The Equity Program

The Society created its Equity program in 1994 as a result of the Royal Commission on the Donald Marshall, Jr. Prosecution (1989-1990). The Marshall Inquiry found that racist and discriminatory attitudes existed within the province’s justice system. The Society determined that an Equity Program could assist the legal profession in examining and overcoming some longstanding historic issues and challenges.

The Equity Office mandate promotes the interests of equity-seeking groups in Nova Scotia by seeking to improve the administration of justice; addressing issues of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination in the legal profession; and ensuring that the legal profession adequately reflects the public it serves.

As part of the Society’s mandate to protect the public interest, the Equity Officer seeks to build equity and diversity values and principles into the policies, programs and procedures of the Society and for its members. The Society and its Equity Office also seek to ensure that both law and the practice of law reflect Nova Scotia’s diverse population, including African Nova Scotian, Mi’kmaq and other racialized and linguistic communities, as well as other equity-seeking communities.

Through the Equity Office, the Society actively addresses ways to make the profession more diverse and reflective of Canada’s multicultural communities. The Equity Office is responsible for a range of programs designed to increase lawyers’ understanding of issues related to human rights and all forms of harassment and discrimination across the diversity spectrum. The Equity Office supports the Racial Equity Committee and the Gender Equity Committee, in accordance with their mandates. The Equity Office provides resources for all Society departments, Council and Committees on issues of equity, diversity and discrimination and plays a leadership and consultative role when the Society engages in community outreach.

For more information, please contact the Equity Office at 902 422 1491 or