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Access to Justice Blog

Analysis and opinions from the leading voices in access to justice research.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Jun 30, 2016

Le forum canadien sur la justice civile est très heureux d’annoncer que notre fiche descriptive sur les problèmes juridiques quotidiens et les coûts de la justice au Canada est présentement disponible en français! Cette fiche descriptive fait partie du projet sur les coûts de la justice (2011-2017) qui examine les coûts sociaux et économiques du système de justice canadien.

Les faits qui sont présentés au document sont des constatations clés de « Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada: Overview Report » rédigé par Trevor C.W. Farrow, Ab Currie, Nicole Aylwin, Les Jacobs, David Northrup et Lisa Moore.

Le projet sur les coûts de la justice est financé par une subvention du Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Jun 30, 2016

Members of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice staff and research alliance presented research and findings from the SSHRC-funded Cost of Justice project at several conferences in Spring, 2016. Here are the links to the slides from some of those presentations:

Law and Society 2016 Annual Conference : Discussing the Future of Access to Justice Research

The Access to Social Justice Symposium, Building A2SJ: An Interdisciplinary Conversation About Problems and Soutions : The Economics of Justice and Injustice

International Development Research Centre and the Open Society Justice Initiative : Accesible Justice: Cost and... Read More

Nova Scotia Help
Ab Currie, PhD
Jun 30, 2016

The traditional legal aid model has focused on providing legal solutions to a series of problems that have been narrowly defined as “legal.” The reality, however, is that strictly legal problems are often embedded within a cluster of non-legal problems. Therefore, in order to effectively respond to the growing legal need in this country the legal aid model must reorient its approach to client service. This type of “culture shift” is something that the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters has advocated for in its 2013 white paper entitled “Access to Civil and Family Justice: A Roadmap for Change.”

In his recent piece on the changing culture of legal aid in Nova Scotia, CFCJ researcher Ab Currie highlights four service areas where the Nova Scotia Legal Aid program (NSLA) has responded to the National Action Committee’s call for change. The four service areas are as follows:

1)  ... Read More

Nicole Aylwin
Jun 30, 2016

The best way to improve any system is to work with and receive feedback from the individuals who are engaged in that system. In her recent trip to the Yukon, CFJC Research Fellow and Winkler Institute Assistant Director Nicole Aylwin met with the Yukon Courts, Department of Justice, and other justice stakeholders to discuss the benefits of a “Human-Centered Design” (HCD) approach to civil justice reform. This approach has led to several recommended improvements in the civil justice system, including the complete redesign of the family law statement of claim as part of the Yukon Simplified Form Innovation Project. To read about Nicole’s reflections from the Yukon summit and her work using the HCD approach to civil justice reform click here.

**Nicole Aylwin's article, Human-Centered Design and the Justice System: Lessons from the Field, was written for, and originally published on**

Issue of the Month
David Wiseman
Jun 29, 2016

A further and final year of data gathered for this case study has reinforced the message that paralegals, who purportedly offer more affordable and accessible legal services than lawyers, are continuing to make a significant contribution to the resolution of residential tenancy disputes in Ottawa, but only for landlords and, largely, for corporate landlords.  The reinforcement of this message across a data set now spanning five years of residential tenancy dispute cases for the Eastern Region of the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario further solidifies a conclusion that who provides more affordable and accessible legal services can have an impact on whose legal needs are serviced.  This, in turn, raises more fundamental questions about   whether access to justice is really being improved in this context at all.

As introduced in a previous CFCJ Newsletter, this research project aims to identify the role of paralegals in the Ontario residential tenancy dispute resolution system and to... Read More