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the DOJ weigh in Should the Bar Association weigh in Should the Law Society weigh in Should the Federal Attorney General weigh in Can common law statutes and tradition be maintained superseded by 1982 Charter Rights guarantee Please don’t kill the questioner 9/6/13 John Gerretsen Ministry of the Attorney General McMurtry-Scott Building 720 Bay Street, 11th Floor Toronto, ON M7A 2S9 firstname.lastname@example.org From accused Frank Gallagher 34 Riverglen Drive Keswick Ont L4P 2P8 email@example.com Re: Incident # 12-154994 Reference www.frankygoestocourt.info Court appearance 9/9/13 Dear John I request my trial be postponed until such time my guarantee of justice can be fulfilled Law Society Admits Bar Association Admits Top Judge Admits The Attorney General is the chief law officer of the Executive Council. The responsibilities stemming from this role are unlike those of any other Cabinet member. The role has been referred to as
"judicial-like" and as the "guardian of the public interest".
One part of the Attorney General's role is that of a Cabinet Minister. In this capacity the Minister is responsible for representing the interests and perspectives of the Ministry at Cabinet, while simultaneously representing the interests and perspectives of Cabinet and consequently the Government to the Ministry and the Ministry's communities of interest.
There are various components of the Attorney General's role. The Attorney General has unique responsibilities to the Crown, the courts, the Legislature and the executive branch of government. While there are different emphases and nuances attached to these there is a general theme throughout all the various aspects of the Attorney General's responsibilities that the office has a constitutional and traditional responsibility beyond that of a political minister. The role of chief law officer might be referred to as the Attorney General's overall responsibility as the independent legal advisor to the Cabinet - and some have even suggested that the role possibly extends to the Legislature as well. The importance of the independence of the role is fundamental to the position and well established
in common law, statutes and tradition.
As chief law officer, the Attorney General has a special responsibility to be the guardian of
that most elusive concept
- the rule of law. The rule of law is a well established legal principle,
but hard to easily define.
It is the rule of law that protects individuals, and society as a whole,
from arbitrary measures and safeguards personal liberties. Clear separation of powers? Guardian of the public interest conflict of interest? Rule of Law legal Certainty? The Attorney General has
a special role
to play in advising Cabinet
the rule of law is maintained and that Cabinet actions
are legally and constitutionally valid.
Rule of Law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law The Rule of law in its most basic form is no one is above the law. Perhaps the most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with,
publicly disclosed laws,
adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process. The rule of law is hostile to dictatorship and to anarchy. According to modern Anglo-American thinking, hallmarks of adherence to the rule of law commonly
include a clear separation of powers, legal certainty, the principle of legitimate expectation and equality of all before the law. The concept is not without controversy, and it has been said that "the phrase the rule of law has become
meaningless thanks to ideological abuse and general
GO POE General Over-use Proclamations Only Elusivity
publicly disclosed laws
52. (1) The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law of Canada, and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is, to the extent of the inconsistency,
of no force or effect.
A key component of the Attorney General's responsibilities
the administration of justice in the province is the administration of the courts and as a result the responsibility for maintaining liaison with the judiciary. Given the fundamental importance of
the independence of the judiciary,
the responsibility for courts administration is often a very sensitive and delicate issue. Great care and respect for
the principles of judicial independence
must be exercised in this area. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2013/08/17/skn-annual-canadian-bar-meeting-access-tojustice.html
Canada's top judge slams 'inaccessible justice'
Report calls for more federal funding for civil legal aid, among other reforms
Posted: Aug 18, 2013 11:57 AM ET Last Updated: Aug 18, 2013 10:22 PM ET
Beverly McLachlin, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, says many people give up on the justice system and 'just swallow their pain and their loss and live with it.' (Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press) Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin says the most pressing challenge facing the administration of justice in this country is ensuring that Canadians are able to access the system. McLachlin made the comments at the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) annual meeting in Saskatoon this weekend. Delegates at the conference were discussing the merits of several proposed legal reforms, including those stemming from the results of a new report by the CBA, titled Reaching Equal Justice. The 59-page report, which was released Sunday at the conference,
says there is profoundly unequal access to justice in Canada.
Peoples' lives can be ruined if they can't get access to justice, McLachlin said Saturday at the conference. "We know that there are a lot of needs. People just swallow their pain and their loss and live with it, I guess, in some unsatisfactory way feeling they can't get justice," said McLachlin. Among other things, the report calls for more federal funding for civil legal aid. The report says by 2020, all Canadians living at and below the poverty line should be eligible for full coverage of essential public legal services. Another goal is to have all law schools in Canada have student legal clinics to help low-income people by 2020. All 31 targets in the report are expected to be completed by 2030.
Hardest hit are those who can't afford lawyers "Inaccessible justice costs us all, but visits its harshest consequences on the poorest people in our communities," the report says. Its author, Melina Buckley, says one of the biggest concerns is the growing number of people who represent themselves in civil cases. Buckley says many people earn just enough money so they don't qualify for legal aid, but they also don't make enough to pay for a lawyer. Those people often find themselves on their own in court, she says. The problem is especially pronounced in family law cases. "They describe that as just being a terrible experience," Buckley said in an interview. "They find the whole process leading up to it is hugely stressful, has all kind of side effects in terms of their abilities to continue parenting their kids because they're stressed. Sometimes they lose their jobs or have to go part-time, all kinds of health and other situations. They tend to get alienated from friends and families because they become so obsessed by it," she said. "And then quite often they don't have the kind of outcomes that we would consider just and fair." Buckley said that also puts more of a burden on the system. For example, a case that would normally take three days with a lawyer on each side, tends to instead take 10 days, she says. Association positive about proposed changes The report identified four priorities in improving access to justice nationally: access to legal services, the simplification of court processes, family law and prevention, triage and referral. In each of these areas a working group of CBA legal professionals investigated specific ways of improving legal access nationally. "We are contemplating changes to the system to make it more affordable. For example, rule changes. All of that involves the government ... so the government is an important player," McLachlin said. Robert Brun, President of The Canadian Bar Association told CBC News on Friday that he is cautiously optimistic that their recommendations and the report will not fall on deaf ears when it comes to implementing changes to the current system at the federal level. "If people don't have the economic resources to retain lawyers to protect their interests and to get their cases before judges to decide them on the facts and law,
then they don't have access to justice,"
Brun said. Brun says improving citizens' legal agency will help combat problems like over-crowded correctional facilities, in places such as Saskatchewan and in the North. The report will be released in full this fall. With files from The Canadian Press Share Tools Report Typo Send Feedback
http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canadian+Association+calls+quick+abysmal+access+justice/88035 90/story.html Canadian Bar Association calls for 'quick fix' to 'abysmal' access to justice Reports demands change to access to legal aid by 2030 By Jennifer Graham, The Canadian Press August 18, 2013 Story Photos ( 1 )
Access to justice in Canada is being described as in a new report from the Canadian Bar Association, which also calls for much more than "quick fix" solutions. Photograph by: Files , Postmedia News SASKATOON - Access to justice in Canada is being described as "abysmal" in a new report from the Canadian Bar Association, which also calls for much more than "quick fix" solutions. The summary report, released Sunday at the association's conference in Saskatoon, says there is profoundly unequal access to justice in Canada. "Inaccessible justice costs us all, but visits its harshest consequences on the poorest people in our communities," says the report. Report author Melina Buckley says one of the biggest concerns is the growing number of people who represent themselves in civil cases. Buckley says many people earn just enough money so they don't qualify for legal aid, but they also don't make enough to pay for a lawyer. Those people often find themselves on their own in court, she says. The problem is especially pronounced in family law cases.
"They describe that as just being a terrible experience," said Buckley in an interview. "They find the whole process leading up to it is hugely stressful, has all kind of side effects in terms of their abilities to continue parenting their kids because they're stressed. Sometimes they lose their jobs or have to go part-time, all kinds of health and other situations. They tend to get alienated from friends and families because they become so obsessed by it. "And then quite often they don't have the kind of outcomes that we would consider just and fair." Buckley says that also puts more of a burden on the system. For example, a case that would normally take three days with a lawyer on each side, tends to instead take 10 days, she says. There are also more pressures on court staff who must walk a fine line between helping people with something like forms and legal advice that they can't provide. "They have to say 'Look, I'm sorry, that's legal advice. I can't do that.' And of course the person who has that need doesn't care, they need the answer. And if you can't point them to where they can (get it), it's obviously very frustrating, very high stress for people working within the courts," said Buckley. Supreme Court of Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin said access to justice is a growing problem for many Canadians. Peoples' lives can be ruined if they can't get access to justice, McLachlin said Saturday at the conference. "We know that there are a lot of needs. People just swallow their pain and their loss and live with it, I guess, in some unsatisfactory way feeling they can't get justice," said McLachlin. The full report will be released in the fall, but the 59-page summary released Sunday makes several recommendations. Among other things, the report calls for more federal funding for civil legal aid. Buckley says the federal government can't say how much it contributes to civil legal aid because the amount is included in overall funding to provinces and the decisions on how to spend the money is made at the provincial level. The report says by 2020, all Canadians living at and below the poverty line should be eligible for full coverage of essential public legal services. Another goal is to have all law schools in Canada have a student legal clinic to help low-income people by 2020. All 31 targets are expected to be completed by 2030. "We think very serious and radical reforms need to be made to the justice system. We think they're all doable. We call it an ambitious, but possible vision, and we think 17 years is about the right amount of time," said Buckley. Change doesn't fall solely on governments or the bar association. The report also says law schools and other stakeholders must be involved. Buckley says the creation of an access to justice commissioner could make sure everyone works together. The report says tinkering with the system won't be enough. "The civil justice system is too badly broken for a quick fix. People fall between the cracks at an unacceptable cost.
Injustice is too deeply woven into the system's very structure
for piecemeal reforms to make much of a dent," it says.
Law Society voices support for sustainable legal aid
Tuesday, February 13 2007 Organization: Release: Law Society of Upper Canada TORONTO, Feb. 12 /CNW/ - The Treasurer of the Law Society of Upper
Canada, Gavin MacKenzie, today expressed the Law Society's continuing concern over the need
for a well-funded and sustainable system of legal aid
in Ontario. "We believe that the right of vulnerable citizens to legal assistance is an important
component of the administration of justice in a free and democratic society," the Treasurer said. "Since the Ontario Legal Aid Plan was founded in 1967, the Law Society has recognized that legal aid should be considered a right, not a charitable gift, and that individuals
are equal before the law
if they are assured the option of legal representation."
"More than a million Ontarians benefit from Legal Aid Ontario every year, many of them through our excellent clinic system", he added. "Legal aid also helps many vulnerable Ontarians with family law, criminal law, workers' compensation, immigration, landlord-tenant and other legal issues." But there are still many thousands of individuals in Ontario who cannot afford legal services and do not qualify for support from the system. The income threshold is far too low - if you earn just over $13,000 a
year you are too rich to qualify for legal aid. We are alarmed by the dramatic increase in the number of people who try to represent themselves in court without the benefit of legal representation or advice about their rights.
Others simply give up their right to a fair hearing. For all of these people, access to justice is denied."
The Law Society regards the Attorney General's appointment of Professor John McCamus to review legal aid issues and the establishment of a working group with Legal Aid Ontario as important steps toward the development of strategies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of legal aid, including the provision of adequate and stable funding. FACT SHEET Backgrounder on Legal Aid in Ontario As early as the 1920s, lawyers in Ontario recognized the need for a legal aid system in this province. The need became palpable over the next two decades, and in 1951, Ontario became the first province in Canada to pass legislation establishing an organized legal aid programme. >> Since that time Ontario's legal aid programme has undergone several transformations. Initially, the programme was controlled by The Law Society of Upper Canada (the "Law Society") and financed by the provincial government. Those in need of legal aid services went to their local law association and sought eligibility based on proof of legal and financial need. Only criminal and civil law proceedings were covered at that time. Lawyers provided legal assistance on a volunteer basis and were only paid for disbursements and administrative expenses - not their labour. The voluntary plan was unable to adequately meet the demand for legal aid services, and in 1963, a Joint Committee of the Ontario government and the Law Society was appointed to develop a new system. The Joint Committee recommended a formal system modelled on the legal aid plans of England and Scotland where private lawyers acted for clients on legal aid certificates and were paid for their services. Based on the Joint Committee's recommendations, the Ontario government created the "Ontario Legal Aid Plan" in 1967. It soon became clear that, while low-income individuals needed legal aid certificates in growing numbers, they also needed many legal services that the private bar could not provide. To service those needs, the first "community legal aid clinic" opened in Toronto in 1971. Clinic lawyers focused on poverty law services such as workers' compensation, social assistance, and landlord-tenant disputes. They also worked on community legal education and important law reform and community development initiatives. Initially funded by charitable grants, the clinics began to receive provincial funding in the mid-1970s. Both the legal aid certificate programme and the community legal clinic programme grew substantially throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Several factors - including an economic recession - led to a dramatic increase in the need for legal aid certificates by Ontarians in the early 1990s. That same decade, federal contributions to provincial legal aid programmes were capped.
Another review of Ontario's legal aid system was conducted in 1997. The resulting "McCamus Report" recommended the creation of an independent body to govern the Legal Aid Plan. In response, the Ontario government created Legal Aid Ontario ("LAO") - an independent, publicly funded, publicly accountable non-profit corporation that continues to administer the province's legal aid programme today. LAO is the second largest justice agency in Ontario and one of the largest providers of legal services in North America. Every year, LAO serves one million of Ontario's most vulnerable citizens. Its clients often have language and cultural issues, literacy and education issues, or mental health issues. Some clients have drug or alcohol dependency, or may have experienced domestic violence or human rights violations. LAO provides services in a number of different ways, including certificates, duty counsel, community legal clinics, public legal education, alternative dispute resolution, and self-help materials. Individuals seeking legal aid are still subject to a review of both their financial circumstances and the type of legal problem they are facing. In some cases, clients are required to make some financial contribution to the cost of their legal services. To be clear about whom LAO is assisting, LAO indicates that an individual will probably be eligible for legal aid if their net annual income is at or below $13,068. What Ontario lawyers perceived in the 1920s, what the Joint Committee expressed in the
1960s, and what many people experience first-hand in Ontario courts every day, is that
individuals are equal before the law only if they are assured
the option of representation by counsel. In a democratic society, everyone should be able to participate fully in society and
have their rights protected.
Canada has an adversarial justice system that anticipates two roughly equal parties presenting their cases before a judge in a court of law. What happens if there is an imbalance of power between the two parties?
When an Ontarian cannot afford to hire a lawyer,
an imbalance of power exists, especially
when the state is one of the parties,
as in criminal law and child protection cases. Legal aid attempts to correct this imbalance by providing low-income individuals with legal representation. The legal aid system contributes to ensuring the potential for equal protection and benefit of the law for the poor and disadvantaged in our society. http://www.scribd.com/doc/113882977/Spirit-Intent-Precence-de-Jure-Constitution-or-Romans-13Gaming-the-System-de-Facto
If won’t open see “Gaming the System” www.FrankyGoesToCourt.info
Section VI: A FRAMEWORK FOR EVALUATION I. THE RATIONALES FOR THE IDEAL OF ACCESS TO JUSTICE
In evaluating the current condition and performance of the legal aid system in Ontario and how well equipped it is to face future challenges in the years ahead, it is obviously important, and indeed necessary, to have a clear focus on some broad normative reference points or benchmarks against which both the performance and potential of the system can be evaluated. This was squarely recognized in the McCamus Report 1 in 1997, and in important background research that the McCamus Task Force commissioned. 2 I here set out briefly what I view as the most compelling normative justifications for an obligation on the state to ensure access to justice.
a) Access to Justice and the Rule of Law
The first and most important rationale for viewing access to justice as an important ideal is based on the close relationship of access to justice to the rule of law. The development of democratic societies has been accompanied by the adoption of the notion of the rule of law - the replacement of rule by arbitrary measures or by unchecked discretion with rule by law. While the content of the rule of law has been subject to much debate over the years, 3 even minimalist conceptions of the rule of law espouse as central the notions of "natural justice" or due process as these concepts are widely understood. If the rule of law is considered to be based on laws that are knowable and consistently enforced such that individuals are able to avail themselves of the law, then individuals must have the tools to access the systems that administer those laws. Thomas Hobbes argued that the rule of law must satisfy an obligation which Professor David Dyzenhaus has called the "publicity condition". This means that individuals, in committing their obedience to the sovereign's rule, are promised the protections and benefits of law. Dyzenhaus argues that the publicity condition is not so much an external limit on the sovereign's legal power, but what the sovereign has to do in order to exercise power through law. Dyzenhaus argues further that part of the obligation that attaches to the rule of law, especially as that law becomes more complex (as many of our laws have, including criminal law, family law, immigration law, and social assistance law) is for the government to provide the resources so that people can not only know the law,
but also gain access to it.
This publicity condition obviously does not imply that the state is under an obligation to ensure that every individual has a grasp of its entire set of laws. Actual knowledge of the law is not considered a right under even the most progressive liberal theory, so long as every person has an opportunity to know the law. This means that when individuals are unable to understand the law and its impact and are unable to exercise effectively their rights and responsibilities under the law,
the state has an obligation
to ensure that
they have the resources to do so
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