My Friends Muddy the Waters: How a Statement of Principles Became a Public Fiasco
Ethics Primer at King Law Chambers, 2017
33 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 15, 2017
In August 2012, the Law Society of Upper Canada struck The Challenges Faced by Racialized Licensees Working Group, which conducted an investigation into the issue of systemic racism in the legal professions. The Working Group released its Final Report in 2016, and all 13 of its recommendations were adopted at Convocation on Dec. 2, 2016.
The first of these recommendations to be implemented, a Statement of Principles, was introduced in 2017. Soon after its announcement there was loud and volatile opposition to this requirement, and eventually a constitutional challenge before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
This paper provides the first investigation into the constitutional issues behind the Statement of Principles, in the interest of addressing any concerns of compelled expression, and encouraging the legal professions to work together to collectively promote equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Keywords: constitutional law, compelled expression, statement of principles, rules of professional conduct, public interest
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