Candidate bio description
I am Selwyn Pieters, and I am your candidate for Bencher. I am a licensed lawyer in the province of Ontario, a middle aged Black Canadian, with dreadlocks. I am a Lawyer who cares about my community and access to justice in this province. I also care equally about the well-being of judges, lawyers, police officers, correctional officers and justice system participants including witnesses. I live in South Regent Park, one of the most notorious at-risk areas of Toronto. It is quite experiential living in a neighbourhood where the issues evolve around illegal firearms, gun violence, relationships between residents and the police, productive activities for young people and bridging the gap between affluent residents and those who are living below the poverty line.
I have lived in the City of Toronto for most of my life. I am competent, committed, and collaborative advocate who is interested in serving as a Bencher in the interest of all members (you and I), and in the public interest. Vote for me in the Law Society of Ontario Bencher elections.
I am not a rubber stamp and will vote no based on my conscience or the will of my constituents.
I will fight for the interest of Ontario lawyers and ensure accountability and governance that is responsive, and better serves members of the legal profession. I look forward to your support and your vote!
What inspired you to run for bencher this year?
I am a transformational leader who believes in self regulation of the legal profession. I will not be a rubber stamp. I will be a strong voice and necessary advocate for the interest of all Ontario lawyers to ensure accountability and governance that is responsive, and better serves members of the legal profession.
At its core, my work demonstrates that I am fair, fearless, and I am guided by integrity. I am for positive and transformational change at the Law Society of Ontario. It is for these reasons that I believe that I can be your voice as a Bencher. I look forward to your support and your vote!
What do you believe is the biggest issue facing the legal profession?
The biggest issue facing the legal profession is ensuing access to justice continues to remain an important cornerstone of the legal profession.
What would be your first priority upon election?
I am interested in championing as the first priority issue, supporting and improving for Lawyer's mental wellness and workplace mental health. Lawyering is not always a cushy profession. The legal profession is a microcosm of society and leadership support, and resources are necessary to help any Ontario lawyer in our ranks facing various impairments including alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and/or mental illness. I will seek more compassionate ways to 'end the stigma', including support and resources to help lawyers to improve their mental health and well-being in the workplace.
What do you hope to achieve over the next four years as a member of Convocation?
I am interested in better serving all members of the legal profession over the next four years as a member of convocation by setting directions that would improve the quality of supports, resources, policies and programs that would increase public confidence and respect for the legal profession including: 1) Keeping fees down for lawyers, students-at-law, and law students; 2) Access to Justice; 3) Supporting Legal Aid Ontario and Pro-Bono Law Ontario; 4) Human Rights, Equity and equality rights issues; 5) Legislative Review / Government relations; 6) Continuing Legal Education/Professional Development; 7) Regulatory issues inclusive of the Law Society Tribunal; 8)Gender neutral robing rooms at Osgoode Hall.
What's the most pressing concern for the profession in your region of the province?
Some of the most pressing concerns for the profession in Ontario includes: 1) Affordability as an entry point to the legal profession now and into the future; 2) Access to Justice; 3) Supporting Legal Aid Ontario and Pro-Bono Law Ontario; 4) Mediating competing rights pertaining to Human Rights, Equity and Equality Rights Issues; 5) Artificial Intelligence and it's impact on the profession; 6) Cyber crime and electronic data storage security; 7) Paralegals and their proper role in the justice sector; 8) Affordable Continuing Legal Education/Professional Development; 9) Regulatory issues inclusive of the Law Society Tribunal; 10) Creating All Gender robing rooms at Osgoode Hall.
Do you support the requirement to create and abide by a statement of principles?
Lawyers are governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Human Rights Code, the Solicitors Act and a complete regulatory scheme of which the statement of principles are a part until revoked or repealed.
I am on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/selwyn-pieters-b-a-ll-b-l-e-c-0b077a34/
And Twitter: @ selwynpieters
Bencher election homepage: http://www.selwynpieters.com/pieters4bencher.htm