Focus On

Access to Justice


Friday, December 06, 2019 @ 9:16 AM

BC Law Institute director stepping down in May

The board of the British Columbia Law Institute (BCLI) announced that executive director Kathleen Cunningham will be stepping down at the end of May 2020 to pursue new opportunities.  ... [read more]

Friday, December 06, 2019 @ 8:57 AM

NL survivors of sexual violence get help on legal journey Kevin O’Shea

Funding for The Journey Project, a legal support program for survivors of sexual violence, is coming to an end. However, Kevin O’Shea, executive director of the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (PLIAN), is optimistic the three-year pilot program is sustainable. ... [read more]

Thursday, December 05, 2019 @ 12:01 PM

B.C. aiming to make appellate court rules and procedures clearer, easier to navigate

B.C. is looking for the public’s input on proposed changes to the rules and procedures of the provincial Court of Appeal, saying the current rules are out of date and confusing to both litigants and lawyers alike. The Ministry of the Attorney General is proposing amendments to the Court of Appeal Act and the Court of Appeal Rules. The most recent revision of the Act and rules occurred in 1996 and, as a result, the government says modernization is needed. ... [read more]

Wednesday, December 04, 2019 @ 10:40 AM

Why death row dog Punky should head to Supreme Court Punky3

We the lawyers for Team Punky, Canada’s death row dog, are working hard to try to get this unprecedented case about a “dangerous dog” heard at the Supreme Court of Canada. I wrote two earlier articles about the important animal law case of Punky Santics: Getting Punky off death row and How Punky the dog got to Supreme Court. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 @ 1:56 PM

Alberta adds eight Crown articling students in bid to boost access to justice in rural areas

The government of Alberta announced that it is doubling the number of Crown articling students, ensuring homegrown talent stays in Alberta. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

LSO should have consulted on reducing lawyer, paralegal fees, says advisory group chair Nima Hojjati sm

The Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) recently approved budget, which reduced fees for lawyers and paralegals, was lauded by Convocation’s Audit and Finance Committee as “responsible.” However, not all lawyers agree. Nima Hojjati, chair of the law society’s Equity Advisory Group (EAG), told The Lawyer’s Daily that the fee reduction was a “missed opportunity” to assist access to justice and that the profession should have been consulted. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 27, 2019 @ 9:57 AM

OBA Award of Excellence winner Pratte stresses importance of mentorship, pro bono Guy Pratte at OBA awards sm

Guy Pratte, a partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), felt “complete shock and surprise” at having been awarded the Ontario Bar Association’s (OBA) Award of Excellence in Civil Litigation. The well-respected litigator said he was “quite humbled” when he looked at the list of previous recipients, and that receiving such an accolade was “generous and heartwarming.” ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 @ 9:03 AM

Time to invest in justice | Trevor Farrow and Mary Condon

Justice affects everyone. We know that almost 50 per cent of adult Canadians will experience a significant civil or family justice problem over any given three-year period, meaning essentially all of us in our lifetime. Everyday legal problems include debt issues, divorce, lost employment, wage or other discrimination, consumer problems and any number of other issues. ... [read more]

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 @ 8:44 AM

Downey committed to expansion of Unified Family Court, unveils changes to LAO duty counsel Doug Downey sm FDRIO Conference

Expansion of the United Family Court (UFC), a smooth transition during amendments to the Divorce Act, and changes to Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) duty counsel, were priorities outlined by Ontario’s Attorney General, Doug Downey, at the fifth annual Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario (FDRIO) Conference. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 21, 2019 @ 1:05 PM

Judge, lawyers call for outside review of northern Manitoba bail process Allison Fenske

A lawyer for two Indigenous Manitobans freed of assault charges and awarded costs after being jailed for weeks before being able to seek bail is echoing the judge’s call for an independent review of chronic pretrial dysfunction in the province’s north. ... [read more]