Canada's Access to Justice Week Events Promote an Inclusive Justice System for All

·3 min read

TORONTO, Oct. 22, 2020 /CNW/ - Access to Justice Week is taking place from October 26 to 31, 2020 in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Organizers will be highlighting the work of justice organizations and pro bono organizations in each province, hosting a series of webinars to educate the public, lawyers and community organizations on how to improve access to justice in their own neighborhoods.

LSO Logo (CNW Group/The Law Society of Ontario)
LSO Logo (CNW Group/The Law Society of Ontario)

"In any three-year period nearly half of the people in Canada will have a problem serious enough to require legal assistance," said Brea Lowenberger, Director of CREATE Justice and organizer of Access to Justice Week in Saskatchewan. "Yet in most provinces, someone working full-time at a minimum-wage job earns too much to qualify for legal aid. Many Canadians face additional obstacles including a lack of fluency in English, physical distance from justice services and distrust of legal institutions. These obstacles have only become greater because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased to have come together across the country for the first time this year to celebrate Access to Justice Week and provide the tools that the legal profession and the public need to address these obstacles."

Access to Justice Week will kick off the webinar series on October 26 with Unbundled Legal Services in Canada, a primer for lawyers interested in providing a cost-effective and efficient alternative for people looking for legal help. Presented by the Law Society of Saskatchewan, the webinar will feature John-Paul Boyd QC from Family Mediation Canada, unbundled legal coaching expert Sonali Sharma from Vancouver based law firm Athena Law firm and legal coach Lisa Eisen from Family Law: A La Carte in Toronto.

On October 27, the University of Alberta Faculty of Law presents A Conversation About Access to Justice and Systemic Racism, which will address the costs that society incurs when Canadians cannot access justice and the how justice system marginalizes racialized Canadians. Trevor Farrow, Professor and former Associate Dean at Osgoode Hall Law School, and Joshua Sealy-Harrington, a doctoral candidate at Columbia Law School whose research focuses on law, identity and sexuality will lead the discussion moderated by Barbara Billingsley, dean of the University of Alberta Faculty of Law.

The webinar series wraps up on October 28 with Exploring Community Justice Help to Advance Community-based Access to Justice presented by the Law Society of Ontario, where Julie Mathews and David Wiseman share the results of their report which proposed a new approach for enabling non-lawyer community workers to provide assistance for law-related problems, and engages participants from across the country to explore how community justice help is available in other jurisdictions.

Licensees, members of the public and media are welcome to attend programming, free of charge. Space is limited so advance registration is required.

Full schedules of activities and more information about access to justice initiatives are available on the following provincial websites: Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week, Alberta Access to Justice Week and Ontario Access to Justice Week.

Canada's Access to Justice Week is a collaborative working group supported by CREATE Justice at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, Law Society of Saskatchewan, CBA Alberta, The University of Alberta Faculty of Law, Law Society of Ontario, and the Access to Justice and Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia.

The Law Society of Ontario regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and act in a timely, open and efficient manner.

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SOURCE The Law Society of Ontario

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