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Access to Justice

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Monday, March 18, 2019 @ 11:45 AM

Free counsel gives sex assault complainants ‘a voice in the courtroom’: N.S. law society head Tilly_Pillay_sm

Nova Scotia’s new offering of free lawyers for sex assault complainants who face having their sexual history brought forth in court helps protect the justice system’s “truth-finding process,” says a prominent Crown.   ... [read more]

Monday, March 18, 2019 @ 9:40 AM

Legal aid lawyers in B.C. vote to begin job action April 1 Richard Fowler, Association of Legal Aid Lawyers (ALL)

An organization representing legal aid lawyers in British Columbia has overwhelmingly voted to withdraw their services to protest what they characterize as serious underfunding and strain on the system. According to Association of Legal Aid Lawyers (ALL) spokesperson Richard Fowler, turnout among the 590 members of association for the March 11-13 vote was 75 per cent, with approximately 97 per cent of members voting in favour of job action. ... [read more]

Friday, March 15, 2019 @ 9:34 AM

Saskatchewan legal information project aims to increase access to justice using public libraries Brea_Lowenberger_sm

A program better equipping Saskatchewan's public libraries to provide legal information has proven to be successful, well attended and lauded by lawyers, says an organizer.   ... [read more]

Thursday, March 14, 2019 @ 8:34 AM

Access to justice for animals: It’s possible | Victoria Shroff

As part of the Access to Civil Justice for Middle Income Canadians Colloquium in February 2011, the then Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, stated, “It [access to justice] is a fundamental right, not an accessory.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 8:17 AM

From tools and tech to relationships and respect | Kurt Sandstrom

The justice sector has been the subject of intense scrutiny over recent years. This has both compelled and inspired us to seek new and innovative ways of ensuring access to justice for all British Columbians. We have pursued principled, achievable and meaningful initiatives that address both the relatively simple and the more complex issues facing the justice system. ... [read more]

Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 2:29 PM

Nova Scotia vulnerable feel ‘helplessness and disappointment’ in accessing justice, official says Luther

Nova Scotia has been pairing cutting-edge data gathering with old-fashioned legwork to address a lack of access to justice for the province’s most vulnerable — many of whom, it was found, have given up on the justice system. ... [read more]

Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 1:18 PM

Legal aid system has ‘lost its way’ in B.C.: report

A review of the B.C. legal aid system says change is needed in order to reverse years of underfunding and make it more effective, but an organization representing legal aid lawyers in the province is saying it does not go far enough because of a lack of focus on financial concerns and is threatening to withdraw its services unless action is taken to put more money into the system. ... [read more]

Monday, March 11, 2019 @ 9:35 AM

LSO approves framework for offering legal services through charities Susan_McGrath_sm

In an effort to improve access to justice, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) has approved a regulatory framework for legal professionals to deliver services through registered civil society organizations (CSOs), such as charities or not-for-profit corporations, which will come into effect April 1. Convocation passed a motion for policy changes to implement the framework on Feb. 28 after Susan McGrath, chair of the Alternative Business Structures (ABS) working group, presented the final report on the matter. ... [read more]

Friday, March 08, 2019 @ 9:15 AM

B.C. Law Society benchers decide on pro bono, paralegal issues

Benchers of the Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) decided against allowing pro bono work to count toward professional development credit and struck a task force to look at what role paralegals can play in addressing unmet legal needs at their most recent meeting. During the March 1 meeting, benchers approved the lawyer education advisory committee’s recommendation that the law society not recognize pro bono work as eligible for continuing professional development (CPD) credit. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 06, 2019 @ 10:50 AM

New Manitoba court for offenders with fetal alcohol syndrome called ‘game changer’ Lori_Van_Dongen_sm

A new Manitoba sentencing court for offenders with fetal alcohol disorders will mean better access to justice for a widespread number of those with the condition — particularly those coming from the province’s Indigenous population, legal minds say. The court will be in Winnipeg and could be up and running by the end of March, according to both a judge and lawyer who have long advocated for increased supports for those with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in the criminal justice system. ... [read more]