Convocation approves new Rules of Practice and Procedure

Posted: 11/29/2019

Law Society TribunalConvocation approved new Law Society Tribunal Rules of Practice and Procedure that reflect modern approaches and best practices in administrative law.

Developed by the Tribunal Committee since April 2017, with input from both the Chair’s Practice Roundtable and the public, the new Rules come into effect January 1, 2020.

Substantive changes include:

  • clearly set-out values to guide procedural decisions
  • more flexible case management powers and methods of hearing issues
  • greater use of written hearings and technology
  • a revamp of the rule that deals with proceedings and documents that are not public.

The new Rules combine both the Hearing Division and Appeal Division Rules, alleviating any need to cross-reference. They will also enable panels to better respond to the particular needs and dynamics of each case — including the needs of the parties, complainants, witnesses and the public.

This flexibility is especially applicable in matters that may involve mental health issues. Under the new Rules, a panel hearing a conduct application may – on consent – deal with matters that would otherwise be the subject of a capacity application.

As well, the new Rules introduce a focus on case management which will enable the early identification of issues, minimize the need for adjournments and improve the efficacy of hearing time.

More information is available in the Tribunal Committee Report.