Focus On

Access to Justice


Tuesday, April 28, 2020 @ 3:54 PM

CBA launches national task force to help with plans to reopen and improve justice system Vivene Salmon

Canadian Bar Association (CBA) president Vivene Salmon is chairing a new blue-ribbon national task force that will make recommendations for improving, and eventually gearing up, the justice system that has almost ground to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 @ 1:04 PM

Lawyers of the future: Virtual mooting in COVID-19 era | Sigma Samanta Khan

Whether a law student is an eager litigator-to-be or a shy public speaker breaking out of their shell, mooting is a traditional and universal rite of passage for all law students, and practising lawyers often fondly reminisce about their law school mooting experiences. ... [read more]

Tuesday, April 21, 2020 @ 9:37 AM

Manifestations of real bail problem: A suggested fix unlocked cell

Above and beyond risk aversion, what the examples in the first part of this series show is that the bail system has turned into one where the accused person is required to jump through multiple hoops in order to access what is otherwise their constitutional right. In some contexts, the law on the books has simply been ignored and in others, interpreted in ways that fly in the face of the rights of the accused. In this way, we have come to treat bail as a privilege rather than a right. ... [read more]

Monday, April 20, 2020 @ 9:01 AM

Technology and the courts: Now or never | Neil Wilson

The COVID-19 pandemic has ground justice to a halt together with the rest of society. The only way to keep going will be to finally embrace what the justice system has resisted for so long: the use of technology. As the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” — or, in our case, necessity may be the mother of finally applying long-available inventions to the trade of lawyering. ... [read more]

Friday, April 17, 2020 @ 1:50 PM

Welcoming e-advocacy: Advice on winning your first virtual appeal V&Wvideoconference

The world of advocacy is changing. With the advent of social distancing how we deliver legal services, and especially how we assist clients navigating the justice system in our courts, has changed abruptly and significantly. ... [read more]

Friday, April 17, 2020 @ 9:43 AM

14-month post-verdict delay due to lack of Gladue reports ‘unreasonable,’ court rules Danielle_Robitaille_sm

An Ontario Court of Appeal decision to reduce a sentence by five months due to post-verdict delay highlights the “lack of institutional resources” to obtain Gladue reports and its effect on the justice system. Counsel involved in the case said lawyers should be “mindful” of delays and review them against this decision to see if there’s a remedy that may be applied. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 16, 2020 @ 12:16 PM

Ontario’s bail problem: Attempted solutions unlocked_cell_sm

The law of bail has garnered a lot of attention in the last seven years, starting with the John Howard Society’s seminal paper identifying, and suggesting ways to ameliorate, the bail problem in Ontario. In that same time frame, the Supreme Court of Canada has released three decisions on bail, with another one on the way this year, to provide guidance to all players in the justice system on how to do bail correctly and to right the wrongs that have festered in the bail system for decades. ... [read more]

Thursday, April 16, 2020 @ 10:15 AM

Bumping of civil actions, court vacancies contributed to 2019 access struggles: B.C. Supreme Court

The bumping of civil trials and long chambers applications in B.C. reached “critical” proportions in 2019 and played a part in the struggle to ensure timely access to justice, according to the B.C. Supreme Court’s most recent annual report. The report, which was released March 31, said the bumping issue was the worst it had experienced to date. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 @ 10:28 AM

‘Paper-based system is not going to exist anymore,’ Chief Justice Morawetz says of post-COVID-19 court Chief_Justice_Geoffrey_Morawetz_sm

As the COVID-19 pandemic has turned society on its head, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has been rapidly trying to adapt. Under the leadership of Chief Justice Geoffrey Morawetz, the court has adopted electronic filings and virtual hearings in an effort to continue current operations and with a plan to not go back to the status quo of a paper-based system. ... [read more]

Wednesday, April 08, 2020 @ 9:47 AM

Quebec allowing notaries to sign documents remotely during pandemic but issues remain Isabelle Couturier

Under pressure to deliver legal services in spite of Quebec’s public health state of emergency, notaries in the province have been given the go-ahead by the Quebec Ministry of Justice to sign notarized documents remotely. Under an order-in-council on essential services issued by the Quebec government on March 23 and extended until May 4, notaries, lawyers and bailiffs are deemed to offer essential services, giving them the choice to remain open. ... [read more]