The decision of the Law Society of British Columbia’s Discipline Committee not to hold a discipline hearing, is not subject to judicial review

28. September 2010 0

Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Law Societies – Barristers and solicitors – Disciplinary proceedings – Powers of Disciplinary Committee – Public interest – Judicial review – application – Availability – No reasonable cause of action – Remedies – Interlocutory injunctions – Availability – Self-governing professions

Taylor v. Law Society of British Columbia, [2010] B.C.J. No. 1555, 2010 BCSC 1098, British Columbia Supreme Court, August 4, 2010, B. Fisher J.

In 2007, the Law Society of British Columbia (“LSBC”) received a complaint about the petitioner’s conduct. The LSBC’s Conduct Review Subcommittee (“CRS”) recommended that a citation be issued against the petitioner. The LSBC Discipline Committee considered the matter in 2009. While the Discipline Committee did not accept the recommendation of the CRS to issue a citation, it accepted the CRS’s report and took no further action on the complaint.

The petitioner applied to, inter alia, quash the decision of the Discipline Committee and sought an interim injunction directing the LSBC to delete the Discipline Committee’s decision from his file. The petitioner argued that the Discipline Committee made a determination regarding his professional conduct (because it accepted the CRS conclusions) and yet denied the petitioner the right to defend himself. The Court disagreed; the Court found that the Discipline Committee did not make a determination regarding the petitioner’s professional conduct. Rather, the Discipline Committee’s decision not to proceed with further action was an administrative one and was not subject to the Judicial Review Procedure Act. Regarding the petitioner’s application for an interim injunction, the Court held that the LSBC was obliged to maintain the documents as part of its duties to regulate the practice of law and to protect the interest of its members and its duties to the public.

The Court dismissed the petitioner’s application and allowed the respondent’s application by striking out the petition on the grounds that it disclosed no reasonable claim under the British Columbia Court Rule 19(24).

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