Transparency, Conflict and Anti-Corruption Policy

Operational policy of the CBA approved by the Executive Officers, March 2011. Revised by Board of Directors June 2019 and November 2019.

A. Purpose

The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is committed to maintaining and strengthening the rule of law in Canada and around the world. The CBA, its employees and volunteers have a responsibility to fight corruption and to demonstrate the highest standard of personal integrity. The CBA is committed to fairness, honesty and integrity. This Policy affirms the CBA’s resolve to identify, prevent and combat fraud and corruption.

B. Principles for employees and volunteers

The CBA’s employees and volunteers are required to abide by the following principles:

1. Private conduct

  1. Ensure their private conduct does not compromise their role as CBA representative.
  2. Act with professionalism, integrity, honesty, transparency and in good faith.

2. Conflict of interest

  1. Make a clear distinction between the interests of the CBA and their private interests.
  2. Avoid any actual or reasonably perceived conflict between their personal interests and the interests of the CBA.
  3. Promptly report any occurrence or perception of conflict of interest.

3. Respect the law

  1. Comply with Canadian legislation, including the Criminal Code, Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, human rights and constitutional laws, and the laws of the countries where they travel and work.

3. Do not pay or accept bribes

  1. Not offer, solicit, receive or give, directly or indirectly, money, gifts or other favours to a public official that may influence or be intended to influence the exercise of their function, performance of their duty or their judgment in order to obtain or retain an improper advantage. This does not include conventional hospitality or minor gifts.
  2. Not make payments, directly or indirectly, to expedite or facilitate the performance by a public official of a routine governmental action.

5. Political and charitable contributions and sponsorships

  1. Ensure that political and charitable contributions and sponsorships are not used as a subterfuge for and do not constitute bribery. Employees and volunteers are encouraged to exercise their personal right to participate in political and democratic processes as permitted by law and, where applicable, their professional codes of conduct.

6. Protection money, fraudulent or coercive practices

  1. Not engage in deceptive practices and deceive another party in order to improperly obtain a financial or other benefit or avoid an obligation.
  2. Not impair or harm or threaten to impair or harm, directly or indirectly, any party or its property or persons related to the party with the intent to improperly influence the actions of that party.
  3. Not pay protection money. Threats of violence must be reported to the CBA immediately. The CBA must protect employees and volunteers from threats of violence. 

7. CBA and public resources

  1. Use CBA resources in the best interest of the CBA and not misuse those resources or any government resources.
  2. Keep an accurate and timely record of all expenditures made on behalf of (or appearing to be on behalf of) the CBA.

C. CBA obligations for third parties and procurement

  1. The CBA will conduct fair and transparent procurement practices.
  2. The CBA will act with due care and conduct necessary searches before engaging with a partner, agent, supplier and contractor (third parties) and ensure that these third parties are aware of and comply with this Policy.
  3. Remuneration paid to third parties must be for legitimate services, appropriate and justifiable. Relationships with third parties must be documented.
  4. The CBA will monitor the conduct of third parties and reserves the right to terminate the relationship for non-compliance with this Policy.

D. Responsibilities, non-compliance and reporting

  1. The CBA must ensure that all employees, volunteers and third parties are aware of this Policy. 
  2. Employees and volunteers who have questions on how to interpret this Policy or other aspects of professional or private conduct, should consult their supervisor (for employees), the Chief Executive Officer or other person designated by the CBA.
  3. Employees, volunteers and third parties must report any breaches of this Policy to the CBA Chief Executive Officer. Where allegations are made with respect to the Chief Executive Officer, reports must be to the Vice President.   
  4. Retaliation against anyone who has, in good faith, reported a possible violation of this Policy or refused to participate in activities that violate this Policy is prohibited. The CBA will take all necessary steps to ensure the protection of any person reporting alleged non-compliance and the accused before, during, and after any investigation.
  5. Failure to comply with this Policy may be cause for disciplinary action, including dismissal from employment or termination of a volunteer position.


CBA Bylaw No. 1
s. 2: Eligibility for Membership

s. 9 Suspension and Disqualification

Part XI: Public Statements

CBA General Regulations

Part IV: Compensation and Disclosure of Interest

CBA Operational Policies

Principles of Conduct

Authorized Expenditures and-Procedures for Reimbursement Policy

Multi-Year Service Agreements and Contract Policy