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New Blog Series: Access to Justice Advocates 

We are excited to launch a new series on our blog titled Access to Justice Advocates. The series is a response to recent reports that have underscored the importance of innovation and imagination in the pursuit of access to justice. At the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, we understand that such efforts come down to people - to the diverse advocates working in different and important ways across the access to justice landscape. This month we are pleased to feature Dianne Wintermute, Staff Lawyer at the ARCH Disability Law Centre.

Dianne Wintermute has been working in the community legal clinic system for over 25 years. Called to the bar in 1986, Dianne has extensive litigation experience representing individuals and disability organizations in cases involving the advancement of the rights of people with disabilities and people living in poverty. She has advocated in various tribunals and all levels of the court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Dianne joined ARCH Disability Law Centre as a staff lawyer in 2009. Prior to ARCH, she was the Executive Director of East Toronto Community Legal Services from 1991 - 2009.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice had the exciting opportunity to visit the ARCH offices to chat with Dianne about her work in disability law and her continued dedication to access to justice issues. Dianne brought a unique perspective to our A2J discussion with her extensive experience at the intersection of law and mental health. Dianne spoke to the CFCJ about the changes she believes need to be made both within and outside of the legal field to target impediments to access to justice such as increasing client capacity, autonomy and decision-making power.

Check out her video interview here.

Dr. Patricia Hughes

Better Justice Together

On November 18 Trevor Farrow was among the invited stakeholders and justice system participants at the Better Justice Together Conference hosted by the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General along with the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Action Group on Access to Justice. The event launched Attorney General Meilleur’s four-year plan to improve access to justice in Ontario. Improvements revolved modernizing processes and technologies and providing enhanced support for individuals with mental health issues.
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