Model Code of Professional Conduct

Canadians expect members of the legal profession to conduct themselves ethically in accordance with high standards of professionalism set out in enforceable rules of conduct.  A core function of Canada’s law societies is to set these rules and ensure they are respected through a complaints and discipline process.

The Federation established the Standing Committee on the Model Code of Professional Conduct (the “Standing Committee”) to review the Model Code on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is both responsive to and reflective of current legal practice and ethics. The Standing Committee is mandated by the Federation to monitor changes in the law of professional responsibility and legal ethics, to receive and consider feedback from law societies and other interested parties regarding the rules of professional conduct, and to make recommendations for amendments to the Model Code.

2020 Consultation on Proposed Amendments to the Model Code

In accordance with that mandate, the Standing Committee follows an extensive process of review, analysis and deliberation before recommending amendments to the Model Code. Consultation with the law societies and other interested stakeholders is an essential component of this process.

The amendments proposed in the latest Consultation Report address issues related to the duties related to non-discrimination and harassment and ex parte communications with courts and tribunals. The Standing Committee will carefully consider the feedback it receives, making further changes to the proposed amendments as appropriate. The deadline for providing feedback is May 29, 2020. Please send your feedback to consultations@flsc.ca.

Matching of Model Code Provisions in the Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct

The Federation’s Standing Committee on the Model Code has also been working on an online tool, the Interactive Model Code of Professional Conduct, that links the provisions in the Model Code to the matching or related provisions in every law society in Canada.

Every provision in the Model Code has been matched with the corresponding provision in each provincial or territorial code.  As a result, the provincial codes are not always displayed in their actual order. Where the Model Code provision has been implemented in a jurisdiction, the matching provision from the jurisdiction appears first. If a jurisdiction has added other related rules, these rules have been matched to the provision in the Model Code determined to be the most relevant. Any added rules appear after the matching implemented Model Code rule.