July 21, 2020
2020 Bencher Election
For the first time in the Law Society’s history, the 2020 Bencher election will be conducted entirely online.

“While we had moved our online voting process to an online provider in 2014, we have found a number of refinements in our process to improve the experience for both voters and candidates,” says Elizabeth J. Osler, QC, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director. “Prior to the 2020 Bencher Election, candidates had to complete a paper nomination form and secure five signatures from active lawyers in Alberta to serve as nominators.”

“Considering the challenges of securing signatures and using paper forms during a period of social distancing, we found a way to use the Lawyer Portal to both collect and validate this information, saving candidates from having to manage this process.”

Key Election Dates:
  • August 13 - Official Notice of Election and opening of the candidate portal
  • September 16 - Deadline for receiving nominations
  • November 2 - Online voting information sent to all active lawyers entitled to vote
  • November 2-16 - Voting period
  • November 16 - Deadline to vote is 4:30 p.m. (MST).

Key to the fully-online election is the launch of the new Bencher Election website. The website is designed, in part, to help level the playing field for candidates, as it provides a single one-stop-shop for candidates, voters and other stakeholders for all materials related to the Election. Every candidate will have their own landing page on the site, using content they upload via a self-serve portal.

To ensure you receive important information regarding the election, please remember to update your email address using the Lawyer Portal. For more information on the Election, including details on how to run as a candidate, visit election.lawsociety.ab.ca.
Court of Queen's Bench Announcements

With the relaunch of Court sittings province-wide, the Emergency/Urgent Hearing Request process is now suspended. All parties are directed to the Court's Remote Regular (morning) Chambers announcement to schedule a Chambers application.

If a Chambers date is not available/appropriate, parties may continue to contact the local/regional Clerk's Office for assistance. Contact information is available here.

The Court of Queen’s Bench has launched a Restorative Justice Committee to study the possibility of creating a referral process for appropriate court matters to a restorative justice process (RJ). The Committee has received the advice and guidance of Justice Mandamin and Judge Ladouceur, both of whom have successfully introduced RJ programs in their Courts. Members of the committee consist of judges from Queen’s Bench and Provincial Court, Crown, defence counsel, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders in the community.

To read more about this initiative, please see the full Communiqué.