|For immediate release||May 31, 2011|
Public invited to apply to sit on discipline and credentials hearing panels
Vancouver – The Law Society is inviting members of the public to apply to participate in its hearing panels. Starting tomorrow, ads will appear in newspapers across the province seeking qualified applicants.
Hearings are important to the Society’s role in ensuring lawyers meet high standards of professional conduct, learning and competence. Hearing panels hear cases about alleged discipline violations and incompetence by lawyers, as well as the character and fitness of new lawyer applicants.
The Law Society’s hearing process already includes some non-lawyers, by the inclusion of government-appointment members of its board, called the Benchers. This new group of people that will be called upon for panels will further expand the role the public plays in the regulatory process.
“There is growing public scrutiny of self-regulatory organizations, and we are taking a number of proactive measures, including this one, to maintain confidence in the Law Society’s regulatory process,” said Law Society President Gavin Hume, QC.
In March, the Law Society took the first step toward broader participation in hearings by inviting lawyers who are not Benchers to volunteer to serve as members of a similar pool from which hearing panels are drawn.
“The response to that call was excellent, and we’re hoping to get the same response from those who are not lawyers” said Hume.
For more information about the conditions and qualifications required, see the Law Society website.
The Law Society of British Columbia regulates the more than 10,000 lawyers in the province, setting and enforcing standards of professional conduct that ensure the public is well-served by a competent, honourable legal profession.
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