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Access to Justice Blog

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

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.

Ab Currie, PhD
Dec 10, 2015

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has begun examining the potential of legal aid to help reduce poverty and, more broadly, its impact on economic development. The OECD recently convened two expert roundtables on equal access to justice— the first meeting focused on research and literature relating to various aspects of the cost of justice and the costs of inaccessibility to legal aid and services. CFCJ Chair, Dr. Trevor Farrow gave an access to justice presentation at the first roundtable on October 7, 2015; the details of Dr. Farrow’s presentation were included in the CFCJ’s October Newsletter The second meeting, held on December 1, 2015, focused on the reach of legal aid in different countries, its impact and  other factors affecting  the role of access to justice in poverty reduction.  Dr. Ab Currie, Senior Research Fellow at the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, attended the expert roundtable held in December. The December meeting was also attended by Canadian... Read More

Natalie Wing, Andrea Bailey
Dec 02, 2015

Last month, the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Yukon Courts, and the Yukon Department of Justice collaborated to host an innovative family justice design workshop in Whitehorse, YT.

Drawing on social lab theory, design thinking, and communications theory, a2j dynamo Nicole Aylwin led a diverse group of family-justice-system stakeholders through 2 days of brainstorming and prototyping, all with minds set on improving the experiences of clients in the family justice system through strengthening the networks between service providers.

By the end of the workshop, we had identified 2 promising pathways for further work.

The paths themselves are not unique to our jurisdiction: over the course of 2 days, family-justice-system stakeholders agreed that we have #advicemaze problems and #courtformsproblems.

What 2 days of #a2jInnovationBootcamp with Nicole shifted was our perspective on how to approach #a2jproblems TOGETHER. Our biggest take homes: