Access to Justice Blog

Written by Natasha Brown The National Action Committee on  Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters has finalized its 2022 Survey on access to justice in Canada. New projects or initiatives that happened in 2022 will be tracked according to each of the Justice Development Goals. Anyone advancing A2J in Canada isRead More →

The most commonly discussed barrier to access to justice in Canada is the unaffordability of the legal system. It is well documented that many Canadians will not contact a legal professional when faced with a legal problem and are thus unable to benefit from specific legal expertise.[1] The recently passed Bill 24 in Manitoba authorizes The Law Society of Manitoba (LSM) to create another category of legal services provider, namely a “limited practitioner”, to provide legal services within a defined scope with a view to increasing the availability of affordable legal services.Read More →

The goal of legal aid in Canada is to ensure the interests of justice are served, protect the legal rights of those with limited income, and provide fair and equal justice.[1] Legal aid, however, far from captures all those who need representation and, when underfunded for family cases, the impacts are detrimental. These impacts are explored in “The Impact of the Lack of Legal Aid in Family Law Cases” recently released by Justice Canada.Read More →

In early 2021, the Manitoba Law Foundation (MLF) released a literature review titled “Literature Review on Access to Justice for Family and Civil Matters”. It was prepared to provide a broad background on family and civil access to justice issues in Canada. It also created an inventory of surveys and access to justice metrics initiatives currently measuring Canadian legal needs. The comprehensive review detailed access to justice projects and provided some Manitoba-specific context for many of the most common issues. It is hoped this will help with the implementation of long-term targeted initiatives in Manitoba. Although the review was commissioned to inform the MLF’s development of an access to justice metric, the review is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the state of access to justice in Manitoba.Read More →

Following the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”) in Guerin v The Queen, precedent has solidified that limitation periods apply to Indigenous claims against the Crown.[1] In fact, the operation of such a doctrine in the Indigenous context is not only immortalized in the jurisprudence, but expressly conveyed through statutory authority. For instance, the new Manitoba Limitations Act, which came into force on September 30, 2022, explicitly establishes that an ultimate limitation period of 30 years exists for Indigenous equitable claims against the Crown and proceedings concerning Aboriginal and treaty rights.Read More →

As a bilingual nation, a baseline of accessible justice should include the right to conduct a court proceeding in either official language. In an effort to meet this baseline, the Canadian government recently announced that it would be providing $1.6 million in funding for the Manitoba government to implement the amendments to the federal Divorce Act, which was assented to in March of 2021.Read More →