Update on 2020 CALE/ACEJ Annual Conference: We are moving to virtual format!

The Board of CALE/ACEJ has made the decision to move the Annual Conference that was scheduled to be hosted by the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, October 22-24, 2020 to a one-day virtual conference to take place Friday October 23, 2020.

Later this summer, we will circulate more information about registration and the platform that we will be using. Registration is not currently available.

Please also note that the original deadline for calls for research and teaching presentations was June 15, 2020, but we are now extending the deadline to June 30, 2020. Further details on the call for presentations and who to contact can be found here: https://ethicsincanada.com/2020/04/05/cale-2020-conference-call-for-presentation-proposals/.

Recent Legal Ethics Blogs

In April and May, three new legal ethics blogs were posted at Slaw.ca, which may be of interest to website readers:

  1. “Trial by Zoom”: What Virtual Hearings Might Mean for Open Courts, Participant Privacy and the Integrity of Court Proceedings, by Amy Salyzyn, April 17, 2020
  2. What Is Non-Adversarial Advocacy?, by Deanne Sowter, April 24, 2020
  3. Getting Useful Information to Consumers of Legal Services, by Malcolm Mercer, May 8, 2020

New Scholarship: Reconciliation and Ethical Lawyering

New scholarship by CALE/ACEJ Board Member Pooja Parmar

“Reconciliation and Ethical Lawyering: Some Thoughts on Cultural Competence” (2019) Canadian Bar Review
ABSTRACT

This paper critically examines the turn to cultural competence as a response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (“TRC”) Calls to Action 27 and 28. I suggest that an uncritical embrace of cultural competence, as currently understood, is inadequate and might even prove to be counterproductive despite best intentions. While acknowledging that the focus on cultural competence is often driven by genuine commitments to reconciliation within the legal profession in Canada, I outline concerns which show that a limited and deficient conception of cultural competence is unlikely to assist lawyers in representing Indigenous clients better or change Indigenous peoples’ experience with the legal system more broadly. I suggest that the TRC Calls to Action demand a response that centres accountability, and that the legal profession must recognize Calls 27 and 28 as a unique opportunity to innovate and lead by rethinking legal education, competence, and ethical lawyering in a multi-juridical space such as Canada. I conclude with two suggestions for taking this conversation forward.

Federation Consultation on Proposed Amendments to the Model Code

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has initiated a consultation regarding proposed Model Code amendments that address issues related to the duties related to (1) non-discrimination and harassment and (2) ex parte communications with courts and tribunals.

The proposed amendments can be found here: English, French. The consultation report can be found here: English, French.

Information can also be found on the Federation’s website.

The deadline for providing feedback is May 29, 2020.
The Board of CALE/ACEJ will review and consider providing feedback. Any feedback that we provide will be posted on our website.

Feedback from CALE/ACEJ to Canadian Judicial Council on its draft Ethical Principles for Judges

Further to its initial feedback to the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) regarding its review of the Ethical Principles for Judges (EPJs) (see here and here for previous correspondence), CALE/ACEJ has written to the CJC to provide feedback on the draft EPJs released on November 22, 2019.  Our letter, sent today, can be found here.