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Access to Justice

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021 @ 9:03 AM

B.C. man loses appeal of decades-old murder conviction Rachel Barsky

A B.C. man who has spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit has been dealt a blow after the provincial Court of Appeal dismissed an attempt to have his conviction overturned. ... [read more]

Monday, August 23, 2021 @ 9:51 AM

Decision on mutual fund class action an ‘unfortunate failure of access to justice,’ lawyer says Paul Bates

The British Columbia Court of Appeal has upheld a lower court’s decision to not certify a class action against a subsidiary of financial giant RBC, with a lawyer in the case calling the decision unfortunate because the issues raised are too complex to be brought in any other form than a class proceeding. ... [read more]

Thursday, August 19, 2021 @ 9:30 AM

B.C. law society authorizes two new projects through ‘innovation sandbox’

The B.C. law society has authorized two new proposals aimed at improving the availability of employment law services for those who cannot afford a lawyer. ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 18, 2021 @ 10:41 AM

Prostitution law reform in Canada: Considering shortcomings of Bill C-36 Woman's face with make-up stick

The developments in the Canadian prostitution laws in response to the ruling of Canada (Attorney General) v. Bedford [2013] 3 S.C.R. prompt an examination of the effectiveness of the new laws governing sex work. Until 2013, the act of prostitution was legal but the following prostitution-related activities were criminalized under the Criminal Code of Canada: (a) living on the avails of prostitution, (b) soliciting for the purpose of prostitution in public, and (c) operating and being in a common bawdy house or brothel. In 2007, three sex workers, Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott, challenged the legitimacy of prostitution laws in Canada. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 @ 9:43 AM

Backlogs at court, A2J for jury trials at risk as pandemic persists Michael White, president of the Toronto Lawyers’ Association

Despite the justice system’s massive pivot to adopt technology and remote hearings at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, legal organizations and lawyers have noted that a backlog persists creating an access to justice issue in areas of practice that require jury trials.   ... [read more]

Monday, August 16, 2021 @ 2:24 PM

Prisoner rights activism alive and well | John L. Hill

“Lock ’em up and throw away the key!” That is the response one receives from many unaccustomed to how our correctional systems operate. Every so often, along comes a dedicated group of individuals willing to tackle issues that can have a profound effect on injustices towards prisoners and a deleterious effect on rehabilitation. Most prisoners will return to society after being incarcerated. It is in society’s best interests that these individuals are given the supports they need to re-enter society and not become recidivists. ... [read more]

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 @ 10:59 AM

‘Special interlocutor’ to help fill legal lacunae around residential schools’ unmarked graves David Lametti

Amid rising demands for criminal investigations into the many deaths of Indigenous children who were forced into residential “schools,” federal Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti has pledged to appoint a “Special Interlocutor on Indian Residential Schools Unmarked Burials” to work for justice with Indigenous leaders and communities, and provincial and territorial governments, including by making recommendations to improve federal laws, regulations, policies and practices related to the unmarked and undocumented graves and burial sites that are being found at the former federal- and church-run institutions. ... [read more]

Tuesday, August 10, 2021 @ 9:12 AM

Ontario human rights body’s framework on racism in policing supports A2J: chief commissioner Ena Chadha, Ontario Human Rights Commission

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released a “framework for change to address systemic racism in policing,” that outgoing chief commissioner Ena Chadha calls a “framework for access to justice.” The framework, released July 29, has 10 steps and calls on the province to “establish a legislative and regulatory framework to directly address systemic racism in policing.” ... [read more]

Friday, August 06, 2021 @ 2:02 PM

More things we can do if we’re serious about family law self-reps | Joel Miller

This series has looked at concepts economists and social scientists have discussed that the rest of the world has embraced and that we could adopt to bring our family justice system into the 21st century, such as: “complementary innovation,” “rational boundaries” and “an acceptability threshold” for cost and quality. We’ve seen that because family law matters are on a continuum from “complex” to “less complex” rules that work for cases at one end don’t work for those at the other. ... [read more]

Friday, July 30, 2021 @ 2:22 PM

COVID-19 judicial action committee publishes progress report

A special committee established to help Canada’s courts deal with the pandemic has “sparked innovation” and created “a window of opportunity to make lasting changes to the justice system,” states the federal government. ... [read more]