Executive Director - The Committees of CBABC
Have you thought about participating?
by Frank C Kraemer
In this column I would like to describe for you the structure and function of the CBABC’s 28 committees and extend an invitation to each of you to consider participating in a committee.
CBABC committees are created by resolution of Provincial Council. The purpose of committees is to undertake work within the mandate of each committee with a view to conducting investigations, preparing reports and providing advice and recommendations to the Executive Committee in relation to the work of the B.C. Branch.
There are 20 Standing Committees (excluding the Executive Committee) and eight Special Committees. Standing Committees undertake work that it is anticipated will always be needed. As you would expect, Standing Committees operate until such time as Council decides that they are no longer necessary. On the other hand, Special Committees undertake projects and particular pieces of work that are expected to be of a fixed term nature. They have a life of up to three years and may be extended for further terms but never for more than three years at a time.
The Communications Committee and Government Relations Committee are good examples of Standing Committees. The Child Care and Member Dispute Resolutions Committees are both Special Committees intended to complete work on particular projects for the Branch. If the nature of the work of a Special Committee changes, it may be converted into a Standing Committee by further resolution of Council. This may occur with the International Resources Network Committee within the next year.
Participating in the work of a committee can provide opportunities for interesting and challenging work as well as opportunities to network with colleagues. For example, the Legislation and Law Reform Committee (LLRC) is regularly asked for its advice on proposed legislative change for consideration by both the Executive Committee and Council. LLRC recently undertook some very important work in connection with the provincial government’s Civil Liability Review as well as proposed amendments to the Health Professions Act. Similarly, the Advisory Committee to the Judicial Council of B.C. prepares confidential reports for consideration by the Judicial Council of prospective candidates for appointment to the Provincial Court. I invite you to review the mandates of the CBABC’s various committees which are included as an insert in this issue of BarTalk and are also available at www.cba.org/BC in the CBA Publications.
The work of committees is supported by a Committee Liaison. That position is currently held by Margaret Sasges of Victoria. Her role is to ensure that all of the CBABC’s committees are operating effectively. The Committee Liaison participates in the annual appointment of members to committees, conducts the annual orientation session for Committee Chairs and ensures that committees prepare reports in a timely fashion, to name but a few of her functions. The committees are also supported by a staff Committee Coordinator who ensures that notices and minutes are received and circulated and generally provides support to the ongoing operation of the committees.
Annually, in early July, the Executive Committee meets to review qualifications of those who have volunteered for appointment to CBABC committees. Committee members are appointed for a two-year term and may be re-appointed for one further term of two years. Chairs of committees are appointed annually and may be appointed up to a total of three years. These term limits are intended to permit as many members as possible to participate while ensuring a certain level of continuity.
In this issue of BarTalk as an insert you will find a Committee Volunteer Form together with information about the CBABC’s Committees. I invite each of you to consider volunteering to participate in one or more of the Branch’s committees.
This article was published in the April 2003 issue of BarTalk. © 2003 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.