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Report by the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters

Wednesday 9th October 2013 06:48   (Updated: Wednesday 9th October 2013 06:55)

This report has three purposes:to promote a broad understanding of what we mean by access to justice and of the access to justice problem facing our civil and family justice system; to identify and promote a new way of thinking — a culture shift — to guide our approach to reform; and to provide an access to justice roadmap for real improvement.

From the report: 

Access to justice is at a critical stage in Canada. What is needed is major, sustained and collaborative system-wide change – in the form of cultural and institutional innovation, research and funding-based reform. This report provides a multi-sector national plan for reform. The approach is to provide leadership through the promotion of concrete development goals. These are recommended goals, not dictates. Specific local conditions or problems call for locally tailored approaches and solutions.

Although we face serious access to justice challenges, there are many reasons to be optimistic about our ability to bridge the current implementation gap by pursuing concrete access to justice reforms. People within and beyond the civil and family justice system are increasingly engaged by access to justice challenges and many individuals and organizations are already working hard for change. We hope that the work of the Action Committee and in particular this report will lead to:

  • a measurable and significant increase in civil and family access to justice within 5 years;
  • a national access to justice policy framework that is widely accepted and adopted;
  • local jurisdictions putting in place strategies and mechanisms for meaningful and sustainable change;
  • a permanent national body being created and supported to promote, guide and monitor meaningful local and national access to justice initiatives;
  • access to civil and family justice becoming a topic of general civic discussion and engagement – an issue of everyday individual and community interest and wellbeing; and
  • the public being placed squarely at the centre of all meaningful civil and family justice education and reform efforts.

Report in English

Rapport en français

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