Establish benchmarks and standardized metrics to build a shared understanding of legal services, models and needs
Coordinate research between institutions and universities, and between social scientists, economists, system users, and legal institutions to better understanding the issues
Understanding the access to justice challenges people face is critical to making meaningful system changes. Viewing the problem from within the system provides only one perspective. Efforts to make user-centred and evidence-based decisions rely on learning from many perspectives and collecting robust data.
Justice sector organizations have long collected statistics about their own operations. PLE organizations know how many people use or download their resources. Courts know how many cases are heard. Legal Aid tracks its clients’ and lawyers’ time and case work. Law Societies and Pro Bono organizations know about the activities of their members and volunteers.
In 2020, research focused on hearing the voices of the users of the system, gathering experiential data to build a greater understanding of the impact of legal problems and resolution options on real people. A person-centred approach to access to justice featured predominantly in new research and initiatives. Of course, research and data collection about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was also begun in 2020, starting with developing an understanding of how the pandemic changed both the nature of legal problems and the available avenues for resolution.
© 2019 Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters