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A. Accountability to Our Partners
Section 18(1) of the Founding Agreement requires that the Board of Governors prepare a budget for submission to the Attorney General, Osgoode Hall Law School, the LSUC and the LFO, as well as projected expenditures for the second and third years. The Board of Governors is to obtain the approval of the partners of the budget and the projected expenditures.
Pursuant to section 19 of the Agreement, the LCO is required to prepare an Annual Report for its partners. The release of the Annual Report will provide an opportunity to engage our founding partners in the on-going activities of the LCO and with each other. In addition, the LCO will develop communication plans for each partner that ensure that each partner receives the information it requires in a timely way, using both formal and informal means of communication.
The Executive Director also meets annually and in appropriate cases, more often, with the law deans and students and faculty at the Ontario law schools and with the other partners to the Foundation Agreement.
B. Reaching Out: Public Participation
The LCO is committed to involving interested groups and individuals, legal and non-legal, and the public generally in the law reform process, from the project proposal to feedback on discussion papers and draft reports.
The Annual Report will be distributed to the public.
The LCO’s website will provide a significant vehicle to inform the public about the progress of the LCO’s projects, including the posting of consultation papers and interim and draft reports and pre-studies. It will also allow the announcement of projects, on-line discussion about projects and feedback and announcements about research opportunities at the LCO. In 2009 the LCO is experimenting with new response mechanisms using the website and developing a new design for the site.
The website, consultation papers, interim and final reports, the Strategic Plan and annual reports will be available in English and French, to the extent resources allow. See the Language and Translation Policy at http://www.lco-cdo.org.
Members of the LCO will also engage in in-person contact with a wide range of organizations and groups in Ontario, legally-related and community-based, as well as the partners to the Foundation Agreement, both to explain the LCO’s mandate and progress and to garner suggestions for law reform projects or to receive feedback on consultation papers and interim reports. Consultations will usually be in English and from time to time in French; consultations in other languages will be subject to the LCO’s resources. The LCO will make every effort to provide interpretation and alternate formats for the hearing and sight impaired.
Other constituencies with which the LCO maintains regular contact include the courts, relevant government ministries, opposition justice (and other) critics and with other organizations particularly involved in law reform, such as other Canadian law reform commissions.
The LCO publishes a thrice-yearly newsletter posted on the website and sent to partners, other law commissions and interested organizations and groups.
The LCO, with assistance from experts, has developed a communications strategy to gain the fullest realization of our commitment to interact broadly with the public, including those who might not ordinarily come into contact with a legal body.
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