August 25, 2005 St. John's NF
The national conference bringing senior Canadian law and policy makers together to harmonize federal, provincial and territorial laws finishes up in St. John's today.
Justice Minister Tom Marshall addressed the conference and said it was an honour and a pleasure to discuss uniformity in Canadian law with commissioners from Mexico, the United States and Canada. "A tremendous amount of work was accomplished over five days and from all accounts the 87th Annual Meeting of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada was a complete success," said Minister Marshall.
During the week, the Conference completed its work on four uniform acts that are now recommended to Canadian governments for adoption, relating to conduct of franchises, charitable fundraising, limitations and international commercial mediation. Amendments to existing uniform enforcement statutes to better facilitate inter-jurisdictional recognition and enforcement of civil protection orders were considered. Civil protection orders are issued in domestic relationships to prevent harassment and domestic violence. Completions of the amendments are expected to occur later this year.
In addition, the Conference considered more than 40 resolutions recommending amendments to the Criminal Code and related statutes and two discussion papers - one on the defence elections following direct indictment and the other on continuation of probation orders.
The Conference sits in two sections, criminal and civil. The Criminal Section assembles 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. A key area of their work is the Commercial Law Strategy, the goal of which is to modernize and harmonize Canada's commercial laws.
The Civil Section approved continuation of its current work relating to Forms of Business Association, Interjurisdictional Class Actions, Trade Secrets, Faith Based Family Arbitration, the United Nations Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade and the implementation of the Hague Securities Convention.
In a combined session the criminal and civil sections reviewed the Federal consultation document concerning the establishment of a DNA Missing Persons Index which will be used to identify anonymous human remains.
Many of the Conference's uniform acts and recommendations for criminal law reform have been adopted into legislation.
Minister Marshall said, "Newfoundland and Labrador has a history of implementing uniform acts in a timely manner and will continue to benefit from the work of the Conference in the future."
"I would like to thank all the delegates for traveling to Newfoundland and Labrador to attend this year's conference," added Minister Marshall. "I would also like to recognize the efforts of the organizers and volunteers who made this years Uniform Law Conference of Canada very successful."The annual Uniform Law Conference of Canada was held from August 21st - 25th in St. John's, NL. The 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 Conference.