In 2006, the Law Society Act was amended by the Access to Justice Act, 2006 to provide for paralegal regulation in Ontario. Full paralegal regulation, under the auspices of the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC), began on May 1, 2007.
The legislation sets out statutory requirements for several progress reviews on the implementation of paralegal regulation. On June 28, 2012, the LSUC delivered its five year report (The “review period” in subsection 63.1 (1) ran from May 1, 2007 to April 30, 2012.) to the Attorney General. The report found that paralegal regulation is effective in regulating paralegals and beneficial to the public who use their services.
The Law Society Act also requires that a person who is neither a lawyer nor a paralegal be appointed to review the regulation of paralegals in Ontario and provide a report by November 1, 2012.
Mr. David Morris has been appointed to oversee this review. Mr. Morris is a professional writer, communicator and strategist with over 30 years of business management experience. Mr. Morris’ review will include:
- An assessment of the status of the regulation of paralegals and the integration of paralegal regulation into the Law Society’s system of regulation
- Consideration of the Law Society’s five year report on paralegal regulation
- Analysis of stakeholder feedback, including the perceptions and experiences of key stakeholders and the public
- Conclusions and possible suggestions for the Ministry of the Attorney General and/or the Law Society on options for enhancing the effectiveness of paralegal regulation.
Five Year Review of Paralegal Regulation
Under section 63.1 of the Law Society Act, the Law Society is required to conduct a review of the regulation of paralegals five years after regulation went into effect.
The Law Society conducted a consultation to review the manner in which licensed paralegals have been regulated, and the effect that regulation has had on licensed paralegals and on the public who have used paralegal services.
The report is now available.