CLEBC Wins International Award for the Access to Justice for Children Conference

CLEBC Staff | August 10, 2016

 

The International Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) has awarded The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC (CLEBC) one of only 21 annual awards granted to competitors representing more than 300 organizations.

An Award for Outstanding Achievement was given to CLBEC for the Access to Justice for Children Conference: Law Practice and Children’s Human Rights in the Best Public Interest category.

ACLEA members are professionals in the fields of continuing legal education and legal publishing. Its annual ACLEA’s Best Awards are highly competitive and winning projects represent the highest level of achievement for the staff and volunteers involved.

About the Program

Identifying children’s concerns and providing remedies is an essential aspect of the professional legal obligation to commit to the “concept of equal justice for all” found in B.C.’s Code of Professional Conduct. Increased awareness and skill around representing children impacts all legal work because children are part of every family and society.

This program provided the foundation lawyers need to understand the nature of children’s legal rights, as well as the reality and complexity of the lives of children entitled to benefit from those rights. It linked that foundation to the daily work lawyers do, suggesting practical ways for lawyers to effectively work with children to identify breaches of their legal rights and to provide remedies for them.

Several of these speakers had powerful messages to impart regarding the experiences of real children and the relevance to practicing law. In “Young People’s Views on Justice: Their Lived Realities” seven First Nations youth stood together and told their stories of life as wards of the government. In “Overcoming Barriers”, a twelve year old transgender girl shared her story in her own words. The keynote speakers, a Canadian Senator and BC’s Representative for Children and Youth, spoke on international law and the BC experience.

Before this conference, there was no Canadian Bar Association Children’s Law Section in B.C. This program brought attention and support to the application for the section, which was subsequently approved and established.

Program Lawyer

Teresa Sheward – The Continuing Legal Education Society of BC, Vancouver

Course Chairs

The Honourable Donna J. Martinson, QC — Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Suzanne S. Williams — Brown Henderson Melbye, Victoria; Consultant, International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD), Victoria

Planning Committee

The Honourable Donna J. Martinson, QC — Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of BC, Vancouver
Dr. Nancy Bell — Researcher/Consultant, Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria, Victoria
David C. Dundee — Paul & Company, Kamloops
barbara findlay, QC — barbara findlay, QC Law Office, Vancouver
Arlene H. Henry, QC — Arlene H. Henry Law Corporation, Vancouver
Sarah J. Rauch — Rauch Darby & Company, Vancouver
Suzanne S. Williams — Brown Henderson Melbye, Victoria; Consultant, International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD), Victoria

Keynote Speakers

The Honourable Raynell Andreychuk, Senator for Saskatchewan — The Senate of Canada, Ottawa
Dr. Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond — BC's Representative for Children and Youth, Victoria

ACLEA formally presented the award to CLEBC at the Annual Meeting of ACLEA in Seattle, WA on August 2, 2016.