Advocacy in Action | June 2023

CBABC is proud to be a driving force for our members in matters of law reform, policy and regulatory changes to the legal profession.

June 2023

Advocacy in Action | June 2023

CBABC is proud to be a driving force for our members in matters of law reform, policy and regulatory changes to the legal profession.

Our members’ input and influence has led to a flurry of consultations and advocacy wins this spring.

MONEY JUDGEMENT ENFORCEMENT ACT

We are pleased to see Bill 27, Money Judgement Enforcement Act brought forward, following a decade of advocacy. Our members who work for a successful outcome for their clients, have shared their frustration in not being able to collect judgements. This legislation offers an improved process.

PRESERVING LAWYERS’ INDEPENDENCE

Following our response to the Ministry of Attorney General’s Intentions Paper in November, we continue to push for the rule of law through the separation of the legal profession from government. An independent legal profession enables lawyers to contribute to law reform, increases confidence in the justice system and allows the judiciary to remain impartial.

In March, the Law Society asked the government to allow for the licensing of paralegals. CBABC is preparing submissions on the scope of practice for paralegals and notaries. Thank you to the Wills & Trusts lawyers for providing their views at the consultation.

Additionally, CBABC is deeply disappointed to see the BC government move forward with Bill 5, Public Service Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2023. In addition to the clear lack of understanding around public sector lawyers’ unique role, we remain very concerned about government actions that force any employee group to be part of a union not of their choosing. We continue to support our members within the BC Government Lawyers Association as they respond to these developments.

FUNDING OF THE BC FIRST NATIONS JUSTICE STRATEGY

CBABC commends the government on launching the new cross-ministry Indigenous Justice Secretariat and congratulates the newly appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Colleen Spier, KC who will lead this initiative.

This demonstrates further funding for the BC First Nations and M├ętis Justice Strategies, which we long advocated for through On Matters of Indigenous Justice, and Agenda for Justice 2021.

We look forward to engaging with the government and continuing to push for advancement of Indigenous justice matters.

REFORMING THE FAMILY LAW ACT

Several CBABC recommendations on modernizing the Family Law Act were reflected in Bill 17, the Family Law Amendment Act, 2023. These included: abolishing the presumption of transfer between spouses, providing special treatment to companion animals, and other provisions regarding pets’ care post-separation.

In anticipation of the government’s announcement of the next phase of reviewing the Family Law Act, our members are preparing submissions on the processes for judicial case conferences and section 211 reports. Our consultation to date has included ThoughtExchanges to gather members’ insights, as well as a series of well-attended roundtables with lawyers, psychologists, counsellors, social workers and judges on reducing costs and delay, and improving reporting consistency.