Annual Report 2007/2008

  • August 19, 2008

Summary of Activities

During the 2007-08 year, the Victoria ADR Section continued with a program of meetings to provide information, education and resources to our members. We also strived to encourage non-members to join the Canadian Bar Association and to benefit from services offered.

As in previous years, the Section meetings which drew the greatest numbers were the ones co-sponsored with other Sections, and groups.

The following is a summary of the meetings, topics and speakers offered in the last year.

November 27, 2007: Nancy Cameron, Q.C. of Vancouver, spoke at a joint meeting of the Victoria ADR and Civil Litigation Sections, on the use of Collaborative Law and collaborative practice in all civil litigation matters. While Collaborative Law is a known entity to family law lawyers and those practising in the area of alternative dispute resolution, the Civil Litigation Section members posed a number of interesting questions and there was a lively discussion about the applicability of this process in general civil litigation and corporate matters.

January 23, 2008: The Victoria ADR Section in conjunction with the Victoria Family Law Section and the BC Mediator Roster Society hosted a presentation by Arlene H. Henry, Q.C. and Suzanne Williams on children’s participation in mediation and other court processes.

Arlene Henry, Q.C. is a well known family law and child protection mediator in Vancouver. Her experience and insight on the issues involving children led to a lively discussion.

Ms. Williams, who is the Legal Director of the International Institute for Children’s’ Rights and Development based at the University of Victoria offered information on the Meaningful Child’s Participation in BC Family Justice Processes Project. Ms. Williams is a passionate advocate on the involvement of children in the process.

February 13, 2008: The Victoria ADR Section along with the BC Mediator Roster Society co-hosted Wayne Plenert’s talk on conflict transformation. Mr. Plenert is the Chair of the Mediator Roster Society and a full time Mediator. He has a Masters of Laws in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Osgoode and practices in the area of family, workplace and civil mediation throughout BC, Yukon Territory and Alberta.

Mr. Plenert’s presentation on conflict as a natural and normal process and his use of Dr. Lederach’s book, Little Book of Conflict Transformation, was an extremely interesting and thought provoking lecture.

June 25, 2008: Once again, the ADR Section was pleased to co-host Professor Michelle LeBaron’s annual lecture at the University of Victoria. Michelle LeBaron is a Professor of Law and Director of Dispute Resolution at the University of BC. Professor LeBaron has done seminal work in many areas of conflict resolution including intercultural and international work. Her books and publications explore collaboration, the arts and as well, contemplative practises for transforming conflict. Professor LeBaron spoke on the topic of “Imagining Ourselves Related: Archetypes that Shape Community Dialogue”. The audience was composed of lawyers, academics and students at the University of Victoria and the University of Victoria.

Professor LeBaron explored some of the archetypical voices involved in dialogic work in communities. As the notice of the lecture indicated “…like seams in a mine, archetypes direct our attention to the richness of dialogue, and also to places where it can be weakened”. The LeBaron lecture was an interesting exploration of what connects and divides us and how and what we see as dialogue can resolve or create conflict.

July 30, 2008: This was a planning meeting and the Executive plans to open next year’s meetings with a presentation by Maureen Fitzgerald of CenterPoint. Ms. Fitzgerald will be speaking on the use of circles in conflict resolution.

As our Section meetings are best attended when they are co-hosted, we are looking at working with Royal Roads University and other agencies to ensure that our meetings remain not only topical but have a substantive educational basis which we believe is of use to Section members. While we have not firmed up all of next year’s speakers, we are hoping to have at least two well known practitioners speak on practical issues in conflict resolution such as dealing with anger and moving beyond interests.