Support the Statement of Principles

 The purpose of this site is to help Ontario lawyers identify Bencher candidates who support the Law Society of Ontario’s
Statement of Principles and
Equality, Diversity, Inclusion initiative. 


 

The Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has recognized that racialized licensees “face barriers at all stages of their careers” and that steps need to be taken to take down those barriers.

LSO and its Racialized Licensees Working Group have developed a number of strategies for achieving that goal.

One of those strategies is the Statement of Principles, a small but meaningful requirement letting lawyers and clients know that the legal profession promotes equality, diversity and inclusion.

 

Now, the Statement of Principles is under attack.

 

About the list:

 
 

Opponents of the the LSO’s EDI initiatives are running a ‘slate’ of candidates in the April 2019 Bencher election.

To counter that effort, The candidates listed on this page have been identified by publicly available information as being
supportive of the LSO’s EDI program.

Notes:

  • This is not a slate. The candidates listed below are not necessarily affiliated with one another, and there is no organizing group. This page is simply a service to inform interested voters about candidates who support EDI.

  • Inclusion in this page does not constitute an endorsement of the candidates. The author of this page takes no responsibility for the candidates or their platforms.

  • If you would like to be added to the list, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page, including a link demonstrating how you meet the three criteria to the right.

  • If you would like to be removed from the list, please use the contact form at the bottom of the page.

  • Update 2/26: All links now default to the candidate’s Law Times profile. If a candidate does not have a Law Times profile, the link is either to their personal page, or their Twitter.

 

In order to be included on this list, candidates must have:

  1. Publicly expressed their support for the LSO’s EDI initiative in general.

  2. Publicly expressed their support for the Statement of Principles in particular.

  3. Committed to oppose any effort to re-open debate on the Statement of Principles.


 

Resources

 

Where it Came from

To learn more about the LSO’s efforts to enhance equality, diversity and inclusion, read the final report of the working group: Working Together for Change: Strategies to Address Systemic Racism in the Legal Professions.


The Performativity of the Statement of Principles

An interesting and unique take on why the SOP is a good thing.

Written by Bob Tarantino.

“Oaths and affirmations are valuable because they are constitutive, performative, moral acts – the moral values inherent in the lawyer’s subversion of his own interest to that of his client, the commitments to maintaining confidences and to advancing the rule of law, all of those find their origin in the adoption and the professing of the lawyer’s oath.”

What is the Statement of Principles

Learn what the SOP is, and is not, at the LSO’s Statement of Principles page.

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Why all the fuss?

I think it’s fair to say that for most of us, the Statement of Principles can sometimes seem like a vacuum, sucking all the air, and other important issues, out of the room.

Since the LSO started requiring Ontario lawyers to complete a Statement of Principles, some in the legal profession would have us believe that the sky is falling. Defending and promoting EDI generally, and the LSO’s EDI initiatives in particular, is necessary as we continue to try and improve the justice system.

But it is not sufficient. So much more needs to be done, and the constant relitigating of what should be a settled issue is both a distraction, and a way for those opposed to progress to stall it in its tracks. If we want to make real progress tackling the Access to Justice crisis, financial barriers to the profession or tech literacy, we have to be able to settle the Statement of Principles issue.

This election is that opportunity. We must elect a resoundingly pro-EDI convocation, so that any question of LSO’s continued commitment to EDI is put to rest, and we can refocus our efforts on other important issues - including implementing the rest of the Racialized Licensees Working Group report.

I hope this page serves as a resource for Lawyers voting in the 2019 Law Society of Ontario Bencher election, which will allow us to elect a progressive and inclusive convocation, and move the legal profession forward, fearlessly and with the public interest at the forefront of everything we do.

 
 

Questions or Requests can be submitted below.

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