Hopefully, lawyers born in the Philippines and licensed to practice in British Columbia will be more represented in the province’s judicial system in the future.

 The representation of Canadian Filipino lawyers was one of the topics taken up in a reception with David Eby, Attorney General of B.C.

The meeting took place at the University Women Club’s Hycroft Manor in Vancouver on January 25, 2019.

The event was the brainchild of a committee composed of Canadian Filipino lawyers Jeanette M. Oostlander, Mylene de Guzman, and Claudia Poon.

A media release by Oostlander noted that many of the 20 lawyers in attendance met each other for the first time.

According to the release, they were “very enthusiastic about plans to hold other events in the months to come”.

These events include workshops and meetings with senior members of the legal profession with the goal of developing B.C. judges who immigrated to Canada from the Philippines.

“Minister Eby found out that there are presently no Filipino judges in any court in British Columbia. Being the head of the legal profession in B.C., Minister Eby came to discuss how to improve representation of Filipino lawyers in judicial and justice system-related appointments,” Oostlander said.

Attending the event with Eby were Margaret Mereigh, president of the Canadian Bar Association of British Columbia (CBABC), and Derrick Harder, a senior ministerial aide of the attorney general.

“The evening started with the AG [Eby] meeting each of the 20 lawyers in attendance,” according to the media release. “Everyone later gathered at a roundtable where the AG reiterated the BC government’s commitment to ensure a diverse judiciary that is reflective of the society. He articulated that a justice system is only able to garner confidence if the bench is representative of the public, adding that Filipinos have important values and perspectives to bring to the table.”

Mereigh and Harder likewise offered their assistance to help these Philippine-born lawyers raise their profile in the legal community.


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