Notice of 2005 Bencher election and call for nominations
September 19, 2005
On Tuesday, November 15, 2005 an election will be held for Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia for the January, 2006 ? December, 2007 term.
Nominations for Bencher must be received by the Corporate Secretary by 5:00 pm on Monday, October 17, 2005. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in the relevant district), and must contain the consent of the nominee.
Rules 1-21 and 1-22 of the Law Society Rules state:
Qualifications of candidate for Bencher
1-21 (1) To be eligible to be a candidate for election as a Bencher, a member of the Society must
(a) be in good standing at the time of nomination,
(b) have been in good standing for at least 7 years,
(c) if a practising lawyer, maintain his or her chief place of practice or employment in the district in which he or she seeks to be a candidate, and
(d) if a retired or non-practising member, reside in the district in which he or she seeks to be a candidate.
(2) A retiring Bencher who qualifies under subrule (1) and is not disqualified under Rule 1-2 is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for re-election as a Bencher.
1-22 The nomination of a candidate for election as a Bencher is valid only if
(a) it is in writing, signed by at least 2 members of the Society in good standing who are eligible to vote in the district in which the nominee seeks to be a candidate,
(b) the nominee consents in writing to the nomination, and
(c) the nomination and consent are received by the Executive Director on or before October 15 before the election is to take place.
Rule 1-20(1) of the Law Society Rules describes the Bencher electoral districts into which the province is divided, as follows:
Regional representation by Benchers
1-20 (1) Benchers are elected from electoral districts as follows:
(a) 13 Benchers from District No. 1, the County of Vancouver;
(b) 2 Benchers from District No. 2, the County of Victoria;
(c) one Bencher from District No. 3, the County of Nanaimo;
(d) 3 Benchers from District No. 4, the County of Westminster;
(e) one Bencher from District No. 5, the County of Kootenay;
(f) one Bencher from District No. 6, Okanagan, being those parts of the County of Yale
(i) east of 120 degrees west longitude and south of the northernmost point of Okanagan Lake, or
(ii) west of 120 degrees west longitude and south of 50 degrees north latitude;
(g) 2 Benchers from District No. 7, the County of Cariboo;
(h) one Bencher from District No. 8, the County of Prince Rupert;
(i) one Bencher from District No. 9, Kamloops, being that part of the County of Yale not included in District No. 6, Okanagan.
Under Rule 1-20(2) of the Law Society Rules, the number of Benchers to be elected from the County of Kamloops (District No. 9) has been reduced from one to none because Robert W. McDiarmid, QC now holds the office of First Vice-President, and the number of Benchers to be elected from the County of Vancouver (District No. 1) has been reduced from 13 to 12 because Anna K. Fung, QC now holds the office of Second Vice-President. Similarly, the number of Benchers to be elected from the County of Vancouver (District No. 1) will be further reduced from 12 to 11 if John J.L. Hunter, QC, the Benchers’ nominee for Second Vice-President for 2006, is elected at the 2005 Annual General Meeting. Under Rule 1-3(4) of the Law Society Rules, these three individuals automatically continue as Benchers until they complete their terms as President.
A nomination is not valid unless it is received, complete with signed consent, by the Corporate Secretary by 5:00 pm on Monday, October 17, 2005.
Benchers encourage more women and solicitors to seek office
The Benchers have noted that women and solicitors continue to be under-represented among elected Benchers. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the profession are encouraged to stand for election, but women lawyers and lawyers practising predominantly in solicitors’ fields are particularly encouraged to do so. The Benchers believe that the profession will be best served by representatives drawn from a wide variety of backgrounds and experience.