Submission to National Requirement Review Committee

In September 2022 the National Requirement Review Committee of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada called for input at the outset of a review of the National Requirement (which specifies the competencies and skills graduates of Canadian law school programs and internationally trained graduates and lawyers must have acquired to be admitted to law society admission programs in the Canadian common law jurisdictions). The call for input is available here. CALE/ACEJ has responded to this call for input and its response is available below.

Conference Recap 2022

It was a great pleasure to return to an in-person conference this year. Our host was the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University and we are indebted to Dean Jula Hughes, Wendy Parkes and their team, including several faculty members, for running a terrific event. We met October 20-22, 2022.

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Register Now for Online Ethics Symposium

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.

New Book on Comparative Judicial Discipline Published

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.

CALE 2020 Conference: Call for Presentation Proposals

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 (marie-claude.rigaud@umontreal.ca) and Andrew Flavelle Martin (andrew.martin@dal.ca) by June 15, 2020.

For research, please respond to Basil Alexander (basil.alexander@unb.ca) and Stephen Pitel (spitel@uwo.ca) by June 15, 2020.

 

Register for CBA-FLSC Ethics Forum 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!

Ethical Principles for Judges: Draft Released for Comment

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 info@cjc-ccm.ca or Canadian Judicial Council, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0W8.  If you provide feedback, you are most welcome to also share it with CALE/ACEJ.

 

Upcoming Public Lecture by Canada’s Former Governor General

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.