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The Friday Brief

The Friday Brief: Editor-in-Chief’s must-read items from this week

Friday, July 05, 2019 @ 3:17 PM | By John Carson

John Carson %>
John Carson
Stepping in for the Managing Editor, here are my picks for the top stories we published this week.

Standards body issues anti-money laundering ‘guidance’ for lawyers as Ottawa, FLSC boost co-operation
Global pressure is mounting to enhance the legal profession’s anti-money laundering (AML) efforts, and Canadian lawyers are not immune, both domestically and internationally. When federal Justice Minister David Lametti met June 26 in Washington with his American counterpart, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, money laundering was among their top cross-border issues for discussion.

Indigenous Women and Girls report: What every lawyer can do | Alana Robert
During my first week of law school, I heard an impassioned speech from Cree scholar Jeffery Hewitt during a mandatory session for first-year students. The lecture was on the relationship between the Canadian state and Indigenous peoples. Naturally, a central aspect of this lecture addressed the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people phenomenon (MMIWG2S) in Canada. This included how the consequences of colonial history, disposal by state actors and negative depiction in media are all forces that continue to contribute to the reality of MMIWG2S in Canada. (Two-Spirit is a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit.)

StopSOP benchers will continue to oppose Statement of Principles | Michael Menear
On May 1, 2019, Ontario’s legal profession elected the StopSOP slate to repeal the Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) mandatory requirement that all licensees adopt a Statement of Principles (SOP). The SOP is a statement of values determined, defined and enforced by the society. At the June 27 Convocation, the StopSOP slate did what it was elected to do — it put forward a motion to repeal the requirement that Ontario lawyers adopt and promote an SOP.

Ontario’s cuts to legal aid for refugees: Possibly unconstitutional | Shiva Bakhtiary
The Ontario provincial government has called on the federal government to cover the full cost of refugee and immigration law services. Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is now prevented from doing refugee and immigration law with provincial funds. The organization will now have to rely solely on federal funding, which is not nearly enough to cover costs.

Incoming OBA president will focus on innovation in profession, access to justice
“Innovation” is the theme for Colin Stevenson’s upcoming presidency at the Ontario Bar Association (OBA). The litigator noted that “society is changing rapidly” and lawyers need to “keep up.”

John Carson is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Lawyer's Daily.