BCLI to Release Guide on Gender Diversity in Legal Writing


April 2022

The BC Law Institute is creating a guide to gender inclusive writing for the legal profession. The guide presents different techniques for legal writers to employ in reflecting and respecting the full spectrum of human genders, and adopting gender inclusivity as a baseline component of objective legal writing.

In the same way laws evolve over time to meet the needs of new generations, language and writing styles must also adapt. Gender specific and binary language often exclude or marginalize people by drawing differences that have no impact on the information being conveyed. Further, gender inclusivity is a matter of justice and professionalism. Everyone is “equal before and under the law” as articulated in the Charter, and everyone deserves to be reflected within it.

This understanding has manifested in recent shifts in the legal profession, including Provincial and Supreme Court Practice Directives requiring the use of pronouns in court introductions, and the move away from My Lord and My Lady as honorifics. The BCLI is pleased to support the legal profession in making this move toward inclusivity.

The guide will be available on the BCLI website at bcli.org. This guide was prepared with the support of the Law Foundation of BC.