On March 9, 2020 the Provincial Government introduced Bill 28, which proposes amendments to The Legal Profession Amendment Act to expand the scope of services that can be provided by persons other than lawyers and articling students.
In 2018 the Benchers of the Law Society approved a Report from the Special Committee on Alternate Legal Service Providers which recommended that the Act be amended to permit the Benchers to authorize the provision of prescribed legal services by persons with a limited licence. The Report also recommended that the Benchers be given the authority to expand upon the exceptions to the unauthorized practice of law provisions of the Act.
Bill 28 is a response to that request. In summary this proposed legislation will permit the Law Society to establish the scope of practice for limited practitioners and to ensure that:
- those who provide services will only do so under a limited licence
- with appropriate training and education; and
- in areas that pose no risk to the public
“We will proceed carefully and cautiously in exercising this authority, and only after consulting with the public, the profession and other stakeholders in the justice system in order to identify the unmet legal needs in the province “
The Benchers are responsible for protecting the public interest in the delivery of legal services and are committed to facilitating increased access to justice for all Manitobans. Bill 28 will provide the Law Society with the flexibility to identify categories of service providers who can provide a narrow scope of legal services to the public to meet the unmet needs that exist. You can expect to hear much more about this as the Law Society begins its consultations in 2020.
For more information see Bill 28.