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April 2016 Convocation


Mental Health Strategy approved

A long-term mental health strategy, approved at April Convocation, builds on the Law Society's existing mental health initiatives and lays the groundwork to explore additional supports or programs that fall within the organization's mandate.

The long-term plan and vision will address mental health and addiction issues through both preventive and regulatory strategies. A key element is consideration of the role that diversionary and confidential processes - including capacity hearings held in the absence of the public - may play in appropriate circumstances.

The plan is the work of the Mental Health Strategy Task Force, which was initiated last June at the request of the Treasurer. Full report .

Paralegals' conduct rules amended re: incriminating physical evidence

Convocation approved the addition of new subrule 4 (5.2) to the Paralegal Rules of Conduct. The new rule prohibits paralegals from concealing, destroying or altering incriminating physical evidence. The adoption of the new rule follows the addition of a similar rule to the Federation of Law Societies of Canada's Model Code of Professional Conduct  in 2014 and the lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct  in February 2016. Full report .

2015 Audited Financial Statements approved

Convocation approved the audited Annual Financial Statements for the Law Society for the financial year ended December 31, 2015.  Full report .

Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions approved

Interventions in the following cases were approved by Convocation:

  • Lawyer Sirikan Charoensiri - Thailand
  • Lawyer Zhang Kai - China
  • Lawyers Ramazan Demir, İrfan Arasan, Ayşe Acinikli, Hüseyin Boğatekin, Şefik Çelik, Adem Çalışçı, Ayşe Başar(Gosterislioglu), Tamer Doğan and Mustafa Rüzgar - Turkey
  • Lawyer Yuri Grabovski - Ukraine
  • Lawyers Karen Cheah Yee Lynn, Charles Hector, Francis Pereira, and Shanmugam Ramasamy -Malaysia
  • Lawyers Tigor Gempita Hutapea and Obed Sakti Andre Dominika - Indonesia

Full report .

By-Laws amended re: new process for surrender of licence

By-Laws 4 and 8 were amended to implement a new process for the administrative surrender of licence. The new process, which was approved in principle at September 2015 Convocation, permits lawyers and paralegals, who are under audit, investigation, or involved in discipline proceedings, to apply to surrender their licence. The new process will only be used where it would not be contrary to the public interest. The administrative surrender process was approved by Convocation on a policy basis on September 24, 2015. Full report.

Rules of Practice and Procedure amended

Convocation approved housekeeping amendments to the Hearing Division Rules of Practice and Procedure . Full report .

Convocation to consider enhancements to Lawyer Licensing Process

As part of the Law Society's Strategic Plan , the Professional Development and Competence Committee has undertaken a focused examination of licensing requirements for lawyers to ensure that they remain appropriate to the evolving professional environment. The Committee is proposing enhancements to the articling experiential requirement, and the licensing examinations and requirements. The enhancements reflect the Law Society's focus on continually advancing our regulatory processes to ensure we assist legal practitioners in meeting and surpassing the expectations of future law practice. The Committee provided a report for information at April Convocation that will be considered for decision in May. Comments on the proposed changes may be submitted to .   Full report .

Michelle Haigh acclaimed as Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee

Bencher Michelle Haigh was acclaimed as the Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee for a second term at the Committee's April 2016 meeting. The Chair is elected by the committee annually.

LawPRO annual shareholder resolutions

Convocation authorized the Treasurer to sign the shareholder resolutions for the Lawyers' Professional Indemnity Company (LawPRO) as set out in the report. Full report .

LibraryCo Inc. annual meeting

Convocation authorized the Treasurer to sign the LibraryCo Inc. proxy in favour of the proposed shareholder resolutions as set out in the report. Full report .


Bencher Robert Evans was appointed to the Real Estate Issues Working Group.




Public Transcript


Treasurer’s Remarks

Consent Agenda - Motion

  • Confirmation of Draft Minutes of Convocation – February 25, 2016
  • Motion - Appointment
  • Report of the Director of Professional Development and Competence - Deemed Call Candidates
  • Treasurer’s Reports – LAWPRO Annual Shareholder’s Resolutions and LibraryCo Inc. Proxy

Address by Jeff Hirsch, President of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada

Audit & Finance Committee Report

  • Law Society Audited Financial Statements for the Year Ended December 31, 2015

For Information

  • In Camera Item
  • LAWPRO Annual Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2015
  • LibraryCo Annual Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2015
  • Investment Compliance Reporting for the year ended December 31, 2015
  • Other Committee Work
  • LAWPRO Report

Mental Health Strategy Task Force Report 

  • Proposed Mental Health Strategy

Paralegal Standing Committee Report

  • Proposed Rule on Incriminating Physical Evidence

For Information

  • Election of the Chair of the Paralegal Standing Committee

Professional Regulation Committee Report

  • By-Law Amendments Respecting Administrative Surrender of Licence in the Face of Regulatory Proceedings

For Information

  • National Discipline Standards
  • Executive Director’s Report – Analysis of Complaints Received by the Professional Regulation Division in 2014

Tribunal Committee Report 

  • Proposed Amendments to the Law Society Tribunal Rules of Practice and Procedure

For Information

  • Tribunal 2015 Third and Fourth Quarter Statistics

Equity and Aboriginal Issues Committee/Comité sur l’équité et les affaires autochtones Report 

  • Human Rights Monitoring Group Interventions

For Information

  • Public Education Equality and Rule of Law Series Calendar 2016

Professional Development and Competence Committee Report 

  • Proposed Enhancements to Licensing Process

Federation of Law Societies of Canada Update

Address by Janet M. Fuhrer, President of the Canadian Bar Association

Address by Ed Upenieks, President of the Ontario Bar Association

Report of the LL.D. Advisory Committee (in camera)


 Report from The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG)

Law Society Operational Heritage Plan

LibraryCo Inc. Update

Convocation was webcast April 28, 2016. View the archived webcast.

Terms or Concepts Explained