Welcome to issue 4 of NEWSLINKS, a newsletter produced by the Access to Justice Centre for Excellence (ACE) at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

We hope you had a restful and energizing holiday. The end of 2018 was an eventful time for A2J in Canada; read some year-end reviews, updates on legal aid funding, and innovation in A2J across the country. 

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Blog Posts
Access to Justice: Next Year a Big One for the Action Committee
Access to Justice Research Network, Thomas Cromwell and Beverley McLachlin, December 19, 2018

“There are big transitions occurring at the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters. Former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin has this month assumed the chair of the committee which she convened a decade ago.”

National Self Represented Litigants Project - A2J Round-up 2018
NSRLP, Professor Julie Macfarlane, December 17, 2018

"As 2018 draws to a close, a number of themes are worth noting in the continuing saga of self-representation in Canada."
Self Represented Litigants in the courts: How they are shaping the jurisprudence
SLAW and NSRLP, Professor Julie Macfarlane

"What happens to a system of expert legal adjudication when in some courts, up to three in four litigants are advocating for themselves without the assistance of counsel?”
The Need for a Systematic Approach to Provision of Legal Services
SLAW, Patricia Hughes, December 4, 2018

“If helping people address their legal problems, which are often accompanied by all kinds of other emotional, psychological, economic and social problems, matters to us, we have to face up to the reality that volunteer work and diverse unconnected efforts, however worthwhile in themselves, provide a deficient response.”

Legal Aid and A2J

Do the right thing on legal aid, province told
Vancouver Sun, Ian Mulgrew: November 25, 2018

“B.C.'s legal aid plan falls short of international obligations; the legitimacy of the legal system is in question: lawyers' group.”


Legal-aid review just a start, attorney general says
Victoria Times Colonist, Louise Dickson, November 30, 2018

“Eby candidly admitted there is an access-to-justice crisis in the province and said the [Jamie Maclaren legal aid] review is just a start.”
Pro Bono Ontario issue highlights unfinished business
Law Times, Chris Bentley December 3, 2018

“Pro Bono Ontario has received the money it needs to keep three Law Help Centres open for a year… However, this news is not a solution to a deeply embedded problem with our justice system.”

Legal Practice
Make Simplified Rules Meaningful
Ronald Bohm, Law Times Speakers Corner, December 10, 2018

"...we can no longer expect the full forensic mechanisms of a trial to adjudicate every civil dispute. It would be unreasonable to expect all of the processes, procedures and safeguards for all cases, even those of comparatively modest value."   

Is Partial Summary Judgement Dead?
Mondaq, Gavin Tighe and Stephen Thiele, Gardiner Roberts LLP, December 13, 2018

"Less than 4 years later, the heralded culture shift promoted by Justice Karakatsanis and her colleagues [in Hyrniak v. Mauldin, 2014 SCC 7, 2014] is meeting obstacles, particularly where a party seeks partial summary judgement." 


What are we waiting for? It's Time to Regulate Paralegals in Canada
Lisa Trabucco, University of Windsor. Vol 35 (2018): Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice

"Ontario introduced paralegal regulation over ten years ago with the promise that it would increase access to justice. Evidence suggests that it has done so .... Law societies' continued resistance to the regulation of paralegals is contrary to the public interest." 


Legal Education
Ontario provincial government denies approval for Ryerson law school
Canadian Lawyer, Anita Balakrishnan, November 21 2018

“Ryerson’s law degree program, which was set to open applications in August 2019 and begin classes in September 2020, has been refused program approval by the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.”
Experiential learning needed in law schools
Law Times, Yavar Hameed, November 26, 2018

“By incorporating articling into law schools, we could help solve the articling crisis.  We could also be responding to the access-to-justice crisis by helping to educate and train more lawyers capable of responding to chronically underserviced, remote and marginalized communities.”

Canada shows way to online claims future
UK Law Society Gazette, Michael Cross, December 4, 2018

BC's Civil Resolution Tribunal Chair Shannon Salter gave the inaugural Sir Brian Neill Lecture for the Society for Computers and Law in London England as part of the International Forum of Online Courts.
A Smartphone Court: "Why Not?" Asks the U.K. Lord Chief Justice
UK Law Society Gazette, Michael Cross, December 3, 2018

"Lawyers and judges should start preparing for a world in which access to judicial processes comes mainly through digital channels." 
Does the legal profession have a moral duty to innovate?
Canadian Lawyer Magazine, December 10 2018

“Do lawyers have a social and moral duty to embrace innovation to ensure access to justice? Matthew Peters thinks so. At a panel discussion in Vancouver Dec. 4, McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s national innovation leader raised the issue for consideration.”


Research & Reports

What do we want to know about Access to Justice in BC?
University of Victoria Access to Justice Centre for Excellence, December 2018

This report identifies the top research questions and priorities related to access to justice as identified by key respondents working in the BC Civil Justice System.


Social and Economic Adversity Experienced by Canadians and Everyday Legal Problems 
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Report, Dr. Ab Currie and Lisa Moore (Winter 2018) 

The report explores the connections between everyday legal problems, socio-demographic characteristics and adversity.


Public and Private Spending on Justice in Canada
The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice report by Lisa Moore, Mitchell Perlmutter and Trevor C.W. Farrow.

The report presents an overview of some of the main areas of spending on justice in Canada, for individuals and for governments.


The Family Justice Initiative: The Landscape of Domestic Relations Cases in State Courts 
The American Conference of Chief Justices, the Conference of State Court Administrators, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (October 2018)

This report is unique in that it uses data collected from 11 American states and over 147,000 cases in an attempt to use evidence to test anecdotal perceptions and conventional wisdom about family litigation.


UK Civil Justice Council Report on ADR
Herbert Smith Freehills, ADR News, December 7, 2018

This U.K. report on ADR calls for a review of existing guidelines but stops short of recommending mandatory mediation.


Report of the Independent Street Checks Review
The Honorable Michael H. Tulloch, December 2018

Justice Tulloch and his team completed their full and independent review of Ontario Regulation 58/16, which outlines Ontario's new rules on police street checks, a practice sometimes referred to as "carding." 


Practical Responses to Jordan Delays 
Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice, Maria Aylward, December 2018

The CIAJ shares practical perspectives emerging from their October 2018 roundtable on criminal delays in Edmonton, AB. The roundtable was the second of five planned CIAJ criminal delays roundtables, each of which is composed of judges, defence lawyers, crown lawyers, and other important players in the criminal justice system.


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We are always on the lookout for material that reflects on developments of A2J in Canada. If you have content that you believe warrants broader distribution, please share it with us. 
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