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 email@example.com or Canadian Judicial Council, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0W8. If you provide feedback, you are most welcome to also share it with CALE/ACEJ.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Professor Amy Salyzyn of the University of Ottawa is the new President of CALE. She succeeds Justice Alice Woolley who resigned as President last fall when she was appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench.
At a meeting of CALE’s board of directors held by phone on January 28, 2019, changes were made to CALE’s directors and officers. These tend to only happen at the annual meeting of members, but the appointment of Justice Woolley necessitated some mid-year changes.
Justice Alice Woolley having resigned as a director, the board of directors appointed Professor Stephen Pitel (Western) as a director.
Justice Alice Woolley having resigned as President, the board of directors appointed Professor Amy Salyzyn (Ottawa) as President. This created a vacancy in the position of Vice-President, which the board of directors filled by appointing Professor Stephen Pitel (Western).
The directors also appointed Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic (Windsor) as the Conference Coordinator.
The 2019 CALE annual conference will be hosted by the University of Windsor. It will follow its traditional schedule, starting on the evening of Thursday, October 24 and ending mid-day on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic is the Conference Co-ordinator. The CALE annual meeting of members will be held at the conference. Calls for papers will go out in the spring.