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Annual conferences

2016 | Civil Justice and Economics: A Matter of Value

Program Details

Date

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Friday, October 7, 2016

Theme

What is the value of justice? Does justice have a price tag? The question is intriguing. But justice certainly has a cost. It is part of the world where material resources and time are limited. Can we put dollar figures on justice? Certainly. Should we? Therein lies the dilemma. Since justice is financed from public funds, some would argue that governments should be able to measure its quality, performance and accessibility. Governments are required to report on court house costs, delays and other expenses; and to those numbers must be added expenses incurred by litigants and the costs associated with the lack of justice i.e., self-representation or people abandoning rights recognized by our laws. The absence of reliable data on judicial activity poses many problems. The development of reforms based on inaccurate data and the absence of a documented monitoring of the implemented reforms within the justice system attest that the legal culture is not transparent.

What information does justice need about its own activity? What do we know about its activity? How can we improve the practice of law, and the processes of the law, and, thereby, improve access to justice? How can we better understand and measure the activities of our legal institutions? What are the underlying notions of justice? Can justice be measured? What are the social returns from offering the resolution of civil justice disputes in the courts? Whose job is it to decide how much justice a citizen gets? Whose job is it to decide about proportionality in justice? Can society countenance a $200,000 cost to the litigant, and the concomitant costs to the civil justice system, of a $50,000 dispute? By asking this question and seeking a solution to it, do we risk treating justice as a commodity to be packaged, bought and sold? In the absence of data, what steps is the system taking to improve and to provide the means to fulfill the fundamentals of civil justice? What insights can an economic focus lend to an analysis of how to improve civil justice? Are we offering too much or too little access? Do the courts have the tools to curb misuse and abuse that are taking civil justice dollars without giving a perceived value? If self-represented litigants are a consequence of expensive justice costs and also a cause of delay, should we be more focussed on them, and if so, how could this be done? Do courts need to direct private justice civil processes even more than they do now?

Honorary Chair

  • The Honourable Justice Thomas Cromwell, Chair, Action Committee on Access to Civil and Family Justice

Co-Chairs

  • The Honourable Justice Georgina R. Jackson, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan; CIAJ President
  • Mr. Patrick A. Molinari, Ad. E., FRSC, Legal Counsel, Lavery, Montreal

Planning Committee

  • Mr. Mark Benton, Chief Executive Officer, Legal Services Society, British Columbia
  • Dean Natalie Des Rosiers, Faculty of Law – Common Law Section, University of Ottawa
  • Ms. Virginia A. Engel, Q.C., ICD.D, Partner, Peacock Linder Halt & Mack, Calgary
  • Professor Trevor Farrow, Osgoode Hall Law School, President, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Toronto
  • Mr. Michael Gottheil, Executive Chair, Social Justice Tribunals, Ontario
  • Professor Ejan Mackaay, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal
  • Ms. Michèle Moreau, Executive Director, CIAJ
  • The Honourable Justice Yves-Marie Morissette, Court of Appeal of Quebec
  • Professor Pierre Noreau, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal
  • Ms. Tijana Potkonjak, Student, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Mr. John Sims, Past Deputy Minister and Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Ottawa
  • Professor Martine Valois, Faculty of Law, Université de Montréal
  • Mr. Grant Wedge, Executive Director, Policy, Equity and Public Affairs, LSUC, Ontario

2015 | Aboriginal Peoples and Law: “We Are All Here to Stay”

Program Details

Date

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Friday, October 16, 2015

Theme

Following on the heels of the work of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this Conference presents a unique opportunity for everyone within the administration of justice to consider how best to work towards reconciliation. This Conference will be of interest to judges, lawyers, police officers, correction workers, court administrators, academics, law students, members of tribunals and community workers.

“Finally, this litigation has been both long and expensive, not only in economic but in human terms as well. By ordering a new trial, I do not necessarily encourage the parties to proceed to litigation and to settle their dispute through the courts. As was said in Sparrow, at p. 1105, s. 35(1) “provides a solid constitutional base upon which subsequent negotiations can take place.” Those negotiations should also include other aboriginal nations which have a stake in the territory claimed. Moreover, the Crown is under a moral, if not a legal, duty to enter into and conduct those negotiations in good faith. Ultimately, it is through negotiated settlements, with good faith and give and take on all sides, reinforced by the judgments of this Court, that we will achieve what I stated in Van der Peet, supra, at para. 31, to be a basic purpose of s. 35(1) -- “the reconciliation of the pre-existence of aboriginal societies with the sovereignty of the Crown.” Let us face it, we are all here to stay.” Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (Supreme Court of Canada) [1997] 3 SCR 1010, par. 186

Chair

  • The Honourable Justice Georgina Jackson, Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan

Special Advisor

  • The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Court of Queen's Bench for Manitoba and Chair of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Planning Committee

  • Professor Beth Bilson, Acting Dean, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • Ms. Omeasoo Wahpasiw, Ph. D. Student, University of Saskatchewan
  • Assistant Commissioner Brenda Butterworth-Carr, Commanding Officer, RCMP, "F" Division, Saskatchewan
  • Ms. Maria Campbell, Author, artist, playwright and filmmaker, Saskatchewan
  • Chief Tammy Cook Searson, Lac La Ronge Indian Band, Saskatchewan
  • Chief Marie-Anne Daywalker, Okanese First Nation, Saskatchewan
  • The Honourable Justice Jeffery D. Kalmakoff, Court of Queen's Bench of Saskatchewan
  • Ms. Leanne LaPrise, Law Student, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • Mr. Mitch McAdam, Director, Aboriginal Law Branch, Ministry of Justice of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK
  • The Honourable Judge Gerald M. Morin, Saskatchewan Provincial Court, Prince Albert, SK
  • Professor Marilyn Poitras, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
  • The Honourable Chief Justice Martel Popescul, Saskatchewan Court of Queen's Bench
  • Ms. Riva Farrell Racette, Lawyer, MacPherson Leslie & Tyeman LLP, Regina, SK
  • Mr. Marcel G. St-Onge, Director, Child and Family Programs, Ministry of Social Services, Saskatoon, SK
  • Ms. Beth Symes, C.M., LSM
  • Ms. Jan Turner, Assistant Deputy Minister, Courts and Tribunals Division, Ministry of Justice of Saskatchewan, Regina, SK
  • Chief Clive Weighill, Saskatoon Police Service, President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
  • Ms. Michèle Moreau, Executive Director, CIAJ, Montreal, QC

2014 | Privacy in the Age of Information

Program Details

Date

Thursday, October 16, 2014
Friday, October 17, 2014

Theme

Technology has changed the nature and amount of information available, with direct effects on personal privacy.  There is a pressing need to examine the ways in which these changes are already affecting the criminal law, civil law, the courts, and administrative tribunals, and to begin to chart a principled path forward with respect to these issues.  The changing nature of information, and the attendant effects on privacy, impose new challenges on courts, tribunals, and the administration of justice as a whole.  Greater resources and greater capacity are required to manage and work with the increased volume and more technical nature of evidence, not only in document-intensive civil cases but across the full range of civil, criminal, an administrative matters.  More importantly, courts and tribunals will be the forums in which the evolving law on information and privacy will be determined.  Judges and administrative agency decision-makers will be the actors responsible for ensuring that both the state and private individuals are held appropriately accountable for their use of information, and that privacy interests are articulated and evolve appropriately.

Chair

  • The Honourable Chief Justice J. Derek Green, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, NL

Planning Committee

  • Mr. Remzi Cej, Chair, Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, NL
  • Associate Dean Michael Deturbide, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS
  • Justice Alphonsus (Fonse) E. Faour, Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, NL
  • Judge Colin Flynn, Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's, NL
  • Judge Patrick Healy, Court of Quebec, Montreal, QC
  • Justice Louis Hoegg, Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal, St. John's, NL
  • Professor Nicolas Lambert, Faculty of Law, University of Moncton, Moncton, NB
  • Mr. Paul McDonald, Partner, Cox & Palmer, St. John's, NL
  • Deputy Chief Bill Moore, Halifax Regional Police, Halifax, NS
  • Ms. Beth Symes, LSM, CM, Symes Street & Millard LLP, Toronto, ON
  • Ms. Mandy Woodland, Mandy Woodland Law, St. John's, NL

2012 | The Courts and Beyond: The Architecture of Justice in Transition

Program Details

Date

Thursday, October 11, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012

Theme

Changes in the administration of justice pose challenges for the role of the Courts as the traditional guardians and determiners of fundamental rights, CIAJ's annual conference will consider the impact of these changes as to access to and the cost of justice, the ability of the Courts to adapt and respond, adequate accountability and transparency mechanisms and the necessity of broader structural approaches or legislative steps. The conference will be of interest to members of the legal profession, the judiciary, administrative agencies, arbitrators, mediators, government policy-makers, media and the public.

Conference Co-Chairs

  • Greg Harding, Q.C., Partner, Field LLP, Edmonton, AB
  • The Honourable Justice Sheilah Martin, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta, Calgary, AB
  • Alastair Lucas, Q.C., Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
  • Gillian Marriott, Q.C., Executive Director, Pro Bono Law Alberta, Calgary, AB

Planning Committee

  • The Honourable Judge James Ogle, Provincial Court of Alberta, Calgary, AB
  • The Honourable Justice Lorne Giroux, Quebec Court of Appeal, Quebec City, QC
  • The Honourable John Vertes, formerly at the Supreme Court of Northwest Territories, CIAJ Immediate Past President, Calgary, AB
  • Alastair MacKinnon, JD Student at Law, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB
  • Shaunna Mireau, Director of Knowledge Management and Libraries, Field LLP, Edmonton, AB
  • Beth Symes, LSM, CM, CIAJ President, Symes Street & Millard LLP, Toronto, ON

2011 | Terrorism, Law and Democracy: 10 years after 9/11

Program details

Date

Thursday, October 13, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011

Theme

The overall purpose of the conference is to explore how Canadian law has changed with the threat of terrorism in the decade since 9/11. Many of these changes have been controversial, especially in the way in which they reconcile (or not) civil liberties and human rights with enhanced state power to combat terrorism. At the same time, the last decade has been one of several public inquiries, investigating the actual practice of anti-terrorism by Canada’s security services.

Key questions arising from the 2011 conference include, at the broadest level, whether Canadian law has successfully preserved fundamental rights and values of substantive and procedural justice while at the same time contributing to anti-terrorism.

Conference Co-Chairs

  • The Honourable Justice Richard Mosley, Federal Court, Ottawa, ON
  • The Honourable Judge Dominique Larochelle, Cour du Québec, Laval, QC
  • Mr. Bernard Grenier, Ad.E., Schurman Longo Grenier, Montreal, QC

Academic Experts

  • Vice Dean Craig Forcese, Faculty of Law (Common Law Section), University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON
  • Professor François Crépeau, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, QC

Organizing Committee

  • Mr. Michael W. Duffy, Senior General Counsel (National Security Law), Justice Canada, Ottawa, ON
  • Ms. Sylvia Mackenzie, Counsel, Federal Court, Ottawa, ON
  • The Honourable Justice Anne Mactavish, Federal Court, Ottawa, ON
  • Ms. Beth Symes, LSM, CM, Symes and Street, Toronto, ON

2010 | Sentencing and Corrections: Sentencing Theory Meets Practice

Program details

Date

Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010

Theme

The overall purpose of the conference is to explore the issues in sentencing that need to be addressed in Canada. The focus is on the future: what aspects of sentencing (and the correctional process) should change, and what needs to be done in order to ensure that these changes are made. From the public’s perspective, sentencing appears to be evaluated largely on the basis of whether individual sentences are ‘severe’ enough.

The working assumption of this conference is that the severity of sentences is probably the least difficult question to address: sentences in Canada could, relatively easily, be made ‘twice’ or ‘half’ as severe as they are now. The more fundamental issues – what principles should guide the determination of sentences – would still be with us, even if overall severity were to change in either direction. The challenge of sentencing in the 21st century might be seen as finding the right balance between individualization and judicial discretion, on the one hand, and principled guidance on the other; and, at the same time, ensuring that sentences are, as much as possible, understandable and fair. Defining how one determines what is ‘fair’ is, of course, fundamental.

Chairs

Honorary Chair

  • The Honourable Lance S. G. Finch, Chief Justice of British Columbia, and President, International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, Vancouver, BC

Conference Co-Chairs

  • The Honourable Justice Elizabeth Bennett, British Columbia Court of Appeal, Vancouver, BC
  • Professor Anthony Doob, Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON
  • Mr. E. David Crossin Q.C., Sugden, McFee & Roos, LLP, Vancouver, BC 

Organizing Committee

  • The Honourable Judge Conni Bagnall, Provincial Court of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
  • The Honourable Judge Marion Buller Bennett, Provincial Court of British Columbia, Port Coquitlam, BC
  • Commissioner Don Head, Correctional Service of Canada, Ottawa, ON
  • The Honourable Judge Patrick Healy, Court of Quebec, Montreal, QC