Legal Values: Access to Justice

Toggle secondary navigation

Faced with the reality of an increasingly inaccessible justice system that is failing to meet the needs of the public, access to justice has been described as a crisis by the former Chief Justice of Canada. Given the significance of access to justice as a challenge facing Canadians, it is important to examine the causes as well as the consequences of a failure to provide access to justice from sociological, philosophical, democratic, legal and practical perspectives. By studying the problem, it is hoped that we can begin critically to explore some long-term and meaningful solutions. A recurring consideration will be the role of the lawyer, both individually and collectively, as part of the problem as well as part of the solution. Students will be encouraged to explore a critical approach in order better to understand the scope of the problem, the goals and objectives associated with improving access to justice, and the feasibility of potential solutions. Topics, to be finalized, will include an introduction to current research and thinking on access to justice from a variety of different perspectives.