Macleans is law-baiting again. This time the object of their attention is the country’s law societies, or at least some of them, and the theme is the same old “who will guard the guards themselves?”. The title of the piece by Kate Lunau — “Law societies under fire” — gives the impression that all across the country benchers, or their local equivalents, are hunkered down in bunkers, whereas the body of the article gives us nothing new, nothing that hasn’t been mooted many times before respecting self-governing professions.
Essentially the article points out that in England and Wales, and in “most” Australian states, self-regulation has for some years now been supplemented by an independent complaint process. This is a sensible and perhaps necessary reform, and one that has been discussed on and off in Canada for decades. There’s nothing new here and nothing that the article reveals to be urgent or even particularly pressing.
This is not to say that law societies have always been efficient and thorough watchdogs or that reforms are unnecessary. My criticism of the article is that it is badly argued. (“With so many Canadians losing faith in the justice system—or feeling shut out of it entirely—change seems inevitable.” Huh? Law societies are now the “justice system”? Canadians have “lost faith” in it? Sez who? etc.)
But have a look and judge for yourself.