Posts filtered by tags: Justice Issues[x]


What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Law: Part 2

In my last Slaw post (January 12, 2021), the first of two parts, I discussed the characteristics necessary for law to be accepted and effective. Here I consider some of the laws — the legislation, the regulations, orders and, although not law, intended to have a similar impact, advice or recommendations — that have been imposed during the pandemic. I’m focusing on Ontario, although I refer to developments elsewhere. Even so, my discussion is not meant to be exhaustive, but to illustrate laws ena...
Tags: Justice, Law, Australia, Washington Post, Court, Toronto, Walmart, Taiwan, Canada, Atlantic, New Brunswick, United States, New Zealand, World Health Organization, Montreal, Kent

Justice Is Missing the Boat

The year 2020 will go down in history as the year when much changed. One thing seems to remain constant: the fact that the justice sector is slow to change. As a consequence, it seems to be missing a rather big boat. Good things often come out of bad things. It is no different with the current crises we face. In its 5 December issue, The Economist carries an article that sets out how the pandemic is leading to unprecedented innovation and investment in the health sector. It sees the dawn of “the...
Tags: Europe, Justice, Law, US, Canada, Economist, Mckinsey, Justice Issues, US China India

Do We Need to Regulate Public Squares Owned by Big Tech Companies?

The ability of Big Tech companies to shut out one of the world’s loudest men, Donald Trump, is astonishing. The events of last week, including the mob storming the U.S. Capitol building, forces us to ask how should we regulate Big Tech? In the Harvard Business Review “How to Hold Social Media Accountable for Undermining Democracy”, Yael Eisenstat points out that simply silencing Donald Trump is not enough. The response “fails to address how millions of Americans have been drawn into conspiracy t...
Tags: Law, Hate Speech, CHP, Donald Trump, Free Speech, Harvard Business Review, U S Capitol, Justice Issues, Big Tech, Yael Eisenstat, Eisenstat, City of Hamilton, Regulating Big Tech, silencing Donald trump

Democracy Is Fragile. Do You Feel Lucky?

Tom Standage, editor of “The World in 2021“, a feature of The Economist published on November 16, 2020 asked: Do you feel lucky? The number 21 is connected with luck, risk, taking chances and rolling the dice. It’s the number of spots on a standard die, and the number of shillings in a guinea, the currency of wagers and horse-racing. It’s the minimum age at which you can enter a casino in America, and the name of a family of card games, including blackjack, that are popular with gamblers. All of...
Tags: Law, Washington Post, Washington, America, United States, Cruz, Economist, Capitol, Hawley, Tom Standage, Justice Issues, Legal Information

What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Law: Part 1

The law has played a major role in governments’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether it has taken the form of legislation, orders or regulations with legally enforceable status, or recommendations or advice, treated as if it were law, governments’ intention with these laws has been to force major changes in behaviour. Many of these laws, formal and informal, have also resulted in confusion, frustration and anger. In this post and in my next, I consider how governments’ use of law has met ...
Tags: Law, Canada, Washington Dc, Quebec, Barry, Hadfield, US Capitol, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation, Bernard Dickens, Central Criminal Court, Ivison, Allott, Ontario Gazette, Old Bailey London, Henry Morgentaler

CBA Task Force Examines Pandemic’s Effect on Justice System

January 4, 2021, marked exactly one year since the first published reports of a disturbing new virus in Wuhan, China. That virus, COVID-19, has touched us all in the past year on personal and professional levels. We’ve all had to accept individual restrictions for the public good, and to adjust to new ways of doing things. It’s also true that in the legal profession at least we’ve been able to find some silver linings in these trying circumstances. For example, the pandemic pressed the accelerat...
Tags: Technology, Privacy, Law, Big Data, Commerce, Courts, CBA, Wuhan China, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Access to justice, Law Practice, Legal Services, Law And Technology

How the Law Abandons Those Who Speak Up in the Public Interest

On December 3, my new report titled Whistleblowers Not Protected: How the Law Abandons Those Who Speak Up in the Public Interest in Alberta was published by the Parkland Institute. The report looks at whistleblowing in a broad sense, meaning anyone who either publicly or anonymously discloses information that is in the public interest. The report considers not only the gross deficiencies of Alberta’s whistleblower protection legislation but also looks at the need for both anti-SLAPP legislation,...
Tags: Law, US, Ched, Parliament, Alberta, Ontario, Cbc, Public Interest, Ryerson, Edmonton Journal, SNC Lavalin, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, COVID, Tobaccogate, Our Supreme Court

Doing the Two-Step on Uneven Platforms: Successes and Setbacks of Human Rights Advocacy

Human rights advocates are sometimes asked whether human rights advocacy works. Most human rights defenders answer in the form of anecdotes, because empirical research on effectiveness is scarce in a world where human rights advocates have limited resources and are increasingly in danger. This report reviews some 2020 successes and setbacks experienced by the pro bono advocates of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC). The year 2021 will require renewed energy and resources for visionary and persi...
Tags: Law, Saudi Arabia, Court, Iran, Canada, Un, Solidarity, Ontario, University of British Columbia, United Nations UN, UN Committee, Raif Badawi, Samar Badawi, Waleed Abu Al Khair, Ensaf Haidar, UN Human Rights Council

Yours to Discover: The Lack of Evidence Supporting the Conclusions Reached by the LSO Paralegal Licensing Report

On June 26, 2020, the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) released the Family Legal Services Provider License Consultation Paper (FLSPL) for review and comment by the legal profession in Ontario. Prior to the release of the FLSPL the LSO had released the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project Steering Committee’s Report to Convocation entitled “Listening to Ontarians”, which in May of 2010 reported to Convocation that the Committee had identified access to justice as a significant issue facing the public in...
Tags: Law, Oregon, Court, Canada, Committee, CBA, Ontario, CDR, Cleo, Supra, Boyd, Yasir Naqvi, LSO, Ontario Court, Justice Issues, Action Committee on Access to Justice

Remedies for Visitor Visa Refusals

The Temporary Resident Visa application (a.k.a. Visitor Visa) system is broken. This is not a controversial statement. Currently, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is in the midst of reviewing the system and, in particular, section 179 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). I gave testimony and they have heard from many experts. Officers have used their discretionary powers per R179 and it has caused extreme hardship for many applicants. Over the past f...
Tags: Usa, Law, India, Africa, Eu, Canada, Middle East, Swaziland, Las Vegas, Doj, Ontario, Manitoba, Trump, Federal Court, Trudeau, Kenney

New Approach to Family Disputes in Surrey & Victoria, British Columbia

The British Columbia Provincial Court is implementing a new regime for resolving family law disputes beginning this week. The new regime involves making dispute resolution the first step in the court process. The BC court announcement states that: “The early resolution model includes new, simpler forms and procedural changes that help set a collaborative tone. For example, instead of making their first appearance in a busy, adversarial courtroom, people attend a family management conference with...
Tags: Law, Canada, Surrey, Announcements, Richard Susskind, Victoria British Columbia, Victoria BC, Justice Issues, British Columbia Provincial Court, Columbia Provincial Court, Online Courts and the Future of Justice

Name-Calling Aside: The Problem With the “Unrepresented” vs. “Self-Represented” Distinction

Are people coming to court without counsel “self-represented litigants,” or are they “unrepresented litigants”? I shall reveal all below, but frankly, I feel the tendency of the Canadian Bench and Bar to get caught up in assigning separate distinctions to these terms distracts from the important work of understanding the lived realities of these litigants, and working with them to find solutions to our shared and indisputable Access to Justice problem. All the same, the reason it IS important to...
Tags: Law, Pam, Justice Issues, Rachel Birnbaum, Nick Bala, Pam Cross

Debating the Definition of Disability

Over 500,000 individuals and their qualifying family members received the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), prior to the pandemic. Our social supports system will be even more important in the economic recovery following the pandemic. ODSP is a last resort income support paid to individuals who are disabled, as defined in s. 4(1) the of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997, (a) the person has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and...
Tags: Law, Court, Canada, Court of appeal, Ontario, World Health Organization WHO, Crane, Moorhead, Mustapha, Vanek, Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation, WHO Health, Saadati, Culligan of Canada Ltd, ODSP

Understanding the Impacts of Access to Legal Help

If popular culture is to be believed, the success of a legal dispute is determined foremost by the calibre and character of one’s legal representative; the ability to deliver an inspiring closing argument is a clear signal that a favorable outcome is forthcoming. The recipe, it would appear, is one part institutional knowledge added to one part intuitiveness sprinkled with a dash of showmanship. (A devil-may-care regard for the truth and facts is optional.) Notwithstanding the oft times sensatio...
Tags: Law, Toronto, Canada, Ontario, Civil Justice, Justice Issues, Forum on Civil Justice, Legal Aid Ontario, Lisa Moore, CFCJ, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Cost of Justice, Ab Currie, Lawyer s Daily, John Schofield, Law Foundation of Ontario LFO

How Amazon Will Enter the Legal Market

“The competition that kills you may not look like you”. – Richard Susskind In “Law is Not Ready for Amazon. Is Amazon Ready for Law?”, Mark Cohen writes that Amazon will continue to encroach on the legal market. The legal market meets Amazon’s three criteria for disrupting an industry. Amazon’s three criteria that must be met include: “(1) an original approach that does not mimic existing models; (2) scalability; and (3) potential for significant return on investment.” Currently, legal providers...
Tags: Amazon, Law, Mark Cohen, Cohen, Justice Issues, Amazon lawyers, Amazon legal market, Innovation In The Law, Richard Susskind In Law, Amazon Is Amazon Ready

An Emerging Ministers of Justice Movement

Since April, we have been calling for justice leaders of the world to get out of their national cubby holes and come together to share fears, failures, successes, and strategies, just like public health minister are doing. The COVID-19 crisis is too big and too unprecedented to deal with on your own national level. On 20 October, 22 ministers of justice did just that at the Justice for All in a Global Emergency meeting convened by Minister of Justice of Canada, David Lametti (see end for partici...
Tags: London, Justice, Law, Senegal, Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Sierra Leone, Chile, Morocco, Italy, Paraguay, Portugal, International criminal court, Belgium, Argentina

Rethinking Ontario’s Anti-SLAPP Law After Bent v. Platnick

In 2015, Ontario passed legislation aimed at protecting defendants from lawsuits stifling expressions made in the public interest. One aspect of this law is that it allows defendants to successfully bring an expedited motion to dismiss even in circumstances where the plaintiff’s action has substantial merit and there are no valid defences that could reasonably be advanced at trial. This is known as the “public interest hurdle” analysis and, more exactly, provides that an action will not be dismi...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Canada, Legal Ethics, Ontario, Legislature, Justice Issues, Bent, Platnick, Ontario Trial Lawyers Association, Public Interest In Pointes Protection, Justice Act Ontario

Dissecting the Majority and Dissenting Opinions in Fraser

The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision in Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General) (“Fraser”) illustrates the fissures on the Court in the judges’ approaches to equality undersection 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although there are also other factors explaining the differences in the majority and dissenting opinions, here I discuss three that are somewhat distinct from the facts of the case: the nature of “equality” under section 15(1); the interrelationship between the...
Tags: Law, Court, Canada, Court of appeal, Parliament, Federal Court, Brown, McIntyre, RCMP, Abella, Andrews, Supreme Court of Canada, Cote, Fraser, Rowe, Royal Commission

Do Litigants Understand Remote Hearings and What Should We Do About It?

In a study conducted in England, it was found that 4 out of 10 parents involved in a remote family hearing did not understand it (Legalfutures Article). “Two-thirds (66%) of parents said they believed their case had not been dealt with well remotely, with 40% recounting that they did not understand their remote hearing – either partly or at all.” Lay parties had particular trouble in navigating the system, including the technology. Although this is not a Canadian study, I suspect that these find...
Tags: England, Law, Richard Susskind, Susskind, Justice Issues, Onlinecourts, RichardSusskind, The Future Of Online Courts

Canadian Pro Bono Lawyers Amplify the Calls for Justice Worldwide: 30th Anniversary of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers

For the past two decades, Canadian lawyers have been speaking up for lawyers and human rights defenders in danger in dozens of countries under the auspices of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC). In 2005, LRWC was granted United Nations (UN) consultative status. Since then LRWC has regularly advocated for lawyers and other defenders at the UN Human Rights Council (Council) and other UN bodies. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, which recognize...
Tags: Asia, Hong Kong, Europe, Law, Saudi Arabia, China, US, Turkey, Canada, Philippines, Amnesty International, Cambodia, Un, European Court Of Human Rights, Xinjiang, Council

Is Former SCC Chief Justice McLachlin’s Action Committee and Leadership of the A2J Agencies Avoiding the Major Issues? [Part 2 of 2 Parts]

[The content of this article is closely related to five of my previous posts on Slaw , dated: July 25, 2019 ; April 9, 2020 ; May 29, 2020 ; August 6, 2020 ; and, October 22, 2020 . See also the full text on the SSRN .] Part 1 presented the proposition that the great amount of “emergency relief-type” activity and literature that has been produced by the many access to justice agencies (A2J agencies) in relation to the “A2J problem” of unaffordable lawyers’ services,...
Tags: Justice, Law, Court, Canada, Department Of Justice, University of Toronto, Stanford University, Ontario, Toronto Star, Supreme Court of Canada, Statistics Canada, Law Society, LSO, R, SCC, Monahan

Building Bridges Between Private Bar Services and Community Legal Clinics

Community legal clinics have always had strong linkages with the communities they serve and have developed connections with community organizations. They have done this by working with community service agencies and voluntary organizations through different forms of outreach to identify people with legal problems who would probably not otherwise request assistance and by using holistic and integrated approaches to service delivery that identify people experiencing multiple problems and sometimes...
Tags: Law, Toronto, Canada, Ontario, Currie, Guelph, Justice Issues, Lisa Moore, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Wellington County, Cost of Justice, Pro Bono Ontario, Legal Clinic, Law Society Referral Service, Pro Bono Ontario Referrals, Importance of Outreach

Is Former SCC Chief Justice McLachlin’s Action Committee and Leadership of the A2J Agencies Avoiding the Major Issues? [Part 1 of 2 Parts]

[The content of this article is closely related to four of my previous posts on Slaw, dated: July 25, 2019; April 9, 2020; May 29, 2020; and, August 6, 2020. See also the full text on the SSRN.] The recent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in, R. v. Thanabalasingham 2020 SCC 18 (July 17, 2020; by a full Court of 9 Justices), demonstrates why the access to justice problem exists, i.e. the A2J problem of unaffordable legal services for middle- and lower-income people (they being the majority...
Tags: Justice, Supreme Court, Law, California, Court, Toronto, Canada, United Nations, Jordan, Johnson, Smith, British Columbia, Committee, Ontario, Ken, Supreme Court of Canada

My A2J Nightmare

After a lot of pondering, I have decided to share my personal experiences of trying to get access to justice – including, at one point, finding myself confronted with the nightmare of being a self-represented litigant – with Slaw readers. My experiences are no worse than thousands and thousands of others of course, but I hope that hearing this from a system “insider” (law professor, mediator, scholar, and researcher) will have some impact. This blog is organized around three themes in my own A2J...
Tags: UK, England, Justice, Law, Canada, Doj, Trinidad, Ontario, Fair, Anglican Church, Macfarlane, Justice Issues, Bernie Mayer, Currie Marc Galanter, Natalie MacDonald

It’s Not My Role, but Someone Should…

“Someone should !” “Someone should !” “Someone should !” I’ve uttered these phrases. Maybe you have as well. You’ve certainly heard them said. So many of the challenges and opportunities we see could be realized if only “someone” would do the thing that opens the door, addresses the negative, or creates the good. So who is this “someone,” and what’s preventing them from acting? Whether are talking about the practice of law or the business of law, the administration of justice or access to justic...
Tags: Law, Justice Issues

Judicial Independence: An Ethical Issue for Individual Judges

When we think about judicial independence in the Canadian context, we usually think about judges’ tenure, judges’ salaries and judicial administrative independence, all of which affect all judges as relevant. Administrative independence can affect the judicial system as an institution, but there are times judges are asked to apply law that they consider fundamentally flawed or when the judicial system is merely one aspect of a morally questionably regime. What should individual judges do in resp...
Tags: Hong Kong, UK, Law, Australia, China, Bbc, Beijing, Canada, Britain, South Africa, House Of Commons, Parliament, Globe, Harper, Fiji, Ontario

Terminology in Family Law Fuelling Conflicts

The potential for conflict in litigation is likely no higher than it is in family law. This tension is created in part by an adversarial system around children, which should in most cases be collaborative or at least solution-oriented (child-centred, by another name), but also the terminology that is used in these conflicts. The current legislative scheme in Ontario was recently summarized by Justice McArthur in Morrison v. Morrison, as follows, [14] The legal issue involves what is in the best ...
Tags: Law, Canada, Bill, Young, Ontario, Morrison, Superior Court of Justice, Justice Issues, CLRA, Substantive Law, Ontario Court of Justice, Justice McArthur, Young the Supreme Court of Canada

Hopping Ministers and Crossing Canyons

At the end of July, after months of lockdown, my first trip outside The Netherlands was to Tunisia. Just before I flew over, the prime minister tendered the resignation of his government. That meant possibly another minister of justice; the fourth in a little over two years. Much as I believe in democracy, it felt a bit much. With a deep sigh I reconciled myself with the fact that we needed to start developing our ministerial relationship all over again. In most post-revolution and post-conflict...
Tags: Law, Netherlands, Tunisia, Mena, Tunis, North Africa, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, UN Development Programme, Mohamed Boussetta

Law via the Internet 2020

I might have titled this post “pandemic pleasures” or some other alliterative title that made it clear that ONLY in 2020 would some opportunities be available. This year I had the benefit and pleasure of attending a conference that I have longed to go to – Law Via the Internet. LVI 2020 was originally intended to be in the UK. The conference is almost always overseas. Slawyers know that in-person conferences and travelling are not possible. Slawyers should also know by now that many, many things...
Tags: UK, Law, America, Gambia, Latin America, Caribbean, Cory Doctorow, Willy Mutunga, Justice Issues, Education & Training: CLE/PD, Legal Information: Publishing, Lexum, Tim Knight, Kim Nayyer, LVI, ACBD Executive Board

Ruth Bader Ginsburg – What Happens Now?

In the frenzied pre-electoral atmosphere South of the border, there appears to be a rush to nominate a candidate to take the place of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who passed away less than a week ago. But politics aside, how exactly will her replacement be selected in theory? What are the procedures that need to be followed? The Congressional Research Service in Washington, D.C. has published a few reports that explain how the process is supposed to unfold. The Service is an agency ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Washington, Senate, Court, House Of Representatives, Nominee, Library Of Congress, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Senate Judiciary Committee, Congressional Research Service, Supreme Court Justice, Judiciary Committee, Justice Issues, The Service

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