Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 27: Justice (25-42)

Law Society of Ontario

May 24, 2018

A series of strong recommendations designed to make the Law Society’s regulatory and hearing processes more culturally competent and culturally safe for Indigenous Peoples was approved by Convocation. the Review Panel made nine far-reaching recommendations, including the need to:

  • establish and maintain a culturally competent regulatory process and a culturally safe environment;
  • establish better communication and engagement with complainants from Indigenous communities;
  • create a trusting relationship with Indigenous communities through partnering and exploring ways to increase access to justice;
  • build appropriate capacity within the Professional Regulation Division and ensure it is appropriately resourced for major cases and those involving vulnerable individuals;
  • ensure cultural competence for staff investigating complaints involving Indigenous licensees or complainants and explore ways to incorporate principles of Indigenous Legal Systems in Law Society processes;
  • create permanent, internal structures and supports to appropriately manage investigations and prosecutions of licensees who are the subject of complaints from Indigenous Peoples — and investigations of Indigenous licensees; and
  • enhance guidance and education for lawyers and paralegals who serve Indigenous clients who have experienced trauma.

The panel also recommended that the Law Society Tribunal and Tribunal Committee:explore ways to incorporate Indigenous Law principles and apply them in appropriate cases, with the help of Indigenous Law experts; and provide adjudicators with ongoing training in the history of Indigenous Law in Canada, as well as Indigenous methods of dispute resolution, Indigenous ceremony and protocols, the Independent Assessment Process and other relevant topics.