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Access to Justice


Monday, June 15, 2020 @ 1:59 PM

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day: Call to action for lawyers Seniors

June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Founded by Dr. Elizabeth Podnieks of Ryerson University, the first WEAAD was launched in 2006 at the United Nations building in New York City. Five years later, in 2011, the UN General Assembly officially designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The annual commemoration is an opportunity to acknowledge the significance of elder abuse as a public health and human rights issue. ... [read more]

Friday, June 12, 2020 @ 2:57 PM

Virtual law post-COVID-19: Will justice thrive in a Zoom future? | Philip Holdsworth

COVID-19 has shocked the judicial system into the digital age, forcing justice to be administered via digital platforms. Video hearings are only a part of this new era of virtual law and Zoom is just the first example of how our legal future will exist in the digital world. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 11, 2020 @ 11:49 AM

How lawyers can help Canada navigate COVID-19 storm Lighthouse

One great tragedy of COVID-19 is that for a generation of people, the two most formative societal events they lived through are the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. Society and the legal community are now playing a different ball game, except now we’re all blindfolded and six feet apart. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 11, 2020 @ 9:26 AM

Courts need new ideas to safely resume jury trials, selection, lawyers say Trevor_Farrow_sm

Canada’s courts are going to have to be “creative” if they want to resume jury trials and jury selection while continuing to practise social distancing, says a legal mind. As some of the nation’s courts slowly restart certain operations, questions remain about how they will resume jury trials and the process of gathering large groups of people together to choose who will sit on a panel. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 9:45 AM - Last Updated: Tuesday, June 09, 2020 @ 11:43 AM

‘Everything is on the table’ as Ontario eyes a return to courts, says attorney general Doug Downey

As Ontario moves toward a July 6 target date for resuming in-person proceedings amid COVID-19, Attorney General Doug Downey says his Ministry is consulting closely with two health experts and is even considering using gymnasiums to enable physical distancing. “Health and safety are at the centre of everything we’re doing,” he told Criminal Lawyers’ Association (CLA) president John Struthers during a June 4 CLA webcast. “People need to feel safe, as well as be safe.” ... [read more]

Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 1:49 PM

Senior family court judge fears self-represented litigants being left behind by COVID-19 Suzanne Stevenson

Ontario’s most senior family court judge is sounding the alarm about a significant drop in self-represented litigants brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re trying to get the message out there that we are open, but they are not coming to court, and that’s a huge concern for access to justice,” Justice Suzanne M. Stevenson, senior judge of the family court, said in a May 28 fireside chat organized by the Ontario Bar Association. ... [read more]

Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 12:39 PM

How to fight systemic injustice against racialized, Indigenous people | Angelique EagleWoman

For Indigenous and racialized lawyers and judges, the experience of racial profiling occurs when entering courthouses and being seen as either an offender or a victim. On page 22 in the “Guide for Lawyers Working with Indigenous Peoples” a joint project of The Advocates’ Society, the Indigenous Bar Association and the Law Society of Ontario, it is noted that there has been and continues to be a distrust in the Canadian legal system by Indigenous peoples for good reasons: ... [read more]

Friday, June 05, 2020 @ 9:49 AM

SCC poised for first virtual appeal hearing; Zoom ‘observers’ to see novel contract, criminal cases Emily Kirkpatrick

The Supreme Court of Canada is opening its virtual courtroom doors next week by pioneering Zoom hearings in several civil and criminal appeals that raise novel issues of undue trial delay, pre-incorporation contracts in strata developments and entrapment in “dial-a-dope” operations. Up until 1 p.m. (EDT) June 5, the public and media can ask the top court to register them for an unspecified number of “first-come, first-served” Zoom “observer” spots in each of four cases (including one oral leave application), to be argued from June 9 to June 12. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 04, 2020 @ 9:05 AM

Floyd shines light on systemic injustice against racialized, Indigenous people | Angelique EagleWoman

The United States is engulfed in protests because yet another police officer, aided by other officers, has used unlawful lethal force to kill a black man. This time it happened in Minneapolis, but unfortunately it is all too common in North America for black men to be killed by law enforcement. Black lives matter. In the Western Hemisphere, the Atlantic slave trade started as European colonizers decimated the populations of Native peoples. White plantation owners in the aftermath of genocidal policies against native peoples replaced the enslavement of native peoples with the enslavement of people kidnapped from Africa. On stolen native lands, black lives were not honoured or protected.  ... [read more]

Thursday, June 04, 2020 @ 8:49 AM

Access to justice and pixie dust: Civil resolution tribunals | Bo Kruk

COVID-19 has changed the manner in which we transact justice. The courts in Ontario have embraced new technology to allow more cases to proceed at an unprecedented rate. While we have searched for technological answers to our new world order, we need not look too far. British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT) provides an effective online model that can — and should — be easily transplanted to any other jurisdiction. The CRT offers answers to our technological challenges. ... [read more]