Re-elect Gina Papageorgiou for BencherMarch 27, 2019
I believe that the most important issue facing the legal profession is access to justice.
To me, access to justice means affordable legal services, a robust legal aid system, and a professional culture that values and supports pro bono work. Access to justice means addressing the barriers to public interest careers caused by the high cost of legal education. It also means ensuring that the profession’s growing diversity benefits the clients and communities that we serve. A diverse, inclusive profession that addresses barriers faced by equity-seeking groups, including racialized, Indigenous, LGBTQ2S, differently abled, and women lawyers, is a stronger profession that is best able to serve our clients and communities.
Since my call to the Bar (1991), I have demonstrated my commitment to marginalized and vulnerable groups by serving the Human Rights Legal Support Centre as Vice Chair, the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic as President, and The Law Foundation of Ontario Class Proceedings Committee as Counsel. I have also seen equity and access issues from the perspective of a private practitioner and an adjudicator.
As a Bencher, I have:
- Worked towards improving diversity, inclusion and fair treatment of equity seeking groups as a member and former Vice-Chair of the Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee, in particular i) working towards implementation of the recommendations contained in the Challenges Faced by Racialized Lawyers Taskforce and application of the recommendations to other equity seeking groups; and ii) improvement of the Discrimination and Harassment Counsel program;
- Served as Vice-Chair of the Access to Justice Committee which has been working on solutions to the access to justice crisis;
- Supported Licensing and Regulation by supporting the Law Practice Program when the objective data demonstrated that it offered more consistent and better training in skills than articling;
- Worked towards improved transparency, accountability and governance as a member of the Governance Taskforce so that the LSO can better tackle important issues, in particular with approved recommendations to: i) reduce the privileges held by unelected Benchers; and ii) the enactment of a Code of Conduct for Benchers. I was also part of a group of Benchers who advocated for a more transparent system of appointments made by the LSO to external bodies like the Judicial Advisory Committee and the Legal Aid Board. As a result, the Treasurer created the Treasurer’s Appointments Advisory Committee where we created transparent criteria for the selection of persons appointed, together with a robust application process so we could attract many diverse members from the Bar.
I believe in hard work, thoughtful solutions, accountability, and transparent communication with the entire community.
If re-elected, I will continue working on your behalf to strengthen the profession and the public interest which it serves.
Please visit my website www.ginapapageorgiou.ca to find out more about my candidacy.
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