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“There is a serious access to justice problem in Canada. The civil and family justice system is too complex, too slow and too expensive. It is too often incapable of producing just outcomes that are proportional to the problems brought to it or reflective of the needs of the people it is meant to serve.” —Access to Civil and Family Justice: A Roadmap for Change 2013 (a report by The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice)

Access to Justice BC is British Columbia’s response to a national call for action to make family and civil justice more accessible. It is a forum to facilitate open communication and collaborative working relationships among justice system stakeholders. Download our news release.

Chaired by BC’s Chief Justice, the Honourable R. J. Bauman, Access to Justice BC includes leaders from all major justice system organizations, and representatives from related sectors such as health and municipalities. Other members of the group bring the perspectives of diverse users of the justice system, such as self-represented litigants, businesses, Aboriginal people, people with disabilities and immigrants. More details.

Access to Justice BC has adopted a Framework for Action that reflects a different approach from past justice reform initiatives. It will not produce yet another report about what should be done, but instead seeks to improve the justice system by fostering action and approaching the issues from the users’ perspective. Access to Justice has made family justice its priority and is working on specific innovative initiatives.

“For too long, we in the justice system have assumed that we know how the system should be run. If we want the justice system to serve the people it is intended to serve, the time has come for us to look at the system from the perspective of the user, and to recognize the users of the system as our partners in justice reform.” —Chief Justice Bauman, in the Benchers’ Bulletin.

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