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Access to Justice

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Monday, March 30, 2020 @ 12:03 PM

Federal Court working on access to justice, despite COVID-19; urgent matters still being heard

The Federal Court is continuing to hear all urgent matters, as well as exceptional matters, on a “case-by-case” basis, by teleconference or videoconference according to the terms of its practice direction and order issued March 17, and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on March 20, the court’s legal counsel, Andrew Baumberg has confirmed. ... [read more]

Monday, March 30, 2020 @ 11:46 AM

Alberta restricting access to courts in light of COVID-19

Effective March 30, access to all courthouses in the province of Alberta will be restricted until further notice. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 @ 1:53 PM

LSO launches emergency family referral line during COVID-19

As of March 24, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) launched an emergency family law referral telephone line to “provide assistance to people who are self-represented (SRLs) and who are trying to determine whether or not their family court matter meets the criteria to be heard by the court on an ‘urgent’ basis and, if so, how to proceed in making their request.” ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 @ 1:50 PM

Legal Aid Ontario bolsters telephone, online help resources

As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is working to offer more resources to clients through the telephone and online. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 @ 3:33 PM

Stepping up for Ontario’s families | AJ Jakubowska

As we come to terms with the outbreak of COVID-19, it is important to be hopeful. Today, hope provides important balance to the openly apparent but also underlying sense of uncertainty, and even anxiety, so many Ontarians are facing. Yet hope must be accompanied by action. ... [read more]

Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 5:36 PM

SCC sets new test, high bar on defence, for proving judges’ verdict deliberations were unduly delayed Michael Moldaver

In a groundbreaking decision which holds that undue delay by trial judges in rendering verdicts does not count toward Jordan’s 18-month and 30-month trial delay ceilings, the Supreme Court of Canada has set a high threshold for defence claims that a judge breached an accused’s s. 11(b) Charter right to trial within a reasonable time by taking too long to render a verdict. ... [read more]

Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 3:48 PM

Quebec bar sets up free phone-in clinic for questions about COVID-19 Lida_Sara_Nouraie

The Quebec law society launched on March 20 a free telephone call-in legal clinic to help citizens with questions they may have regarding their rights and responsibilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 12:38 PM

Indigenous needs during pandemic demand culturally competent response | Naomi Sayers

In May 2019, the final report of the national inquiry into the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people was leaked to the media. The final report contained 231 calls for justice, which are described as “legal imperatives”. Some of those calls for justice highlight health and wellness, and Indigenous rights, to name a few. The calls for justice are more important now than ever especially as the current novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, spreads to Canada. ... [read more]

Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 12:20 PM

Courts can learn to modernize through COVID-19 crisis, experts say Trevor_Farrow_sm

Courts relying on the news media to provide openness after barring the general public from proceedings during the COVID-19 outbreak has cast light on the justice system’s lack of progress in using social media and technology to stay accessible, legal minds say. ... [read more]

Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 11:25 AM

COVID-19: Family law going forward | Gary Joseph

The rush to find alternate ways to assist clients is remarkable. The level of suffering from this pandemic is undeniable but for the family law bar, adversity has spawned a reinvigorated effort to find ways to move matters forward, creatively craft dispute resolution methods and work towards settlement. ... [read more]