Judges Returning to Practice

Judges Returning to Practice Under Subsection 31(2) of the Law Society Act

Purpose

Under subsection 31(2) of the Law Society Act, upon ceasing to hold office, a person whose licence is in abeyance may apply to have the licence restored.  

Section 7.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct places limits on the ability of a retired judge to appear as counsel or advocate without the express approval of a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal.

Who can apply

Any person whose licence was in abeyance under section 31(2) of the Law Society Act may apply under section 32(2) of the Law Society Act to have the licence restored, once the person ceases to hold the applicable office.  If the person applying was removed or resigned from office for any reason listed in section 31(3) of the Law Society Act, a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal may refuse to restore the licence.

A former judge of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Court of Appeal for Ontario, the Federal Court of Appeal or the Superior Court of Justice may not appear as counsel or advocate in any court, or in chambers, or before any administrative body or tribunal without the express approval of a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal.

A former judge of the Federal Court, the Tax Court of Canada, the Supreme Court of Ontario, Trial Division, a County or District Court, or the Ontario Court of Justice may not appear as counsel or advocate before the court on which he or she served as a judge or before any lower court, or before any administrative board or tribunal over which the court on which the judge served exercised an appellate or judicial review jurisdiction for a period of three years from the date of their retirement, resignation, or removal, without the express approval of a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal. 

Application Requirements

  • Original and completed Application for Judges Returning to Practice under subsection 31(2) of the Law Society Act

Request for permission to appear as counsel or advocate under Section 7.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct

  • Original and completed Request for Approval for a Retired Judge to Appear as Counsel or Advocate form

Application Process

Applications for Judges Returning to Practice will be reviewed by Administrative Compliance. If the review reveals that the application is not complete, an Administrative Compliance Representative will contact the applicant to request additional information or clarification. Applications may require approval by a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal.

Requests for permission to appear as counsel or advocate under Section 7.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct will be reviewed by Administrative Compliance and arrangements will be made to set a date for approval by a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal appointed for the purpose of reviewing the request.

Administrative Compliance requires at least 15 business days to process the Application for Judges Returning to Practice. Additional time will be required if the application requires the approval of a panel of the Hearing Division of the Law Society Tribunal. Administrative Compliance will provide written confirmation once the licence has been restored.

Link to Application 

Link to the Form to Request Approval to Appear as Counsel or Advocate

Link to Applicable Rule and the Law Society Act

Questions

Application related questions should be directed to Administrative Compliance by calling 416-947-3315 (toll-free 1-800-668-7380 ext.3315) and asking to be transferred, or emailing Administrative Compliance using the Contact Page.

Accessibility

The Law Society of Upper Canada is committed to ensuring that our websites and web applications are accessible for people with disabilities. We have also made efforts to make Law Society documents accessible to everyone. If you need any of our documents or forms in an alternate format that is accessible to you, please contact us.