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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

The Justice Crisis

The Cost and Value of Accessing Law

Despite wide recognition that access to justice is one of the most basic rights of democratic citizenship, unfulfilled legal needs are at a tipping point in many parts of the Canadian justice system and around the world. High legal fees, complex and expensive administration, lack of funding, political inattention, insufficient research and education, and a relatively uninformed public feed into the problem. The Justice Crisis assesses what is and isn’t working in efforts to improve access to civil and family justice. Meaningful access is often a question of providing pathways to resolving everyday legal issues. The availability of justice services that aren’t only tied to the courts and lawyers – such as public education on the law, alternative dispute settlement, and paralegal support – is therefore an important concern.

Contributors to this wide-ranging overview of new empirical research address several key issues: the extent and cost of unmet legal needs; the role of public funding; connections between legal and social exclusion among vulnerable populations, including indigenous communities; the value of new legal pathways; legal fee structures; the provision of justice services that go beyond the courts and lawyers; and the need for a culture change within the justice system. Their findings can inform initiatives to improve access to justice within the Canadian system and beyond.


340 pages | 55 halftones, 30 tables | 6 x 9

Law and Society


Reviews

"The Justice Crisis is required reading for anyone who desires a just society. At once thoughtful and bold, this compendium offers insightful ideas on how we can take access to justice from slogan to reality."

Beverley McLachlin, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Farrow and Jacobs are to be congratulated on bringing together a wealth of new empirical evidence, shining an original light on the access to justice crisis in civil and family law. The volume provides a rich source of innovative thinking about the complex issues of cost and value of access to justice, while underlining the need for better evidence to support service and system transformation.

Dame Hazel Genn, author of Paths to Justice: What People Do and Think about Going to Law

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