Public Relations Policy

A. Presidential Responsibilities

The President shall act as or where appropriate, designate a spokesperson for the Association in dealing with press, radio and television.

B. Chief Executive Officer Responsibilities

The CEO shall, together with the Senior Director of Communications, deal with public relations for the Association.

C. Public Statements

Statements on matters of policy and public interest on behalf of the Association are the prerogative of the President and, in the President's absence, the First Vice President. Such matters shall be:

  1. Supported by a resolution of Council;
  2. Where there is no relevant resolution of Council, the subject shall be referred to the next meeting of Council whenever practicable;
  3. When the subject matter is, in the opinion of the President, of sufficient importance and urgency that a statement cannot await the direction of the Council, then such statement shall be approved by:
    1. The Board of Directors where practicable;
    2. Failing that, any two of the President, First Vice President and Treasurer;
    3. Failing that, by the President alone.

(By-Law 1, article 82)

Section Chairs may make statements on matters of policy and public interest supported by an existing Resolution of Council. Where there is no such resolution relevant statements shall be:

  1. Supported by a Resolution of the Section and approved by the Board of Directors;
  2. Where it is not practicable to comply with (a), supported by a Resolution of the Section Officers and approved by the President, provided that such statements are clearly attributed only to the Section and not to the Association.

(By-Law 1, article 83)

(See also Communications Policy)

News Releases

In accordance with established policy, any news release issued in the name of the Canadian Bar Association, must be issued or approved by Communications. The purpose of this policy is to help ensure proper coordination of news emanating from the Association to provide maximum exposure through professional handling and to ensure the availability of funds for related expenses. All news releases issued by the Canadian Bar Association must be issued in English and French.

Communications Policy

Prior to release to the media and the public, each section or committee statement, resolution and/or other official pronouncement must first be approved by the section/committee and have the approval of the Legislation and Law Reform Committee. This policy is in effect to ensure that those in authority are fully informed and the statement does not contradict policy established by the Council of the Canadian Bar Association.

All statements are subject to the following Communications policy:

  1. Wherever practical, all contact with media shall be channeled through the Communications Directorate.
  2. The President is the prime spokesperson for the Canadian Bar Association.
  3. In the absence of the President, responses shall be made by the officers in the following order:
    1. First Vice-President
    2. Second Vice-President
    3. Past-President
    4. Treasurer
    5. Chief Executive Officer
  4. As a general policy, when an inquiry relates to issues that are not CBA policy, it should be directed by an officer to a CBA member whose expertise and position within the Association would best qualify him or her to respond to the inquiry.
  5. The President or, in his/her absence, an officer, in the order of precedence set out above, may designate an employee of the CBA to speak for the Association.
  6. Media calls may be referred to chairs of sections, task forces or committees, particularly if the inquiry or interview relates to background information.
  7. When speaking for the CBA, spokespersons shall enunciate CBA policy as approved by Council. Spokespersons shall avoid expressing personal views. In the event personal views are expressed, a clear disclaimer must be issued.

Approved by Executive Committee - February 19, 1993, as amended by resolution 98-01-M

D. Policy Statement Procedure

A request for CBA comment on government and public proposals and actions affecting the legal profession and the Association will provoke the following procedure:

  1. The issue is discussed by the Senior Director of Communications and the President and a decision to proceed is made.
  2. Legislation and Law Reform will prepare research to determine present and past policy on this matter and brief Communications and the President.
  3. The chair of the national section/committee involved is contacted to brief the President.
  4. The response to the issue is determined and consultation with the Executive Officers and undertaken if necessary.
  5. The President responds to the media question.
  6. A synopsis of the President's position is made available in both languages and forwarded to the Executive Officers, the branches and the National.