June 15, 2021
Law Society of Ontario
Osgoode Hall, 130 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N6
To whom it may concern,
It has come to our attention that Ontario lawyer Stephen Ellis, on the current list of barristers of Ontario, has demonstrated words and actions that are in contradiction of his Hippocratic oath as a lawyer.
The oath includes the following phrases:
“I shall champion the rule of law and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all persons.”
“I shall strictly observe and uphold the ethical standards that govern my profession.”
Mr. Ellis, a North York barrister, and solicitor is an activist connected with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions pro Palestine movement. He is seen frequently supporting their efforts in and around Toronto.
He has participated in anti-Israel demonstrations, including Al-Quds Day Rallies and Nakba Day of Action. During these demonstrations, calls for the death of Israel are a common chant. “We will sacrifice our soul and blood for Palestine” is also frequently heard. Please see the references below.
In August of 2019, Mr. Ellis suggested picketing in front of the Israeli Ambassador’s house in Ottawa.
In April 2021, Mr. Ellis Advocated the following chants: “Long live the intifada” and “Globalise the intifada.”
Following is some background of the intifada:
On June 15, 2021, Stephen Ellis posted on Facebook:
“The Canadian and Israeli flags represent apartheid and genocide. If you see these symbols anywhere, the only moral thing to do is destroy them.”
As a barrister committed to upholding the rule of law, calling for the destruction of the Canadian and Israeli flags seems to impugn the validity of the oath that he took.
We are aware that he participated in these events during his free time, but with Mr. Ellis being a public figure, we believe it is genuinely concerning to be advocating for violence, particularly in today’s climate.
We trust that you will investigate this issue, and we are confident this behaviour will be rectified.
Fighting not only hate but also incitement to violence in all areas of Canadian life is imperative.
Fighting Hate In Canada