Law Times

July 12, 2010

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TF: 1.888.781.9083 www.docudavit.com ocdavit_LT_June7_10.indd 1 $3.55 • Vol. 21, No. 23 6/4/10 9:22:44 AM Inside This Issue 3 Discipline Online 7 Stinking Debacle 9 Focus On Legal Specialists & Boutiques Quote of the week "If I go on a web site and I see all this colour and personal- ity, but when I walk into the offi ce and it's all bookcases and maybe some boring old pictures of judges or worse, pictures from Home Depot, then they're not portraying themselves as who they really are in the offi ce space." — Jo-Ann McCluskey, Joan of Art corporate art consultancy, See It's, page 5 Covering Ontario's Legal Scene Turn Crisis into Opportunity IFAccountant.com (416) 223-5991 ntitled-3 1 July 12, 2010 9/28/09 12:30:15 PM Clinic's racism complaint to go ahead Adjudicator refuses LAO's bid to dismiss agency's claims BY MICHAEL McKIERNAN Law Times n adjudicator with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has re- fused a request by Legal Aid Ontario to dismiss a long-standing racism complaint by the African Canadian Legal Clinic. Th e complaint dates back to a forensic A audit by LAO into the clinic's management in 2003. It alleges the government agency singled the clinic out for special treatment because its employees and clients are pre- dominantly black. LAO, which is the clinic's chief funder, argues that because it was merely exercising its mandatory oversight functions, the inves- tigative process didn't amount to a "service" under s. 1 of the Human Rights Code. But tribunal adjudicator Kaye Joachim disagreed in a recent ruling. "It appears to me that the LAO provides a service to legal aid clinics when it, among other things, reviews their compliance with the act, issues directions, and investigates al- legations of non-compliance," she wrote in an interim decision on the clinic's complaint. "Th e LAO's investigatory process, if con- ducted in a discriminatory manner, could amount to a violation of s. 1." In a separate interim ruling last month, Joachim also declined to remove two LAO executives from the proceedings. Th e audit began in April 2003 after a for- mer employee went to LAO with concerns Legal Aid Ontario excluded African Canadian Legal Clinic executive director Margaret Parsons during most of the audit, a human rights complaint alleges. about fi nancial and administrative misman- agement at the clinic. In October that year, audit results delivered to the clinic by LAO concluded many of the allegations were sub- stantiated. Although it made no allegations of fraud, the agency found the clinic had failed to re- port more than $400,000 in funding from sources other than LAO, including about $50,000 in "double funding" for identical projects from the now-defunct federal court challenges program. Some of the excess funds appeared "to have been utilized by the clinic to travel ex- tensively to attend numerous conferences, as See Ruling, page 4 come and gone, and so has a golden opportunity for Canada to ratify a key inter- national arbitration convention. Of course, that's not to say Critics slam Canada's record on arbitration deal T BY JULIUS MELNITZER For Law Times he G20 summit has Between States and Nationals of Other States. Canada didn't sign on until 2006. Constitutional law requires that the federal government and all provinces and territories enact implementing legislation before ICSID can take eff ect. In 2008, the federal government passed have passed the necessary legisla- tion. Observers believe the im- passe elsewhere is due in part to provincial resistance owing to the ongoing dispute over a national securities regulator. "Th e failure to [ratify] the convention perpetuates a vast, gaping hole in Canada's defences The failure to sign the convention perpetuates a vast, gaping hole in Canada's defences in the face of arbitrary measures against our companies by foreign governments. the International Centre for Set- tlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an arbitration arm of the World Bank, is a household word. It has been in existence since 1966 following the signing of the Convention on the Settle- ment of Investment Disputes the enabling legislation, which received Royal assent. However, it still hasn't issued the order-in- council to implement it because only four provinces, British Co- lumbia, Newfoundland and Lab- rador, Ontario, and Saskatche- wan, and one territory, Nunavut, in the face of arbitrary measures against our companies by foreign governments," says Barry Leon, an international arbitration law- yer at Ottawa's Perley-Robertson Hill & McDougall LLP. Th e ICSID convention cre- ates a widely accepted interna- tional method to settle disputes between investors and states. Signatories agree to abide by ar- bitral awards in such cases. Th ey can't appeal the awards to any country's courts and are subject to a limited review only by a sec- ond ICSID tribunal. So far, 156 nations have signed the accord, of which 145 have ratifi ed it. A country that hasn't both signed and ratifi ed ICSID can't take advantage of it and isn't bound by it. "By ratifying the convention, Canada would protect both in- ternational investment in Cana- da, making us a more attractive place for foreign investors and Canadians who invest abroad," Leon says. See This, page 4 THERE IS A DIFFERENCE RainMaker Group 110 Yonge Street, Suite 1101 Toronto, Ontario M5C 1T4 Untitled-5 1 Tel: 416-863-9543 Fax: 416-863-9757 www.rainmakergroup.ca www.lawtimesnews.com 3/23/10 11:35:15 AM Click here to subscribe today to LAW TIMES A. NEUMAN ASSOCIATES INC. 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