New Access to Justice Institute will help Nova Scotians navigate the legal system

From: Department of Justice Canada

January 16, 2019 – Halifax, Nova Scotia – Department of Justice Canada

Canadians expect and deserve appropriate resources to help resolve their legal issues efficiently, affordably and fairly. This is why the Government of Canada is working to enhance support to Nova Scotians navigating the legal system by providing funding for the creation of a research institute to help increase access to the legal programs they need.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, and Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova, announced funding for the creation of the Access to Justice and Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia. This centre will coordinate access to justice work across the province and provide leadership in research related to access to justice.

Along with support from the Nova Scotia Department of Justice and the Law Foundation of Nova Scotia, this one-time funding of $175,000 from the Department of Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program will help the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia take on projects to improve access to justice in Nova Scotia and undertake important justice research, including centralizing access to research data.

“As one of the most pressing justice issues we face today, our Government is working to ensure Canadians have access to a justice system that is fair, relevant and accessible. We are proud to support initiatives that improve access to justice across Canada, like the new Access to Justice and Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia. This centre will help Nova Scotians access and navigate the legal system and will support a coordinated approach to delivering and improving access to justice programs in the province.”

The Honourable David Lametti, P.C., M.P.

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

“Today’s announcement reflects our Government’s commitment to ensuring that gaps in the Nova Scotia justice system are identified and addressed through research and collaboration.”

Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax

“Improving access to justice in Nova Scotia is an important goal. I am proud that our Government is dedicated to helping Nova Scotians access the programs they need.”

Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova

“The province is proud to support the transformation of the Law Reform Commission into the Access to Justice and Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia,” said Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey. “Through its work and research, the Institute will help us modernize our justice system and continue to make it is easier for all Nova Scotians to access and navigate.”

The Honourable Mark Furey

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nova Scotia

“We are very proud to be developing an institute dedicated to centering the voices of all Nova Scotians in law and justice reform. This funding will help us to build a center dedicated to research, engagement and collaboration on the most pressing law and justice reform issues facing the public in Nova Scotia. We are confident that the Institute will serve as an effective and solutions-oriented actor in meeting the access to justice challenges that many face in this Province.”

Professor Robert J. Currie​

President of the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia

Quick facts

  • The Justice Partnership and Innovation Program provides funding for organizations to develop innovative solutions to emerging justice issues. The program supports the Department of Justice in its mission of working to ensure that Canada is a just and law-abiding society with an accessible, efficient and fair system of justice.

  • The Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters also reported that individuals with lower incomes and members of vulnerable groups experience more legal problems than higher income earners and members of more secure groups.

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