Our top 10 articles in 2017

By CBA/ABC National December 20, 201720 December 2017

Our top 10 articles in 2017


2017 was a year of (albeit slow) advances.  The Transgender Rights bill is finally law.  There are skeptics, no doubt, but hopefully Canada will make further progress in upholding Indigenous rights not that it has decided to implement UNDRIP. And the #MeToo Movement gave women worldwide a voice. Meanwhile, the judicial system in this country felt the true weight of the SCC’s Jordan ruling. Canada said goodbye to its longest serving Chief Justice, and welcomed a new one. As the Trump administration tried to tighten legal immigration, Canada sought to make its policies less restrictive. Canada’s free-trade deal with Europe is now provisionally in force, while efforts to save NAFTA are still under way. On the business front, everyone talking about AI suddenly got distracted by blockchain. And on the regulatory side, the Law Society of Upper Canada finally decided to change its name, and then created controversy over diversity in the profession. 

Here are the articles in 2017 that caught our readers’ attention.

1. Her way: Profile of a transgender lawyer

By Beverley Spencer

She was the first lawyer to transition in a major Montreal law firm. For Marie Laure Leclercq, it was a matter of survival.

2. The Court after McLachlin

By Doug Beazley

It is difficult to imagine a Supreme Court of Canada without Beverley McLachlin. For 17 years, she was the court’s rudder, steadying 
it in choppy legal waters. So what happens after she’s gone?

3. Decolonizing the Indian Act

By Doug Beazley

No one loves the Indian Act, but no one quite seems to know what to do with it. The law was designed to absorb Indigenous People into broader Canadian society over time – first by defining who qualified as an ‘Indian’ (through a registry of ‘status Indians’) and then by establishing the on-reserve band system that allows the Crown to control their movement, their economic activity and their legal rights.

4. Blockchain for in-house counsel

By Julie Sobowale

Jillian Friedman fell into the Bitcoin world three years ago. After finishing her articles, she started taking notice of the cryptocurrency and began working with the Bitcoin Embassy in early 2014.

5. Law firm partnership: In name only?

By Yves Faguy

The law firm partnership model has been at the heart of the legal profession’s prosperity for much of the last century. But after decades of enviable growth, it is showing signs of wear. Now, as the legal industry faces major challenges on several fronts, the question is whether it can evolve with the times.

6. The Law Society of Upper Canada should stick to its statutory knitting

By Léonid Sirota

Whatever one might think of the merits and constitutionality of requiring lawyers not only to comply with their obligations under human rights legislation but also to promote some of the values underpinning such legislation, such requirements, if they are to exist, must be authorized by the legislation governing the regulation of the legal profession.

7. Key parts of citizenship revocation process struck down

By Justin Ling

The Federal Court just beat Justin Trudeau to the punch. In a ruling yesterday, the court found that three provisions in the Citizenship Act were unconstitutional and denied Canadian citizens the right to due process afforded to them under the Canadian Bill of Rights.

8. Pet custody: No laughing matter when it comes to women’s equality

By Kerri Froc

In Henderson, the husband framed his application as an “interim exclusive possession order” for either one of two family dogs, named Willow and Kenya.  Justice Danyliuk ruled that “for legal purposes, there can be no doubt: Dogs are property” and child custody principles cannot apply to them. 

9. Will the Jordan ruling speed up reform of our justice system?

By Doug Beazley

Back in March — less than a year after the Supreme Court of Canada rolled a live grenade into the nation’s courtrooms with its ruling on R v. Jordan — someone asked Eric Gottardi what he thought the long-term fallout from the decision would be. “I still don’t know what to think of it,” he said. “Whether they’re right or wrong, time will be the judge of that.”

10. The $4 trillion question

By Agnese Smith

Economists will tell you that trust is necessary for a stable economy. So what are we to make of growing concerns about what businesses do with the personal data of internet users?

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