Federal Submission Policy

Resolution 96-07-M Schedule 1, adopted by CBA Council February 1996, as amended. Revised by Board of Directors, August 2018.


To clarify the authority of the Canadian Bar Association 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 the 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 CBA letterhead;
  3. correspondence signed by an individual acting on behalf of the CBA 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 or any of its constituent bodies;
  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 Bylaw No 1, s. 41; CBA Sections Regulation, Part A, s. 4). 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 CBA Board of Directors decides not to make a submission, or where no appropriate National Section or constituent body exists, the Branch must seek the approval of the CBA Board of Directors to make the submission. The Branch must demonstrate that:
    1. the matter is of compelling public interest or of special significance at the local or regional level; and
    2. it has notified the other Branches of the submission.
    The CBA Board of Directors will permit the Branch submission, subject to approval in accordance with Branch procedures, and subject to review and concurrence by the Policy Committee that it is not inconsistent with previously adopted policy of the Association or the broader interests and concerns of the Association. Where no appropriate National Section or constituent body exists, the CBA Board of Directors may approve the submission as a CBA statement.
  4. Questions as to whether the subject of a submission is a federal matter are governed by CBA Bylaw No 1, s. 45, relating to branch action.
  5. All submissions, except those approved as Branch submissions under paragraph 3, are governed by CBA Bylaw ss. 57 and 58, relating to public statements, and are subject to the approval process established in the CBA Advocacy Policy.


CBA Bylaw No 1
40. Referrals
44. Duties of Branch Presidents
45. Action on Provincial or Territorial Matters
51. Consideration of Resolutions at General Meetings
56. Action on Resolutions
57. Public Statements on behalf of the Association
58. Public Statements by Sections

CBA General Regulations
15(4) Policy Committee
18(4) Law Reform Subcommittee

CBA Sections Regulation
4. Collaboration