Feature Blogger: Reché McKeague
The Uniform Law Conference of Canada (ULCC) is a national organization that promotes uniformity of legislation among the provinces and territories. It has met annually since 1918. The ULCC comprises delegates from each of the provincial and territorial governments, the federal government, law reform agencies, the Canadian Bar Association, and other interested parties. It is divided into three sections: civil, criminal, and drafting. This post will focus on the work of the civil section, as that is the section to which I belong and am most familiar.
The ULCC recommends uniform legislation to be adopted by each of the provinces and territories. It relies on its delegates from each jurisdiction to encourage their governments to adopt the Uniform Acts, but the governments are not bound to do so. The ULCC may recommend uniform legislation in subjects covered by existing legislation, or it may recommend uniform legislation before any legislature has dealt with the subject.
Once adopted, Uniform Acts represent the policy proposed by the ULCC to be implemented in the provinces and territories. The Uniform Acts include commentary, explaining how the Act works and the reasoning behind the policy decisions. The ULCC website lists its Uniform Acts as:
Most of the pages for the individual Current Uniform Acts, as well as some of the Older Uniform Acts, include links to the working group progress reports presented to the ULCC as the Uniform Act was being developed. These reports provide further insight into the concerns raised throughout the development of the Act, and how those concerns were addressed.
All of these documents can be valuable sources of research when you are considering legislation, its development, its purpose, and its reform. To search, Uniform Acts are listed by name in each of the groupings listed above. Current projects, which have not yet resulted in a Uniform Act, are listed on the Civil Section page, with links to the project page and reports. You may also want to visit the Annual Meetings page, and click on the ‘Civil Section Documents’ link to see the reports presented each year, and the ‘Civil Section Minutes’ to see what was discussed and decided on each project that year. A ‘Civil Section Resolutions’ link is also available, if you are only interested in the decisions.
The website includes a search function, but I have not found it to be reliable. It does not appear to search the text of each document, and so you may miss relevant sources if the search term does not appear in the source title. I recommend following the steps above, in addition to a search, to find what you are looking for. A number of implementation tables are also available:
I hope that you take some time to explore the Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s website, and the great work that they do. Let us know what you think in the comments.