In the article” Ontario Civil Justice Reform in the Wake of COVID-19: Inspired or Institutionalized?” by Suzanne E. Chiodo, Professor Chiodo remarks that “Ontario’s justice system is already facing an overwhelming backlog, and the courts’ inability to function at full capacity—combined with the spike in litigation that is sure to follow the pandemic —could lead to a … Continue reading Addressing the Backlog in the Courts in Ontario
This article was originally posted on Slaw.ca. Some law firms last year experienced record profits, despite the pandemic. Part of the growth in revenue was due to the increase in private arbitration. As courts struggled to adapt, more litigants turned to private solutions, like mediation and arbitration. In the article “As Trials Stalled, Shook Hardy … Continue reading The Alarming Privatization of Our Judicial System: The Need For More Resources
In an article by Slate.com, Pilar Escontrias proclaims “It’s time to see the bar exam for what it truly is: the relic of a racist club.” The bar exam in the United States has a “sordid history as one of the many racialized gatekeeping mechanisms into the practice of law. The legal profession was a virtually … Continue reading Is it Time to Rethink Lawyer Licensing, including the Bar Exam in Ontario?
As we have seen in the last year, technology can improve access to justice. A new product called Courtbot is another great example of technology improving interactions with the courts. The new App Courtbot helps remind litigants of upcoming court appearances. It is a text-messaging App based in Oklahoma. According to its website, once clients text their … Continue reading Using Courtbot to Improve Attendance at Court
Human-centred design is an approach to problem solving. The approach takes inspiration from real people and how they use products. It involves making prototypes, learning how users interact with them, and refining the product based on feedback. The goal is to end with a user-friendly product. To learn more about human-centred design: read here. Our … Continue reading The Need for Human-Centred Design in Ontario Courts
In a study conducted in England, it was found that 4 out of 10 parents involved in a remote family hearing did not understand it (Legalfutures Article). “Two-thirds (66%) of parents said they believed their case had not been dealt with well remotely, with 40% recounting that they did not understand their remote hearing – … Continue reading Do Litigants Understand Remote Hearings? What should be done about it?
“The public park is only one of many institutions that was created to enact America’s egalitarian values. At the turn of the 20th century, public libraries opened nationwide to help foster literacy. In the 1910s, a few communities in the Midwest embraced the radical notion of free, universal secondary education: high school.”- Eli Pariser (“To … Continue reading Creating Online Parks and What Courts Can Learn from Them
Ontario’s courts are embracing electronic filing for cases. Currently, you can file many types of civil documents online and can file material for reference during a hearing. The two main systems being used are the Civil Submissions Online Portal (to file documents) and CaseLines (for electronic use of documents during hearings). To learn more about … Continue reading Electronic Court Filing in Ontario is Becoming More Common
“A litigation culture has arisen in this province over the last three decades which extols creating and litigating peripheral procedural disputes, instead of moving towards the timely adjudication of disputes on their merits. That culture now lauds, as the skilled barrister, the motions specialist, not the final hearing expert.” – Justice David M. Brown Given the … Continue reading New Culture Shift Towards Scheduling Court Motions in Ontario
It has recently been reported that jury trials may resume soon. The Toronto Star reported the following: “Canada’s justice system has no intention of holding Zoom jury trials — or cancelling them. That means … thousands of others may soon find themselves called into an Ontario courthouse, reporting for jury duty amid the ongoing pandemic … Continue reading Online Juries?