Calgary, Alberta—The Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) announced the filing of an Amended Application in the Charter challenge brought by Dr. Ryan Alford against the Law Society of Upper Canada’s requirement that licensees draft and endorse a personal “Statement of Principles.”
The amended application can be found here.
More information about the case can be found at theccf.ca/noforcedspeech
The Amended Application was already in the process of being drafted when the Law Society issued new guidance on the Statement of Principles requirement yesterday. The Amended Application adds an alternative avenue of relief in the form of a request for a declaration by the court that, among other things, the Statement of Principles requirement does not require any endorsement or profession of belief and is merely an acknowledgement of existing obligations governing the conduct of licensees.
“In light of the legal and constitutional concerns raised with the mandatory Statement of Principles, we are cautiously pleased that the Law Society has seen fit to clarify some of the more troubling and ambiguous parts of its earlier guidance,” said CCF Executive Director, Howard Anglin. “Unfortunately, the earlier inconsistent advice remains on the Law Society’s website and the status, scope, and legal weight of the new guidelines is unclear.”
“We hope that the Law Society will stand by the spirit of the new guidance and consent to the declaration we are seeking, which will ensure that lawyers and paralegals are not compelled to draft a Statement demonstrating that they personally value specific principles – even principles they may agree with – as a condition of practicing their profession.”
The Canadian Constitution Foundation (“Freedom’s Defence Team”) is a registered charity, independent and non-partisan, whose mission is to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through education, communication and litigation.