Osgoode Hall Review of Law and Policy

Document Type


English Abstract

This article argues that it is highly undesirable that legal costs impede, and often preclude access to counsel. Even if access to counsel is not a constitutional right in itself, as the Supreme Court of Canada held in Christie, the arguments advanced by the plaintiff in Christie when supplemented by other considerations, establish the importance of access to counsel as a matter of policy. As such, the law societies and the governments of Canada ought to do more to promote access to counsel. Specifically, the law societies ought to reduce market-entry and market-conduct restrictions and increase the use of existing means; the federal and provincial governments ought to increase funding, provide for litigation insurance, and establish independent bodies to regulate paralegals and lawyers. This article explores the current dispute resolution regime in Canada and proposes a new approach to the way justice is viewed.