Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters
The ongoing leadership of the Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin to raise issues relating to improving access to justice for all Canadians has done much to focus the attention and the energies of many who work within the justice system. The Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters has emerged as a voice for system wide improvements. The Action Committee is focused on fostering engagement, pursuing a strategic approach to reforms and coordinating the efforts of all participants concerned with civil justice. To learn more about this project please see Chief Justice McLachlin's speech from the 2012 Canadian Bar Association Council Meeting.
The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice is pleased to play a support role in the execution of research and dissemination activities for the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters.
A Roadmap for Change
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Association of Canadian Court Administrators (ACCA) 2011 White Paper
Trevor Farrow and Diana Lowe of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice along with Bradley Albrecht, Heather Manweiller and Martha E. Simmons are the authors of ACCA's 2011 White Paper Addressing the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants in the Canadian Justice System. This paper takes an in-depth look at the specific challenges faced by self-represented litigants (SRLs). Recommendations presented in this paper stress the need for a multi-option approach to legal assistance that effectively matches available services with the primary needs of SRLs.
Evolving Legal Services in Canada and Access to Justice
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Executive Director Les Jacobs is a member of the Research Advisory Group for Evolving Legal Services in Canada and Access to Justice, a project being led by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).
Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) has become a critical component in the continuum of legal services delivered across the justice system. With governments (and funders) facing fiscal challenges to funding of programs and services, there is an increased reliance on PLEI, including online legal information, ‘self help programs’, and other limited assistance services, as a less costly way to help low and middle income Canadians address their legal issues and thereby access justice. To ensure that resources are spent wisely, it is important to know when these PLEI programs are effective and provide meaningful access to justice to individuals. This is the key question of the Evolving Legal Services research project.