Convocation approves amendments to by-law and Governance Practices and Policies
Convocation approved a motion to make the necessary by-law amendments to implement Governance Task Force recommendations previously approved by Convocation in November 2018 and February 2019.
The amendments to By-law 3, address changes to the rights and privileges of ex officio benchers and emeritus benchers. Other amendments implement provisions of the Governance Practices and Policies that relate to Convocation and committee process and practice, supplementing existing provisions. The amendments are effective for the bencher term beginning in May 2019.
To recap, the changes related to ex-officio and emeritus benchers are as follows:
- ex officio benchers who have served 16 years or more as elected benchers have no rights or privileges in Convocation
- ex officio benchers who are former Attorneys-General of Ontario have no rights in Convocation
- ex officio Treasurers continue to have the right to participate in debate at Convocation, but not the right to vote
- the office of emeritus bencher, but not the office of emeritus Treasurer, is ended.
Convocation also approved an amendment to the Governance Practices and Policies, which includes The Bencher Code of Conduct, to include a duty of care to be observed by benchers as part of the obligations of a corporate director, consistent with the requirements of the Corporations Act.
The amended provision reads:
In their capacity as directors of the Law Society and in exercising their powers and discharging their duties to the Law Society, benchers are required to:
- act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the Law Society and
- exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.
An amendment was also made to the Statement of Adherence that follows the Bencher Code of Conduct.
See the full report.