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Access to Justice

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Friday, June 28, 2019 @ 12:43 PM

Mercer re-elected as treasurer, hopes LSO will ‘work together’ in public interest Malcolm Mercer sm 2

The Law Society of Ontario has re-elected Malcolm Mercer as treasurer for a second term. Fifty-three ballots were cast in the vote, with 31 votes going to Mercer and 22 going to Chi-Kun Shi. ... [read more]

Friday, June 28, 2019 @ 11:22 AM

Law societies’ policies for access to justice failure | Ken Chasse

Law societies appear to be powerless to serve the public interest by defending lawyers’ markets against three major threats: ... [read more]

Thursday, June 27, 2019 @ 1:09 PM

Foreign trained lawyer in land of opportunity | Alexandar Pavlov

June 27 is National Multiculturalism Day. Coming five days before Canada Day makes it the perfect time to reflect on why I am glad to be pursuing a law career in multicultural Canada. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 @ 2:11 PM

A personal view of MMIWG: 15 of my First Nations clients are dead Woman Trapped

The final report of the Missing Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) national inquiry, published June 3, 2019, evokes mixed feelings. Do I believe that it is a genocide? No. Labelling it as such implies that there is a single villain. They are the forgotten people. Neglected and vulnerable to crimes of violence. I have been a criminal lawyer for 13 years. In that time approximately 15 of my First Nations clients have died. The majority were young Indigenous girls. ... [read more]

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 @ 11:29 AM

B.C. government looking at improving technology in courtrooms B.C. Attorney General David Eby

The B.C. government is studying ways to introduce more technology in courtrooms to improve access to justice and the user experience, but observers are saying such change needs to be considered carefully to ensure it functions properly and is accessible to as many people as possible. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 @ 2:28 PM

Alberta legal aid training program aims for greater understanding of Indigenous issues Danny Lynn, Legal Aid Alberta

The disproportionate impact of Canada’s legal system on Indigenous communities is an issue that has been identified by countless studies and reports, and the organization responsible for legal aid in Alberta says it is working to ensure as many of its lawyers as possible become more aware of it so they can better represent their clients. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 @ 1:57 PM

How segregation in incarceration affects proceedings stickfigureinjail.jpg

It’s often easier to avoid thinking about what goes on in jail as it is outside the realm of experience for most lawyers and the public at large. Working in criminal defence means that going to jail and hearing from clients about the conditions is a daily occurrence. It is not something we can ignore, as it affects our clients and in some cases their ability to have a fair trial. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 @ 11:55 AM

Heinen honoured for work with pro bono program for inmates

On June 11, 2019, Marie Henein retired as the chair of the Pro Bono Inmate Appeal Program (PIAP) after 20 years of service. The PIAP provides free, unpaid, experienced, duty counsel services to unrepresented and incarcerated appellants who have been denied legal aid funding on their criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. ... [read more]

Monday, June 24, 2019 @ 2:27 PM

Misguided cuts to Legal Aid Ontario’s funding | Shiva Bakhtiary

On June 7, Ottawa’s legal clinics and local lawyers joined to rally against the provincial budget cuts after the Ontario government announced, on April 11 that Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) annual funding will be reduced from $456 million to $323 million. This is a 29 per cent reduction in the amount of funding provided by the province. The province also plans to reduce its annual funding by another $31 million in 2021-2022. ... [read more]

Monday, June 24, 2019 @ 8:32 AM

Former Justice LaForme stresses importance of vigilance in rights protection at Pride Month event Justice Harry LaForme sm

At the Law Society of Ontario’s Pride Month program, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) awarded former Justice Harry LaForme the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) Ally Award for his “tireless efforts” in furthering the rights of Indigenous peoples and Canada’s LGBTQ+ communities. ... [read more]