Legal Aid Strategy

  • August 10, 2002

WHEREAS the Canadian Bar Association is committed to legal aid as a public service essential for true access to justice and has advocated national standards to achieve a fair and equitable level of access to justice and legal aid services across Canada;

WHEREAS the Canadian Bar Association has lobbied with federal, provincial and territorial governments over the past several years, for improvements to access to justice through increased legal aid funding with unsatisfactory results;

WHEREAS the lack of national standards or control particularly over the delivery of civil legal aid has been highlighted by recent actions of the government of British Columbia to cut legal aid by 40% over the next three years, which will result in dramatically decreased services and increased barriers to justice;

WHEREAS cuts to civil legal aid target already disadvantaged groups, especially:

  • women and children in family law matters; and 
  • people with low incomes who require assistance with poverty law disputes, which has a disproportionate impact on racialized communities and Aboriginal people;

WHEREAS the findings in the CBA's Making the Case: The Right to Publicly Funded Legal Representation in Canada support the use of appropriate test cases to expand the parameters of a constitutional entitlement to publicly funded legal representation;

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Canadian Bar Association build coalitions with other organizations committed to social justice to maximize the effectiveness of efforts to lobby for national standards and improvements to the funding and delivery of civil legal aid and, together with such organizations, pursue appropriate test cases where injustice has been suffered as a result of inadequate civil legal aid funding. 

Certified true copy of a resolution carried by the Council of the Canadian Bar Association at the Annual Meeting held in London ON, August 10-11, 2002.

John D.V. Hoyles

Executive Director/Directeur exécutif

Legal Aid Strategy: Resolution 02-05-A