Promoting Language Rights and the Role of French in the CBA

WHEREAS English and French are the two official languages of Canada as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the French and English linguistic communities have equality of status and equal rights;

WHEREAS the Canadian Bar Association has recognized bilingualism as an important element for litigants to have equal access to justice in their official language of choice, in particular by taking a position on, among other issues, appointing a sufficient number of bilingual judges, modernizing the Official Languages Act to better reflect the reality of Canada’s current linguistic duality, and adopting linguistic guarantees for litigants to be heard in their official language of choice during bankruptcy and insolvency legal proceedings;

WHEREAS the Canadian Bar Association recognizes that the use of French in its organization is not always consistent with the positions it takes publicly in favour of legal bilingualism in Canada;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association:

  1. reiterate that it is essential for Canadians to have equal access to justice and the law in both official languages;
  2. advance the language rights of Francophone minority communities in Canada;
  3. reiterate the importance of using French in the Canadian Bar Association;
  4. use best efforts to ensure that internal communications of the Canadian Bar Association are always written in French and English; and
  5. offer French-language continuing professional development to Canadian Bar Association members.

Moved by French Speaking Common Law Members Section

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