It will provide the LSBC with more “authority to regulate the legal profession in the public interest,” a news release said.
“The passage of this bill is the result of a significant effort on the part of the Ministry of Justice,” said Bruce LeRose, president of the LSBC.
The amendments to the act include:
• An updated mandate that highlights the commitment of the LSBC to protection the public interests in the administration of justice.
• Decisions of LSBC hearing panels are subject to review by a board that will include persons who are not lawyers.
• Where it is in the public interest, the LSBC will have the authority to suspend a lawyer under investigation or impose conditions on the lawyer’s practice.
• Maximum fines for lawyer misconduct will be increased to be more in line with those of other professional bodies and to act as a greater deterrent.
• The LSBC will have the ability to require witnesses to answer questions and produce records in an investigation into a lawyer’s conduct.
• The LSBC will be able to suspend or disbar lawyers convicted of a wider range of serious crimes, which will also be extended to include those committed outside Canada.
• The elected and appointed board of governors, not all lawyers, will set the annual fees paid by lawyers to fund the LSBC.
More on the amendments here.