Posts filtered by tags: Justice Issues[x]


 

Is the Pintea Decision Ensuring SRLs Are Given Appropriate Judicial Guidance and Support?

Self-represented litigants (SRLs) make up a significant percentage of litigants appearing before the court in civil and family cases. In the NSRLP’s 2013 report data provided by provincial ministries of justice indicated that at least 40% of individuals who appeared in provincial family court and at least 30% of litigants in civil court are self-represented. These statistics are staggering, and it is no secret that SRLs face unique challenges within the court systems across Canada. Although it i...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Canada, Board, Supreme Court of Canada, CJC, Justice Issues, SRL, Pintea, Assessment Review Board, NSRLP, Lauwers, Judicial Council CJC, Pintea Since, Ontario Assessment Review Board


Universal Design and the Legal System: Part 2, Application (Beginning the Conversation)

In my last Slaw post, I reviewed the concept of “universal design”, which was initiated about 25 years ago to respond to the increased participation of persons with disabilities; at the time, it tended to be limited to the built environment, although it has since expanded to other contexts. In this post, I begin considering how universal design might provide a feasible framework for the legal system. My post of May 5, 2020 also provides background. INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW The significance of uni...
Tags: UK, Law, Canada, Council of Europe, British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, George, Supreme Court of Canada, Nunavut, Newby, Justice Issues, Human Rights Tribunal, Meredith George, Calgary Legal Guidance, Justice Canada


Julie Macfarlane’s Going Public: Lessons for Justice System Change

It is very difficult to read about the suffering of someone you admire and care about. And yet, when I finished Julie Macfarlane’s new book, “Going Public”, the story of her experiences of sexual abuse and violence, I felt enlightened and uplifted. Why? I think it is because Julie is vulnerable about her experiences AND uses her professional wisdom, insight and experience to put her stories into a larger context. “Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage.” Brené Brown This book ...
Tags: Law, Julie, Anglican Church, Justice Issues, Dispute Resolution, Julie Macfarlane, Lessons for Justice System Change


Universal Design and the Legal System: Part I, Background

While I find Twitter posts too often to be vicious, bigoted (neither in those I actually follow, but in retweet comments), frustrating and a lagoon of self-congratulatory messages (“I’m honoured and humbled to have won/been recognized for/have been included among these fabulous people….”), I also enjoy some people’s very clever humour and discover news of developments I might not otherwise see. So it is with a Tweet from @lawtech_a2j (aka the UK’s Roger Smith): “The concept of user-centred legal...
Tags: UK, Law, California, Canada, Graham, Norway, Smith, Ada, Council of Europe, Ontario, George, Roger Smith, Law Commission, ICT, Richard Mabey, Maisel


4 Ways to Improve Alberta’s Whistleblower Legislation

The following is my oral submission on February 4 to the Resource Stewardship Committee which is currently reviewing Alberta’s Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act: In my short time today, I would like to focus on measures that will create the trust needed for employees to come forward to report wrongdoing knowing that their jobs will be protected. This is the only way to make this legislation work effectively. All of us here today, regardless of affiliation, share the value...
Tags: Law, Alberta, Committee, Pic, Justice Issues, Labour Relations Board, Ways to Improve Alberta, Resource Stewardship Committee, Public Interest Commissioner, Right of Appeal, Alberta Labour Relations Board Against, Alberta Labor Relations Board, Court of Queens Bench


Racial Stereotypes as an Aggravating Factor

On Feb. 25, 2021, I provided the keynote speech at Bora Laskin School of Law for Black History Month. I noted that Black History could not be just reduced to slavery, but at the same time the legacy and trauma of that history has significant impacts on our society and justice system today. The Ontario Court of Appeal recently heard an appeal of Justice Nakatsuru’s decision in R. v. Morris, which explored the social circumstances of Black Canadians and its impact on the justice system. Justice Na...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Toronto, Canada, Court of appeal, Jackson, Martin Luther King Jr, Black, Ontario, Morris, Kelly, Supreme Court of Canada, Lambert, Armstrong, Danvers, Ontario Court of Appeal


After the Report: What Comes Next?

The Canadian Bar Association’s Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19 studied the issues, wrote a report, and presented it at the February 17, 2021, annual general meeting. The risk with reports, however, is that they can become static documents, a snapshot of an issue. Reports gather dust as a collection of information if no one pulls up their sleeves to do the actual work to carry out their recommendations – and by the time the report comes out the political will to act may have su...
Tags: Justice, Law, Funding, George Harrison, Investment, Courts, CBA, Justice System, Task Force, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Canadian Bar Association, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Access to justice, Modernization


Myanmar Coup: “A Crisis Born of Impunity”

LRWC joins worldwide calls for action to restore civilian authorities [Editors note: Column is current to its submission date of 19 Feb 2021] The military coup in Myanmar shocked the world on the 1st of February, but the junta’s actions since then have surprised no one. International organizations, governments, and civil society organizations around the globe have expressed outrage or at least “concern” about the abrupt halt to Myanmar’s decade of stumbling political reform. Hundreds of thousa...
Tags: Law, China, Russia, European Union, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United Nations, Aung San Suu Kyi, Bangladesh, Un, Myanmar, UN Security Council, Geneva, Norway, States


Justice System Needs a Champion to Move Modernization Project

Don’t turn back, but don’t stand still. Work with justice system partners to share best practices, figure out how to make the system work better for the people who need it to work for them, and how to mitigate the unintended side-effects of change. That sums up – very briefly – the recommendations in the final report from the Canadian Bar Association’s Task Force on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19, presented to the Association’s annual general meeting on Feb. 17 The task force, established ...
Tags: Technology, Law, Training, Data, Innovation, Data Collection, Legal Profession, CBA, Justice System, Project Management, Association, Recommendation, Task Force, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice


Exploring the Laws That Protect the Coast and Ocean

Today, I’m pleased to share some reflections from my colleagues at West Coast Environmental Law, and in particular Staff Lawyer Stephanie Hewson, lead author of West Coast’s new resource, the Guide to Ocean and Coastal Protection Law in British Columbia. . . . Maxine Matilpi, a member of the Kwakiutl and Ma’amtigila nations and our colleague at West Coast Environmental Law, spent much time in the 1960s in a small Kwakiutl village near Port Hardy called Tsakis. She remembers, “dried salmon stacke...
Tags: Law, Ocean, West Coast, Pacific, Pacific Ocean, British Columbia, Port Hardy, Justice Issues, Kwakiutl, West Coast Environmental Law, Stephanie Hewson, Columbia Maxine Matilpi, Ma'amtigila, Ocean Protection Law


Exploring Pay Inequities in the Legal Professions

It’s really not shocking for anyone who pays attention to the practice of law, but a powerful piece in The Globe recently highlighted the gender inequities in Canadian law firms. Lawyers in all practices and of all genders nodded their heads, knowingly. The article describes the calls for change that have been in place since 1996, “when women started filling up more than half the seats in law schools across the country.” But all the partners’ horses, and and the partners’ consultants, couldn’t f...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Court, Canada, Commission, Globe, Quebec, Alberta, McGill University, Abella, Andrews, Hodge, Alliance, SCC, the Globe, Vriend


Square Pegs: Changing the Courts to Fit the Technology

When discussing the modernization of the justice system the conversation can often be about how we adapt the technology to replicate the bricks-and-mortar experience. But how might the institutions and decision-makers themselves adapt to work with the emerging technology? Legal scholar Tania Sourdin talks about three primary kinds of technology in the context of the justice system: Supportive – things like online legal applications that support and advise people using the justice system Replace...
Tags: Google, Technology, Law, Artificial Intelligence, Courts, Machine Learning, Legal Profession, CBA, Justice System, Gina, Decision-making, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Dispute Resolution, Practice of Law: Practice Management


System Alienation & the Capitol Riot

As we watched scenes of violence, vandalism, and rioting at the US Capitol on January 6th, there was an acute sense of loss of control, not only across the United States but throughout much of the world. This was a brazen upending of the norms of respect and acceptance of institutional authority that lie, both symbolically and practically, at the heart of democracies around the world. The United States likes to call itself “the greatest democracy” but it is just one of many. Each is less than pe...
Tags: Europe, Law, Bbc, Canada, United States, North America, Donald Trump, Capitol, Supreme Court of Canada, US Capitol, Justice Issues, NSRLP, Capitol Riot, Bev Jacobs, Patricia Ewick, Susan Silbey


Understanding the Need for More Evidence-Based Decision-Making in the Legal Sector and How We Get There

Legal institutions demonstrate both a reliance on and a resistance to evidence-based decision-making. Across all areas of the law, cases are built, argued and decided on evidence that is meticulously gathered and assessed. Rigorous fact-seeking is the standard that gives credibility to law’s oft-cited assurances of impartiality and due process. Yet, the very legal mechanisms for which this standard informs and justifies decisions are often themselves without the data necessary to evaluate the fr...
Tags: New York, Law, Canada, CBA, Civil Justice, Justice Issues, Canadian Bar Association, Beverley McLachlin, Forum on Civil Justice, Action Committee on Access to Justice, Lisa Moore, Justice Justice, Focus Consultants Civil Non Family Cases Filed, Supreme Court of BC Research Results, Canadian Bar Association Reaching Equal Justice, Act Ottawa


The Washington January 6, 2021 Insurrection, and Racism in Canada

The riotous insurrection at the Washington Capitol building on January 6th is a good example of this truth: “The strength of a nation’s rights, freedoms and rule of law lies not in its Constitution but in its politics.” On January 27, 2021, the U.S. Department or Homeland Security issued a “National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin,” warning of, “a heightened threat environment across the United States,” and, “violent riots have continued in recent days,” and, “ideologically-motivated a...
Tags: Japan, Law, France, China, Russia, Toronto, America, Canada, United States, House Of Commons, Homeland Security, Vancouver, Parliament, North America, Montreal, Biden


Effective Triage a Cornerstone of a Modernized Justice System

The Statement of Principles guiding the Canadian Bar Association’s COVID-19 task force puts the focus on innovation, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability as the justice systems and legal profession move from prioritizing safety at the height of a pandemic to institutionalizing change. One word at the heart of it all is triage. Innovation is needed to establish the kind of triage necessary to make the justice systems effective and efficient. If it’s done properly, it will also be sustaina...
Tags: Law, Sustainability, Efficiency, Innovation, Courts, Edmonton, Legal Profession, CBA, Justice System, Hebert, Practice Of Law, Justice Issues, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Canadian Bar Association, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Pandemic


A Canadian Model for Bridging the Private Governance of Online Speech in the Wake of New Privacy Proposed Legislation

We are witness to a parallel or alternate dimension where the constitutional rights democratic nations have toiled to enshrine and interpret, including freedom of speech, can be effectively – and imperceptibly – bypassed. While this situation prevailed prior to COVID-19, the pandemic has fast-tracked erratic private mediation of expression out of sheer necessity. Questions respecting social media platforms’ ad hoc or arbitrary reactions to sensitive matters abound, including Twitter’s unpreceden...
Tags: Facebook, Twitter, New York Post, Supreme Court, Law, Canada, Gdpr, Justice Issues, John Turner, Hunter Biden, Evelyn Douek, George Floyd Canada


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