Bring all of the organizations involved in access to justice in each province or territory together to focus on local solutions
Involve the major institutions (courts, governments) professional groups (lawyers’ associations), community groups and non-profits (clinics, PLE providers), academics and individuals to find new creative approaches
Local and national coordination must lead, take action and inspire others to tackle access to justice
In addition to coordinating across the justice system, access to justice should be a serious focus within judges’ organizations, lawyers’ and paralegals’ associations, courts and institutions
Keep momentum and sustained attention to these issues across the country to complement local and regional activity
Collaboration is increasingly recognized as the best way to find innovative and effective responses to the A2J crisis. Traditional justice sector actors now understand that the participation of community members and leaders in developing and implementing new models brings a greater degree of resolution for people’s legal issues.
In response to the Action Committee’s Roadmap to Change, issued in 2014, a collaborative group or committee has been established in each province or territory in the country. Each year, the Action Committee meets for its annual Summit bringing together representatives from these provincial/territorial collaboratives and representatives of justice sector institutions and equity seeking organizations to coordinate access to justice efforts. In 2020, these events were held virtually.
The Action Committee has many ways to share access to justice ideas in Canada. Anyone involved in access to justice can subscribe to its monthly A2J Newsletter to receive highlights of interesting projects and innovative approaches. The Access to Justice Research Network, hosted by the CFCJ, is a community of researchers working universities and in community organizations, sharing research results, academic writing and new thinking on these issues. Links to these two communications tools and other Action Committee news can be found at justicedevelopmentgoals.ca.
In 2020, collaboration on A2J highlighted the value add that working together brings to those in need. Across the country and within provinces, justice sector organizations came together with the express purpose of ensuring that the focus remains on the crisis in access to justice and ensuring that the right voices come to the table for problem-solving and decision-making.
2020 was also a practical year for collaboration, focusing on ensuring that community members are empowered to support each other, including with respect to COVID-related legal issues.
© 2019 Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters