If you are a licensee of the LSO, you will be required to draft your Statement of Principles by December 31, 2018, and to report on whether you have done so in your 2018 Annual Report.
The Law Society has dodged the question of exactly what consequences will follow for persons who do not comply with the Statement of Principles requiring, saying only that it would take “progressive measures”.
If you have reservations about the requirement, you have three main choices:
- Review the Law Society’s website, FAQ, and guidelines and see if they help you resolve your concerns;
- Ignore your reservations, draft a Statement of Principles, file it away, and hope your conscience doesn’t trouble you; or
- Do not comply and, when asked on your Annual Report why not, write something as long or as short as you like.
It is up to you to decide whether you want to comply with the new requirement, but if you do not, the LSO has said you will have an option in your Annual Report to explain why you have not done so. We suggest: “I have grave concerns about the legality and constitutionality of this requirement. As there is currently a legal challenge pending, I will await the resolution of that action before deciding whether or not to comply.”
If you are a member of the general public and not a licensee of the LSO, your voice is still important as the LSO’s mandate is to serve the public. You can write to the LSO to express your views, positive or negative, about the Statement of Principles requirement:
Law Society of Ontario
Mailing address and directions:
Finally, you can also donate to the Canadian Constitution Foundation, which is supporting Prof. Ryan Alford and Lawyer Murray Klippenstein’s challenge to the new requirement. As a registered charity whose mission is to defend our constitutional rights and freedoms, we rely on donations from people just like you to fight for your rights.