Prisoners’ Justice Day has been observed every year on August 10 since 1975 to call attention to human rights and justice for prisoners. This year, the theme is mental health, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, LAO and the John Howard Society of Toronto will be hosting several leading legal activists for a day of […]
By Annie Schachar I stand up in a room packed with spectators, and I pause to choose my words carefully before I address the audience. Although I’m not making a long speech, I’m conscientious that my words may have a profound impact on someone’s life. I am acting as an LAO duty counsel lawyer in […]
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 […]
What would you do if you had a client with a mental disability who wanted to fight for custody of her child … or a developmentally handicapped adult client who wanted to make decisions about his own care? With the implementation of standards for the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act (AODA), accommodating clients with disabilities […]
Mental health courts are meant to address issues that go beyond criminal culpability, and to respond to deeper questions about the relationship between mental health and justice. Who speaks for those who are denied a voice, or who are unsure how to answer, or who are ignored as mad when they do speak? How are legal decisions made supportively, rather than by substitution?