The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

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Freedom and the right to privacy

By Yves Faguy November 14, 2013 14 November 2013

As Google Glass breaks new ground, The Economist advocates for more laws to safeguard privacy:

Still, as cameras become smaller, more powerful and ubiquitous, new laws may be needed to preserve liberty. Governments should be granted the right to use face-recognition technology only where there is a clear public good (identifying a bank robber for instance). When the would-be identifiers are companies or strangers in the street, the starting-point should be that you have the right not to have your identity automatically revealed. The principle is the same as for personal data. Just as Facebook and Google should be forced to establish high default settings for privacy (which can be reduced at the user’s request), the new cameras and recognition technologies should be regulated so as to let you decide whether you remain anonymous or not.

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Speedier access to the tax courts

By Yves Faguy November 13, 2013 13 November 2013

Vern Krishna argues in favour of better access to justice for the Canadian taxpayer:

The wheels of justice grind slowly in tax law and the rules are heavily weighted against middle-income individuals. Tax disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) can extend to eight years from the time that an individual receives his or her notice of assessment to its final resolution. An individual who objects to an assessment must wait six months or more for the file just to be assigned for review by a CRA appeals officer. Thereafter, the appeals officer may take several months, even years, to consider any objections before confirming or varying the assessment.

Objections by taxpayers to assessments issued by the CRA can be made through either a cumbersome general procedure or the simpler and faster (not to mention less costly) informal procedure. But the maximum statutoruy amount for the informal procedure is now established at $25,000. Krishna wants to see that raised to $50,000:

Reports and speeches on access to justice focus almost exclusively on family and criminal law. Middle-income taxpayers, who actually finance our social programs, are not even on the radar of social activists. They support those programs without meaningful access to justice for themselves.

Ultimately, a country must maintain a fair and accessible system of justice for all its citizens, and all the more so where the system relies upon voluntary assessment and disclosure. Raising the informal procedure limit to $50,000 would open access to the tax courts for middle-income taxpayers.

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De facto deregulation of the profession?

By Yves Faguy November 13, 2013 13 November 2013

We asked Omar about his thoughts on how global law will affect the regulation of the legal profession.

Omar Ha-Redeye practicses out of Fleet Street Law, a full-service law chambers in Toronto, with a focus on civil litigation. He is actively involved in the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the Ontario Bar Association (OBA), and is currently the Co-Chair of the OBA Young Lawyers Division (Central). More commentary from Omar here, here, here, here here, and here.

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Arin Reeves: Diversity and efficient problem-solving

By Yves Faguy November 7, 2013 7 November 2013

Reeves explains how collective IQ, a measure of problem-solving capacity, is improved in diverse and inclusive workplaces.

Arin Reeves is the author of the best-selling book  The Next IQ: The Next Level of Intelligence for 21st Century Leaders and an expert in leadership and inclusion in workplaces. Reeves' previous interview clip is  here, here and here.

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Why is the legal profession so slow to innovate?

By Yves Faguy November 6, 2013 6 November 2013

The tweets above represent a small sample of the exchanges that came out of last night’s #CBAfutureschat on innovation and the legal profession, superbly hosted by Monica Goyal (she will also be leading next Tuesday’s chat about alternative business structures). The starting point of last night’s chat was, as Monica put it, an acknowledgement that “Innovation in the legal space is lagging behind almost every other industry.”

So why is that?

(More after the jump)

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