Panel appointed to immediately review how Law Society regulatory and hearing processes affect Indigenous Peoples

Toronto ON: Law Society Treasurer Paul Schabas today announced the appointment of a review panel to examine the way in which the Law Society and its Tribunal address regulatory matters involving Indigenous persons, complaints, and issues.

The review panel will identify issues and make recommendations on opportunities for inclusion of Indigenous perspectives. The group will develop and deliver a work plan over the summer, to be followed by a report to the Treasurer in the winter.

The appointment of this review panel follows the Law Society’s experiences in The Law Society of Upper Canada v. Keshen, which raised questions about the Law Society’s regulatory and hearing process in relation to First Nations, Métis and Inuit people.

“We need to listen and learn from our historical experiences in dealing with Indigenous issues,” says Treasurer Schabas. “Clearly, we need to review and reform our processes to accommodate the unique historical and cultural circumstances of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous approaches to conflict resolution.”

Review Panel members include:

  • Dianne Corbiere, Bencher, Panel Co-Chair  
  • Julian Falconer, Bencher, Panel Co-Chair  
  • Robert Burd, Bencher 
  • Teresa Donnelly, Bencher 
  • Isfahan Merali, Bencher 
  • Kathleen Lickers, Co-Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Group  
  • Elder Advisor Myeengun Henry, Co-Chair of the Indigenous Advisory Group  

In addition to reviewing the Law Society’s complaints, investigation, prosecution and adjudication processes, the review panel will also conduct interviews with key stakeholders, including Law Society staff and members of the Law Society Tribunal, in a manner consistent with its independence.

 Independent Reviewer

Ovide Mercredi, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, has agreed to be an Independent Reviewer, to provide guidance on a way forward for the Law Society to improve its processes and relations with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

Mercredi will work in tandem with the Review Panel and will be reaching out to the community.

More information about the Review Panel and its mandate is available at: www.lsuc.on.ca/Review-Panel

The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a duty to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.   

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Media contact: Denise McCourtie, Communications Advisor, Media Relations, 416-947-3362 or dmccourt@lsuc.on.ca.

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