Access to Justice Blog
Analysis and opinions from the leading voices in access to justice research.
We are pleased to release the first fact sheet from our national legal problems survey, “Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada”.
“Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada” is a national legal-problems survey which assesses the frequency and multi-dimensional costs of everyday legal problems faced by Canadians aged 18 years and older. It is an initiative of the Cost of Justice project.
Completed in 2014 with over 3000 respondents, the survey, led by a research team including Trevor Farrow, Nicole Aylwin, Ab Currie, Sabreena Delhon, Les Jacobs and David Northrup, finds that everyday legal problems are ubiquitous in the lives of adult Canadians. These problems typically have a negative effect on the social and economic wellbeing of individuals and their families, which can potentially lead to lost productivity and considerable expense to publicly funded services and programs.
“Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada” provides critical, measurable insights about the cost of access to justice challenges in Canada. It is... Read More
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nat Paul is an Ontario Certified Teacher specializing in Inner-City Education and holds a Masters of Arts in sociology and education. He has six years of experience in social justice teaching in secondary, community college and university classrooms, where he has emphasized personal and social transformation through student engagement and empowerment. Nat is currently a Program Manager at Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN), where he has a special interest in helping... Read More
Janet Currie is Co-Director and Principal of Focus Consultants, a Victoria-based firm that specializes in evaluation and research of PLEI initiatives and projects. She is a researcher on the Cost of Civil Justice Attrition in British Columbia’s Courts, a Cost of Justice subproject.
High quality research is essential for the planning and implementation of effective civil justice services and programs. There is an ever-growing demand from funders for research data on questions about access to justice in civil cases, costs, timeliness, whether cases are ultimately settled and the most effective approaches for special groups like high conflict parents and self-represented litigants.
At the same time, doing high quality research is more challenging than ever. Dillman describes some of the new barriers to engaging service users in survey research and the limitations of online methods. The telephone survey, once the gold standard, is increasingly... Read More
In 2013, British Columbia’s Premier Christy Clark established the province’s Family Day holiday with a throne speech that celebrated the diversity of Canadian families, “large and small; same sex; culturally diverse; foster families and adopted children; new Canadians coming to a new world; a single mother caring for her young daughter; a son caring for his aging father.” As we approach Family Day it is important to reflect on the push and pull inherent in family life, on the reality that with diverse families comes the need for informed supports that appreciate and reflect that diversity.
Whether an individual is dealing with separation, child custody and support, issues regarding property shared with their partner, or violence in the home, various organizations exist to not only provide social and psychological support, but also supports for the derivative legal issues that arise. Familial issues are part of everyday life and often have a legal aspect that isn’t always apparent to most Canadians.
On January 28th, 2015, I was glad to partner with the CFCJ to host a panel event titled “The Power of Bilingualism in the Legal Profession.” Osgoode Hall Law School opened its doors to an esteemed group of panelists:
- Justice Paul S. Rouleau of the Court of Appeal for Ontario
- François Baril, Partner at Gowlings LLP and President of AJEFO
- Josée Bouchard, Equity Advisor at the Law Society of Upper Canada
- Kelly Burke, Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ontario Office of Francophone Affairs.
I was inspired to promote bilingualism in the legal profession after trying out and then being accepted for the position of French Language Oralist for the Laskin Bilingual Moot. During this process, I was made aware of the difficulties that the law school had faced in terms of finding French-speaking students to... Read More