Regulatory Innovations to Improve Accessibility, Affordability and Quality of Civil Legal Services in Canada

WHEREAS research shows that many low- and middle-income Canadians conduct their own legal work due to the high cost of traditional legal services;

WHEREAS meaningful access to justice can be met through a range of legal services and forms of assistance, in addition to full legal representation;

WHEREAS legal professionals who reinvent the delivery of legal services to meet needs of clients are often challenged by regulatory requirements;

WHEREAS the 2013 Canadian Bar Association report, Reaching Equal Justice, recognized an access to justice crisis and recommended targets to reach a vision of equal justice, which the CBA adopted in 2014;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association urge appropriate stakeholders in the Canadian justice system to:

  1. consider innovative approaches to the access to justice crisis to help low- and middle-income Canadians who lack meaningful access to civil legal services;
  2. permit regulatory innovations that have potential to improve accessibility, affordability and quality of civil legal services, while ensuring necessary and appropriate protections that best serve clients and the public; and
  3. collect and assess data on innovations both before and after their adoption to ensure that changes are effective in increasing access to civil legal services.

Moved by Access to Justice Subcommittee.

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