About Philip Palmer Law

Biographical Notes

philip palmer lawUpon graduating from McGill University and the University of New Brunswick (LLB 1978), I joined the firm that is now Cox Palmer, where I practiced corporate and commercial law in Saint John, New Brunswick.

In 1981, I joined the Canadian Department of Justice as counsel to the Department of Communications. From 1986 to 1992, I headed the legal services at the Department of Communications, and worked extensively on the development of theBroadcasting Act, the Telecommunications Act, the Radiocommunication Act, and worked on aspects of the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, as well as on the telecommunications provisions of NAFTA.

From 1992 to 1994, I headed the legal services to the Department of Indian Northern Affairs, providing advice on the Indian Act, self -government negotiations, the resolution of specific claims (those arising from alleged failure to abide by historic treaties and obligations), comprehensive claims (new treaty negotiations as in the British Columbia Treaty Negotiation process and northern treaties), as well as proposals for legislation to reform or replace portions of the Indian Act – particularly those dealing with lands and resources.

In 1995, I was seconded to the Immigration and Refugee Board, where I headed the legal services and was later simultaneously responsible for overseeing the implementation, within the Board, of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

From 2001 to 2005, I headed the Competition Law Division of the Department of Justice, which was responsible for both advising on competition issues, and litigating civil, administrative and criminal litigation arising under the Competition Act.

In 2006, I was intensively involved in the establishment of the new independent Office of Public Prosecutions, and ensuring that legal and administrative arrangements were in place to ensure the independence of the new department.

From late 2006 until my retirement in April 2012, I was a specialist practitioner at Industry Canada Legal Services. In this capacity, I oversaw the development of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (S.C. 2010, c.23) and the development of its regulations and the consequential amendments to the Telecommunications ActPrivacy ActCRTC Act and Competition Act. I also was engaged in the development of proposals for a new, more market-oriented, Spectrum Management Act.

Apart from by personal practice of law, I am a Senior Associate with Nordicity (http://www.nordicity.com), a respected telecommunications and internet consultancy.

Law-Related Interests

I was instrumental in the establishment, in 1997, of the International Association of Refugee Law Judges, which was formed to provide a forum for members of courts and tribunals to share their knowledge and expertise in refugee law determinations and procedures. I subsequently organised the 1998 conference of the Association in Ottawa, at which 51 countries were represented.

Through the years, I have spoken to legal and professional conferences on topics involving communications law, competition law, conflict of interest, and refugee law and practice. In addition, I have given my time to internal educational programs, both within Justice and throughout various client departments of government.

I have appeared before Parliamentary Committees on numerous occasions, most recently as a witness on Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL).

Professional Associations

  • Law Society of Upper Canada
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • American Bar Association

Contact Philip