Focus On

Access to Justice


Tuesday, September 29, 2020 @ 3:13 PM

Why I support the proposed family law services provider licence | Michelle Lomazzo

Facilitating access to justice is one of the key roles of the Law Society of Ontario. Soon, benchers will vote to transform access to legal services in family law for the people of Ontario. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 @ 2:18 PM

Appeal Court case shows uneven playing field for unrepresented appellants, say lawyers Christen Cole sm

Faced with a relentless rise in self-represented litigants, two criminal defence lawyers are questioning why the process of obtaining state-funded legal representation for impoverished clients seeking to appeal their convictions remains so difficult — and is often further complicated by the Crown. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Singularity and the law | Jerry Levitan

“Man has a limited biological capacity for change. When this capacity is overwhelmed, the capacity is in future shock.” ... [read more]

Friday, September 25, 2020 @ 2:03 PM

Sustaining our justice system in pandemic times | Roger Bilodeau

In recent months, several judges, court officials and observers have stated that the pandemic has thrust the justice system further along into the 21st century with the push to use all available technologies to maintain court operations. Many of them have also rightly pointed out that access to justice is still a challenge for a great number of Canadians. As courts take steps to resume regular operations, what does the future hold in terms of sustaining our justice system? Here are a few points to consider as governments, courts and other interested parties move forward to map out the future. ... [read more]

Friday, September 25, 2020 @ 1:36 PM

Ontario seeks to simplify family law with new legislation Doug Downey sm

The Ontario government has unveiled new legislation it says will make it “easier, faster and more affordable” to resolve family legal matters. If passed, the legislation — dubbed the Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, 2020 — will help make Ontario’s complex family law system easier to navigate by modernizing language, simplifying appeal routes and improving the online child support service, according to a Sept. 24 government news release. ... [read more]

Friday, September 25, 2020 @ 11:12 AM

Duties of opposing counsel to self-represented litigants Man with book and judge

One of the most frustrating experiences faced by a lawyer is that a self-represented litigant (SRL) is not bound by the same or equivalent ethical obligations governing a lawyer within professionally binding codes of conduct. The professional codes impose a series of duties, however, that are owed by a lawyer to an SRL, which must be respected by a lawyer on penalty of sanction for professional misconduct. ... [read more]

Friday, September 25, 2020 @ 10:53 AM

The truth about small-town lawyering: ‘Oh you know that Sayers girl!’| Naomi Sayers

When I was first called to the Ontario bar, I was working in-house at Hydro One, on Bay Street in Toronto. I have nothing but great things to say about my experience at Hydro One. In fact, I credit my time at Hydro One for helping me navigate complex and unique files that I find myself encountering after I returned home to the Algoma region. ... [read more]

Thursday, September 24, 2020 @ 10:06 AM

New legal services providers are welcome | Hilary Linton, Omar Ha-Redeye and Matilda Kissi

As we discussed in part one, there is urgent need for a solution to the access to justice in family law problem, especially for clients maneuvering through the disadvantages of poverty, race, class, language, gender and violence. The family legal services provider (FLSP) would be a welcome solution for such clients, especially those further disadvantaged by COVID-19. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 3:33 PM

Ontario’s chief justices call for reinvestment in legal aid at court opening ceremony George_Strathy

Two of Ontario’s top judges have urged the provincial and federal governments to reinvest in legal aid at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has left many Ontarians at their most vulnerable. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 1:31 PM

Access to Justice: Gladue reports: We all have role to play | Michelle O’Bonsawin

This column has allowed me to share my perspective on A2J for the past year. It is now time to widen that perspective and so I have decided to invite guest writers — dedicated and innovative A2J actors — to share the column with me from time to time. I am extremely pleased to introduce our first guest, Madam Justice Michelle O'Bonsawin. — Beverley McLachlin ... [read more]