversies. By Paul Bain. Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2022. xxii, 362 p. Includes illustrations, table of cases, and index. ISBN 9780433509653 (softcover) $170.00.

    Reviewed by Susan Barker
    Librarian Emeritus,
    University of Toronto

    As author Paul Bain writes in his introduction to Art Law: Cases and Controversies, . . . [more]

    The post Book Review: Art Law: Cases and Controversies appeared first on Slaw.


    The Emergence of Brain-Computer Interfaces

    In the article “AI’s Next Frontier“, author Bernard Marr discusses the future of Brain-Computer Interfaces. Over the years, surgical methods have evolved to the point where people can now experiment with implanting sensors into the human brain and collect data.

    Marr writes “Today, one of the best-known pioneers is Neuralink, founded by Elon Musk…It aims to enable people suffering from paralysis to use machines and prosthetic limbs to recover their mobility…[Another company, named NextMind] has developed a device that translates signals from the visual cortex into digital commands. As well as creating tools that allow computers to . . . [more]

    The post The Emergence of Brain-Computer Interfaces appeared first on Slaw.


    Legal Champions: Lessons Lawyers Can Learn From World Tour Cyclists

    In the world of professional cycling, the most revered athletes are those who excel in a variety of disciplines. From mountain climbs to time trials and sprints to the finish line, world tour cyclists must master a diverse set of skills to be champions. Lawyers can draw valuable lessons from these elite athletes, realizing that specialization in various legal disciplines can lead to a well-rounded and successful legal career.

    Versatility Matters:

    Much like a cyclist aiming for victory in a grand tour, lawyers should strive to be versatile in their practice. Legal professionals will encounter a diverse range of cases . . . [more]

    The post Legal Champions: Lessons Lawyers Can Learn From World Tour Cyclists appeared first on Slaw.


    The “Good Character” Problem

    The recent appeal decision AA v Law Society of Ontario upheld the Law Society Tribunalas 2023 decision to licence to applicant aAAa after finding him to be of agood characteraaeven though AA had admitted to have sexually abused three young children in 2009 (and to hiding this information from the Law Society in an earlier licensing application, which he withdrew in 2017 following an anonymous tip disclosing the abuse).

    The AA case and other good character hearings stemming from sexual misconduct involving minors have generated considerable discussion both inside and outside the legal profession about how law societies should assess . . . [more]

    The post The “Good Character” Problem appeared first on Slaw.


    Tips Tuesday: Finding User Manuals

    This is a slightly more niche tip, but if youare ever asked to find a a user manual, the Internet Archive has you covered. The Internet Archive Manual Library is aa collection of manuals, instructions, walkthroughs and datasheets for a massive spectrum of items. Manuals covering electronic and mechanical products, instructions on mixing or blending items, and instruction sets for software and computer items are all included.a

    If you canat find the user manual you need there, you can also search for user manuals at http://www.manualsonline.com/search.html and https://www.manualslib.com/.A

    a Susannah Tredwell . . . [more]

    The post Tips Tuesday: Finding User Manuals appeared first on Slaw.


    A Sounder Footing for Ontarioas Tribunals: The Fewer Backlogs and Less Partisan Tribunals Act

    A Bill recently introduced to Ontarioas Legislature can tangibly relieve the crisis of access to justice and politicization in the provinceas tribunals, and blaze a path to better appointments for adjudicators and judges across the country. The Fewer Backlogs and Less Partisan Tribunals Act was introduced by Liberal MPP Ted Hsu, and will be debated in the Ontario Legislature on April 18th.

    Ontarioas high-volume tribunals a especially the Landlord & Tenant Board, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, and the Automobile Accident Benefits Service a have been afflicted by dire access to justice problems in recent years. The root cause . . . [more]

    The post A Sounder Footing for Ontarioas Tribunals: The Fewer Backlogs and Less Partisan Tribunals Act appeared first on Slaw.


    Is Your Face a Liability?

    AI – the discussion points keep coming!

    I just spent about 15 minutes of my day stripping my face off the internet!
    That includes asking Google and Edge to remove cached images of my face.

    Why the heck would I do that?

    Here’s why:

    Taryn Plumb, “Face Off: Attackers are Stealing Biometrics to Access Victims’ Bank Accounts” (February 21, 2024).

    “…cybersecurity company Group-IB has discovered the first banking trojan that steals peopleas faces. Unsuspecting users are tricked into giving up personal IDs and phone numbers and are prompted to perform face scans. These images are then swapped out with AI-generated . . . [more]

    The post Is Your Face a Liability? appeared first on Slaw.


    Mondayas Mix

    Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canadaas awardA-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible.

    This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. David Whelan 2. SOQUIJ | Le Blogue 3.A Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada 4.A PierreRoy & AssociA(c)s 5. BC Injury Law Blog

    David Whelan
    The Referenced Librarian

    Itas always a great joy to give someone a job reference. It doesnat happen often but itas always . . . [more]

    The post Mondayas Mix appeared first on Slaw.


    Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ

    Every week we present the summary of a decision handed down by a QuA(c)bec court provided to us by SOQUIJ and considered to be of interest to our readers throughout Canada. SOQUIJ is attached to the QuA(c)bec Department of Justice and collects, analyzes, enriches, and disseminates legal information in QuA(c)bec.

    CONSTITUTIONNEL (DROIT) : Le tribunal rejette une demande de sursis de l’application de l’article 10 de laA Loi modifiant la Loi concernant les soins de fin de vie et d’autres dispositions lA(c)gislatives, lequel a pour effet d’empAacher les maisons de soins palliatifs d’exclure l’aide mA(c)dicale A mourir de leur . . . [more]

    The post Summaries Sunday: SOQUIJ appeared first on Slaw.


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