THE ADVOCATE 735
VOL. 78 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2020
unique and significant space which serves to preserve the collegiality of the
bar, provides much-needed space for continuing legal education (often at
discounted rates to the organizations that use it) and advances connection
between bench, bar and the public.
For 40 years the original artwork which graces the cover of our magazine
has decorated the walls of the Law Courts Inn commemorating the many
remarkable lawyers, judges and registrars who have served the province, its
people and the cause of justice. These original works of art help preserve
the history of the profession and its significant role in shaping British
Columbia. The Law Courts Inn is a place where any member of the public
is welcome to interact with lawyers, the law and the unique history of the
Lawyers Inn Society. The Law Courts Inn houses a table made from the
original timbers of the Inner Temple in London – a gift to the Lawyers Inn
Society from that august 14th century entity.
The idea of converting such beautiful and important public space for
unspecified office use saddens us deeply. Many of us have been present at
events too numerous to mention which have hosted judges and dignitaries
from overseas as well as Chief Justices, Premiers, Governors General, Attorneys
General, and every level of counsel from across Canada and the Commonwealth.
With the current pandemic affecting all British Columbians we
can think of no urgency that would necessitate the acquisition of this space
at the expense of the profession without further consultation with affected
individuals and groups. Bear in mind that the Law Courts Inn is a space
which has hosted political debates, fundraisers for various charities, and
forums for specialized groups administering justice to all strata of society.
In our respectful view, the historical, cultural, professional and social
aspects of the practice of law in British Columbia can only be harmed by the
removal of this resource for practitioners, judges, mentors and students of
the law. That, in turn, can only serve to harm the public interest which is
what is ultimately served by this public space.
We respectfully ask that you reconsider the decision which will negatively
impact so many within the profession and many more who rely on it.
D. Michael Bain, editor
Ludmila B. Herbst, Q.C., assistant editor
Peter J. Roberts, Q.C., contributing editor
The Honourable Jon Sigurdson (retired), contributing editor
Samantha Chang, contributing editor
Connor Bildfell, copyeditor