The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Mariane Gravelle

CBA Board of Directors Elections

CBA Board of Directors Elections

By Mariane Gravelle February 9, 2017 9 February 2017

The CBA wants YOU – to join its board of directors!

Regular CBA members who want to contribute to the evolution of a more member-centric CBA are encouraged to apply for election to its Board of Directors. Deadline is February 17, 2017.

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A busy year for trade lawyers in 2017

By Mariane Gravelle January 5, 2017 5 January 2017

A busy year for trade lawyers in 2017


The unequal distribution of benefits from globalization dominated much of world politics in 2016. The coming year will be a crucial one for trade law. 

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA):

Signed in 1994 by Canada, the United States and Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created the largest free trade area in the world. According to GAC, “The NAFTA, being the first comprehensive trade agreement of its type, has set a valuable example of the benefits of trade liberalization for the rest of the world.”

Spurred by PEOTUS Donald Trump’s protectionist trade agenda and his promise to bring jobs back to America, we might see NAFTA being reopened to negotiation in the near future, which may or may not be in the best interest of Mexico and Canada. Renegotiation of this agreement will impact all of Canada’s trade with the USA, and Canada’s economy as a whole. One of the trade goods we’ll be watching for is softwood lumber, which is vitally important to many regions in Canada.

according to their factum filed on appeal.

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Criminal law

US extraterritorial hacking warrants in effect

By Mariane Gravelle December 12, 2016 12 December 2016


As the landscape of our society has changed significantly with the advent of the internet, it should come as no surprise that an extensive amount of criminal activity takes place online. This poses new challenges to law enforcement agencies as the development of rules and regulations has not been as quick to evolve as technology has.

In April 2016, however, the Supreme Court of the United States approved changes to rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which came into effect last month, that allow law enforcement agencies to obtain search warrants that are enforceable in extraterritorial jurisdictions. Simply put, this will allow American law enforcement agencies to, amongst other things, hack into the computers of individuals located outside of the jurisdiction they operate in. These changes came into effect Thursday December 1st, 2016.

Of the changes, Motherboard contributor Joseph Cox writes

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Legal education

The LPP pilot project is extended for two additional licensing years

By Mariane Gravelle November 10, 2016 10 November 2016

On September 22nd, 2016, the Professional Development and Competence Committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada released its Report to Convocation, addressing the Pathways Pilot Project. In that report, the committee recommended ending the Law Practice Program following the completion of its third year (2016-2017) because it “[…]does not appear to be providing an alternative to articling that has gained acceptance by candidates and the profession and that is sustainable in the long term.” (Report to ConvocationSeptember 22, 2016, page 2)

Following the release of that report, the LSUC received “[…] 93 public submissions from individuals, plus 104 additional individual comments linked to a petition, and 32 from organizations, associations, legal clinics, law schools and others.” The overwhelming majority of these submissions argued in favour of retaining the program, citing – amongst other things – the lack of verifiable data to support the allegation of the creation of a two-tiered system, as well as their own positive experiences with the LPP.

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Advancing gender equality in the workplace

By Mariane Gravelle November 4, 2016 4 November 2016

Wednesday evening, capping an unseasonably warm Fall day in Ottawa, was an event hosted by the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) to formally launch their new bilingual, free, web-based Feminist Law Reform 101 course. The evening provided its many attendees with the opportunity to connect with like-minded people while offering them a look at this terrific new resource.  

In attendance at the event were newly-appointed Senator Kim Pate, Shirley E. Greenberg – who attended law school in the 1970s and has long been a trailblazer for the Women’s Rights movement – and The Honourable Patti Hajdu, Federal Minister of Status of Women. Both Greenberg and Hajdu addressed the crowd and recounted their – very inspiring – experiences of working in predominantly masculine fields. While Greenberg light-heartedly shared her hope that there were budding “rich women” present in the crowd who could, one day, finance Women’s Rights initiatives, Hajdu cautioned the audience that the fight for equality wasn’t yet over. She told of a few instances in which she and her female colleagues on the Hill experienced some differential treatment that was likely due to their gender. Though she vehemently assured the audience that her lived experiences did not stem from a place of unkindness, she did use those examples to highlight society’s underlying gender inequalities.

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