CBA task force to examine justice system in wake of pandemic crisis

  • April 28, 2020

OTTAWA – The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted limitations in the ability of legal and justice systems to deliver their services when circumstances force them to slow down or close.  Many proceedings before courts and administrative tribunals have been suspended, for example, adding to already significant backlogs.

The Canadian Bar Association has convened a task force comprised of key players in the justice and legal systems to consider solutions to the evolving problems posed by the pandemic, as well as systemic changes to improve the federal legal and justice systems overall.


“The CBA has been advocating for years for changes to the system that will make it more responsive to the needs of those seeking justice. This crisis has shown us that we can no longer afford to delay those innovations.”

“We have gathered together people from the national courts and federal organizations to take a big-picture look at systemic issues in the justice and legal systems that keep us from being flexible enough to adapt quickly in a time of crisis, and to find ways to deliver justice more effectively.”

- CBA President Vivene Salmon, Chair of the CBA Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19

The task force had its first meeting on April 23. Its work is expected to last for one year. It will deliver interim recommendations and communications, culminating in a final report in March 2021.

Quick facts

  • The full name of the task force is CBA Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19
  • The task force has 19 members:
    • Justice system partners
      • Rt. Hon. Richard Wagner, Chief Justice of Canada, in his capacity as Chair of the Canadian Judicial Council
      • Hon. Marc Noël, Chief Justice, Federal Court of Appeal
      • Hon. Paul Crampton, Chief Justice, Federal Court
      • Hon. Eugene Rossiter Chief Justice, Tax Court of Canada
      • François Daigle, Associate Deputy Minister, Justice Canada
      • Morgan Cooper, President, Federation of Law Societies of Canada,
      • Catherine Dauvergne, President, Council of Canadian Law Deans
      • Daniel Gosselin, Chief Administrator, Courts Administration Service
      • Orlando da Silva, Chief Administrator, Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada
    • CBA members
      • Vivene Salmon, CBA President, Chair
      • Brad Regehr, CBA Vice-President
      • Tom Laughlin, Chair of the CBA Policy Committee
      • John Gillis, Chair of the CBA Access to Justice Subcommittee
      • Martine Boucher, Chair of the CBA Legal Futures Subcommittee
      • Christopher Wirth, Chair of the Administrative Law Section
      • Stuart Zacharias, Chair of the Civil Litigation Section
      • Kathryn Pentz, Chair of the Criminal Justice Section
      • Sharon Kravetsky, Vice-Chair of the Family Law Section
      • Daniel Bourque, Chair of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association

Over the next several months it will identify immediate and evolving issues in the legal and justice system related to public health restrictions like social-distancing measures; propose solutions for addressing backlogs that will result from the suspension of proceedings; and make recommendations with regard to systemic changes necessary to more effectively deliver justice and serve legal needs in both normal and extraordinary circumstances.

To arrange an interview, please contact Kim Covert (

Related links

CBA Legal Futures Report

CBA Equal Justice Report

About the CBA

The CBA is dedicated to support for the rule of law, and improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 36,000 lawyers, notaries in Quebec, law teachers and law students from across Canada are members.

Canadian Bar Association