Is justice no longer affordable?

  • Mar. 2, 2018 12:30 p.m.

“We have wonderful justice for corporations and for the wealthy. But the middle class and the poor may not be able to access our justice system.” – Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin

The Cost of Justice project (2011-2016) was undertaken by the federal government to examine the social and economic costs of Canada’s justice system.

These results support other findings that indicate that some Canadians, particularly those with fewer resources and those who see themselves more on the margins of society, do not view the justice system as fair, accessible or reflective of them or their needs.

Even those who consider themselves middle class often choose to represent themselves in court rather than pay the high cost of expert legal advice.

If many (most?) involved in a legal dispute cannot afford the costs of proper representation in court, can we be confident of justice?

Join in the discussion at the next Philosopher’s Café on Wednesday, March 14 from 7-8 p.m. at Berwick where David R. Clark will explore the ways our courts work and some of the reasons why systemic limits on access to justice for the average citizen is a matter of growing concern for the judiciary, the legal profession, government administration of justice and affected litigants.

David R. Clark Q.C., is a former Attorney General of New Brunswick.

As always at the café, Clark will have just 10 minutes to introduce the topic for the evening and then all those who come out can participate in a respectful, non-partisan conversation – or just sit back and listen.

Organizers welcome the public to propose topics and introduce them at future cafés.

Themes should be of broad interest and national significance, and have an element of controversy.