The CBA is the largest national lawyer association in Canada. It represents 37,000 lawyers, judges, notaries, law teachers and students. Its annual conference was held at the end of August 2013 in Saskatoon, and special invitees and speakers were Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin, Justice Minister Peter MacKay and CBC's Peter Mansbridge.
|Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice |
the Supreme Court of Canada, '
(Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)
People who cannot afford lawyers are the people who are hurt most, that is to say that justice that is inaccessible hurts the poorest people in our communities the most. Many Canadians earn enough money so they cannot qualify for legal aid but they are not earning enough to pay for a lawyer. This appears to be common among family law cases. The result is a rising trend and a growing concern that increasing numbers of people are representing themselves in civil cases and that means they customarily enter the fray entirely unresourced. The ‘Reaching Equal Justice’ report calls for greater federal funding for civil legal aid, and it recommends that all Canadians who are living at and below the poverty line that by 2020, should be eligible for full coverage of essential public legal services. Another objective of the report is to urge Canadian law schools to have student legal clinics by 2020 to help low-income people.
Photograph by: Gord Waldner ,
In the report, the Association aims at four priorities to improve justice in Canada: access to legal services, the simplification of court processes, family law and prevention, triage and referral and in each of these areas, a working group of CBA legal professionals investigated specific ways of improving legal access nationally.
Canadian Bar Association
President Robert Brun
Photograph by: Greg Pender,
The Starphoenix , The Starphoenix