THE LEGAL EYE
Oct Vol. 9 No. 2
Allard on Ethics BY ERIC GAUF, LAW III At the opening of Allard Hall, Peter Allard was somewhat reluctant to step into the spotlight, but once there, he had very important things to say. His speech is available at http://bit.ly/qaUZb2 and is excerpted it below. He spoke particularly forcefully on the topic of ethics, and he was gracious enough to grant an interview to the Legal Eye. From the speech delivered at the opening Allard remarked: “It was during my time at UBC that I grew to appreciate how the law affected every aspect of our lives. On looking back over my many years in law, there was no more important class in my mind, than the first year course in ethics. “Honesty”, “integrity” and the unofficial “smell test” are the hallmarks of the Rule of Law, and with the Rule of Law comes justice. It fosters to this day a sense that the Rule of Law is, and should be, accessible to, and respectful of, every single human being. Many of you know or can expect that the practice of law can be a grind. I have deep respect for those who “do the grind” year in and year out in their ethical service to society. But I have an even greater respect for those who believe that buried deep within each legal strategy or decision must be a social contract and eq-
Photo taken at the Official Opening of Allard Hall by Zoe Si
uity that provides for the long term greater good in society, no matter how trivial the task, no matter how small the retainer. Our profession has more impact on our society than any other. When we do our job well, we see that the Rule of Law is upheld and we protect our clients, our neighbors and fellow citizens against the vagaries of unchecked abuses of power and corruption. If we didn’t do this, day in and day out, we would lose our freedom. It
Post-Riot Recommendations BY ALEX BLONDIN, LAW III In early September a third-party, investigative report commissioned to establish the reasons behind the downtown Vancouver riots following the Canucks’ Game 7 defeat during the Stanley Cup playoffs was released. This report proposed recommendations to avoid a repeat of these events – particularly because Vancouver prides itself on hosting several large public events for its residents throughout the year. One proposal, encouraged by Police Chief Jim Chu, is to establish “airport-style” screening at downtown-bound Skytrain stations on nights where such events would take place in the downtown core. This proposed screening would presumably take the form of bag and surface body-searches (pat-downs) and sobriety examinations to catch illicit alcohol and weapons. This proposed screening would be intended to deter intoxicated and/or armed persons from joining the festivities. The police chief explained that every Skytrain passenger would be subjected to these searches before boarding at downtown-bound skytrain stations, including those stops as far along the line as Scott Road in Surrey. Refusal to submit to the searches would bar an individual from boarding. Those with a basic understanding of Charter rights should have their red flags handy and raise them now.
The fundamental rules regulating searches and seizures, as derived from section 8 of the Charter, state that police may only perform a search upon a person where they have a reasonable suspicion to believe that that person has committed a crime. At this preliminary stage, only a pat-down search is allowed, and only insofar as to ensure officer safety (mainly, its purpose is to search for weapons). In order to search bags or inside otherwise inconspicuous pockets, police must make a formal arrest – which requires reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a crime was committed. In regards to the police chief ’s proposal, it must either be assume dthat (a) the police have a reasonable suspicion to believe that every
continued on page 2 In this issue:
Allard on Ethics by Eric Gauf... pages 1, 4, 8 Post-Riot Recommendations by Alex Blondin... pages 1, 2 Dennis Edney Lecture by Fathima Cader.. pages 3, 7 Dates to Remember... page 6 Typical Law Class by Alex Hudson... page 6 Goodbye Curtis Library by Christina Gray... page 5 Public Interest Opportunities by Tracy Wachmann... page 7
Photo by Christina Gray
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single passenger boarding a downtownbound train from every station as far back as those in Surrey has or is committing a crime, or (b) the police are given extraordinary powers in these specific circumstances that elevate their ability to conduct searches and seizures. It can’t reasonably be believed that the first option is in any way realistic, so the justification must be within the framework of the second option – particularly as we can see similar situations where this is already taking place. The Canada Border Services Agency, for example, has much broader powers of search and seizure than ordinary police. Consequently citizens crossing the border have less stringent Charter protection than in other places other than the border – an acceptable concession allowed under the Customs Act. Only reasonable grounds of suspicion are needed to perform searches and seizures, with more onerous searches requiring proportionally more suspicion. Closer to home, at events in Vancouver like the Davie Street Party during Pride week, police cordon off a section of the city at all but a few checkpoints, thereby controlling entry to this event. At these checkpoints, the police search bags before allowing entry. The Canadian Border Services Agency is empowered by strict national security laws and the Customs Act, and the Davie Street Party – while public – is fenced off and inaccessible but for the checkpoints. Only those people seeking to enter the
latter by the checkpoints are searched – while not every single person getting off at Yaletown, Granville, Burrard, or Waterfront Skytrain stations is searched. What justification exists to legitimize such an immensely broad increase of search and seizure powers? The riot report cites a need to control the number of people who attend open public events, and the impossibility of controlling the type of people who attend these events (those who are drunk, those who seek to distribute alcohol, those who aim to instigate riots, or those who pose a risk to public safety). While other alternatives were proposed, such as not holding any further major downtown public events which was an idea of the police chief, these were promptly turned down by Mayor Robertson. Also proposed was closing off large areas and using ticketed entry at checkpoints like the Davie Street Party. This proposal was written off as being unrealistic when handling Game 7-sized crowds of more than 150 000 people. Implementing and enforcing stricter public intoxication laws was also proposed, but again the problems raised were those of feasibility of enforcement for larger crowds. The sheer size of the crowds represents the main obstacle to any sort of arrangement to assure public order. With smaller crowds, an “unrealistic” option like checkpoints could be valid, rather than the proposed skytrain searches which not only violate Charter rights, but seem unnecessarily costly.
The riot report found that Vancouver hosts an average of 13 annual events that draws crowds of more than 100,000 people. It also concluded that the damages caused by the riots were an estimated 2 million dollars. It is safe to assume, however, that very few of these events would result in Game 7-style riots. However, for the purpose of some dirty calculations, let’s assume that one out of thirteen events results in such damages. I wonder how the $2 million per year damage claim fares in comparison to the cost of hiring police officers to man the city’s 47 Skytrain stations on those 13 nights, paying them to conduct at least 1.3 million illegal searches, and the legal costs from defending any subsequent lawsuits alleging Section 8 violations of the Charter. A quick Charter review for students: the second stage of the Oakes test requires that the Charter-breaching means chosen to achieve an important societal objective (in this case, illegal searches to assure public safety during large events) must be reasonable and demonstrably justified. There must be a rational connection to the objective, the means should impair a person’s rights as little as possible, and it must be proportional to the degree of intrusion of the Charter right. Broad spectrum bag-searches and pat-downs to every person boarding a train heading in the general direction of an event that said person may not even be going to, costing the city more money than the damage it prevents, can hardly be justified in this manner.
Dennis Edney Lecture Review BY FATHIMA CADER, LAW 3 “Human rights have a dysfunctional relationship with justice. The language is certainly beautiful, but it’s all dressed up with nowhere to go,” contended Dennis Edney at UBC Law on September 15. Edney worked from 2004 to 2011 on Omar Khadr’s defence against charges stemming from the 2002 death of a US soldier. Khadr is Canadian. He was 15 at the time. American forces interrogated him for three months in the US-operated Bagram Theatre Detention Facility in Afghanistan, before transferring him to Guantanamo Bay. He remains there. In 2005, Khadr’s chief Bagram interrogator, Sergeant Joshua Claus, was found guilty of offences relating to the routine torture and homicide of Bagram prisoners. Claus received a five-month prison sentence. In 2010, he testified at Khadr’s military trial. In April 2009, the Federal Court ruled Canada was complicit in the US’s torture of Khadr. It ordered Ottawa to seek his repatriation. The Federal Court of Appeal agreed. In 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Canada was violating Khadr’s human rights, but was not obliged to seek his repatriation. In October 2010, Khadr pled guilty in a military trial to terrorism-related offences, in exchange for Canada’s promise to repatriate him by October 2011 to serve the rest of his prison sentence in Canada. On September 20, the Conservatives tabled their controversial omnibus Bill C-10. It adds “additional criteria” to decisions about whether or not to transfer Canadian offenders to Canada to serve sentences. After the trial, Edney declared Khadr “would have confessed to anything, including the killing of John F. Kennedy, just to get out of this hellhole.” There are nearly 800 prisoners in Guantanamo. Only four have been charged and given a trial. Detainees cannot see evidence against them. “I went into Guantanamo Bay as a lawyer and I came out as a broken father,” said Edney at UBC. “I never thought that in my lifetime I would go to such an evil place and see such evil being done.” He drew special attention to three camps: Camps 5 and 6 are “designed for enhanced interrogation tac-
tics: torture” and said “We are not allowed to talk about [Camp 7]. We have prisoners in there who came from Europe, about a year and a half ago, and they’re going to be there forever, because there’s no one there to help.” Edney denounced Canada’s government for perpetuating a culture of fear in the camp’s defence. Edney stated that “there has always historically been terrorism,” which means “this war on terror – if allowed to be one – is unlike any other, because it is never-ending.” Accordingly, the last decade has been marred by “habeas corpus being abandoned, secret courts being created to hear secret evidence, guilt inferred by association, torture and rendition nakedly justified.” Edney noted that after 9-11 “the US government detained hundreds, if not thousands, of people of colour on the suspicion of terrorist activity, some of them up to a year, all without charges.” He pointed out that few were found to be connected with terrorism, but many are still being held without formal charges. Thus, Guantanamo “provides powerful evidence of how America and the West are making war on terror synonymous with the war on Islam. No white Anglo-Saxon goes to Guantanamo Bay. Any American picked up for terrorism offences gets due process in a federal court system in New York.”
“I went into Guantanamo Bay as a lawyer and I came out as a broken father”
One audience member suggested President Barrack Obama’s failure to realise his election promise to shut the camp down indicates it has a purpose. Edney responded that the camp primarily functions as “an important propaganda tool.” He said the Obama administration has in fact “systematised” the culture of torture normalised under George W. Bush’s administration by disallowing victims of extraordinary rendition from suing the US. Edney censured “lazy” media and academics for “slotting events into a sort of juicy clash of civilisations story,” as exemplified by coverage of Anders Behring Breivik’s
terrorist attack in Oslo, where he killed 69 people, avowedly to protect Europe from Muslims. Edney said that immediately “media organisations began reporting on jihadist organisations,” which “fit perfectly the story we have all been telling each other since 9/11 that who else, who else could be so hateful, so crazy, so disrespectful of life but Muslims.” He noted Breivik is a white Norwegian Christian, but “we don’t hold Christians or conservatives or liberals responsible for Brievek’s despicable acts.” Edney said that since 9/11, “race, ethnicity, and religion have become proxies for suspected terrorist activity, which in turn has become a pretext for the application of Canadian immigration laws in an unequal manner towards Arabs, South Asians, Muslims and so on.” In an apparent nod to Bill C-4, the anti-refugee bill that the Conservatives tabled in September despite widespread condemnation, he observed, “We just have to listen to media descriptions coming out of Ottawa when we talk about refugees today. We call them queue jumpers and potential terrorists.” Edney also criticised the public’s willingness to be lulled into complicity. He described the transfer of the prisoners to Guantanamo “hooded and shackled for transportation across the Atlantic” as reminiscent of eighteenth century slave ships. He insisted that “no knowledge of international humanitarian conventions is needed to understand that what was being witnessed was simply unlawful.” He also blamed public apathy for “allowing anti-Muslim sentiment to become part of our mainstream conversations.” He said, “I say to you we cannot tackle manifestations of intolerance, unless we learn and understand how
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4 (Continued from page 1) is more than eternal vigilance that is the price of freedom but a strong and moral judicial activism to enforce these concepts.” ERIC: Your speech raised the topic of ethics, and on that topic, is there a particular moment or instant that you are willing to speak about, that crystallized your thoughts? PETER: Every day, in dealing with clients, one is dealing with ethics. One early memory of an example relates to a lawyer at one of the firms I was practicing with, who was preparing mortgages and assignments for people who really didn’t need to go through a broker. I remember a retired teacher from Penticton who should have been paying a maximum of 8% per annum for a house with no debt who was being charged 16% and then our client would assign that mortgage and take their substantial fees or “lift” and not have to deal with the borrower again. After a short time, I advised the senior real estate lawyer involved that I refused to participate in processing these unconscionable loans and suffered his wrath and possible dismissal. I had one real estate client who came in with his son to prepare a will. The real estate client had given some property to his son and wanted the will prepared so that the property would revert back to him in the event of his son’s death. I told him at my office door, “I’m sorry, you can’t come in, it’s a rule of the Law Society that I have to take instruction from your son and him alone.” Oh, he was mad at me. You deal with these ethical issues every day. I might have paid for that, and lost some business, but I didn’t care, those were my ethical obligations. ERIC: Your twin brother poked his head in the door midanecdote, and there was a distinct note of amusement in your voice when you waved him off, saying, “I’m being interviewed.” PETER: That wasn’t so much amusement as it was a grimace as Chuck has been dealing with his own very real Canadian deregulation story and the misery that has gone with it. After a lengthy process at the CRTC in Ottawa, the Commission, under the late Charles Dalfen, in 2006 granted my brother’s company an English Pay Television License across Canada. Most of the major Broadcasting Distribution Undertakings ( BDU’s) either intervened or made their own license applications. The CRTC decided that the existing regional Pay Television licensees had had no competition for 30 odd years, and had become very profitable, and that Canadians needed more consumer choice and competition, required the usual promises to invest a percentage of revenues into Canadian programming with input from all provinces. The Commission did not grant a right to buy all programming but did order a “must carry” requirement to the BDU’s of 6 channels, including two HDTV channels. Rather than support the Commission’s desire to establish more consumer choice and work with the new licensee to provide that choice, the two existing regional licensees of pay television immediately set out to circumvent that decision by trying to tie up as much studio and programming exclusives as possible. Several BDU’s set out to frustrate and strangle the new licensee by delaying implementation of the “must carry” rules while trying to bleed a new licensee to death, contrary to their own registered (NYSE) Business Standards of Ethics and with their strong
Vol. 9, No. 2 October 2011 c/o 1822 East Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 http://faculty.law.ubc.ca/legaleye/ firstname.lastname@example.org Printed by Horizon Publications Press run: 900 copies The Legal Eye acknowledges the people of the Musqueam Nation on whose land we publish. The Legal Eye is published eight times a year during the academic year by law students at the University of British Columbia. Editorial Policies: “We’re irreverent but not rude.” The Legal Eye prioritizes articles written by UBC Law students, but others are welcome to contribute. We reserve the right not to publish materials we deem to be inappropriate and to edit for length and content.
Contributors Editors: Alex Boland, Camille Chilsolm, Christina Gray Copy Editors Camille Chilsolm, Christina Gray Contributors: Alex Blondin, Alex Hudson, Christina Gray, Eric Gauf, Fatima Cader, Tracy Wachmann, Zoe Si Web Master: Alex Boland Layout: Christina Gray Layout Design: Emma Tarswell President of Finance: Nora Bergh Logo: Holman Wang, Ting Sun
cash flows earned under their 30 plus years of quasi-monopolies. Several years later, Quebecor, which has a potential 750,000 English subscribers and made an application for the same English Pay Television license, has not had to carry this service due to a special Quebec French language provision. If Quebecor had received the license, no one has any doubt that the English speaking Montreal consumers would not only have had this service from day one but would have had it aggressively sold to them. The late Ted Rogers’ broadcasting legacy has to a great degree been dismantled to the benefit of other more profitable technological developments such as cellular and internet developments at the expense of the Broadcasting Act that allowed them over the years to flourish and lead technologically. Ted Rogers would be outraged if he saw that Bell and some of the telcos are outselling Rogers in the sale of broadcasting services as much as eight to one.
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5 Goodbye Curtis Library
Photo by Christina Gray
BY CHRISTINA GRAY, LAW II As school began in early September a cloud of dust began to settle around Allard Hall from the demolition of the old Curtis library. The demolishment of the old library marked the official “end of an era,” as class of 1999 alumni, Kyle Hyndman remarked. The George F. Curtis building opened its doors on September 17, 1976, after significant expansion and renovation of the original 1951 structure.. It’s rumored from former professor Ermeritus Donald MacDougall, that when the new law building opened students showed-up in prison uniforms to show their dismay for the Brutalist style building – a style that is more known for its architectural style at prisons. Le Corbusier coined the term Brutalism from the pouring of “raw concrete” to erect the foundation of post-war buildings. This type of building structure can be seen all over the UBC Campus, most notably Arthur Erickson’s Museum of Anthropology, which also opened in 1976. This style of architecture is known for having roots in socialist utopia philosophy. In the 1970s, the socialist discourse ran strong within Canada. The Federal Liberal government had a near-coalition with the NDP and pushed-through many socially progressive initiatives. This period also marked the opening of more buildings within already established universities as well as
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the constant use of fear pervades our everyday life, and how that fear is being used to influence how you and I think and how you and I act. It’s that same manipulation of fear that has allowed military escapades into countries beyond those who bombed the Twin Towers. It is that same message that has been exploited by participating countries to reduce civil liberties and infringe upon human rights by allowing such places as Guantanamo Bay to exist.”
many universities across Canada. It could be inferred that there was more public funding for education during this time period. In the 1970s, there were also higher enrollment to fund expansion of universities, as baby-boomers began their university education. The Curtis building reflected the need for the student body to expand within a new and more permanent structure. The Curtis building was also made to withstand the test of time. Second year law student, Andrew Guaglio, joked that “it’s not the cold war anymore, they don’t need to make buildings like that anymore”. The building resembled a large bomb shelter, and as demonstrated from the amount of time it has taken to dismantle the building, it certainly could have withstood an attack. Students, faculty, and staff could hear and see the thunderous drills from the high-reach excavators used to demolish the Curtis building. Over the course of the first few weeks of school, students from the UBC Law Review office on the fourth floor watched whole floors crumble. After a few week the construction team had taken down most of the structure, leaving rebar and the cement foundation left to be broken down. Students will no longer have to endure the coldest library oncampus, which made coffee tepid within a matter of minutes. The new UBC law library is a place where students can study their ratio ratio decidendi with coffee that will actually stay warm. Edney ended his lecture by reiterating the need for urgent action: “Not only does it [Guantanamo] continue to exist, they continue building it. Guantanamo is going to be there for a long, long time, unless you do something.” And that “the only crime equal to wilful inhumanity is the crime of indifference, the crime of silence, the crime of forgetting.”
6 TYPICAL LAW LECTURES
Dates to Remember “Choosing the Right to Choose: Roe v. Wade and the Legalization of Abortion in Taiwan” - Chao-Ju Chen Room 123 October 18 12:30 - 1:30 Exemplary Leadership: How Dispute Resolution Professionals Can Change Cultures - Professor Michelle LeBaron KPMG 9th floor, 777 Dunsmuir Street October 25 - 4:30 - 6:00 Update on McIvor v Canada Sharon McIvor Room 123 November 1 - 12:30 - 1:30
BY ALEX HUDSON, LAW II 9:00: Class begins. 9:03: Most students arrive. 9:04: Professor begins with historical background of case; Facebook experiences an unusual amount of traffic. 9:13: Latecomer makes himself extremely conspicuous in attempt to enter class inconspicuously. 9:24: News spreads that coffee and doughnuts will be distributed after class; impoverished student curses her Tim Hortons breakfast. 9:31: Professor casually slips in reference to clerking for a famous judge. 9:42: Student makes offensive comment. 9:43: General shock and dismay. 9:44: Other student responds with righteous indignation. 9:45: General shock and dismay. 9:46: Professor attempts valiantly to extract kernel of intelligent thought out of
student’s offensive comment. 9:47: General shock and dismay. 9:48: Professor cools tempers with amusing anecdote about clerking for a famous judge. 10:02: Professor discusses ratio of case; sound of typing reaches a deafening roar. 10:10: Professor discusses dissenting judgment; Mark Zuckerberg watches in impotent horror as overwhelmed Facebook servers collapse. 10: 16: Professor makes a mildly suggestive joke; class erupts in hysterical laughter. 10:17: Professor hopes this will finally earn him a chilli pepper on ratemyprofessors.com. 10:20: Class ends; students stampede towards doughnuts for fear there will only be gross maple ones left. 10:21: Professor frantically checks ratemyprofessors.com for chilli pepper. 10:22: General shock and dismay.
Public Interest Law Panel Discussion Room 121 November 1 - 12:30 - 1:30 No One Is Illegal - Harsha Walia, Room 123 November 8 - 12:30 - 1:30 “Law, Feminism and the Pursuit of Happiness” - Shirley Nakata Room 123 November 15 - 12:30 -1:30 How to be an Effective Hard Bargainer - 10 Lessons KPMG 9th floor, 777 Dunsmuir Street November 15 - 4:30 - 6:00 International Internships Seminar Room 121 November 24 - 12:30-1:30 Ethics Workshop with Lee Turnbull Moskowitz & Meredith LLP 777 Dunsmuir Street November 30 - 4:30 - 6:30 Incorporating Public Interest Into Private Practice Panel Discussion Room 104 January 19 - 12:30-1:30 Public Interest Summer Info Seminar Room 121 February 2 - 12:30-1:30 Social Justice Forum Law Courts Inn February 2 - 5:30-7:30
Public Interest Opportunities BY TRACY WACHMANN, CSO There are many opportunities at UBC Law for you to develop practice skills through volunteer and paid positions in public interest law. They are available whether you have come to law school with the desire to use your law degree to further social or environmental justice or if you plan to pursue a more traditional career path. Along the way you will be able to explore what type of work and practice settings you prefer and gain the satisfaction of providing help to clients and organizations who may not otherwise have the benefit of legal assistance. What is Public Interest Law? Public interest law can generally be described as legal work on behalf of individuals, groups and causes that are underserved. More specifically, it is work using legal skills that is intended to: secure justice for disadvantaged people and underserved communities; assert, protect and defend human rights, civil rights and civil liberties; preserve and protect and defend the world’s health and resources for the public good; or, promote the public’s interests protected by agencies or governments. Where is it Practised? There are many settings in which public interest law is practised that provide opportunities for you to gain experience. You may find yourself helping provide legal services to clients who cannot afford a lawyer in a legal aid clinic or direct service office such as the B.C. Centre for Elder Advocacy and Support. You may choose to work with an organization like West Coast Environmental Law or Atira Women’s Resource Society focusing on law reform efforts or advocating on behalf of a particular interest or disadvantaged community. There are also private practice law firms where the lawyers define a major portion of their work as serving the public interest. This includes lawyers practicing in areas such as union-side labour law, refugee and immigration law, Aboriginal rights, human rights and criminal defence. In addition,
there are opportunities for lawyers to be part of at a multitude of boards, agencies, commissions or international organizations. Opportunities to Gain Experience You can gain advocacy, research and drafting skills through participation in moots, many of which involve public interest issues. Working on one of the law journals at UBC will help you hone your research, legal analysis and writing skills. The following programs and courses offer opportunities for you to gain practical experience in a public interest setting. Public Interest Work Placement Program: Each year under this program, 6 paid summer positions are offered exclusively to UBC Law students with 6 different local and regional public interest organizations. The positions will be posted in February 2012 with hiring by the organizations completed by late March. Campus Community Service Programs: Pro Bono Students Canada-UBC: PBCSUBC offers placements with not-for-profit community organizations, public interest groups, lawyers and tribunals working in pursuit of the “common or public good.” The placements can involve direct work with clients, policy review and development, law reform research, drafting of submissions or public legal education literature, as well as developing and delivering public legal education seminars and much more. Placements are usually posted in September, but may arise throughout the academic year. For more information visit www.ubcpbsc.com or contact the Student Coordinators at pbsc. email@example.com or 604.822.8009. Law Students Legal Advice Program: LSLAP can give you practical exposure to real clients with real legal issues. You will learn how to interview clients, research the law, give advice, draft documents, negotiate with Crown Counsel and other lawyers, prepare for court or tribunal appearances and conduct trials and hearings. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that most LSLAP clients would not have received help without your efforts. For more information see the LSLAP website. Clinics and Externships: UBC Law’s
clinics offer the opportunity for you to gain credit for your public interest work while developing practice skills. First Nations Legal Clinic: This full-time clinic is located in Gastown and operates like a law firm, exclusively serving First Nations clients. Innocence Project: Through work on wrongful conviction files with designated supervising lawyers, you can develop valuable research, legal analysis, evidentiary and drafting skills. Criminal Clinic: This program provides students with an understanding of the procedures and skills required to practice criminal law through direct representation of clients under the supervision of a designated lawyer. Judicial Externship Program: Students serve as interns to judges of the BC Provincial Court, working on research, memoranda preparation, attendance at trial and other judicial processes, editing and other lawrelated tasks of assistance to the judiciary. LSLAP Credit Program: is available for students who have participated in a minimum number of LSLAP clinics per term as a volunteer clinician. Participants receive conduct of several major files over the academic year involving a trial, hearing or major submission under the supervision of LSLAP’s Supervising Lawyer. Assistance in Creating Your Own Opportunities: The CSO Public Interest Coordinator, Tracy Wachmann, is available to help you identify a public interest organization you would like to work for and assist you in creating a volunteer or paid position that will help you gain practical skills. Career Services Office Resources Also, look for UBC’s first Public Interest Legal Careers Guide; a comprehensive resource handbook which is full of practical suggestions, contact information and sample communications to assist you in building a public interest career, which will be released in October. Lastly, keep your eye on the Weekly Bulletin for more information on paid and volunteer public interest opportunities as well as upcoming CSO events and programming.
continued from page 4 The Conservative appointed Chairman of the CRTC (Konrad W. von Finckenstein) has appeared numerous times in the past few years before the Heritage Committee asking for much need ed powers to balance the needs of the consumer and protect the balance required in a competitive system. Is the strangling of a new licensee committed to Canadian programming and the consolidation of influence into fewer and fewer hands a positive thing for Canadians? Americans did not think so when they brought in anti-trust legislation and forced the divestiture of AT&T. On the one hand, you have the licensee being required by the CRTC to “must carry”, with all that implies and requires for balance and fairness, and on the other hand a BDU which insists that anyone doing business with them must sign a draconian affiliate agreement with them that legally forbids one to sue them no matter how offensive and anti-competitive the behaviour. The irony of this whole situation is that if Canada opened its borders to true broadcasting, cellular and internet competition, these BDU’s would be the first to send their lobbyists to Ottawa to prevent such a move. Many large corporations today with large cash flows will have several large law firms look at a matter for them simply to prevent the firms’ litigation teams from being retained to act against the corporations due to conflict of interest rules, thus reducing the number of competent litigators available to launch a fight. ERIC: You mentioned that when you were at law school there was a first year ethics class. One of the discussions the faculty is having is how to teach ethics, with the two opposing poles being a standalone ethics class, or attempting to fit ethics into most, if not all courses. Between the two, do you think there is a better path? PETER: After the opening ceremony an hour ago, I was speaking with a UBC professor on the issue of ethics, and Keith Mitchell of Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy, who graduated with me, came up and listened to that same question being posed to me. Keith was
adamant that “If you don’t have good sound judgment, it doesn’t matter if you practice law, or do anything else, you’ll never make money.” And judgment involves ethics and common sense. If you really want to be a good lawyer, you have to have a strong ethical background, because it’s involved in judgment. If you want to practice law, and be successful at it, people rely on your good moral judgment and good ethics-based decisions. This really means that ethics is at the heart of all courses that lawyers take and while there may be a stand alone course, ethics is an intrinsic part of every course taught in a law school.
ethics is at the heart of all courses that lawyers take
ERIC: When you’re speaking of ethics and morals, do you have a shortcut answer as to what that would mean to you? Do you draw from a religious background for morals and ethics? PETER: Fifty to 100 years ago, churches were our community centres for spiritual, social and physical issues. Institutions such as the YMCA still carry on these traditions and values but with less of the formality of institutionalized religious organizations. My mother registered my twin and I for Boy Scouts so I still have that sort of ethical feel for the principles embodied by the Boy Scouts, and by my parents, such as diligence, education, hard work, community involvement, respect for the elderly, etc. Anything that involves improving people’s lives over the long term is something that I think is worthy. Competition is critical for choices and so, I think, for me, the question that Canadians, Americans, and even Europeans have to ask is, are we here for the long term? Are we going to ensure and enforce checks and balances, to have choices and to have diversity in them, or are we going to sell everything we’ve got and leave the debt with the next generation? I am personally outraged when I see what we have allowed to be done to the next generation in terms of government debt, lack of choices, concentration of corporate power and lobbyists, and the resulting effect on our
daily lives, so much so that our elected officials have become completely neutralized. ERIC: That kind of shifts to the next two questions. One of the questions was about family which is, visibly, quite important to you. You have this and other philanthropic projects. What motivates you? PETER: Anything that sustains long term growth and stability and which respects human dignity and rights. The best projects seem to be those where the recipients respect their gifts by carrying out and exceeding their aims and goals to help others whether it is through education, health, community service etc. ERIC: Shifting topics, there is the statue (“Legends Begin” by Allan Houser) that you donated, and that Kari Streelasky (the Assistant Dean, External Relations) has said is a piece of work that you were quite attached to. PETER: Well, my attachment is to the story of the artist who created it and the exceptional quality of his work, not just “Legends Begin”, www.allanhouser.com. The native artist underscores how an individual can overcome adversity, nurture his passion and talents and spread his knowledge by teaching others. It is about doing the right thing for the long term good and following your passions and teaching those that come after you. Allan Houser’s works in general are classical/abstract with all the passion, spirit and endurance shown in the faces. ERIC: I think that’s probably it for questions, is there anything you’d like to add? PETER: My twin brother and I came from a background where if you knew something wasn’t right and stunk, you said something and tried to change it. I think like my father and my mother in a lot of respects. I have taken what I can from their strengths. They were, collectively, an inspiration to us. Some of the things that go on today, in business, our father would never do, and would never have allowed to be done. So, for me, it’s important that people understand that people rely on lawyers to have good judgment and a solid ethical background. I’d say, in BC, most of the lawyers I know are essentially ethical and respectful, but I’ve been places in the world where it isn’t like that at all, where it’s not about what’s right, it’s about making money. ERIC: Thank you.