Saturday, March 19, 2011

Literature Review on Access to Justice for Middle-Income Canadians

This is a follow-up to the Library Boy post of February 17, 2011 entitled Chief Justice of Canada's Remarks About Access to Justice.

The post referred to a speech by Canada's Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin at a recent University of Toronto colloquium on Access to Civil Justice for Middle Income Canadians.

As part of the conference package, organizers prepared a very detailed literature review on the issue of access to justice:
"Broadly speaking, our goal is to identify the most acute, unmet civil legal needs in the province for middle-income Ontarians across different key areas of law, and to explore a range of existing and possible solutions to these problems. Our current efforts are focusing on the problem as it exists in Ontario, but many of the themes and issues we raise apply to the rest of the country, and indeed to many other developed countries. The paper will be used as a starting point for broader policy discussions and ideas (...)"

"Our focus in this paper is on the highest areas of civil need: family law, employment law, and consumer and debtor/creditor law. Finally, we explore the literature on issues and innovations in the private sector, where the supply of lawyers that provide the majority of legal services to individuals is dwindling and a fee structure based on an hourly billing model is unaffordable for most. In this context we focus on innovations in legal service provision that confront the 'economics' of legal services: legal insurance plans; contingency fees and class actions; 'low bono' models; 'unbundling' of lawyers’ services; solutions to lawyer supply issues; and emerging alternatives to the billable hours regime."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:20 pm


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