Professional Responsibility
NSBS Statement Following Court of Appeal Howe Decision

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The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal released its decision today regarding the disbarment of lawyer Lyle Howe. The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has upheld the hearing panel’s decision to disbar Mr. Howe. Find the decision here. 

The Society respects the Court’s decision and processes. 

We recognize that allegations of systemic racism in the legal system were raised throughout this case. The Society continues to be deeply committed to addressing issues of systemic racism in the justice system since the release of the Marshall Inquiry recommendations nearly 30 years ago.

Over the last few years, we have:

  • increased diversity on all of our committees,
  • dedicated initiatives to support the cultural competence of Nova Scotia’s legal profession,
  • established a Truth & Reconciliation Commission Working Group to help us respond effectively to the Calls to Action, and
  • engaged with community members in Millbrook First Nation and at the Black Cultural Centre in Cherry Brook to hear firsthand about the realities and challenges in these communities.

Our Racial Equity committee continues to support our work to address systemic racism as they:

  • raise awareness of the issues of racial inequity in the legal profession,
  • develop policy options for the promotion of equity and diversity in the legal profession in Nova Scotia, and
  • help identify barriers to and facilitate active involvement of racialized and Aboriginal lawyers in the volunteer functions of the Society.

We acknowledge that there are always lessons to be learned. We are dedicated to continuously learning, to adapting our processes as necessary and to leading Nova Scotia’s legal profession by example.

Please direct all media inquiries to:

Collette Deschenes
NSBS Communications Advisor