Focus On

Access to Justice


Tuesday, February 09, 2021 @ 9:28 AM

Task force sets sights on ‘revamping the entire court system,’ says N.S. chief justice Chief Justice Deborah K. Smith

As COVID-19 forced lockdowns across the globe, the use of technology ramped up to ensure work could continue in key areas. One of those areas is the judicial system. Now Nova Scotia has established a task force to explore how technology could further improve access to justice, increase efficiencies and create better outcomes. ... [read more]

Monday, February 08, 2021 @ 2:34 PM

Research project seeks to understand COVID-19 justice barriers for people who live with disabilities Ruby Dhand, Thompson Rivers University, faculty of law

Researchers at a western Canada university have embarked on studies into how measures to combat COVID-19 have impacted access to justice for Ontarians with disabilities living in care centres and people with mental disorders in British Columbia’s prisons and psychiatric facilities. ... [read more]

Monday, February 08, 2021 @ 1:33 PM

Canada’s shell game on C-92 funding | Pamela Palmater

The federal government has once again proven that legislative initiatives tend to be effective deflections from their ongoing failures to address human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples. Bill C-92: An Act Respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children, Youth and Families (2019) was heralded by the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the federal government as the solution to the “humanitarian crisis” of First Nations children in foster care. The AFN in particular pushed hard for the legislation to pass in Parliament, despite widespread opposition and protests from First Nations from all over Canada. First Nations legal and child welfare experts also warned Parliament that C-92 did not align with Canada’s political promises and could in fact make things worse. They were right. ... [read more]

Friday, February 05, 2021 @ 11:08 AM

Gladue principles, other considerations must be realized at bail Indigenous Woman behind bars

In Canada, we continue to struggle with a problem with pre-charge detention. While s. 11(e) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that a person will “not be denied bail without just cause,” the number of people serving time in pretrial detention continues to grow, even during the pandemic. This issue is acutely problematic when addressing specific populations in the criminal justice system. As Justice Andras Schreck put it in R. v. E.B. 2020 ONSC 4383: “it is beyond dispute that systemic racism in the justice system is part of the cause.”  ... [read more]

Thursday, February 04, 2021 @ 1:39 PM

Realities of criminal Zoom court Bearded man on the phone

The need for technological innovation has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic and globally adjustments have been made to adapt to lockdown and stay-at-home orders. Almost everything has shifted strictly online. The courts and the judicial systems have seemingly done their best to jump start an archaic profession to the modern 21st century, changes that some were calling for even prior to the pandemic. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 03, 2021 @ 2:18 PM

Strategic plan to guide B.C. law society in 2021: president B.C. law society president Dean Lawton

The Law Society of British Columbia (LSBC) has jumped into 2021 with a new head at its bencher table and a new strategic plan to guide its efforts. ... [read more]

Wednesday, February 03, 2021 @ 2:11 PM

Time for automatic pardons for single summary offences | Paul Doroshenko

For more than 10 years now we have had the Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) scheme in British Columbia, and the sky has not fallen. What has fallen, the B.C. government tells us, is the rate of deaths due to impaired driving in B.C. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 02, 2021 @ 2:44 PM

Role of Indigenous in environmental, social, governance reporting | Naomi Sayers

In January 2021, the First Nations Major Project Coalition commissioned a report titled Indigenous Sustainable Development: Discussing Opportunities in ESG. ... [read more]

Tuesday, February 02, 2021 @ 8:50 AM

Petty government action in British Columbia | Kyla Lee

Our government is wasteful with our courts. They use the court to pursue petty claims against ordinary people that really do not need to be litigated. I don’t say this lightly. I say this after reading a recent decision from the B.C. Supreme Court in British Columbia (Attorney General) v. Guo 2021 BCSC 97. ... [read more]

Monday, February 01, 2021 @ 11:57 AM

Yet another inquest | John L. Hill

Once again, we are reading of the death of an inmate due to fentanyl overdose. CBC News is reporting on the death of 26-year-old Jordan Sheard who died at the Central East Correctional Centre (CEDC) in Lindsay, Ont. The man had a prior history of drug usage and suffered from PTSD and depression. Sheard entered the provincial detention facility on May 30, 2020, when his bail was pulled after he threatened suicide. On intake at the jail, he underwent a body scan meant to detect drugs concealed internally. Prisoners are known to tried to import contraband by hiding the foreign material in their rectums, a process they refer to as “suit casing.” ... [read more]