Law Society CEO appointed to Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group
Law Society CEO, Robert G.W. Lapper Q.C., was appointed yesterday by Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur to a high-profile advisory group tasked with examining issues affecting Aboriginal peoples in the justice system and advising the government on how the system may be improved.
“I am greatly honoured to be part of the Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group,” says Lapper. “Early in my legal career, I began to recognize the unique issues faced by First Nations and Metis individuals and communities seeking justice. In my various capacities, including as CEO of the Law Society, I have made addressing barriers to achieving justice for Aboriginal peoples a priority and I am very pleased to have this opportunity to work with such a dedicated and esteemed group of colleagues, and the Ontario government, on improving access to justice for Aboriginal peoples.”
The Aboriginal Justice Advisory Group is co-chaired by Ogichidaa (Grand Chief) Warren White, Grand Council Treaty #3, and Murray Segal, former Deputy Attorney General of Ontario.
The advisory group was established as part of the implementation of the recommendations of former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci in his report, First Nations Representation on Ontario Juries.
The Law Society places a priority upon Aboriginal issues and Robert Lapper’s participation in the advisory group will inform its ongoing work.
Under the newly launched TAG-The Action Group on Access to Justice, the Law Society will work with Aboriginal communities and its leadership, the justice sector and others to develop solutions to address the barriers to justice faced by First Nations and Metis peoples.
The Law Society is also developing options for renewing its Aboriginal initiatives strategy after the successful implementation of the recommendations from its 2009 Aboriginal Bar Consultation Report. This report identified initiatives that the Law Society could undertake to support Aboriginal lawyers, and now paralegals, to enhance their retention in the legal profession.