SPOT Team identifies action items to further address issues of discrimination and harassment

Posted: 04/26/2018

Spot-Team-344x259The SPOT (Steps, Progress, Opportunities and Tactics) Team reported to April Convocation on its review of the measures taken by and supports available at the Law Society to address discrimination and harassment in the professions.

The team considered existing programs, policies and processes in all operational areas of the Law Society, and assessed their effectiveness and what, if any, improvements were required.

It found that proactive procedures and significant supports are integrated throughout the organization’s programs and services, and that these are grounded in an appropriate and effective regulatory framework.

“We were pleased with the depth and the quality of the services the Law Society provides, and the priority given to issues of discrimination and harassment across the organization,” says bencher Jacqueline Horvat, SPOT Team member and vice-chair of the Professional Development and Competence Committee. “The action items the team identified will ensure the Law Society continues to be a leader in this area.”

The team proposed the following actions as enhancements to the Law Society’s current procedures and supports:

  1. Amending and strengthening the rules of conduct
  2. Reviewing and assessing the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel Program
  3. Enhancing marketing of Discrimination and Harassment Counsel and Member Assistance Programs
  4. Developing materials for lawyer and paralegal candidates and Principals to more overtly address the issue of harassment and discrimination in the professions
  5. Engaging with stakeholders and sharing best practices
  6. Continuing to offer and develop relevant CPD Programs
  7. Augmenting data collection processes to better track progress.

More information about each action item is available in the SPOT Team report to Convocation.

Treasurer Paul Schabas created the team in response to reports of discrimination and harassment coming out of the Articling Experience Survey. Benchers Cathy Corsetti, Jacqueline Horvat, Barbara Murchie, Tanya Walker, and Jonathan Rosenthal were appointed to review existing Law Society supports and consider what additional actions should be taken.

April 2018 Convocation Newsletter

Extraordinary Legal Professionals to be Honoured at Annual Awards Ceremony

Lawyers’ conduct rules amended re: discrimination and harassment

Robert Burd elected chair of Paralegal Standing Committee

Update on contingency fee reforms