Ontario, Canada Community Paralegals: Recognition and Financing Research Brief


This research brief is part of a series that reviews the nature of the work undertaken by community paralegals, and the extent to which that work is recognized or funded by government. In Ontario, Canada, community paralegals are recognized in administrative documents in connection with Legal Aid Ontario’s funding of Community Legal Clinics (CLCs). They are referred…

IBA Community Toolkit: Negotiation and Implementation of Impact and Benefit Agreements

 Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation , Ginger Gibson, Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh,

Contractual agreements between mining companies and Aboriginal communities now play a critical role in shaping the terms on which minerals will be extracted from Aboriginal lands in Canada. The capacity to negotiate and implement such agreements is critical to ensuring that resource extraction generates substantial benefi ts for Aboriginal communities, and that the negative impacts…

Enhancing the Legal Profession’s Capacity for Innovation: The Promise of Reflective Practice and Action Research for Increasing Access to Justice

Michele M. Leering,

Recent national reports have documented growing justice gaps in Canada and have identified a compelling need for innovation in the justice sector to better meet the needs of the public. Nurturing a greater capacity for individual, collective, and critical reflection will ensure the legal profession is much better equipped to respond creatively and strategically to…

Advancing Public Health through Strategic Litigation: Lessons from Five Countries

Open Society Foundation,

The law has a critical role to play in advancing public health in general, and in promoting the health of marginalized populations in particular. The Global Commission on HIV and the Law, for instance, has documented the positive role that strong legal protections can play specifically in addressing HIV. In its view, with interventions for…

International Legal Aid Group Conference Country Report: Canada

Michele M. Leering, Legal Services Society British Columbia, Legal Aid Ontario,

The responsibility for delivering legal aid services in Canada lies with the provincial and territorial governments. The governing legislation and the administrative structure for operationalizing the services differs in each province and territory. For the purposes of this 2015 National Report, two Canadian provinces, British Columbia (B.C.) and Ontario, are featured. Both are engaged in…

“Poverty Law” – A case study for the Ontario Legal Aid Review

Professor Janet E. Mosher,

This research paper written by Janet Mosher, an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University, examines the legal aid scheme in Ontario, Canada and presents suggestions for the legal clinic system to better serve Ontario’s lower income population.

The Critical Characteristics of Community Legal Aid Clinics in Ontario

Lenny Abramowicz,

Community Legal Aid Clinics have been in existence in Ontario for 30 years. Ontario’s clinic system has been applauded by international observers of the legal aid landscape. Administrators of legal aid programs from around the world regularly come to Ontario to study the clinic system. At a time when legal aid services in most jurisdictions…

Community Justice: Ontario

Open Society Foundation,

On the second Tuesday of every month in a small store-front office in the town of Bancroft, in eastern Ontario, two lawyers offer legal advice to mostly low-income clients with a range of mostly everyday problems: arguments with a landlord; disputes with an employer; difficulties claiming social assistance; and much more. The advice is free, and…

Delivering Community Justice Services at Scale: Ontario, Canada

Open Society Foundation,

Around the world governments and civil society organizations are partnering to deliver community based legal assistance at scale. This series of five country cases from Canada, Moldova, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Ukraine highlights a spectrum of efforts to sustainably institutionalize the delivery of community based legal services. In Canada’s federal system, each province is…

Extending the Reach of Legal Aid: Report on the Pilot Phase of the Hamilton Legal Health Check-Up Project

Dr. Albert Currie, Halton Community Legal Services,

The Legal Health Check-Up project is being developed by Halton Community Legal Services (HCLS), a small clinic that is part of the Legal Aid Ontario community clinic system. The intermediary partnerships that are the foundation of the Legal Health Check-Up (LHC) project are a solid platform for developing a legal service delivery model targeted at people…

It’s time Canada makes access to justice a reality for all

Posted by Adrian Di Giovanni, Vivek Maru, and Lotta Teale in Governance

When a child is denied access to school, or an ailing person is shut out of a hospital, the media are quick to expose the injustice. Denial of health care or an education is unthinkable for most Canadians, yet access to justice, particularly for non−criminal issues, is out of reach for millions in this country,…

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