The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Equality rights

Gender-based analysis plus and lessons for Charter vetting

By Yves Faguy October 12, 2018 12 October 2018

Gender-based analysis plus and lessons for Charter vetting

 

Gender-based analysis plus (or GBA+) is the process followed by the federal government (and developed by Status of Women Canada) to analyze the gendered implications of government policy. In a recent article published in the Canadian Bar Review, Vanessa MacDonell examines the process, and tries to draw some lessons from it that might guide the government in improving its Charter vetting process for legislation:

The differences between GBA+ and the Charter vetting process may explain why they have evolved in different ways. GBA+ involves a form of structured policy analysis. The process therefore mandates evidence-gathering, consultation, analysis, recommendations, and the like. Rights vetting, on the other hand, is a form of legal analysis. It is not surprising, then, that this process would engage the tools of legal analysis—hence the use of a checklist of possible rights infringements and an emphasis on legal risk analysis. As an outsider, it is difficult to know what role evidence-gathering and consultation play in the Charter vetting process, though it likely varies. Unlike policy-makers, however, lawyers might be inclined to believe that their legal training provides them with everything they need to conduct an analysis of likely Charter impacts. This view would be short-sighted. Good evidence is crucial to assessing Charter impacts.

Read the whole thing.

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Technologie

Contrats intelligents et l’avenir du droit contractuel canadien

By Yves Faguy October 10, 2018 10 October 2018

Contrats intelligents et l’avenir du droit contractuel canadien

 

La sécurisation des échanges est la raison d'être des contrats intelligents qui tournent sur la blockchain, et qui s'auto-exécutent au fur et à mesure que des conditions préétablies sont satisfaites. Mais quelle est leur valeur juridique en droit canadien? Le professeur Florian Martin-Bariteau, de l’Université d’Ottawa, a reçu une subvention du Fonds pour le Droit de demain de l’Association du Barreau canadien pour étudier comment les contrats intelligents interagissent avec le droit actuel des contrats. ABC National l’a contacté afin que nous réalisions une entrevue avec lui.

ABC National : Parlez-nous d’abord du projet de recherche.

Florian Martin-Bariteau : L’objet principal est d’étudier les « smart contracts » — les contrats intelligents. C’est une recherche sur les enjeux juridiques, et aussi éthiques, de ces contrats intelligents qui sont des programmes informatiques qui tournent sur la chaîne de blocs — le blockchain — et qui sont de plus en plus proposés et utilisés par un certain nombre d’acteurs du système judiciaire. On le voit notamment dans le milieu corporatif, mais aussi à tous dans le système de justice.

N : Alors quels sont les enjeux?

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Indigenous law

The Crown’s underlying title to Aboriginal title lands

By Yves Faguy October 3, 2018 3 October 2018

The Crown’s underlying title to Aboriginal title lands

 

Kent McNeil has a fascinating piece, recently published in the Canadian Bar Review, that examines the source of the Crown’s underlying title in Canada, and compares it to other principal settler states colonized by Britain – namely Australia, New Zealand and the United States’ first 13 colonies.  As far as Canada is concerned, he notes that the sources of the Crown’s authority are somewhat murky, particularly outside of Quebec and Acadia, where it got sovereignty by “conquest and cession”:

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CBA Futures

Legal Futures round-up

By Yves Faguy September 26, 2018 26 September 2018

Legal Futures round-up

 

Raising capital is the main storyline in this latest round-up.

Earlier this month, Toronto-based Kira Systems raised CAD 65 millionD ($50 million US) granting a minority stake to New York City-based Insight Venture Partners. Kira Systems uses AI-powered technology to review and analyze large volumes of contracts. Noting that the company mushroomed from 35 to 115 employees since January 2017, CEO and co-founder Noah Waisberg told Betakit that the company’s “hope is to continue to grow quickly and we’d like to do so more gracefully.”

Not to be outdone, Francisco-based Atrium, a tech company that delivers legal services, has raised $65 million US. Atrium is a full-service corporate law firm that relies on technology to build automated legal tools, while lawyers focus on higher-end work. Atrium’s founder Justin Kan also announced that his company was acquiring Tetra, which uses artificial intelligence to take automatic notes on phone calls.

Rocket Lawyer is partnering with ConsenSys, the world’s leading Ethereum blockchain technology company, and its startup, OpenLaw, to launch Rocket Wallet, a secure legal contract payments tool.

Meanwhile, consumer legal platform LegalZoom is partnering with Clause, a New York-based provider of smart legal contracting technology, to offer smart contract services to the general public and small businesses. In case you missed it, LegalZoom announced in July $500 million US Investment, which put the company at a $2-billion valuation.

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The practice

Plain language in law, designed for modern times

By Yves Faguy September 14, 2018 14 September 2018

Plain language in law, designed for modern times

 

From October 25 to 27, Clarity will hold its international conference in Montréal. Clarity is an international professional network whose mission is to promote the use of plain legal language. To give us some background, Guillaume Rondeau, chief plain language specialist at Éducaloi, one of Clarity’s partners, spoke with CBA National to discuss the evolution of plain and effective legal language.

CBA National: The theme of the Montreal conference is “Plain Language in Modern Times.” Why was this theme chosen?

Guillaume Rondeau: What we know in English as “plain language” is mostly referred to as “langage clair” (clear language) in French, although that expression is slowly giving way to “communication claire” (clear communication), and this is an important distinction. When you say clear language, you’re putting a lot of emphasis on language itself—on the words. Popular understanding has it that the problem with law and legal communications is the legal jargon and how inaccessible it is to laypeople. But that obscures the other issues. And so, expertise has evolved over time. Rather than talking about just clear language, we examine the clear communication of law and legal matters. This takes into account communication as a whole. We also look more closely at other issues. So yes, terminology is one thing, but we also need to think about structuring and arranging information in logical ways, and about the way we design information: that is, the graphical presentation of information. Some fonts are easier to read than others. Font size and heading hierarchy are worth looking into. Design refers to images, tables, graphics. Thinking of plain language as clear communication really pushes the boundaries of our expertise.

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