Focus On

Access to Justice


Wednesday, September 16, 2020 @ 8:18 AM

LSO budget balance: Support for licensees and public | Joseph Groia

These are difficult times for many members of the legal professions. Like so many others across the province, the country and the globe, lawyers and paralegals have seen COVID-19 have a material impact on their practices. Now is the time for the legal community to come together and work collaboratively to respond to the very real social and financial effects of COVID-19. And, we need to do this in a thoughtful, strategic and disciplined way — resisting reckless responses in direct contrast to the havoc of the pandemic itself. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 @ 2:37 PM

Made-in-Ontario access to justice | Hilary Linton, Omar Ha-Redeye and Matilda Kissi

Ontario was the first Canadian jurisdiction to regulate paralegals and the first to permit them to practise independently. It is fitting then that Ontario’s law society has proposed an innovative response to the universally acknowledged access to family law justice problem: a new Family Legal Services Provider licence. ... [read more]

Monday, September 14, 2020 @ 2:20 PM

Teach our children well | Jerry Levitan

Ground Zero of Ontario’s Education Act (in legal terms, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.2, Section 0.1(1), (2) and (3)), grandly pronounces, as the Act’s “Purpose,” the following: ... [read more]

Monday, September 14, 2020 @ 7:55 AM

Virtual justice in COVID era comes at a heavy cost, legal scholars say Vincent Denault

Months after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the near shutdown of courts across Canada and paved the way for virtual justice, a Quebec lawyer and researcher is hoping that judges and lawyers will be alert to the unintended consequences of conducting justice through the use of technology. ... [read more]

Friday, September 11, 2020 @ 11:40 AM

DLA Piper launches Black and Indigenous business law clinic in Vancouver

‎DLA Piper Canada announced the launch of a pro bono business law clinic in Vancouver dedicated to providing ‎Black and Indigenous businesses with corporate and commercial legal advice.‎‎ ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 09, 2020 @ 2:36 PM

Criminalization of Indigenous journalism contradicts reconciliation | Pamela Palmater

What does it take to get arrested by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)? Well, if we go by recent events around 1492 Land Back Lane, it looks like the arrest criteria include being Indigenous, an award-winning journalist and covering First Nation land defence stories. Because that is exactly what happened to Karl Dockstader, an Oneida journalist and radio host embedded with Haudenosaunee land defenders and providing daily updates via social media and video. What’s worse is that the OPP refuses to tell Dockstader what he has done wrong. ... [read more]

Wednesday, September 09, 2020 @ 7:56 AM

Ontario Court of Appeal flinches in face of 500-page factum Trevor Farrow sm

How do you solve a problem like a 523-page factum? If you’re the Ontario Court of Appeal, you respond with a polite and well-reasoned “no thank you,” as it did in its recent Aug. 24 decision in OZ Merchandising Inc. v. Canadian Professional Soccer League Inc. 2020 ONCA 532. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 08, 2020 @ 2:02 PM

Greater legal resources coming for LGBTQ2 communities David_Lametti_sm

Canada’s government is increasing legal supports for those in LGBTQ2 communities who have been left vulnerable during the COVID-19 health crisis. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 08, 2020 @ 12:56 PM

Roof over our heads | Jerry Levitan

As with much of the Ontario government’s response to our COVID-19 fuelled economic crisis, legislation to deal with the looming tenancy and housing catastrophe has been piecemeal, ineffective and self-congratulatory. One only has to read the proliferation of Ontario news releases that give the appearance that things are under control. ... [read more]

Tuesday, September 08, 2020 @ 12:52 PM

What are the court’s obligations in dealing with self-represented litigants? Man with book and judge

Self-represented litigants present a novel challenge to both the court and to counsel representing an opposing party. Despite the courts’ comprehensive guidelines to assist self-represented litigants, lawyers find themselves in a quandary when faced with adverse parties who assert, unequivocally, that their lack of knowledge of procedure, process and the law has denied them their rightful access to justice. ... [read more]