Department of Justice Canada Conference 2020 

Sep. 17, 2020
Live Webinar BC


Presented by the Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Branch
in partnership with Department of Justice Canada

SEPTEMBER 17 & 24, 2020

(Two Half-Days)


The Canadian Bar Association BC Branch and the Department of Justice Canada BC Regional Office (BCRO) are pleased to jointly host this unique public law conference.

This annual event brings together private and government counsel to hear scholars, senior private practitioners, and senior government counsel share their perspectives on the latest developments and emerging trends in Crown law. The overall theme is the future of law with topics including diversity and inclusion, human rights law, access to justice and COVID-19, civility, class actions, and Aboriginal law and litigation.  Participants will leave this course with a review of recent and emerging case law, including relating to COVID-19, the impact of technology on the practice of public lawyers and other macro trends affecting the legal profession.

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada will kick off the first morning with a keynote presentation. For the second morning’s keynote, participants will hear from Christina Blacklaws, Past-President of the Law Society of England and Wales, and a champion of diversity and the use of technology to modernize the legal profession. Other distinguished speakers will be confirmed in the following weeks.

We look forward to having you join us for what promises to be engaging discussions on the challenges and opportunities facing public law practitioners today!


Registration Type Registration Fee
CBA Member $260 (+GST)
CBA Non-Member $650 (+GST)

 PDF Registration Form - CLICK HERE!


DAY 1: SEPTEMBER 17, 20209:30 am-12:30 pm

9:30 am-9:35 am | WELCOME
Sandra Weafer, Deputy Regional Director General, Justice Canada

9:35 am-10:05 am | KEYNOTE ADDRESS
The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Moderator: Sandra Weafer, Deputy Regional Director General, Justice Canada

The Minister discusses some of the challenges and opportunities posed by the pandemic on the justice system, including access to justice considerations and the work of the Action Committee on Court Operations in Response to COVID-19. There will be an opportunity to ask questions following the Minister’s initial remarks.

10:05 am-10:15 am | BREAK

10:15 am-11:15 am | Class Actions Against the Government: Lessons Learned and Looking Forward
Luciana Brasil, Partner, Branch McMaster, Vancouver, Professor Jasminka Kalajdzic, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, Lorne Lachance, Senior General Counsel, Department of Justice
Moderator: Banafsheh Sokhansanj, General Counsel, Department of Justice

Class action experts discuss developments and trends, including the legal, and practical, impacts of legislative change in BC and beyond, and of recent decisions in class actions for Charter damages and systemic negligence.

11:15 am-11:25 am | BREAK

11:25 am-12:25 pm | Top 10 Updates from 2020
Moderator: Sandra Weafer
, Deputy Regional Director General, Justice Canada

Cast your vote for the most important legal development of the past year!

12:25 pm-12:30 pm | CLOSING REMARKS


  DAY 2: SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
9:30 am-12:45 pm

9:30 am-9:35 am | WELCOME
Clare Jennings, CBABC 2020-2021 Vice-President, Crown Counsel – Victoria

9:35 am-10:05 am | KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Christina Blacklaws, Past President of the Law Society of England and Wales

10:05 am-10:15 am | BREAK

10:15 am-11:05 am | New Paradigms for the Justice System: Technology, Diversity and Inclusion
Panelists: Ena Chadha, Interim Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission, Professor Karen Eltis, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa, Joshua Sealy-Harrington, Lawyer at Power Law & doctoral student at Columbia Law School
Moderator: Brenda Carbonell, Director and General Counsel, Department of Justice, Vancouver, BC

Experts discuss how to create a more equitable and diverse post-COVID justice system, including the tools human rights law affords to address systemic discrimination, confronting racial bias within institutions, and how to avoid reinforcing existing prejudices as justice systems take on technological modernizations.

11:05 am-11:15 am | BREAK

11:15 am-12:05 pm | Developments in Aboriginal Law and Litigation
Anita Boscariol, Associate Counsel, Watson Goepel LLP, Vancouver, Debbie Chan, Senior Legal Counsel, Indigenous Legal Relations, BC Ministry of Attorney General
Moderator: Marnie Munro, Department of Justice, Vancouver, BC

Aboriginal law experts discuss legislative and jurisprudential developments and trends, in Aboriginal law and litigation, including UNDRIP, BC’s legislative efforts respecting its Declaration, and litigation trends on consultation and accommodation.

12:05 pm-12:15 pm | BREAK

12:15 pm-12:40 pm | In a Post-Groia World: Whither Civility?
Carolyn Anderson, Staff Lawyer, Investigations Monitoring and Enforcement, Law Society of British Columbia.

12:40 pm-12:45 pm | CLOSING REMARKS

Acknowledging First Nations Territories
This webinar is hosted by CBABC, which is located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam First Nations. We encourage our members to explore the rich history and knowledge of Indigenous people, and to continue learning about their experience in Canada, past and present.

Continuing Professional Development Accreditation
Attendance at this seminar will provide you with 5.50 CPD hours for the 2020 Law Society of BC reporting, including 2 hours of the ethics, professional responsibility and practice management component.

Registration for this conference includes both sessions.
There is no discount offered for attendance at one half-day session only.


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