Gabrielle Giroday is the editor of Law Times. She is a journalist and former government spokeswoman who has won awards for her work in both media and public service. She has experience writing and communicating about legal and justice issues, foreign affairs, gender issues, and economic analysis for publications across Canada.
|Alastair Clarke says ‘refugees are an economic positive’ for Canada.|
A U.S. federal judge suspended the order last week, and now, the government has a chance to submit legal briefs in support of Trump’s intended policy changes. The battle may end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Manitoba has garnered attention since CBC reported that more than 400 people were intercepted near the U.S.-Canada border at Emerson between April to December 2016.
“I think there’s just a general impression that Canada is a safer country than the United States, and they will have more support here, and that [they] will have a better life,” says Alastair Clarke, founder of Clarke Immigration Law in Winnipeg.
Due to Trump’s changes, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers last week was “calling on Canada to immediately suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement.”
"Under the STCA, those who try to enter Canada through the U.S. to make a refugee claim at the border are returned to the U.S. regardless of whether they will or already have had access to asylum in the U.S. The U.S. and Canada have considered one another “safe” for asylum-seekers,” said a CARL news release.
“The STCA creates a North American approach to refugee approvals. With President Trump’s Executive Orders, the U.S. is unilaterally changing the terms of that approach, with potentially disastrous consequences for vulnerable asylum-seekers.”
In Winnipeg, Clarke works with groups that have housing set up and are working “as hard as they can to bring as many people” as they can support.
“The government can’t keep up with the demand,” says Clarke, adding that the biggest legal hurdle he’s grappling with is the STCA.
“Unless the refugee claimant is able to fall under one of the exemptions listed in the agreement, then they are denied at the border,” says Clarke, who says most people who are successful are able to do it due to exemptions related to having family in Canada.
Clarke has handled about 30 to 35 files involving refugee claimants since January 2015, from countries such as Haiti, Burundi, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria.
“I think more people are coming based on the rhetoric coming from the United States. It’s partially Trump, but I mean Trump was elected, because in general, there is an anti-refugee sentiment in the United States,” he says. “It’s not just him, but I think — generally speaking — there is less of an appetite for refugees in many parts of the United States.”
Ghezae Hagos of the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council said that since October 2016, the non-profit organization has come into contact with 117 people who have asked for protection. That includes 39 people in January 2017. Hagos said that number was “certainly much bigger than what we had in the last few years.”
Paul Hesse, immigration lawyer and partner at Pitblado LLP in Winnipeg, helps clients with immigration matters such as work permits and study permits, and obtaining permanent residency. He estimated he’s had double the amount of inquiries he normally receives since Trump was elected.
“It’s a mix in terms of why they’re doing it, in terms of their profiles,” he says.
“Some would be people who, I believe, are vulnerable to removal from the United States who are looking for alternatives, others are IT workers who are looking for a more friendly long-term solution, concerned about permit rules changing in the United States, and looking at other options.”
Canadian lawyers will have important work ahead of them as a result of a controversial executive order by U.S. President Donald Trump, says Sukanya Pillay, executive director and general counsel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
|Stephen Green says the divisiveness of policies introduced by the Trump administration creates an opportunity for Canadian employers looking for talented professionals.|
The executive order — released Jan. 27 — suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. It also stops nationals from Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran and Iraq from going into the United States for 90 days.
“I think Canadian lawyers have a lot of work ahead of them.
“One is the immediate response that we can provide to individuals who are going to be stranded at Canadian airports because they cannot board planes if they’re affected by this order,” says Pillay.
The CCLA is calling on the Canadian government to take eight steps in the wake of the order, including boosting the number of refugees accepted into the country and implementing procedures to take applications from asylum seekers impacted by the ban.
“When you have a powerful global actor professing isolationism, and flouting — appearing to flout — international law, even if it’s for only 90 days, it does set off repercussions that are very concerning,” she says.
Pillay says the CCLA is recommending that Canada suspend the U.S.-Canada Safe Third Country Agreement.
In 2002, the two countries signed the agreement, which sets out that “refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement.”
“[A]t this time, if the U.S. is willing to deport people who are fleeing persecution to the risk of human rights violations, then I think we have a legal and moral obligation to not abide by that agreement and allow any asylum seeker to make their claim here in Canada,” says Pillay.
Pillay also says there is also work ahead for corporate and commercial lawyers, as well as human rights and civil liberties lawyers, regarding bundled agreements between Canada and the United States.
“[I]n terms of intelligence sharing and alliances in the global counter-terror fight, we have numerous information-sharing agreements with the United States, and I think that it’s very important that we look at those information-sharing agreements immediately and we set clear limits on what we’re willing to share,” she says.
Stephen Green, senior partner at Green and Spiegel LLP, says he believes that the “divisiveness” of many policies of the Trump administration will push people out of the United States and from considering moving to the country.
“I think that the concept of multiculturalism of Canada is so successful in Canada, and that’s what draws so many people to come here and work, and move,” says Green.
Green says the move might create an opportunity for Canadian employers who specialize in areas such as IT, and it may be able to attract educated professionals from the seven affected countries who cannot extend their visas in the United States.
“We’ve seen a huge increase of very, very successful business people who do not like the Trump policies coming here to set up their businesses here, because they just don’t know what’s going to happen in the next four years with him,” he says.
Green says Canada should continue to accept asylum seekers.
“If these are asylum seekers that are coming from regimes like Iran and various other places, we should [accept them] absolutely,” says Green.
The executive order by Trump states that, “Deteriorating conditions in certain countries due to war, strife, disaster, and civil unrest increase the likelihood that terrorists will use any means possible to enter the United States.”
“In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles,” it says. “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law.”
Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi hasn’t been shy about expressing the need to embrace technological advancement when it comes to the province’s justice system.
On Jan. 18, at an event at the Law Society of Upper Canada, Naqvi said the province is looking at e-filing of divorces.
“We’re looking at all different ways to make services available online. E-filing is, in my view, the very first important step we have to do . . .,” he said.
“I wanted to see on the family law side what could be done, so we’ve asked to see if divorce applications could be filed online.”
The move comes after the province introduced more digitization at Small Claims Court.
Jonathan Richardson, an Ottawa-based lawyer with Augustine Bater Binks LLP, says he is “pleased” by the news about possible digitization.
Richardson says the proposed change is “good for lawyers.”
“Any step which both reduces the amount of paper required while making a process more efficient is a step in the right direction,” he says.
He says there could be two significant potential ramifications.
“Firstly, pursuant to the Family Law Act, a person has until the earlier of six years from the date of separation or two years from the date of a divorce to seek an equalization of net family property.
“A party may not realize when e-filing for a divorce or receiving an e-filed divorce that he [or] she is starting the limitation period to seek an equalization payment,” he says.
He also says that most — if not all — insurance companies “will no longer provide extended health-care benefits to a partner when he [or] she is no longer a spouse.”
“E-filing for a divorce could result in that party being denied extended health-care benefits on a spouse’s plan,” he says.
“That works both ways.”
Brian Galbraith of Galbraith Family Law PC also says the move to digitize the divorce process will be welcomed.
“It will make divorce work more efficient so [it] should result in a cost savings to the consumer,” he says.
Steven Benmor, a Toronto-based lawyer with Benmor Family Law Group, agrees.
“Ontario should join the rest of the world and adopt IT, which is the fastest, cheapest and most modern way of communicating,” he says. “All legal cases are all about communication between [the litigant or litigants], lawyers and judges.”
A well-recognized Canadian judge has another accolade on her list of accomplishments — the fact she’s now been named the global jurist of the year by Northwestern University.
|Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella will speak about international law when receiving an award in Chicago later this month.|
Previous recipients include Gloria Patricia Porras Escobar of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court, Justice Shireen Avis Fisher of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Acting Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke of South Africa’s Constitutional Court.
“Justice Abella has long been recognized internationally as one of Canada’s foremost jurists,” said Adam Dodek, a law professor at University of Ottawa. “This award confirms that long and widely-held view.”
The award is on behalf of the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Center for International Human Rights.
“Justice Abella’s extraordinary personal story and her outstanding professional achievements really make her a compelling figure, someone who is well-worthy of this honour and someone who we are very excited to welcome to Northwestern Law School to have the chance for our students and faculty to interact with her, and hear from her,” says Juliet Sorensen, the centre’s Harry R. Horrow Professor of International Law, who was part of the four-person selection committee who chose Abella for the award. Sorenson says Abella was nominated for the honour.
Abella —who graduated from University of Toronto with a bachelor of arts and a law degree — will speak on January 25 at Northwestern about whether international law has kept up with the world.
“Abella is a pioneer in many ways. She is the first Jewish woman and the youngest person ever appointed as a judge in Canada,” said the news release from Northwestern announcing the award. “She also is the first Jewish woman appointed to the country’s Supreme Court.
Born in a displaced persons’ camp in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1946, Justice Abella is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors.”
A biography on the Supreme Court of Canada’s website notes Abella was appointed to the Ontario Family Court in 1976, and the Ontario Court of Appeal in 1992. She joined the Supreme Court in 2004.
“She was the sole Commissioner of the 1984 federal Royal Commission on Equality in Employment, creating the term and concept of ‘employment equity,’” says the biography. “The theories of ‘equality’ and ‘discrimination’ she developed in her Report were adopted by the Supreme Court of Canada in its first decision dealing with equality rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1989.”
Eugene Meehan, a lawyer at Supreme Advocacy in Ottawa, said Abella is well-known for various decisions, including the recent SCC decision in Daniels v. Canada (Indian Affairs and Northern Development), where Meehan said Abella “wrote the unanimous judgment of the Court that government is to constitutionally recognize the rights of Métis and non-status Indians.”
“Justice Abella is now the second most senior judge on the court,” said Meehan. “Though some try to peg her as being of this or that school of thought, on this or that issue, the reality is she’s a chameleon that’s able to muster majorities among different groups of allies – yet still feel strongly enough on issues of importance to her to write the lone wolf dissent.”
An Alberta judge heavily criticized for remarks he made during a sexual assault trial has asked again to make oral arguments to the Canadian Judicial Council, in his fight to remain on the bench.
|Justice Robin Camp is asking to oral submissions through his lawyers to the Canadian Judicial Council. Photo: Canadian Press|
Last November, an inquiry committee for the council in charge of reviewing Camp’s conduct unanimously recommended that he be removed from the bench.
However, in a response to the committee made available on Jan. 6, Camp has asked the council “to find that his misconduct was the product of unconscious bias and remediable ignorance.”
“Justice Camp’s misconduct was the product of ignorance, not animus. His legal decision making was reasonable,” said the submission, submitted by Camp’s counsel.
“He apologized and rehabilitated himself. In the circumstances, the ultimate sanction of removal is counterproductive.”
In the submission, Camp reiterated a request to make oral submissions through his counsel.
“The notoriety, the evidentiary and policy issues, and the extent of remorse and rehabilitation make this a highly unusual case. Justice Camp is the first judge to fight for his office and his reputation since the Council amended its bylaws in 2010 to remove the express right to oral submissions,” said the submission.
The 25-page submission notes that Camp made “instant, repeated and sincere apologies” and was “quick to acknowledge that he had failed in his judicial duty.”
“He apologized as soon as he was confronted with the law professors’ complaint.
As he came to understand the depth of his error, he apologized again and more fully,” said the submission.
“His apologies developed in exactly the way one would expect from an ethical jurist confronted with an unknown personal failing, who gradually comes to understand the nature of the problem.”
However, in its findings released last fall, the committee stated “that Justice Camp’s conduct in the Wagar Trial was so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of the impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the Judge incapable of executing the judicial office.”
“Accordingly, the Inquiry Committee expresses the unanimous view that a recommendation by Council for Justice Camp’s removal is warranted,” said the report and recommendation of the Inquiry Committee to the Canadian Judicial Council.
Kim Stanton, legal director for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund, said Camp “had a fulsome opportunity to make his case before the Committee during the hearing in September.”
“The question for the Council is not whether the judge is sorry, but whether public confidence in the judge is sufficiently undermined to render him or her incapable of executing judicial office in the future in light of his or her conduct to date.”
“The test is to be considered from the perspective of a reasonable and well-informed person,” she said.
“As stated by the Coalition (of which LEAF was a member) in our submission to the CJC Committee that conducted the inquiry in this matter, the reasonable person must include the perspective of survivors of sexual assault, and marginalized women generally, as they are entitled to a judiciary that rejects sexual myths and stereotypes and understands and respects equality.”
Frank Addario, a Toronto-based lawyer acting for Camp in the matter, said he no additional comment on the matter.
An Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge has ruled that a family law clerk with 27 years experience at a law firm did not resign from the firm at which she worked, even though she removed all her belongings and returned her security pass to one of the firm’s lawyers.
|Jed Blackburn says a recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling illustrates that for a resignation to be accepted, it must be ‘clear and unequivocal.’|
In the case, senior family law clerk Rajinder Johal had been working for Simmons da Silva LLP for 27 years, and said she had been wrongfully dismissed.
“[T]he main issues in this case, aside from the issue of damages is whether or not the plaintiff resigned and if she did resign did she effectively resile from that resignation,” said Sloan in the ruling.
In June 2015, the then-62-year-old clerk went to a meeting on a Wednesday with one of the firm’s lawyers and the firm’s human resources manager.
The plaintiff and defendant had differing versions of what happened at the meeting. According to a lawyer at the firm, Johal said she was displeased with a new staffing arrangement discussed at the meeting, and the day after, she removed her belongings and then went to the lawyer’s office, returning her security pass and saying she had “hit the end of the road.” She then left.
According to Johal, before she went to the lawyer’s office the day after the meeting, she overheard the lawyer telling another clerk they’d be working together closely.
She said she then went into his office and returned the security pass to him, but she denied saying she “was at the end of the road,” according to the ruling.
No written resignation letter was ever handed in and the clerk never said goodbye to any of her colleagues, said Johal’s lawyer, Philip White, of Grosman Grosman & Gale LLP.
“The following Tuesday, she attempted to return to work after she calmed down, collected her thoughts and received legal advice,” said White. “The firm did not let her return.”
As part of her case against the firm, Johal said her employer did not make sure she understood the new staffing arrangements and did not question her sudden departure or emotional state when she handed back her security pass.
Ultimately, Sloan agreed with Johal, saying she did not resign and “. . . when viewing this matter contextually, a reasonable person would not have viewed the Plaintiff’s action as a voluntary resignation.”
“With respect to what transpired . . . if viewed narrowly, the Plaintiff returning her security pass and removing her belongings might look like a resignation. However, it is incumbent upon the employer to look at the larger picture,” said Sloan.
He also said “. . .the circumstances here cried out for further inquiry by the defendant.”
“While I agree with the Defendant that it does not owe a paternalistic duty to the Plaintiff, on the facts of this case, it was required to do more to determine the Plaintiff’s true and unequivocal intention,” he said in the ruling.
“On the evidence before me, it was to the Defendant’s financial advantage if the plaintiff resigned, since the evidence is clear that at least currently, the firm was top-heavy with family law clerks.
“Therefore if one resigned ‘of her own free will’ the firm would not have to pay any severance and of course if she resigned the defendant would not have to continue to find work for her and pay her ongoing salary,” said Sloan.
“So when the ‘opportunity’ of accepting the plaintiff’s resignation arose, Mr. Clark and/or the remaining management members of the firm, by their inaction decided to let ‘sleeping dogs lie’ and simply accept what they thought was a resignation, after what they thought was a reasonable length of time,” Sloan added.
To that end, Sloan ordered a trial on the quantum of damages — Johal has asked for 22 to 26 months of salary, while the firm said if Johal received damages, it should be limited to 16 months.
White says the case is “an example of an employer who is so focused on saving money that they sort of let common sense and compassion slip to the side a bit and they made a big mistake.”
Jed Blackburn of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP said the decision shows that “in order to be accepted, a resignation must first be clear and unequivocal and must objectively reflect an intention to resign when viewed in the entire context.”
“Factors such as an employee’s emotional/mental distress, history with the company, age, financial circumstances, job prospects and the manner of resignation may all be considered in determining whether a resignation was truly voluntary,” he said in an email to Legal Feeds.
Nicole Simes, who represented Simmons da Silva, said she could not provide comment.
A non-profit organization that had issued layoff notices to staff and was moving offices after hitting funding challenges has received funding from the Ontario government and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
|Russell Silverstein, co-president of Innocence Canada, at an announcement the organization will receive a significant funding boost for the next three years, after financial woes.|
Ontario Attorney General Yasir Naqvi and Law Society of Upper Canada Treasurer Paul Schabas announced that Innocence Canada will receive $900,000 over the next three years to sustain its operations.
Innocence Canada — an organization that helps wrongfully convicted people challenge their convictions and advocates for greater public awareness around the issue — had stopped taking applications from people seeking help in September.
“This infusion of financial support allows us to go back to where we were, and run our operation fully,” said Russell Silverstein, a criminal defence lawyer who is co-president of the organization.
“We were going to become significantly scaled down. That would have compromised our ability to service our clients. The tension is off now, the pressure is off, [and] we can go back to where we were several months ago and chart a new course for the future.”
Silverstein was at Innocence Canada’s Peter Street office for the announcement with Naqvi and Schabas, where details of the funding were revealed.
For the next three years, Innocence Canada will receive $300,000 per year from the government and the LSUC. The Ontario government will provide $275,000 per year, while the LSUC will provide $25,000 per year.
For the last eight years, the organization had been operating with about $580,000 per year. Before the announcement, it fell short when it came to meeting that amount.
“This is a wonderful gift to our clients, those who are in jail, having been wrongly convicted, who we strive to help and have been striving to help for 23 years,” said
Silverstein. He said the financial support from the government “marks an important change in the culture of access to justice.”
“We pledge to take this grant of $300,000 per year for the next three years and devote it to the continuing work we do, which is to work for the exoneration of those who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit,” said Silverstein.
The organization, which was formerly known as the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, is the only full-time non-profit organization that delves into potential wrongful convictions by using tools like private investigators and forensic pathology testing, independent of educational institutions and government.
Innocence’s Canada executive director Debbie Oakley recently told Law Times lawyers from across the country participate in pro bono work for the organization, says Oakley, with an estimated $3.5 million worth of work taking place annually.
She also said there were still 85 cases Innocence Canada was handling that are under review, including 16 where they believe innocence has been established.
“The simple reality is that despite our collective best efforts, we sometimes do get it wrong,” said Naqvi. “That is why it is so important to have an organization like Innocence Canada as part of our justice system. It is an organization that advocates for those who are all but forgotten by society.”
Naqvi said the funding will be provided to the organization for things like reviewing cases and for advocacy.
“Our justice system has great strengths. It is not, as we well know, infallible,” said Schabas. “The ever-present possibility of error makes it especially important to support those who represent citizens who may have been. . .wrongfully convicted of crimes.”
Silverstein said despite the infusion of funding, there will be changes.
“We intend to reorganize our process nonetheless to seek to make us as efficient as possible, change some of the ways we deal with our incoming cases, and continue to rouse public support so we get more financial support from the private sector, from individual donors, so that we don’t become dependent on government money forever,” he said. “. . .We’re confident that over the three years, we can achieve that.”
Innovation within law firms may mean working directly with clients on introducing new practices, or marketing lawyers to clients on capabilities that go beyond their technical expertise.
|Speakers at a Legal Marketing Association Toronto chapter event, focusing on changes in the legal industry, addressed shifts that firms will see in the coming years. PHOTO: Gabrielle Giroday|
Friedrich Blase, Legal X @ MaRS Discovery District executive in residence and the Un-Firm of the Future managing director, recommends stoking innovation by having lawyers find a small number of “meaningful, sizeable” client relationships. He then recommends lawyers work with these clients to design new ways of delivering services.
“Innovation is the first thing you do in the day, and then you serve the clients, because that’s what your future is all about,” he said. “You need to actually do that with some of your best clients.”
Part of the issue is that the legal industry is trailing the rest of society when it comes to innovation, said Chris Bentley, Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone and Law Practice Program executive director.
He says consumers will drive change if lawyers don’t.
“We are leaving the age of the provider, and entering the age of the consumer,” he said.
Peter Carayiannis, partner with Deloitte Conduit Law LLP, said different factors have pushed law firms to innovate. He said one contributing factor was the 2008 global economic crisis which “really put a great deal of focus on legal budgets, on the behaviour of GCs, on the behaviour of in-house communities.”
“[T]he sort-of black box view to a legal budget was no longer an accepted position at the executive table,” he said.
Other factors include clients becoming “more inquisitive and more disciplined” about legal budgets. It also means considering the different approach taken by millennials to their careers.
“The approach of millennials as they join professional services firms, including law firms, is not the same as their parents. And consequently, the decisions they will make, the compromises that they will accept, the goals and ambitions that they will have in their life, will be different,” Carayiannis said.
Bryan Friedman, general manager of Axiom, says the legal services provider attracts lawyers who want the ability to say yes or no to certain files.
“There’s often the case where a lawyer will be made to take a file that they’re really not interested in, or they’re not comfortable with,” said Friedman, who pointed to an example of a lawyer who declined to do work for a company that did strip-mining in Central America. He said Axiom works with in-house counsel to maximize their value.
“What we really try to focus on is how can we transition in-house law departments from call centres to value-added providers of legal services,” he said. “We want to make sure that lawyers in in-house departments are empowered and have the ability to make their companies more competitive, not just to evaluate risk every time it comes up.”
Carayiannis said law firms may want to look at marketing their lawyers, and their value proposition in new ways, beyond their technical expertise.
Instead, lawyers should be held up as problem solvers.
“It’s not about technical expertise. Your technical expertise is assumed,” he said.
Blase said the seeds of the Un-Firm came from conversations he had with law firms.
“In the end, I didn’t find firms that were willing to take this as an offensive play, they would do it as a defensive play when the clients asked for it, but not as an offensive play,” he said.
He added that it’s a “phenomenal” time for hungry lawyers to connect to individual consumers or smaller businesses, or the “business-to-consumer space.”
“If you’re not part of it, you’re going to get run over by it,” said Blase. “And that I promise you, is so certain, over the next 10 to 15 years.”
A Vancouver lawyer has been elected as the new vice chairwoman of the ICC Canada Arbitration Committee.
Tina Cicchetti, a partner at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP and member of the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution group, will serve two years as the committee’s vice chairwoman, before becoming the committee’s chairwoman.
|Tina Cicchetti says the ICC Canada Arbitration Committee is seeking to expand its membership in Western Canada.|
ICC Canada has 124 members across Canada, and its members can participate in the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration.
The court describes itself as “the world's leading body for the resolution of international disputes by arbitration.”
Cicchetti says the mission of the committee is to expand the use of international arbitration by Canadian business and to ensure practitioners are knowledgeable and can provide good service to Canadian companies.
“Canada, for being a small arbitration market and a small economy, relatively speaking, has a number of practitioners who are really highly regarded internationally,” she says.
Cicchetti says the focus of work done by Canadian members is commercial arbitration between parties, although it does do a fair amount of work related to administering investor state disputes, especially when it comes to contractual disputes involving state-owned entities with investors or contractual parties.
Current issues facing the committee include the importance of cybersecurity and proposed solutions, such as the use of secure sites for transferring materials.
“I think it’s a hot issue because it’s become an issue more widely,” says Cicchetti.
“One of the perceived benefits of arbitration is the fact that it’s private and often confidential, so you’re going to the extent of choosing a dispute resolution procedure that is confidential and then you are managing it in a way that potentially exposes it to hacking, for example, because a lot of the stuff is high value [and] often would be of interest to business rivals, state entities, other things.
“You can imagine a situation where that information would be targeted.”
The committee is also waiting on provincial governments across Canada to update international arbitration statutes.
“That’s one of the things we’re working on, is making sure that those statutes get updated, because those statutes affect any arbitration seated within the various jurisdictions,” she says.
Cicchetti was elected to the role in October and assumed the position Oct. 15.
The committee’s current chairman is Stephen Drymer at Woods LLP in Montreal.
Cicchetti says one of her goals in this role will be to expand membership of the committee in Western Canada.
“I think this committee, it’s fair to say, represents the most active international arbitration practitioners in Canada, so we have a good cross-section of academics, practitioners, counsel and arbitrators and some good young members that have come up through YCAP, which is the Young Canadian Arbitration Practitioners,” says Cicchetti.
She says there are a few core firms with active international arbitration practices in Canada, and a number of other firms “that just have them crop up because they have clients who happen to have an international arbitration.”
In 2015, 40 Canadians were arbitrators with ICC International Court of Arbitration.
Most of the committee’s members are litigators, says Cicchetti, who have an interest or some experience in international arbitration. There are also members who are solicitors who do international deals and cross-border transactions, she says, or former in-house counsel who are current or past users of arbitration.
“Our goal is to make sure that everybody [who] is doing this work understands the full advantages of it and does a good job for their client,” she says.
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