October 2023 Newsletter: News from the BCLI!
October 26, 2023
BY Taja De Silva
20 Years of CCEL
The Canadian Center for Elder Law (CCEL) celebrates 20 years this year! We will be recognizing this milestone at the upcoming Canadian Elder Law Conference on November 9th. This bi-annual conference, hosted by CLEBC, is a great opportunity to learn about recent developments in law and practice around our aging population. You can learn more about this conference and register at the CLEBC website.
Our Renovate the Public Hearing Project is scheduled to enter the consultation phase this fall! Critics say current public-hearing requirements result in high costs, wasted time, low satisfaction, and sometimes trauma for those involved. Is there a better way to engage the public and reduce pre-development risk and barriers to housing? BCLI seeks to answer this question in the Renovate the Public Hearing Project. Our consultation paper will present options for improving public engagement on local-land-use bylaws.
BCLI was invited by the federal Department of Justice to submit comments on the Consolidated Working Draft of the Council of Europe Framework Convention on Artificial Intelligence, Human Rights, Democracy, and the Rule of Law. The invitation was part of a consultation to solicit views to support Canada’s participation as an Observer State in the treaty negotiations. BCLI provided a submission on the draft COE Framework Convention that was based in part on insights gained from our own AI project – we shared our Consultation Paper on Artificial Intelligence and Civil Liability in the submission.
On October 17th, Board member Julia Lawn and staff lawyer Megan Vis-Dunbar co-chaired the CLEBC Legal Research Conference on the role of AI and emerging technologies in law. The course brought together close to 70 lawyers, academics and members of the judiciary for an engaging day of learning and discussion on topics including the regulation of AI in the legal field, ethical concerns around the use of AI, and the impact of technology on access to justice. Speakers included BCLI Board member, Registrar Timothy Outerbridge from the BC Court of Appeal, who offered a perspective on areas where AI could potentially be beneficial to the work of the Court. The keynote address was delivered by Professor Abdi Aidid of the University of Toronto, who spoke to the promises and pitfalls of AI, and shared some practical insights to help mitigate risks. BCLI is grateful to the esteemed faculty who contributed to the success of this conference. For a view of one of the perspectives shared on the panel “Can the ChatBot Write My Factum? AI and Legal Research”, we invite you to check out Sarah Sutherland’s post on Slaw.
CCEL Director, Kelly Melnyk, and Staff Lawyer, Megan Vis-Dunbar, led two presentations on the Canadian Center for Elder Law’s Supporting Vulnerable Victims and Witnesses project. On September 19th, they connected with faculty at Thompson Rivers University and met with lawyers in Kamloops on September 20th. We are grateful to Courthouse Libraries BC for hosting us in Kamloops.