Contributions to StopSOP
Content will be reviewed in advance for relevance and suitability, and we reserve the right to decline any submission at our discretion.
All submitted content reflects the opinions of the writer only, and not necessarily those of the StopSOP team.
Please include your full name and location of practice. Forward submissions to email@example.com.
- Further open letter concerning the Law Society's requirement for a written Statement of Principles
- Open letter calling for suspension of the Law Society’s requirement for written SoP
- Letter to Joseph Groia in support of Motion for Conscientious Objection
- Motion to Allow Conscientious Objection & Remarks to Convocation, Dec. 1, 2017
- Quotas not the answer to our diversity issues
Mar9FriOriginally dated December 5, 2017 March 9, 2018 Paul Lepsoe
This new letter sets out what has occurred since November 15, particularly what happened at Convocation on December 1 which I attended and where most of the membership may not be aware. My concerns remain.
Mar9FriOriginally dated November 15, 2017 March 9, 2018 Paul Lepsoe
Dear friends and colleagues:
I am writing this letter to my fellow members of the Bar of Ontario concerning the Law Society’s new requirement for each member to prepare a written personal Statement of Principles. I am calling for this requirement to be at least suspended at the last meeting of the Benchers before year end, which will be held on December 1. This action is necessary to allow more time for an informed discussion of the implications of this measure and careful consideration of the most appropriate way of achieving the Law Society’s objective of addressing barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion within the legal profession.
Mar5MonMarch 5, 2018 Lubomir PoliacikWhen bencher Joe Groia introduced a motion in convocation in November 2017 to provide a "conscientious objector" exemption to the SOP requirement, I sent him the following email, which he shared with other benchers. Mr. Groia's motion was defeated.
I am writing to you to thank you for bringing your motion in Convocation regarding the new requirement of the adoption of a “Declaration of Principles” by all members.
I was born and raised in communist Czechoslovakia. My parents and my brothers left in 1969, leaving behind family, friends and employment because my father, a government functionary, was unwilling to publicly declare his support for the 1968 occupation by “the fraternal forces” of the Warsaw Pact and for the new regime and its “principles”.
The requirement of a Declaration of Principles is abhorrent to me. My parents left behind all they had to oppose the government’s imposition of required beliefs on them and I will not betray their sacrifice by complying with the Law Society’s diktat.
Thank you again for your efforts.
Mar4SunMarch 4, 2018 Joseph Groia, Bencher of the Law SocietyI asked many of the supporters of 3 (1) to show me any evidence that it might actually help move us towards our equality and diversity goals. No one referred me to any. I looked carefully at the material assembled by the Committees. You will have seen my paper. Again there was no evidence. Indeed the history of 3 (1) suggests that the Committee was strongly urged to stay away from compulsory or punitive measures. They did not follow that advice. So today you need to decide whether what we approved last year was a well-meaning but misguided social science experiment from the school of “There’s a problem, we have to do something, so let’s try this.” And in doing so we have offended many men and women of conscience and faith. That is not how to regulate in the Public Interest.
Mar3SatMarch 3, 2018 Sam GoldsteinThe Social Justice Warriors at the Law Society of Upper Canada (as it used to be known) can shout to the heavens above that their equality, diversity and inclusion initiative is not advocating a quota system, but I beg to differ.
This what the society’s own website says about what they want to do: “Increase representation of racialized licensees in the professions, in proportion to the representation in the Ontario population, in all legal workplaces and at all levels of seniority.”
It amazed me that the media fawned all over Justin Trudeau when he announced his cabinet would have gender parity (achieving exactly two more women in cabinet than in the Stephen Harper years). The Fawners ought to have asked what was magical about parity. Why not two-thirds? Why not a cabinet of all women if the most meritorious candidates are female?
The answer is when quotas are imposed your group is limited to the arbitrary number of spots allotted to you irrespective of the number of meritorious group members. What was perceived as a great step forward for Canadian women was in fact a giant leap backward.
Feb21WedMotion for Conscientious Objection to SoP Denied February 21, 2018 Michael A. MenearSummary of Convocation debate on the motion to allow an exemption to the compelled speech requirement of the Statement of Principles, as a matter of conscience or religious belief.
Note that, since these recommendations have been extended to "other equality-seeking groups," the duty to "promote" these groups "generally" may require lawyers to take positions contrary to those of their church, mosque or synagogue and advance those positions within their faith groups.
Feb18SunRemarks at CIJA Legal Conference February 18, 2018 Bruce Pardy, Professor of Law
The proposition at the core of the Law Society’s initiative is that the proportion of lawyers from each group must match the proportion of that group in the population, or there is racism. One of its main objectives is “to increase representation of racialized lawyers in the profession in proportion to the representation in the Ontario population, in all legal workplaces and at all levels of seniority.” If the proportion of some groups is too low, the proportion of other groups must be too high, since together they must make 100 per cent.
Do you appreciate the implication? The Law Society is saying, without saying so directly, that there are too many Jewish lawyers.
Feb16FriCombating Hate Speech and Antisemitism – Legal Perspectives February 13, 2018 February 16, 2018 D. Jared Brown
As a profession charged with safeguarding the rights and freedoms of all persons, the public is watching when our own freedoms are implicated.
I’ve spoken out publicly against this measure by the Law Society. It is not something that was easy or without considerable risk.
Compelled speech is a particularly pernicious form of speech control because it compels persons to speak words and opinions against their free will and conscience.