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Access to Justice

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Thursday, February 07, 2019 @ 9:51 AM

Chief Justice Wagner improves public communication, brings new ideas, change to top court, CJC and NJI TLD Exclusive

Richard Wagner, Canada’s reform-minded top judge, has already overseen changes at the three major legal institutions he leads — the Supreme Court of Canada, the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC), and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) — and there are more changes to come, he advises in a wide-ranging exclusive interview. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 05, 2019 @ 12:07 PM

Report on law school tuition highlights impact of high costs on access, diversity Heather Donkers sm

The Law Students’ Society of Ontario (LSSO) is calling for change in its Jan. 31 report on tuition, debt and financial aid experiences, noting that the high cost of a legal education makes the profession less accessible, and by extension, less diverse. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 @ 11:31 AM

Alberta legal aid strategic plan emphasizes outreach, reducing barriers to access Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) president and CEO John Panusa

Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) has released a three-year strategic plan that highlights changing workplace culture, better communication of the organization’s mission and streamlining client service to better serve the needs of Albertans. LAA president and CEO John Panusa noted legal aid signed a new four-year governance agreement and funding model with the provincial government and the law society in October, and the strategic plan emanated from that. ... [read more]

Monday, January 28, 2019 @ 1:03 PM

Counsel praises Crown for ‘holistic’ approach using Indigenous mediation circle in Manitoba John Corona

Legal minds are hoping for more restorative justice similar to that of an Indigenous mediation circle taking place for two Manitoba women suspected of spewing online hatred toward local Aboriginals. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 @ 9:33 AM

Recognition of ‘lived identity’ an access to justice, wills and estates issue, experts say Kate Hazell

Many infants born in Canada have, through their parents, the right to a gender-neutral birth certificate. The same is not true for Canadians who die. Vital statistics legislation across Canada was amended between 2012 and 2017 to remove the requirement for individuals to undergo gender confirmation surgery in order to change their gender on various documents including birth certificates. ... [read more]

Thursday, January 17, 2019 @ 1:40 PM

Complexity of Income Tax Act an access to justice issue, scholar says Colin Jackson

It will come as no surprise to lawyers or their clients that the federal Income Tax Act is not easy to read. It may come as a surprise, however, just how difficult that legislation is to decipher — and how it falls short of efforts in other countries to make the law accessible. ... [read more]

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 @ 11:36 AM

New (and arguably absurd) drinking and driving offences Guyatbar_sm.jpg

The new amendments to the Criminal Code have changed the drinking and driving landscape significantly. Two changes are attracting particular attention due to their impacts on protected Charter rights and a serious potential for wrongful convictions. Arguably the most concerning amendment is the creation of a new offence — consuming too much alcohol or drugs after driving. ... [read more]

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 @ 9:36 AM

Legal aid paralegals not qualified to handle risky refugee cases: lawyer Alastair_Clarke_sm

Manitoba’s legal aid office should increase what it pays immigration lawyers rather than have staff paralegals act for refugee claimants in potential “life or death cases,” says a lawyer opposed to the planned pilot project. ... [read more]

Wednesday, January 09, 2019 @ 6:24 AM - Last Updated: Wednesday, January 09, 2019 @ 11:44 AM

Incoming Alberta law society president-elect highlights articling, access to justice as challenges Kent Teskey, Alberta Law Society president-elect

The incoming president-elect of the Law Society of Alberta is looking to address rapid change in the legal profession and ensuring lawyers are properly trained to meet modern challenges after he takes on the mantle of leadership in February. Kent Teskey of Edmonton’s Pringle Chivers Sparks takes over from current president-elect Rob Armstrong in February and then takes the top job in 2020. He has served as a bencher since 2015. He said he decided to seek the top job after becoming involved in the legal aid system in Alberta, in which the law society has a governance role. ... [read more]

Monday, January 07, 2019 @ 9:00 AM

Ombudsman not protecting rights of taxpayers tax_bombs_sm

Although not an actual law as it is in the United States, the Taxpayer “Bill of Rights” sets out 16 rights, eight of which are within the mandate of the Taxpayers’ Ombudsman’s office. ... [read more]