Access to Justice Blog
Analysis and opinions from the leading voices in access to justice research.
Results from the CFCJ’s 2014 study on the civil legal needs of Canadians indicate that most Ontarians do not obtain formal legal advice when faced with a legal problem. One might conclude that this is because the cost of obtaining lawyers has become too expensive, yet the research findings suggest otherwise. In “The Resolution of Legal Problems in Ontario”, Mathew Dylag indicates that perception and an understanding of what is at stake may be more likely indicators of whether individuals will seek out formal legal advice. To learn more about the legal consumer habits of Ontarians, read Matthew's paper here.
In 2015, as part of the SSHRC-funded “Cost of Justice” project, the CFCJ conducted a study of 495 civil, non-family cases filed in the BC Supreme Court that appeared to lack resolution through court processes. The resulting “Civil Non-Family Cases Filed in the Supreme Court of BC, Research Results and Lessons Learned” report highlights several challenges related to this type of access to justice research including, the inability to contact claimants, limitations related to the currency and completeness of court records and difficulties extracting an appropriate sample of cases. As a follow-up to the findings in this report, the CFCJ has produced a fact sheet that provides an overview of some of these challenges and recommendations for improvements. “The Data Deficit: The Case for Improving Court Records for Future Access to Justice Research” fact sheet is posted on the CFCJ website... Read More
The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, in consultation with the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project, has created an infographic based on some of the key findings from the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Literature Review. This infographic provides an overview of the unique access to justice challenges experienced by Canadians in rural and remote settings and presents several recommendations for improving access to legal services and information in rural and remote areas. The Rural and Remote Access to Justice infographic is published here.
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.
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