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Self Governing Bodies

Letting organizations police themselves is not working

In British Columbia, we allow our lawyers to police themselves through the BC Law Society. The result is that they protect themselves. The BC government has now indicated that they plan to take it over entirely. Similarly, our doctors self regulate themselves through the College of Physicians, also a creation of the provincial legislature. The result was that during Covid, the body became wholly political, and engaged in punitive confiscations of doctor's and nurse's licenses. In 2022, the BC parliament amalgamated all of the various Colleges into one, and took majority ownership of the board. Federally, the Canadian Judicial Council was created after the outrage over a federal judge allowing a pedophile to walk free, and it is, on paper, supposed to regulate itself. However, it too is comprised of judges that protect themselves. Finally, the ethics committee is a parliamentary body that is suppose to, in theory, police itself and its members, but it too has become wholly politicized to the point where it is the laughing stock of the nation.

I see two solutions to this problem. The first solution would be to open these organizations up to the open market. As an example, rather than having a single BC law society, disband it entirely and allow lawyers to either operate independently and on their own reputations, or let commercial organizations emerge that ensure compliance as their brand, and, thus, have a vested interest in disciplining lawyers who tarnish that brand. The second solution would be for institutions which would need to be public, such as with the judiciary, in which case, we would need to introduce civilian oversight, either through elections, or by appointments by democratically elected representatives. In my opinion, we need a combination of both.

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