Legal Ethics Professor Appointed to the Senate

On January 31, 2020, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the Governor General had appointed W. Brent Cotter as an independent Senator for Saskatchewan.  CALE/ACEJ extends its warmest congratulations to Brent, a founding member of CALE/ACEJ who has served on its board of directors and as its Board Chair.

Prof. Cotter is one of Canada’s foremost legal ethicists.  Over the course of his career, he has taught at universities across the country.  He was the Dean of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan.  His scholarship on legal ethics has been foundational to the development of the field in Canada.  He is a co-author of Canada’s leading legal ethics casebook.  He has been a tireless mentor to many other more junior legal ethics scholars.

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.

 

Recap: 2019 Conference

CALE/ACEJ held its annual conference at the University of Windsor on October 24-26, 2019. Conference coordinator Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic and her team did a wonderful job hosting the conference in the university’s modern facilities in downtown Windsor.

The conference (detailed schedule here) featured three research panels and one on each of teaching and professional regulation. It also featured a keynote address by Professor Rebecca Roiphe of New York Law School on prosecutorial independence in the United States, examining the degree to which it has been eroded during the Trump administration.

The research panels covered a wide range of topics. Several presentations addressed access to justice and proposed possible initiatives. There was a focus on legal ethics and government lawyers, including discussion of the Edgar Schmidt and SNC-Lavalin cases. Other topics included the regulation of lawyer advertising, comparative approaches to judicial discipline, concerns about independence for in-house counsel, and the tension between what is legal and what is moral in regulating legal ethics. Over half of the presentations were by graduate students or new members of the legal academy, which is a testament to the emergence of new scholarly voices in the field.

The teaching panel discussed several interesting topics including how simulated clients (people trained to play the role) can be used in teaching ethics and the merits of requiring students to create their own podcast about an ethical issue. The panel of legal regulators discussed efforts in Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario to develop detailed data about sexual harassment within the profession and steps that can be taken to address the problem.

In conjunction with the conference, CALE/ACEJ held its annual meeting of members and announced the winners of its annual awards. For details see the blog posts on those specific topics.

Annual Meeting 2019

On October 26, 2019, CALE/ACEJ held its annual meeting of members as part of its conference at the University of Windsor. In her report to the members, President Amy Salyzyn highlighted the association’s formal name change to a bilingual name, the revived process for the two annual awards, and CALE/ACEJ’s role thus far in the Canadian Judicial Council’s efforts to create a new version of Ethical Principles for Judges.

Treasurer Jula Hughes reported that the financial position was unchanged from the prior year and that CALE/ACEJ is current with all corporate and tax filings.

Elected as directors of CALE/ACEJ for 2019-20 were Basil Alexander, Brent Cotter, Richard Devlin, Jula Hughes, Andrew Flavelle Martin, Pooja Parmar,  Stephen Pitel, Marie-Claude Rigaud, Alain Roussy, Amy Salyzyn and Noel Semple. At a subsequent meeting of those directors, the following officers were appointed: Chair of the Board Richard Devlin, President Amy Salyzyn, Vice-President Stephen Pitel, Corporate Secretary and Treasurer Basil Alexander, Chief Information Officer Amy Salyzyn and Conference Coordinator Frances Chapman. Members thanked departing director Elaine Craig for her service.

Lakehead University has agreed to host the 2020 CALE/ACEJ conference.  The plan for 2021 is to hold the conference in western Canada.

The members warmly thanked the University of Windsor and conference coordinator Jasminka Kalajdzic for hosting this year’s conference.

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.

OBA Fellowships for Ethics and Professionalism 2019-20

The Ontario Bar Association is calling for applications for two Fellowships for 2019-20: The OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Research and the OBA Foundation Chief Justice of Ontario Fellowship in Legal Ethics and Professionalism Studies.  Details about the two Fellowships and the application process are available here.  The deadline to apply is July 2, 2019.

These Fellowships were started in 2011 by the Chief Justice of Ontario’s Advisory Committee on Professionalism.  In 2013 they were assumed and continued by the OBA. 

Update on CALE Awards

In 2017 CALE created two awards: a Best Paper Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award.  Nominations will be sought for these awards each year, commencing in the spring, and the awards will normally be announced at the annual meeting of members in the fall.  In 2018 the selection committee determined that neither award would be made that year.

For 2019 the selection committee is Pooja Parmer, Darrel Pink and Stephen Pitel.  CALE expects to call for nominations in early May 2019.