Focus On

Access to Justice


Tuesday, September 22, 2020 @ 4:03 PM

Ontario Court of Appeal reaffirms responsibility for Jordan delays lies with Crown Howard Krongold sm

Highlighting the Crown’s duty to prevent court delays, the Ontario Court of Appeal has rejected a Crown argument that the absence of three judges due to illness and an education seminar caused an unavoidable delay that warranted extending the trial of a man charged with aggravated assault beyond the 18-month Jordan limit. ... [read more]

Monday, September 21, 2020 @ 1:42 PM

B.C. suspending civil jury trials in response to pandemic B.C. Attorney General David Eby

The B.C. government is suspending civil jury trials for just over a year as a means of minimizing the impact of delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension begins Sept. 28 and will run until Oct. 4, 2021. Any trial taking place during this time period will be heard by judge alone. ... [read more]

Monday, September 21, 2020 @ 11:07 AM

Will pandemic finally lead to lower annual fees for Ontario licensees? | Andrew Puiras

Annual fees have been a sort of perennial issue in Law Society of Ontario (LSO) politics, causing groans but never erupting to the forefront. In the 2019 bencher election, many candidates made lowering annual fees part of their platform, but annual fees got lost in the shuffle as the statement of principles took centre stage. In 2019, Convocation lowered 2020 annual fees for lawyers by $135 to $2,066, a modest decrease of approximately six per cent from the previous year. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 @ 10:33 AM

Court’s obligations in dealing with self-represented litigants: Limits to assistance Man with book and judge

In the first part of this series we looked at the overall obligations of the court in dealing with self-represented litigants (SRLs). We noted that certain boundaries to this overarching obligation are carved out in the case of sophisticated SRLs, and they are required to adhere to the rules of court and procedure more scrupulously. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 @ 8:18 AM

LSO budget balance: Support for licensees and public | Joseph Groia

These are difficult times for many members of the legal professions. Like so many others across the province, the country and the globe, lawyers and paralegals have seen COVID-19 have a material impact on their practices. Now is the time for the legal community to come together and work collaboratively to respond to the very real social and financial effects of COVID-19. And, we need to do this in a thoughtful, strategic and disciplined way — resisting reckless responses in direct contrast to the havoc of the pandemic itself. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 @ 2:37 PM

Made-in-Ontario access to justice | Hilary Linton, Omar Ha-Redeye and Matilda Kissi

Ontario was the first Canadian jurisdiction to regulate paralegals and the first to permit them to practise independently. It is fitting then that Ontario’s law society has proposed an innovative response to the universally acknowledged access to family law justice problem: a new Family Legal Services Provider licence. ... [read more]

Monday, September 14, 2020 @ 2:20 PM

Teach our children well | Jerry Levitan

Ground Zero of Ontario’s Education Act (in legal terms, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.2, Section 0.1(1), (2) and (3)), grandly pronounces, as the Act’s “Purpose,” the following: ... [read more]

Monday, September 14, 2020 @ 7:55 AM

Virtual justice in COVID era comes at a heavy cost, legal scholars say Vincent Denault

Months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the near shutdown of courts across Canada and paved the way for virtual justice, a Quebec lawyer and researcher is hoping that judges and lawyers will be alert to the unintended consequences of conducting justice through the use of technology. ... [read more]

Friday, September 11, 2020 @ 11:40 AM

DLA Piper launches Black and Indigenous business law clinic in Vancouver

‎DLA Piper Canada announced the launch of a pro bono business law clinic in Vancouver dedicated to providing ‎Black and Indigenous businesses with corporate and commercial legal advice.‎‎ ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 09, 2020 @ 2:36 PM

Criminalization of Indigenous journalism contradicts reconciliation | Pamela Palmater

What does it take to get arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)? Well, if we go by recent events around 1492 Land Back Lane, it looks like the arrest criteria include being Indigenous, an award-winning journalist and covering First Nation land defence stories. Because that is exactly what happened to Karl Dockstader, an Oneida journalist and radio host embedded with Haudenosaunee land defenders and providing daily updates via social media and video. What’s worse is that the OPP refuses to tell Dockstader what he has done wrong. ... [read more]