Ontario Protecting Access to Affordable Legal Representation

Ministry of the Attorney General

The Ontario government is proactively working with the Law Society of Ontario to establish a program that will ensure the federal government's Bill C-75 does not restrict paralegals, lawyer licensing candidates or law students from providing legal representation to people charged with summary conviction offences.

The government has responded to the concerns expressed by Ontario's legal community that federal changes to aspects of the Criminal Code in Bill C-75 could restrict access to affordable legal representation provided by paralegals, lawyer licensing candidates (including articling students) and law students, all of whom are agents regulated by the Law Society of Ontario. This could limit opportunities for law students and lawyer licensing candidates to gain valuable professional experience, as they currently do.

The Ontario government has issued an order-in-council to designate authority to the Law Society to determine who has the ability to appear in summary conviction court as a regulated agent.