Equal Justice benchmark initiative: What do we want Canada’s legal aid system to look like?

  • July 01, 2015

In June, CBA’s Access to Justice Committee and the Association of Legal Aid Plans of Canada launched a consultation about national legal aid benchmarks in Canada, asking for feedback by July 17 2015. The consultation aims to encourage innovative thinking about how to renew legal aid in Canada. In other sectors, such as health, education and international development, benchmarking has proven an effective process to encourage discussion and collaboration about core expectations, so that benchmarks articulate a common view, motivating people and organizations to aspire to reach them.

The consultation package includes a cover letter, consultation paper, discussion questions and a backgrounder, and asks those in the justice community to take a step back to consider what they want Canada’s legal aid system to look like in future.  The justice community is defined to include both those who need justice services and those who provide them.  Specific questions include who should legal aid serve, what services should it cover and how should it deliver services. 

Please take the time to provide your views to this consultation and share these materials with your colleagues.  With input at this early stage, the committee will prepare draft benchmarks this fall, and then arrange consultations to fine tune them for release by December 2015. 

To have your views on the future of Canada’s legal aid system included, please read the consultation paper What Do We Want? Canada's Future Legal Aid System: A Consultation Paper on National Legal Aid Benchmarks and the background paper What Do We Want? Canada's Future Legal Aid System: Backgrounder on National Legal Aid Benchmarks. To respond to the questionnaire, please visit the CBA National Legal Aid Benchmarks survey.