The British Columbia Ministry of Attorney General has published “Legal Professions Regulatory Modernization”, an intentions paper discussing B.C.’s legal services landscape, previous reform efforts in the province, and proposed reforms. Among the proposed reforms, the paper lists:
- A single statute and a single regulator;
- A clear mandate that communicates the regulator’s core responsibilities and powers;
- A modernized governance framework;
- A flexible licensing framework;
- An efficient discipline framework to ensure that there are effective processes in place to maintain competence and professional conduct and practice among those subject to the regulation; and,
- An enhanced focus on public interest.
For anyone interested in providing feedback to the proposals, the B.C. Ministry of the Attorney General invites written submissions via email at PLD@gov.bc.ca or feedback submitted via online survey at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/legal-professions-reform/. Submissions will be accepted until November 18, 2022.
The Department of Justice Canada has made changes to the Questionnaire for Federal Judicial Appointments. Incorporating feedback received from the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the Office of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs (OCFJA) since 2016, the newly revised Questionnaire seeks to be more respectful and offer more inclusive language for candidates, among other changes. The Questionnaire is open to persons who wish to be considered for a federal judicial appointment.
For more information on changes to the Questionnaire, view the Department of Justice’s news release in English here: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-justice/news/2022/09/government-of-canada-announces-changes-to-federal-judicial-appointment-questionnaire.html et en français ici : https://www.canada.ca/fr/ministere-justice/nouvelles/2022/09/le-gouvernement-du-canada-annonce-des-modifications-au-questionnaire-pour-les-nominations-a-la-magistrature-federale.html.
Events for the third annual Access to Justice Week in Manitoba will run from October 24-28, 2022. The event will feature important conversations around access to justice in Manitoba and across Canada, including a presentation from Justice Canada representative, Susan McDonald on October 25 on People-Centered Data Collection. Access to Justice Week in Manitoba is being hosted jointly by the Manitoba Bar Association and the University of Manitoba.
For more information about Access to Justice Week, including the calendar of events, visit: https://lawsociety.mb.ca/access-to-justice-week-event-people-centred-data-collection-october-25-2022/.
The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Law and the Law Society of Manitoba have launched a study to learn about the legal service needs of Manitobans. The recently launched Access to Justice Research Study seeks to engage practising and non-practising lawyers and articling students for a short, confidential survey on Manitobans’ legal needs. Researchers hope that insights from the study will contribute to better alignment of policies and services with access to justice needs in Manitoba. The survey is estimated to take approximately 15 minutes to complete and it will remain open until Thursday, September 29.
This research is being spearheaded by Professor Gerard Kennedy (University of Manitoba Faculty of Law) and Natasha Brown (Manitoba’s Access to Justice Coordinator ). To read the news release about this study or to take the survey, visit: https://lawsociety.mb.ca/university-of-manitoba-joint-access-to-justice-research-study/.
A new report published by the Justice Department of Canada provides details on a panel discussion held in February 2022 on Indigenous and Restorative Justice Approaches. The panel discussion that informed the recently published Indigenous and Restorative Justice Approaches report was designed to help set the stage for the National Restorative Collaborative Learning Conference, taking place in October 2022. Key discussion themes at the February panel included: the need for greater awareness of concepts and terminology on Indigenous and restorative justice (Indigenous Justice, Customary laws, Restorative Justice, etc.); understanding the meaning of “justice”; and, more broadly, the need for more education and awareness among lawyers and legal professionals of how to be an ally to Indigenous peoples, the differences among and within First Nations, Inuit, Métis communities and cultures, among other, related topics.
The Justice Department’s report on Indigenous and Restorative Justice Approaches is available in English here: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/irja-afajr/index.html.
Le rapport de la table ronde : Approches fondées sur les Autochtones et la justice réparatrice est disponible en français ici : https://www.justice.gc.ca/fra/pr-rp/jr/afajr-irja/index.html.
RISE, a community legal information organization that offers support for victims of sexual and intimate partner violence and workplace sexual harassment, has published a series of reports aimed at offering guidance to victims of sexual assault on PEI who are over the age of 18. “Reporting Sexual Assault: A Guide for Victims on PEI” offers information on where to access support services and the types of supports that are available, what constitutes sexual assault and consent, sexual assault evidence kits, among other important information. The “Sexual Assault Prosecution: A Guide for Victims on PEI” report discusses prosecution of sexual assault and offers an overview of the process, the parties involved, and addresses questions that might arise for persons going through the process.
“Reporting Sexual Assault: A Guide for Victims on PEI” and “Sexual Assault Prosecution: A Guide for Victims on PEI” are available on the RISE website in French and English here: https://www.risepei.com/en/downloads. The publications are not a substitute for guidance from a lawyer.