Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples Final Report (1966) and Documents Now Online

RCAP_Logo_rev2016In recognition of the twentieth anniversary of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), and just in time for the Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future National Forum currently underway in Winnipeg , Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has digitized and made available not just the full text of the Royal Commission’s 5-volume Final Report, but also many supporting documents, including research reports and transcripts of testimonies from the Commission, available online in a searchable database. This new database supersedes the earlier CDRom version of the report (Seven Generations ) which has been inaccessible due to its outdated software platform.

The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) was established by Order in Council on August 26, 1991, and it submitted its Final Report in October 1996. The RCAP was mandated to investigate and propose solutions to the challenges affecting the relationship between Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit, Métis), the Canadian government and Canadian society as a whole.

This database provides access to documents, such as intervenor project submissions, publications, research reports and hearing transcripts that supported the writing of the report of the RCAP.

The database is keyword searchable and filterable by:

  • Document Type
  • Public Hearing Date
  • Place

For more information about LAC’s initiative, click here.

Canadian Provincial Statutes Now Available on HeinOnline

Hein-Provincial-feature1A comprehensive collection of Canadian provincial statutes in digital format is now available in the new Provincial Statutes of Canada library on HeinOnline. The collection includes statutes, both public and private, for all ten Canadian provinces (though not – yet? – the three territories) in PDF copies of the official statute volumes as published by the provincial Queen’s Printers. The collection currently includes nearly 1,500 volumes and more than 850,000 pages.

This is a significant event for a number of reasons. Unlike other jurisdictions, Canada has done almost nothing to digitize our legal print heritage, a topic I have written about frequently (most recently here). Where our law societies, attorneys general and law libraries have failed us, Hein has stepped in and digitized the entire body of Canadian provincial legislation, making it available for the first time in digital format and simplifying the work of Canadian lawyers, researchers and librarians.

The collections can either be searched full-text or browsed. You have the option to select a province from an alphabetical listing or by clicking on the map provided on the library’s homepage. Both current and historical coverage are provided for the following provinces:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario

Historical Statutes only are provided for these provinces:

  • Manitoba
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

Please note that levels of historical coverage may vary. For all provinces, historical coverage begins at least at the date they entered Confederation. For a few provinces, some colonial statutes are included.

For more information about the Provincial Statutes of Canada library on HeinOnline, click here.

New HeinOnline Library: Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture and Law

heinonline_logoWe are pleased to announce that we now have access to this new library on HeinOnline.  Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law, edited by Paul Finkelman with the assistance of Hein’s editorial staff, brings together for the first time all known legal materials on slavery in the United States and the English-speaking world. This includes every statute passed by every colony and state on slavery, every federal statute dealing with slavery, and all reported state and federal cases on slavery. An introduction to the collection by the editor is available here.

The collection also includes more than 1,000 books and pamphlets about slavery – defending it, attacking it or simply analyzing it, including an expansive slavery collection of mostly pre-Civil War 0materials from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library. The editors have also gathered every English-language legal commentary on slavery published before 1920, including many essays and articles in obscure, hard-to-find journals in the United States and elsewhere. The collection will continue to grow, not only from new scholarship but also from historical material that is added as it is located.

A note about Hein and their commendable model of access:

HeinOnline is to be commended on the model of access they have developed for this new library. We at Osgoode and York will have access through our subscription to HeinOnline. However, as a sign of their dedication to the dissemination of information and knowledge on this important subject, Hein is making this database available to anyone in the world who would like access, at no cost! While there is no charge for access to Slavery in America and the World: History, Culture & Law, Hein encourages everyone who registers for access to the valuable material in this database to make a donation, if they are able, to the NAACP, the United Negro College Fund, or another charity of the user’s choice which supports civil rights, equality, or the advancement of people of color. Making a donation is voluntary, and is not required to access the database.

For information on using and searching Slavery in America library, click here.

Lexis Advance Quicklaw training

Not sure how to use the new Lexis Advance Quicklaw effectively?

The Library is offering Lexis Advance Quicklaw training next Monday, Sept. 26 from 12:30 PM. to 2:00 PM. in Room 2011.

Here are some of the new features and functionality that will be highlighted:

– Learn to search Canadian primary and secondary sources using a new design that features a streamlined single intuitive search box.

– Learn how selecting favorite sources or pre-search filters can help narrow your starting point.

– Discover how to search by name, by source or topic, citation or keyword; navigate and refine search results; deliver documents; note up cases and statutes using the quickie Case Citator and the QuickCITE Legislation Citator.

– Discover how the ‘History Content Pod’ can help you streamline your workflow by viewing your search history, search terms, most recently opened documents, allowing you to jump right back into any part of your research.

– See how highlighting and annotating can help you keep track of important and relevant material by saving them to customizable and sharable folders.

– Find out how to access the legal products previously available on CCH Online.

Reserve your spot by emailing library@osgoode.yorku.ca, with Lexis Advance Quicklaw training in the subject line.

Hope to see you there!

New Resource: Australian Law Reform Commission Library on HeinOnline

AustraliaOsgoode has always prided itself on innovative approaches to law and teaching. As host to the Law Commission of Ontario (LCO), Osgoode has a commitment to law reform initiatives everywhere. Better to support these research ideals, the Osgoode Library now subscribes to the Australian Law Reform Commission Library on HeinOnline.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is a federal agency that reviews Australia’s laws to ensure they provide improved access to justice for all Australians by making laws and related processes more equitable, modern, fair and efficient. The ALRC conducts inquiries—also known as references—into areas of law at the request of the Attorney General’s Department. Based on its research and consultations throughout an inquiry, the ALRC makes recommendations to government so that government can make informed decisions about law reform. ALRC recommendations do not automatically become law, however over 85 per cent of ALRC reports have been either substantially or partially implemented—making it one of the most effective and influential agents for legal reform in the common law world. The ALRC’s objective is to make recommendations for law reform that:

  • Bring the law into line with current conditions and needs
  • Remove defects in the law
  • Simplify the law
  • Adopt new or more effective methods of administering the law and dispensing justice
  • Provide improved access to justice

The Australian Law Reform Commission database in HeinOnline consists of more than 650 titles and 130,000 pages of material related to Civil Procedure, Discrimination, Intellectual Property, National Security, Indigenous Rights, and more. The Commission’s Reports fall into different classifications that include Reports, Working Papers, Discussion Papers, Issue Papers, and Reform.

The ALRC Library on HeinOnline can be searched full-text – or you can browse by Subjects such as:

  • Reports
    • Final project reports to the Attorney General in response to specific matters that the attorney general had instructed the Commission to investigate; each report includes the current legal status, areas for improvement, and recommendations for how to improve.
  • Community Law Reform Consultative Documents
  • Research Papers
  • Working Papers
    • Tentative proposals of the Commission; they encourage comments and criticism before the issuing of the final report.
  • Discussion Papers
    • Brief summaries of the preliminary findings of the Commission; they are also issued to promote comment and criticism of the Commission’s findings.
  • Issue Papers
    • Published in order to demonstrate the issues involved in specific areas as defined by the Attorney General.
  • Reform
    • A bulletin of law reform news, views, and information. It is designed to inform readers in an informal way of developments relevant to the reform of the law in Australia
  • New South Wales Law Reform Commission Reports
  • Sentencing Research Papers
  • And more

Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide on CanLII

CanLII-logoMore great news from CanLII: Fans of the Best Guide Guide to Canadian Legal Research will be pleased to know that the site is now being hosted and updated by CanLII.

The Best Guide has been freely available on the Internet since 1998. The original author and publisher was Catherine Best. The site grew out of Catherine’s experience teaching legal research and writing, and her conviction that a process-based analytic approach was needed. She was also motivated to help researchers learn to effectively use electronic research tools.

Catherine Best retired In 2015 and has now generously donated the site to CanLII to use as its legal research guide going forward. Best says:

The world of legal research is dramatically different than it was in 1998. However, the site’s emphasis on research process and effective electronic research continues to fill a need. It will be fascinating to see what changes the next 15 years will bring.

The site has been renamed The Canadian Legal Research and Writing Guide, and it will stay at legalresearch.org. It will be maintained and expanded by a national editorial board of legal researchers.

The editorial board

  • Melanie Bueckert is Legal Research Counsel with the Manitoba Court of Appeal in Winnipeg. She has written several legal textbooks, teaches Advanced Legal Research at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law, and is also a contributor to Slaw.ca.
  • Maryvon Côté is Acting Head at the Nahum Gelber Law Library at McGill University in Montreal. He is active on the Canadian Association of Law Libraries executive and writes on legal research topics.
  • Yasmin Khan is the Head Librarian at the City of Toronto Law Library. She has just finished a Master’s of Science, Information and Knowledge Strategy from Columbia University.
  • Mandy Ostick is the Manager, Library Services at Bull Housser in Vancouver. She has had previous positions as the Law Librarian at Thompson Rivers University and Director of Library Operations at Courthouse Libraries BC.
  • Jennifer Taylor is a Research Lawyer at Stewart McKelvey in Halifax. She is a regular contributor of case comments for Stewart McKelvey Publications, CanLII Connects, and the CBA’s National Magazine blog, and has published several articles in legal journals and newsletters. She also presents on topics related to legal research within the firm and in the local legal community.

Though the Guide currently focuses on federal and BC law, over the coming months the editorial board will be updating the site and expanding it, with an emphasis on adding more geographically diverse content. One of our own Osgoode students submitted the following unsolicited praise for the Guide:

You should receive the Nobel Prize for your contribution to legal education for your legal research website. It’s awesome in the true sense of the word. At first glance, I was hoping to purchase a hard copy, but as I spent more time on the site it became clear that this was next to impossible — now I fully understand what Marshall McLuhan meant when he said that the age of electronic media spells the end of book. How you put all that information together is beyond comprehension.  It seems like a life’s work.

Many would agree. Ms Best’s work should be recognized and CanLII’s agreement to continue and host the Guide are laudable.

Quebec and Federal Content Enhancements to CanLII

CanLII has recently announced some significant content enhancements to their offerings of federal Quebec materials – and an exciting development for freely available legal information.

In collaboration with the Quebec Centre d’accès à l’information juridique (CAIJ), the following substantial caselaw offerings have been added to the Quebec databases:

Further, we should all be particularly excited that CanLII has now added Quebec and Federal annual statutes:

Again, thanks to their supplier Lexum‘s programmatic wizardry, CanLII not only hosts the annual statutes as static documents but integrates them dynamically to the rest of their legislation collections.

Let’s hope this is just the beginning, and that we will soon be able to see even more annual statutes for all provinces and territories on CanLII in the future.

We have also been able to add the following caselaw to our Quebec databases:

This is an exciting development for freely available legal information, and we are pleased to have the opportunity to work with CAIJ to leverage lawyers’ investments in both our organizations.

You can read the press releases from CanLII, CAIJ and Lexum.