Each year in the spring, CALE/ACEJ has partnered with the CBA and the FLSC in organizing an annual Ethics Forum. Last year’s forum in Toronto was one of the very last in-person events of its kind before the pandemic. This year the forum is being held as an online symposium (in webinar format) on May 3, 2021.
The symposium features three sessions: “Systemic Discrimination and the Legal Profession: Impacts & Responsibilities” (at 11am), “Mental Health and Capacity: Lawyers’ Professional Responsibilities, Adaptability and Law Society Responses” (at 1pm) and “Technology and the Legal Profession: Ethical Issues and Regulatory Responses” (at 2:45pm). Attendees can register for one, two or all three of the sessions.
Many of the presenters are CALE/ACEJ members. Register now (link is here) to hear from (and support) your colleagues.
Co-editors Richard Devlin and Sheila Wildeman, both of the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, have published the first comprehensive comparative analysis of judicial discipline. Disciplining Judges: Contemporary Challenges and Controversies is now available from Edward Elgar Publishing.
From the publisher’s site (here): “The jurisdictions examined are Australia, Canada, China, Croatia, England and Wales, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, and the United States. The core findings are four-fold. First, the norms and practices of each discipline regime differ in ways that reflect distinct social, political, and cultural contexts. Second, some jurisdictions are doing better than others in responding to challenges of designing a nuanced and normatively defensible regime. Third, no jurisdiction has yet managed to construct a regime that can be said to adequately promote public confidence. Finally, important lessons can be learned through analysis of, and critically constructive engagement with, other jurisdictions.”
Judicial ethics has become an important area of concentration within the field of legal ethics. CALE/ACEJ in its institutional capacity and several of its members are active in that area. The links between judicial ethics and judicial discipline make this book a valuable contribution to the ongoing scholarship about judicial ethics.
The 2020 CALE Conference will be held October 22-24, 2020 at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. While we do not know what the future holds, we are proceeding on the basis that we will be able to gather in person as we have in the past.
Proposals are invited for presentations on either teaching legal ethics or research and scholarship about legal ethics and professionalism. The latter includes research relating to the regulation of the profession.
We invite anyone interested in presenting on a topic to contact us. We welcome proposals from junior scholars and from those working on legal ethics outside the academy. The eventual format of the presentations will depend on, among other things, the number of proposals we accept, but we expect that each presenter would have about 15-20 minutes plus time for questions. There is no need to have a formal paper accompanying your presentation: slides or oral remarks alone are fine. You need not have a finished product: works in progress are welcome.
One of the reasons for asking for proposals at this early stage is that we understand that for some of you it can be easier to obtain institutional funding to attend the CALE conference once you have been accepted as a speaker. We therefore aim to communicate acceptances as soon as we can so that you can leverage that acceptance to obtain funds.
For teaching, please respond to Marie-Claude Rigaud (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Andrew Flavelle Martin (email@example.com) by June 15, 2020.
For research, please respond to Basil Alexander (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Stephen Pitel (email@example.com) by June 15, 2020.
The annual CBA-FLSC Ethics Forum will be held on Friday, March 13, 2020 in Toronto. The Forum brings together legal academics and professionals for a day of discussion, debate and review. This year it features a keynote address by Justice Alice Woolley, former professor of law at the University of Calgary and President of CALE.
The detailed program of events for the day is available here.
Information about registering is available here. You can register online. We hope to see you there!
Noel Semple has posted a remarkably detailed summary of CALE’s annual conference, held October 24-26, 2019 at the University of Windsor. The post is on slaw.ca and is available here. It provides the important highlights of 21 separate presentations. Thanks Noel!
CALE/ACEJ President Amy Salyzyn has a new post on slaw.ca (available here) about recent changes to the FLSC Model Code dealing with the obligation to be competent in the use of technology.
The Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) has posted a draft of the revised Ethical Principles for Judges. Information about the process of revising this important document is available here and the draft itself is available here. The changes are sufficiently substantial that a blackline or mark-up drawing attention to the specific changes is not available.
CALE/ACEJ, through its Board of Directors, will provide feedback on the draft to the CJC by its new deadline (updated December 3, 2019) of February 14, 2020. It will post this feedback on this website.
The revision of Ethical Principles for Judges is a generational event. It is therefore important for the process to be as inclusive and responsive as possible to ensure continued public confidence in the Canadian judiciary. CALE/ACEJ encourages anyone interested in judicial ethics and conduct to review the draft and to provide feedback to the CJC, either at firstname.lastname@example.org or Canadian Judicial Council, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0W8. If you provide feedback, you are most welcome to also share it with CALE/ACEJ.
On Wednesday, March 27, 2019 the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, will deliver a public lecture on the lawyer’s commitment to professionalism and the rule of law, entitled “Seeking the Good”. The lecture, which is the tenth annual Coxford Lecture, is at 12:30pm in room 38 of the Faculty of Law at Western University in London, Ontario.
New scholarship from CALE member Deanne Sowter now up on SSRN!
Family law is evolving towards non-adversarial dispute resolution processes. As a result, some family lawyers are representing clients who are trying to reach settlements that recognize their interests, instead of just pursuing their legal rights. By responding to the full spectrum of client needs, lawyers are required to behave differently than they do when they are representing a client in a traditional civil litigation file. They consider the emotional and financial consequences of relationship breakdown – things that are not typically within the purview of the family law lawyer. They objectively reality check with their client, and they approach interest-based negotiations in a client-centric way. These lawyers view their role as that of a non-adversarial advocate, and their client as a whole person with interests that are not just legal. This paper draws on an empirical study involving focus groups with family law lawyers, to argue that the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, Model Code of Professional Conduct, needs to be updated to incorporate non-adversarial advocacy. The lawyers in the study viewed non-adversarial advocacy as being responsive to client needs, and in the interest of the client’s children. This paper draws from the study to establish what constitutes non-adversarial advocacy and then it presents a proposal for revising Rule 5 (Advocacy) of the Model Code.
On January 31, 2019, David Layton QC will deliver the F.B. Wickwire Memorial Lecture on the topic of “Criminal Lawyers, Hired Guns & Junkyard Dogs”, looking at the ethics of being a criminal defence lawyer.
The lecture is at 4:30pm in room 105 of the Weldon Law Building at Dalhousie Unversity, Halifax. It is open to the public.