New President’s Award
The Honourable Justice Georgina R. Jackson, President of CIAJ, presents the new President’s Award and offers her congratulations to Professor John Mark Keyes
The President’s Award is presented every other year to honour the work of a volunteer whose leadership has made a difference in the operations of CIAJ. CIAJ also awards the Justice Medal every second year, to recognize a person who has played a leadership role in any aspect of the administration of justice.
CIAJ is a volunteer organization conceived, organized and almost completely run by volunteers. We have a dedicated but small team of staff, who along with the CIAJ’s volunteers, mount a significant number of events–in both official languages–intended to serve the administration of justice. The President’s Award was created in 2016 to single out one volunteer who has made a major contribution to CIAJ’s work. This award was attributed for the first time on past Thursday, October 6, 2016, at CIAJ’s Annual Conference, to Mr John Mark Keyes.
Mr. Keyes has been a member of CIAJ for over 20 years. He first began playing a role in the development of CIAJ programs in 1994. He is currently the Chair of the Communications Committee. He is also the link between CIAJ and the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC). In an age when it is the trend for organizations to break into their constituent parts, John Mark has shown great leadership in maintaining and strengthening the ties that bind CIAJ and the Legislative Drafting community together. He understands the importance of the link between these two groups for the good of the administration of justice.
John Mark is a natural leader. He is prepared to debate each issue of importance to make sure we get it right. He regularly provides advice to the Executive on matters of policy. His sage advice has made a difference. I wish to convey our warmest thanks to him, from both myself and the CIAJ. He is a worthy recipient of the first President’s Award!
In conversation with Professor John Mark Keyes
I learned about the CIAJ at the National Seminar on Legislative Drafting and Interpretation, which the CIAJ organized in 1987. This was the first of 18 conferences that the CIAJ has now organized on legislative drafting.
The drafting conferences have made, and continue to make, a unique and vital contribution to the discipline of legislative drafting. More generally, the CIAJ brings a uniquely broad perspective to the legal community and those interested in legal systems. This perspective is signaled in its name, which references both justice and administration. This combines the ideals we associate with justice and the realization of those ideals through legal practice and administration. In a world of specialization, it reminds us of fundamental principles and practices that unite those who work in pursuit of justice.
I joined (CIAJ as a volunteer) after the first drafting conference when I was invited to join the organizing committee for the next one. I felt I could contribute to the organization of these conferences by bringing both a practical perspective as a legislative counsel as well as an academic perspective as a teacher and scholar. I have been a member of the drafting committee ever since. I was a member of the Board from 2005 to 2008 and was the co-chair of the 2007 Annual Conference. I returned to the Board in 2012 and became chair of the Communications Committee and participated in Executive Retreats and meetings.
My most gratifying experiences as a (CIAJ) volunteer have come at the end of conferences I have helped organize. There is incredible satisfaction in seeing participants leave with heads full of ideas and a sense that they are part of a community dedicated to the pursuit of justice.
My involvement with the CIAJ has allowed me to meet and work with many remarkable members of the legal profession, to put faces to names at the forefront of the law in Canada. I really think I should be the one recognizing the CIAJ with an award.
About John Mark Keyes
John Mark Keyes is a sessional professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa – Common Law Section, teaching mainly in the field of public law and legislation. He is also an instructor with Athabasca University in its Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Legislative Drafting Program. He was employed in the Department of Justice (Canada), first in the Privy Council Office Section examining draft regulations, then moving to the Legislation Section to draft government bills. From 1999, he worked in various managerial positions in the Legislative Services Branch and was the Chief Legislative Counsel (Assistant Deputy Minister Responsible for Legislative Services) from 2005 until 2013.
John Mark Keyes Keyes has been a member of CIAJ for over 20 years. He first began playing a role in the development of CIAJ programs in 1994. He has been a member of its Board of Directors for almost six years and has held various posts. Prior to becoming a Board member, he became the Chair of the Legislative Drafting Committee. In that capacity, he chairs the organizing committee for CIAJ’s bi-annual drafting conference.