LEAF Supports the Law Society’s Statement of Principles Requirement

The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) supports the Law Society’s Statement of Principles requirement, which obliges licensees to acknowledge their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

On Wednesday, November 29, LEAF wrote to Treasurer Paul Schabas and the Benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada to express its support for the conclusions and recommendations found in the Final Report of the Working Group on the Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees (Challenges Report), and specifically its support for the

Law Society’s adoption of Recommendation 3(1), the Statement of Principles requirement, which obliges licensees of the Law Society to acknowledge their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally.

LEAF urges Convocation to oppose Bencher Joseph Groia’s motion that seeks to exempt licensees from this requirement. The problem of under-representation of equality- seeking groups, particularly racialized groups, will not be solved without members of the legal profession taking concrete steps to do so. LEAF is pleased that the Law Society is taking such steps to require legal employers to engage diversity and equality as a fundamental component of their employment practices.

Further, LEAF applauds the Law Society’s Working Group for the time and effort they devoted to documenting the longstanding problems facing racialized licensees in Ontario, and to identifying concrete strategies to address issues of systemic racism.

LEAF’s letter is available here.

About Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF)

Since April 17, 1985, when equality rights were enshrined in sections 15 and 28 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, LEAF has worked toward equality for women and girls. LEAF intervenes in key cases to ensure that when courts interpret equality rights, there will be a systemic improvement in women’s lives. For more information about LEAF, visit www.leaf.ca.