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Monday, December 13, 2010


Nominations are now open for the 2010 Canadian Law Blog Awards, also known as the CLawBies.

Fans can nominate their favourite blogs on the Canadian legal scene by posting their endorsement on Twitter using the hashtag clawbies2010 or by e-mailing Steve Matthews at before the Dec. 28 deadline.

Matthews, the founder and principal of online legal marketing company Stem Legal Web Enterprises Inc., started the awards in 2006.

The winners will be announced on New Year’s Eve. More information is available at


Iain Benson, a senior associate counsel at Miller Thomson LLP, has been appointed to the Global Centre for Pluralism’s inaugural board of directors.

The centre, a joint project of the Aga Khan and the federal government, is an international research and education hub dedicated to the study and practice of tolerance, openness, and diversity.

Benson will be among prestigious colleagues on the board. Joining him are former governor general Adrienne Clarkson and former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan.

Benson belongs to Miller Thomson’s litigation practice group. He practises in the areas of administrative and constitutional law with a focus on rights and freedoms.

He has written on the nature of secularism and serves as a professor of law at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He also belonged to a committee that drew up the South African Charter of Religious Rights and Freedoms.

“Iain’s appointment to the board of the Global Centre for Pluralism recognizes his immense contribution to resolving issues involving secularism and pluralism around the world,” said Miller Thomson chairman Gerald Courage.

“As an internationally respected authority on issues relating to human rights, pluralism, secularism, and constitutional law, Iain brings a wealth of global experience to this prestigious role.”  


The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has welcomed a report by Ontario ombudsman André Marin that described secret regulations passed by the provincial government ahead of the G20 summit to be “of dubious legality.”

The police used powers under the Public Works Protection Act to detain protesters after the provincial government quietly designated the areas inside the security zone as public works.

According to Marin, Toronto police compounded matters through miscommunication about the reach of the “extravagant” powers granted by the regulation.

He recommended the act, which was enacted as a wartime measure in 1939, be revised or replaced and that the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services develop a protocol for public information campaigns whenever the government modifies police powers in the future.

In a statement, the CCLA said the report vindicated its belief that police had intruded excessively into the civil liberties of protesters.

“The time has come for the government to act to amend both the process for adopting regulations in Ontario and the Public Works Protection Act itself,” said CCLA general counsel Nathalie Des Rosiers.

“That is why we are calling upon the government to act swiftly to implement the ombudsman’s recommendations.”


Bill Richardson has joined Baker & McKenzie LLP’s Toronto office as a partner after 25 years at McCarthy Tétrault LLP.

Richardson, who developed an advocacy practice with a focus on pharmaceutical patent litigation at McCarthys, will join Baker & McKenzie’s global intellectual property and pharmaceutical practice groups.

“Baker & McKenzie is dedicated to growing its global patent capabilities. We see the addition of Bill as a big step in the growth of our pharmaceutical patent litigation practice and we are very excited about his addition,” said John Flaim, chairman of the firm’s global intellectual property practice group.

“We are delighted to have a lawyer of Bill’s calibre joining our firm in this strategic practice area and pleased to be able to expand the services we offer to clients within and beyond the Toronto market,” said Jim Holloway, managing partner of Baker & McKenzie in Toronto.

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