Category Archives: National

James Lockyer

James Lockyer on Wrongful Conviction Day

Wrongful convictions are an international problem. Our Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted decided there was a need for an International Wrongful Conviction day. Wrongful Conviction Day informs the general public, on an international level, that wrongful convictions have occurred, are occurring and will continue to occur in the future. There’s a need to change our system to uncover them and avoid them in future. James Lockyer, a principal at Lockyer Posner Campbell, is co-founder and lead counsel of the Association in Defense of the Wrongfully Convicted, an organization that advocates for the wrongly convicted.

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In honour of Wrongful Conviction Day: one wrongfully convicted person’s story

“As a wrongly convicted individual who has had the good fortune to finally be set free, I feel a need to do what I can to help free others. Simply put, wrong is wrong. We all have an obligation to right the wrongs which come to our attention…” Newfoundlander Ron Dalton spent more than eight years in prison, charged with second-degree murder of his wife. It stole 12 years from his life, and led to two trials, an appeal, a lawsuit a public inquiry into his case, and two other wrongful convictions.

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What will you do for Prisoners’ Justice Day?

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 […]

Parkdale Project read students holding up crafted letters that spell out "Thank you"

Parkdale Project Read: community-based adult literacy

Pictured above: A group of Parkdale Project Read students saying “thank you”. The relationships between literacy levels, poverty and access to justice are well established (try a quick web search). Knowing this, it’s hardly surprising that a typical learner at Parkdale Project Read – an adult literacy project located in downtown Toronto – struggles with […]

Kirsti Mathers McHenry on navigating the workplace as a member of the LGBT community

This piece was originally published in the MyHR LAO internal newsletter. World Pride Month is here! Pride refers to a world-wide celebration incorporating activism, education, and the history and culture of global LGBT communities. It’s also a time to highlight Canada’s continued progress in human rights, and the diversity and dynamism of our people. We […]

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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 […]

Image sourced from the Government of Canada’s National Victims of Crime Awareness Week website.

April 6-12 is National Victims of Crime Awareness Week

This week, it’s timely to reflect upon the issues facing victims of crime and the services, assistance and laws in place to help victims and their families. When a crime is committed, the repercussions can ripple out and affect children, partners, entire families and communities. Beyond physical injury, financial loss and property damage, the damages […]

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Ontario’s financial eligibility standard for legal aid: falling behind the rest of Canada

By Nye Thomas Ontario’s financial eligibility standard for legal aid, which has lagged behind other Canadian jurisdictions for many years, is falling even farther behind. Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia are moving further ahead in recognizing that financial eligibility for legal aid services must be increased. What’s happening in Ontario Ontario’s legal aid financial eligibility […]

December 6: National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women

Dec. 6 is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day observes the anniversary of the École Polytechnique Massacre ( a brief history here), and is a day for people throughout Canada to reflect on the ongoing social impact of violence against women. One common symbol of respect on this […]

Nova Scotia Legal Aid’s Lonny Queripel visits LAO

Lonny Queripel, Managing Lawyer, Duty Counsel at Nova Scotia Legal Aid recently came to the Toronto-area for a three-day visit and tour with Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), with the goal of gathering information on record-keeping for benchmarking purposes. Here, Lonny talks to LAO about what lessons he took from this experience and about legal aid in the Maritimes.