Link Round-Up: March 24, 2017


'Link Round-Up’ gives you a glimpse into the articles that got the most airtime around the Loom Analytics water cooler this week. Published every Friday, article topics include access to justice, big data, legal technology, and what’s happening in the Canadian legal landscape.

 “The next time anyone at Legal Aid Ontario tells you they’re short of money, don’t believe it.  It can’t possibly be true.  Not if they’re funding cases like this”

Slaw's Alice Woolley responded with a critical analysis of Justice Pazaratz’s decision, expressing her concern that the Justice's comments on public policy and morality exceeded his office and, in her own words, "pleading with Justice Pazaratz and other judges to be more restrained in their ambitions, and more careful in their reasons."

  • Another Slaw regular, Omar Ha-Redeye, had a different take on Abdulaali v Salih, believing that the March 9th decision illustrates the problems with the legal aid system as it currently stands. In his article entitled "Sometimes Legal Aid Is the Problem, Not the Solution", Ha-Redeye examines the ways in which Legal Aid is failing Canadians, arguing that increasing Legal Aid funding is not the ultimate solution in closing the access to justice gap. Increased funding has been a common suggestion floated by detractors of Justice Bonkalo's recommendation that specially-trained paralegals be allowed into family court. Ha-Redeye writes:

One of the greatest fallacies we have in legal reform is that increasing legal aid is a panacea to all of our problems in the legal industry. Even with increased funding, the majority of Canadians are ineligible, and still cannot afford a lawyer.

What’s needed is more comprehensive overhauls of our legal system, including greater reliance on technology, more free and accessible legal information, and greater consequences for inappropriate conduct by lawyers or self-represented parties. Many of us within the law are pushing for these changes, as is the attorney general.