Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Statistics Canada Report on Legal Aid 2009-2010

Earlier this week, Statistics Canada released a report entitled Legal Aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics 2009/2010.

The report presents information on the operation of Canada's 13 legal aid plans. The report includes information on the legal aid plans, personnel resources, revenues and expenditures, as well as information concerning applications for legal aid. It presents a broad analytical overview of legal aid in Canada and provides data tables and figures at both the provincial/territorial and national levels. Most of the information for the report is based on data collected from the Legal Aid Survey, conducted annually by the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

Among the highlights:
  • With the exception of Quebec and Ontario, legal aid plans spent more on criminal matters than civil matters in 2009/2010
  • In 2009/2010, legal aid plans spent $762 million on providing legal aid services in 11 provinces and territories. After adjusting for inflation, legal aid spending was up about 4% from the previous year
  • inal matters, while in Ontario the figure was 47%. In the other jurisdictions the proportion of direct expenditures on criminal matters ranged from 56% for Alberta to 74% for Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories
  • Legal aid in Canada is funded primarily by provincial/territorial and federal governments. In 2009/2010, legal aid plans reported receiving funding totalling over $721 million with 93% of this amount coming from government sources. Other funding is received by way of client contributions, cost recovery monies and contributions from the legal profession
  • Provincial and territorial governments directly fund both criminal and civil legal aid. The $547 million contribution in 2009/2010 represented a 6% increase from the previous year (after inflation) and marked the fifth consecutive annual increase. In 2009/2010, funding was up in 9 of the 13 jurisdictions (after inflation), led by Manitoba at 31%
  • The federal government contributes directly to the cost of criminal legal aid only. In 2009/2010, funding for all 13 jurisdictions totalled $112 million. After adjusting for inflation, this figure was down slightly from the year before
  • About 745,000 applications for legal assistance were received by legal aid plans in the 11 reporting provinces and territories in 2009/2010, a decline of 5% from the previous year. The decline was driven by fewer civil legal aid applications as the number of criminal legal aid applications remained unchanged
  • In 2009/2010, the reporting legal aid plans approved almost 500,000 applications for full legal aid services (including providing information, advice and representation in court), a decrease of 1% from the previous year. Criminal matters accounted for over half (56%) of approved applications

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:31 pm


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