Monday, January 21, 2008

Ontario Paralegals Challenge Law Society Regulation

A group of Ontario paralegals has moved in Divisional Court to challenge the constitutionality of legislation empowering the Law Society of Upper Canada to regulate paralegals.

An application for judicial review of the Law Society Act's 2007 paralegal governance regulations has been served upon the Law Society of Upper Canada and Ontario's Attorney-General. The challenged regulations require paralegals to maintain liability insurance, complete mandatory qualifying education, and designate the Law Society as professional regulatory body for the Ontario paralegal industry.

Law Times reports that the Application seeks:

    • an order quashing parts of the Access to Justice Act relating to the regulation of paralegals;
    • an order forcing the law society to stop all activities involving the regulation of paralegals outlined in the act;
    • an order for injunctive relief requiring the law society to hold off on implementation of paralegal regulation until the application is ruled upon;
    • an order of mandamus requiring changes to the act that would make the paralegal standing committee the only body regulating paralegals;
    • an order allowing paralegals to continue acting on behalf of clients in Family Court, and an order preventing the law society from charging paralegals who are granted permission to act in Family Court.
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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