Our Mandate

The Equal Justice Initiative is where to the CBA works on the following aspects of its mandate:

  • Propose a common vision for equal justice in Canada
  • Develop a broad-based commitment to help reach that vision
  • Improve and promote access to justice for the poor and middle classes in Canada
  • Ensure Canada protects access to justice for all Canadians through properly funded legal aid plans for criminal and civil matters
  • Coordinate and integrate the CBA’s access to justice activities

Our Vision

An inclusive justice system must be equally accessible to all, regardless of means, capacity or social situation. Reform should strive to ensure that the justice system embodies the following six pillars:

People – The system focuses on people’s needs, not those of justice system professionals and institutions.

Participation – The system empowers people to participate in managing their own legal matters and gives them a voice in the system as a whole.

Prevention – The system focuses on preventing legal problems, not just on resolving them after they arise.

Paths to justice – The system offers several options and degrees of service to help people reach a fair and efficient outcome.

Personalized – The system is tailored to the individual’s particular situation and can respond to both legal and related non-legal dimensions.

Practices are evidence-based – The system ensures justice institutions are committed to evidence-based best practices and ongoing innovation.

The work we do is funded by an initial CBA project budget and annual operating budgets for committee work, supplemented by grants