Publications of the Senate and the House of Commons

As of September 2012, all the publications of the Senate of Canada and the House of Commons are available in electronic format only. Therefore, Publishing and Depository Services / Éditions et Services de dépôt  will no longer sell and distribute Parliamentary publications in paper format. PDS are working closely with the Senate of Canada and the House of Commons to make these publications available in PDF format on the Government of Canada Publications web site. Meanwhile, you can find all the latest Reports of the Committees of the Senate of Canada and the House of Commons here.


Future of Articling in Canada

As you probably know, there is a heated debate going on in Ontario about the future of articling. In May 2011, the Articling Task Force was established by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a result of the rising number of unplaced articling candidates seeking access to the licensing process in Ontario. The Task Force produced a 100-pages report released on October 16th, 2012, where the majority recommended a five-year pilot project, to begin in 2014, for a law practice program as an alternative option to the current articling system. The LPP (law practice program), delivered by one or more third-party providers, would combine a skills-training component and a co-op work placement for a total of eight months. Four dissenting members of the Task Force instead suggested replacing articling with a two- to three-month comprehensive transitional pre-licensing program that would consist of online courses and exams. They also called for the law schools to introduce additional experiential education programs that would allow students to gain the practical skills they need to enter the workforce. You can find the full text of the report here.

New Exhibition at the Law Library: Restored Rare Books

We are pleased to announce that we have a new exhibition/ book display at the Law Library. It features a selection of the rare books that were restored in honour of and in recognition of the achievements of several McGill Law Faculty professors and other distinguished members of the Canadian legal community. Each book is accompanied by a book plate and a short description of the work performed by professional restorers.

Not-Totally-Unsolicited Advice about Footnotes

Last week, I saw a number of 1st year students seeking an advice of a librarian on how to cite the sources that they used in their first memo. Thus, I decided to give you some not-totally-unsolicited advice on this matter.
First, when your TL gives you a piece of paper, a pdf, a photocopy of something, etc., do not hesitate to ask what this is and from where it is coming. This will save you quite a bit of time when you are pressed to finish your work but discover suddenly that this photocopy is in fact a book chapter, and you have no idea about the book title and/ or author. Second, do not wait until the last minute to make your footnotes. Everybody works differently, but my experience shows that if you ‘cite while you write’, you will save time. You will have your paper AND your footnotes ready, save for the final proofing, when you finish writing the last paragraph. On the contrary, if you leave all your footnotes to be done when your paper is written, you will end up trying to figure out where you found this or that quotation and, pardon me, freaking out about supra(s) and idem(s) when you are totally short of time. Third, use the Red Book in conjunction with your common sense and with some reasoning. Do not just scan and skim the text of a section, expecting that a correct form of citation will jump in your eyes. Red Book is not the Bible, so do not expect that it will necessarily have an answer to your particular question. When you have something to cite, think about what rule fits the best your type of source and then, apply this rule.
Last, to cite a source, proceed as follows:

  • determine what it is that you have to cite
  • find respective chapter (Jurisprudence for cases, Secondary Sources for books and journal articles, etc.)
  • READ General Rules section 
  • find the section corresponding to the source that you have
  • READ this section
  • apply the rule to cite the source making analogies if necessary
  • repeat as needed:)

Rare Books Room Tours Offered

If you would like to know what kind of treasures are kept in the glass enclosed Rare Books Room on the second floor of the Law Library, sign up for a half-an-hour (or longer) tour of the Law Rare Books. To sign up for a tour, please send a request to me, Svetlana Kochkina,, and I will notify you when we will have a necessary number of participants.

Haggadah de Pessah : la pâque juive : manuscrit du xve siècle copié et enluminé par Joël ben Siméon Feibusch Ashkénazi

Haggadah de Pessah réunit les textes liturgiques et commente les rites qui scandent la cérémonie de la Pâque juive. C’est une reproduction en facsimilé d’un manuscrit enluminé, témoin de cette cérémonie et d’un moment clé de la culture juive. Le manuscrit reproduit ici a été réalisé par un scribe enlumineur hautement réputé du XVe siècle, Joël ben Siméon, dont les ateliers, sont connus pour la qualité exceptionnelle de leur production. Des lecteurs suivront les différentes étapes de la célébration en contemplant les somptueuses illustrations de ce livre. L’auteur de l’introduction vaste et instruisante, Maurice-Ruben Hayoun, est le spécialiste de la philosophie médiévale judéo-arabe et du renouveau de la pensée judéo-allemande de Moïse Mendelssohn à Gershom Scholem. Il a enseigné au département de philosophie de l’Université de Genève de 2003 à 2011.

Pour une nouvelle histoire du droit byzantin : théorie et pratique juridiques au XIVe siècle / Lisa Bénou

Cet ouvrage, fortement intéressant, vise à contribuer  à une meilleure connaissance de la civilisation byzantine, de son système juridique ainsi qu’à contribuer à la discussion concernant le relations et «le fil unificateur» entre la théorie et la pratique juridique.