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MOTION ON NON-DISCRIMINATION IN LEGAL EDUCATION WHEREAS: Discrimination continues in the legal profession and legal education in Canada despite

e significant progress toward its elimination, undermining public confidence in the administration of justice, access to legal resources and education, and respect for the rule of law; Ending discrimination in the legal profession benefits the profession by enabling it to represent itself with integrity as an advocate for justice and by improving the professions representativeness of and responsiveness to Canadian society; Discrimination and exclusion in legal education undermines the ethical underpinnings of the legal profession and contributes to a corrosive educational environment that is hostile to freedom of expression; Diversity among law school faculty and students is integral to an open and enriching environment for teaching and learning the law and the formation of values in law school has a long-term impact on future lawyers; Discrimination is not a recognized protected form of freedom of expression and any conflict between enumerated freedoms must consider the potential impact on the legal profession, the justice system, and society as a whole; Canadian law prohibits an institution from discriminating on constitutionally protected grounds, including targeted discrimination of the inseparable practices of a minority group rather than its members identity; 1 The Law Society of Upper Canada has a statutory duty to carry out its functions, duties, and powers to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario, and to protect the public interest; 2 The Law Society of Upper Canada and its counterparts have a legal obligation to apply the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the provincial/territorial human rights codes every time they make a decision; 3 The Charter prohibits law societies from facilitating the creation of unequal access to the legal profession for minority groups, either directly or by accrediting exclusive law schools or other discriminatory pathways for access to the bar; The Ontario Bar Association is committed to continuously improving the legal professions inclusion, representativeness of Canadian society, and respect for the equality of lawyers, legal academics, and students of law; and

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Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, 2013 SCC 11. Law Society Act, RSO 1990, Chapter L.8, s. 4.2. 3 Dor v. Barreau du Quebec, 2012 SCC 12.

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The Ontario Bar Association is committed to lowering barriers for qualified individuals seeking access to legal education or practice in Canada;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Ontario Bar Association: Calls on the Law Society of Upper Canada to require all legal education programs recognized for admission to the bar of the Province of Ontario provide equal opportunity without discrimination on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, age, mental or physical disability, or conduct that is integral to and inseparable from identity for all persons involved in legal education (including faculty and employees, applicants for admission, enrolled students, and graduates) and to ensure that this anti-discrimination requirement applies equally to proposed new programs of legal education and currently accredited programs; Calls on the Law Society of Upper Canada and its counterparts in other provinces and territories to codify this requirement in any existing or forthcoming national accreditation requirement under the purview of the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, its successor, or other such consortia of provincial and territorial law societies; and Calls on the Law Society of Upper Canada to withhold or rescind accreditation from law schools or legal education programs that do not meet this fundamental requirement, without prejudice to students currently enrolled or admitted to accredited law schools that lose their accreditation.

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