Transparency timeline

Timeline of changes that brought more transparency and public confidence to the self-regulation of BC lawyers

1858  Creation of a publicly accessible “Roll” listing practising lawyers

1874  The Law Society creates a law library to make it easier to access legal information

1921  The incorporation of the Canadian Bar Association effectively separates advocacy for and regulation of lawyers

1975  The library becomes independent of the Law Society with the formation of the then BC Law Library Foundation

1983  Discipline hearings are opened to the public

1983  Discipline summaries, or digests, are published

1988  First Appointed Benchers (formerly Lay Benchers) join the board of governance: Jack Webster, Mayor Anne Clarke and Dr. Anne Autor

1988  Appointed Benchers sit on some hearing panels and reviews, marking the first time a member of the public – that is, not a lawyer – does so

1992  All lawyers became eligible to sit on hearing panels, but in practice only Benchers and former Benchers were appointed before 2011

1993  Full discipline decisions are published electronically on Quicklaw

1993  Legislation is proclaimed to permit the provincial Ombudsperson to review Law Society processes for fairness

1995  The Law Society becomes subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

1999  Credentials hearings are made open to the public

2002  Lawyer Lookup is added to the Law Society website for members of the public to easily check who is and is not a practising lawyer

2003  Discipline and credentials decisions, as well as hearing schedules, are posted on the Law Society website

2004  Minutes of Bencher meetings are posted on the Law Society website

2010  Agenda materials for regular Bencher meetings are posted on the Law Society website

2011  Members of the public and non-Bencher lawyers are added to the hearing panel pool for discipline and credentials hearings 

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