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The Canadian Bar Association

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Advocacy

CBA supports ABA statement on immigration detention of children

By CBA/ABC National June 20, 2018 20 June 2018

CBA supports ABA statement on immigration detention of children

The Canadian Bar Association has issued a statement in support of the one made by the American Bar Association opposing the separation of migrant children in the United States from their parents and being held in detention facilities:

In 2016 the CBA was one of more than 400 signatories on a statement against the immigration detention of children, which said the practice of holding children in detention causes lasting psychological harm. The CBA’s own 2017 submission on the New National Immigration Detention Framework called on the Government to find viable alternatives to holding children in detention, with or without parents.

The CBA commends the Canadian Government’s direction to the Canada Border Services Agency in June 2017 to “as much as humanly possible keep children out of detention, and keep families together,” with the best interests of the child at the forefront. The CBA is committed to working with the Government to continue to improve our refugee determination system.

The CBA’s 2017 submission made six recommendations on children and minors in detention:

  • clarify that the best interests of the child is a primary consideration in any decision on detention that affects a child, regardless of the child’s status.

  • in addition to assigning a designated representative to an unaccompanied or separated minor, consider providing legal representation.

  • detained children should not be separated from family members while in immigration holding facilities. Where the detention of families cannot be avoided, family units should be made available.

  • in addition to schooling needs, adequate recreational activities should be made available to children, including options for participation in off-site programming.

  • appropriate medical and mental health services should be available to minors

  • when children are placed in alternate care arrangements, regular contact with detained parents

The Canadian Bar Association urges all governments to respect their international obligations under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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Profile

In Person – Jameela Jeeroburkhan

By CBA/ABC National June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

In Person – Jameela Jeeroburkhan

 

Jameela Jeeroburkhan is a partner at Dionne Schulze in Montreal, where she helps Indigenous clients navigate complex litigation and negotiates on their behalf with governments and industry. She is an executive committee member of the CBA’s National Aboriginal Law Section.

Who has had the biggest influence on you, and why?

My father was a journalist and my mother worked in international development. There was always a sense that my work was going to have some interest in social justice and activism. I ended up going into law, which isn’t political activism, but it is about advocacy.

I also had a high school history teacher, the late Bob Hamilton, who encouraged me to think critically about history and dominant historical narratives; medical anthropology professors at McGill University, such as Margaret Locke, inspired rigour in interdisciplinary studies, which led me from anthropology to law; and law professors Colleen Sheppard and Nicholas Kasirer at McGill, both of whom I am lucky to have worked for, influenced my approach to law. Many of my initial lessons in practice came from my articling principal, Peter W. Hutchins. He was a very patient and an encouraging teacher. 

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Big picture

Family disputes in Canada

By CBA/ABC National June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

Family disputes in Canada

 

Last May, Justice Minister Jody Raybould-Wilson introduced legislation that would overhaul Canada's divorce laws. The main thrust of the amendments is to place the best interest of the child at the forefront of resolving disputes, and emphasize parenting responsibilities after separation in less adversarial terms than the existing legislation does. New measures also aim to make the justice system more accessible by encouraging spouses to rely more on family-dispute resolution services instead of the courts. Here is a look at data collected by Statistics Canada’s Civil Court Survey (CCS), for 2016-2017, on cases at both the superior and provincial and territorial court levels. The figures are broken down into the type of family issue addressed in those cases.

For the full infographic, click here.

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CBA community

Welcoming new Board members

By CBA/ABC National June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

Welcoming new Board members

 

This year the CBA marks an important anniversary: 25 years ago it released a groundbreaking report on equality in the legal profession: Touchstones for Change: Equality, Diversity and Accountability. Chaired by Cecilia Johnstone and Jack Wagner, whose members included Bertha Wilson, the first woman appointed to the Supreme Court, the task force behind the report examined the role of women in the legal profession and the impact of discriminatory practices. While the report proposed 228 recommendations for achieving gender equality in the profession, it also addressed issues concerning Aboriginal women and women from other racialized groups.

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Creative licence

Winner of The Pitch 2018: Catherine Krow of Digitory Legal

By CBA/ABC National June 18, 2018 18 June 2018

Winner of The Pitch 2018: Catherine Krow of Digitory Legal

 

“Practising as a litigation lawyer, I realized that this profession – this industry – is evolving. And to succeed in this market I really believed that law firms would need to start examining how they do things, and adopt new technology. I found this exciting and saw a chance to do something new and different and focus less on the practice of law and more on the business of law.”

Catherine Krow, CEO and Founder of Digitory Legal

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