2020 Annual Meeting Press Release
ULCC Concludes its 102st Annual Meeting
Ottawa, Ontario, August 19, 2020 – The Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC), a government-supported organization that works to modernize and harmonize federal, provincial and territorial laws and considers proposals to reform criminal laws, held its 102nd Annual Meeting from August 10-13, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this was the first ever Annual Meeting to be held virtually.
The ULCC is comprised of a Civil Section and a Criminal Section.
This week, the ULCC’s Civil Section approved in principle amendments to its Uniform Wills Act (2015) to allow for the making of electronic wills. It also approved in principle the Uniform Benevolent and Community Crowdfunding Act (2020). This Act modernizes the Uniform Informal Public Appeals Act (2011), an act adopted by Saskatchewan and which was relied upon by the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench to make payouts of funds raised for the victims of the 2018 Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
The Civil Section also received a report from the working group reviewing the Uniform Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act (1994) which sets out rules for where inter-provincial disputes could be litigated.
The Criminal Section considered and adopted the Final Report of the Working Group on telewarrants and received interim reports from working groups regarding the search warrant regime in section 487 of the Criminal Code and section 490 of the Criminal Code, which deals with the detention of seized property. The Criminal Section also had a timely and important discussion about the impact of COVID-19 on the criminal justice system, and considered possible solutions, including legislative amendments to the Criminal Code. It also considered the reflections and draft proposals of a Working Group looking into the scope of the Section’s mandate, in light of recent discussions that revealed different visions and perspectives on the question.
At a Joint Session of the Civil and Criminal Sections, the Uniform Non-consensual Disclosure of Intimate Images Act (2020) was approved in principle. This Act allows a victim who had an intimate image of themselves published without their consent to obtain a civil remedy, including through a new fast-track process.
The ULCC also adopted two statements of policy – one on diversity and inclusion and the other on the environment and the climate crisis. These statements of policy will be used to guide its work and operations in the future.
Delegates to the ULCC are legal experts appointed by 13 governments (the federal government, all 10 provincial governments and the governments of the Yukon and Nunavut). They include government lawyers, prosecutors, lawyers in private practice, members of the judiciary, law professors, notaries, and representatives from the Canadian Bar Association, the Barreau du Québec, the Chambre des notaires du Québec, the Indigenous Bar Association and Canadian law reform organizations. This year’s Annual Meeting saw a record number of participants, with 123 individuals registered, including the president of the United States Uniform Law Commission and, for the first time, the president of the European Law Institute.
The ULCC 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.
John Lee, President of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada