Human rights lawyer new president of BC Branch of CBA

By John Chunn

Law360 Canada (September 1, 2022, 12:54 PM EDT) -- The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch (CBABC) announced that Aleem Bharmal starts his term as president for the 2022-23 term on Sept. 1.

According to the CBABC’s press release, Bharmal steps into this position of leadership during a time marked by transformation and modernization, both within the legal profession and justice system. 

“As we deal with the aftereffects of the pandemic, there is a valuable opportunity to advance both our courts and legislation to improve access to justice for all communities and citizens in B.C,” said Bharmal in the news release. “Within the justice system, the disparity between two sides when the vulnerable party is trying to seek justice is stark. The number of procedural hurdles that can be raised in our justice system, and the resulting level of time, persistence and energy expended to seek redress is significant.” 

A human rights lawyer working in the social justice sector whose legal career has made an impact serving vulnerable populations. Bharmal currently practises law at the Community Legal Services Association (CLAS) Human Rights Clinic, where he has practised for almost 20 years and served as executive director for 12.

“Aleem’s experience and perspective provides us with an opportunity to advance changes to make legal services more accessible,” Kerry L. Simmons, CBABC executive director, said in the news release.

Bharmal was recognized with the CBABC President’s Medal in 2016 and has served the CBA board of directors as chair of the National Equity Committee, CBABC board of directors as chair of the Access to Justice Committee, and Equality & Diversity Committee, among more. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2019.