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Access to Justice

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019 @ 11:29 AM

B.C. government looking at improving technology in courtrooms B.C. Attorney General David Eby

The B.C. government is studying ways to introduce more technology in courtrooms to improve access to justice and the user experience, but observers are saying such change needs to be considered carefully to ensure it functions properly and is accessible to as many people as possible. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 @ 2:28 PM

Alberta legal aid training program aims for greater understanding of Indigenous issues Danny Lynn, Legal Aid Alberta

The disproportionate impact of Canada’s legal system on Indigenous communities is an issue that has been identified by countless studies and reports, and the organization responsible for legal aid in Alberta says it is working to ensure as many of its lawyers as possible become more aware of it so they can better represent their clients. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 @ 1:57 PM

How segregation in incarceration affects proceedings stickfigureinjail.jpg

It’s often easier to avoid thinking about what goes on in jail as it is outside the realm of experience for most lawyers and the public at large. Working in criminal defence means that going to jail and hearing from clients about the conditions is a daily occurrence. It is not something we can ignore, as it affects our clients and in some cases their ability to have a fair trial. ... [read more]

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 @ 11:55 AM

Heinen honoured for work with pro bono program for inmates

On June 11, 2019, Marie Henein retired as the chair of the Pro Bono Inmate Appeal Program (PIAP) after 20 years of service. The PIAP provides free, unpaid, experienced, duty counsel services to unrepresented and incarcerated appellants who have been denied legal aid funding on their criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal for Ontario. ... [read more]

Monday, June 24, 2019 @ 2:27 PM

Misguided cuts to Legal Aid Ontario’s funding | Shiva Bakhtiary

On June 7, Ottawa’s legal clinics and local lawyers joined to rally against the provincial budget cuts after the Ontario government announced, on April 11 that Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) annual funding will be reduced from $456 million to $323 million. This is a 29 per cent reduction in the amount of funding provided by the province. The province also plans to reduce its annual funding by another $31 million in 2021-2022. ... [read more]

Monday, June 24, 2019 @ 8:32 AM

Former Justice LaForme stresses importance of vigilance in rights protection at Pride Month event Justice Harry LaForme sm

At the Law Society of Ontario’s Pride Month program, the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) awarded former Justice Harry LaForme the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Community (SOGIC) Ally Award for his “tireless efforts” in furthering the rights of Indigenous peoples and Canada’s LGBTQ+ communities. ... [read more]

Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 2:32 PM

Downey commits to collaborative approach as Ontario’s new attorney general Exclusive

Lauded by former colleagues for his collegiality, Ontario’s new Attorney General Douglas Richard Downey plans to take a collaborative approach on new initiatives and lingering issues that dogged his predecessor, including one that drew a comment from Canada’s top judge. ... [read more]

Friday, June 21, 2019 @ 11:33 AM

Panel highlights ‘erasure’ of trans identity from sex-ed curriculum at Pride Month event Noah Sparrow sm

Removing LGBTQ+ identities from Ontario’s sex education curriculum last year caused a backlash that included legal challenges from teachers and youth alike. The importance of inclusion and the dangers posed by that “erasure” were highlighted in the Law Society of Ontario’s (LSO) Pride Month program on June 19.     ... [read more]

Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 3:02 PM

What’s at stake at June 27 Convocation | Michael Menear

The June 27, 2019, Law Society of Ontario (LSO) bencher Convocation will be the first business meeting of the five newly elected paralegal benchers, eight recently appointed lay benchers, and 40 lawyer benchers (including the incumbents and the StopSOP slate). As such, this Convocation will be no “business as usual” meeting. ... [read more]

Thursday, June 20, 2019 @ 12:41 PM

Perils of facial recognition algorithmic tools in policing facial recognition

The Toronto Police Service has been using facial recognition tools for over a year. This means that police are feeding images of folks in Toronto, captured as we go about our daily business, into an algorithmic tool that is trained to identify faces. These could be photos from a crime scene caught on cellphone cameras, images caught by video surveillance cameras in department stores or public parking garages, they could be stills or videos caught by the myriad cameras we happen to pass every day. ... [read more]