Focus On

Access to Justice


Tuesday, October 13, 2020 @ 2:57 PM

Judicial perspectives on self-represented litigants in family courts Family law book with glasses

The growing numbers of self-represented family litigants is a major concern. As part of an ongoing study about the use of limited scope retainers, we surveyed 57 Ontario judges to learn about their views and experiences with the self-represented family litigants. ... [read more]

Wednesday, October 07, 2020 @ 8:45 AM

COVID, opportunity and future of family law | Gary Joseph

I have been fortunate to professionally grow up in an era of family law giants. I have negotiated with and against, litigated with and against and learned from the likes of Malcolm Kronby, Alan Poole, Harold Berry, Phil Epstein and many other of the now gone greats. I have spent years attending courts run by Justices Abraham Lieff, George Walsh and Gertrude Speigel, three jurists who stood family law on its head and turned the approach to it 180 degrees. Finally, I have had the privilege of being mentored by one of the great teachers and gentleman of the bar, the late James C. MacDonald. ... [read more]

Tuesday, October 06, 2020 @ 12:21 PM

Techniques for making video trials fair videotrial1.jpg

As we enter the second wave in Ontario it is clear that COVID-19 has completely disrupted the way we administer criminal justice. The courts have been forced to embrace video technologies that have, quite embarrassingly, been used in other professions for decades. ... [read more]

Tuesday, October 06, 2020 @ 9:20 AM

Summary judgment post COVID-19: Movement toward increased access to justice? Courthouse

COVID-19 is changing the world as we know it, particularly when it comes to the administration of justice. The courts have recognized both the need to bring the Ontario judiciary into the virtual world and the benefits that could be derived from same (which are already evident), including more timely and cost effective access to justice. ... [read more]

Monday, October 05, 2020 @ 3:22 PM

‘What do you mean I can’t get transcripts?’ cassette

Imagine you have just completed a 14-day trial by Zoom on behalf of your client. You did a bang-up job of presenting your case and an even better job of exposing the flaws in opposing counsel’s evidence. Nonetheless, the judge ruled against you. Never mind, that’s what appeals are for. Right? ... [read more]

Monday, October 05, 2020 @ 2:50 PM

Unbundled legal services for family cases in Ontario 2 people meeting

There is growing concern about the increase in self-representation in family proceedings and the resulting challenges faced by courts and litigants. One response is to facilitate use by self-represented litigants of unbundled legal services, so they can purchase a limited amount of advice, or focused representation, at a much lower cost than full representation. ... [read more]

Monday, October 05, 2020 @ 12:17 PM

Manitoba increases eligibility age for fetal alcohol justice program Lori_Van_Dongen

Praise is being given to Manitoba’s government for expanding a specialized justice program to include young adult offenders with fetal alcohol disorders. On Sept. 30, the province announced the launch of a three-year pilot project that will provide assessments and diagnosis of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in offenders between the ages of 18 and 25. ... [read more]

Friday, October 02, 2020 @ 8:31 AM

Access to justice amid COVID-19 Businessmantiedup

The justice system is similar to having only one place in your city that serves food, and it happens to be an expensive, exclusive restaurant. If your rights are at stake (read: steak, if you like puns) that is, you need to eat — your only option is this one restaurant with a cost-prohibitive menu of legal options. You can’t eat (or enforce your rights), if you can’t afford to pay. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 01, 2020 @ 3:46 PM

Dean stresses access to justice as Ontario’s newest law school officially launches Ryerson opening

As Toronto’s first new law school in more than a century celebrated its official opening, founding dean Donna Young declared that Ryerson University’s Faculty of Law is ready to engage with the most challenging legal issues of our time — including those highlighted by the pandemic. ... [read more]

Thursday, October 01, 2020 @ 12:27 PM

What Snowbirds decision reveals about Canadian health care traveller

Doug Ford’s losing streak in the Ontario courts continues, with the decision in Canadian Snowbirds Assn. Inc. v. Ontario (Attorney General) [2020] O.J. No. 4036, released on Sept. 25. The Divisional Court ordered the Ontario government to restore health insurance coverage for people who face medical emergencies while travelling outside of Canada. ... [read more]