Svend Robinson headed back to law career

Canadian Press

Friday, Sep 3, 2004

Vancouver — Svend Robinson, the longtime NDP politician whose theft of a diamond ring brought an end to a 25-year career, is taking the first steps towards trying to resume a law career.

Mr. Robinson has applied to the Law Society of B.C. for reinstatement to the law profession, said society spokesman Brad Daisley.

He must get the approval of the society's credentials committee because he has been out of the profession for more than seven years.

The former representative in the House of Commons for Burnaby-Douglas, who graduated from the University of B.C. law school in 1976, must show the committee that he is “a person is of good character and repute and fit to become a barrister and solicitor,” said Mr. Daisley.

The committee must also determine whether he has the proper qualifications to practise law.

Mr. Robinson pleaded guilty to stealing the ring but a provincial court judge gave him a conditional sentence, which means he does not have a criminal record. Still, the admission of theft will likely be considered by the society committee.

The committee can also make its decision through a public hearing and require Mr. Robinson to re-qualify.

“In cases where someone has been out of the profession as long as he has, they're probably going to say he has to redo the professional legal training course, which is the course that is part of the articling program.”

Mr. Robinson appeared in court in Richmond in August where he pleaded guilty.

The judge said he had suffered intense humiliation and been shamed from public office. The judge gave Mr. Robinson a conditional discharge and sentenced him to 100 hours of community service.