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Access to Justice Week 2021

Access to Justice Week 2021

By: Teresa Donnelly, Treasurer | October 22, 2021

The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG), will be hosting the sixth annual Access to Justice Week (A2J Week) in Ontario from October 25 to 29. This year’s schedule is our fullest to date. With a total of 25 national and local programs, A2J Week 2021 offers something for everyone.

Access to justice is a fundamental principle of our justice system, and yet every day many are faced with barriers to getting the help they need. Vulnerable and marginalized populations face additional barriers to accessing justice based on factors like gender, race, culture, age, language, literacy, disability, income support, and geographical location.

Quite simply, access to justice means that people have access to the information, resources and services necessary to effectively resolve their legal issues.

As legal professionals, we must always be working to ensure that the public feels confident in the system, and that communities understand their legal rights and see their experiences reflected throughout the justice system. After all, a diversity of perspectives and participants only serves to enrich the very fabric of our justice system.

I look forward to A2J Week and to sharing in the diverse range of programing that speaks to relevant and timely access to justice issues. Recognizing the importance of enhancing the legal professions’ relationships with Indigenous Peoples, there are several sessions throughout the week focused on Truth and Reconciliation, implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and building cultural competency. Other programming highlights include best practices for digital justice, supporting clients with mental health needs and more.

In partnership with stakeholder and justice sector organizations, this year’s A2J Week will also deliver virtual public-facing legal education seminars in both English and French to help members of the public with everyday barriers to justice and connect them to legal resources.

As a reminder, sessions are open to anyone who wants to participate. While developed for legal professionals - and in most cases, CPD-accredited - sessions are open to members of the public, community workers, students and anyone who has an interest in access to justice.

Furthering access to justice requires a long-lasting commitment and the collaborative efforts of the entire legal community. I want to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the TAG reference group and our programming partners for their hard work and commitment to developing such a diverse range of relevant access to justice programming. I encourage each of you to join as many sessions as you can and to share in the dialogue and action that makes Access to Justice Week such a unique opportunity.

Visit the TAG’s website at www.LSO.ca/theactiongroup to view the full agenda and register.

I hope to see you there.

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