Access to justice, diversity, leadership at the CBA Legal Conference Aug. 17-20, in Saskatoon

  • June 26, 2013

OTTAWA – Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson (TBC), Saskatchewan Minister of Justice Gordon Wyant, author, lawyer, consultant Dr. Arin Reeves, and authors Darrell Bricker and John Ibbitson headline the Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) Legal Conference Aug. 17-20 in Saskatoon.

The Chief Justice will address CBA’s Council, the Association’s policy-making body, on Saturday morning, Aug. 17. Following her comments, she will hold an informal media briefing session, open to accredited media. During the balance of the Council meeting Aug. 17 and 18, the CBA will debate policy resolutions on subjects including solicitor-client privilege, criminal justice, and human rights.

The Chief Justice of Canada and Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice Gordon Wyant will deliver greetings at the Opening Plenary on Sunday, Aug. 18. The keynote speaker, CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, will draw on the many interviews he has conducted over the years to talk about leadership, what it takes, and how it can be achieved in politics, academia, or business.

At a breakfast on Monday, Aug. 19, Dr. Arin Reeves’ interactive presentation will explore why the "business case" and "right thing to do" are outmoded models that may result in activity but don't lead to sustained achievement in areas of diversity and inclusion. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson will hold a dialogue with CBA members on current justice issues on Monday, Aug. 19 at noon (TBC).

At a breakfast on Tuesday, Aug. 20, Darrell Bricker, CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, and John Ibbitson, Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail, will describe Eastern-centrism and explore how a different demographic makeup in Canada affects everything from specific industries, to government, to the media. Their talk will be based on their best-selling book, The Big ShiftThe Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future.

At the closing lunch on Tuesday, Aug. 20, Dr. Melina Buckley, Chair of the CBA's Envisioning Equal Justice Initiative and Access to Justice Committee, will describe the challenges and opportunities being faced in achieving equal justice for all. An update on the progress of the Envisioning Equal Justice Initiative will take place on Sunday morning, Aug. 18. 

Breakout sessions are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, Aug. 18, Monday, Aug. 19 and Tuesday, Aug. 20. Programs deal with subjects including how to deal with self-represented litigants, aboriginal sentencing, mastering the “cloud” and virtual law firms, and what happens to your data after death.

A separate stream of programming is being offered by the CBA’s Canadian Corporate Counsel Association aimed at in-house counsel. Sessions include paperless boardrooms, dealing with difficult clients, and the latest on apps. 

The Stephen Hanson Awards (formerly the Justicia Awards) for outstanding media coverage of legal issues will be presented at the Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Aug. 17. A ceremony to mark the transfer of the presidency from outgoing President Robert Brun, Q.C., to Fred Headon of Montreal, takes place at the closing luncheon on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Programs take place at TCU Place, Saskatoon’s Arts and Convention Centre. Sessions are open to accredited media. Accreditation may be obtained by contacting Hannah Bernstein.

The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.

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