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Access to Justice

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019 @ 1:36 PM

Estonia set to introduce ‘AI judge’ in small claims court to clear court backlog Man&Botshakinghands

Recently, I commented on Jane Philpott’s, former Canadian minister of digital government, launch of the federal government’s Directive on Automated Decision Making, purported to use artificial intelligence (AI) to assist the government in replacing mundane administrative tasks within all of its branches.   ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 09, 2019 @ 9:29 AM

Nova Scotia moving to unified family court system Shelley_Hounsell-Gray

The court system in Nova Scotia is poised to become more effective, more efficient and more accessible. The Department of Justice announced that it will be making changes to the Judicature Act to ensure family law matters are heard by one court throughout the province. Currently, in most areas of the province, family law matters are heard in family court, the Supreme Court, or both courts. ... [read more]

Monday, April 08, 2019 @ 2:06 PM

Access to Justice: View from the trenches | Michael Lesage

As Ontario’s lawyers set to elect a new slate of benchers to Convocation, the oft-discussed, seldom addressed issue of access to justice has again entered into the conversation. Most agree that access to justice is a worthy (if aspirational and ill-defined) goal, that must be advanced and encouraged. However, the facts on the ground tell a different story, that of people being unable (or unwilling) to hire lawyers or to effectively assert their rights on their own. Conversely, lawyers continue their exodus from private practice, especially within the small firm setting (this despite the fact that more and more lawyers are being called to the bar). Clearly, something is amiss. ... [read more]

Monday, April 08, 2019 @ 11:28 AM

Encore: The what, why and where to of Quebec’s Bill 21 Muslim woman

Introduced in March 2019 in Quebec’s National Assembly, Bill 21 purports to affirm the particular secular character of Quebec by articulating foundational principles and the precise requirements to which they give rise. In the name of “the laicity of the State,” the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms will be modified, and the wearing of religious symbols will be prohibited for individuals engaged in a long list of public functions. ... [read more]

Monday, April 08, 2019 @ 9:54 AM

B.C. Attorney General’s Office says auto insurance changes ‘constitutionally sound’ despite lawsuit

A group representing trial lawyers in British Columbia has opened a new salvo against the provincial government’s controversial changes to the publicly owned Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), arguing a number of provisions brought into force last year are unconstitutional. In May 2018, the B.C. legislature adopted reforms to deal with a significant financial shortfall at ICBC, including a cap of $5,500 on minor injury claims, an increase in accident benefits and sending some matters to the province’s Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). ... [read more]

Friday, April 05, 2019 @ 2:15 PM

Decisions when acting for family with child with disability kidinmuddledbrain.jpg

Family law clients come to us with myriad issues, including supporting a child with a disability. While resolving child-related disputes can be challenging on their own, parents caring for a child with a disability creates additional complexity. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 04, 2019 @ 2:08 PM

B.C. civil rule amendment could cut costs, timelines considerably businessmansshakingguy.jpg

A very significant amendment to the British Columbia Supreme Court Civil Rules was enacted without warning on Feb. 11, 2019, in relation to expert reports in motor vehicle claims and personal injury actions. The amendment applies to all personal injury actions as of Feb. 1, 2010. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 03, 2019 @ 2:46 PM

Access to environmental justice in Canada: The road ahead roadaheadlandscape

Across Canada, low-income persons and disadvantaged communities often bear a disproportionate burden of the adverse health and environmental impacts from contaminants that are discharged into air, land and water. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 03, 2019 @ 1:02 PM

Make more legal supports available for involuntarily detained, B.C. bar association urges CBABC president Margaret Mereigh

The B.C. bar association is calling for the provincial government to make changes to the Mental Health Act (MHA) to better protect legal rights for those who find themselves involuntarily detained under the Act. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 02, 2019 @ 10:42 AM

B.C. legal aid deal speaks well of government’s commitment to system: lawyers’ group Richard Fowler, Association of Legal Aid Lawyers (ALL) spokesperson

People relying on legal aid in British Columbia can breathe a sign of relief as the B.C. government has agreed to support the development of a new framework for the system, thus ending a threatened strike by legal aid lawyers in the province. ... [read more]