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Monday, December 16, 2013

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In this issue:
Federation Grants Preliminary Approval to BC Law School
Edmonton Weekly Criminal Duty Justice Pilot Project

Federation Grants Preliminary Approval to BC Law School

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has granted preliminary approval of Trinity Western University’s proposed law program. The official news release can be viewed here.

The Law Society of Alberta has carried out extensive work over the last several years with other law societies and the Federation to develop a uniform approach to the accreditation of common law degrees across Canada. Common national standards help protect the public by ensuring all Canadians can count on a consistent quality of legal service, no matter where the lawyer they use graduated from law school. National standards also support the mobility of lawyers across Canada. Accredited lawyers can move from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, confident that the years they invested in training for their profession will be recognized from province to province, and territory to territory.

As part of supporting this common national approach, the Law Society of Alberta has delegated to the Federation the authority to approve Canadian common law degrees.

Trinity Western University (TWU) is a Christian faith-based university in Langley, British Columbia that was granted status as a university by the Government of British Columbia in 1985. TWU requires faculty, students, and staff to sign and abide by a “Community Covenant” that among other things, requests a commitment to refrain from same-sex intimacy.

No matter where a lawyer is educated, what law school they graduate from, or what their personal, political or religious beliefs are – every lawyer is bound by a duty to uphold the Rule of Law, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and human rights legislation and adhere to our Code of Conduct that prohibits lawyers from discriminating in their professional duties.

Questions about the Federation decision can be directed to


Edmonton Weekly Criminal Duty Justice Pilot Project

Effective January 6, 2014, the Court of Queen's Bench will appoint a criminal duty justice on a weekly basis to handle all non-trial criminal matters in Edmonton. This initiative is a pilot project in Edmonton only. The Criminal Duty Justice will handle bail reviews, pre-trial conferences, jury selection, summary conviction appeals, QBAC (Queen's Bench Appearance Court), detention reviews, bail forfeitures and summary disposition hearings. The introduction of this new position will not affect the way the Court deals with trial matters. View full notice here.


CBA Limited Scope Retainer Report

The CBA’s Limited Scope Retainer report is now available online. Law Society Benchers Kevin Feth, QC, Rob Harvie, QC, Anne Kirker, QC and Practice Advisor, Nancy Carruthers have contributed to the report.


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Law Society of Alberta
Calgary Office
Suite 500, 919 11th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1P3
Phone: 403-229-4700

Edmonton Office
Suite 800, Bell Tower
10104-103 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0H8
Phone: 780-429-3343

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