Zoekresultaat: 3 artikelen

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Article

Access_open Canadian Civil Justice: Relief in Small and Simple Matters in an Age of Efficiency

Tijdschrift Erasmus Law Review, Aflevering 4 2015
Trefwoorden Canada, small and simple matters, austerity, civil justice, access to justice
Auteurs Jonathan Silver en Trevor C.W. Farrow
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Canada is in the midst of an access to justice crisis. The rising costs and complexity of legal services in Canada have surpassed the need for these services. This article briefly explores some obstacles to civil justice as well as some of the court-based programmes and initiatives in place across Canada to address this growing access to justice gap. In particular, this article explains the Canadian civil justice system and canvasses the procedures and programmes in place to make the justice system more efficient and improve access to justice in small and simple matters. Although this article does look briefly at the impact of the global financial crisis on access to justice efforts in Canada, we do not provide empirical data of our own on this point. Further, we conclude that there is not enough existing data to draw correlations between austerity measures in response to the global crisis and the challenges facing Canadian civil justice. More evidence-based research would be helpful to understand current access to justice challenges and to make decisions on how best to move forward with meaningful innovation and policy reform. However, there is reason for optimism in Canada: innovative ideas and a national action plan provide reason to believe that the country can simplify, expedite, and increase access to civil justice in meaningful ways over the coming years.


Jonathan Silver
Jonathan Silver, B.A. Honors, J.D. 2015, Osgoode Hall Law School.

Trevor C.W. Farrow
Trevor C.W. Farrow is Professor and Associate Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School. He is very grateful to Jonathan Silver, who took the lead in researching and writing this article.

Annie de Roo
Anne de Roo is hoofdredacteur van TMD, verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, mediator en lid NMI Examencommissie.

    Providing access to justice is a major challenge for any judicial system. Canada has gone to great lengths to meet this challenge over the past thirty years, in part by developing alternative dispute resolution methods. Unfortunately, results have been mixed. Canadian society is currently preparing to renew its vision of access to justice and the contribution of dispute resolution methods in meeting that challenge. What lessons can we learn from Canada’s experience? What are the new directions and initiatives for access to justice? Our paper suggests that the Canadian experience can make two contributions to the access to justice debate. First, we suggest that the notion is evolving in the legal community from an institutional perspective to a contextual vision of access to justice. Second, we point out an evolution of alternative or appropriate dispute resolution methods toward a participatory justice movement. Our paper proposes a new Canadian perspective on access to justice and dispute resolution methods.


Jean-François Roberge
Jean-François Roberge is Professor, Director of the Dispute Prevention and Resolution Program, Faculty of Law, Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec, Canada).
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