There are many different kinds of libraries that support and provide access to our Canadian legal system, including courthouse libraries, legislative libraries, public libraries and more. Libraries are essential to sustaining democracy and accessing justice. They retain and preserve official … [Read more...]
A Look Back at Women’s Rights
International Women's Day celebrates the achievements of women and provides an opportunity to look back at the evolution of women's rights, including about voting, holding political office and owning property. Today is International Women’s Day, celebrated around the world each year on March … [Read more...]
Canada’s Constitution: What it is and why you should care
Understanding Canada's Constitution is a great first step in understanding the debate around Alberta's Sovereignty Act and the draft Saskatchewan First Act. EDITOR'S NOTE Alberta's Sovereignty Act came into effect on December 15, 2022 when it received royal assent from the Lieutenant Governor. … [Read more...]
Dealing Effectively with Self-Represented Litigants: A view from the bench
Nine tips for anyone involved with self-represented litigants (SRLs), including a look at the responsibilities of lawyers and the court. I can only speculate on the reasons for the surge over the last 20 years in people representing themselves in all forms of litigation. One may be the high cost … [Read more...]
Canada’s legal responsibilities on international human rights
If passed, Bill C-262 will hold Canadian companies accountable for adverse impacts on human rights in their business activities abroad. Human rights are embedded in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. They are also an essential component of Canada’s approach to both domestic and … [Read more...]
The Death of Her Majesty the Queen: What does it mean for us?
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II and ascension of King Charles III impacts Canadians in interesting ways. A lot of people will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing on September 8, 2022 when they learned of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. Her Majesty’s death does not hold the … [Read more...]
Regulating Paralegals in Alberta
The Alberta Association of Professional Paralegals is advocating for regulation of paralegals and is already working to develop quality education programs. In response to the growing access to justice issue in Alberta, legal stakeholders are trying to figure out what they can do to ease the … [Read more...]
Assisting the Client Living with the Effects of Serious Mental Illness
What are the challenges involved when working with clients living with psychotic illnesses, and what is some practical advice for their lawyers and advocates? I was asked to write an article on the challenges that those experiencing mental illnesses face when engaging with the legal system. What … [Read more...]
What Does “Freedom” Mean in Canadian Law?
The courts have interpreted and applied sections 1 and 2 of the Charter, including in the case of Occupy Toronto in 2011. In recent days, the word “freedom” has been used in the context of regulating protests and blockades at various locations in Canada. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms … [Read more...]
Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act: How is it working?
In force since June 17, 2020, the law is meant to protect essential infrastructure from trespassers, damage or interference of any kind. No one can read or watch the news right now without some mention of the blockade in Coutts, Alberta, or protests in Ottawa, apparently related to the “Freedom … [Read more...]