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

July 2, 2009

The appointment of Robert Punnett, QC as a justice of the Supreme Court on June 19, 2009 creates a vacancy for the position of Bencher from the County of Prince Rupert (District No. 8).

Pursuant to Law Society Rule 1-36, a Bencher by-election must be called for the County of Prince Rupert. Rule 1-36(1) provides that if an elected Bencher ceases to hold office before July 1 of an odd numbered year, a by-election must be held to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term of office. Accordingly, a by-election has been set for Thursday, September 3, 2009.

The term of the Bencher elected will begin immediately on election and end on December 31, 2009. As the Rules require Bencher elections to be held in all districts on November 15 of this year, if the candidate elected in the by-election wishes to continue as a Bencher after December 31, 2009, he or she must also participate in the general election on November 15. The Law Society will use its best efforts to assist any candidates in the Prince Rupert County by-election who wish to adapt their by-election materials for use in the general election to follow.

By-election nominations

Nominations of candidates for election as a Bencher in this by-election must be received by the Executive Director by Friday, July 24, 2009. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in Prince Rupert County) and must contain the consent of the nominee.

Nomination and Consent Forms are available for download on the Law Society website or by contacting Diana Papove, Executive Support Administrator, at 604-443-5768 (toll-free in BC 1-800-903-5300) or

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 & Forms section of the Law Society website. If you have questions about the election process, contact Bill McIntosh, Manager, Executive Support, at 604-443-5706 (toll-free in BC 1-800-903-5300) or

Rules 1-21 and 1-22 address the qualifications required of a candidate for Bencher and the nomination process.

By-election voting package information

The by-election voting package for the County of Prince Rupert will be mailed in early August, after the close of nominations. The package will include a basic listing and photograph of each candidate. Biographical summaries of candidates will be posted on the website. For voters without web access, information about how to obtain a printed copy of the biographical information will be provided in the package.

For details on submitting biographical information, a photograph and an optional election statement, see Parts B and C of the Nomination and Consent form.

Benchers encourage more women and solicitors to seek office

The Benchers have noted that women and solicitors continue to be under-represented among elected Benchers. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the profession are encouraged to stand for election, but women lawyers and lawyers practising predominantly in solicitors’ fields are particularly encouraged to do so. The Benchers believe that the profession will be best served by representatives of diverse backgrounds and experience.