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Digest of the Week — CPD Requirements Don't Breach Procedural Fairness

Green v. Law Society of Manitoba |
2014 CarswellMan 760 |
Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench

Professions and occupations | Barristers and solicitors | Organization and regulation of profession | Law societies | Miscellaneous

Lawyer did not meet requirements for continuing professional development put in place by law society of Manitoba — Lawyer brought application to have continuing professional development rules declared invalid — Application dismissed — Law Society of Manitoba has statutory authority to establish rules mandating annual continuing professional development requirements for its members and suspend members who fail to comply — Law society had statutory authority to establish standards and impose sanctions on members — Although consequence of failure to comply with mandatory continuing professional development rules may result in suspension of member's practicing certificate, it does not trigger complaint referral — Failure to use term mandatory in relevant portion of The Legal Profession Act was not fatal to creation of mandatory rules by law society — Power to suspend member without hearing for failure to comply with rules was not breach of natural justice — Non-compliance could be ascertained with objective certainty — Members who did not meet continuing professional development were given 60 days to complete requirement consisting of 12 hours of credits, which did not amount to indefinite suspension — Mandatory requirements were not breach of procedural fairness — Rules as to non-compliance struck proper procedural balance between nature or gravity of offence and potential penalty — Any common law right to practice law was subject to regulation by law society.
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