Ontario lawyers/paralegals: Indicate your objection to the Law Society demands (confidentiality ensured) at http://bit.ly/2xuZKOj. Please forward this video URL to your colleagues.
Concerned non-lawyers, please contact the Law Society at: [email protected]
(It can be difficult for individual lawyers to stand up against such unwarranted intrusion singly. In consequence, we established the website to generate an estimate of the degree of dissatisfaction and resistance. The number of signatories will be made public, on that same website, within the first week–and updated regularly–but no personally identifying details will be released. )
Summary: Recently, the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario) has made major revisions to their requirements for the annual submission for legal practitioners in that province. As part of a five-part strategic program known as “Accelerating Culture Shift,” all lawyers are now required to write, submit and abide by a “Statement of Principles.” The details can be viewed here https://www.lsuc.on.ca/EDI/ — a site which indicates what lawyers now need to “KNOW AND DO” (caps in the original) for 2017.
In this video, I discuss this new demand (enforced by the power of government and law) with practicing lawyer Jared Brown and Professor Bruce Pardy of Queen’s University, both of whom testified, along with me, last year at the Canadian Senate on the compelled speech required by federal Bill C-16.
The content of the now-mandatory “Statement of Principles” has been dictated and will be reviewed for compliance by the Law Society itself: Acknowledgement of the “obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in… behavior towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.” This is part of a broader claim by the same society of systemic racism endemic in the legal profession in Ontario – a claim for which very little credible evidence has been collected and distributed.
Furthermore, the Society now requires every legal workplace of 10 or more licensees to “develop, implement and maintain a human rights/diversity policy” and to undergo an “equality, diversity and inclusion self-assessment for their legal workplace, to be provided to the Law Society” (which will also “encourage legal workplaces to conduct inclusion surveys by providing them with sample templates.”)
Failure to do comply brings with it the threat of serious penalties, including reputational damage and, more seriously, loss of the right to practice.
By implementing such requirements the Law Society has shifted from an organization ensuring competent practice to one dedicated to policing political and philosophical attitude and behavior. This is a clear and egregious example of compelled speech, and should be rejected as unacceptable by those at whom it is aimed.
To indicate your objections, once again (lawyers only, please, for this purpose): http://bit.ly/2xuZKOj
Confidentiality is ensured.
Jared Brown’s website and email: