Updated Legislation for LSBC, APEGBC

On May 9, 2012, the Province of British Columbia passed and gave royal assent to the Legal Profession Amendment Act, 2012, amended legislation that provides much-need updates to the 1998 act and which gives the Law Society of British Columbia the appropriate authority to regulate the legal profession in the public interest. Changes include:

  • an updated mandate that highlights the commitment to the protection of the public interest in the administration of justice;
  • review of LSBC hearing panel decisions by a board that includes non- lawyers;
  • authority to suspend a lawyer under investigation or impose conditions on the lawyer’s practice;
  • increased maximum fines for lawyer misconduct; and
  • authority for the LSBC board of governors to set annual fees.

The provincial government has also passed new legislation that modernizes the Engineers and Geoscientists Act. Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2) includes 11 proposed amendments brought forward by the the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. The changes will better enable APEGBC to admit qualified professionals trained outside of British Columbia by streamlining the registration process while ensuring that high standards of entry to the professions are maintained. The amendments also provide APEGBC with broader options for managing investigation and disciplinary matters. The outdated Engineers and Geoscientists Act, first brought into law in 1920, significantly hampered APEGBC’s ability to effectively carry out its regulatory duties with respect to the registration of qualified applicants and the discipline of its members. The new amendments, which received royal assent on May 31, 2012, will also enable APEGBC to support labour force development through improved processes to allow qualified professionals trained outside of B.C. to practise engineering and geoscience in the province.

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