Canadian Bar Association



The Canadian Bar Association (CBA), or Association du barreau canadien (ABC) in French, represents over 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers and law students from across Canada.


The Association's first Annual Meeting was held in
Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, second-most populous city in Canada and List of towns in Quebec, most populous city in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian ...
in 1896. However, the CBA has been in continuous existence in its present form since 1914. The Association was incorporated in 1921.


The CBA is a voluntary
bar association A bar association is a professional association of lawyers as generally organized in countries following the Anglo-American types of jurisprudence. The word bar is derived from the old English/European custom of using a physical railing to sep ...
for members of the legal profession; it is the voice of its members and its primary purpose is to serve its members; it is the premier provider of personal and professional development and support to members of the legal profession; it promotes fair justice systems, facilitates effective law reform, promotes equality in the legal profession and is devoted to the elimination of discrimination; the CBA is a leading edge organization committed to enhancing the professional and commercial interests of a diverse membership and to protecting the independence of the
judiciary The judiciary (also known as the judicial system, judicature, judicial branch, judiciative branch, and court or judiciary system) is the system of courts that adjudicates legal disputes/disagreements and interprets, defends, and applies the la ...
and the
bar Bar or BAR may refer to: Food and drink * Bar (establishment), selling alcoholic beverages * Candy bar * Chocolate bar Science and technology * Bar (river morphology), a deposit of sediment * Bar (tropical cyclone), a layer of cloud * Bar ...
. The Association advances its objectives through the work of its sections, committees, conferences and task forces at both the national and branch levels. It has branches in each of the provinces and three territories. Membership is voluntary in all but
New Brunswick New Brunswick (french: Nouveau-Brunswick, , locally ) is one of the thirteen provinces and territories of Canada. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and one of the four Atlantic provinces. It is the only province with both English and ...
, where by agreement with the law society, lawyers in the province belong to the national association. Approximately half of all practising lawyers in Canada belong to the Canadian Bar Association.


The national office of the Canadian Bar Association is located in
Ottawa Ottawa (, ; Canadian French: ) is the capital city of Canada. It is located at the confluence of the Ottawa River and the Rideau River in the southern portion of the province of Ontario. Ottawa borders Gatineau, Quebec, and forms the core ...
. With a staff of 80, the national office provides legislative monitoring and liaison (60 - 70 submissions are made federally each year), membership, continuing legal education, translation, meeting coordination, accounting, data processing, communications, printing, and professional services. The Association's website and databanks are administered by the national office. Policy decisions are made by Council which meets twice a year (February and August) and includes approximately 225 voting members representing the membership across Canada. The members of national Council elect the treasurer and the second vice president. The 32 national sections of the Canadian Bar Association provide a forum for development of individual specialties. These sections provide information to Association members on specific areas of law. Along with the standing committees, task forces and conferences, the sections offer individual lawyers an opportunity to keep up to date with current developments in the law and provides them with information through newsletters, the web and meetings. The Canadian Bar Association is also affiliated with several international associations, including the Commonwealth Lawyers Association,
International Bar Association The International Bar Association (IBA), founded in 1947, is a bar association of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. The IBA currently has a membership of more than 80,000 individual lawyers and 190 bar associat ...
, the Inter-American Bar Association and the
International Commission of Jurists The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is an international human rights non-governmental organization. It is a standing group of 60 eminent jurists—including senior judges, attorneys and academics—who work to develop national and inte ...
. The Association also maintains a strong liaison with the
American Bar Association The American Bar Association (ABA) is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States. Founded in 1878, the ABA's most important stated activities are the setting of aca ...
. Membership in these groups provides the Association with input on recent developments in the legal profession on a broad scale.



External links

Official website of Canadian Bar AssociationOntario Bar Association
{{Authority control Bar associations of Canada 1896 establishments in Ontario