Law society’s new policy compels speech, crossing line that must not be crossed

Every lawyer gets emails from the Law Society: reminders to file reports, pay fees, or use assistance programs to cut back on the booze. But a recent message almost made me choke on my sandwich. “New obligations for 2017” was its subject line, “Actions you need to take.” All lawyers, it said, must prepare and submit a personal “Statement of Principles” attesting that we value and promote equality, diversity and inclusion. According to the advisory, “The intention of the statement of principles is to demonstrate a personal valuing of equality, diversity, and inclusion with respect to the employment of others, or in professional dealings with other licensees or any other person.”

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