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The newsletter of the CBA's Equality Committee. In this issue...

Equality Coffeehouse

  • Interested in equality, diversity and inclusion?
  • Do you have views to share?
  • Would you just like to hear what the CBA is working on?
All CLC attendees are welcome to stop by the Equality Committee’s Coffeehouse. Please join us for coffee and an informal, open-ended conversation. Friday, August 14 - 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM - Hyatt Regency - Herald Room

University of Ottawa Prof. Martha Jackman winner of the 2015 CBA Touchstone Award

Martha Jackman
Professor Martha Jackman

University of Ottawa Law Professor Martha Jackman is the winner of the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) 2015 Touchstone Award.

“Martha Jackman’s contribution to the fields of socio-economic rights, equality and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is outstanding, and makes her truly deserving of this year’s award,” says Mark L. Berlin, chair of the CBA’s Equality Committee.

The Touchstone Award is presented annually to an individual who promotes equality in the legal profession, the judiciary, or the legal community in Canada.

“Prof. Jackman is a leader not only within the university setting, but also through her work with the National Association of Women and the Law and the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues,” adds Mark Berlin.

After joining the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa in 1988, Prof. Jackman has held various positions within the law school: Director of Graduate Studies in Law; co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law; Vice-Dean of the French Common Law Program; and the Shirley E. Greenberg Chair for Women and the Legal Profession. She publishes primarily in the areas of socio-economic rights, equality and the Canadian Charter.

For more details please read the news release.

Count yourself in!

CBA is collecting demographic data to help us understand our membership. This confidential information is quick and easy to provide and will help CBA identify any barriers that people from equality-seeking groups may experience in our organization. Have you self-identified? Here is a link to how to update your membership profile to provide demographic data.

Useful tool:

CBA’s new ethical practices self-assessment provides significant guidance for lawyers and firms on diversity, inclusion and equality-related best practices. Check it out.

Touchstones for Change: Equality, Diversity and Accountability

In Commemoration of the 20th anniversary of this report, it is now available for free to all CBA members

Twenty years have passed since the publication of Touchstones for Change: Equality, Diversity and Accountability. The Canadian Bar Association-Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society recognized the anniversary of the landmark 1993 CBA report on November 1, 2013. Here are some pictures from the event.

Touchstones: A special invitation from the Chair

I write to draw your attention to current opportunities for involvement in the CBA. Even if your current work has not yet involved active CBA participation or leadership roles within the organization, that just means you haven’t done it yet. There is a place for you in the CBA.  

The CBA established the Equality Committee following Council's approval of the recommendations emanating from the 1993 Task Force on Gender Equity report, Touchstones for Change: Equity, Diversity and Accountability.

The Equality Committee

  • promotes awareness of equality issues in the legal profession;
  • provides the means to eliminate discrimination;
  • develops resources to assist the legal profession in achieving equality;
  • monitors, on a national basis, the status of equality issues in the legal profession; and
  • oversees the implementation of the various equality-seeking resolutions adopted by CBA Council.

Equality Committee Members
Branch Representatives


Click here for a comprehensive look at the history of the Equality Committee and current Equality Committee initiatives.

Pubs and Resources
Publications & Resources

Touchstones Newsletter

Measuring Diversity in Law Firms: A Critical Tool for Achieving High Performance

Now online: Videos produced by the Equality Committee available for viewing on YouTube, the videos showcase three members of the CBA who are trailblazers for equality seeking groups

Equity and Diversity Guide and Resource Manual (August 2007)
Developed to assist efforts to promote equality and diversity within the legal profession. 

UN Special Rapporteur on Racism (September 2003)
The CBA's submission delivered by David Matas.


Issues & Projects

The CBA is constantly working on an always expanding number of issues and projects related to equality. Here are some of our latest initiatives.


Touchstone Award
Celebrates the accomplishments of an individual or organization who has excelled in promoting equality in the legal profession, the judiciary, or the legal community in Canada.

More awards:


For more information on the Equality Committee, contact:   

Rebecca Bromwich
Lawyer - Law Reform and Equality
Canadian Bar Association
865 Carling Avenue, Suite 500
Ottawa, ON K1S 5S8
Tel. : 1-800-267-8860 / (613) 237-2925, ext. 164
E-mail : rebeccab@cba.org

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