April 27, 2023

Engagement on Bill 82: Legal Professions Act

The Standing Committee on Social Development (Committee) welcomes your input on Bill 82: Legal Professions Act.
Bill 82 is replacing and modernizing the current Legal Professions Act. The Legal Professions Act is the legislation that governs the NWT Law Society, which regulates lawyers in the NWT.

Bill 82 incorporates many of the 54 changes recommended by the Law Society of the NWT in the Discussion Paper: A Review of the Legal Profession Act of the Northwest Territories.

In Committee’s review of Bill 82, Committee was drawn to a few focal points for further review.

  • Committee acknowledges that “access to justice” was a recommendation in the discussion paper of which the Bill is silent.
  • Committee acknowledges there are several clauses in the Bill that improve and expand options in the discipline process for the legal profession.
  • Committee contemplates if there should be more of a role for the legal profession with respect to supporting the important role of law libraries to ensure public access to legal materials.
  • Committee acknowledges that the Bill does not specify ongoing education for lawyers, particularly in regard to training for cultural safety and trauma-informed practice.

Committee would like to receive public comment on all aspects of Bill 82 but most especially on the items noted above.
Committee is seeking residents’ input to ensure the voices of northerners are heard.
Committee invites participants for the public hearing scheduled for May 10, 2023.
Committee also welcomes written submissions by May 10, 2023.

Please address all communications on Bill 82 to [email protected].

Standing Committee will report Bill 82 to the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly during the May/June sitting.

Please find attached for your information:
Plain Language Summary of Bill 82
Bill 82: Legal Profession Act

Caitlin Cleveland, Chair
Standing Committee on Social Development

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