Sidney Green v. Law Society of Manitoba

(Manitoba) (Civil) (By Leave)


Law of professions - Barristers and solicitors, Discipline.


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Law of professions – Barristers and solicitors – Discipline – Applicant lawyer challenging validity of Law Society mandatory continuing professional development regulations and administrative suspension sanction – Can a statutory professional association suspend and cancel the right of one of its members to practice his or her profession, as a means of compelling the member to participate in what had been a voluntary program, or as punishment for not participating, when there is no specific section in the legislation authorizing suspension or cancellation?

Mr. Green is a lawyer, called to the Bar of Manitoba in 1955, who did not comply with the requirement prescribed by the Law Society of Manitoba (“LSM”) to complete a minimum of twelve hours of annual continuing professional development (“CPD”) activities. He challenged the validity of those rules under which the LSM had suspended his practicing certificate on two grounds. First, he argued that The Legal Profession Act, C.C.S.M., c. L107 did not explicitly permit the LSM to enact mandatory CPD rules and to enforce those rules with the imposition of a suspension. Secondly, he argued that the rules violated the principles of natural justice because they gave the LSM authority to impose a suspension without a right of hearing or appeal.