The justice system isn’t
meeting Canadians' needs
We are working
to make it better




About the Action Committee

Established by Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin in 2007, the Action Committee on Access to Civil and Family Matters works towards improved access to justice for people in Canada.

Put simply, the current civil and family justice system is complex, slow and expensive, and often doesn’t produce outcomes that meet people’s needs. While many dedicated people work on access to justice, the system has not evolved at the scale that is needed to make it work for everyone. In short, major change is needed.

The Action Committee on Access to Civil and Family Matters brings people from all corners of Canada’s justice system together to propose and examine approaches on this critical issue. It adopted Canada’s Justice Development Goals to align the work of organizations across the country. Progress on the JDGs is published annually. The Action Committee coordinates national metrics on justice and connects people to share innovations throughout the year and at its annual Summit.

A Steering Committee of volunteers coordinate annual events and administer the Action Committee. Committees of Action Committee members plan regional and national activities to advance A2J. 

The Steering Committee includes:

  • Beverley McLachlin, Chair
  • Élizabeth Corte, Vice-Chair
  • Mark Benton, Vice-Chair
  • Richard Fyfe
  • Patricia Hebert
  • Lucie Rondeau
  • Trevor Farrow
  • Janet McIntyre
  • Jill Perry
  • Christine O'Doherty
  • Doug Fergusen


Guiding Principles for Change

  • Put the Public First
  • Collaborate & Coordinate
  • Prevent & Educate
  • Simplify
  • Take Action
  • Focus on Outcomes

The Action Committee includes Representatives of:

Provincial / Territorial collaboratives

BC – Access to Justice BC (A2JBC)
YK – Access to Justice Committee
AB - Reforming Family Justice System Project
NWT – Northwest Territories Access to Justice Committee
SK – Saskatchewan Access to Justice Network
MB - Access to Justice Steering Committee
ON - The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG)
NU - Access to Justice Committee
QC - Forum Québécois sur l’accès á la justice civile et familiale
PEI - Access to Justice Committee
NS - Access to Justice and Law reform Institute of Nova Scotia
NB – Access to Justice Committee
NFLD - Access to Justice Steering Committee

Public / Equality seeking organizations

First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
Canadian Council of Refugees
Canadian Association of Black Lawyers
Canada Race Relations Foundation
Indigenous Bar Association

Justice Sector Institutions

Chamber of Notaries of Quebec
Association for Canadian Clinical Legal Education
Canadian Council of Law Deans
Pro Bono Organizations in Canada
Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice
Superior Court Judges Association
Public Legal Education Associations Canada
Canadian Judicial Council's A2J Committee
Association of Legal Aid Plans
Justice Canada
Canadian Bar Association
Provincial / Territorial Deputy Ministers of Justice
Canadian Association of Provincial Court Judges
ADR Institute of Canada
International Development Research Centre
Federation of Law Societies
Canadian Council of Chief Judges (provincial courts)
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Association of Canadian Law Foundations
Canadian Association of Law Libraries
American College of Trial Lawyers

The Action Committee works closely with justice sector organizations. In particular, The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice and the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice provide administrative, communications and research support.

Access to Justice Research Network

The Access to Justice Research Network (AJRN) aims to connect a wide range of justice stakeholders who are passionate about access to justice in Canada. Coordinated by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice the AJRN allows its members to share research, resources and other material related to access to justice.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Follow us on social media