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Child Support Payments, Rule of Law in Kenya, and Access to Justice on the Agenda for CBA Mid-Winter Meeting Feb. 23-24

Child Support Payments, Rule of Law in Kenya, and Access to Justice on the Agenda for CBA Mid-Winter Meeting Feb. 23-24
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For Immediate Release
Feb. 14, 2008

OTTAWA – Recalculation services to ensure parents pay appropriate child support, a call for the rule of law in Kenya, and a panel discussion on access to justice by the middle class are among the highlights of the Canadian Bar Association’s 2008 Mid-Winter Meeting of Council in Yellowknife, Feb. 23-24.

“One of the biggest challenges facing our justice system today is access by Canadians from all walks of life,” says CBA National President Bernard Amyot of Montreal. “Our panel on Feb. 23 will analyze the situation specifically from the perspective of middle-income Canadians.”

Opening the Doors of Justice will be moderated by CBA National Vice-President Guy Joubert of Winnipeg.  Panelists include Justice John Vertes, Supreme Court of Northwest Territories; Judge Thérèse Alexander, Provincial Court of British Columbia; Justice Anne Mactavish, Federal Court of Canada; and Daphne Dumont, Q.C. of Charlottetown, a former president of the association. The panel takes place on Saturday morning, Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m.

CBA Council – the association’s decision and policy-making body – will debate policy resolutions during the course of the two-day meeting.  One deals with the post-election crisis in Kenya and calls on the government of that country to support the rule of law and to protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. 

Another resolution calls on all levels of government to ensure an accessible and inexpensive means exists to formalize adjustments to child support as family circumstances and income change. Projects are currently underway in several provinces.

“These recalculation services allow many parents to adjust child support annually without going to court,” says Robyn Elliott, of Halifax, who will put forward the resolution. “This is in the interests of children of separated or divorced families because it reduces the conflict between their parents and ensures they receive appropriate financial support from both.”

Also on the agenda, Northwest Territories Justice Minister Jackson Lafferty will address CBA members on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 8:45 a.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 21, a CBA Continuing Legal Education program, Standing at a Crossroads: How Are Indigenous Perspectives Influencing the Evolution of Canadian Law, will look at what the broader Canadian community is learning from its indigenous counterparts, and how these lessons are informing the evolution of Canadian law. The program takes place in Katimavik A/B, Explorer Hotel, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Council sessions, as well as the full-day program on aboriginal rights, are open to accredited media.  Council meetings also take place at the Explorer Hotel, in Katimavik A/B.

The Canadian Bar Association is dedicated to improvement in the law and the administration of justice. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.

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CONTACT:  Hannah Bernstein, Canadian Bar Association, Tel: (613) 237-2925, ext. 146; E-mail: hannahb@cba.org. Feb. 22-24: (867) 766-3080.

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