I think it is essential for LAO — and for the legal profession in general — to understand the importance of providing more supports to Ontario’s Aboriginal peoples. It’s important for LAO because we have a statutory mandate to promote access to justice throughout Ontario for low-income individuals.
Michele Leering, Executive Director and Lawyer at the Community Advocacy & Legal Centre, recently attended the International Legal Aid Group conference in Den Haag, Netherlands. Here, she discusses her presentation on “trusted intermediaries”, and what she learned from legal aid partners across the world.
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?