Monday, April 28, 2014

In honour of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association’s 50th anniversary, Canadian Artists for Civil Liberties will throw a concert on May 3.

The CCLA promises it will be a night of music, dance, and spoken word performance celebrating the organization and the “freedoms it has worked so tirelessly to promote and defend.”

“We’re very excited about this concert,” said Sukanya Pillay, general counsel of the CCLA.

“You can’t separate the arts from civil liberties advocacy. Musicians, writers, artists have always been at the forefront of civil liberties campaigns across the world and in Canada — in fact, CCLA has always had strong representatives of the arts on our board — we are grateful to Nathan Lawr and the artists he has brought together to celebrate the 50th anniversary of CCLA.”

The concert will take place at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church at 427 Bloor St. W. in Toronto at 7 p.m.

Former McMillan LLP financial services lawyer Chris Bennett has joined Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

Bennett, whose expertise is complex project financing, joined the firm as a partner.

“Chris’ experience reflects the exponential growth and importance of infrastructure requirements by all levels of government as they seek out new models of procuring and financing large-scale projects that address needs in social infrastructure, transportation, and energy,” said Stephen Clark, chairman of financial services at Oslers.

He added: “Canada has become a leading jurisdiction in terms of both deal flow and successful implementation of these models, and we are very pleased he is contributing his expertise to clients of our top-ranked teams in infrastructure, energy, and financial services.”

Courts are resorting to cy-près awards without scrutinizing lawyers’ attempts to locate class members, a major study of Canadian class action settlements has found.

This can result in access to justice being “turned on its head,” according to author Jasminka Kalajdzic, an associate professor at the University of Windsor Faculty of Law.

Cy-près awards allow for the transfer of class action settlement money to charities when there’s no practical way of distributing all of the funds to individual plaintiffs.

“Courts have adopted cy-près as a second best alternative to direct compensation of class members, and have done so with only occasional academic scrutiny and virtually no legislative guidance,” said a draft paper by Kalajdzic published last week.

Kalajdzic calls her study “the most comprehensive collection of information regarding the nature and extent of cy-près use in Canada.”

The study found no evidence in the 65 class actions that featured cy-près awards from 2001-12 that courts had seriously questioned parties’ claims the money couldn’t go directly to class members.

The Law Commission of Ontario says it has collaborated with the  Association des jurists d’expression française de l’Ontario to make all of its publications available in French for users. is a virtual legal library for justice professionals who work with French-language communities.

“All LCO publications are currently available in this virtual library equipped with a powerful search engine, allowing access to thousands of resources such as legislation, judgments, studies, research papers, precedents and glossaries,” the law commission announced.   

The results of the latest Law Times online poll are in.

According to the poll, 90 per cent of respondents feel the federal government should go back to the drawing board on the fair elections act.

The poll follows a slew of commentary and debate suggesting the proposed law goes too far in revamping Canada’s elections system. Of particular concern has been the plan to eliminate vouching, a process in which a voter can confirm the identity of someone else who doesn’t have the proper documentation to vote.

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