LUO Statement condemning Law Society’s disregard for due process in “cheating” scandal

The Law Union of Ontario expresses its condemnation of the recent actions of the Law Society of Ontario in punishing over 100 prospective lawyers, most of whom are apparently visible minorities, without any due process and despite the absence of evidence of intentional wrongdoing.  This relates to the bar exams administered in November 2021 which were compromised due to a Law Society security breach. The Divisional Court recently invalidated the punitive actions of the Law Society, but the debacle should not have gone that far in the first instance. 
As stated in the Law Union’s letter: “The recent decision of the Divisional Court in Mirza et al. v. Law Society of Ontario, 2023 ONSC 6727 (CanLII), <>exposed some deeply troubling conduct by the Law Society of Ontario.  As the regulator of the legal profession, the Law Society ought to be a paragon of justice and fairness. Instead, it railroaded a whole class of potential future lawyers, denied them due process, harshly punished them in the absence of evidence of wrongdoing, tarnished their reputations, and wreaked emotional and financial havoc on them and their families.  The Law Union of Ontario urges the Law Society to embrace the Divisional Court decision as an important teaching moment, ask itself some hard questions about what kind of culture within the organization could allow such a debacle to unfold the way it did, and make every effort to remedy the damage it has caused.”

Link to full letter

Statement from the Steering Committee of the Law Union concerning the Open Letter to the Legal Community on Pro-Palestine Speech

The Law Union of Ontario condemns the recent attack by Hamas against innocent Israelis, the ongoing attacks by Israel against innocent Gazans, and all expressions of hate including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and anti-Arab racism, all of which have amplified in the wake of these attacks. 

The Law Union supports the rights of all people to freely speak out against human rights abuses and atrocities, and to call out Canada for its foreign policy positions. However, it appears that some prominent voices equate any criticism of Israel’s military policies as constituting anti-Semitism. This is a false equivalency. It would be similarly unfair to label those who have condemned the heinous actions of Hamas as being Islamophobic or anti-Arab.  

Regrettably, we have heard of instances where hierarchical power structures have worked to oppress people speaking out against atrocities in Gaza, dismissing such discourse as being anti-Semitic and thereby stifling respectful public discussion on this important issue.

It has been reported (see Toronto Star article) that at least one law school and at least one prominent law firm have recently taken actions to oppress certain speech regarding the ongoing conflict. The LUO, as well as we believe the public at large, expects lawyers and law firms to be the final wall of resistance to attacks on freedom of expression.  We are sadly disappointed by the actions of our colleagues in abandoning their responsibility in this regard.

For this reason, the Law Union has signed onto the Open Letter to Legal Community on Pro-Palestine Speech

Law Union AGM – Saturday March 4, 2023

The Law Union of Ontario will be hosting our annual AGM on Saturday, March 4th, 2023. This is a great opportunity to get involved with the Law Union, and to help support progressive legal work in Toronto. Food and coffee will be provided. This year we’re excited to be joined by Diana Chan McNally, a Toronto-based community worker, housing advocate, and educator who will discuss the state of housing and homelessness in Toronto.

Meeting Details:

Time: 09:30am-Noon

Location: 60 Lowther St, Toronto, ON (Friend’s House)

Zoom Link

We’re using a normal Zoom meeting for this event rather than a live stream, as members may need to vote on motions. Please use the link below to join the meeting on Saturday.

Topic: Law Union of Ontario – Annual General Meeting
Time: Mar 4, 2023 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 838 5212 6651
Passcode: 883846
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Call to Action Against White Supremacy and Police Violence

On May 27, 2020, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, a 29-year-old Afro-Indigenous woman, suffered a horrific death during an interaction with Toronto police. Just eight days later, Chantel Moore, an Indigenous woman from Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, was killed by New Brunswick police during another police interaction, dubiously referred to in the media as a “wellness check.” These devastating incidents are the latest in the countless acts of state violence targeting Black and Indigenous people in Canada, and are part of a broader longstanding history of white-supremacist colonial oppression. These incidents also occur in the context of a long history of fatalities in encounters between police and people experiencing mental distress.

We are outraged and grief-stricken over these egregious injustices, and so many others. To our Black and Indigenous community members: we cry, rage, and stand with you.

As an organization committed to the dismantling of oppressive systems, the Law Union strongly urges its white and non-Black/non-Indigenous members to reflect deeply on privilege, positionality and complacency, and commit to taking action against anti-Black/anti-Indigenous racism and lethal policing of people in mental distress. As Dr. Angela Davis generously teaches us, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be antiracist.”

Taking action can take many forms, both short and long term. In the short term, it involves exerting pressure on governments and institutions to take these tragedies seriously, as the details of what happened will not come to light unless we demand them collectively. It involves contacting elected representatives and civil servants to demand transparency and accountability. It could mean attending (safely) a protest. We highlight the demands brought forth by the organizers of the protest in Toronto on May 30th: an independent investigation into the death of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, oversight of the SIU, and charges brought to the officers involved. It could also involve direct economic support for the families of Chantel Moore (, Regis Korchinski-Paquet ( and/or groups on the front lines fighting for justice for Black and Indigenous peoples, and other peoples of colour (e.g.;

In the long term, crucially, taking action must include an unwavering commitment to the deliberate and constant deepening of one’s understanding of the oppressive structures that systematically privilege whiteness and ableness in our society, and the essential concurrent commitment to rip these structures down at every opportunity. One resource can be found here:

Let us take care of each other. Let us transform our anger and grief into solidarity and courage in the fight for Justice and a better world.

In Solidarity,

The Law Union of Ontario