Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

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As a ubiquitous aspect of everyday life, it should come as little surprise that legal problems have a tremendous cumulative cost on society. Assessing the cost of civil, family and criminal justice problems in Canada is a complex and multifaceted undertaking, owing in part to the number of agencies involved in the administration of justice, the various types of justice system expenses, and the intangible and ‘knock on’ costs that often result from experiencing legal problems. Further, costs can be examined in monetary, temporal, personal, physical health, mental health and other terms. The monetary costs are of course the most straightforward and methodologically simplest to calculate. In exploring the issue of cost, this paper will focus primarily on the “monetary costs” category.

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