Statement of Principles will be debated again September, LSO says

July unworkable amid attendance issues

Statement of Principles will be debated again September, LSO says
Malcolm Mercer says the meeting will be in September to get the needed attendance

A debate about a contested diversity initiative at the Law Society of Ontario will take place on Sept. 11, the LSO confirmed on July 17.

The law society was set this month to decide the fate of the statement of principles requirement — a rule that lawyers must write a document agreeing to promote diversity and inclusion.

The law society board of directors, benchers, discussed the statement of principles for many hours in June but did not end up with a decisive vote to change anything.

The statement of principles requirement has already been in place for several years, but the issue flared up again this summer following a change in the composition of the board. Twenty-two of the 40 lawyers elected at the end of April opposed the statement of principles requirement.

When June Convocation meeting adjourned, Treasurer Malcolm Mercer indicated that a special Convocation might be held in July. However, Mercer says that July doesn’t work.

“Getting the attendance required, in light of the importance of the issues, the narrowness of the votes in June and given peoples' summer plans, has meant that July doesn't work. Expect to do this in September now,” says Mercer’s tweet to Law Times.

The debate will begin at 9 a.m. on Sept. 11, the LSO’s announcement said.

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