“The Law Society will require every licensee to adopt and to abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public”
The Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers – Ontario (“FACL”) disagrees with the proposed motion by Bencher Joe Groia to exempt licensees from the Law Society’s requirement to complete the Statement of Principles that acknowledges the obligation of licensees to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. In light of the very real systemic barriers faced by racialized licensees, FACL views the acknowledgment as an important albeit modest step by the profession to address systemic discrimination.
FACL participated in the Challenges Facing Racialized Licensees process, and supports the working group’s final report issued in 2016 which contains thoughtful and well-reasoned recommendations that have gained broad support from equity-seeking groups and colleagues across the legal profession. By requiring the Statement of Principles, Convocation adopted and implemented the working group’s recommendation to require a formal acknowledgment by all licensees of their professional obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. In our view, this clearly represents a commitment by the Law Society to remove barriers facing racialized licensees.