Notice of by-election in Prince Rupert (District No. 8)
and call for nominations

April 4, 2014

The recent resignation of Barry Zacharias has created a vacancy for the position of Bencher in the County of Prince Rupert (District No. 8). 

Law Society Rule 1-36(2) requires the Benchers to hold a by-election to fill a vacancy promptly. A District No. 8 Bencher by-election has been scheduled for Friday, June 6, 2014.  

The term of the Bencher elected will begin immediately on election and will end on December 31, 2015.

Nominations

Nominations of candidates for election as a Bencher in this by-election must be received by the Executive Director on or before Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in District No. 8, Prince Rupert) and must contain the consent of the nominee.

Nomination forms may be downloaded from the home page of the Law Society website at lawsociety.bc.ca (see link under Highlights), or by contacting Amy Tang, Executive Support Administrator, at 604.443.5779 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or atang@lsbc.org.

Law Society election rules

For information on the election of Benchers, see Rules 1-18 through 1-42. The Law Society Rules are available in the Member’s Manual and in the Publications section of the Law Society website. If you have questions about the election process, please contact Bill McIntosh, Manager of Executive Support, at 604.443.5706 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or bmcintosh@lsbc.org

Rules 1-21 and 1-22 address the qualifications required of a candidate for Bencher and the nomination process. Rule 1-20(1) describes the Bencher electoral districts into which the province is divided. Rule 1-36(3) confirms that Rules 1-20 to 1-35 apply to Bencher by-elections.

Role and duties of the Benchers

The Benchers are the Law Society’s board of governors. They govern the work of the Society in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, set and enforce standards of professional responsibility for lawyers, and preside at discipline and credentials hearings. Benchers can expect their duties to consume four or five full days a month. For more information on the role and duties of the Benchers, see Bencher’s Oath and Duties on the Law Society website (under About Us > Governance > Benchers).

Voting package

By Friday, May 16, 2014 a by-election voting package will be mailed to each member of the Law Society on the District No. 8 voter list prepared pursuant to Rule 1-25. The package will include a basic listing and photograph (if provided) of each candidate along with a ballot, ballot envelope and return envelope.  

Candidates’ biographies and election statements on Law Society website

Candidates’ biographical summaries and election statements will be posted on the Law Society website at lawsociety.bc.ca. The voting package will advertise this webpage link. Any lawyer who does not have web access can request a print copy of the webpage biographical information at that time. 

 

Benchers encourage diversity of candidates seeking office
The Benchers note that Aboriginal lawyers, solicitors, visible minority lawyers, women lawyers and young lawyers continue to be under-represented among elected Benchers. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the governance of the profession are encouraged to stand for election, but Aboriginal lawyers, visible minority lawyers, women lawyers, young lawyers and those practising predominantly in solicitors’ fields are particularly encouraged to do so. The Benchers believe that the Law Society’s mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice will be best served by leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience.