Modern Advocacy

The Advocates' Society has established a Modern Advocacy Task Force to make recommendations for the reform of the Canadian justice system. The Task Force’s recommendations will seek to combine the best measures by which Canadian courts have adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic with other measures designed to ensure meaningful and substantive access to justice for the long term. The Task Force will deliver its final report in the Spring of 2021.

The Modern Advocacy Task Force is composed of a national group of members of The Advocates' Society's Board of Directors, 10+ Standing Committee, and Young Advocates' Standing Committee, with expertise in diverse areas of law. They will be guided by an advisory panel of some of the most respected jurists and counsel in our country, including former justices of the Supreme Court of Canada and current and former judges of provincial appellate courts.

For more information about the Task Force's mandate and composition, please see The Advocates' Society's press release about the Modern Advocacy Task Force in English and French.

In June 2020, The Lawyer's Daily interviewed Guy Pratte, TAS President, Peter Osborne, chair of the Task Force, and Katherine Kay, vice-chair of the Task Force, about the Task Force’s aims. Read the interview here.

Get Involved

The Modern Advocacy Task Force will be consulting extensively with stakeholders in the justice system to inform its final recommendations.

Virtual Town Halls

Seven different regions, one national conversation. Attend a virtual Town Hall and hear from, and share ideas with, Chief Justices, judges, and leaders of the bar. Your input will help the Task Force develop recommendations for ensuring meaningful and substantive access to justice over the long term. Registration is free of charge and open to members of The Advocates’ Society and non-member lawyers and judges. 

Town Hall dates, locations and registration information here: 

January 18, 2021
9:30 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. ET

Atlantic Canada
January 19, 2021
1:00 p m - 2:30 p.m. AT

January 20, 2021
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. MT

Thunder Bay/Northern Ontario
January 21, 2021
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. ET

January 22, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET

January 27, 2021
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET

British Columbia
January 28, 2021
9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. PT

If you are unable to attend the Town Hall in your region, you are welcome to attend another region’s Town Hall.

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The Right To Be Heard: The Future of Advocacy in Post-Pandemic Canada

On September 29, 2020, the Modern Advocacy Task Force held its inaugural event, a thought leadership symposium called The Right To Be Heard: The Future of Advocacy in Post-Pandemic Canada. The symposium brought together lawyers, judges, and academics in a variety of fields, to talk about the future of oral advocacy in Canadian courts.

Please see the symposium agenda here. You can view the recorded webcast of the Symposium at the following link, free of charge:


Members of the Modern Advocacy Task Force

Peter J. Osborne, Lenczner Slaght, Chair
Scott C. Hutchison, Henein Hutchison LLP, Vice-Chair
Katherine L. Kay, Stikeman Elliott LLP, Vice-Chair
Brian K. Awad, McInnes Cooper
Michael Bookman, Babin Bessner Spry LLP
Robin Clinker, Petrone & Partners
Andrew Faith, Polley Faith LLP
Steven G. Frankel, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
Sheila Gibb, Epstein Cole LLP
Kathleen Lickers, LSM, Barrister & Solicitor
Doug Mitchell, IMK S.e.n.c.r.l
Ken McEwan, Q.C., McEwan Partners LLP
Christine E. Mohr, Department of Justice
Anthony Moustacalis, Anthony Moustacalis & Associates
Lillian Ying Pan, Q.C., Dentons Canada LLP
Frédéric Plamondon, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt S.E.N.C.R.L./s.r.l.
Guy J. Pratte, Ad. E., LSM, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Owen M. Rees, Department of Justice
Alexandra K.W. Shelley, Torys LLP
Chloe Snider, Dentons Canada LLP
Sapna Thakker, Lax O'Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP
William Thompson, Addario Law Group
Maureen Whelton, Stevenson Whelton LLP
Adrienne Woodyard, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

Members of the Modern Advocacy Advisory Group

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C.
The Honourable Ian C. Binnie, C.C., Q.C.
The Honourable Thomas A. Cromwell, C.C.
The Honourable Marie Deschamps
The Honourable Clément Gascon
The Honourable John C. Major
The Honourable Marshall E. Rothstein, C.C., Q.C.
The Honourable Eleanore A. Cronk
The Honourable Constance Hunt
The Honourable John J.L. Hunter
The Honourable John I. Laskin
The Honourable Kathryn Neilson
The Honourable Dennis O'Connor, O.C., O.Ont., Q.C.
The Honourable Jamie W.S. Saunders
The Honourable Robert J. Sharpe
The Honourable Benjamin Zarnett
Sheila R. Block, LSM, ASM
Gérald R. Tremblay