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Access to Justice Blog

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

Issue of the Month
Patricia Hughes
May 19, 2015

From our inception in 2007, the Law Commission of Ontario has committed to bringing both multidisciplinary experiences and perspectives and those of different communities to bear on our work. Although our mandate is about law, we believe it is important to understand how law affects and is affected by a range of expertise, academic and experiential, depending on the particular project. In many projects, which we call “law in context” or “social justice” projects, law remains at the core of the work, but is informed by what we hear from those bringing their own skills, knowledge and experiences to our analysis and recommendations in whatever area we’re studying.

In our completed projects, we heard the voices of organizations and individuals representing older adults, persons with disabilities African-Canadians and the LGBTQ communities (in our older adults ( or persons with disabilities ( projects or both.

The input of Spanish speakers, Chinese... Read More

Nabila Khan
May 15, 2015

Recent reports have underscored the importance of innovation and imagination to the pursuit of access to justice. At the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, we understand that such efforts come down to people - to advocates.  In an effort to spotlight the diverse range of individuals working across the access to justice landscape, we are pleased to present the Access to Justice Advocates blog series. Each month we will profile someone who brings a unique perspective and makes a valuable contribution to the issue of access to justice. Do you know an access to justice advocate? Let us know at   

Fiona MacCool is the Project Manager of Your Legal Rights, an online resource produced by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) to provide free legal information for people in Ontario. Fiona was previously the Project Manager of CLEONet, a precursor to Your Legal Rights. For over 10 years, she has worked as an IT project manager, software trainer, and web content developer. Fiona is passionate about helping non-... Read More

Issue of the Month
Ab Currie
Apr 29, 2015

The rule of law is a legal principle that States should be governed by law alone, and that every individual, private entity and public entity must be held accountable by the law, including the government.  The World Justice Project (WJP) – an independent, multidisciplinary organization – defines the rule of law as a system which,

  • Ensures accountability under the law
  • Embodies laws that are clear, publicized, stable and just, and which are created by a process that is efficient, accessible and fair
  • And delivers justice that is timely by competent, ethical and independent representatives.

Since 2008, the WJP has annually published a Rule of Law Index, which offers a detailed and multidimensional view of the extent to which countries around the world adhere to the rule of law principle in practice. The 2014 WJP Rule of Law Index ranks 99 countries throughout the world on 9 components of the rule of law comprised of 47 separate measures. In Canada, data is gathered by means of on-line surveys of... Read More

Nicole Aylwin
Apr 29, 2015

The CFCJ is pleased to announce the launch of the national Access to Justice Research Network (AJRN), an interactive and participatory online network of access to justice researchers in Canada. Coordinated by the CFCJ and supported by a generous grant from the Law Foundation of BC/Legal Services Society Research Fund, the AJRN creates a vibrant space for discussion, collaboration, and coordination of research related to access to justice (A2J).

Combining a listserv and website, the AJRN allows users to easily exchange resources, including scholarly articles, key research findings, case commentaries, best practices, policy reports, etc., while also creating an active online space for discussion and debate on A2J issues. ARJN members are invited to circulate and discuss A2J resources and research via the AJRN listserv (see below for how you can join the listserv), this material will then be posted to the AJRN website where it is organized by topic, region, and type of resource. Using this two-... Read More

Issue of the Month
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Apr 06, 2015

On March 13, 2015 the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters convened a meeting in Toronto for provincial and territorial access to justice groups. The groups, many of which were formed in response to recommendation 5.1 of the Action Committee’s Final Report (Fall 2013), met to discuss access to justice initiatives in their jurisdictions, highlight promising developments, and consider how to further collaborations and cooperation among justice stakeholders.

The meeting highlighted key issues of relationship building between local and national access to justice groups, public education and engagement, and innovation with the justice system. Discussions also included examining existing and potential groups structures, as well as the development of inclusive communication platforms and approaches to system wide A2J collaboration amongst the groups and with the public.

In preparation for the meeting, the provincial and territorial groups responded to a questionnaire prepared by the Action... Read More