Statement of Principles

 ARCH Disability Law Centre

 Statement of Principles

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion - 2018

1. Purpose

The purposes of this Statement of Principles are:

  • to promote diversity in ARCH’s work environment and in the manner in which ARCH and all of its licensees engage with clients and the broader public; and 
  • to meet the requirements of the Law Society of Ontario Recommendation 3(1) which requires every licensee to adopt and to abide by a statement of principles acknowledging their obligation to promote equality, diversity and inclusion generally, and in their behaviour towards colleagues, employees, clients and the public.

2. Preamble

Human rights legislation is afforded quasi-Constitutional status by the Supreme Court of Canada. It is of such import that under the Rules of Professional Conduct (for lawyers) and the Paralegal Rules of Conduct, licensees of the Law Society of Ontario have a special duty to respect human rights in their dealings with others.

3. Principles

3.1. ARCH is guided by the following set of core values:

  • The dignity and worth of all persons with disabilities must be respected;
  • Persons with disabilities have the right to life, self-determination, and full participation in a society free from barriers to their inclusion;
  • Persons with disabilities themselves are in the best position to determine their own priorities; and
  • All persons have a common responsibility to create communities accessible to all persons with disabilities.

3.2 No Discrimination or Harassment at ARCH

I am aware that under the Human Rights Code every person has the right to be free from discrimination and harassment in employment.

I acknowledge my obligation not to discriminate against or harass any person on the basis of the grounds under the Human Rights Code with respect to my employment or supervision of others, or in professional dealings with other licensees.

I acknowledge my obligation not to tolerate, condone, or ignore any form of Human Rights Code-based harassment or discrimination, in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.

I acknowledge that the right to be free from discrimination and harassment applies to everyone associated with ARCH: clients, partners, associates, students, clerks, legal assistants, or other employees.

3.3 Abide by Policies of ARCH

I agree to review, understand and abide by all policies that prohibit harassment and discrimination, and that encourage diversity and inclusion on the basis of the grounds set out in the Human Rights Code or other grounds.

I will report any observations or allegations of harassment or discrimination.

If asked, I will cooperate in any investigation and complaints procedure.

I will not reprise against, or threaten to reprise against anyone for making a formal complaint of harassment or discrimination, or for cooperating in any investigation.

3.4 Promote Diversity and Inclusion

To promote diversity and inclusion, I agree to:

  • review, understand and abide by any and all of policies of ARCH that encourage diversity and inclusion on Human Rights Code or other grounds;
  • encourage a culture of inclusion and diversity at ARCH, to help attract and retain the best talent and better serve clients’ needs;
  • support strategies at ARCH (and beyond it, where appropriate) that prioritize diversity and inclusion on Human Rights Code and other grounds in hiring, promotion and retention decisions; and
  • cooperate and engage in any efforts of the Law Society, ARCH and others to advance equality, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in the broader community.

4. Reconciliation

As a licensee of the Law Society of Ontario, I stand by the following:

A commitment to advance reconciliation;

An acknowledgement of the importance of understanding that Canada is home to three distinct legal orders: Common, Civil and Indigenous; and

A recognition of the diversity of the Ontario public, which includes communities of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

5. Serve Clients/ the Public

I am aware that under the Human Rights Code, every person has the right to be free from discrimination and harassment with respect to the provision of services, including legal services.

I will provide legal services in a manner that is courteous and equitable, without discrimination or harassment.

I will ensure that no client or prospective client is denied services or receives inferior service on the basis of the grounds set out in the Human Rights Code.

I will actively promote the protection of human rights and the principles of diversity and inclusion by clients and, where appropriate, the broader public.

I will respect both the letter and spirit of human rights legislation in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.

6. Statement of Commitment

By signing below, I acknowledge that valuing equality and enhancing diversity and inclusion in my practice, at ARCH, and in my public life is central to the maintenance of public trust and confidence in the legal profession.

To help achieve the objectives of valuing equality and enhancing diversity and inclusion, I have adopted this Statement of Principles.