Benchers approve new Territorial Mobility Agreement

The Benchers have approved a new protocol to assist lawyers who wish to become members of Canada’s three territorial law societies.

The new protocol, called the Territorial Mobility Agreement, is the work of a Federation of Law Societies of Canada task force and is designed to supplement the existing National Mobility Agreement.

Under the Territorial Mobility Agreement, the Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories law societies, along with the common law provincial law societies, agree that the three territories will participate in the National Mobility Agreement with respect to permanent mobility (the transfer of lawyers from one jurisdiction to another).

The agreement means BC lawyers will be able to become members of any of the territorial law societies without having to complete course work or exams. Transferring lawyers will be required to certify that they have completed a reading requirement set by the territorial law society. Lawyers practising temporarily in the territories will still have to obtain a permit from the appropriate territorial law society.

The Territorial Mobility Agreement will take effect in 2007 and is designed to last for up to five years, during which time the territorial law societies can evaluate their ability to become full participants in the National Mobility Agreement, including the temporary mobility provisions.