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Part 1 out of 11 parts in the Legal Profession Act

 

PART 1 – ORGANIZATION

Division 1 – Law Society


Incorporation

2 (1) The Law Society of British Columbia is continued.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the society has all the powers and capacity of a natural person.


Object and duty of society

3 It is the object and duty of the society to uphold and protect the public interest in the administration of justice by

(a) preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons,

(b) ensuring the independence, integrity, honour and competence of lawyers,

(c) establishing standards and programs for the education, professional responsibility and competence of lawyers and of applicants for call and admission,

(d) regulating the practice of law, and

(e) supporting and assisting lawyers, articled students and lawyers of other jurisdictions who are permitted to practise law in British Columbia in fulfilling their duties in the practice of law.

[2012-16-2]


Benchers

4 (1) The following are benchers:

(a) the Attorney General;

(b) the persons appointed under section 5;

(c) the lawyers elected under section 7;

(d) the president, first vice-president and second vice-president.

(2) The benchers govern and administer the affairs of the society and may take any action they consider necessary for the promotion, protection, interest or welfare of the society.

(3) The benchers may take any action consistent with this Act by resolution.

(4) Subsections (2) and (3) are not limited by any specific power or responsibility given to the benchers by this Act.

(5) The benchers may

(a) use the fees, assessments and other funds of the society, including funds previously collected or designated for a special purpose before this Act came into force, for the purposes of the society,

(b) raise funds by the issue of debentures, with or without a trust deed, for the purposes of the society,

(c) provide for a pension scheme for its officers and employees out of the funds of the society, and

(d) approve forms to be used for the purposes of this Act.


Appointed benchers

5 (1) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint up to 6 persons to be benchers.

(2) Members and former members of the society are not eligible to be appointed under this section.

(3) A bencher appointed under this section has all the rights and duties of an elected bencher, unless otherwise stated in this Act.

(4) If a bencher appointed under this section fails to complete a term of office, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may appoint a replacement to hold office for the balance of the term of the bencher who left office.

(5) A bencher appointed under this section is not eligible to hold the position of president, first vice-president or second vice-president.


Meetings

6 (1) The benchers may make rules respecting meetings of the benchers.

(2) For a quorum at a meeting of the benchers, at least 7 benchers must be present and a majority of those present must be members of the society.

(3) A motion assented to in writing by at least 75% of the benchers has the same effect as a resolution passed at a regularly convened meeting of the benchers. 

[2012-16-3]


Elections

7 (1) The benchers may make rules respecting the election of benchers and of the second vice-president.

(2) The rules made under subsection (1) must be consistent with the following:

(a) voting is by secret ballot;

(b) the right of each member to vote for a bencher or the second vice-president carries the same weight as any other member who is entitled to vote for that bencher or the second vice-president;

(c) only members in good standing are entitled to vote.

(3) Section 11 (4) applies to the rules made under subsection (1) of this section unless they deal directly with a matter referred to in section 12.

(4) Section 12 applies to the rules made under subsection (1) of this section that deal directly with a matter referred to in that section.


Officers and employees

8 The benchers may make rules to do either or both of the following:

(a) delegate to the executive director, or the executive director's delegate, any power or authority of the benchers under this Act except rule-making authority;

(b) authorize a committee established under this Act to delegate authority granted to it under this Act to the executive director or the executive director's delegate.

[2007-14-201]


Division 2 – Committees


Law Society committees

9 (1) The benchers may establish committees in addition to those established by this Act.

(2) The benchers may authorize a committee to do any act or to exercise any jurisdiction that, by this Act, the benchers are authorized to do or to exercise, except the exercise of rule-making authority.

(3) The benchers may make rules providing for

(a) the appointment and termination of appointments of persons to committees, and

(b) the practice and procedure for meetings of committees, including proceedings before committees.

(4) For a quorum at a meeting of a committee, at least 1/2 of the members of the committee must be present. 

[2012-16-4]

Executive committee

10 (1) The benchers must establish an executive committee.

(2) The benchers may delegate any of the powers and duties of the benchers to the executive committee, subject to any conditions they consider necessary.

(3) A quorum of the executive committee is 4.

(4) A motion assented to in writing by at least 75% of the executive committee's members has the same effect as a resolution passed at a regularly convened meeting of the executive committee.


Division 3 – Rules and Resolutions


Law Society rules

11 (1) The benchers may make rules for the governing of the society, lawyers, law firms, articled students and applicants, and for the carrying out of this Act.

(2) Subsection (1) is not limited by any specific power or requirement to make rules given to the benchers by this Act.

(3) The rules are binding on the society, lawyers, law firms, the benchers, articled students, applicants and persons referred to in section 16 (2) (a) or 17 (1) (a).

(4) Enactment, amendment or rescission of a rule is not effective unless at least 2/3 of the benchers present at the meeting at which the rule, amendment or rescission is considered vote in favour of it.

(5) Unless section 12 applies, no approval other than that required under subsection (4) of this section is necessary to enact, rescind or amend a rule.

[2012-16-5]


Rules requiring membership approval

12 (1) The benchers must make rules respecting the following:

(a) the offices of president, first vice-president or second vice-president;

(b) the term of office of benchers;

(c) the removal of the president, first vice-president, second vice-president or a bencher;

(d) the electoral districts for the election of benchers;

(e) the eligibility to be elected and to serve as a bencher;

(f) the filling of vacancies among elected benchers;

(g) the general meetings of the society, including the annual general meeting;

(h) the appointment, duties and powers of the auditor of the society;

(i) life benchers;

(j) [repealed]

(k) the qualifications to act as auditor of the society when an audit is required under this Act.

(2) The first rules made under subsection (1) after this Act comes into force must be consistent with the provisions of the Legal Profession Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 255, relating to the same subject matter.

(3) The benchers may amend or rescind rules made under subsection (1) or enact new rules respecting the matters referred to in subsection (1), in accordance with an affirmative vote of 2/3 of those members voting at a general meeting or in a referendum respecting the proposed rule, or the amendment or rescission of a rule.

[2007-14-216; 2012-16-6]


Implementing resolutions of general meeting

13 (1) A resolution of a general meeting of the society is not binding on the benchers except as provided in this section.

(2) A referendum of all members must be conducted on a resolution if

(a) it has not been substantially implemented by the benchers within 12 months following the general meeting at which it was adopted, and

(b) the executive director receives a petition signed by at least 5% of members in good standing of the society requesting a referendum on the resolution.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the resolution is binding on the benchers if at least

(a) 1/3 of all members in good standing of the society vote in the referendum, and

(b) 2/3 of those voting vote in favour of the resolution.

(4) The benchers must not implement a resolution if to do so would constitute a breach of their statutory duties.

[2012-16-7]


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Part 1 out of 11 parts in the Legal Profession Act