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‘Judicial Accountability’ Bill highlights well intentioned hysteriaThe House of Commons has approved Bill C-337, The Judicial Accountability Through Sexual Assault Law Training Act, with little or no debate. The Senate is likely to do the same. This proposed legislation began as a private member’s bill, introduced by Interim Conservative Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Rona Ambrose which sought to restrict eligibility for judicial appointments to individuals who had completed comprehensive sexual assault education. A blatant and dangerous interference with the independence of the judiciary, it now seems to have been amended to require this training for all judges once appointed, which is less offensive.
Proposed new jails are proof Canada is not upholding UN normsIt has been two years since the United Nations adopted crucial revisions to the international standards on the treatment of prisoners. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules) forcefully called on member states to respect prisoners’ inherent dignity, allow access to medical care, protect vulnerable inmates and ensure access to legal representation.
The tweed curtain: Oak Bay now rules British ColumbiaFor those of you who have never been there, Oak Bay, B.C., (perhaps a 10-minute drive to downtown Victoria) may be among the most pleasant, idyllic and floral suburbs in Canada. There are magnificent waterfront homes with immaculate gardens set alongside tree-lined streets; many with million-dollar views of Mount Baker across Strait of Juan de Fuca or, depending upon where you are, equally expensive views of San Juan Island across Haro Strait.
The Montreal floods and the pull of duty as a lawyerIt sometimes takes a big pair of rain boots to remind us of what our profession can truly accomplish.
Thursday, 18 May 2017 08:11

Requests for proposals

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Illustration: Paul Howalt
Illustration: Paul Howalt
The RFP process has become more sophisticated and complex, but law firms still have to play ball to get on the preferred panel list.
Canadian Lawyer’s Top 10 Personal Injury BoutiquesHere are the Top 10 Personal Injury Boutiques, listed alphabetically.
Monday, 15 May 2017 09:34

Bad games

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Bad gamesSellers of circumvention devices beware!
Monday, 15 May 2017 09:00

A last word on happiness

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A last word on happinessI’m just back from a lovely Florida vacation. First the beach (surprisingly, there were 14 different groups of Newfoundlanders staying in the same condo building), then the Ritz-Carlton for a conference and then Legoland.
Queering refugee claims: IRB gets rid of problematic stereotypes and impossible paradoxesKudos to Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board for its new guideline designed to prevent queer refugee claims from being unfairly dismissed.  
Monday, 08 May 2017 09:00

You ARE a gifted business developer

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You ARE a gifted business developerYou do have that natural gift if you look at business development as mitigating clients’ risks, resolving conflicts and providing solutions. Didn’t you go into law to help people and organizations? The BMW and Rolex are nice, too — but isn’t the mission of a lawyer to prevent and resolve conflict for people? Isn’t it a lawyer’s responsibility to advocate effectively for those who cannot?
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