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Access to Justice


Friday, February 18, 2022 @ 9:28 AM

Quebec justice minister, judiciary locked in ‘power struggle,’ says law prof Patrick Taillon

Barely a week after Quebec Superior Court ruled that the provincial justice minister has no say on how the judiciary determines its professional and linguistic requirements, the Quebec National Assembly passed a non-binding motion declaring that unilingual French-speaking applicants should not be barred from applying to become provincial judges. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 17, 2022 @ 1:05 PM

The flaw in family law paralegal licences | Robert Shawyer

Last fall, on behalf of over 50 members of the family law bar in Ontario, I wrote a response to the Law Society of Ontario’s Family Legal Services Provider Licence Consultation that was released for review and comment on June 26, 2020. While the response I wrote was acknowledged, as were the submissions from 39 other organizations, in the LSO Report on Family Legal Services Provider Licence released on Jan. 21, 2022, it was ignored in favour of what appears to be a predetermined outcome to license paralegals to practise family law. ... [read more]

Thursday, February 17, 2022 @ 12:37 PM

Second opinions | Gabriel Latner

Fred Smith (FE to history) was a “bon-vivant” back in the day when, if you were rich enough, unchecked alcoholism was just a charming quirk. One night in 1907, he checked into London’s Savoy Hotel and proceeded to order a staggering quantity of champagne and oysters, to sustain him as he read through a deep stack of legal papers. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @ 1:19 PM

Crown’s ‘one-sided, misguided’ factum provokes tongue-lashing from ‘shocked’ Supreme Court bench Russell Brown

The Ontario Crown got a rarely seen tongue-lashing at the Supreme Court of Canada in what might serve as a lesson in “what not to say” when trying to persuade the judges to modify their own recent constitutional jurisprudence — in this case the speedy trial blockbuster, R. v. Jordan. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @ 11:21 AM - Last Updated: Thursday, March 03, 2022 @ 1:59 PM

Law society leaves Superior Court in its dust | Michael Lesage

Nearly a decade ago, Justice David Brown warned of the dangers of operating Ontario’s “courts like some kind of fossilized Jurassic Park” (Bank of Montreal v. Faibish [2014] O.J. No. 1639). His warning went unheeded, and the Superior Court stumbled along. Performance was about as could be expected, with long delays in family and civil cases and hundreds of criminal cases being dismissed annually for delay. Then COVID-19 hit, and the entire house of cards came tumbling down. It must have been an embarrassing time to be a senior justice of the Ontario Superior Court.   ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 16, 2022 @ 9:29 AM

Time to listen to Office of Correctional Investigator | John L. Hill

The latest report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI) was released earlier this month. Like annual reports delivered to the minister in charge of Canada’s correctional services, this year’s report contained disturbing statistics of inequities that are continuing behind the walls and fences of Canadian prisons. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 @ 9:36 AM

Whose rule? And is it the rule of law, politics or power? | Stephen O’Neill

“Mr. Parker, you’re here to be sentenced for robbery, and you’re unrepresented. Crown counsel is asking for a four-year penitentiary term. And as you know, a robbery conviction carries a potential for life in prison.” ... [read more]

Thursday, February 10, 2022 @ 1:24 PM

Spanish law recognizes pets as family Spanish Flag

Globally, there is a movement working toward actualizing animals, especially companion animals, as sentient beings. It’s slow, but it’s underway. Societal pressure is forcing law to catch up and enact animal sentience laws. So in January 2022 when I read headlines like Pope Francis says choosing pets over kids is selfish I was astonished. The Pope’s words, which understandably caused a huge backlash, are not the focus of this article, because the facts are clear about companion animals and humans. Human birthrates are down in many countries, as people are having fewer two-legged kids, and pet adoptions continue to soar. Alongside all of that, divorce is also continuing to rise. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 09, 2022 @ 4:37 PM

Lametti says he’s pushing for more diverse federal judiciary, more cash for civil legal aid Justice Minister David Lametti

Federal Justice Minister David Lametti has told the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) he is pushing to boost funding for civil, immigration and criminal legal aid, as well as to ameliorate the under-representation of racialized and other diverse jurists on the federal benches. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 09, 2022 @ 9:29 AM

End of lawyers, Darwin’s theory of survival | Jo-Anne Stark

Dear Jo: I was called to the bar three years ago, and I’m wanting to start my own practice working from home. I don’t feel that I “fit in” with the traditional law firm model, and I’ve struggled to maintain any level of motivation as a result. I’m afraid that if I go forward with my plans, I might be letting down my family, and I might be criticized for not falling in the path of their footsteps by working my way up to being a partner in a traditional law firm setting. I just don’t know what to do, or whether I should hang up my robes and walk away from the profession entirely!  ... [read more]