The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Yves Faguy

Trade

Trying to get Trump to listen on tariffs

By Yves Faguy June 5, 2018 5 June 2018

Trying to get Trump to listen on tariffs

Growing opposition to the Trump administration’s trade tariffs on steel and aluminum announced last week is gathering steam among U.S. domestic interests. Politico is reporting on a major lobbying effort under way, for the most part to win further exemptions and product exclusions, which appear to be piling up faster than an understaffed Commerce Department can handle. 

Meanwhile, the industrialist Koch brothers, influential in U.S. conservative circles (and erstwhile Trump allies), have promised to massively finance a sustained “multi-year, multimillion dollar” campaign in favour of free trade.

Already on the legislative front in the U.S., there is also an effort to draw up legislation that would reverse the tariffs by subjecting them to congressional approval. The problem is that to become law anytime soon, it would require the president’s signature.

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The profession

Groia ruling: Right approach. Wrong call.

By Yves Faguy June 1, 2018 1 June 2018

Groia ruling: Right approach. Wrong call.

 

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in a 6-3 decision that Toronto lawyer Joe Groia was not guilty of committing professional misconduct. The ruling establishes an incivility test for when courtroom conduct crosses the line.

“The CBA is pleased with the SCC’s decision as it underlines the importance of both civility and resolute advocacy in the administration of justice,” CBA President Kerry L. Simmons,  Q.C. said in a statement today.

Represented by Norton Rose’s Pierre Bienvenu, Andres Garin and Jean-Christophe Marte, the CBA intervened in support of a test that balances the values courtroom civility, the independence of the judiciary, and the right of litigants to fearless and zealous representation. 

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Trade

Canada’s trade fight: The legal options are slim

By Yves Faguy June 1, 2018 1 June 2018

Canada’s trade fight: The legal options are slim

 

The world’s second largest trade relationship has hit another tough patch, and it’s hard to see how it gets repaired anytime soon.

In response to the announcement of U.S. metal tariffs, Canada has announced its intention to retaliate by imposing its own countermeasures on certain U.S.-origin goods — $16.6-billion worth of U.S. imports starting July 1.  “Canada will also challenge these illegal & counterproductive measures under NAFTA Chapter 20 and at the WTO,” the prime minister tweeted yesterday.

Clearly Trudeau, who until now has gone out of his way to keep things cordial, has lost patience.  “We have to believe at some point common sense will prevail. But we see no sign of that in the U.S. action today,” he said yesterday and even allowed himself to share details of the NAFTA negotiations. Trudeau also shared details of NAFTA negotiations – normally not discussed publicly.  He explained that a new deal was close and that he had offered to go to Washington to finalize it, but it fell apart when Vice-President Mike Pence told him over the phone that the Trump administration would on including a 5-year sunset clause. Pence has since contradicted Trudeau’s version, claiming that the trade partners were not in fact close to a deal.

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CBA Community

The Canadian Bar Review is now open access

By Yves Faguy May 24, 2018 24 May 2018

The Canadian Bar Review is now open access

Open research is gradually reshaping the way that researchers collaborate to advance knowledge and discovery. Now, as part of its mandate to foster dialogue and collaboration between legal scholars and practitioners, the CBA’s bilingual peer-reviewed legal journal, The Canadian Bar Review, has gone open access

The move to an open access platform is also in keeping with the CBA’s commitment to advancing access to justice and the advancement of the law.

The country’s top legal minds can now publish their articles in a timely manner and even use the new platform’s automated submission process.  Readers will have easier access to the publication and be able to effortlessly share its contents.

To get a sense of our new platform, please go visit the most recent edition.  It explores a range of issues from Canada’s "institutional turn" in religious freedom litigation and how Canada’s legal framework should be reformed to restructure Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples to data on defamation law in Canada, the prosecutor’s role in seeking justice in an adversarial system and the outsourcing of legal services.

Do take the time to check it out.  It’s time well spent.

The Canadian Bar Review, founded in 1923, is edited by Law dean Chris Waters, criminal law professor David M. Tanovich, both from the Faculty of  Law at the University of Windsor, and by Patrice Deslauriers, professor in the Faculty of Law at the Université de Montréal.

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Family law

A major overhaul of Canada's Divorce Act

By Yves Faguy May 23, 2018 23 May 2018

A major overhaul of Canada's Divorce Act

Justice Minister Jody Raybould-Wilson has introduced legislation that would represent a major overhaul of Canada's divorce laws.  The main thrust of the amendments is to place the best interest of the child at forefront of resolving disputes, and emphasize parenting responsibilities after separation in less adversarial terms than the existing legislation does (exit talk of “custody” and “access”). They also include measures to address family violence and push spouses to rely more on family-dispute resolution services instead of the courts. Also noteworthy are new guidelines for parents wishing to relocate with children.

The amendments appear at first blush to be broadly in line with a number of CBA recommendations made over the years, including a recent submission on a private member’s bill dealing with shared parenting and a letter calling for specific changes to the Divorce Act.

John-Paul Boyd, the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, also remarked on Twitter that the proposed legislation bill owes much to provincial efforts already well under way (namely in Alberta and British Columbia) to modernize family law.

You can read the CBA’s statement on the proposed legislation here, and the Justice Minister’s Charter Statement, which looks at how the bill might affect issues surrounding mobility rights, expanded search and disclosure powers, and enforcement of family support orders.

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