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Access to Justice Blog

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

Issue of the Month
Les Jacobs, David Kryszajtys, Matthew McManus
Mar 31, 2016

As a part of the CFCJ’s SSHRC-funded Cost of Justice project, Dr. Les Jacobs, David Kryszajtys and Matthew McManus examined the ways that Canadians try to resolve their consumer problems. In particular, their research looks at patterns in the decision to access the formal legal system to resolve one or more consumer problem, based on ethnicity, level of education and income. The data used for this study comes from the CFCJ’s nationwide Everyday Legal Problems and The Cost of Justice in Canada survey. Read Paths to Justice and the Resolution of Consumer Problems: Findings from the 2014 Everyday Legal Problems and the Costs of Civil Justice in Canada National Survey in full here and view slides from a recent presentation on Everyday Consumer Legal Problems, posted on the CFCJ website here.

Nabila Khan, Lisa Moore
Mar 29, 2016

Much of the work that is being done to improve access to justice for Canadians comes down to access to justice advocates. As a part of our efforts to highlight the diverse range of individuals working across the access to justice landscape, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice is resuming our Access to Justice Advocates series, a vlog that presents profiles of people who bring unique perspectives and make valuable contributions to the issue of access to justice in Canada.

We are thrilled to resume our Access to Justice Advocates series with Marian MacGregor, Adjunct Faculty Member at Osgoode Hall Law School and Clinic Director at the Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP).

CLASP is a legal clinic located at Osgoode Hall Law School that provides free legal assistance to persons with legal problems who cannot afford a lawyer. CLASP was established in the 1960s and since then, they have helped myriad low income Torontonians with problems related to Family Law, Criminal Law, Employment, Human Rights, Criminal Injuries,... Read More

Ab Currie, PhD
Mar 29, 2016

The Legal Health Check-Up (LHC) project that was developed by the Halton Community Legal Service (HCLS) is expanding to an additional twelve community legal clinics in southwestern Ontario.  The new clinics include: the Chatham-Kent Legal Clinic, Community Legal Assistance Sarnia, Elgin-Oxford Legal Clinic, Huron-Perth Community Legal Clinic, Justice Niagara, Legal Assistance of Windsor, Neighbourhood Legal Services (London and Middlesex) Inc, Waterloo Region Community Legal Services, Windsor-Essex Bilingual Legal Clinic, Hamilton Community Legal Clinic, Legal Clinic of Guelph and the Brant Haldimand and Norfolk Community Legal Clinic. The clinics in Hamilton, Brant and Guelph have been developing their own LHC projects since late summer 2015. These three early adopters have made great progress in establishing partnerships with intermediary groups and in developing collaborative arrangements with them.  The other nine began their work with... Read More

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.