Notice to Counsel appearing before the Human Rights Tribunal

April 28, 2021

Re: Expectations of Counsel

The purpose of this notice is to draw counsel’s attention to the obligations to conduct themselves in a respectful, trauma-informed manner when appearing before the Tribunal, as set out in:

  • Rule 7(4)-(7) of the Tribunal’s Rules of Practice and Procedure
  • Sections 4-5 of the Tribunal’s Mediation Policy respecting trauma-informed process and Indigenous justice, truth, and reconciliation
  • The Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia, including:
    • the canons of legal ethics [2.1-2 (duty to client), 2.1-3 (duty to other lawyers), 2.1-5 (duty to oneself), 2.2 (integrity)];
    • the lawyer and the administration of justice [c. 5.6-1]
    • competence [c. 3.1-2]


The Benchers of the Law Society have issued a statement that lawyer competence includes:

  • knowledge of the history of Aboriginal-Crown Relations
  • the history and legacy of residential schools
  • specific legislation regarding Indigenous Peoples in Canada


We encourage all lawyers involved with cases involving Indigenous Peoples and/or those who have experienced historical trauma and discrimination to develop their competencies in those areas.