The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Kim Covert

Article

Lost

By Kim Covert March 5, 2014 5 March 2014

Lost

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Can yes retroactively mean no?

By Kim Covert March 4, 2014 4 March 2014

What is consent?

More specifically, on how many levels does one have to consent to sexual activity?

That’s essentially what the Supreme Court will be ruling on when it delivers its decision on Friday in a case where a Nova Scotia man was convicted of sexual assault after poking holes in condoms in order to make his girlfriend pregnant.

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West Coast LEAF recommends pilot family law projects

By Kim Covert February 27, 2014 27 February 2014

“Family law is the most significant unmet legal need in the province” of British Columbia, says a report released this week by West Coast LEAF titled Putting justice back on the map: The route to equal and accessible family justice.

“Cost, delay, complexity, the unaffordability of legal representation, and the lack of legal aid  make it all but impossible for many British Columbians to assert their legal rights in family law cases,” the report states. “Given the significance of the issues at stake — custody of children, fair division of  property and support obligations, and protection from violence, to name just a few — the  importance of ensuring that everyone has access to the assistance they need in order to assert their legal rights should be obvious.”

This report follows on the heels of the CBA’s report Reaching Equal Justice, a summary of which was released in August 2013 at the CBA Legal Conference in Saskatoon, and the Roadmap for Change published by the National Action Committee for Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, released in October.

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End of life: Weighing in on the slippery slope debate

By Kim Covert February 26, 2014 26 February 2014

We recently posted my email Q&A with Tracey Bailey, a legal ethicist from Alberta, ahead of the CBA’s Mid-Winter end-of-life panel. After the interview went up, Bailey re-sent an answer that had been lost in the shuffle between the iPad with a dying battery that she was using on the beach and the computer in her hotel room (because she’d generously interrupted her vacation to answer my request for an interview). Her answer thoughtfully addresses an important topic, and as such I didn’t want it to go unused.

I had noted in one of my questions that opponents of right-to-die or assisted suicide legislation tend to fall back on the slippery slope argument – that once we allow euthanasia or assisted suicide as an option, we open the door to less-than-terminally ill people who are just depressed; or to financially strapped health-care systems that see it as a way to cut costs. I asked her whether there is any evidence that this kind of thing goes on, and if there is any way to write the legislation to ensure it doesn’t. Here’s her answer.

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Seeking clarity in end-of-life decisions

By Kim Covert February 24, 2014 24 February 2014

A few years ago, a series of TV ads trumpeted the virtues of clarity by putting people in sometimes life-or-death situations and showing how a clear warning of the danger they were in could have changed things for the better.

On Sunday, participants in a panel discussion at the CBA’s Mid-Winter Meeting made equally compelling cases for clarity when it comes to end-of-life issues

The panel, moderated by labour lawyer Pierre Moreau, included Jocelyn Downie, who works at the intersection of health care ethics, law and policy at Dalhousie University; Dr. Angela Genge, director of the Clinical Research Unit and ALS Clinic at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital; and Hugh Scher, a Toronto lawyer who has been involved in right-to-die cases since he worked on the landmark Rodriguez case as a law student.

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