The Iranian Canadian Legal Professionals (ICLP) was formed in early 2014 pursuant to a merger between two non-profit organizations: Iranian Canadian Lawyers’ Association (ICLA) and the Iranian Legal Professionals of Ontario (ILPO).
Iranian Canadian Lawyers’ Association (ICLA)
The ICLA was a legal advocacy group that was formed in November of 2002 by a group of like-minded Iranian Canadian Lawyers. The ICLA was founded with two primary mandates:
- to promote and advocate on behalf of lawyers and law students of Iranian descent; and
- raise public awareness in and provide a forum for discussion on issues affecting the Iranian-Canadian community.
Iranian Legal Professionals of Ontario (ILPO)
Iranian Legal Professionals of Ontario was a not-for-profit, non-partisan, non-religious organization with a mandate to
- build, maintain and strengthen a network of Iranian legal professionals in Ontario, consisting of lawyers, paralegals, law clerks and law students;
- establish mentorship programs and provide guidance to Iranian legal professionals in Ontario at various stages of their careers; and
- establish links between the Iranian legal community in Ontario and the broader legal community in the province.
The Merger of ICLA and ILPO
In the interest of unity and more effective representation of the members and the community, in early 2013 the ICLA and the ILPO executives began discussions in relation to a merger between the two organizations. Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding dated November 8, 2013, the ICLA and the ILPO put the question of merging the two organizations to their members. With an overwhelming 86% majority in support of the merger, on January 23, 2014, the members of ICLA and ILPO voted to give birth to a new organization called the Iranian Canadian Legal Professionals (ICLP).
The Inclusion of Court Interpreters in ILCP’s Membership
At the time of its formation, the ICLP’s membership was limited to lawyers, paralegals, law clerks and law students of Iranian descent. At the 2015 Annual General Meeting of the ICLP, a motion was introduced to expand the scope of the membership of the ICLP to also include Court Interpreters of Iranian descent who are fully accredited by the Ministry of Attorney General. This motion was carried with an approval rate of %80.7 resulting in the expansion of the scope of the membership of the ICLP to include lawyers, paralegals, law clerks, law students and fully accredited court interpreters of Iranian descent.