The Canadian Bar Association (CBA) is the essential ally and advocate of all members of the legal profession; it is the voice for all members of the profession and its primary purpose is to serve its members; it is the premier provider of personal and professional development and support to all members of the legal profession; it promotes fair justice systems, facilitates effective law reform, promotes equality in the legal profession and is devoted to the elimination of discrimination; the CBA is a leading edge organization committed to enhancing the professional and commercial interests of a diverse membership and to protecting the independence of the judiciary and the Bar.
The CBA is a professional, voluntary organization which was formed in 1896, and incorporated by a special act of Parliament on April 15, 1921. Today, the Association represents some 36,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers, and law students from across Canada. Approximately two-thirds of all practising lawyers in Canada belong to the CBA.
The mandate of the CBA is to:
- Improve the administration of justice;
- Improve and promote the knowledge, skills, ethical standards and well-being of members of the legal profession;
- Represent the legal profession on a national and international level;
- Promote the interests of the members of the CBA; and
- Promote equality in the profession.
Through the work of its sections, committees and task forces at both the national and branch levels, the CBA is seen as an important and objective voice on issues of significance to both the legal profession and the public. The CBA has branches in each of the provinces and territories.
The CBA is also affiliated with international associations, including the Commonwealth Law Association, International Bar Association and the Union internationale des avocate(e)s. Membership in these groups provides the Association with input on recent developments in the legal profession on a broad scale.
The Canadian Bar Association British Columbia Branch (CBABC) has been active in several initiatives on behalf of the legal profession in British Columbia. In particular we are working for change in these areas:
Read the CBABC’s many press releases and updates on our action, including the most recent issues here.
Read recent CBABC submissions on proposals by the Society of Notaries Public to expand notarial scope of practice here.
Public Confidence in the Justice System
The CBABC has joined with other agencies within the profession to begin to address the issue of public confidence in the justice system. Read the report, bibliography, resolution and backgrounder here.
Rural Education and Access to Lawyers
CBABC has received three-year funding from the Law Foundation of British Columbia to implement a program to attract law students and young lawyers to smaller communities in British Columbia. Read more.
Registered Retirement Savings Plans
On November 27, 2008, the BC Legislative Assembly passed the Economic Incentive and Stabilization Statutes Amendment Act, 2008 (Bill 45), which included protection for retirement savings as recommended by CBABC. Read more.
Social Services Tax
The CBABC has been relentless in calling for the repeal of the law that imposes this unfair tax on the citizens of British Columbia. Read the responses to the pre election question to candidates here.
The CBABC strongly believes that we can assist students and young lawyers by lobbying for the inclusion of the articling year as part of the repayment exemption time on student loans. Read our recent submission here. Read the CBABC 2010 Provincial Budget Submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Government
Access CBA and CBABC submissions to government and discussion papers.