The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

CBA/ABC National

The Supreme Court

SCC appointment process: tradition of regional representation respected

By CBA/ABC National July 17, 2017 17 July 2017

SCC appointment process: tradition of regional representation respected

The appointments process is now open to select the next justice of the Supreme Court of Canada who will fill retiring of Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s seat.

As was the case in 2016, when Justice Malcolm Rowe was appointed, an independent and non-partisan Advisory Board will be formed to identify candidates suitable for the position.

What’s different this time around is that the appointments process now explicitly recognizes regional convention, meaning that it open only to candidates from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. The Chief Justice initially appointed as a Puisne Justice in 1989 from the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Traditionally, two seats are held by Western Canada.  Justice Russell Brown is currently the other member of the top court from the region.

“Honouring regional representation means that our highest court will continue to represent all regions of Canada,” CBA President René Basque said in a statement.

In June, Basque wrote to the government to reiterate the CBA’s request that the government uphold the convention of regional representation as a core element of diversity

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Droit du travail

La négociation collective: L’apport du juge Louis LeBel

By CBA/ABC National July 5, 2017 5 July 2017

La négociation collective: L’apport du juge Louis LeBel

Dans le dernier numéro de la Revue du Barreau canadien, Renée-Claude Drouin, Nicolas Pochet et Gilles Trudeau se penchent sur  l’apport de l’ancien juge Louis LeBel au développement du droit du travail.  Les auteurs estiment que son legs principal dans ce domaine, à une époque marquée par la transition vers la nouvelle économie, réside dans sa réaffirmation de l’importance de la négociation collective comme liberté fondamentale :

L’attachement du juge LeBel à la représentation collective des travailleurs et à la négociation collective s’explique par la conviction qu’elles constituent fondamentalement des moyens de pouvoir dont les travailleurs se sont dotés afin de lutter contre l’inégalité inhérente à la relation de travail. Il ressort de ses décisions que c’est à ce titre que ces institutions méritent d’être préservées. La constitutionnalisation de la négociation collective et la réponse qu’il donne à la question de la relation entre les différentes sources de normativité s’appliquant aux rapports collectifs du travail auront été l’occasion de mettre en œuvre ses convictions.

Avec le débat constitutionnel relative à l’extension de la protection de la liberté d’association à la négociation collective, il propose de s’exonérer de l’emprise d’un modèle législatif particulier de relations de travail pour s’en tenir aux conditions fondamentaux d’un débat équitable entre employeur et employés sur la détermination des condition de travail. La démarche qu’il adopte est convaincante et, fondant les préceptes de la négociation collective dans l’histoire des relations de travail, il évite ainsi le piège de relativiser la protection du processus de négociation. Parce qu’ils n’ont qu’entériné la situation factuelle à la quelle était parvenus les travailleurs de façon autonome, les régimes législatifs, fédéral et provinciaux, qui ont disséminé le modèle Wagner à l’échelle du Canada, n’auront été qu’accessoires à la consécration constitutionnelle  de la négociation collective.

L’oeuvre judiciaire du juge Louis LeBel, dont son apport à l’évolution du droit du travail, du droit administratif et du droit criminel au Québec et au Canada, a fait l’objet d’un colloque organisé par l’association du Barreau canadien, division Québec, en 2014.  La Revue du Barreau canadien a publié les textes que les conférenciers ont accepté de rédiger dans son dernier numéro.

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Big picture

The long road to reconciliation

By CBA/ABC National June 19, 2017 19 June 2017

The long road to reconciliation

 

In 1996, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued a roadmap for transforming the relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. The majority of its recommendations were never implemented. But its findings “opened people’s eyes and changed the conversation about the reality for Aboriginal people in this country,” the Truth & Reconciliation Commission later wrote.

In 2016, Canada declared its full support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which recognizes Indigenous Peoples’ rights to self-determination, language, equality and land, among others.

Despite some progress, however, the issues identified more than 20 years ago remain a pressing concern. As Canada prepares to mark National Aboriginal Day on June 21, here is a snapshot of the community.

Source: Aboriginal Peoples in Canada: First Nations People, Métis and Inuit, 2011 National Household Survey, Statistics Canada.

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In person

In person: Orlando Da Silva

By CBA/ABC National June 16, 2017 16 June 2017

In person: Orlando Da Silva

 

A former president of the Ontario Bar Association, Orlando Da Silva became a mental health advocate after opening up about his personal struggle with depression. He is counsel with the Crown Law Office – Civil, Ministry of the Attorney-General, Ontario.

National Magazine: Who has had the biggest influence on you and why?

Orlando Da Silva: My father was an angry working class man who suffered no fools and demanded excellence from his children. He was a hard man to please. He left home when I was 10 and died when I was 19 and he was only 51. Yet, in his short life, he taught me about perseverance and persistence. I have used both to challenge my doubts and fears, which, in turn, allowed me to engage the world in rewarding and often surprising ways. So in the end, my father taught me gratitude for having, and continuing to live, an interesting life.

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CBA community

Justice for East Africa's children

By CBA/ABC National June 16, 2017 16 June 2017

 

When 15-year-old Edith was charged with robbery for allegedly stealing a cellphone, there were some unexpected consequences.

Her mother lost her job at a food stall in the Nairobi slums because she had to accompany her daughter to court. A widow with five children and no income, she couldn’t pay the cash bond to secure Edith’s release, so the teen was sent to the Nairobi Children’s Remand Home.

But Edith (not her real name) was able to get some help from the Kenya National Working Group, which offers legal advice and psychosocial support for children and youth in contact with the law. A pro bono lawyer got her bail reduced to a free bond so she was able to go home. Now she receives counselling and guidance while she waits to be able to afford to go to school. She dreams of being a teacher.

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