2022 Annual Meeting Press Release
UNIFORM LAW CONFERENCE OF CANADA
CONFÉRENCE POUR L’HARMONISATION DES LOIS AU CANADA
2022 Annual Meeting Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ULCC CONCLUDES ITS 104th ANNUAL MEETING
Edmonton, Alberta, August 2022 – 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 104th Annual Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta, from August 15 to 19, 2022. This was the ULCC’s first in-person annual meeting since 2019. Meetings in 2020 and 2021 were held virtually due to the global pandemic.
The ULCC is comprised of a Civil Section and a Criminal Section.
This week, the ULCC’s Civil Section approved in principle the Uniform Gratuitous Crowdfunding Act - the civil law version of the Uniform Benevolent and Community Crowdfunding Act adopted by the Section in 2020.
The Civil Section received interim reports on four projects: Reform of General Partnership Law/Joint Ventures; Charitable Organizations; Defamation Law in the Internet Age; and Uniform Enforcement of Canadian Judgments and Decrees Act projects. It also received a preliminary report examining the possible implementation of the Hague Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil or Commercial Matters (2019) by common law jurisdictions. In addition, it received a report from Justice Canada on its activities in the field of private international law. Representatives of the United States Uniform Law Commission and the European Law Institute also reported on their organization’s projects.
The Civil Section also welcomed reports from several jurisdictions on the enactment by their legislatures of uniform acts adopted by the ULCC. It was pleased to hear that during the past few years, provincial and territorial governments have enacted or are actively considering enacting nearly 30 uniform acts. Delegates emphasized that legislators value the high quality and nonpartisan work of the ULCC and the benefits of harmonized laws.
The Criminal Section debated and voted on proposals to reform Canadian criminal law by amending the Criminal Code and related statutes. It considered 24 resolutions relating to a wide variety of criminal justice issues, including “sextortion”, the theft of service animals, the tertiary ground for bail, as well as the treatment of data seized within the context of a criminal investigation and prosecution. The Criminal Section also received status reports from several working groups including the working group on section 672.26 of the Criminal Code involving juries and the determination of fitness to stand trial, the working group on search warrant regime under section 487 of the Criminal Code, and the working group on technology in the courtroom. Additionally, the working group on the detention of seized property under section 490 of the Criminal Code was revitalized and reconstituted.
Finally, the Criminal Section was joined by the Civil Section for the Earl Fruchtman Memorial Seminar. This year’s seminar was a presentation on the topic of the Alberta Courts’ Restorative Justice Pilot Project provided by retired Federal Court Justice Tony Mandamin, IPC, Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anna Loparco, Deputy Chief Judge Joanne Durant, and Judge Michelle Christopher of the Provincial Court of Alberta.
At a joint session of the Civil and Criminal Sections, the Diversity and Inclusion Committee presented the results of a demographic survey of ULCC delegates that had been conducted following the 2021 Annual Meeting.
Delegates to the ULCC are legal experts invited by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. This year, they included government lawyers, prosecutors, lawyers in private practice, members of the judiciary, law professors, and representatives from the Canadian Bar Association, the Barreau du Québec, and Canadian law reform organizations. Approximately 80 participants were in attendance for this year’s Annual Meeting, including the Immediate Past President and the Executive Committee Chair of the United States Uniform Law Commission, and 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 proposals. Those recommendations have often been enacted into law by federal, provincial and territorial governments.