Bencher elections are held every two years in odd-numbered years in nine electoral districts across British Columbia. Benchers are elected for two-year renewable terms.
The next Bencher election will be held in November 2019, to elect Benchers in all districts for the term January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021. Voting will occur from November 1 to November 14, and votes will be counted on November 15, 2019.
Candidate eligibility and nominations
Rules 1-22 and 1-23 set out the eligibility criteria to be a candidate for election as a Bencher and the nomination requirements.
To be valid, nominations of candidates for election must be received by the Law Society by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. Each nomination must be signed by two nominators (who are members in good standing and eligible to vote in the relevant district) and must contain the nominee’s consent to the nomination.
To submit a nomination, please download and complete the Candidate’s Nomination and Consent Form, or contact Natalie Carter-Osborne, Administrator, Bencher Relations and Events, at 604.697.5823 (toll-free 1.800.903.5300) or BencherRelations@lsbc.org.
Information about the candidates running in the Bencher election will be posted on this web page and on the online voting platform after the close of nominations on October 15, 2019 and before voting commences on November 1, 2019.
Benchers encourage diversity in candidates seeking office
The Benchers believe that the Law Society's mandate to protect the public interest in the administration of justice is best served by leadership from diverse backgrounds and experience. Diversity that brings the skill and richness of talent reflected in the peoples of British Columbia strengthens our legal community and the community at large. All lawyers who meet the qualifications for Bencher and want to contribute to the governance of the profession are encouraged to stand for election. We particularly encourage Indigenous lawyers, racialized lawyers, LGBTQ2+ lawyers, lawyers with disabilities, young lawyers, and those practising predominantly in solicitors' fields to stand for election, as these groups continue to be underrepresented among elected Benchers. Although the Law Society has achieved, and been enriched by, gender parity among its elected Benchers, it continues to encourage women to stand for election as part of its commitment to achieve leadership that is reflective of the face, talents and strengths of all British Columbians.
Roles and duties of Benchers
The Benchers are the Law Society’s volunteer board of governors. They govern and administer the affairs of the Law Society in accordance with the Legal Profession Act, set and enforce standards of professional responsibility for lawyers, and preside at discipline and credentials hearings.
Benchers can expect their duties to consume approximately four or five full days a month. This is made up of preparation for and attendance at Bencher meetings, committee, task force or working group meetings, and sitting on hearing panels.
Learn more about the Bencher Elections