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Access to Justice

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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]

Friday, March 20, 2020 @ 10:43 AM

Criminal lawyers group urges courts to ‘implement systems’ for remote access in wake of COVID-19 Cassandra_DeMelo_sm

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA) rallied its 1,500 members to volunteer and be present at every courthouse in Ontario over the past week. According to a release, the goal was to “secure the release of hundreds of persons who might otherwise have been at high risk of infection while incarcerated.” However, with the risk to counsel being real as well, CLA president John Struthers released a statement that said it is “with regret, and in order to protect our members and the public: The Criminal Lawyers’ Association has determined that we must have our volunteers leave all courthouses after Friday, March 20th at 12 noon.” ... [read more]

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 2:22 PM

What B.C.’s gender equity plan means for diversity, access to justice | Kurt Sandstrom

In 2018, British Columbia committed to advancing gender equality by ensuring that gender equity is reflected in all budget, policy and program decisions. Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA-Plus) is now a required component of all cabinet, budget and Treasury Board submissions. The benefits of this analysis are exciting and sometimes unexpected. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 @ 12:54 PM

Women fleeing abuse affected by COVID-19 Man threatening woman

The connection between COVID-19 and the safety of women living in or attempting to flee abusive relationships may not be immediately obvious, but those of us practising family law, in particular, need to be aware of it. ... [read more]

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 @ 9:54 AM

New B.C. program offers free legal advice, information for victims of workplace sexual harassment Jennifer Khor, Community Legal Assistance Society (CLAS)

Since the emergence of the #MeToo movement in recent years people all around the world have become more attuned with the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, and a new program in British Columbia has been set up to provide free legal advice, education and information for those in need of support. ... [read more]

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 @ 9:17 AM

‘Limited practitioners’ needed for access to justice in Manitoba, says official Kris_Dangerfield_sm

With the ever-increasing costs of legal services placing the hiring of lawyers beyond reach for more and more people, Manitoba’s law society is welcoming proposed legislation that would allow for “limited practitioners” in that province. On March 9, Justice Minister Cliff Cullen announced proposed amendments to the province’s Legal Professions Act which, if passed, will pave the way for the Law Society of Manitoba (LSM) to designate a category of non-lawyers and allow them to provide a limited scope of legal services. ... [read more]