August 2015 Section Updates

  • August 01, 2015

Keep Current A review of provincial Section meetings

Constitutional/Civil Liberties

Meeting in Review: May 21, 2015

Speaker: Gareth Morley, Ministry of Justice, Legal Services Branch

Topic: Sounds of silence: Unwritten Constitutional Principles after Trial Lawyers in BC

On May 21, 2015, the Constitutional/Civil Liberties Section had the benefit of a lunch hour presentation in Victoria from Gareth Morley of the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Morley was co-counsel for the Attorney General of BC in the Trial Lawyers of BC appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. The presentation was offered by live webinar and described the history of unwritten constitutional principles from the United Kingdom, following through the receipt of the concept in Canada when the British colonies had the desire to be federally united “with a Constitution similar in principle” to that of the UK. Mr. Morley continued with a description of the consideration and application of unwritten principles by Canadian appellate courts both prior to and after the enactment of the Constitution Act, 1982, including the Charter of Rights, and concluded with a review of the SCC consideration of access to justice in Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia v. British Columbia (Attorney General), 2014 SCC 59, [2014].

CCCA BC & International Law

Meeting in Review: May 25, 2015

Speakers: Anne Wittman, Shareholder Association for Research & Education and Wendy King, VP Legal, Governance and Risk – Capstone Mining

Topic: Why Human Rights is part of a Corporate Counsel’s Job 

On May 25, 2015 Anne Wittman and Wendy King led an interesting presentation. Anne leads SHARE’s law reform and advocacy programs. Her responsibilities include shareholder engagement and proxy voting. Anne provided a primer for Corporation Counsel on Human Rights. Wendy is responsible for managing the legal function at Capstone, in addition to leading matters relating to corporate governance and overseeing the enterprise-wide risk management strategy. Wendy provided practical advice regarding recent developments in Human Rights such as the Hud Bay and Tahoe cases. The joint meeting was well attended by members. The Section Executive welcomes new members to enroll and take part in next year’s meetings. 

Commercial & Real Estate - Okanagan

Meeting in Review: May 28, 2015

Speaker: Jennifer Thorne of Jennifer Thorne Law

Topic: Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations

On May 28, 2015 Jennifer Thorne of Jennifer Thorne Law presented to the Commercial & Real Estate – Okanagan Section about the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, including a primer on the law, a case law update, and industry practice points. The presentation included a detailed overview of the licensing process from initial application to production, focusing on the key requirements at each stage with information for lawyers and clients alike about initial business structure, site selection, key personnel, and potential costs through each stage of the process. It was a very interactive meeting with lots of Q&A and Jennifer’s experience in assisting clients through the process was evident in her great practice tips. The Commercial & Real Estate – Okanagan Section meets approximately 5-7 times per year. For 2015-2016, the proposed topics include environmental reports, unique and rare title notations, and the impacts of the Tsilhqot’in decision. 

Criminal Justice Vancouver

Meeting in Review: June 11, 2015  

Speakers: Robert H. Wright, QC, Criminal Appeals and Special Prosecutions, Richard C.C. Peck, QC, Peck and Company, William B. Smart, QC, Hunter Litigation Chambers Law Corporation

Topic: Lasting Legacies of the “Air India” Mega-Trial

On June 11, 2015 the CBABC Criminal Justice – Vancouver Section hosted their annual year-end dinner. The panel of speakers, Robert H. Wright, QC, Richard C.C. Peck, QC and William B. Smart, QC, discussed the landmark “Air India” trial, Canada’s first major terrorism trial. The presenters spoke about lasting legacy and lessons learned from this unique “mega-trial.” Robert H. Wright, QC, a leading member of the Crown’s team on the case, discussed the enormous challenge of reconstructing a crime scene from remains of the plane retrieved from the North Atlantic. Innovations in evidentiary and trial techniques were also discussed, including replicating the bombing using an actual aircraft, and hearing expert evidence outside of the courtroom in a warehouse where the hull of the plane was recreated. All of the panelists touched on the human cost of this crime and the singular experience of being involved in a case with lasting repercussions on our society. The dinner was well attended and provided members of the Criminal Justice Section a chance to network before summer. 

For CBABC members, more detailed information and available minutes from the Section meetings
are online at under CBABC Sections & Forums.

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