Looking ahead (and back) - June 2019

  • June 20, 2019

I am pleased to share recent updates, including a brief look back at our PD conference in April.

Criminal Record Check Reform

The Section Executive Committee has been investigating how best to advance the resolution that our Section put forward on Disclosure of Non-Conviction Records at the CBA Annual General Meeting in February. The resolution passed and it is now up to us to put it into action. The Section Executive has discussed developing tools for members across the country to encourage consistent messaging about the kind of reforms called for in the resolution. Would you like to help? Let us know!

Section Participation at the ULCC in St. John’s (August 18-22, 2019)

As in past years, the CBA has submitted several resolutions for consideration at the 2019 Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC). The resolutions this year are on a range of topics; bail, collateral consequences of conviction for immigration status, HIV non-disclosure, prisoner poverty and discipline in prisons. Members from the CBA Criminal Justice Section will be present to speak to the CBA and other resolutions.

Highlights from the 2019 CBA Criminal Justice Conference

The recent conference in Vancouver was exceptional (see the agenda).

My highlights:

  • Panelists were consistently excellent and, in particular, we were fortunate to have Supreme Court of Canada Justice Sheilah Martin provide an amusing and thoughtful keynote address.
  • Registration sold out in advance – a first for this annual conference. Stay tuned to this webpage as you will want to register early for next year!
  • The food was of such high quality that it was worth the price of admission on its own.

We extend our thanks to former Section Officers Eric Gottardi and Justice Suhail Akhtar for organizing an incredibly successful conference.

Legislative and Law Reform

The Section has most recently considered a number of pending private member Bills as well as active government Bills (see submissions and updates):

Many of these and other Bills have moved forward in the busy Parliamentary period prior to the fall federal election call. When Parliament rises for the summer, however, we expect things will be relatively quiet on the Hill for the next while.

Member Articles – Now Open Access!

We encourage you to submit member articles by sending to the Section editors. Our most recent article is from Jim Gumpert on Allowing testimony via CCTV without hearing formal sworn evidence.

In Memoriam

On a final note, I wish to recognize the work of long time Section member Melissa Atkinson. Sadly, Melissa passed away in February. She was a fierce advocate for access to justice and a thoughtful participant in our annual in-person meetings. Melissa will be sorely missed.


Ian M. Carter
Chair, CBA Criminal Justice Section