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Access to Justice Blog

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

Ab Currie, PhD
Oct 29, 2015

The Legal Health Check-Up Project (LHC) developed by Halton Community Legal Services (HCLS) is pioneering an intermediary partnerships approach to legal aid delivery. The LHC form is a tool for Halton’s community-based intermediaries to identify and respond to everyday legal problems experienced by their clientele.

Legal problems are identified during the course of standard interactions between intermediary partners and the people they provide service to as a part of their professional mandate. These exchanges may occur in a variety of settings, for example, a church carrying out its pastoral work, a regional family health service, an employment service or a multicultural services agency.  In addition to problem spotting, intermediaries also refer clients with justiciable problems to legal clinics. During the pilot phase of the LHC Project the roles of intermediaries developed to also include a variety of tasks with HCLS aimed at addressing clusters of multiple legal and non-legal problems.

There is a natural and logical basis for the partnerships between intermediaries and HCLS.  Through discussions with clinic management and staff, and community... Read More

Nicole Aylwin, Lisa Moore
Jan 29, 2016

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice is thrilled to have partnered with the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project to produce "Rural and Remote Access to Justice A Literature Review". This seminal document presents an extensive look at the current trends, gaps in research, and promising practices in legal service delivery related to rural and remote areas. Additionally, this review explores how “rural and remote” is understood, the access to justice challenges and opportunities in rural and remote areas, compared with their urban counterparts, and the types of issues experienced in rural and remote communities in different provinces and countries.

The Rural and Remote Access to Justice Literature Review is accessible in full here.

Ab Currie, PhD
Dec 10, 2015

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has begun examining the potential of legal aid to help reduce poverty and, more broadly, its impact on economic development. The OECD recently convened two expert roundtables on equal access to justice— the first meeting focused on research and literature relating to various aspects of the cost of justice and the costs of inaccessibility to legal aid and services. CFCJ Chair, Dr. Trevor Farrow gave an access to justice presentation at the first roundtable on October 7, 2015; the details of Dr. Farrow’s presentation were included in the CFCJ’s October Newsletter The second meeting, held on December 1, 2015, focused on the reach of legal aid in different countries, its impact and  other factors affecting  the role of access to justice in poverty reduction.  Dr. Ab Currie, Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, attended the expert roundtable held in December. The December meeting was also attended by Canadian... Read More

Natalie Wing, Andrea Bailey
Dec 02, 2015

Last month, the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Yukon Courts, and the Yukon Department of Justice collaborated to host an innovative family justice design workshop in Whitehorse, YT.

Drawing on social lab theory, design thinking, and communications theory, a2j dynamo Nicole Aylwin led a diverse group of family-justice-system stakeholders through 2 days of brainstorming and prototyping, all with minds set on improving the experiences of clients in the family justice system through strengthening the networks between service providers.

By the end of the workshop, we had identified 2 promising pathways for further work.

The paths themselves are not unique to our jurisdiction: over the course of 2 days, family-justice-system stakeholders agreed that we have #advicemaze problems and #courtformsproblems.

What 2 days of #a2jInnovationBootcamp with Nicole shifted was our perspective on how to approach #a2jproblems TOGETHER. Our biggest take homes:

Jeremy Maddock
Nov 27, 2015

The Law Society of British Columbia, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Chief Justice of Canada all agree – there are serious deficiencies with access to justice in this country. Nearly 12-million Canadians will experience a legal issue within the next three years, and approximately half of them will attempt to solve these problems on their own, with little or no legal assistance.

The implications of this for Canadians form the basis of studies like the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice's Cost of Justice Project. Nonetheless, in the national conversation about access to justice, we tend to focus on the limited availability of legal aid for criminal and family litigants. This is indeed a serious problem, but it is surprising how little attention is focused on business law, an area where (at least in... Read More