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MAY 2016

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Over any given three-year period, almost 50% of Canadians over the age of 18 will experience at least one civil or family justice problem. Other than knowing that people cannot afford the legal system, we know very little about the specific costs of justice in Canada, particularly about affordable justice services and our collective well-being.

In this special edition of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) newsletter, we provide an overview of several recent research publications from the CFCJ’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded “Cost of Justice” project which, we anticipate, will contribute significantly to the conversation around the costs of justice in Canada, not just in dollars, time and opportunity costs, but also to the state and to the livelihood of the people accessing our justice system.

The Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada survey is the first national survey in almost ten years to measure the frequency and ways in which members of the Canadian public experience everyday legal problems. It is also the first survey of its kind to explore what these problems cost in dollars, to the state and to the physical and mental health of the public who use our justice system.

The Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada: Overview Report by Trevor C.W. Farrow, Ab Currie, Nicole Aylwin, Les Jacobs, David Northrup and Lisa Moore discusses several key findings of the Everyday Legal Problems and Cost of Justice survey including, the types and frequency of justiciable problems, the ways people try to resolve them and the amount spent trying to resolve legal problems. The Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada: Overview Report is published on the CFCJ website here.

“This research... by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice will be essential in helping us understand the true extent of the problem of cost and how it impacts on the justice system. I believe that it will prove to be of great assistance to... identify concrete solutions to the problem of access to justice.”

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C. (2011) 

EVERYDAY LEGAL PROBLEMS AND THE COST OF JUSTICE IN CANADA: SURVEY

What are the costs associated with engaging our justice services? What does the public spend in time, as well as physical and mental health costs when they experience a civil or family justice problem? What are the costs to the state? As a part of the CFCJ’s "Cost of Justice" research project, the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at York University conducted a survey of more than 3000 Canadians aimed at answering these questions. This survey, which took place between September 2013 and May 2014, is posted on the CFCJ website here.
 

 

EVERYDAY LEGAL PROBLEMS AND THE COST OF JUSTICE IN CANADA FACT SHEET

In this fact sheet, the CFCJ provides an overview of some of the key findings from its 2014 Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada Survey. The fact sheet was revised (from an earlier version) and updated this month and is posted on the CFCJ website here. A French version of the fact sheet is forthcoming.
 

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