Updates Re CBA Annual Conference in St. Johns

I had a wonderful time in St. John’s, Newfoundland (my first time to visit there) at the annual conference of the Canadian Bar Association (friendly people, wonderful harbour).

1) International Development Committee (“IDC”). I was attending meetings of the IDC who continue to do excellent work around the world in promoting the rule of law (based on outside funding; the cost of the work of the IDC is not borne by CBA membership fees). Major current projects are taking place in China (with their criminal bar involving the strengthening of legal aid) and Bangladesh, with past projects including work in East and South Africa. The Youth International Internship Program, which places young Canadian lawyers in various clinics around the world in developing countries, is an amazing program that benefits both the young lawyers and the clinics where they are placed. The website of the IDC is in the process of being relaunched in the next few weeks, but for now, if you look carefully at the homepage here, the dude in the picture in the blue suit is me (training lawyers in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, a number of years back).

2) New CBA Code of Professional Conduct. I am perhaps the last lawyer in Canada to learn that the CBA has promulgated a new Code of Professional Conduct, available here (apologies if this is old news to SLAW readers).

3) Prof. Gerard’s biography on Bora Laskin: While at the conference, I purchased Professor Girard’s biography of Bora Laskin and am about 1/3 of the way through. It is highly recommended reading. I am learning a lot about Laskin (I had not realized that he took on a contract to write headnotes for the Canadian Abridgment soon after his graduation from “law school” (as it was then). The details of his family life and the struggles he faced as a Jewish lawyer are very interesting. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book.


  1. Ted, I had actually heard about the CBA’s new Code of Conduct in a newspaper article in the Globe and Mail a few days ago. I never saw any uncivilized behaviour between lawyers when I was articling, but of course, that doesn’t mean that it does not happen!! Hopefully, the Code will make counsel think twice before they engage in “uncivilized” behaviour.