The completed five-year reviews on paralegal regulation by the Law Society of Upper Canada and David Morris have served to inspire a conversation within the justice system about the scope of practice of the paralegal profession that’s now focusing on a motion put forward by representatives of the paralegal community for debate at the upcoming LSUC annual general meeting (see “Time to expand paralegal rights?” on April 29).
The County and District Law Presidents’ Association will be speaking against this motion as drafted. We insist that there remains the need and opportunity to further improve the regulatory environment for the paralegal profession to better protect the public and improve access to justice before matters related to scope of practice can be considered.
Specific to this motion, we hold the strong opinion that the Morris report and its recommendations were not designed to be accomplished or considered in isolation. It is neither possible nor appropriate to establish a task force designed to focus on three of 11 recommendations, as the motion suggests, especially when they are intertwined and the success of each may depend on the implementation of others.
We believe the independent review by Morris provided a reasonable and fair assessment of the paralegal profession in Ontario and offers a measured approach through which expansion may ultimately be considered. CDLPA supports the continued evolution of the profession as contemplated by the entirety of the report and therefore cannot support the expansion of the scope of practice independent of the other challenges still to be addressed.