Federal Submission Policy


To clarify the authority of the CBA and its constituent bodies, be they National or Branch bodies, to make submissions on federal matters.

To ensure that CBA submissions on federal matters reflect a balanced perspective, taking into account the views of relevant CBA groups across the country.

To ensure that the credibility of the CBA is not undermined through statements by constituent bodies that are inconsistent with CBA policy or with each other.


This policy applies to expressions of policy, analysis, recommendation, endorsement or position communicated by the CBA or any of its constituent bodies to other organizations or individuals. In this definition, submission includes a representation that any such expression represents the position of the CBA or any of its constituent bodies, and any endorsement of a position taken by another organization or individual.

The following expressions constitute submissions:

  1. formal written briefs, resolutions or recommendations of the CBA, or any of its constituent bodies;
  2. correspondence on Canadian Bar Association letterhead;
  3. correspondence signed by an individual acting on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association or in which the writer describes himself or herself as an Association office holder and may by inference be taken to be speaking for the Association;
  4. appearances before Parliamentary Committees or other federal government bodies or officials. 

Federal matters include legislation and other issues falling within the constitutional jurisdiction of Parliament, and other matters of national scope before federal government bodies or officials.


1. Submissions on federal matters are the prerogative of the CBA and its national constituent bodies. 

2. Federal matters and legislation will normally be addressed by the appropriate National Sections, in cooperation and consultation with Branch Sections (CBA By-laws, articles 55; 63 ). Branch Sections may initiate a submission on a federal matter, but shall seek the approval of the National Section.

3. Where the National Section or the National Executive Committee decides not to make a submission, the Branch may seek the approval of the National Executive Committee to make the submission. The Branch must demonstrate that 

  1. the matter is of compelling public interest or a matter of special significance at the local or regional level; and
  2. it has notified the other Branches of the submission.

A Branch submission shall be permitted by the National Executive Committee, subject to approval in accordance with Branch procedures and shall be submitted to the Senior Director, Legal and Governmental Affairs for review and concurrance by the President that it is not inconsistent with previously adopted policy of the Association or the broader interests and concerns of the Association.

4. Where no appropriate National Section or other constituent body exists, a Branch constituent body wishing to make a submission on a federal matter must nonetheless seek approval of the National Executive Committee, or the Senior Officers.

5. Questions as to whether the subject of a submission is a federal matter are governed by CBA Regulation article 9, relating to branch action.

6. All submissions, except those approved as Branch submissions under paragraph 3, are governed by CBA By-law articles 82 and 83, relating to public statements, and are subject to the approval process established in the CBA Submissions Guidelines.


CBA By-law Articles:

  • 29. Duties of Branch Presidents
  • 55. Referrals
  • 62. Branch Sections
  • 64. Approval of Resolutions
  • 65. Immediate Action by the President
  • 82. Public Statements on behalf of the Association
  • 83. Public Statements by Sections

CBA Regulations:

  • 8(6) Mandate of the Legislation and Law Reform Committee
  • 9. Branch Action