Justice Systems Innovation and Modernization

WHEREAS the COVID-19 crisis propelled the justice system into an overdue modernization and showed we can no longer delay innovations to forge an accessible, user-centred justice system.

WHEREAS the Canadian Bar Association Task Force Report on Justice Issues Arising from COVID-19, No Turning Back, concluded that we must build on procedures and innovations implemented in response to the pandemic.

WHEREAS, to enhance access to justice — and not unintentionally inhibit it — new measures must be deployed in a manner that mitigates adverse and unintended effects on access to justice, self-represented individuals, judicial independence and the open courts principle. 

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association:

  1. urge all dispute resolution bodies to permanently implement remote proceedings – especially for procedural, uncontested, shorter and less complex matters – while maintaining in-person attendance where appropriate; 
  2. work with justice system partners to establish a working group to explore how to effectively triage matters that better lend themselves to remote proceedings and explore which areas of law are potentially suited for online dispute resolution (ODR) platforms;
  3. urge all dispute resolution bodies to establish robust practices to safeguard sensitive data in order to maintain confidence in the justice system. 
  4. urge all justice system stakeholders to consider the implications on access to justice for marginalized groups when implementing artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. 
  5. urge federal, provincial and territorial governments to make investments in order to ensure the timely and effective implementation of new measures and technologies to deliver justice remotely.

Moved by Access to Justice Subcommittee, Legal Futures Subcommittee and Criminal Justice Section.

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