August 14 , 2008 Quebec City QC
Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP), assisted human reproduction and warrants for taking DNA samples from unconscious victims were among the issues discussed this week at the 90th annual meeting of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, held in Quebec City.
"Quebec City has been an excellent location for our annual meeting," said Conference President Kathryn Sabo. "It has served to highlight the bilingual and bijural nature of the work our Conference and has allowed our delegates from the rest of Canada and guests from the international community to experience the warm hospitality of our hosts as Quebec celebrates its 400th anniversary."
During the week, the Conference completed its work on the UniformUnincorporated Nonprofit Associations Act and corresponding amendments to the Civil Code of Quebec that are now recommended to governments for adoption.
The Civil Section agreed to undertake preparation of a uniform act to address SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation) and approved continuation of its current work including fraudulent conveyances and preferences, personal property security and implementation of the UN Convention on Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit.
The Section discussed proposals for new work in several areas, including trusts reform, wills and successions, electronic communications in international contracts and discovery rules for electronic documents.
In the Criminal Section, the Conference considered more than35 resolutions recommending amendments to the Criminal Code and relatedstatutes, and 2 discussion papers - one on fines in lieu of forfeiture and the other on criminal interest rates.
Joint sessions of the Criminal and Civil Sections dealt with thecollateral use of crown brief disclosure, malicious prosecutions and identity theft.
The Conference sits in two sections, criminal and civil. The Criminal Section brings together policy makers and prosecutors from federal, provincial and territorial governments with defence counsel and judges to consider amendments to the Criminal Code and related statutes. The Civil Section assembles government policy lawyers, private lawyers and law reformers to consider areas in which federal, provincial and territorial laws would benefit from harmonization.
Many of the Conference's uniform acts and recommendations for criminallaw reform have been adopted into legislation across Canada.
As part of its efforts to coordinate harmonization of law with the work of similar bodies in the United States, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand, the Conference heard presentations from invited guests, Justice Martha L.W. Walters, President of the United States Uniform Law Commission, Dr. Jorge Sanchez Cordero, Director of the Mexican Uniform Law Centre, and Assistant Secretary Amanda Davies representing the Standing Committee of Attorneys General of Australia and New Zealand.The Uniform Law Conference is a volunteer organization consisting of commissioners from all areas of the legal community including private and corporate practice, criminal defence, academia, government and the judiciary. Approximately 100 commissioners attended this year's meeting.