Although many assume that most separating couples need a judge to settle things for them in family court, research published in the April 2015 edition of The Lawyers Weekly confirmed what many who practice in the field have long suspected: less than 10 per cent of family law cases actually result in trials. Sharon B. Silbert, J.D. Acc.FM (OAFM) is a lawyer and accredited family mediator practicing in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Over at Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), we first committed to prioritizing services for those who have experienced domestic violence in 2002. Since then, we developed guidelines for all front line and intake staff to appropriately screen LAO applicants, and we also have begun domestic violence awareness training. But more needs to be done.
In consultations with justice partners and LAO’s advisory committees, Legal Aid Ontario heard again and again about the need to expand criminal certificates beyond the “loss of liberty” test — largely because the impact of criminal conviction is much greater now than in recent years. Nye Thomas is LAO’s Director General, Policy and Strategic Research. Nye has been leading LAO’s financial eligibility project.
In February 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its landmark decision in Carter v Canada, which raises questions that are important for people with disabilities. Elsa Ascencio and Nilofar Ahmadi are law students at ARCH Disability Law Centre. Tess Sheldon is a staff Lawyer.
Earlier this month, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) released its 400-page executive summary of its final report, Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. It is an important document that provides details and insights into a shameful part of Canada’s past that has only recently begun to come into the consciousness of Canadians. Jonathan Rudin is the Program Director at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto. In 2001, he helped establish the Gladue (Aboriginal persons) Court at the Old City Hall courts in Toronto.
The Supreme Court of Canada has refused the most vulnerable people in our society the opportunity to have their claims that the government is violating their human rights heard in court. Shocking, but true.Tracy Heffernan was co-counsel in Tanudjaja v. Canada and program director at the Advocacy Centre for Tenants Ontario. Her centre organized the Right to Housing Coalition of people from many backgrounds and expertise, including people with lived experience of homelessness or of being inadequately housed, community organizations, advocacy groups and academics.
Available in paper or electronic form, the Legal Health Check-Up gives trusted intermediaries like Michael a list of questions to ask the client in the areas of income, housing, employment, education and health to identity the common legal problems of people living in poverty. Colleen Sym is the Executive Director/Lawyer at Halton Community Legal Services, a community legal clinic funded by Legal Aid Ontario..
Ontario becomes first province to ban ‘conversion therapy’ for LGBTQ children “Ontario has passed a landmark law banning so-called “conversion therapy” on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children and preventing medical practitioners from billing OHIP for it.” Read more at: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/06/04/ontario-becomes-first-province-to-ban-conversion-therapy-for-lgbtq-children.html Gender identity to guide housing of Ontario’s transgender inmates “Transgender inmates in Ontario will […]
In my last blog, I said that Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) had met with hundreds of stakeholders to help us make informed decisions about expanding legal aid eligibility. We recently announced the road LAO plans to take, and I am pleased to say that it is a comprehensive, multi-year plan to significantly enhance access to justice for low-income Ontarians.Nye Thomas is LAO’s Director General, Policy and Strategic Research. Nye has been leading LAO’s financial eligibility project.
We’ve come a long way since my last blog on financial eligibility, posted in March 2014, in which I noted how far Ontario was lagging behind other jurisdictions in recognizing that financial eligibility for legal aid services must be increased. Nye Thomas is LAO’s Director General, Policy and Strategic Research. Nye has been leading LAO’s financial eligibility project.
This post is part of our Personal perspectives on access to justice series. True access to justice requires reflection on justice as much as on access Shibil Siddiqi is a lawyer at Neighbourhood Legal Services, a community legal clinic serving Toronto’s Downtown Eastside. He is also a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Global Power and Politics at Trent University.