2014 Annual Meeting Press Release
ULCC adopts Uniform Acts, Concludes 96th Annual Conference
Toronto, ON – Legislation aimed at assisting missing persons investigations, new rules for ensuring plans for financial and healthcare management are recognized as people move across borders, new rules to increase ways to safeguard seniors against financial abuse, and interprovincial execution of criminal warrants, orders and authorizations were some of the issues considered this week by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, a government-supported organization that works to modernize and harmonize federal, provincial and territorial laws and considers proposals to reform criminal laws.
During its annual meeting this week in Toronto, the Conference adopted in principle several Uniform Acts including:
- Uniform Missing Persons Act. If adopted by governments, the Act establishes a process to allow police agencies access to information needed for missing person investigations which do not necessarily involve criminal allegations;
- Uniform Act on Interjurisdictional Recognition of Substitute Decision-Making Documents which is intended to ensure that plans for financial and healthcare management will not be upset if the individual moves to another jurisdiction. The Conference has worked closely with its American counterpart, the Uniform Law Commission on this project and similar legislation was adopted by the American Commission earlier this summer;
- Uniform Wills Act.
The Conference completed Phase 1 of a project intended to support a harmonized approach to elder financial abuse in Powers of Attorney Legislation. This project was undertaken with the support of Employment and Social Development Canada and aims to put in place safeguards to help prevent financial abuse of seniors.
Delegates reviewed a new project on domestic arbitration and continued their work on a Uniform Commercial Tenancies Act; updates to the Uniform Vital Statistics Act; Enforcement of Extra-provincial Search Warrants; and Uniform Rules on Service in other Contracting States to the Hague Convention on the Service of Documents Abroad.
The Conference’s Criminal Law Section debates and votes on proposals to amend the Criminal Code and related statutes. This week it considered over twenty resolutions or proposals relating to issues such as the right of young persons facing the possibility of a sentence of 5 years or more to have a jury trial and the need for a review of the infanticide provisions of the Criminal Code.
Delegates to the Uniform Law Conference of Canada are legal experts appointed by the 14 member governments (federal, 10 provincial, three territorial). They include members of the judiciary, law professors, corporate counsel, private lawyers and government lawyers. Approximately 75 delegates attended this year’s meeting, including the President and members of the executive of the United States Uniform Law Commission. The Uniform Law Conference of Canada was founded in 1918 and over the years has recommended the implementation of numerous Uniform Acts and other law reform initiatives. Those recommendations have often been enacted into law by federal, provincial and territorial governments.
Lynn Romeo, Conference President