Category Archives: Guest author

Diversity and inclusion: an important piece of the “access to justice” puzzle

By Noëlle Richardson In my view, access to justice is only possible if we in the justice system provide relevant, responsive services to society’s most vulnerable people. Inclusion can help employees in the justice system to understand the needs of clients from across all of Ontario’s communities. Moreover, it can help staff to develop the […]


Law students help fill growing gaps in legal services

by Nikki Gershbain The access to justice crisis There has been much discussion in the profession recently about what the Chief Justice of Canada has referred to as a crisis in the justice system. This crisis is shorthand for a number of systemic problems, including long delays, overly complex procedures, an erosion in legal aid […]

Baamsedaa: Let’s Walk Together

By Jeff Plain This piece originally appeared on our Aboriginal Justice Strategy policy page.  As an indigenous Aboriginal person myself, I understand that feelings of apprehension and hopelessness can arise in seeking and accessing justice. These feelings can stem from distrust in justice systems —whether criminal, family, civil or administrative. Meeting an important need We […]

Megan Pottage

An insider’s perspective on the community legal clinic system challenges

By Megan Pottage In October 2013, I joined Legal Aid Ontario after 12 years of working in the clinic system, most recently as a community legal worker and licensed paralegal in a community legal clinic. My hands-on job familiarized me—intimately—with the pressures faced by the clinic system. Poverty rarely comes alone Ontario’s legal aid clinics […]

HIV-AIDS ribbon on a blue background ... symbole de la lutte contre le VIH/sida, sur fond bleu

Ryan Peck: HIV/AIDS and the need for specialized services

By Ryan Peck “The full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all is an essential element in the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.” UN General Assembly, Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS, 2 June 2006 Being diagnosed HIV-positive is overwhelming.  Combined with the poverty, stigma and discrimination that it can bring, it can […]

Andrew Pilliar: what will you do about access to justice this year?

By Andrew Pilliar ( image source) We don’t have an access to justice crisis in Canada.* The Oxford English Dictionary offers this definition for “crisis”: “A vitally important or decisive stage in the progress of anything; a turning-point… “ Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that access to justice problems don’t daily plague the lives […]

Dr Julie MacFarlane

Fire in the hole: Why every lawyer needs to care about access to justice

By Dr. Julie MacFarlane This piece originally appeared on Dr Julie MacFarlane’s blog on Dec.8, 2013 In the last 12 weeks I have made many presentations about the results of the National Self-Represented Litigants (SRL) Study to audiences of lawyers and justice system professionals, as well as to other public (“non-lawyer”) audiences. In some instances, […]

Jeff Perera

The importance of working with men and boys to end violence against women

by Jeff Perera As a community engagement manager with White Ribbon, I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to regularly give talks, presentations and facilitate workshops on something I feel very passionately about: engaging men and boys to become part of the solution to ending violence against women and girls. Our work is about addressing the […]