Annual Report 2016/2017

  • August 16, 2017

Submitted by Section Chair, Laurel Courtenay

Summary of Meetings

Number of Meetings Held:4

November 8, 2016
Guest Speaker: Andrea Hilland
Meeting Title/Topic: The Role of Lawyers in Implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action
Synopsis: It was a little over a year ago that the TRC issued its final report and call to action. In its wake, the Law Society has issued a formal statement encouraging all lawyers in B.C. to read the report, to take training in areas relating to Aboriginal issues, and to consider how they can better serve the Indigenous people of British Columbia. Andrea Hilland delivered a presentation aimed at illustrating the role of lawyers in implementing the truth and reconciliation commission’s calls to action.

December 6, 2016
Guest Speaker: Sean Vanderfluit
Meeting Title/Topic: Where there’s a Will there’s a Relative: Researching Genealogical Issues
Synopsis: Mr. Vanderfluit taught us some of the secrets to researching genealogical issues! Law and genealogy are two fields that share many concepts and practices. These include proof, evidence, research, logical reasoning, and ethics. Many genealogical resources exist because of the law. The law guides how genealogists obtain, use, and share genealogical materials and information. This presentation was a general commentary on the law and its relationship to and with the field of genealogy. It will look at how genealogists research, access, gather, analyze, and weigh evidence, bearing in mind how the law affects and informs those activities.

February 28, 2017
Guest Speakers: Susan MacFarlane, LL.B, Ph.D. and Margot Liechti - Lindsay LLP
Meeting Title/Topic: Becoming a Research Lawyer
Synopsis: This talk was a dialogue between a young lawyer seeking to develop a legal research practice and a more seasoned legal researcher. We identified and explored variations on legal research practice and the paths a young lawyer might take in developing such a practice.

May 16, 2017
Guest Speaker: Professor Margot Young
Meeting Title/Topic: Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Synopsis: Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is talked about less these days. This talk returned to the topic of equality rights under the Charter, bringing forward what we need to remember about jurisprudence under the section, arguing for what needs to change, and providing commentary on how features of the case law can be explained in light of larger normative systems. The Trinity Western University case is due for Supreme Court of Canada hearing this year and provides the foil for this discussion, engaging as the case does liberalism’s central tension between equality and liberty.

Comments and Observations of the Chair

This year the Legal Research Section hosted presentations that struck a balance between substantive law issues, such as Margot Young's presentation on s. 15 of the Charter, and research issues, such as Sean Vanderfluit's presentation on researching genealogy questions. We also had a presentation that provided a strong ethical component in Andrea Hilland's presentation on how lawyers can implement the TRC's call to action, and a presentation that provided practical information in Susan MacFarlane and Margot Liechti's dialogue for lawyers interested in becoming researchers.