Key Concepts of a Statement of Principles

This document is intended to assist licensees with the following requirement:

to abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.(Recommendation 3(1))

A statement of principles that acknowledges the obligation to promote equality, diversity, and inclusion (a) generally, and; (b) in a licensee’s behaviour towards others, may consist of:

  • preamble explaining the grounds for and intentions of the statement of principles; and
  • set of principles adopted to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
  1. Preamble

    The grounds for the statement of principles can include the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Paralegal Rules of Conduct of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and human rights legislation (the Ontario Human Rights Code or the Canadian Human Rights Act).

    The intention of the statement of principles is specific to each licensee and can include a commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion and a commitment to uphold existing obligations with respect to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Paralegal Rules of Conduct and human rights legislation with respect to the employment of others, or in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.  

  2. Set of Principles

    A set of principles adopted to promote equality, diversity and inclusion might include:

  1. No Discrimination or Harassment
    A commitment not to discriminate against, nor harass, any person on the basis of any ground under the Human Rights Code with respect to the employment of others, or in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.

    * These grounds include: race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, record of offences, marital status, family status, or disability. Definitions of some of these grounds are set out in section 10(1) of the Code. For more elaboration on these “prohibited grounds” see: http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/ontario-human-rights-code.
     
  2. Abide by Workplace Policies
    An agreement to review, understand, and abide by any and all policies in your legal workplace that prohibit harassment and discrimination, and/or that encourage diversity and inclusion all Human Rights Code or other grounds.

  3. Promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
    An agreement to promote equality, diversity and inclusion by, e.g.: supporting strategies in your legal workplace (and beyond it) respecting equality, diversity and inclusion on Human Rights Code and other grounds in hiring, promotion, and retention decisions.

  4. Client Service/ Members of the Public
    An agreement to ensure that no client or prospective client is denied services or receives inferior service on the basis of the grounds set out in the Human Rights Code. Observe human rights legislation in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.

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