Closing Plenary Session Minutes 2006

Edmonton AB Aug. 20-24, 2006

Opening of Meeting

The President, Robin Finlayson, called the meeting to order.

Report from the Criminal Section

The Chair, Dean Sinclair, stated that the Criminal Section had a very productive week. On Sunday afternoon, the Section was presented with a report by the Senior Justice Canada delegate outlining the Criminal Law initiatives undertaken by the Federal Government in the last year. The Federal delegate focused on the work of the Uniform Law Conference that has made its way into legislative form in Criminal Law amendments. We heard that in Bill C-23 that has received first reading in the House of Commons, there are approximately 20 Criminal Law amendments that had been suggested by previous Uniform Law Conference resolutions of the Criminal Section. This was quite good to hear. In addition, the Section received presentations on a number of Criminal Law amendments that are in the planning stage dealing with Hybridization of Criminal Code Offences, and for many years, there have been various resolutions put forward by the Criminal Section suggesting changes in the Hybridization of Criminal Code Offences. So much of our work is continuing to be the focus efforts by Justice Canada officials.

Over the course of the week, jurisdictions presented 31 resolutions suggesting amendments to Criminal Law Statutes. They considered and debated all except one. Of the resolutions that were presented, 29 were carried, one was defeated and one was withdrawn after discussion. One was withdrawn before discussion.

There was a joint meeting with the Civil Section dealing with the Collateral Use of Crown Brief Disclosure, and a resolution flowing out of the discussion will be presented by the Chair of the Civil Section later on in the morning. On the criminal side, he has identified a number of people who are interested in working on that particular project. He will provide the names to the Executive Committee later.

The Working Group on Strangulation presented its report to the Criminal Section. This Working Group was concerned about whether there is a need to amend the Criminal Law to address that particular life threatening form of assault, a form of assault that often arises in the context of family violence cases. The Criminal Section considered the report and recommended that it be forwarded to the heads of prosecution for their consideration of the Working Group's recommendation to further train and to educate prosecutors on the issues surrounding that form of assault.

He was pleased to report that Michel Breton will be the Criminal Section Chair for the year 2006-2007 in Prince Edward Island. He commented that Michel Breton has been coming to the Criminal Section meetings for a number of years. His interventions are always very well thought out and that it was a real pleasure to have him as the next leader of the Criminal Section. The Nominating Committee for the Criminal Section selected unanimously that Nancy Irving, Senior Counsel with Justice Canada be the Nominated Chair for 2007-2008. He stated that, again, this was a great choice. Nancy has been attending the conference for many years and her contributions to the Section are first class.

In closing, he thanked Russell Getz, John Twohig, Robin Finlayson, Claudette Racette, Chris Curran and the other members of the Executive Committee for all their assistance during the past year in helping him to fulfil his responsibilities as Chair of the Criminal Section. He also thanked members of the Criminal Section Steering Committee for their advice and support. He expressed special thanks to Josh Hawks for all of the work he did on the Strangulation Working Group and in the course of the deliberations this week. Finally, he wanted to acknowledge the hard work of the Secretary to the Section, Stéphanie O'Connor from Justice Canada. Stéphanie goes above and beyond in making sure that the proceedings of the Criminal Section advance in a very efficient and effective manner. He also thanked senior delegates Catherine Kane, Earl Fruchtman and Daniel Grégoire who made his job very easy.

Next Annual Meeting

2020 Annual Meeting

Place to be Announced

August 9 – 13, 2020