Falconers LLP Calls for Diversifying SIU Leadership
Falconers LLP lawyer, Anthony Morgan, is quoted in an article on police oversight published in the April 24, 2017 edition of Law Times.
In his March 2017 Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review, Justice Tulloch recommended that Ontario move away from the de facto requirement of having a Director of the Special Investigations Unit (“SIU”) that is either a former prosecutor or lawyer.
Responding to this recommendation, Morgan stated, “considering non-lawyers for the next head of the province’s Special Investigations Unit could help bring more racial diversity. The chance of having police oversight bodies represents the diversity of Ontario’s population severely diminishes as soon as the qualifications for the positon are restricted to being a lawyer. By removing this requirement, you open up the opportunity for racialized people to enter the fray, because we know there is an underrepresentation of racialized people within the legal profession.”
In recent years, the SIU has faced major criticisms following several high-profile police killings of civilians, with many of the victims being racialized and/or experiencing mental distress at the time of the incident. Some of this criticism has highlighted that the SIU directorship has displayed a lack of diversity both racially and professionally, even though the only individuals barred from serving in the position are current or former police officers.
In the News
Better Racial Diversity for SIU if head is non-lawyer Law Times, April 24, 2017
‘The conversation has shifted’ April 8, 2017, Toronto Star Touch
Human rights chief praises police oversight report’s focus on race and diversity April 7, 2017, Toronto Star
Report of the Independent Police Oversight Review April 6, 2017, The Honourable Michael H. Tulloch
News Release: OIPRD Welcomes Recommendations to Improve Complaints System April 6, 20