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Inside Internal Controls

News and discussion on implementing risk management

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Business and Legal Issues

BC will see big changes to small claims on June 1, 2017

On March 20, 2017, the Province of British Columbia announced significant changes to the jurisdiction of the Civil Resolution Tribunal and Provincial Court to address small claims court matters.

 

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CASL’s soon-to-be-enacted private right of action brings risk of class proceedings

On July 1, 2017, the private right of action under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) will come into force.

 

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The state of the internal audit profession

I don’t believe internal audit is “losing prestige”. My belief is that internal audit can and should do more to deliver the value that our stakeholders need. Unfortunately, internal audit at many if not most organizations does not have a lot of prestige and the argument should be about increasing rather than losing it.

 

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Federal Court of Appeal provides much-needed clarity on the “obvious to try” test and meaning of “inventive concept”

The Federal Court of Appeal has now provided much-needed clarity and guidance on two critical points in Canadian patent law: the meaning of “inventive concept” and the use of the “obvious to try” test in the obviousness analysis.

 

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Don’t outsmart yourself: AI and compliance

I’m a big fan of artificial intelligence. The older I get, the more I appreciate that real intelligence needs all the help it can get. Corporate ethics and compliance officers, however, need to pause before betting big on AI as a solution to all our needs.

 

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Website operator jailed for distributing copyright infringing copies of musical works: R v Evans

Is operating a website that provides links to torrent websites which facilitates unauthorized downloading of musical works a criminal offence? If so, can the operator of such sites expect jail time as punishment for this crime? In a recent decision of the English and Wales Court of Appeal, the accused, Mr Evans, was convicted of two offences of distributing infringing copies of musical works and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these crimes.

 

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Plan administrators cannot “undo” negligent representation

It is well established from the case law that a pension plan administrator may be susceptible to legal claims where inaccurate or unclear information has been communicated to plan beneficiaries.

 

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The current state of risk oversight: Useful or useless?

All the surveys, including this one, report that executives do not believe risk management practices at their organization are making a significant contribution to the development and execution of their strategies.

 

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CASL’s private right of action for Competition Act reviewable conduct

While much has been written about the impending CASL private rights of action, less has been said about the new private right of action CASL will tack on to the Competition Act for misrepresentations in electronic messages.

 

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Ontario court decides ground-breaking online copyright case

Trader Corp v CarGurus Inc, a recent Ontario Superior Court decision, breaks a staggering amount of new ground in Canadian copyright law.

 

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The risk of material errors in the quarterly financial statements

Audit Analytics has released some interesting statistics on financial restatements and SOX. According to them, in 2015 about 5.3% of companies assessed their internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) as ineffective. This is down from 5.8% in 2014 but otherwise the highest level since 2008. This is the key section of their report.

 

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Getting rid of troublesome members: Read your bylaws carefully!

A recent decision is a reminder that simply following the rules of governing bylaws to get rid of a member may not be sufficient. The member could retain his or her status, accuse the board of acting in bad faith, and the organization could suffer extensive costs if a court finds that the bylaws relied upon in expelling the member fail to meet certain minimum requirements.

 

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Real answers to common questions on cybersecurity

Every day there is something in the news about organizations generally of all different sizes that have been breached and have had to deal with the impact of the loss, compromise or destruction of data. Making key decision-makers aware of the general threat landscape is helpful, but more helpful is making them aware of the threat landscape specific to your organization.

 

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Availability of non-infringing product is relevant in determining profit recovery for infringing activities

In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Appeal determined that the Federal Court erred in law by rejecting the relevance at law of any available non-infringing product and failed to adequately consider the evidence adduced as to the ability and willingness of three suppliers to provide non-infringing product.

 

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Review of the environmental assessment processes

The Canadian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change was tasked with reviewing the environmental assessment processes set out in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. To this end, an expert panel was set up to conduct consultations that led to a report setting out the Panel’s recommendations being submitted to the Minister. The report, entitled Building Common Ground: A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, was published on April 5, 2017. Comments may be submitted on the report until May 5, 2017. Legislative and regulatory amendments could then be tabled in late 2017 or early 2018.

 

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