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Access to Justice

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Thursday, February 14, 2019 @ 9:25 AM

B.C. legal community questions changes to ICBC policy limiting number of expert witnesses Scott Stanley, Murphy Battista LLP

The B.C. government is moving to change court rules to limit the number of expert witnesses in motor vehicle cases, but the move is being condemned by some in the legal community, who say it will restrict the rights of individual British Columbians. The amendments to the B.C. Supreme Court Civil Rules Regulation, revealed Feb. 11, will limit the number of experts and expert reports permitted to address the issue of damages, such as wage loss, future wage loss and future care that can be used by each side of a motor vehicle dispute. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 @ 10:44 AM

Chief Justice Wagner, I can’t afford to help my community | Elsa Ascencio

Recently Chief Justice Richard Wagner granted an interview to The Lawyer’s Daily. The headline read, “Chief Justice Wagner improves public communication, brings new ideas, change to top court, CJC and NJI.” ... [read more]

Friday, February 08, 2019 @ 5:18 PM - Last Updated: Friday, February 08, 2019 @ 5:48 PM

Charter challenge to Parole Board’s post-release conditions was impermissible collateral attack: SCC Leif Jensen

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled for the first time on how the rule against collateral attacks on administrative orders applies to an accused’s claim that the administrative order violates the Charter. On Feb. 8, the top court unanimously dismissed the appeal of Spencer Dean Bird, a long-term offender with a track record of more than 60 offences, including crimes of violence involving weapons, as well as numerous failed conditional releases: R. v. Bird 2019 SCC 7. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 07, 2019 @ 9:51 AM

Chief Justice Wagner improves public communication, brings new ideas, change to top court, CJC and NJI TLD Exclusive

Richard Wagner, Canada’s reform-minded top judge, has already overseen changes at the three major legal institutions he leads — the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) — and there are more changes to come, he advises in a wide-ranging exclusive interview. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 05, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

Report on law school tuition highlights impact of high costs on access, diversity Heather Donkers sm

The Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) is calling for change in its Jan. 31 report on tuition, debt and financial aid experiences, noting that the high cost of a legal education makes the profession less accessible, and by extension, less diverse. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 @ 11:31 AM

Alberta legal aid strategic plan emphasizes outreach, reducing barriers to access Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) president and CEO John Panusa

Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) has released a three-year strategic plan that highlights changing workplace culture, better communication of the organization’s mission and streamlining client service to better serve the needs of Albertans. LAA president and CEO John Panusa noted legal aid signed a new four-year governance agreement and funding model with the provincial government and the law society in October, and the strategic plan emanated from that. ... [read more]

Monday, January 28, 2019 @ 1:03 PM

Counsel praises Crown for ‘holistic’ approach using Indigenous mediation circle in Manitoba John Corona

Legal minds are hoping for more restorative justice similar to that of an Indigenous mediation circle taking place for two Manitoba women suspected of spewing online hatred toward local Aboriginals. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 @ 9:33 AM

Recognition of ‘lived identity’ an access to justice, wills and estates issue, experts say Kate Hazell

Many infants born in Canada have, through their parents, the right to a gender-neutral birth certificate. The same is not true for Canadians who die. Vital statistics legislation across Canada was amended between 2012 and 2017 to remove the requirement for individuals to undergo gender confirmation surgery in order to change their gender on various documents including birth certificates. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 17, 2019 @ 1:40 PM

Complexity of Income Tax Act an access to justice issue, scholar says Colin Jackson

It will come as no surprise to lawyers or their clients that the federal Income Tax Act is not easy to read. It may come as a surprise, however, just how difficult that legislation is to decipher — and how it falls short of efforts in other countries to make the law accessible. ... [read more]

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 @ 11:36 AM

New (and arguably absurd) drinking and driving offences Guyatbar_sm.jpg

The new amendments to the Criminal Code have changed the drinking and driving landscape significantly. Two changes are attracting particular attention due to their impacts on protected Charter rights and a serious potential for wrongful convictions. Arguably the most concerning amendment is the creation of a new offence — consuming too much alcohol or drugs after driving. ... [read more]