Libraries Celebrate Open Access Week with screening of “The Internet’s Own Boy”

York University Libraries will celebrate International Open Access Week from Oct. 20 to 26. Open Access Week is a global campaign that promotes open access as an ideal for the dissemination of scholarship and research. On Oct. 24, to reflect this year’s theme “Generation Open,” the libraries will host a movie screening and talk by Carys Craig, renowned copyright scholar and associate dean research and institutional relations at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Osgoode Prof Carys Craig

Osgoode Prof Carys Craiig

Professor Craig shares the enthusiasm of the global campaign. “I’m delighted that York University Libraries is celebrating Open Access Week. This is truly one of the most important social movements of the digital age, and one in which universities like ours have a vital role to play.” Open Access Week serves to highlight the successful realization of viable and sustainable business models for open access scholarship, particularly in the science, technology and medicine disciplines, and also provides an opportunity to identify, discuss and address barriers to adoption. The ultimate goal is to ensure that publicly funded research is available to the public, and that all global citizens have equal and barrier-free access to the wealth of the educational commons, regardless of their economic means.

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz

The Internet’s Own Boy is a documentary highlighting the extraordinary life of Aaron Swartz. A key author of the RSS standard at the age of 14, Swartz was also a tireless advocate against censorship, co-founding the Demand Progress organization, which successfully halted SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) legislation from coming into force. In the course of his pursuit of public access to academic research, Swartz was apprehended for a mass downloading attempt of JSTOR holdings. Facing excessive punitive charges from a regime determined to make an example of him, he took his own life.

The screening will be introduced by Prof Craig. “This powerful documentary is not just a tribute to Swartz’s life and legacy, but is also a call to action for all of us.”  As author of Copyright, Communication & Culture: Towards a Relational Theory of Copyright Law (Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Press, 2011), Craig asks people to broaden their view of copyright beyond its tradition of possessive authorship to allow space for collective communication with the broader community with an eye for the greater public good. In her work, she calls on people to reimagine copyright and to correct the imbalance that Swartz fought to bring to the attention of the public sphere. Her insights will foster a nuanced and deeper appreciation for the causes Swartz so bravely hoped to further, highlighting the tragedy of his loss.

‘Road to Justice’ Exhibit in Osgoode Library Examines Historical Discriminatory Treatment of Immigrants in Canada

Road to Justice, a new exhibit which opens today in the Osgoode Library, documents the historical discriminatory treatment of Chinese Canadians and other immigrants of colour in Canada, the communities’ triumph over racism and the lessons Canadians can learn from history. The exhibit will be on display in the library until Friday, October 3, during regular library hours.

The travelling exhibit and its companion websites, Road to Justice/Chermin vers la Justice, were developed by the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic with the support of the federal Department of Immigration & Citizenship’s Community Historical Recognition Program and the Unifor (formerly CAW) Social Justice and Humanity Funds.

This legal history project is in part an investigation of the social values and politics that led to such shameful laws as the Chinese Exclusion Act (Immigration Act, 1923) and the various head taxes on Chinese, which – along with other federal, provincial and municipal statutes – created a body of law that was aimed at restricting the lives and activities of a single race of people.

Selected decisions in key court cases are also summarized. The second part of Road to Justice covers interviews and biographical sketches of some of the first Chinese Canadian lawyers, as well as key activists in the Redress Campaign who lobbied the Government of Canada for an apology for more than 60 years of legislated discrimination against them and their community.

These early laws were clearly discriminatory and they provide a stark contrast to the multiracial, multicultural Canada we share today with others from all parts of the world who have chosen this country as their home.

After the exhibit closes at Osgoode, it will move to Ryerson University in downtown Toronto, opening there on October 13.

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals – Now Online!

The Osgoode Library now has access to the online version of this important series of international criminal law reports. Access is available to all members of the York University community via Passport York and no username/password is required.

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals provides you with the full text of the most important decisions, including concurring, separate and dissenting opinions. Distinguished experts in the field of international criminal law have commented the most important decisions of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), The Special Court for Sierra Leone, The International Criminal Tribunal for Timor-Leste and the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Annotated Leading Cases of International Criminal Tribunals is useful for students, scholars, legal practitioners, judges, prosecutors and defence counsel who are interested in the various legal aspects of the law of the ICTY, ICTR and other forms of international criminal adjudication.

The establishment of the International Criminal Tribunals for the Former Yugoslavia and Rwanda raised many new legal issues, such as the competence of the Security Council of the United Nations to establish a criminal tribunal, the relationship between the Tribunal and national authorities and the protection of vulnerable witnesses without violating the rights of the defence at the same time.

In dealing with these and other issues, one has to bear in mind that there was no useful precedent to guide the International Tribunals in their work. The Intergovernmental Conference for the creation of the statute of the International Criminal Court met with these very same challenges. Therefore, it was and is a major challenge for the Tribunals and the International Criminal Court to come up with creative solutions to legal problems in a manner that enables them to function effectively and fully respects the rights of the accused. The Tribunal’s and Court’s case law provides some of these solutions.

For more information about individual volumes in the series, click here.

Bust of Justice George E. Carter Unveiled in Osgoode Library

Justice George Carter, left, with York Chancellor Roy McMurtry

Family and friends of Justice George E. Carter, a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Class of 1948 who became this country’s first Canadian-born black judge, watched with pride April 27 as a bronze bust was unveiled in the Osgoode Hall Law School Library commemorating his leadership and contributions to Canadian society.

Osgoode Dean Lorne Sossin (LLB ’92); former Attorney General and Chief Justice of Ontario, and Chancellor of York University R. Roy McMurtry, (LLB ’58, LLD ’91); and Linda Carter, the eldest of Justice Carter’s four children, all paid tribute to Carter at the unveiling.
Sossin said distinguished alumni such as Carter and the late Lincoln Alexander (LLB ’53) “have made amazing things possible.” The bust “will be a lasting legacy to George Carter and all those he has inspired.”

McMurtry told the invited guests that as chancellor he was pleased and privileged to be at this “very important and historic event.”
“Even if I wasn’t chancellor, I’d be here,” McMurtry said. “I’ve only known George for about 60 years.”
As Attorney General, McMurtry appointed Carter as an Ontario provincial court judge in 1979. Carter was later appointed to the Ontario Court of Justice, where he served for 16 years. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Carter had his own firm and practised in the areas of real estate, criminal and family law for 31 years.

Carter, who served in the Canadian Army from 1944 to 1945, is a founding member of the Toronto Negro Veterans. He was a member of the Committee for the Adoption of Coloured Youngsters, a founding member of the National Black Coalition of Canada, a founding member and past president of the Toronto Negro Business and Professional Association, and a board member of the Ontario Black History Society. He also played an instrumental role in the establishment of Legal Aid Ontario.

Linda Carter, who documented her father’s life in her 2010 film, The Making of a Judge, said the idea of the bust came about “by happenstance.” She was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for her appointment when she struck up a conversation with another woman who turned out to be world-renowned sculptor Maryon Kanteroff. Their discussion encouraged Carter a few years later to seek out sculptor Gerard Godin to create a bust of her father.

“It’s been such an experience getting this done. I’m just very proud,” said Linda Carter, who acknowledged McMurtry’s help in bringing the commemorative sculpture to fruition.

George Carter, 92, echoed his daughter’s sentiments. “We owe so much to the Chancellor … a decent, wonderful human being.”

Looking at the bust and at the audience, a smiling Carter said, “It’s really something, you know.”

BC Laws & Legislative Documents — Now Comprehensive and Free on the Web

British Columbia laws and legislative documents, once available only in the content-rich and highly functional but subscription-based service called QP LegalEze, is now available to everyone free on the web in a new service called BC Laws. We congratulate the BC Queen’s Printer on this exciting development, another landmark example of Canadian leadership in the open law and open data movements.

BC Laws has been upgraded to provide enhanced searching and more content including historical legislation and related publications. All content is delivered in an “open data format” and restrictions on commercial and non-commercial use of the data have been changed (read more). Contents, all full-text searchable, include:

Access to the BC Gazette, Parts 1 & 2, as well as Point-in-Time tables for all statutes, are coming soon.

If freer access to primary law were not good enough, the content on BC Laws – all of it – is delivered as open data, under a Queen’s Printer License. The license enables, among other activities, full and partial content reuse and publication for commercial and non-commercial purposes, subject to appropriate conditions. To this end, the Queen’s Printer has also released access to the API underlying BC Laws.

Thanks to our colleague Kim Nayyer at the University of Victoria, Diana M. Priestly Law Library, for bringing this to our attention.

 

Oxford Handbooks Online

The Osgoode Library has acquired the complete collection of law-related Oxford Handbooks Online and the records for the individual titles have been uploaded to the online library catalogue.

Oxford Handbooks Online brings together the world’s leading scholars to write review essays that evaluate the current thinking on a field or topic, and make an original argument about the future direction of the debate. The Oxford Handbooks are one of the most successful and cited series within scholarly publishing, containing in-depth, high-level articles by scholars at the top of their field and for the first time. In addition to law, there are 13 other subject areas covered by the Handbooks: a complete list is available here. The Handbooks website also provides an online training demo illustrating the features and functions of the service.

Now that Osgoode has acquired the law-related Handbooks, the complete collection is available online here at York University Libraries.

Komagata Maru Exhibit in the Osgoode Library


This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Komagata Maru episode, when Canadian authorities turned away 376 migrants of South Asian origin aboard a Japanese steamship in Vancouver harbour. The South Asian Law Students’ Association (SALSA) at Osgoode Hall Law School will have launched Komagata Maru Week (March 10-15, 2013) and the Komagata Maru Reflections Project.

On May 23, 1914, the Komagata Maru sailed into Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, carrying 376 passengers of Indian origin. However, the passengers on board the Japanese steamer were denied permission to enter Canada. Fears over Asian immigration at the time led the Canadian government to adopt a series of racist exclusionary policies against Chinese, Japanese and Indian migrants.

In the case of Indian migrants, Canada enacted the Continuous Journey RegulationThe Continuous Journey Regulation was an order-in-council that permitted entry to Canada only to migrants arriving in Canada by boat directly from their country of origin through a continuous journey and in possession of $200. Migrants who arrived on a boat that stopped anywhere between Canada and their country of origin or were in possession of less than $200 were denied entry. At the time, it was highly unlikely that migrants could make the journey from India to Canada without stopping en route. Moreover, the $200 fee was a considerable sum at the time, especially for Asian migrants. This regulation was designed to prevent Indian migration to Canada without being explicit in its intent.

For two months, passengers of the Komagata Maru sought to defy the Continuous Journey Regulation. While the passengers were not allowed to disembark the ship, supporters in Vancouver challenged the regulation on their behalf in court, ultimately unsuccessfully. The Komagata Maru sailed out of the Burrard Inlet on July 23, 1914 to the uncertain fates that awaited the ship’s passengers in Asia.

As part of the anniversary events, the Osgoode South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) have set up in the Osgoode Library an exhibition of photos and images documenting the Komagata Maru incident. The photos are from the Komagata Maru Collection of the Sikh Heritage Museum of Canada. The exhibit will run throughout the week during regular library hours. The exhibit is free.