Archive for December, 2009

Holiday Greetings

December 21st, 2009 Comments off


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The Law and the Olympics

December 18th, 2009 2 comments

Our hot-off-the presses issue of LawNow for January, 2010 is entitled “The Law and the Olympics”. Included in the magazine is a great online law column by guest columnist Jodi Lommer, a practicum student from the Library and Information Science Faculty at the University of Alberta, listing websites with information about legal issues and the Olympics.

Shortly after the Law and the Olympics issue was printed, we came across a few more online resources relating to the Olympics. So the purpose of this post is to update our readers with some additional material:

“…becomes intensely practical. For example, there’s counsel about whether it’s wise to wear a mask at demonstrations, what it’s useful to bring along to a demonstration, what to do if pepper spray is used against you, and even a small section on the new ‘sonic guns’ Vancouver police are equipped with. A long section gives sensible advice about dealing with the police, offering information about fundamental rights and at the same time down-to-earth examples of how they might apply in various situations.”

  • From the BC Civil Liberties Association, readers can learn how to “make a difference during the 2010 Olympic Games.” One way to get involved is to become a Legal Observer:

Legal observers are volunteers who represent the watching eyes of the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) during the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. They will be focused on police, military and private security conduct to ensure accountability. More concretely, they will be observing major protests and other potential hot spots like Olympic venues and the Downtown Eastside. Legal observers will report observations back to BCCLA’s team of volunteer lawyers who are prepared to go to court to protect people’s rights where complaints cannot be resolved informally.

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A Question about Youth Records

December 16th, 2009 Comments off

Question of the month from the Garvie Reading Room:

 If a juvenile gets into trouble that is non-violent in Canada, is the juvenile record closed or does it stay on their record for life? Would it keep them from travelling to the United States?

 The Youth Criminal Justice Act provides for most youth records to be destroyed or sealed after specified periods of time as long as the youth has not re-offended. The time before a record is destroyed depends of the nature of the offence or sentence. You can read about it at the Department of Justice Canada webpage “Information about Youth Records”. 

Community Legal Education Ontario has two pamphlets which give some clear explanations about the nature of youth records:

 “Your Record Doesn’t End When You Turn 18” explains about the different types of charges or sentences and how long each type of record remains open, as well as how to check if the record has been closed.

 “Travelling with a Youth Record” outlines the implications of a youth record for travel and advises, “The best thing you can do is avoid traveling to other countries until you know your youth record in Canada has been closed.”


Nominations for 2009 Clawbies!

December 15th, 2009 Comments off

Hi there. Since this is my first blog post, I should start by introducing myself: I am Carole Aippersbach, staff lawyer at the LRC. I do all kinds of things around here including researching and drafting of legal information for LRC websites and publications, and conducting public presentations on various legal topics.

This blog post, however, is not about me, or the LRC, but rather, about other hard workers who help all of us do a better job – the authors of legal blogs. The Clawbies – the Canadian Law Blog Awards – are open, and we want to nominate!

As part of our daily routines, many of us follow legal blogs. They help to keep us updated and informed; they inspire discussion and debate; and, sometimes, their posts might even light the sparks for future projects. As per our collaborative fashion here at the LRC, we took an informal poll of all of our blog-followers, from the executive director on down, and we have our final three choices.

  • ABlawg, by the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.  These posts are always timely,  thoughtful, and wonderfully in-depth. Often, reading one of these posts will lead to one or more us suddenly learning a great deal about an area of law we previously knew little about. Also, given that we are located in Edmonton, the blog’s Alberta focus places it high on our list of must-reads.
  • Library Boy, by Michel-Adrien Sheppard. We really enjoy this blog because it consistently refers to such a wide range of legal topics, including very unique ones as well. Perfect for keeping our horizons nice and broad. In addition, given how prolific the posts are (there is always something new to see), we generally feel like we are being slackers and it inspires us all to work harder!
  • Law is Cool, the Canadian law school blog. We gleefully read this blog because, well, it is cool. It provides an excellent mix of law as it relates to modern culture and social issues, as well as more serious articles and commentary. It is intended to stimulate discussion and it does; as a result, it is an excellent example of how effective this medium can be.

Good luck to all the nominees!


LawNow Christmas Gift Subscriptions!

December 11th, 2009 Comments off


Shrunken-adIf you buy a subscription to LawNow you may purchase as many one year gift subscriptions as you’d like at $9.95 per subscription.

That’s over 60% off the cover price!

You can enjoy LawNow and share the magazine with colleagues, friends and family.

With each order we will email you a printable certificate to announce your gift.


A Field Trip to the Supreme Court of Canada

December 9th, 2009 Comments off

I spend a week a month in Ottawa and our condo is about two blocks away from the Supreme Court of Canada.  Sometimes when I am here I like to make a field trip to see what is going on there, so I mosey on down to the Court to observe. 

The Supreme Court of Canada building does not lend itself easily to moseying.  It is a tall, grey, austere, brooding building.  It is serious architecture, as befits its serious business.  In contrast, the Parliament buildings are neo-gothic Victorian follies, perhaps reflecting the theatrical tenor of many of the exchanges there.  The Supreme Court is mysterious; it does not open itself easily to the observer. And, there are some interesting mysteries and traditions associated with the building. For example:

In front of the Supreme Court of Canada are two beautiful statues: on e of Justice (Justicia)  and one of Truth (Veritas).  These statues were commissioned in the 1920s as part of a memorial to King Edward VII, and are the work of famed Canadian sculptor  Walter S. Allward.  (Allward is perhaps best known as the creator and architect of the war memorial at Vimy Ridge.  Indeed, the statues on the Vimy Memorial are instantly recognizable as the work of the same artist.)  What is little known is that the two statues that grace the front of the Court mysteriously disappeared and were lost for almost 50 years.  In 1969 they were discovered in crates under an Ottawa parking lot!  Recovered, they were finally installed in front of the Court in 1970.

Another mystery involves a missing red leather chair.  Many years ago, when the court was smaller than today’s bench of nine, each of the judges had a matching red leather chair.  Six of seven are accounted for today, but the Court is on the lookout for the missing seventh chair.  If you or someone you know has a battered old red leather chair languishing in their basement, the Supreme Court of Canada would like to have it back!

I recently learned of a tradition of the Court that was new and interesting to me.  In front of the building are two flagpoles.  The pole to the west flies the Canadian flag. The one to the east also flies the Canadian flag, but only when the Court is actually sitting.  So, as I mosey on down to the Court, I can check the east flagpole.  If the flag is flying, then the Court is in session. If it is not, I can forego a visit to the building, if my purpose was to watch the proceedings.

Another tradition: several years ago, I had the privilege of a “backstairs” tour of the Court.  In the judges’ lounge is a lovely, inlaid wood table.  Every judge of the Court has an assigned spot at the table, and even the places where their coffee cups are placed was labelled!  The table is not hierarchical in terms of a head and foot: it is round.  But still, this seems to take organization to great lengths!  (I think that it is in this room that they are looking for the missing red chair.)

The Supreme Court of Canada is open daily for tours.  I highly recommend it should you be visiting Ottawa.


Position Advertisement – Information Specialist (ACJNet)

December 4th, 2009 Comments off

The Legal Resource Centre is seeking a motivated and enthusiastic individual to assist in the successful upgrade and revitalization of the Access to Justice Network (ACJNet), an internet portal that brings together people, information, and educational resources on justice and legal issues of interest to Canadians. This is a full-time position (35hours per week), starting January 2010 and ending December 2010.

Read the full job advertisement on the LRC website.