Justicia project and parental leave program extended
The Justicia Project, a pilot project of the Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group, was extended by Convocation for two years. Through the Project, the Law Society works with large and medium-sized firms across the province that are committed to implementing programs aimed at improving the retention of women. The extension permits the firms involved to complete ongoing work.
Convocation also extended the Parental Leave Assistance Program (PLAP) to December 31, 2012. The extension provides time for the Working Group and the Equity Committee to consider the future of the program. Notice of one year will be provided if the Law Society decides to end the program. Full report.
Common law degree implementation approach approved
Convocation approved the final report and recommendations of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada’s Common Law Degree Implementation Committee. The report proposes a detailed and balanced approach for implementing the uniform national requirement for entry to law society licensing processes. Full report.
Reciprocal mobility provisions for Québec and Territories established
A new mobility process for lawyers from Québec and the three Territories who seek to practise temporarily in Ontario was approved in principle. The new process brings greater consistency to the mobility provisions between the reciprocating jurisdictions. Lawyers from Québec and the three Territories will now be able to apply to the Law Society for a permit to temporarily practise in Ontario. An annual fee must be paid for the permit. By-Law amendments implementing the policy will be brought to Convocation for approval at a future date. Full report.
Mobility rights extended to Québec notaries
Convocation approved in principle a certificate regime to extend mobility rights to Québec notaries. The regime is based on an addendum to the Québec Mobility Agreement recently approved by the Federation of Law Societies and the Law Society. Under the certificate regime, notaries submit an application for a certificate to provide certain legal services within Ontario. The certificate may be renewed each year for a fee. By-Law amendments implementing the policy will be brought to Convocation for approval at a future date. Full report.
Practice direction on adjournments approved
Convocation approved the Practice Direction on Adjournments to provide further guidance on requests for adjournment. Full report.
Working group on hearing process established
The Tribunals Committee established a working group to consider issues related to the hearing process, as part of the committee’s ongoing work to ensure transparency and efficiency in tribunals processes. Full report.
Treasurer’s honorarium increased
Convocation approved an increase in the Treasurer’s annual honorarium to $175,000, beginning with the new Treasurer’s term in 2012. The honorarium compensates the Treasurer for some of the professional time the Treasurer devotes to Law Society work. Full report.
Heritage Committee projects approved
Convocation approved three Heritage Committee projects: the completion of the “Diversifying the Bar: Lawyers Make History” project; a pilot project to explore further expansion of histories of the legal profession; and a project to document historical discipline data. Full report.
Outside counsel guidelines repealed
Convocation repealed the Guidelines for Retention and Oversight of Outside Counsel Representing the Law Society in Professional Regulation Matters, the process for which is now included in a comprehensive operational policy. Full report.
Human Rights Monitoring Group interventions approved
Convocation approved the Monitoring Group’s proposed interventions in the following cases:
a. Lawyers in Iran;
b. Judge Patricia Aicoli in Brazil
The Human Rights Monitoring Group monitors human rights violations that target members of the legal profession and the judiciary as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties. Full report.
Terry Knott was reappointed to the Ontario Lawyers’ Assistance Program Board of Directors for a term of two years. Bencher Robert F. Evans was appointed to the LAWPRO Board of Directors.