Focus On

Access to Justice


Wednesday, November 24, 2021 @ 3:50 PM

Court of Appeal highlights self-represented litigants as ‘increasing fact of life in Ontario courts’

While dismissing an appeal in a dispute between a property owner, the township where she lived and a conservation authority, the Ontario Court of Appeal has highlighted the plight of self-represented litigants, noting that self-represented parties are “an increasing fact of life in Ontario courts, one which judges must accommodate.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 23, 2021 @ 9:50 AM

If unceded, does law become unseated? | Stephen O’Neill

“We ask of you please to forward this our petition to the Department at Ottawa. The Chief and councillors assembled to consider our miseries, how we are prevented to fish, how we are put in prison for fishing. It was established by Treaty that here where we live only Indians should dwell, and that the fisheries should be our fisheries all round, this was agreed on Aug. 9th, 1836 by Sir. F. B. Head. Since that time, we never did make any other Agreement with the Government by which the Government could come in possession of what belonged to us, until this day we have never received anything for which we should cease to own what our forefathers owned of old.”   ... [read more]

Friday, November 19, 2021 @ 2:37 PM

Chuck’s recipe for stuffed bagels, other DIY lawyering tips | Marcel Strigberger

Do it yourself lawyer? As Abraham Lincoln once said, “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”  ... [read more]

Thursday, November 18, 2021 @ 8:51 AM

Alberta announces new funding for restorative justice grants Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu

Alberta has announced new funding for its community restorative justice grants, which are available to non-profit organizations which provide restorative justice services and referrals to communities in the province. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @ 12:06 PM

Is Law Society of Ontario dangerously underfunded? | Michael Lesage

As licensees may be aware, the Law Society of Ontario, as a pure regulator, is unburdened by considerations of commercial reasonableness. This freedom has allowed Convocation to generate a steady stream of good, workable, ideas — from Alternative Business Structures (ABS) to the Statement of Principles (SOP) to subsidizing a regulatory sandbox to benefit non-licensees. Now, as the economy recovers, the law society has a great opportunity to expand the scope and breadth of regulation across many additional areas of private practice. The only real roadblock may well be the failure of Convocation to increase the budget quickly enough to accommodate all of the new regulations in the pipeline. Convocation’s failure to act swiftly in this regard creates the risk that the law society may find itself dangerously underfunded. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 @ 11:23 AM

Class action provides anonymity, effective ‘legal vehicle’ in case against fertility doctor: counsel Jessica Fullerton, Nelligan Law

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has approved an over $13-millon settlement of a class action against a fertility doctor who used his own semen to inseminate patients. Counsel for the plaintiffs stressed the effectiveness of class action as a “legal vehicle” to give people “anonymity, some measure of compensation” and information in a highly sensitive case. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 09, 2021 @ 9:26 AM

Criminal justice wish list | Murray Fallis

There’s a new Public Safety Minister in town — Marco Mendicino. He’s a lawyer. A former Crown. For those of us in the criminal justice community, we are overjoyed by his arrival. ... [read more]

Friday, November 05, 2021 @ 2:24 PM

Courts Digital Transformation initiative provides ‘on-demand access’ to legal matters, Downey says Attorney General Doug Downey

On Nov. 5, the Ontario government announced the “Courts Digital Transformation initiative” for the Superior and Ontario Courts of Justice. The initiative is described as the “most significant single step forward in the digital evolution of justice in Canada, replacing outdated paper-based procedures with an online platform to manage cases, documents and schedules.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 03, 2021 @ 1:44 PM

LSO launches five-year Access to Innovation pilot project Diana Miles, LSO CEO

On Nov. 3 the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) launched the Access to Innovation (A2I) pilot project, which will allow “providers of innovative technological legal services (ITLS) to serve consumers while complying with risk-based public protection requirements.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 03, 2021 @ 12:23 PM

Animals may not be human but they can be persons of interest in U.S. Hippo head

Animals have been hungry for rights, to be more than mere property in the eyes of the law, for decades. In a landmark animal law ruling, a U.S. court has ruled that hippos can be classified, albeit in a limited way, as “interested persons” under the law. This does not mean that hippos have been declared to be human, but importantly, they can, in some circumstances, be plaintiffs. Significantly, it means that animals can in certain instances, exercise some rights and protections afforded under the law. ... [read more]