Focus On

Access to Justice


Monday, February 10, 2020 @ 7:46 AM

Access to Justice: Embracing technology through online courts | Beverley McLachlin

As we near the beginning of the second quarter of the 21st century, it is worth casting our thoughts ahead and asking what our justice system will look like 10 or 20 years from now. Everyone accepts that we are living in a technological era where change in how we communicate, do business and play is exponential. Business, education and medicine are radically altering the way they provide services to meet these changes and better serve their customers and the public. Why should the justice system be any different? ... [read more]

Friday, February 07, 2020 @ 9:53 AM

Why prison is capitalism’s penalty box | Jeffrey Hartman

Mental health transcends socioeconomic status. Bell’s concern for mental health does not. Sadly, neither does ours as a society.   ... [read more]

Friday, February 07, 2020 @ 9:21 AM

B.C. law society seeks to bring ‘mental health out of the shadows’: president B.C. law society president Craig Ferris

The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) is moving forward with a number of measures aimed at responding to mental health concerns in the legal profession. Benchers adopted the recommendations contained in the second interim report of the law society’s mental health task force at their Jan. 31 meeting. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 05, 2020 @ 2:17 PM

Group hopes French courses for lawyers, judges can boost access to justice in Saskatchewan

In a bid to improve access to justice for Saskatchewan’s French speakers, a small group of legal professionals in that province continues to offer lawyers a credit course in that language. The French-Speaking Jurists Association of Saskatchewan (AJEFS) is now heading into its fifth year of providing lawyers with a French course, along with a chance for participants to practise their language skills with others already proficient. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 05, 2020 @ 11:07 AM

Robot justice: China’s use of Internet courts Robotscales

Would it scare you if I said that China has been doing this since 2017? In December 2019, China has announced that millions of legal cases are now being decided by “Internet courts” that do not require citizens to appear in court. The “smart court” includes non-human judges, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and allows participants to register their cases online and resolve their matters via a digital court hearing. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 04, 2020 @ 11:33 AM

B.C. legal consultant appealing injunction denying him ability to appear in court

A B.C. man is pledging to fight an injunction sought by the provincial law society which prevents him from appearing in court, saying it was granted based on a too-narrow definition of what constitutes an employment relationship and that it flies in the face of the law society’s commitment to improve access to justice. ... [read more]

Monday, February 03, 2020 @ 12:56 PM

Child protection escaping legal aid cuts no reason to celebrate | Tammy Law

On Jan. 23, I was fortunate enough to participate in a panel hosted by LEAF Toronto about Ontario’s legal aid cuts. On its face, child protection certificates largely avoided many of the deep cuts that were visited on other areas of practice. I should have been grateful for this reprieve. But in actuality, it felt perverse to be celebrating the maintenance of a status quo that for years has been widely acknowledged to be inadequate. ... [read more]

Monday, February 03, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

Hey Canadians, don’t be smug about American candidate selection processes | Stéphanie Plante

On the eve of the Democratic Iowa primary, many Canadians get smug about how American leadership races and elections seem to revolve around money and fundraising. But before we judge, it might be a good time for Canadians to consider advocating for a better made-in-Canada framework on how we run our political party leadership contests. ... [read more]

Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 9:33 AM

Judicial vacancies doubled around election; ‘chronic’ judge shortage wreaks ‘havoc’ say bench, bar Ken Armstrong

Justice Minister David Lametti is poised to start filling the backlog of superior court vacancies that more than doubled around last fall’s federal election, The Lawyer’s Daily has learned. But lawyers and courts say that chronic appointment delays are taking a serious toll on the public. As of Jan. 7, 2020, there were 68 vacancies in federal superior courts across Canada, according to the website of the Commissioner for Federal Judicial Affairs. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 @ 10:29 AM

Hey Bell: Let’s talk about ... hypocrisy | Jordana Goldlist

Wednesday Jan. 29 is Bell “Let’s Talk” Day, the day on which Bell Canada contributes five cents for every applicable text, call, tweet, social media video view and use of its Snapchat filter or Facebook frame towards mental health initiatives in Canada. ... [read more]