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Access to Justice

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Tuesday, January 21, 2020 @ 9:16 AM

LEAF to host panel on what lawyers can do to help legal aid Katherine Long sm

Amidst cuts to Ontario’s legal aid funding, the legal profession has rallied around the cause, stressing the importance of access to justice and the need for action. The Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund’s (LEAF) Toronto branch is taking the discussion to the next level by hosting a panel on Jan. 23 to address the cuts head on. ... [read more]

Monday, January 20, 2020 @ 2:10 PM

Amicus curiae in private family law cases puzzle_piece_sm

The Ontario Court of Appeal has enunciated the principles governing the appointment of amicus curiae (friend of the court) in private family law cases — and the message from Morwald Benevides v. Benevides 2019 ONCA 1023 is unequivocally that appointments in such cases should be the exceptions to the rule. ... [read more]

Monday, January 20, 2020 @ 9:34 AM

B.C. law society seeking public input of what legal practice will look like over next decade B.C. law society president Craig Ferris

The Law Society of British Columbia wants to hear from you about the future of the legal profession. The law society’s futures task force is seeking input from lawyers, notaries, paralegals, the judiciary, organizations and the public to assist in its consideration of what legal practice will look like over the next decade ... [read more]

Friday, January 17, 2020 @ 1:04 PM

Top Ontario employment law cases of 2019 briefcase

Last year was a year full of changes in employment law. Aside from the many legislative changes on both the provincial and federal fronts, our courts (and some administrative tribunals) created new law, affirmed existing legal concepts and overturned others. With 2019 firmly behind us, we reviewed the top cases of 2019 and narrowed our selection of the top five cases to the following, in no particular order of importance. Two cases will be addressed in this first part of a two-part series, three others in part two. ... [read more]

Friday, January 17, 2020 @ 12:32 PM

Quebec Justice Ministry’s ‘ambitious’ strategic plan spurs questions Jean-François Roberge

An ambitious strategic plan unveiled by the Quebec Ministry of Justice outlines measures the provincial government expects to implement over the course of the next three years to curb criminal and penal court delays, accelerate the deployment of technologies in the justice system, boost the use of alternative dispute resolution and improve access to justice. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 16, 2020 @ 12:13 PM

Manitoba Justice ‘reviewing’ judges’ criticism of northern bail system Cliff_Cullen_sm

Manitoba’s Justice minister will “carefully consider” a call now being made by two judges that an independent review take place into deficiencies and delays plaguing the bail system in the province’s remote north. Comment from Justice Minister Cliff Cullen comes after a second judge in Manitoba’s northern court system used his recent decision in a criminal case to echo a previous recommendation for an outside look into what he called “worrisome shortcomings” that are hindering an “overburdened” system.  ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 @ 12:26 PM

Loosening rules for non-lawyers needed for north Saskatchewan: law society president Gerald_Tegart_sm

Relaxing the rules around tasks paralegals and other non-lawyer service providers are barred from performing could be a key to greater access to justice in northern Saskatchewan, says the new president of that province’s law society. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 @ 10:45 AM

Why evolution of legal model desperately needed | Shama Rafiq

When it comes to access to justice, we often forget that the old law firm structures are a major deterrence to ensuring that anyone and everyone has a fair chance to having their day in court. ... [read more]

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 @ 12:12 PM

NL non-profit expands free legal clinics due to high demand Kevin O'Shea

Individuals in Newfoundland and Labrador looking for legal advice — but not necessarily looking to hire a lawyer — are getting a helping hand from the province’s legal community. Legal clinics launched in the St. John’s area in 2016 have expanded outside the capital city to Gander and Grand Falls. Further expansion is planned for this year. ... [read more]

Monday, January 13, 2020 @ 2:52 PM

The impact of self representation: Long-term views | Gary Joseph

Much of the debate surrounding the tidal wave of self representation has focused on the difficulties posed by untrained individuals before the courts. Cases, previously advanced on the basis of fact and law, now often become overly emotional battlefields for the vetting of marital discord. Separated spouses can be subjected to aggressive and unnecessary cross-examination by a self-represented individual and judges, vexed between neutral adjudication, maintaining the dignity of proceedings and fair treatment to all, are being drawn into the process in a manner not consistent with their historical common law role. ... [read more]