Petition to Remove BC's Attorney General Set to be Heard Today
UPDATE June 18, 2012 – The decision from the below hearing was released today. You can access Madam Justice MacKenzie’s dismissing Ms. Askin’s Petition here.
The on-going tension between the BC Government and the Courts may be further fanned as the BC Supreme Court is asked to weigh in on the qualifications of Shirley Bond to act as Attorney General.
Earlier this year Lesslie Askin filed a complaint with the Law Society of BC arguing that Shirley Bond, a non-lawyer, was unlawfully practicing law when she was appointed as Attorney General of BC. After seeking legal advice on the issue the Law Society rejected the complaint finding that the Premier had unfettered discretion with respect to this post and was not required to appoint a lawyer to BC’s highest legal office.
Ms. Askin, disagreeing with the result, filed a petition with the BC Supreme Court seeking Judicial Review of the Law Society’s decision. The Petition is scheduled to be heard today and tomorrow in Courtroom 46 before Madam Justice Stromberg-Stein.
When asked about her lack of legal training, Minister Bond told the Georgia Straight that “I believe that non-lawyers serving as Attorney General bring a common sense approach that most British Columbians can appreciate,”. Despite Ms. Askin being self represented, the Government does not appear to be treating this matter lightly, bringing some leading constitutional litigators to defend their position. It will be of interest to see how the Court deals with this potentially charged issue in the face of current tensions.
A copy of the Petition can be found here, the Government’s Response here and the Law Society’s here.