CBABC Executive Committee
by Frank C Kraemer
The Branch Executive Committee plays a key role in overseeing the implementation of the will of Provincial Council. In my continuing series on CBABC governance, this column focuses on that role and the responsibilities of the Executive.
The Executive Committee consists of 10 members: the President; Vice-President; Secretary-Treasurer; Past President; four Officers-at-Large; an Equality Committee Representative; and a Young Lawyers Representative. (See page 15 for the names and biographies of the 2002/2003 Executive Committee.) My discussion here will be of a generic nature rather than dealing with individuals on the committee.
The Provincial Council is the legislative or policy-making body of the Branch, while the primary function of the Executive Committee is to execute Council’s decisions. I should note, though, that between council meetings, the Executive Committee is authorized to exercise the powers of Provincial Council. This normally is only done when decisions must be made before Council can meet.
Under the bylaws, the Executive Committee is obliged to advise and assist the President in the duties of his or her office and report at each Council meeting on the business of the Branch. It is also authorized to appoint the Executive Director and an Associate Executive Director.
There are two specific positions on the Executive Committee with additional duties. The Equality Committee Representative’s role is to promote the Branch’s commitment to reflecting the diversity of its membership at all levels of the Branch, to ensure that diversity is implemented in accordance with the bylaws, to monitor the Branch’s progress in this commitment and to assist the Executive Committee in the preparation and presentation of that portion of the annual report, dealing with equality and diversity accomplishments.
The Young Lawyers Representative’s role is to promote involvement of young lawyers in the CBA by encouraging them to become involved in Section and committee work, actively encouraging the formation of young lawyers Sections and involving law students in Branch activities. This representative also acts as a liaison to the Young Lawyers Section and the National Young Lawyers Conference and presents the concerns of young lawyers as they affect the Branch’s operations and the practice of law generally to Council and the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee meets monthly (except for December and August) for four to six hours and may also meet by conference call between meetings in order to deal with urgent matters.
The Committee deals with many matters, including appointments to Branch Committees, which are subsequently ratified by Council, as well as appointments to external organizations. It regularly reviews the Branch’s finances and considers funding requests from members and external organizations.
Perhaps most importantly, it operates as a first stage for consideration of matters that are bound for Provincial Council. Many policy proposals that originate from the work of Branch Sections or Committees are considered by the Executive Committee and then passed on, usually with a recommendation, to Provincial Council for its consideration and decision. This process helps to streamline the heavy workload of Provincial Council.
The work of the Executive Committee is varied and challenging. Members who undertake this responsibility deserve our respect and admiration for their commitment and dedication.
Need to contact a Executive Committee or Provincial Council member? Contact information is available at www.cba.org/BC. Simply enter the “About” and select “Branch Officers or Elected Members.”
This article was published in the October 2002 issue of BarTalk. © 2002 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.