Category Archives: Access to Justice

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School disciplinary hearings: Know your rights

Over the last several months, Legal Aid Ontario has been talking to people in the community about issues related to its Racialized Communities Strategy. Through it all, we have heard one concern raised again and again by community members, community agencies and staff at community legal clinics: more needs to be done to support children in conflict with the education system.

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Apologies are only the start – a reflection on the release of the report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

As we celebrate National Aboriginal Day, LAO remains committed to the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are proud to repost this piece about the TRC and the work that was still ahead when it was written in 2015, and that still remains ahead even today.

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There’s a Huge Problem In Ontario Schools That We Aren’t Talking About

The school laws in Ontario have evolved to follow a much more progressive approach that recognizes a one punishment fit all system is not effective. However, there is not enough oversight in place to ensure all suspensions/expulsions are completely justified; not when the access to justice is nowhere near the standard it should be.

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Tracking legal need in very small areas with the Legal Health Check-Up

The legal health check-up (LHC) is a uniquely valuable tool for documenting unmet legal need at a very fine-grained local level. The LHC questionnaire is administered by community groups and service agencies to people seeking their services. Individuals who request service from the legal clinic are referred to the clinic. The LHC form becomes the basis for a dialogue between the clinic staff and the individual, laying the groundwork for a more holistic and integrated service that would otherwise not have occurred with an intake process focussing on only one presenting problem.

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Advocating for more public legal education in racialized communities

By Josephine Li Wayne van der Meide, one of Legal Aid Ontario’s (LAO) co-leads for its Racialized Communities Strategy, experienced an “astonishing” moment when he was meeting with a settlement agency to talk about what LAO does. “It was astonishing when we would say LAO could cover all of these different legal issues and the […]