Focus On

Access to Justice


Friday, November 27, 2020 @ 2:22 PM

Law Foundation of Ontario names counsel to Class Proceedings Fund

The Law Foundation of Ontario and the Class Proceedings Committee announced Nov. 26 that Margaret Sims has joined the Class Proceedings Fund as counsel, effective January 2021. ... [read more]

Friday, November 27, 2020 @ 9:00 AM

Last words on paralegals | Gary Joseph

I do not presume to write on behalf of the family law bar, but I have heard from an enormous number of my colleagues in response to my writings in this publication and elsewhere regarding independent paralegal practices of family law. My views have been influenced by colleagues and have evolved as a result of the debate. As I have previously written, I believe that the decision is basically made to license independent paralegal practices of family law and that the Law Society of Ontario request for input is but a salve to the profession. Many of my colleagues have reflected disappointment with the initial process that led to the LSO debate and to the likely outcome. ... [read more]

Thursday, November 26, 2020 @ 9:22 AM

Time for parliamentary review of victims bill of rights, ombudsman says

The federal ombudsman for victims of crime is calling on Ottawa to make changes to Canada’s victims bill of rights, saying it has not lived up to its promise. Ombudsman Heidi Illingworth released a progress report on the bill Nov. 25, which revealed its implementation has been “sporadic and inconsistent.” ... [read more]

Thursday, November 26, 2020 @ 8:35 AM

Rule of law in era of virtual hearings: Doing justice? | Joseph Groia

Like the rest of the world, the legal profession has spent the last eight months isolating or socially distancing and implementing countless other changes. As a result, the way in which the legal system operates has undergone a significant shift. A fundamental part of this shift, and the main subject of this small note, is the move to videoconferencing technology, such as Zoom or WebEx, now widely used as a substitute for in-person meetings. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 @ 2:43 PM

Protecting the public from unqualified family law practitioners | Sarah Boulby

In part one, I discussed Toronto Lawyers Association’s (TLA) view that establishing a family legal services provider will not advance access to justice, may cause actual harm as currently constituted and will divert precious resources from other, more pressing access to justice issues. Part two will address, in detail, one reason why the TLA does not support the creation of the new profession: our intention to protect the public from unqualified practitioners. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 @ 2:29 PM

Proposed Jane Goodall Act game-changing animal law breakthrough | Victoria Shroff

There’s a brand new animal protection bill just released that could “pawsitively” change Canadian animal law forever. I can think of no greater impact to animal law in recent times than the proposed game-changing Jane Goodall Act, Bill S-218. ... [read more]

Wednesday, November 25, 2020 @ 1:40 PM

Can we still be friends? Preparing clients for estate mediation estate_mediation_sm

Lawyers have a duty to reconcile broken relationships before venturing into litigation, especially if that relationship involves “family.” Most estate disputes involve family members and loved ones. If someone dies the entire family is emotionally challenged and at that point, if you add the baggage of litigation, it is even more demanding. ... [read more]

Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 2:16 PM

Saskatchewan court suspends jury trials for rest of 2020 Martel_Popescul_sm

In the face of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, the province’s Court of Queen’s Bench is shelving all jury trials for the remainder of this year. As of Nov. 20, the court postponed all jury trials scheduled to start between then and Dec. 31, according to a notice from the court. ... [read more]

Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 1:32 PM

Access to Justice: Will COVID-19 justice become the norm? | Beverley McLachlin

I am an optimist. In previous columns I have expressed the hope that COVID-19 will reveal the inefficiencies and gaps in how we deliver justice to Canadians and allow us to build a better justice system that combines the strengths of the current system with new thinking on how to run our justice institutions more efficiently and humanely. ... [read more]

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 12:57 PM

Politicization of senior appointments alarms Tribunal Watch Ontario | Gary Yee and Raj Anand

Tribunal Watch Ontario is alarmed by the recent series of Ontario cabinet appointments to senior leadership positions at Tribunals Ontario, the newly created cluster of 14 justice tribunals. Conservative party connections appear stronger than qualifications in some cases. Tribunal Watch Ontario (a public interest organization with a mission to promote tribunal independence and access to justice) calls for an independent review of the appointments and reappointments processes for Ontario tribunals. ... [read more]