Canadian Defence Lawyers Letter to Law Society Treasurer Malcolm Mercer
September 11, 2019
Dear Treasurer Mercer:
RE: SOP Motion Before Convocation
The Canadian Defence Lawyers (CDL) is an organization which provides a voice and resource for civil defence lawyers, nationally, including resources relating to diversity and inclusion of its members, and quality defence-specific education.
It is our understanding that a special meeting of Convocation will be held on September 11, 2019, during which Convocation will be considering continued submissions regarding the Statement of Principles (SOP). The Canadian Defence Lawyers would like to ensure that Benchers are aware of our organization’s stance regarding this significant issue. CDL is in support of the Groia/Donnelly motion that will proceed before Convocation calling for a voluntary Statement of Principles.
CDL has endorsed the adoption of a voluntary Statement of Principles. The voluntariness would alleviate concerns of members who take the position that the SOP would result in compelled speech. The voluntary SOP would also be a fair compromise between a mandatory SOP and a complete rejection of the SOP. The CDL believes that a voluntary SOP would be a fair and pragmatic option, which would still address barriers encountered by racialized licensees in the legal profession. A voluntary SOP would be a progressive step in the right direction for the legal profession as it would promote equity, diversity and inclusion.
We ask that this letter be presented before all Benchers before the next Convocation.