Beginning in mid-April, Ontario lawyers have started voting to elect their representative leaders (called “benchers”) and have a chance to revisit a strange new rule that binds all of the more than 58,000 lawyers and paralegals of the Law Society of Ontario, whether working or retired. Under this new mandatory “statement of principles” (SOP), lawyers must “abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion generally” to colleagues, employees, clients, and the public. After a grace period, if a lawyer fails to adopt a SOP, they can lose their licence to practise, and their ability to earn a living.
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