Canadian Bar Association

Canadian Bar Association represents over 35 000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers, and law students from across Canada. An Association that represents Canadian jurists both nationally and internationally, it is dedicated to the following purposes: to improve the law; to improve the administration of justice; to promote access to justice; to promote equality in the profession and justice system; to improve the knowledge, skills, ethical standards and well-being of members of the legal profession; to represent the legal profession nationally and internationally; and to promote the interests of members of the CBA.

The association advances these objectives through the work of its sections, committees and task forces at both the national and branch levels. The CBA has branches in each of the provinces and territories. Membership is voluntary in all but British Columbia and New Brunswick, where by agreement with the law societies, lawyers must belong to the national association. Approximately two-thirds of all practising lawyers in Canada belong to the CBA.

Founded in 1914, the CBA held its first meeting in 1915. The association was incorporated in 1921.

The CBA national office is located in Ottawa. With a staff of 50, the national office provides legislative monitoring and liaison, membership, continuing legal education, translation, meeting co-ordination, accounting, data processing, group insurance, communications and printing, and professional services.

Policy decisions are made by council which meets twice a year and includes approximately 500 members representing various levels of the association. The members of national council elect the treasurer and vice-president.

The 28 sections of the CBA provide a forum for development of individual specialties. These sections provide information to association members on specific areas of law. Along with the standing committees, task forces and conferences, the sections offer the individual lawyer an opportunity to keep up to date with current developments in the law and to provide the means for the advancement of the profession.

The CBA is also affiliated with international associations, including the Commonwealth Bar Association, International Bar Association and the Union internationale des avocat(e)s. Membership in these groups provides the association with input on recent developments in the legal profession on a broad scale.