Precedent magazine and LAO lawyer speak out on overrepresentation of Aboriginal people in prisons

An insightful story, How Aboriginal lawyers are fixing the mess Canada made, recently ran in Precedent magazine. It featured the moving perspective of LAO’s Aboriginal Justice Strategy Policy Counsel Fallon Melander, along with the views of two other Aboriginal lawyers. Fallon’s motivation in going to law school, she says in this story, was to work for her people. She and the other […]


There are other options besides court for family matters

November 23-27 marks the first Family Dispute Resolution Week in Ontario. If you’re interested in learning more about free or subsidized support for families going through separation and divorce, please visit fdrweek.ca for more information. Anyone who’s had a legal problem they had to deal with in family court knows that it can be long, […]


Restorative Justice Week

Ever since its inception in November 1996, Restorative Justice Week allows Canadians involved in a crime or conflict to learn more about restorative justice. This approach to justice focuses on providing everyone involved in a crime or conflict an active role in repairing the harm caused and moving towards healing and a sense of closure. […]


Cy and Ruby’s Law: parental recognition for female same-sex partners in Ontario

In Ontario, right now, a woman who is married to a woman who gives birth is not automatically a parent if they use a known sperm donor. Kirsti Mathers McHenry has held management and policy positions at Legal Aid Ontario where, most recently, she was Director, Strategic Initiatives and Planning, Corporate Services.


John Artis, wrongly convicted: What is a day of your life worth?

Oct. 2 of this year will be the second annual Wrongful Conviction Day, which honours the wrongly convicted and raises awareness about what leads to wrongful convictions. John Artis was charged alongside Rubin Hurricane Carter in 1966 with the murder of three white men in Patterson, New Jersey. n 1981, after spending 15 years in prison, Mr. Artis was released. Charges were dismissed in 1985 after the pair was successfully granted a Writ of Habeas Corpus which was upheld by the United States Supreme Court.


Getting through a separation or divorce while staying out of court

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.


Legal aid for criminal law matters in Ontario: moving beyond the “loss of liberty” test

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.