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Access to Justice Advocate – Dianne Wintermute

Nabila Khan, Sabreena Delhon

Tuesday, January 13, 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 communications@cfcj-fcjc.org.   

Dianne Wintermute has been working in the community legal clinic system for over 25 years. Called to the bar in 1986, Dianne has extensive litigation experience representing individuals and disability organizations in cases involving the advancement of the rights of people with disabilities and people living in poverty. She has advocated in various tribunals and all levels of the court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Dianne joined ARCH Disability Law Centre as a staff lawyer in 2009. Prior to ARCH, she was the Executive Director of East Toronto Community Legal Services from 1991 – 2009. The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice had the exciting opportunity to visit the ARCH offices to chat with Dianne about her work in disability law and her continued dedication to access to justice issues. Dianne brought a unique perspective to our A2J discussion with her extensive experience in dealing with the intersection of law and mental health. Dianne spoke to CFCJ about the changes she believes needs to be made both in and outside of the legal field to target impediments to access to justice, including increasing client capacity, autonomy and decision-making power.