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Mixing computer technology and linguistic savy as an aid to legal research is no mean undertaking, yet it is the purpose of this article. In it Wallace Schwab attempts to describe those areas in computer science and applied linguistics that either have much to offer or represent formidable obstacles to computerizing legal research. From the simplest aids up through scripts and other artificial intelligence devices, the main theme focusses upon integrating disparate techniques into one finely tuned instrument for linguistically based computer research in law. Ultimately this article leads up to the question as to what limit can be ascribed to digitizing legal data and Schwab proposes short, medium and long term limitations.
The development of computer and communication technology applied to payment by cheques has eliminated several manual operations, reduced the number of documents transfered and accelerated the time processing of payments. With these changes, there is more than a technical novelty and a simple mechanization of banking business. The general practices of banking and the relationship between financial institutions and their clients are affected. In the new system the rights of consumers are of great concern. The author illustrates some problems arising and the necessity of the intervention of the legislator to provide a basic framework establishing rights, liabilities and responsibility of all parties involved and to insure greater protection for the individual consumer's rights.
Payment by delivery of a sum of money or by another common type of negotiable instrument is regarded in practice as an obsolete way of settling debts. It is being gradually replaced by a product of modern technology often called « electronic money ». This phenomenon may call for a new juridical framework. Serious consideration is given to the matter in the following article which, in the process, affords us a glimpse of its treatment under French law.
This article attempts to demonstrate the need to enrich and to make explicit information contained in legislation in order to build an informative and easily retrievable legislative data base.
Two methods of achieving this goal are proposed. First, it is suggested that the international standard bibliographic description (ISBD) be applied to legislative texts. Second, it is recommended that the methods and standards of the International Standardization Organization (ISO) be followed.
These two proposals are considered the bare minimum for an efficient legislative data base.
Several articles of the Charter of the Law of the Sea deal with land-based pollution, which is responsible for approximately 90% of all high sea's pollution.
A detailed study of these articles shows that the Charter under-emphasizes the importance of land-based pollution. Authority to solve marine pollution is left to coastal states, who are but vaguely obliged to encourage means of regional cooperation to curtail damage to marine environment. These obligations are a first step in the long and difficult process of bringing about efficient pollution control by way of international cooperation.
The delictual responsibility of a municipality for offences and quasi-offences committed by its fire department or brigade has been clearly acknowledged by Quebec Courts. This position, which some consider anachronistic, is the result of a long evolution whereby the private law rules of civil responsibility were gradually introduced in the normally closed field of public law.
The following article is a study of the most recent developments in this area, as well as an attempt by the author to ascertain the applicability of the civil law to the field of municipal delictual responsibility in general.
Over the last decade a new trend has emerged in Quebec legal history of which professor J.A. Dickinson's recent book on civil justice under the French Regime is most typical. With quantitative analysis of judicial records as methodology, this research orientation intends to offer a genuine contribution to social history. While recognizing its merits on that account, this paper warns against minimizing the distorsion inherent to the reflection of social life found injudicial records. It is suggested that historical studies ofthat kind should be more properly considered — and with great theoretical benefits — as pertaining to an historical sociology of justice.
A public servant's scope of authority is determined by law and not, as recent decisions would appear to say, by any notion of « apparent authority », or « apparent mandate ». Indeed, the theory of « apparent mandate », which deals only with the granting of legal capacity, does not apply on the face of legislative or statutory provisions to the contrary.
Following a number of acquittals based on a strict interpretation of the terms of the Food and Drugs Act, the Supreme Court of Canada recently had to determine, in Dunn, if a mushroom containing « psilocybin » was a restricted drug despite the fact that the legislation was referring only to the chemical substance and not to the plant itself
The Supreme Court found that the text was clear and that the fact that « psilocybin » may be contained within a mushroom does not destroy its character as a restricted drug.
Drug traffic must naturally be condemned, but that is not the problem for the moment. The problem is that the Supreme Court of Canada adopted, in Dunn, the rule of the liberal interpretation of a penal statute despite the fact that, not so long ago, it chose a different approach when dealing with a different statute.
We are critical of both the way the inferior courts treated the cases before them and the way the legislator treated the problem. We think that it was possible for the lower courts to find the accused guilty of attempting to commit the offense. We think also that it was possible for the legislator to anticipate those situations and take some precautions by deliberately adopting a text capable of embracing these cases.