WeirFoulds partner, and Law Society of Upper Canada Bencher, Raj Anand discusses concerns raised about the Law Society’s requirement that lawyers adopt and abide by the Statement of Principles. (Recommendation 3(1) in the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group’s Final Report)
This recommendation encourages each legal professional to acknowledge their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.
The Canadian Lawyer Magazine article says that, Bencher Joe Groia filed a motion requesting conscientious objectors be exempt from the requirement, which obliges every lawyer and paralegal in Ontario to adopt a statement acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
Bencher Raj Anand says the words in the requirement reflect existing obligations under the Human Rights Code and the Law Society’s Rules of Professional Conduct, which hold lawyers have a “special responsibility” to advance equality.
“I am not surprised that we have heard from a small but vocal segment of the legal profession and other commentators about the words I am proud to have drafted and insisted upon, and which passed after a healthy debate at Convocation,” says Anand, who is a co-chairman of the Law Society’s Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group.
Anand says the Law Society is concerned with lawyers’ actions and not their beliefs.
To read the article, “LSUC to consider statement of principles exemption“, please click here.